On writing about multiculturalism

I have always appreciated and admired the multitude of diversity and culture in Bournemouth

I have always appreciated and admired the multitude of diversity and culture in Bournemouth. I feel proud to live in a town that is desirable for students to visit and/ or make their home, especially when they are so keen to immerse themselves within our culture, and us there’s.  I am also passionate about education, so with the expansion of language schools coinciding with this matter, I decided to explore multiculturalism in Bournemouth.

As my feature is a local story, my primary audience is intended to be those living in Dorset. The feature may be of great interest to those in the EFL community (staff and students), spreading into the wider educational community and grasping the interest of anybody who is interested in tourism in Bournemouth. The age range is expected around 13+.

The story is suitable and relevant as we are just about to enter the busiest season for tourism and EFL.

To explore my social topic in depth I had to immerse myself into the community. At the forefront of the story is the students. I naturally met lots of students in the town and spoke with them about their journeys and experiences.

For legal and ethical reasons, I made sure that my interviewee’s were over 18 and legally classed as adults.

It became apparent that the language barrier with lower- level learners would be a challenge, and I must put great emphasis on what my story is about, and the intent for publication, so that they could make an informed decision about whether they wanted to be involved or not.

It was not on my agenda to haggle students outside of schools, nor did I want to tamper with any IPSO codes (clause 2 and 6), however, I did email some of the local language schools to see if the staff and students would be interested in featuring.

I networked with multiple parties to cover every aspect of the story; I wanted to address the social side, the academic side, and the economic side. This in turn would provide a thorough investigation.

I contacted Matic Gortnar to find out exactly how their EFL training program works. Kings has plenty of accommodation and Tallulah gave valuable insight. I wanted to focus on different schools in the article. This gave multiple perspectives into how the EFL industry runs.

I also visited staff at the tourist information centre about how tourism is changing and the influx of language learners that they assist. Though they did not want comments published, it contributed to a wider, more collective insight. I also spoke with host family ‘mums’.

I headed to Charminster and made conversation with the local shop keepers, explaining my project and getting to know more about the international community that thrive there.

They were very insightful conversations of which I tried to capture the essence in the feature; “regardless of the sort of story you are writing, use of description must be built on careful word selection. Remember that you will be serving as the eyes, ears, and other sense organs for your readers. During your interview, take advantage of interruptions to notice things about the room. What is on the desk? How is the room decorated? What objects are on the walls?” (Bruce, G 2009)

My interviewees had trouble signing the consent form digitally. To solve this I made sure to get a written signature.

The shortform video story is designed as a small teaser for the main feature story narrative. I wanted to highlight some of the different language schools, as there are so many, as well as creative shots of Bournemouth. I shot the footage myself to give a realistic, warm approach.

I tried to make the story flow naturally from one point of discussion to the next. It made sense to start the feature with a student’s perspective; getting to the point of why they chose Bournemouth and a brief description of their time here. This would grasp the reader’s interest.

At certain points during the write-up, I used Chat GPT to help draft background material and synthesise information. AI ‘responded to my prompts’ when generating content. I then edited manually to better suit my expression. (Adami, M 2023)

In the feature, I tried to use images that would give the reader a ‘fly on the wall’ view, clear images of what I am discussing. Kings and Europa allowed use of their images copyright free. The rest of the images I took myself when on location.

I was disappointed that none of my interviewee’s wanted to share their picture to put a face to the name. However, I made the most of the multimedia that I could.

Related Posts