Thai College Students' Response to Nontraditional Writing Instruction in a Thai University

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022021/00001

Material Information

Title: Thai College Students' Response to Nontraditional Writing Instruction in a Thai University
Physical Description: 1 online resource (289 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Dhanarattigannon, Jiraporn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: , approach, composition, efl, esl, process, thai, writing
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe Thai college students' response to nontraditional writing instruction taught by a Thai teacher who graduated from a university in the United States. Their experience of learning to write in this English writing class, how they responded to and perceived this experience, and the impacts of this experience on their writing development were investigated based on the constructivist theoretical framework. The participants of this study included the teacher and forty-one students who enrolled in a fifteen-week writing course, Writing 1, offered at a public university in Bangkok, Thailand, in the first semester of the academic year 2004. The data were collected through classroom observation, formal and informal interviews of the teacher and her students, the personal background questionnaire, and archival documents such as students' writing samples, course syllabus, supplementary exercises, and the textbook. The three major sources of data: field notes observations, interviews, and artifacts, were triangulated and analyzed based on Spradley's domain analysis and Wolcott's method for descriptive and analysis process. Major findings showed that after experiencing the nontraditional writing instruction, the students moved from feeling discomfort to comfort as they gained experience with the writing process. The students began to view writing as a process by moving from correctness to expressionist. This writing class created a stress-free environment that promoted social discourse. After engaging in this writing class, the students exhibited growth in their writing. The findings also reveal that the students' attitude and perception on writing particularly English writing changed positively. However, the students experienced cultural and instructional frustration as the teacher infused innovative writing instruction into the existing curriculum. There were some mismatches between the curriculum and the assessment, and the mismatch with cultural norms. They needed more assistance and the scaffolding about peer-response from the teacher. The lack of English language proficiency and knowledge in writing inhibited the students? growth as writers. Based on these findings, theoretical and writing instructional applications especially in ESL and EFL classrooms were presented. Additionally, the relevant and more advanced research was recommended.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Fu, Danling.
Local: Co-adviser: Lamme, Linda L.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022021:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022021/00001

Material Information

Title: Thai College Students' Response to Nontraditional Writing Instruction in a Thai University
Physical Description: 1 online resource (289 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Dhanarattigannon, Jiraporn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: , approach, composition, efl, esl, process, thai, writing
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe Thai college students' response to nontraditional writing instruction taught by a Thai teacher who graduated from a university in the United States. Their experience of learning to write in this English writing class, how they responded to and perceived this experience, and the impacts of this experience on their writing development were investigated based on the constructivist theoretical framework. The participants of this study included the teacher and forty-one students who enrolled in a fifteen-week writing course, Writing 1, offered at a public university in Bangkok, Thailand, in the first semester of the academic year 2004. The data were collected through classroom observation, formal and informal interviews of the teacher and her students, the personal background questionnaire, and archival documents such as students' writing samples, course syllabus, supplementary exercises, and the textbook. The three major sources of data: field notes observations, interviews, and artifacts, were triangulated and analyzed based on Spradley's domain analysis and Wolcott's method for descriptive and analysis process. Major findings showed that after experiencing the nontraditional writing instruction, the students moved from feeling discomfort to comfort as they gained experience with the writing process. The students began to view writing as a process by moving from correctness to expressionist. This writing class created a stress-free environment that promoted social discourse. After engaging in this writing class, the students exhibited growth in their writing. The findings also reveal that the students' attitude and perception on writing particularly English writing changed positively. However, the students experienced cultural and instructional frustration as the teacher infused innovative writing instruction into the existing curriculum. There were some mismatches between the curriculum and the assessment, and the mismatch with cultural norms. They needed more assistance and the scaffolding about peer-response from the teacher. The lack of English language proficiency and knowledge in writing inhibited the students? growth as writers. Based on these findings, theoretical and writing instructional applications especially in ESL and EFL classrooms were presented. Additionally, the relevant and more advanced research was recommended.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Fu, Danling.
Local: Co-adviser: Lamme, Linda L.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022021:00001

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2008 Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon 2


To my beloved Mom and my uncles for their love and cares 3


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would not have been able to complete my doctoral study and this dissertation without the kind support and assistance of the people around me. Along the long journey, I have met such nice people who were willing to help me complete my degree. I would like to take this opportunity to thank just a few of the people who have assisted me directly and indirectly in completing this study First, I would like to thank the university, the department, and the teacher who permitted me to access this class. My very sincere grat itude and thanks go to Asst. Prof. Dr. Bussba Tonthong and her students for their kindness to let me be part of their writing class and to allow me to experience their teaching and learning. Wit hout their sincere cooperation and support, this research would not have been complete. Second, my sincere appreciati on, gratitude, and thanks go to my doctoral committee for their invaluable support, both academically and mentally, espe cially during the process of conducting and writing up this study First of all, my wholehearte d thanks go to Dr. Danling Fu, my committee chair, who has been my guru, my me ntor, my advisor, and my second mom. Since the first day I met her in th e classroom, I have always gained her support and kindness. Throughout these years of studying, she has advi sed, guided, and encouraged me to become more scholarly and professional. She introduced me to the conferen ces and the outstanding professionals in the field of literacy. She walked me through the street of professionals. As my mentor, she has helped me gain confidence in my academic development. As my advisor and my second mom, she has always provided me academic and mental support. Particularly during the process of writing up my dissertation, she not onl y pushed me to move on, but she also gave me invaluable advice and warm encouragement to help me pass the difficult situations that I went 4


through to fulfill the doctoral requ irement. I have been so moved by her kindness and generosity which has built our warm relationship that I have felt as if she is my teacher and mother. Next, I also gratefully thank Dr. Linda Lamme, my cochair, Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey, and Dr. Ratree Wayland, my committee members. I was kindly provided with scholarly advice during my qualifying examinations and this disse rtation research study. They have been very understanding and patient throughout the process of finishing this doctoral study. Their critical comments and valuable guidance made this dissertation complete. I also appreciate my study groups for their academic and mental support while I was studying and during my dissertation research study. Firstly, my ve ry sincere gratitude, thanks, and appreciation go to Nancy Shelton, Xenia Hadjioannou, and Marylou Matoush. They were my first study group who were always with me wh en I needed them. Then, I would like to thank my second study group: Ivy Hsieh, Takako Ueno, and Jennifer Graff. Above all, my appreciation and sincere thanks go to the first friends of mine at this university: John Busher, Karen Kuhel, Sandra Hancock, and Evie Welch. With their friendship, support and assistance, I was able to go through the tough time to co mplete my doctoral study. Next, my great gratitude and sincere thanks go to Cherry Kay, the In ternational Students Center, and the UF librarians. Without their kind ness and enormous assistance, my life at this university and as a doctoral student would have been more difficult. They always helped me solve the problems due to registration, the study program, and the research study. I also would like to sincerely thank my seni or colleagues in the De partment of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities at Kasets art University for their support and their understanding. Special thanks go to the Dean of th e Humanities, the head of the Department of Foreign Languages, Ajarn Sirikul Poonnark, a nd Asst. Prof. Dr. Pataraporn Tapinta. My 5


gratitude also goes to all my colleagues who have always supported me and shared my work load during my study. In addition, my sincere gratitude goes to th e Royal Thai Government for providing me a scholarship to pursue my doctoral degree. My special thanks go to the officers at the Office of Educational Affairs, the Royal Thai Embassy who have been taking care of me and my scholarship during my study. Last but not least, I gr atefully thank my family who have always financially and mentally supported me while I was studying. My special tha nks go to my beloved father who believes in me and never gives up on me. I also thank my brot hers, my sisters, my nephew, and my niece for their understanding and patience. Without their love and support I could not have made this journey come true. 6


TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES .........................................................................................................................12 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................13 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................................14 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .17 Rationale of the Study ............................................................................................................17 Statement of the Problem ........................................................................................................19 Purpose of the Study ...............................................................................................................21 Significance of the Study ........................................................................................................22 Researchers Personal Interest in the Study ............................................................................24 Terminology ...........................................................................................................................25 Limitations of the Study .........................................................................................................26 Summary .................................................................................................................................27 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.................................................................................................29 Introduction .............................................................................................................................29 Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................29 Krashens Theory of Second Language Acquisition .......................................................29 The comprehension hypothesis ................................................................................30 The affective filter hypothesis ..................................................................................31 The problem-solving hypothesis ..............................................................................31 Sociocultural Theory .......................................................................................................32 Theoretical Approaches to Teaching of NES Writing ............................................................33 The Expressivist Approach ..............................................................................................34 The Cognitivist Approach ...............................................................................................34 The Interactive Approach ................................................................................................35 The Social Constructionist Approach ..............................................................................35 Approaches to Teaching ESL Writing ....................................................................................36 The Controlled Composition Approach ..........................................................................36 The Current-traditional Rhetoric Approach ....................................................................37 The Communicative Approach ........................................................................................38 The Process Approach .....................................................................................................38 Writing Instruction in Thailand ..............................................................................................39 Traditional Writing Approach .........................................................................................40 7


The Process Approach .....................................................................................................41 Implementation of the Process A pproach in ESL/EFL Classrooms .......................................42 The Studies with ESL/EFL students ................................................................................43 Studies on Thai Students .................................................................................................47 Factors Affecting Second Language Writing .........................................................................50 L1-L2 Transfer ................................................................................................................51 A cross-linguistic and rhetorical pattern transfer .....................................................51 Developmental factors ..............................................................................................53 Cognitive aspects of writing .....................................................................................55 Translation ................................................................................................................56 L2 Proficiency .................................................................................................................57 Cross-cultural Values ......................................................................................................58 Interpretations of Thai Culture and Educational System ........................................................62 Resiliency and ESL/EFL Students ..........................................................................................64 Summary of the Chapter .........................................................................................................66 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................6 8 Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................68 Purpose of the Study and Research Questions .......................................................................69 Researchers Perspectives .......................................................................................................70 An EFL Learner and Teacher ..........................................................................................70 An ESL Learner ...............................................................................................................71 Perspectives on Research Methodology ..........................................................................73 Pilot Study ..............................................................................................................................74 Observation and Field-note Development .......................................................................75 Interview Development ...................................................................................................76 Selection of Participants .........................................................................................................77 Research Participants ..............................................................................................................78 Ms. B ...............................................................................................................................78 Students ...........................................................................................................................79 Data Collection .......................................................................................................................80 Observations ....................................................................................................................82 Interviews ........................................................................................................................86 Teacher interviews ...................................................................................................86 Student interviews ....................................................................................................87 Documentary Data ...........................................................................................................89 Personal Background Questionnaires ..............................................................................90 Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................................91 Credibility, Transferability, and Dependability ......................................................................93 Summary .................................................................................................................................95 4 THE CONTEXT FOR THE STUDY.....................................................................................97 The Teacher ............................................................................................................................97 Educational Background and Writing Experience ..........................................................97 Ms. Bs Perspective on Process Writing .........................................................................98 8


The Student Participants .......................................................................................................100 Personal Data and E ducational Background .................................................................100 Writing Experience at School ........................................................................................101 Writing in primary school ......................................................................................102 Writing in middle school ........................................................................................102 Writing in high school ............................................................................................103 Writing in college ...................................................................................................104 Purposes for Taking This Writing Class ...............................................................................105 The Students' Perception of Writing and Difficulties in Writing .........................................106 Traditional Writing Instruction in Thailand .........................................................................107 Ms. Bs Classroom ................................................................................................................108 The Structure of Writing Instruction .............................................................................108 Physical Appearance of the Classroom .........................................................................108 Building a Less Serious, Relaxing Atmosphere ............................................................110 Ms. Bs Instructional Techniques .........................................................................................111 Organization of Writing Classes ...................................................................................111 Use of the Writing Process ............................................................................................113 Brainstorming .........................................................................................................114 Independent writing ................................................................................................114 Revising and peer response ....................................................................................115 Editing and publishing ...........................................................................................117 Summary ...............................................................................................................................117 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS WRITING CLASS..........................................................122 Teachers Personality: Kind and Friendly ............................................................................122 Focus of Writing Class .........................................................................................................125 Types of Activities: Promoting Learning to Write ........................................................125 Writing Concept: From Correctness to Expression .......................................................146 Style of Class ........................................................................................................................151 Conversational Style ......................................................................................................152 Engaged Learning ..........................................................................................................157 Open Ended ...................................................................................................................158 Summary ...............................................................................................................................160 6 WRITERS DEVELOPMENT.............................................................................................162 Definition of Writers Development .....................................................................................162 Teacher as a Guide, a Facilitator, a Supporter ...............................................................168 Teacher as an Instructor .................................................................................................169 Students as Learners and Apprentices ...........................................................................171 Changes in Writing Perception .............................................................................................174 Writing Development ...........................................................................................................177 Surface Features ............................................................................................................178 Length .....................................................................................................................178 Spelling ...................................................................................................................178 Handwriting ............................................................................................................179 9


Content ..........................................................................................................................179 Craft ...............................................................................................................................183 Organization ...........................................................................................................183 Style ........................................................................................................................188 Word choice ...........................................................................................................189 Language .......................................................................................................................191 Summary ...............................................................................................................................192 7 CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS..............................................................................197 Ms. Bs Writing Class and the Process Approach ................................................................198 The Writers ....................................................................................................................199 The Audience .................................................................................................................200 Reality and Truth ...........................................................................................................201 The Language Component ............................................................................................202 Strengths Compared to Traditional Teaching ................................................................203 Weaknesses of Ms. Bs Approach .................................................................................205 Constraints for Implementing Writing Process Approach ............................................208 The Teacher Could Do Better Under the Constraints ...................................................211 Writing Practices ..................................................................................................................214 View of Writing as a Process ........................................................................................214 Students Move from Feeling of Discomfort to Comfort ...............................................216 Students Feel Confident in Their Ability to Write ........................................................217 Writing Development ...........................................................................................................217 Cultural and Instructional Frustrations .................................................................................220 Cross-roads: Thinker versus Examination .....................................................................221 Mismatch between Curriculum Instruction and Assessment ........................................222 Mismatch with Cultural Norms .....................................................................................223 Factors Affecting EFL learners Writing Development .......................................................224 L2 Proficiency ...............................................................................................................224 Lack of Knowledge in English Writing .........................................................................225 Cross-culture ..................................................................................................................226 Implications for Practice .......................................................................................................229 Recommendations for Further Studies .................................................................................231 Summary ...............................................................................................................................234 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT......................................................................................................235 Project Title: .........................................................................................................................235 The study of Experience of Thai Teacher s and their Students in English Writing Classroom where Process Writing Is Implemented ..........................................................235 Purpose of the research study: .......................................................................................235 B GUIDED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.................................................................................237 10


Students Interview Question Guide (First Interview) ...........................................................237 Students Interview Question Guide (Second Interview) ......................................................238 Students Interview Question Guide (Third Interview) .........................................................239 Teachers Interview Question Guide (First Interview) ..........................................................240 Teachers Interview Question Guide (Second Interview) ......................................................240 C PERSONAL BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE...........................................................241 D SAMPLE OF FIELD NOTE SHEET...................................................................................246 E SAMPLE OF DOMAIN ANALYSIS WORKSHEET.........................................................247 F STUDENTS WRITING SAMPLES...................................................................................248 First Drafts ............................................................................................................................248 Low English Proficiency Students ................................................................................248 Intermediate Group ........................................................................................................252 High English Proficiency Group ...................................................................................257 Sample of Multiple Drafts ....................................................................................................264 G CONTENT OF THE COURSE SYLLABUS......................................................................267 H SAMPLES OF SUPPLEMENTARY EXERCISES.............................................................270 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................275 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................288 11


LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Students personal background ....................................................................................118 4-2 Students experience in reading and writing ...............................................................119 4-3 Students reasons in taking this writing course ...........................................................120 4-4 Students perceptions of writing before taking this class ............................................120 6-1 The length of students writing....................................................................................194 6-2 Writing content ............................................................................................................195 6-3 Frequency of grammatical errors in five assignments .................................................196 12


LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 The classroom diagram .............................................................................................109 7-1 Components of L2 composition approaches adapted from Berlin (1982) .................231 13


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ESL English as a second language EFL English as a foreign language L1 First language L2 Second language SLA Second language acquisition INT Interview 14


Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THAI COLLEGE STUDENTS RESPONS E TO NONTRADITIONAL WRITING INSTRUCTION IN A THAI UNIVERSITY By Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon August 2008 Chair: Danling Fu Cochair: Linda Lamme Major: Curriculum and Instruction The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe Thai college students response to nontraditional writing instruction ta ught by a Thai teacher who graduated from a university in the United States. Thei r experience of learning to write in this English writing class, how they responded to and perceived this experien ce, and the impacts of this experience on their writing development were investigated based on the constructivist theoretical framework. The participants of this study included the teacher and forty-one students who enrolled in a fifteenweek writing course, Writing 1, offered at a public university in Bangkok, Thailand, in the first semester of the academic year 2004. The data were collected through classroom observation, formal and informal interviews of the teacher and her students, the personal background questionnaire, and archival documents such as students writing samples, course sy llabus, supplementary exercises, and the textbook. The three major sources of data: field notes observations, interviews, and artifacts, were triangulated and analyzed based on Spradleys domain analysis and Wolcotts method for descriptive and anal ysis process. 15


Major findings showed that after experiencing the nontraditional writing instruction, the students moved from feeling discomfort to comfort as they gained experience with the writing process. The students began to view writing as a process by moving from correctness to expressionist. This writing cla ss created a stress-free enviro nment that promoted social discourse. After engaging in this writing class, the students exhibited grow th in their writing. The findings also reveal that the students attitude and perception on writing particularly English writing changed positively. However, the studen ts experienced cultural and instructional frustration as the teacher infused innovative wr iting instruction into the existing curriculum. There were some mismatches between the curriculum and the assessment, and the mismatch with cultural norms. They needed mo re assistance and the scaffolding about peer-response from the teacher. The lack of English language proficiency and knowledge in writing inhibited the students growth as writers. Based on thes e findings, theoretical a nd writing instructional applications especially in ESL and EFL classrooms were presented. A dditionally, the relevant and more advanced research was recommended. 16


17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Rationale of the Study Over the past ten years, Thai educators and researchers have paid increasing attention to various types of literacy instru ction. The reason for this focus on curriculum promoting literacy may be related to some recent studies on Thai students literacy ski lls (Chuendaechum, 1999; Wisetpong, 1998; Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991; Grewpeng, 1990; Charoenkool, 1990). This maybe because the results from the entrance examination which implies the students proficiency in literacy espe cially in English have shown a decline in Thai students reading a nd writing skills ( Matichon Newspaper, 2003). In addition, the report from Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (2006, Fact and figure, para. 4) based on the data from the 2002/2003 school year reveal that 3.3 million of Thai high school and college students do not have basic literacy skills. Educators, as well as the policy makers, have become aware of this problem and have decided to improve the literacy curr iculum and teaching and learning methodology in order to solve this national crisis. Along with the literacy crisis, English which is considered a foreign language in Thailand has become more important due to globalization and the increasing number of investments from foreign countries. A good command of English is re quired not only for higher education, but also for getting and keeping a job. While English oral skills have long b een emphasized in the academic world and the market, reading and writ ing skills are becoming important for academic purpose. Additionally, the number of Thai stude nts who pursue their educations in Western countries, like the United States, Canada, and Britain, has increased. Those who want to study abroad need to learn English in order to co mmunicate in both spoken and written language.


Even though English has become essential for Thai students, it has been found that because English is taught as a foreign language, meaning that students rarely have opportunities to use English outside classrooms, their English proficiency is often not sufficient (Sakontawat, 2003). This situation causes many Thai students to attend privat e institutes for extra tutoring, particularly to develop speaking, listening, and reading skills. Th ai students tend to rank writing skills as less important than other skills even th ough such skills have become crucial for students who desire to pursue graduate study either in Th ailand or in a foreign country. Such attitudes toward writing may stem from the f act that writing, either in Thai or in English, is not seen as a vital skill by the education syst em as a whole. At the high sch ool level, Thai writing is an elective course. Moreover, Thai students rarely have a chance to practice academic writing. In Thai writing classes, students are primarily taugh t to use language grammatically and to write a variety of letters and poems with proper structure. In English classe s, Thai students rarely write. If they write, grammatical stru cture at the sentence level is em phasized. At the college level, English writing is also an elective course, exce pt for English majors. In most English writing classes, the teachers pay attenti on to prescriptive aspects of la nguage, such as form, format and correction of language usage, rather than c ontent. (Sakontawut, 2003; Tagong, 1991) In addition, Thai students rarely practice academic writing in English. In an attempt to promote writing skills, rese archers have turned to the study of how different teaching approaches may help Thai students become more effective writers. Many studies were carried out in the 1990s to compar e more traditional ways of teaching writing with a process writing approach, focusing on how wr iters compose and understand writing as a discovery and self-expre ssing process (Chuendaechum, 1999; Patarapongpaisan, 1996; Wisessang, 1996; Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991). The results of these 18


studies show that, based on English/Thai writin g achievement tests (preand post-tests), the students have higher scores in writing after they were taught by the process approach, and have higher scores in writing compared with those who were not taught by the process approach. The results from these studies are convincing to the teachers and the educators in that the innovative approach like the process-based approach is the way to help Thai students improve their writing skills both in Thai and in English. However, thes e studies focus on the product, students writing performance. Leki (2001) comments that although the re sults from the public transcript of ESL students experience, such as students writing and teachers feedbacks, w ill provide us with the useful information about writing instruction a nd how much the students succeed in writing, the students voice is missing. In other words, the st udies did not explore how the students perceived on the teaching instruction. Therefore, this study aims to explore an English writing classroom taught by a Thai teacher who was educated in the United States and who has adapted an innovative approach in her classroom. The study focuses on the students responses to this writing instruction in order to hear their voice an d to understand how Thai college students perceive this innovative writing instruction. Statement of the Problem Due to the lack of practice and not being probably taught to write many Thai students do not regard themselves as good writers particularly in English. They also do not seem to have a good level of awareness regarding their writing sk ills. As discussed above, student attitudes about writing may be due to this skill being neglected in the clas sroom. To make matters worse, the students experience with writ ing in the classroom is not impre ssionable. They are not taught the process of how to write, so they never know the techniques or purposes for writing. Although some students write in their diaries, they do not take this personal writing seriously. Not many students keep the habit of diary or journal writin g when they enter college because of the heavy 19


study load. Some students do not pay much attenti on to learning to write because they are taught to believe as long as they learn how to use langua ge properly, they can write when they are given a topic, and that this is enough. Yet, studies on Thai students writing skills and on writing instruction in English (Tagong, 1991; Pata rapongpaisan, 1996; Thammasarnsophon, 1991; Wisessang, 1996; Chinawong, 1999-2000; Lukanaprasit 1999-2000; Sakontawut 2003) reveal that Thai college students cannot write proficiently, even with six years of experience studying English. These studies have also found that these students have had few opportunities to improve their writing ability. Students perception of their writing abilities in English is consistent with many studies done on students perception of their writing skills (Chirdchoo and Wudthayagorn, 2001; Silva, 1992). When it comes to writing in English, students find it difficult to write, and they blame this on their limited English proficiency but not their lack of writing skills in general. If limitation of English language proficiency is the only problem of their writing abil ity, traditional writing classrooms, which emphasize language use and struct ure, should be able to solve this problem and help them improve their English language pr oficiency. The truth is that Thai students, through teacher-direct instruction, have often repeated the same kinds of writing problems, such as idea generations and linguistic difficulti es (Thongrin, 2002, p. 3). The question then becomes: Is English language proficiency really re sponsible for deficits in Thai students English writing? It seems that the real problem ma y be related to the type and amount of writing practice and the focus of writing in struction students get. In th e traditional language classroom, the teacher only requires student s to write a few times throughout a semester, and only read the final product without attending to the process of writing. If the quality and amount of time spent on writing is the real problem, research should be done to explore what actually goes on in an 20


