The Future of Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Gender distinction in language learning. Gender-specific functional differences and didactical consequences

Heiner Boettger, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt (Germany)


Learning languages is strongly influenced by an existing, but mostly still disregarded diversity:

In many parts, boys and girls, men and women obviously learn and use languages in a completely different way. This initially hypothetic claim, based on pedagogical and educational as well as psychological observations, can currently be newly restarted on neuro-scientific references.

Differences between boys and girls, men and women are many in number - from average body height to muscle growth to several endocrine functions.  However, locating them in the learning center, the brain, is not so easy. The dimorphisms are small, scarce and usually still have unknown functions. 

Correlating existing findings cross-sciences worldwide, including my own on a neuro-didactical basis, in order to prepare and identify implications for (foreign) language learning on a didactical level and therefore to implement another specific aspect of justice in the learning and teaching process, here right at the rock bottom of education – in institutionalized settings of language learning, will be the main focus of the presentation. It will also not exclude the culture-bound gender differences in immigrants` language learning.

Constitutional as well as conceptual differences may not lead to discrimination or injustice of any kind – not even through school didactics or pedagogy for example – but have to be considered an asset.

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