Over the past several decades, there has been a decline in boys’ achievement, along with documentation of increasing struggles in language (both first and second) and literacy acquisition (Carr & Pauwels, 2006). To address this problem, gender differences have been looked at through the lens of socially and culturally constructed identity (Kindlon & Thompson, 2000; Pollack, 1998); however, emerging neurolinguistic research supports biological determinism, with evidence of strong biological (sex) differences in brain structure and function that impact language and learning (Bonomo, 2010; Gurian, 1996; Sax, 2005). This paper first provides an overview of current brain-based research on sex differences, including differences in the structure, development, and functioning of the brain, followed by discussion of the implications of these differences for language learning and literacy acquisition, with specific recommendations for working with second language learners (Carr & Pauwels, 2006) in the K-12 classroom (King, Gurian, & Stevens, 2010; Smith & Wilhelm, 2002).
Pearson, Christen M.
"Real Boys Don't Do Language and Literacy--Or Do They?,"
MITESOL Journal: An Online Publication of MITESOL: Vol. 1:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mitesol/vol1/iss1/3