Gender and Genre Variation in Young Learners’ Writing: Detecting Stereotype Effects

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In this study an attempt was made to explore possible variation between male and female primary school students’ writing in English as a foreign language. It aims at a) identifying the relationship between gender and discourse genre, b) describing the various ways in which male and female students use language to construct (write) a text, c) recording possible differences between male and female students’ written texts at a text, sentence and word level, d) exploring the cues employed in gendering primary school students based on their written texts. The study was conducted through the two following stages: Ιn the first stage of the study, Two hundred twenty Greek speaking 6th grade students (110 boys, 110 girls, M=11.6 years-old, SD=0.45) from primary schools in Greece and in Cyprus participated. Five text genres were given to the students to select and cope with. In the second stage of the study, 20 student teachers (10 men and 10 women) were assigned to judge these texts for masculinity/femininity. Furthermore, the student teachers were interviewed to clarify their judges. The techniques of chi-square and t-test were employed to analyze the data which indicated significant differences between boys and girls in a) the genre selection (p<.005), b) topic selection (p<.000), c) lexical and syntactic features such as adjectives, articles, verbs etc. The results of the second stage of the study revealed that there were no significant differences between male and female judgments in inferring writers’ sex through their texts and in adopting certain criteria to justify their judgments. These results are discussed in the light of the current literacy concerning gender differences and the impact of stereotypes on writing.


Keywords: Gender Differences, Genre, Writing, Stereotypes, Young Learners
Stream: Equity, Social Justice and Social Change; Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Gender, Genre Variation and Young Writers


Dr. Eleni Griva

Lecturer, Department of Primary Education
School of Eduction, University of Western Macedonia - Greece

Florina, Florina, Greece

Eleni Griva is a Lecturer at the University of Western Macedonia – Greece. She teaches: ‘Methodology of teaching a second/foreign language’, ‘Teaching reading and writing’, ‘Bilingualism’ at the Faculty of Education. She has published a lot of articles in Greek and international journals on these issues and she has participated in many European and International conferences.

Dr. Klio Semoglou

Instructor, Department of Primary Education, University of Western Macedonia
Florina, Florina, Greece

Dr Klio Semoglou, is an instructor at University of Western Macedonia - Greece. Her main research interest is in complex movement behaviour, fine motor skills/graphomotor skills, eye-hand coordination and gender differences. She has participated in many European and International conferences and she has published several articles in Greek and international journals on these issues.

Panayiotis Panteli

Student Teacher, Department of Primary Education, University of Western Macedonia
Florina, Florina, Greece

Panayotis Panteli is a student teacher (Faculty of Education - University of Western Macedonia. He has participated in some research projects concerning language learning and teaching in primary education.

Ref: L09P1084