Nguyen Thi Kim Chi

Main Article Content


The need for writing is undoubtedly pervasive in our lives, especially in modern societies of the 21st century. When examining the everyday world, one finds people engaged in many varieties of writing such as sending a text message, writing a covering letter or a scholarship application form, composing a research paper, etc. In short, writing not only is an integral part of our social and professional activities but also determines our life chances. The growth of English as a lingua franca makes English writing more important than ever before, which results in more attention paid to teaching English writing in non-English speaking contexts. This paper reports on part of the findings of a study that investigated practices of teaching English writing at the lower secondary level in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam. The research employed a qualitative, multi-case study approach. The findings revealed a significant gap between the English education policies of the Vietnamese government and classroom practice. The teaching of secondary English writing did not prepare learners well for the 21st century language skills as expected.


Keywords: Writing, instructional practices, lower secondary level, Vietnam.


[1] P. Teo, Educating for the 21st Century: The Singapore Experience, in B. Spolsky, K. Sung (eds), Secondary School English Education in Asia: From Policy to Practice, Taylor and Francis Group, 2015, pp. 65-82.
[2] J. Gil, English Language Education Policies in the People’s Republic of China, in R. Kirkpatrick, English Language Education Policy in Asia, Springer, New York, 2016, pp. 49-90.
[3] V. V. Hoang, The Current Situation and Issues of the Teaching of English in Vietnam, Language and Culture Studies Vol. 22, No. 1, 2009, pp. 7-18 (in Chinese).
[4] T. H. G. Bui, Using Collaboration and Technology to Enhance Vietnamese Students' English Language Writing Skills, [PhD thesis], QUT ePrints,, 2015 (accessed on: May 15th, 2020).
[5] A. T. H. Nguyen, Cultural Effects on Learning and Teaching English in Vietnam, Language Teacher-Kyoto-Jalt, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2002, pp. 2-6.
[6] J. Albright, English Tertiary Education in Vietnam, London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
[7] MOET (Ministry of Education and Training), English Curriculum for General Education, Publishing Giao Duc, Vietnam, 2006 (in Vietnamese).
[8] MOET (Ministry of Education and Training), Teacher Training Material, Publishing Giao Duc, Vietnam, 2008 (in Vietnamese).
[9] Government of Vietnam, Decision 1400/QĐ-TTg on the Project Entitled “Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in the National Education System, Period 2008-2020, 2008 (in Vietnamese).
[10] V. C. Le, Form-Focused Instruction: A Case Study of Vietnamese Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices, [PhD thesis], Research Commons, 2011,, 2011 (accessed on: May 15th, 2020).
[11] D. H. Hymes, On Communicative Competence, in J. B. Pride, J. Holmes, Sociolinguistics, Penguin, London, 1972, pp. 269-293.
[12] N. Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, M. I. T. Press, Cambridge, 1965.
[13] M. Canale, M. Swain, Theoretical Bases of Communicative Approaches to Second Language Teaching and Testing, Applied Linguistics, Vol. 1, 1980, pp. 1-47.
[14] S. J. Savignon, Interpreting Communicative Language Teaching: Contexts and Concerns in Teacher Education, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
[15] K. Hyland, Teaching and Researching Writing, Routledge, London, 2016.
[16] J. S. Hedgcock, Second Language Writing Processes Among Adolescent and Adult Learners, in E. L. Grigorenko, E. Mambrino, D. D. Preiss, Writing a Mosaic of New Perspectives, Taylor and Francis, London, 2012, pp. 221-239.
[17] V. Zamel, The Composing Processes of Advanced ESL Students: Six Case Studies, TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 17, 1983, pp. 165-187.
[18] D. M. Murray, Writing as Process: How Writing Finds Its Own Meaning, National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL, 1992.
[19] A. Anastasiadou, The Impact of the Application of a Process Writing Component on the Students’ Writing Output in English as a Foreign Language, in N. Lavidas, T. Alexiou, A. M. Sougari, Major Trends in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, De Gruyter, England, Vol. 3, 2013, pp. 11-32.
[20] J. S. Hedgcock, Second Language Writing Processes Among Adolescent and Adult Learners, in E. L. Grigorenko, E. Mambrino, D. D. Preiss, Writing a Mosaic of New Perspectives, Taylor and Francis, London, 2012, pp. 221-239.
[21] R. Breeze, Classic Approaches to Teaching Writing, Utrecht Studies in Language and Communication, Vol. 23, 2012, pp. 41-56.
[22] K. Hyland, Second Language Writing, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
[23] J. Hayes, L. Flower, Identifying the Organization of Writing Processes, in L. Gregg, E. Steinberg, Cognitive Processes in Writing, NJ: Erlbaum, Hillsdale, 1980, pp. 3-30.
[24] K. Hyland, Writing Theories and Writing Pedagogies, Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008, pp. 91-110.
[25] D. Atkinson, L2 Writing in the Post-Process Era: Introduction, Journal of Second Language Writing, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003, pp. 3-15.
[26] K. Hyland, Genre Pedagogy: Language, Literacy and L2 Writing Instruction, Journal of Second Language Writing, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2007, pp. 148-164.
[27] K. Zammit, L. Tan, The Teaching and Learning Cycle in Composing Multimodal Texts, in L. Tan, K. Zammit, Teaching Writing and Representing in the Primary School Years, Pearson Australia, Melbourne, 2016, pp. 43-59.
[28] P. Gibbons, Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: Teaching English Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom (2nd ed), Heinemann Portsmouth, NH, 2015.
[29] M. Hertzberg, Teaching English Language Learners in Mainstream Classes, Primary English Teaching Association Australia Marrickville, NSW, 2015.
[30] B. Derewianka, P. Jones, Teaching Language in Context (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia, 2016.
[31] A. S. Canagarajah, A Geopolitics of Academic Writing, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 2002.
[32] R. Badger, G. White, A Process Genre Approach to Teaching Writing, ELT Journal, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2000, pp.153-160.
[33] V. L. Nguyen, H. D. Nguyen, V. H. Dang, N. L. Dao, T. L. N. Than, H. P. Tran, English 8 (4th ed.), Publishing Giao Duc Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2008.
[34] V. L. Nguyen, H. D. Nguyen, H. P. Tran, V. H. Dang, T. L. N. Than, N. L. Dao, English 9 (3rd ed.). Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Publishing Giao Duc, 2008.
[35] A. Doff, Teach English, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1998.
[36] E. Lopez, CCSS and ELLs: Common Core State Standards and English Language Learners, National Professional Resources, Inc Dude Publishing, 2012.
[37] N. C. Ellis, At the Interface: Dynamic Interactions of Explicit and Implicit Language Knowledge, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 27, 2005, pp. 305-352.