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The article ‘Genre, ethnicity and bilingualism in the English classroom’ by A. Moore, is a chapter that was “specially commissioned” for the 1993 book, ‘Gender & Ethnicity in schools: ethnographic accounts” by Woods and Hammersley. Although this is a chapter from a book rather than an individually published paper, this article certainly is a piece of qualitative research. Although it does not explicitly use the headings, it follows the IMRaD structure: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. Heseltine considers it to be “the basis for almost all scientific articles” (2015). As a social science, ethnographic research should also be considered to require this structure. The introduction of the article lays out the research questions clearly, which is an important feature of the write up of qualitative research. It outlines the experiences of two bilingual speakers from the Sylhet district of Bangladesh, and attempts to investigate the effects that the style of pedagogy has on the teaching of the children, with especial focus on the cultural differences. As this research focuses on children, culture and ethnicity, it is very sensitive research. Therefore, ethical issues are one of the main focuses of this review. The other main focuses are the role of the interviewer and biases, and the purpose and applications of the research, as this cannot be ignored in a critical review. 

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Ethical Issues
It can be very difficult to adhere to all ethical regulations and recommendations when conducting research. As Murphy and Dingwall state, “Ethical conduct of ethnographic research ultimately depends upon the personal integrity and ethical education of the researcher” (2007). Moore’s study does consider some ethical issues, but perhaps more attention could be given to a few other ethical concerns. His participants have been given pseudonyms, which means that the children retain their confidentiality. This is of the utmost importance, especially for studies involving children. As the data from their stories is sensitive, due to researching culture and fleeing from a difficult country, it is vital that the children are not named, and remain anonymous. 

As previously mentioned, the data from the children’s stories involves delicate issues, such as in Mashud’s autobiography, “They came and one of them shot him. After about an hour my parents came out and someone told my dad that his dad was dead”. Due to this, ethically, the children and their parents ought to be fully informed and have given consent for the information to be shared in the article. Although it may just have been omitted, it does not state explicitly that this occurred in the longitudinal study. It can be difficult to achieve complete disclosure and fully informed consent in ethnographic research, as knowledge of the aims and questions in advance can majorly affect the results. Perhaps Moore could have added a section into his article about the ethical issues attached, similar to Seale et al.’s 2006 article: ‘Gender, cancer experience and internet use: A comparative keyword analysis of interviews and online cancer support groups’. Although the topic matter is different, both articles deal with sensitive research that requires a strong ethical consideration. Seale et al. discuss the ethical strengths and weaknesses in their research, concluding the section with “Because we do not present any direct quotes, we do not believe that any harm to individuals can be done by our report” (p. 2581). Moore’s article contains no such discussion, making it unclear as to whether they were considered at all in the research. Moore does publish the children’s work, if under a different name, but includes all the subject matter from their stories. Therefore, perhaps the treatment of ethical issues in the research is a downfall of this article. 

Role of the Researcher and Biases
Although both examples in this research take place inside a classroom, indeed a class with the same teacher, the scenarios are very different. The English teacher in both classes is Ms Montgomery, and Abdul has an ESL specialist working in the capacity of a Teaching Assistant in his class, who mainly deals with him, called Mr Geddes. The role of the researcher varies between the two classes. In Abdul’s class, Moore took the role of an observer, seeing how Mr Geddes and Abdul interacted over the writing of a story. In Mashud’s class, there is no ESL teaching assistant, and the class is presided over entirely by Ms Montgomery. However, self-professedly, Moore took the position of a support teacher “both in a practical sense and in the eyes of most pupils” (p177). This means that the two observations are very different.

Moore is very critical of Mr Geddes’ teaching, to a level that almost borders on unprofessional, such as when he says “How, we may ask, did an experienced, well-meaning teacher such as Mr Geddes come to make such serious errors of judgement in his responses to Abdul’s writing?”(p174). He describes Mr Geddes’ teaching methods as appearing to be “haphazard and ill-informed” (p174), and appears to have very little positive to say about it, except that his “commitment to the school’s policies on ‘multiculturalism’ and equal opportunities appeared, in conversation, to be fierce and wholehearted” (p168). Even this is a backhanded compliment, which can be seen in the word “appeared” and the parenthesised “in conversation”, both of which suggest that Moore does not believe that Mr Geddes actually was committed to the school’s policy. In contrast, Moore is very complimentary of the teaching methods demonstrated by Ms Montgomery. Moore observes that “Ms Montgomery did not fall into Mr Geddes’s trap of questioning her pupil’s reality” (p181): instead Moore observes that she aimed to “discover more of what that reality was” (p181). Something that Moore does not seem to have taken account of in his research is that both classes were taught by the same main teacher, Ms Montgomery. Therefore, separating them out into two completely different scenarios of “pedagogy that is good and pedagogy that is bad” (p188) is unrealistic. Moore does qualify it by saying that although that contrast is “intended in the broadest terms…. the dangers of being too smug or too hasty in applauding one teacher’s pedagogy as exemplary rather than are merely ‘more appropriate’ also need to be clearly pointed”. Whether this is a bias because of any external opinions he had on either Mr Geddes or Ms Montgomery, or because he was observing one and involved in the other, arguably being Mr Geddes’s counterpart, the article certainly has a feel of unprofessionalism with the level of bias in his opinions. Sutton and Austin state that “researchers should not try to simply ignore or avoid their own biases (as this would likely be impossible);  instead, reflexivity requires researchers to reflect upon and clearly articulate their position and subjectivities (world view, perspectives, biases), so that readers can better understand the filters through which questions were asked, data were gathered and analyzed, and findings were reported” (2015). Since Moore’s bias is so evident in the written up chapter, perhaps he ought to have added a section explaining the biases that are relevant, and the steps that were taken to bypass these. 

