Word Meaning, Androcentrism, and Language Acquisition (Based on a survey of English proverbs)
Keywords:androcentrism, English as L2, proverbs, survey
In our days second language acquisition is not just an option but rather a necessity, particularly, when it is about English which is a global lingua franca. It is a permanent process involving consideration both of constantly updating methods and techniques and novel approaches to various aspects of language. Given the intensified discussions of the androcentric nature of some aspects of English and of the so called he/man approach, I decided to check whether and how similar phenomena may evolve among Georgian learners of English. For the sake of this goal, I conducted the following survey.
The object of the survey was the dual meaning of the word man in English proverbs. The word referred either to “a male person” or “a person in general.” The survey was conducted in a group of 10 students.
The students got a survey file while being on the online meeting. The language of the meeting was English. After having read all the proverbs, the students were to write “a male person” or “a person in general” at the end of each proverb. If they were unable to distinguish between the meanings, they could write “I cannot guess.”
The paper presents the results of the survey with an emphasis on the students’ capability of distinguishing between generic and masculine meanings of the word in question and on related linguistic and didactic implications.
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