What’s your view on gender in language, and how it affects learning? English stands out from other European languages by not have gendered nouns, so the city is not feminine as it is in, say French and Spanish (la cité / la ciudad), and nor is the country masculine (le pays / el país).
We tend to think that not having to bother with these elements makes it easier for learners of English, but does it? If your worldview (built upon your mother tongue) includes genders for things, that presumably also means that those things which share a grammatical gender also, at some level in your mind, share certain characteristics. So does a language without those markers somehow seem a bit ‘black and white’, and lacking in perspective? Does it actually make it harder for learners not having that added dimension to deal with – what do you think?Email this Post