Purpose and Applications of the Research
Purpose and applications have been combined here in one section, because they are inextricable and cannot truly be separated. Similarly, as mentioned in the Introduction, the research question is clearly explained in the introduction of the article. This is to explore how the behaviour of teachers can affect the learning of bilingual students, with a focus on “a refusal by teachers to acknowledge not only the validity of their pupil’s every day life experiences, but the validity or even the existence of previous learning experiences” (p166). The purpose, however, seems slightly different in reading the paper. The two examples from the classroom that Moore describes in his paper are designed to demonstrate the stark contrast between a good teaching style and a bad teaching style and the effect that has on the children, which, as discussed in the section above entitled ‘Role of the Researcher and Biases’, is too simplistic. 

In simple terms, the purpose of the report was to discover the most successful way to help bilingual students in an English-speaking classroom. The school where the study took place had a policy aiming to provide “an education ‘that gives positive recognition to differences of culture and heritage, and that respects and affirms the identity of each individual child'” (p167). Moore took these words directly from the policy of the school, and was particularly interested in exploring the benefits and limitations of teaching the children in mainstream school, as opposed to teaching them in smaller separate groups of just the bilingual students. At the end of the introduction, Moore lays out his opinions as to the best way to teach bilingual children, based on this research, which are the applications of the article: “It is my contention that Abdul’s experience, which I attribute in large part to inappropriate pedagogy, reveals clear but mistaken notions on his teacher’s part as to what, linguistically, bilingual pupils need and of how those needs are best met. These notions are fundamentally different from parallel notions related to Mashud’s experience, which in part I see as attributable to appropriate pedagogy” (p167). As mentioned above, bias plays a large role in this, but from an applications of the research viewpoint, he has strong opinions about how the teaching methods affected the children. Moore introduces Bourdieu and Passeron’s concept of ‘symbolic violence’, in the sense that cultural forms of the most powerful group, which here are the teachers, is held over the other groups with different cultures as being superior (1977). Moore suggests that this is a severe issue in the education of bilingual children. Abdul certainly suffers this at the hands of Mr Geddes, in Moore’s opinion: “Abdul’s existing, learned ways of telling stories are perceived … as incorrect” (p189). However, despite Moore considering Ms Montgomery’s teaching to be “appropriate” (p167), he argues that Mashud’s treatment by the school and education could also be symbolically violent: “he perceived his ways of organizing his work as incorrect” (p189), albeit in a subtler manner. This evokes a pertinent question, which has not been discussed in Moore’s article, but certainly should have been: to what extent does Western culture require bilingual students and immigrants to adhere to Western levels of academic education? Of course, as Moore evidently believes very strongly, it is vital to allow people from other cultures to uphold their traditions and their cultural forms such as oral storytelling. However, being able to write academically is important in English education, and indeed part of the GCSE syllabus: students should be able to “write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately” (Department for Education, 2013). If this is the acceptable standard for all students in the United Kingdom to reach, it should apply to bilingual students too if they are to pass their GCSE in English Language. Therefore, a balance must be found between cultural acceptance and nurturing cultural differences, and reaching the level the Government deems necessary. Moore perhaps should have discussed his consideration of this in his article, as he simply explains how it is unacceptable to use “symbolic violence” and disallow cultural differences; however, he considers no way to combat the other wider issues of education.

Moore’s piece was a commissioned piece of research, which should mean that he had sufficient resources to conduct an exemplary study. However, although the basis is well founded, Moore’s study has many limitations and downfalls. Ethically, it is not explicitly mentioned that he considered all relevant issues, with the exception of protecting the children through the use of pseudonyms. The research is biased with little acceptance from the writer that there may be some subjectivity. Having said that, the research questions are clearly explained, and the purpose of the paper is clear, although the applications do not feel entirely thought out. Overall, as an initial piece of work, Moore’s study is successful, but it does feel that it needs more work and more consideration of several other points to feel more cohesive as a piece of qualitative research.