Today as we all know that women are good at language, we want to focus on why females are most likely to be bilingual than their male counterparts. In this article, I will share my own experience and observation as well as the popular findings of other researchers.
Women as leaders of change in a monolingual setting
In the field of language, the role of gender in language change has expanded, researched and discussed by many scholars. According to McConnell-Ginet 2003, broadest generalization is that women are the leaders of change in monolingual settings. In his study, Naomi 2013 found out that women played a leading role in a change that took place in the Spanish-English bilingual context of the Latino population of New York City.
There is vigorous evidence that women are almost always at the leadership of linguistic change in monolingual settings as Labov (2001) writes: “any theory of the causes of change must deal with the general finding that in the good majority of linguistic changes, women are a full generation ahead of men.”
In the study of the changes in pronoun use in New York City, Otheguy & Zentella (2012) found that immigrant Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Mexican women produce higher rates of pronouns than their male counterparts. In the study, the 140 speakers in corpus were divided into two dialectal regions: the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico) and Mainland Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico). The authors found that immigrant Mainland Latin American women are ahead of their male counterparts with respect to pronoun rates. Gender and Bilingualism in Education
My personal experience at high school level showed that girls were more interested and better at languages than boys. Girls scored well in language subjects such as literature in English, French, Spanish, Swahili, and many more others. When I joined university I subsequently discovered that ladies were the majority studying language courses. I realized that in a class where girls outnumbered was in most cases a language class.
Girls also had more chances of learning and speaking more languages as they were most likely to involve in relationships with boys outside their own cultural language. This enables them to learn the languages during their interaction with their relationship partners. My observation here was that the girls took much responsibility to learn the language of her boyfriend and the boys took less concern to do the same.
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Marriage and bilingualism
Women have more chances of getting married to a foreign country. This indeed is a greater opportunity for them to learn a second language for social interaction. The issue is that the people of the country she is getting married could be having no idea on her cultural language thereby making her to learn the language of that particular country by all means for easier communication.