English writing classroom in Thailand. Such rese arch should be undertaken to figure out exactly how Thai students are taught to write, how they perceive writing and E nglish writing instruction, as well as to investigate how t eachers and educators can help Thai students develop as writers. Another worthy aim of such research should be to examine classrooms in Thailand that have incorporated nontraditional approaches to teaching writing, namely ones that incorporate process-based writing instruction. The process approach to teaching writing has been slowly introduced into writing classrooms in Thailand fo r the past decade; thus, it is worthwhile to examine a classroom in which some elements of process-based instruction have been implemented. Examining such a classroom will pr ovide a better understanding of what kind of writing instruction works for Thai students, of the difficulty or frustration the students might have when they are exposed to this innovative approach, of what techniques from this new approach are applied and how they work, and what factors influence th e students learning and development as writers. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the current study is to investig ate how Thai college students in an English writing class respond to writing instruction which in corporates some aspects of process writing implemented by a Thai professor who was educated in the United States. Th e factors that affect the students perception of writing and English writing instruction will be examined in order to gain a better understanding of how Thai students learn to write and how they become aware of the writing process. In addition, I would lik e to explore whether the innovative writing instruction implemented by this teacher could help Thai students gradually improve their writing skills, If so, what factors teachers should take into consideration when they want to incorporate the process writing in their writing classroom. This research is framed and guided by four main questions: 21


1. How did Thai college students respond to an in structors teaching approach in an English writing classroom? 2. What were the impacts of writing instruction on the students growth as writers in this writing class? 3. What were the frustrations the students ha d when they engaged in this writing class? Significance of the Study In the past decade, teachers and educators ha ve learned that although Thai students have studied English in the classroom for at least six years, their English proficiency is not sufficient, particularly in the area of writing. (Tagong, 1991; Patarapongpaisan, 1996; Thammasarnsophon, 1991; Wisessang, 1996; Chinawong, 1999-2000; Luka naprasit, 1999-2000; Sakontawut, 2003) Many studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of many different teaching approaches used to help Thai students improve their English proficiency both in reading and writing. However, none of these studies has been conducted in a natura l setting, which could reveal exactly how Thai students have been ta ught using these methods. The lack of knowledge of how students are taught to r ead and write in the classroom may mislead teachers to implement only a few of new teaching techniques without really getting the students to understand how they learn to read and write and how they perceive teaching instru ction. The insight of the classroom structure and how Thai students are taught in their English writ ing class will help us understand how students struggle while learni ng to write and how the teacher can help them overcome their frustration. Exploring the classroom will also help the teacher understand how the students develop writing skills through the activities de signed by the teacher. Based on the students development of writing skills over time, we can also learn what kinds of teaching instruction, techniques or activities help the students improve their writin g skills. In addition, examining students perception of teaching in struction will provide insight in to the students awareness of their writing development as they learn to write. Finally, Leki (2001) poin ted out that research 22


studies on L2 writing since 1990 talk about the students but never gave evidence that the researchers spent any time talking to the students, never asked them one on one what all this (whatever feature of L2 writing was under study) meant to them. (p. 18) Leki argues that as teachers we can learn the hidden transcript by observation and discussion with the students. Supporting Lekis voice, intervie ws of many Thai students before this study and in the first interview of this study which show it is apparent th at they feel that their voices have largely been ignored by the teachers and researchers when re search has been conducted in the field. The current study will incorporate students voices in to research by taking into account how they think about the writing classroom they experience and how it works for them. This study will not only shed light on how English writing is taught in Thailand, but will also provide information on qualitative research methodology. It will provide teachers with a picture of the writing classroom fr om the students experience. In Thailand it is difficult to fully observe a real classroom for research purposes because teachers often f eel uncomfortable being observed, as they feel they are being supervised for evaluation purposes. Since this is the study that a real classroom has been fully observed by an outsider and the students voice is a focus, this study will set an example for other teachers a nd educators to conduct field research in real classrooms and will show teachers that research is not teaching assessment. Instead, teachers will learn that research enables them to learn about their teaching and to evaluate their teaching to meet the need of the students. The teacher will indeed, benefit from this kind of research. As for the education system in Thailand, this study will provide it with a picture of what occurs in an English writing classroom at the college level and how the students experience and perceive such writing classes. The results from this study will help educ ators and policy makers 23


understand writing instruction from the learners perspective in order to develop foundational curriculum to enhance student learning of writing in both Thai and English. Researchers Personal Interest in the Study Does Writing Have to Be Painful? writ ten by Binder (2001) reminds me of my experience as an English learner as well as a te acher. I have been str uggling with writing for many years. With my struggle in writing particularly writing in English when I was a graduate student in the United States made me wonder whether Thai students have had the similar experience. I first conducted a case study as a term paper in 2001 to learn how two Thai graduate students who were studying at UF learned how to write in Thailand. I found that they had similar experience as mine when they learned to write at school and at college levels. They did not consider themselves good writers. They rarely practiced writing in class. Based on the experience of these two students along with informal interviews of the other Thai graduate students, I was curious to learn how Thai students were taught to write and how they perceived writing particularly writing in English. Meanwhil e, I was introduced to process writing when I took a doctoral seminal class in composition taught by my advisor. With her guidance throughout the semester, I found that my writing impr oved; I felt more confident to write; and I wondered if this is an effective way to teach wr iting to EFL students like Thai students. Based on the case study I did and the experience I have had from the seminar class, I decided to explore a writing classroom in Thailand in order to find out how Thai students are trained in writing and how they perceived writing e xperience in the classroom. I chose to focus on college students because th ey are the students I will teach and also because of my association at college level in Thailand. Moreover, not only will Thai college students be able to articulate their feelings, pe rceptions, and attitudes to wards writing instruction they experience, they will also provide me with information about thei r writing experience at 24


pre-college level which will benefit my study as it will provide the entire picture of writing instruction in Thailand. In addition, the writing class that I chose to observe was taught by a Thai teacher who obtained her Ph.D. in the United States in Rhetoric and Composition. With her background in education and her experience in process writing, her wr iting class seemed different from a traditional writing classroom a nd I would be able to seek an answer for my question: Is it possible to implement process wr iting, an innovative approach, in English writing classroom in Thailand?, If so, how do es it work with Thai EFL students? Along with my questions, this study would he lp me understand the current situation in teaching writing both at school and the college level, especially fr om students perspective. With this understanding, I could learn how Thai student s experience writing inst ruction: positive and negative aspects. By hearing the students voices, I hoped to mini mize a gap between the public transcript and the hidden transcript (Lek i, 2001, p. 17), and to help EFL/ESL teachers understand what EFL students go through when th ey are introduced to an innovative writing instruction with which they are not familiar. Additionally, with this understanding, I could implement a method of writing instruction that I be lieve will best help my students to learn to write and to become better writers. I would also be aware of difficulties, frustrations, and/or limitations that I might encounter when I introduc e this new teaching approach to my students. With this awareness, I would listen carefully to my students voice while implementing the new approach and along with the stud ents I would learn to improve myself as a writer and as a writing teacher as well. Terminology English as a Foreign Language (EFL): This term is used throu ghout this study to refer to English taught in a country where English is not used out side the classroom as a native or an official language. 25


Writing I : In this study, writing I refers to an English writing course offered to any student whose major is not English at this university. It is one of the elective Englis h courses offered by the Department of Foreign Languages. The students ha ve to pass Foundation English 3 in order to take this course. Foundation English courses : At this university, Foundation E nglish courses refer to Foundation English 1, 2, and 3. Students are placed into one of these courses when they first enter this university based on their scores on their entran ce examination on English language proficiency. Foundation English 1 is a remedial course focu sing on grammar to prepare students with low scores on their entran ce examination for the next Founda tion English courses. Foundation English 2 and Foundation English 3 are required for students to graduate. Foundation English 2 and Foundation English 3 are grammar-based co urses focusing on language use and usage. Foundation English 3 is a prerequisite for the ot her elective English courses. The students may be exempted from these three courses if they have a high score on the examination when they enter the university. Process writing : Process-based writing pedagogies or writing process approach. Limitations of the Study Firstly, because my focus in this study is on writing instruction and how the students experience and perceive a given English writing class, the individual students writing process was not recorded while they were writing. Secondly, I did not aim to measure the students English proficiency. The students writing performance was not tested; instead I analyzed th eir writing in terms of writers development based on their writing assignments which are defi ned in Chapter 6 when I discuss the students development. 26


