Gender differences in strategies for coping with foreign language learning anxiety
Po-Chi Kao (Chang Gung University), Kate Tzu-Ching Chen and Philip Craigie (Chaoyang University of Technology), 2017, 45(2), 205–210

A common stereotypical view is that men and women cope differently in stressful situations (Sigmon, Stanton, & Snyder, 1995). And what can be potentially more stressful than learning a foreign language! As someone learning Spanish I can think of several situations where my anxiety levels have run high; for example, when I accidentally announced that I have another “man” rather than another “name,” which as you can imagine was not the idea I was wanting to convey! But how do we cope with these inevitable scenarios facing foreign language learners, and does our gender play a part? 

I was interested to read the results of this paper by Kao, Chen, and Craigie (2017) which investigated the gender differences in how we cope with foreign language learning anxiety. The study found that women had higher scores in two coping strategies, peer seeking and positive thinking, showing to a certain extent, that women use emotion-focused coping strategies. On the other hand, unlike women, men had higher scores in the coping strategy of relaxation. Therefore, gender plays a significant role in how we cope with foreign language anxiety. 

If you are in the process of learning a new language, I’m sure you will enjoy this insightful research when observing your own coping strategies. I look forward to more research on this topic in the future!

Allana Cruz | Editorial Assistant
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal