L2 learning as gendered practices : Chinese female students’ English learning experiences at an English-medium university in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number102871
Journal / PublicationSystem
Online published31 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


This paper advances our conceptualization of second language (L2) learning as gendered practices through a narrative inquiry into two Chinese female students' experiences of learning English as an L2 at an English-medium university in Hong Kong. The findings of the study reveal that the two students' divergent patterns of investments in L2 learning practices inside and outside the classroom appear to be shaped differentially by their varying responses to traditional gender ideologies, their differing evaluations of their gender capital, and the different ways in which they negotiate their desired gender identities. Importantly, the findings suggest that gender as a social construct appears to be implicated in the two students' L2 learning practices in complex and multifaceted ways and that the ways in which gender plays out in their L2 learning experiences can be highly individualized. Overall, the study elucidates the interconnectedness of gender ideologies, gender identities and gender capital in co-shaping individuals’ L2 learning practices in situated contexts. It also calls for attention to the complex interactions between the social and the individual in order to account for the varied and differentiated ways in which gender mediates situated L2 learning practices across individuals and across contexts for a given individual.

Research Area(s)

  • Second language learning, Gender identity, Gender capital, Gender ideology, Hong Kong