second language, gender


For an adult, learning a second language can be a complex and demanding task. Differences between one’s native language and the target language can contribute to the complexity of the task. One significant way in which languages can differ is the system of gender. The difference between gender in English and Spanish provides a challenge for adult native English speakers learning Spanish as a second language. The aim of the current study is to examine gender marking on a variety of tasks by adult NS of English as beginning learners of Spanish, with hopes that such examination will provide insight into the nature of their acquisition. This paper will first examine differences in gender in English and Spanish and then review previous research in acquisition of gender in a second language before presenting the current study.

Original Publication Citation

Griebling-McCowen, Lisa and Scott M. Alvord. 26. Mi mamá es bonito: Acquisition of Spanish Gender by Native English Speakers. In Selected Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese as First and Second Languages, ed. Carol A. Klee and Timothy L. Face. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 161-169.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Cascadilla Proceedings Project






Spanish and Portuguese