Conducting research into young learner experiences of school poses methodological challenges which are compounded when, as is increasingly the case, the classroom interaction is multilingual and the research methods are participatory (Maguire 2005; Pinter 2014). Each new or adapted method sheds further light on the issues that can arise. Researcher Initiated Role Play (Yaacob and Gardner 2012) is a method where a researcher invites a group of children to engage in role play, something that many young children do spontaneously. This gives children the interactional space to take control of the specifics of the role play and to present their perspectives and concerns through multiple semiotic layers. This paper explores ethical issues that arise when role play reveals familiar but occluded practices; practices that are not readily presented to outsiders. Specifically, when this Researcher Initiated Role Play was used to explore how children in their first years of school learn to read in different languages and in different multilingual, primary school contexts, certain occluded disciplinary practices were revealed. This paper considers the nature of an ethical response to such revelations. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Language and Education on 29 Oct 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09500782.2015.110326
Bibliographical noteDue to the publisher's policy, the full text of this item will not be available from the repository until 29th April 2017.
- young learners
- occluded classroom practices
- observer's paradox
- ethnographic methods