Finally, I did not conduct a l ongitudinal study to observe th e same students throughout the year because this university used a semester system. There are two main semesters. Each semester lasts for 15 weeks. Instead, I conducte d the classroom observation with a different group of students for the first semester (from June to October 2004) and the second semester (November 2004 to March 2005). However, these tw o classes were taught by the same teacher, Ms. B. Therefore, the students writing developm ent was not dramatic due to the short period of time. Summary In this chapter I presented th e rationale of the study. Briefl y, the rationale addressed the shift of the study of teaching and learning Englis h particularly English writing in Thailand. The reasons of the shift were mentioned in terms of the students performance in language skills. The importance of English as an academic tool and the tool for future career was briefly addressed as well as how English writing was taug ht in classrooms in Thailand. The statement of the problem which is related to the rationale was discussed. Based on my own experience as an EFL/ESL learner and a teac her teaching English at college level and the studies (Tagong, 1991; Patarapongpaisan, 1996; Thammasarnsophon, 1991; Wisessang, 1996; Chinawong, 1999-2000; Lukanaprasit, 1999-2000; Sakont awut, 2003), I believe that one of the main causes of writing failure among Thai students is related to how they are taught to write in the classroom. In other words, the fact that the teachers always focus on grammar and structure makes the students feel insecure when they writ e in English and makes th em fear writing. As a result, they dont like writing a nd their writing skills are limited. I also illustrated the main purposes of th is study along with the research questions. I explored how English writing was taught by th e teacher who was educated from the United States. My main focus was on how the Thai coll ege students in this writing class responded to 27


the writing instruction which integrated some aspects of an innovative approach, process writing. In addition, I aimed to investigate the fa ctors affecting the students responses to this writing instruction. Along with the purposes of the study, three research questions emerged. These questions related to the st udents responses and their par ticipation in this class. The benefits and problems related to writing inst ruction were examined, including the students attitudes towards writing in English, and the f actors affecting students writing performance and the implementation of an innovative approach in this writing class. The significance of the study was addressed. In brief, this study sheds light on writing instruction in Thailand as well as on ESL teach ing of writing in terms of implementing an innovative approach, such as process writing, in the English writing classroom. This study will help us as EFL/ESL teachers better unders tand how EFL/ESL Thai college students respond when they encounter a new writi ng instruction. In addition, this qualitative study will benefit on the research has been done in Thailand in terms of research methodology and show teachers a different viewpoint of research as a tool to learn about their teaching and how to improve their teaching to meet the students need rather than teaching assessment. Finally, I addressed my interest in this st udy according to my learning experience and my case study of two Thai graduate students about their writing e xperience. I also provided the terminology used in this study and di scussed the limitations of the study. 28


29 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE In a writing class, students need to be taught both how to use the process to their advantage as language learners and wr iters, and also how to produ ce an acceptable product upon demand. The shortcoming of the debate around th ese issues is that process and product have been seen as either/or rather than both/and entities. However, while students certainly need to learn how to pass exams, they also need to perceive writing as a tool for learning, a tool that can be useful to them throughout their professional and personal lives. (Raimes, 1996) Introduction This chapter provides theoretical frameworks and research on composition approaches for understanding how ESL/EFL students learn to wr ite and the impact of an innovative writing instruction on their growth as writers. In the firs t section of this chapter, I discuss the theories and conceptions that can cont ribute to understanding of la nguage and literacy learning, particularly for L2 composition. I, then, present theoretical approaches to the teaching of writing to native-speakers of English (N ES) that have contributed to shaping the approaches of the teaching of second language (SL) writing. The following section pres ents approaches to ESL/EFL writing instruction including the implem entation of the process-based writing approach in ESL/EFL classrooms. Finally, the fact ors affecting SL writing are discussed. Theoretical Framework There is no one theory or conception that can explain how learning takes place. To understand language and literacy learning, partic ularly for L2 composition, Krashens (1982, 1988) theory of second language acquisition and Vygoskys (1978) sociocultural theory of mind are used to frame this present study. Krashens Theory of Second Language Acquisition The best methods are therefore those that s upply comprehensible input in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are ready, recognizing that improvement co mes from supplying communicative and


comprehensible input, and not from forci ng and correcting production. (Krashen, cited by Schtz, 2005, p. 1) Stephen Krashen has proposed theory of sec ond language acquisition that consists of at least five hypotheses. To unders tand how ESL/EFL students learn to write in this present study, the Input or Comprehension hypothe sis, the Affective Filter hypothesis, and the Problem-solving hypothesis are used as th eoretical frameworks. The comprehension hypothesis Krashen (1982, 1988) distinguishes between le arning and acquisition. Learning is the product of formal instruction. It is involved in a conscious process. The example of learning can be found in the traditional instru ction that emphasizes the correctness and practices of grammar rules. Acquisition, on the cont rary, is the product of a subc onscious process which requires meaningful interaction in th e target language. Comprehensio n hypothesis emphasizes learners acquisition. It attempts to explain how L2 lear ner acquires a second language. This hypothesis claims that learners acquire second language by understanding messages under the conditions of i+1, and low affective filter. According to this h ypothesis, the learner improves and progresses when s/he receives comprehensible input that is one step beyond his/ her current stage of linguistic competence. The Comprehension hypothes is can also apply to literacy: reading and writing ability. To help L2 learne rs learn to read and write in the target language, teachers have to provide them with comprehensible input such as authentic materials, writing activities that allow them to practice and interact with their peers. Interaction with their peers provides the students with comprehensible i nput that is appropriate for th eir current stage of linguistic competence. Reading authentic materials gives students chances to expose to language used in the real situation. Exposing to language helps students acquire the target language. 30


The affective filter hypothesis According to Krashen, affective variables including motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety, play a facilitative role in second language acquisition. Kr ashen claims that to promote language acquisition, teachers have to create the environment that increases positive affect, such as motivation and self-confidence, and at the same time, lowers th e negative affect like anxiety. L2 writing class with traditional approach tends to raise the affective filter, for example, low motivation, low self-esteem, and a high level of a nxiety that prevent comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. To help ESL/EFL st udents learn to write and grow as writers, teachers should build the environment that lowers the affective filter. Mean ingful activities, such as free writing, revision, and peer-response, can promote positive affect and reduce negative affect. These activities help the st udents feel comfortable to learn to write, and feel confident to take risks and to share their writing with othe rs besides the teacher. Practicing writing more frequently provides the students mo re chances to expose to the target language. The students will not be afraid to write and gradually observe thei r progress, which results in feeling of confidence in their writing ability. The problem-solving hypothesis According to Krashen (1995), two competing hy potheses that attempt to explain how we learn new facts and new concep ts are: the study hypothesis and the problem-solving hypothesis (p. 347). While the stu dy hypothesis claims that we learn new facts and concepts by trying to learn (study), the problem-solving hypothesis assert s that we learn new facts and concept by doing or solving problems. In favor with the problem-solving hypothesis, Krashen asserts, If real learning and flow are both natural to the brain and are both enjoyabl e, and if flow occurs when we are involved in a problem that challenges our abilities appropriately, it may be the case that problem-solving that results in flow is a necessary conditions for cognitive 31


