Recent studies affirm the existence of a significative gender gap in language learning at the expense of male students. According to various research data, including Pisa (2018), for instance, girls achieve better results in reading tasks than boys who, in general, are less motivated in improving their language skills.
Behind this phenomenon lie many social, economic and cultural factors, such as the common belief that boys are keener on scientific subjects, the challenging access to engaging learning tools, etc. The understanding of these factors may be crucial in order to encourage students to develop their own language skills, promote equal learning experiences for all, and enable students to attain important results in their academic, personal, as well as professional life.
As part of the nationwide research conducted in Poland, Italy, Ireland, Cyprus and Greece in this field, children’s reading habits, preferences and attitudes were collected, which made it possible to outline a set of tools, methods, recommendations and good practices to be offered to primary and secondary school teaching staff with the aim of fostering an inclusive, interactive school experience that promotes equal learning outcomes for all.
The partners’ research efforts have been summarized in two key project documents: the BoysLingo Handbook and the collection of Good Practices. These resources are useful for those who would like to integrate elements of mobile learning and gamification approaches into their daily teaching practice. Indeed, according to research, these approaches seem to promote greater interest in language learning activities, particularly reading, and more active participation in the classroom.
Specifically: The Handbook delves into the causes and related effects of this gender gap in the partner countries of the project and serves as a framework for teachers to guide them through the methods and digital tools that can be integrated in their own teaching practice so as to enhance and strengthen their language learning process. The Best Practices (25 in total) represent a collection of practices that have shown excellent results in engaging and improving the language skills of young people that the partnership proposes for teachers to draw inspiration from.