Choosing an English Teacher: The Influence of Gender on the Students’ Choice of Language Teachers

  •  Hanan Taqi    
  •  Salwa Al-Darwish    
  •  Rahima Akbar    
  •  Nada Al-Gharabali    


Gender and teaching are gaining increasing attention in the field of higher education. The significance of teacher gender seems even more crucial in an environment based on gender segregation. In the scope of language teaching and gender, this study investigates the influence of gender on the students’ selection of teachers in general, and language teachers more specifically. The participants, 146 English major students in an all-female college of education, were given a questionnaire of 32 statements--to be answered on a 5-point likert scale--and four open-ended questions; all of which aim at examining the difference between male and female English language teachers in terms of attitude, grades, teaching and even appearance. The statistics were analyzed in terms of frequency, mean and variance in correlation with the independent variables of age, social status, GPA and years in college. It was found that most students prefer male teachers as they believe that the positive personal traits of the male teachers far exceed those of the female teachers. Nonetheless, the statistics have revealed that both genders (and sometimes female more than male teachers) are good language teachers. Hence, reflecting the main finding: gender is not a criterion for good language teaching, but it is our students’ criterion for choosing a language teacher.

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