development to take place (p. 348). The term flow is used in his article to refer to the state of being deeply involved in an enjoyable activ ity. In other words, to promote cognitive development, teachers should provide students problem-solving activities that are one step beyond their current competence. In L2 writing cla ss, teachers should provide the students more challenging and meaningful activities rather th an grammar exercises and imitating paragraph writing. Interacting with peers and writing practices allow the stude nts to learn a new concept of writing as a process and promote their cogni tive development by doing and solving problem while they are writing. Sociocultural Theory Vygotskys (1978) sociocultural theory of mind claims that social interaction plays a crucial role in an individuals cognitive growth and development. This theory suggests that most learning takes place in communities of practice where individuals, under the assistance of or collaboration with more capable others, learn to do thing beyond their current capacity. This concept is known as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), proposed by Vygotsky (1978). Vygotsky views language development as a socioc ultural and historical process. A childs cultural development occurs when they interact w ith others in a social discourse, and later they internalize and reconstruct the know ledge they learn. In writing cl ass, teachers should provide students chances to interact with their peers. Peer-response is one of the activities that allow the students to interact with their peers. Moreover, teacher-student conference provides the students an opportunity to interact with the teacher, the more capable one. Engaging in the conference will allow the students to learn and get help from the teacher in order to move on to the next stage of their development. Sociocultural theorists, i.e. Tharp and Gallimore (1988), suggest modeling and scaffolding as a means of assisting performance. Via modeling, a process of offeri ng behavior for imitation, 32


an inexperienced student can observe and imita te the behaviors of the expert. Later on, the student gradually internalizes the imitated beha viors into his or her own capacity. Similarly, scaffolding is a process that the more capable, such as the teacher, assist s the novice to learn new facts and concepts. Then, the teacher gradually pulls out their assistance. With the teachers assistance, the novice learns how to solve the problem and learns to do things that s/he could not do previously. In the field of second language compositi on, the process approach emphasizes the sociocultural influences of the institutions in which students engage in learning (Nelson & Kim, 2001). According to social view, the way students learn and inte ract with other students and teachers is influenced or shaped by sociocultural factors (Heath, 1983). Social patterns of literacy practices have an effect on st udents cognitive functions (Scr ibner & Cole, 1981). To understand how students learn to write in a second language, we must explore the sociocultural factors that affect students learning a nd their interaction with othe r students and teachers. Theoretical Approaches to Teaching of NES Writing The development of NES composition in term s of teaching began about a century ago. However, the focus at that time was primarily on product. In other words, in most writing classrooms, teachers focused on teaching grammar and literature rather than on how to write. The situation remained as such until 1975, when a writing crisis in the United States arose (Scardamalia and Bereiter, 1986). The question, Why cant Johnny write? aroused the interest of the public to pay attention to writing curriculum. One respons e to public interest was that research in the field of teachi ng writing increased. The focus of such research included early development of written symbolism, discourse anal ysis, story grammar, basic writers, and the new rhetoric, writing appreh ension, classroom practices, response, and the composing process. (Scardamalia and Bereiter, 1986) Thus, sin ce the writing crisis, it appears that the focus 33


of teaching writing has shifted from product to pr ocess. The following sections address the basis approachesthe expressivist approach, the cognitivist approach, the interactive approach, and the social constructionist approach --for the development of NES composition teaching methodologies over the last two decades (Reid, 1993). The Expressivist Approach The expressive perspective of writing focuses on the writers voice. The expressivists, such as Elbow (1973, 1981) and Murray (1985), view writing as a process of discovery and expression. Berlin (1988) argues th at writing is an art, a creative act in which the processthe discovery of the true selfis as important as th e productthe self discovered and expressed (p. 484). Based on the expressive view teachers emphasize and promote students voice, choice and self expression. The focus in composition classroo ms, under this approach, turns away from the final product, grammar correction, and structur ing of essays to the free writing, which concentrates on self-discovery and self-expres sion (Reid, 1993). Teachers in expressivist classrooms tend to facilitate classroom activities that are designed to promote writing fluency such as free writing and journal writing, while simultaneously empowering the students by letting them choose the writing topics. As Reid points out, This approach leads quite naturally to a process classroom (p. 260). Process writing activities in expressivi sts classrooms tend to promote power over the writing act (Johns, 1990, p. 25). Moffett (1994) argues that students can become proficient at expository writing, as we ll as other kinds of essays when they develop personal writing. The Cognitivist Approach Cognitivists see writing as a thinking a nd problem-solving process (Reid, 1993, p. 260). Since cognitivists began to investigate the writin g process and process teaching, they have been interested in a model of process of writing (Flower and Haye s, 1997). Two cognitive researchers, 34


Flower and Hayes (1997), have studied how writers approach ta sks. Based on such research, Flower and Hayes have proposed a model explaining the proce ss of writing by problem-solving. According to Flower and Hayes model, the main parts of the composition process are: planning, translating, and reviewing This model has influenced cl assroom practices. In cognitive classrooms, teachers provide intervention through a variety of pre-writing techniques, including brainstorming, free writing, outlining, and mapping. Students are trained to develop their image of the audience, the situation, a nd the goals of writi ng (Reid, 1993). This a pproach is commonly found in English for Academic Purposes (EAP ) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) classrooms. The students in the c ognitivists classrooms first define a rhetoric problem, explore its parts, generate alternate solutions, come up with a conclusion, and then convert those ideas into words. The Interactive Approach Interactivists view writing as a part of dialogue between the writer and the reader (Bakhtin, 1986). In interactive writing cla ssrooms, both the writer and the reader take re sponsibility for coherent communication, and the writing-reading connection is primary (Reid, 1993, p. 261). The transaction between the writer and the reader is the critical aspect of these classrooms. In other words, the writer pays attention to the read ers expectation while the reader tries to sense the writers intention in his/her writing (Zamel 1992). This leads to the integration of writing and reading. In an interactive approach classr oom, the teacher promotes discourse community with meaningful responses through collaborative work such as peer conference or peer-response group. The Social Constructionist Approach According to social constructioni sts, writing is a social act that takes place within a social context for a specific purpose, and that the cons truction of knowledge is the result of social 35


interaction. According to Vygotsky (1978), the writing process, which is considered higher mental development, lies beyond both cognitive a nd individual levels. What Vygotsky means by this is that higher mental func tions, writing being one of them, re sult from the internalization and transformation of social interaction. Similarly, Bakhtin (1973) states that outer experiences, such as spoken and written speech, are socially cons tructed. In other words, a product of knowledge and language (speaking and writing) is genera ted and determined by the community of the speaker or the writer (Johns, 1990). In social constructionist classrooms, teachers promote a discourse community with meaningful responses through collaborative work. Talking about their own writing makes students aware of the writing process. Students also learn to revise their work from peer responses. In this collaborative work, students learn a pragmatic view of composing: sharing their goals and expectations of different discourse communities help to shape their writing. Approaches to Teaching ESL Writing In general, the progress of non-native speaker (NNS) or ESL composition theory and approaches has been influenced by theories a nd approaches to NES composition. There are many approaches or methods that have been used in the teaching of ESL writing (Hyland, 2003; Reid, 1993). In this section, I narrow my di scussion to four approaches: the controlled composition approach, the current-traditional rhetoric approach the communicative approach and the process approach (Reid, 1993). The Controlled Composition Approach The philosophy of controlled writing was rooted in the Audio-lingual Method (ALM), which is based on the behaviorists principle of stimulus-response. There are three major assumptions underpinning the ALM (Reid, 1993). First, positive reinforcement is an effective teaching method and error is not allowed. Second, ha bituation of language is a basis of fluency, 36


so drills are used for practicing language. Thir d, oral language is important for success, whereas writing is only a support skill. Therefore, writing is taught as a supplementary to oral language and as exercises for practicing language structures and language use. In the classroom, teachers focus on forms of writing, particularly at the se ntence-level, on the teaching of grammatical structures and on error correction. Controlled writing became less popular when re search in English showed that emphasis on grammatical correction and senten ce-level structure can block the composing process and reduce students motivation to write (P erl, 1979; Silva, 1990). Although th ere have been some concerns about this method of teaching writing, the cont rolled writing approach is still used in ESL classrooms among other current prac tices (Silva, 1990; Hyland, 2003). The Current-traditional Rhetoric Approach The current-traditional rhetor ic approach or functiona l approach (Hyland, 2003, p. 6) is a combination of basic principles of first la nguage writing instruction and Kaplans concept of contrastive rhetoric (Silva, 1990). Instead of focusing only on sentence-level structure and error correction, this approach focuses more on discourse structure and stylisti c features of writing. Kaplans research (1966) found that ESL writing was influenced by the students first language, more specifically, cross-linguistic and rhetorical pattern transfer Based on contrastive rhetoric, ESL teachers can predict difficulties and possible sour ces of errors that students will experience when they learn to write in English. In ESL cl assrooms, teachers point out the differences of the pattern of English writing and th at of other languages in order to make the students aware of these differences when they write in English. The current-traditional rhetoric approach focuses on fitting sentences and paragraphs into appropria te patterns. Guided writing and five-paragraph essay styles are used for pr acticing discourse structures. 37


