IS ENGLISH A MALE LANGUAGE AND SPANISH A FEMALE LANGUAGE? AN EXPLORATIVE STUDY OF GENDER AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AT A HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION IN SERBIA
The differences in first language usage between men and women have been studied for many years. However, the impact of gender with regard to second language acquisition has not been frequently studied. Therefore, this paper offers an explorative study whose aim is to clarify whether male or female gender of students affects their second language acquisition, i.e. their final examination results at a university level, and if yes, in which amount. The research focuses on English and Spanish as second languages at a private university in Belgrade, Serbia. It also offers a statistical overview of the learning outcomes of Italian, German, Chinese, Russian and French language. The paper includes both quantitative analysis, studying numerous variables which are relevant in language acquisition, and qualitative analysis, with the aim of additionally explaining, analysing and comparing quantitative results. Research results show that male students have higher grades in English, whereas female students outperform in Spanish, which proves gender to be one of the relevant factors in second language acquisition.