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Title: Writing in English as a foreign language within higher education in Vietnam : an investigation of the genres, writing processes and perceptions of ten Vietnamese students
Author: Evans, Michelle J.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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Increasing numbers of Vietnamese students write in English as a foreign language for university and employment purposes. This research study explored the writing of ten higher education students in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In the first of its kind in Vietnam, the study establishes the types of writing or genres, in English, that participants had undertaken over their life course. Although participants reported a significant standardisation of genres at lower levels of education, they had been expected to produce a wider range of genres at either undergraduate or MA level, or for employment purposes. This included the need to write for research, science and business purposes. Participants were generally ill-prepared to take on these writing challenges. The findings indicate that a form of genre needs-analysis and genre pedagogy at undergraduate level could be implemented to support English language teachers and students to scaffold writing activities and to help prepare graduates for the type of writing expected of them within MA-level courses and employment. The participants valued assignments and writing that helped them to develop their thinking; they appreciated learning to write in a way that would be useful for employment and academic study and were motivated by gaining high scores and receiving positive feedback from teachers. Having the opportunity to write about familiar topics in a more creative way was also highly regarded. Participants felt they had experienced challenges when they first engaged in critical thinking, when they had to brainstorm for ideas and when they wrote introductions. During writing activities, participants positioned themselves and their arguments as Vietnamese citizens with a sense of pride and loyalty to their national identity. Participants were audience aware and used only material that would be deemed socially and politically correct within Vietnam. Many features of the sociocultural context played a role in the genres participants had written, the writing processes they engaged in and their perceptions of writing activities. The prevalence of English as a lingua franca and international research-writing conventions were evident. Traditional teaching approaches and grammar-based assessment and testing practices within Vietnam also featured significantly in participant’s experiences of writing in English. These structural forces, as well as other historical, cultural and political realities presented themselves more evidently than personal or idiographic in the writing experiences and writing processes of the participants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education ; PE English