The Communicative Approach The communicative approach is based on the premise of learner-centered teaching. This approach stresses the meaningful purpose of wr iting and the audience (Raimes, 1983). In this approach, writing is seen as a way to communi cate rather than the practicing of grammatical structures. Students are encourag ed to write with an authentic purpose and with an authentic audience in mind (Reid, 1993). Meani ngful writing tasks are, thus, created in order to let the students practice writing with for a given purpos e and a given audience Situation-initiated activities, such as writing letters to a pen pal from an English-speaking country or writing complaint letters, are used for practicing writing. Teachers in communicative classrooms do not focus on error correction. Instead, they act as re aders and give useful feedback to help the students rewrite. According to Reid (1993), communicative writing classes make use of: student writing samples and peer review for the students to learn from authentic responses purposeful assignments the integration of skills including the reading and writing connection an emphasis on students needs The Process Approach Since the 1970s, the teaching of writing has shifted away from a focus on the written product to a concentration on the writer and the process of writi ng (Silva, 1990; Reid, 1993). ESL research on process writing follows the research on process writing with native English speakers, and the researchers has focused on how writers compose and understand writing as a process of discovery and self -expression (Zamel, 1976, 1982). For example, Flower and Hayes (1981) studied college students writing and f ound their composition process recursive rather than linear as the writer writes. This approach is based on theori es such as expressive and social constructionism. The focus of this approach is on the process of com posing, self-expression, and collaborative learning. 38


In the process approach, instructional activitie s are designed to help the students express themselves fluently, to help them think and orga nize their ideas before wr iting and to help them revise drafts. In the classroom, teachers promote collaborative learning through group work such as peer responses. Also, the teaching premise in this classroom is learner-center. The teachers reduce their authority and play a less controlling role by allowing the students to explore a variety of topics or to choose a topic of their own. In the mean time, teachers allow students to work at their own pace. Students have more time to write, to explore thei r topic and to revise their work. The sense of audience is also seen as one of the importa nt features in this classroom. Students in process writing classes are encouraged to have their voice in their writing, while simultaneously learning to listen to the audiences voice in order to help them improve their writing. Relationships and interactions among peers are vital in this type of classroom because writing is viewed as a social act that takes place within a social context for a specific purpose. Construction of knowledge is a result of social interaction. As stated earlier, for Vygotsky (1978), the writing process, which is considered a higher mental development, lies beyond the cognitive or individu al level. Based on Vygotskys concept of the zone of proximal development after working with capable peers or the te acher, the child develops to the next zone. In this sense, social interaction leads to a childs higher development in problem solving. Therefore, in process writing classrooms, teacher s promote peer responses, as well as teacherstudent and student-student (pee r) conferences, so that students can learn from their peers in order to transform ideas into written texts. Writing Instruction in Thailand In Thailand, writing, particularly writing in En glish, has been taught as a part of teaching language. In language classrooms (both in Thai and in English), the teacher teaches four skills: 39


listening, speaking, reading, and writing. However, writing is not emphasized unless it is a subject for language majored students. Although th ere may be many approaches introduced in Thai classrooms, in facts, writi ng instruction in Thailand can be grouped in two main approaches according to ESL/EFL writing instruction: th e traditional writing approach and the process approach. Traditional Writing Approach Writing in Thailand has been taught based on language structure (product-oriented approach). In a traditional classroom, writing is not focused but it was a part of learning grammatical structure. Writing is taught after the other language skills are developed (Thammasarnsophon, 1991). Writing is considered a supplement of learning English language. Writing is a means to practice grammar and for the teacher to evaluate how well the students learned the sentence structure they were taught. The teacher provides the students with exercise drills (sentence-level) to practice and model texts to imitate. Controlled writing and guided writing are used in the traditional classroom. Traditional writing teachers focus on forms or grammatical structure and viewed writing as a part of grammar instruction. Later on, the teachers in the traditional cla ssroom integrated the current-traditional rhetoric approach or the func tional approach (Hyland, 2003, p. 6) in his/her writing class. After ample traditional study of the familiarizatio n of the language (Hyland, 2003), students are given instruction of how texts function. For exampl e, first they are taught different types of paragraphs such as cause-effect, comparison and contrast, and narration in order to learn the functions of these texts. The teacher, then, expl ains how language is used to convey the meaning. The teacher also teaches the five-paragraph essay including introduction, body, and conclusion. Later on, the students are asked to write an essay by imitating the format or pattern of language they learned according to the purpose of their wr iting. In other words, the functional approach 40


emphasizes the purpose of language in writing. Th e current-traditional rhetoric is commonly used in writing class for higher education such as college level, particularly for students majoring in English. The traditional writing approach stresses language structure, rhetoric patterns, and language use. This approach is still found in many writing classrooms in Thailand at all level (Chuendaechum, 1999). The Process Approach The process approach was intr oduced in writing classrooms in Thailand at least fifteen years ago according to the studi es done on process approach. For this approach, the teacher focused on the process of writing and allowed th e students to explore their writing process through multiple drafts. According to the studie s on the process-based approach in Thailand (Chuendaechum, 1999; Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991), the teacher implemented the writing process approach applie d in ESL/EFL classrooms. The writing process approach used in Thailand comprises of three main stages: pre-writing, writing, and post-writing (Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991). In the pre-writing stage, the teacher prepared the students for information and language they need for writing. The activities or tasks used in this stage include brai nstorming, outlining, mind-mapping, and oral discussion about the topic. The writing stage referred to drafting is based on the information from the first stage. Writing could be group or individual work. Post-writing refers to the revision stage. The activities in this stage included peer-review or peer-response, conferencing, revising, editing, and publishing (the final draft that students turn in). Although the process approach ha s been introduced to Thai e ducation for at least fifteen years, according to my survey, not many teachers really use or apply this approach in their writing classroom. The possible obstacles for this situation are the large-size class and the teacher-workload. Mackenzie (2002, 2005) stated th at after the teachers were trained for an 41


innovative approach such as communicative approach they tried it in thei r classroom for a period of time. However, because of the large number of students and their workload, they did not continue trying and returned to the more fa miliar traditional instruction. In addition, the traditional instruction was compatible with the current curriculum and assessment (i.e. grammarbased test, multiple choices). In other words, th e teachers found that trying a new approach that was not compatible with the curriculum a nd assessment burned them with more work. Implementation of the Process Approach in ESL/EFL Classrooms Early process writing theory and pedagogy paid l ittle attention to ma rginalized students, such as those in lower socio-economic groups, minorities and immigrants. Early theory and practice, therefore, seemed to imply that this approach would work equally well for all students (Tobin, 1994). Awareness of differences in race, class, and culture, however, have since become important, and further research has been done to see whether the above implication is, indeed, supported. For example, Heath (1983) studied the influence of social cl ass on the process of literacy, and Atwell (1987) found that the proces s approach works well with special education students. Similarly, Delpit (2002) suggested that in order to encourage the African American children to learn Standard English, the teacher as well as the school have to appreciate what the children bring with them from their home. In ot her words, the teacher has to accept and value their home language, which is part of their iden tity and culture. The teacher has to learn about the students language and culture in order to learn their interest and their need and make the students feel welcome to the school setting. Once they feel welcome, they are willing to learn what we teach. Recently, there have been more studies on the implementation of the process approach and the techniques or activiti es used in writing workshop with ESL/EFL students. In this section, I present some studies focusing on the implementa tion of the process approach with ESL/EFL 42


