Teaching Multicultured Students: Culturism and Anti-Culturism in School Classrooms

By Alex Moore | Go to book overview

6

Partial Inclusion

Issues of Genre and Ethnocentricity

In April 1988, the St Lucian-born linguist Morgan Dalphinis described his own UK classroom experiences on arriving in an English school. Very early on, one of Morgan’s teachers asked the class to write compositions based on their personal experiences. Morgan’s response was to write a story which included everyday scenes of his life in St Lucia, which included the line ‘a man fell off the [banana] truck and his head was bleeding’. Morgan’s teacher, resisting the temptation to alter the non-standard ‘his head was bleeding’, chose, instead, to pick Morgan up on the actual content of his writing. ‘Did this,’ she asked, in a tone clearly indicating profound scepticism, ‘really happen?’ The answer to this was yes, it really did happen. However, Morgan’s teacher remained unconvinced. ‘I got the feeling,’ Dalphinis said, looking back on the incident later in life, ‘that she was questioning my normal reality…. The semantic content [of my work] was not within her particular frame of reference.’


Abdul’s Love Story: Matters of Style, Etiquette and ‘Reality’

In the same school as Nozrul is Abdul, a fourteen-year-old Bangladeshi boy who has been living in the UK for eighteen months and who had virtually no written or spoken English on arrival. Much of his time at the school has been spent in small withdrawal groups, but now he spends the vast majority of his time in mainstream classes, sometimes with the support of a member of the school’s EAL department. Perceived by his English teacher as a ‘polite, hardworking student’, he is following, among other subjects, a public examination course in English, in an unsetted class in which he is one of ten Sylheti-speakers and in which all but two students are bilingual.

Abdul’s English teacher, Ms Montgomery, has set the class a project for their examination folders, first reading them a short story about a teenage boy’s secret and unrequited love for a girl in his class, then inviting the students to write love stories of their own with the instruction that they should be based as far as possible on their ‘own experience’ and that they should be ‘true to life’. After one hour-long lesson and a homework, Abdul,

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Teaching Multicultured Students: Culturism and Anti-Culturism in School Classrooms
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Series Editor’s Preface xi
  • 1 - Themes and Perspectives 1
  • 2 - Marginalizing Bilingual Students 16
  • 3 - Bilingual Education Theory 43
  • Notes 59
  • 4 - Symbolic Exclusion 62
  • 5 - Partial Inclusion 82
  • 6 - Partial Inclusion 101
  • 7 - Working with Bidialectal Students 126
  • 8 - Exercises in Illumination 153
  • 9 - Afterword 175
  • References 186
  • Index 196
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