(Adipattaranun, 1992; Fiona, 2000; Matsumoto, 1997; Payton, Jones, Vincent, and Greenblatt 1994), and the studies on the implementation of the process approach with Thai students (Chaisuriya, 2003; Chuendaechum, 1999; Patarapongpaisan, 1996; Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991; Wisessang, 1996). The Studies with ESL/EFL students Adipattaranun (1992) explored the variables in the writi ng process of ESL/EFL students in a process-oriented freshman composition cour se. She studied an ESL classroom at college level in the U.S for one semester. The purposes of her study were 1) to observe and describe an ESL writing classroom where the process approach was implemented, and 2) to explore the strategies used by the students while they re vised. She collected data by classroom observing, interviewing, and collecting students writing and other artifacts. Her focal participants were nine non-English native speakers from Singapore, Taiw an, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Although the students in this study studied English in a traditional way which focused on grammar and viewed writing as a passive and private affair (A dipattaranun, 1992), the results showed that via process-based in struction particularly revising process, the students gained audience awareness, a sense of sharing and support, knowledge of what good writing entails, and how to give advice to others a nd to indirectly teacher themselves (Adipattaranun, 1992b, p. 254-258). In addition, she concluded that the factors affecting the students writing quality and their experience of writing in this class were: ) how students were taught, 2) the quality of peer partners, 3) commitment to su ccess, [and] 4) language difficulties (p. 259). Peyton, Jones, Vincent, and Greenblatt (1994) studied adapting writing workshops for ESOL students in the United States. Their data come from four focus group meetings of the teachers in The Book Project held at the end of each school year. The researchers found that at the beginning, it was difficult to implement writing workshops due to constraints such as time, 43


space, resources, and supportive colleagues. Howeve r, after several attemp ts and a strong belief that writing workshops work, the te achers tried to adapt and make us e of what they had in order to encourage students learning and writing thro ugh writing workshops. These teachers also tried to persuade and work with their uncoopera tive colleagues in orde r to solve the problems they faced. Peyton et al. (1994) concludes that [a]ll teachers struggle with time, space, and resource constraints, and thos e attempting to change well-established instructional practices wrestle with long-held and sometimes clashing attitudes and procedur es within the school system, their students, and even themselves (p. 483). They suggest that teachers should not mechanically adopt the approach into their clas ses, but instead should adapt and discover what works well with their particular students. Fiona (2000) studied teachers implementati on of writing workshops in Australia. Fiona observed two teachers who volunteered to use writing workshops in their ESL classrooms. Her results show that besides the constraints mentioned by Peyton et al. (1994), the cultural background of the students also plays an important role in the use of writing workshops. For example, Asian students tended to be shy and we re not familiar with peer response because they have always received feedback from their teacher s when they studied in L1. The teachers had to be patient and explain how to respond and demons trate it at the beginni ng of the session and encourage Asian students to participate in the conferences. Similarly, Matsumoto (1997) studied writing wo rkshops in Japan. However, she conducted her research at an American military base school where she taught in Japan. Matsumoto considers her students ESL students because they have a chance to use English outside the classroom on the base. She conducted four pilot studies in her classroom Through the first three pilot studies (1/19-2/4/1996, 3/195/6/1996, and 5/27-7/17/1996), she explored research tools for 44


developing the technique and classroom teaching so that it could be tested in her last study and as resources for the data collection. From these fo ur studies, with four to eight students in each case, Matsumoto found that it was difficult to introduce writing workshops in her classrooms because the Japanese students were not familiar with interactive and co llaborative learning. In the first study, the students were resistant to the method because the class did not meet their expectations. The students expected to learn and practice grammar and to receive direct instruction through lecture rather th an participating in the class. As a result, some of the students dropped out. For her second study, she added gramma r practices into her class and found that it worked to a certain degree, so she then decided to adapt some direct instruction into her writing workshops. Another problem she found was the textbook that she had to use according to the program curriculum. She was not satisfied with the textbook provided by the program because it was product-based. By using this textbook she was controlled by a product-oriented program. She tried to find a new textbook that would allow her to adapt to her writing workshop, and did end up changing it, but in the e nd she still could not find a te xtbook that suited her needs. Instead of relying on a textbook, she decided to create the teaching material herself. The language abilities of the student s was another concern she encountered, so she finally allowed the students to use Japanese in the classroom and sometimes had her assistance translated the instructions from English into Japanese. Matsumoto (1997) concluded that to implement writing workshop with ESL students, teachers have to know their students well, in cluding their language abilities, and their educational and cultural backgrounds Additionally, teachers have to explain to the students the purpose of writing workshops and to be good models for them to follow. She also suggests that teachers, at the beginning, may have to mix be tween the product-based and the process-based 45


approach in order to make the students more co mfortable and to reduce anxiety. In other words, to apply writing workshop, that is learner-cen tered and emphasize students process of writing, in ESL/EFL classroom, the teacher may have to integrate the direct instruction which focus on grammar, language structure, and the students product of writing in order to meet the students expectation and make them feel more comfortable to learn. Ping (2000) studied a writing workshop with Chinese ESL students in Canada. She focused on how cross-cultural issues play a ro le in teaching Chinese ESL students. The four participants in her study were Chinese ESL students ranging in ages from 18-20 years. They were in an advanced writing class. Ping observe d these four students in a class in which the teacher used writing workshops. She also intervie wed these students about their perceptions of the writing workshop approach. Similar to Ma tsumoto, Ping states in her interpretation, It appears that instructional innovations, such as the proce ss writing approach, are difficult to implement in some classrooms with st udents from different culture backgrounds, at least, at the beginning period of the seme ster. Discrepancies in ESL students and instructors perceptions for teaching may a ffect classroom instruction and students performance. (Ping, 2000, p. 196) Ping (2000) also suggests that in order to make l earning and teaching effectiv e, the teacher has to make the learning more relevant to students interest and balance the curriculum to meet students needs by integrating some direct instruction into her teaching (p. 197). According to these studies, it seems that there are some factors affecting implementation of an innovative writing approach like the process approach, such as the students learning and cultural background, students language proficienc y, the quality of peers, and the teachers workload. The following section will discuss the study of the process approach in Thailand in order to provide more information to better unde rstanding about the situat ion and the context of this study 46


Unfortunately, there are not many studies on th e use of the process approach with EFL students, particularly in terms of its implicat ions in the classroom, how it helps EFL students improve their writing, or how students cultur e affects the implemen tation of the process approach. Introducing this innovative teaching appro ach in ESL/EFL classrooms, particularly in an oriental setting like Thailand, ne eds to be explored; furthermore, special attention needs to be paid to the influence of the students educat ional backgrounds and cultural perspectives on the implementation of the approach. Problems may ar ise due to the differences such as rhetorical, educational and cultural background, when one blindl y uses an approach that is successful in one setting in another. The following section devote s to survey of the studies on writing process approach conducted with Thai students. Studies on Thai Students (Thammasarnsophon, 1991) conducted an experime nt to compare English writing ability of twelfth graders who learned English writing through the process approach and product-based approach (direct instruction focusing on grammar and correctness). Thammasarnsophon, a teacher-researcher, divided the students into expe rimental and control groups (47 and 55 students in each group, respectively). She used pre-test and post-test to evaluate the students writing ability before and after learning. The findings rev ealed that overall English writing ability of the students in the process-oriented class was higher than that of th e students in the product-oriented classroom. In terms of the content, organizati on, vocabulary, and mechanics, the results also showed that the students in the process-orie nted group performed bett er than those in the product-oriented group. However, there was no si gnificant difference between these two groups in terms of language use. Thammasarnsophon (1991) suggested that the teachers apply processoriented approach in their writing classroom a nd emphasized brainstorming and discussion in the classroom. 47


Tanuwongviwat (1995), as a teacher-researcher, compared Thai writing ability of the twelfth grade students learning th rough the process approach and the criticism approach. He divided the students into two groups according to the different approach. He also grouped the students in each group according to their Thai language proficienc y: high, intermediate, and low. He used pre-test and post-test to evaluate the students writing ability. The results showed that for all proficiency levels, writing ability of the students in both groups was not significantly different. Moreover, the student s writing ability after learni ng through both approaches improved according to the higher scores of th e post-test. In addition, Tanuwongviwat (1995) used the questionnaire to explor e the students opinions on Th ai writing instruction they experienced. The results from the questionnaire sh owed that the students had positive feedback on both approaches in that they thought their writing ability improved and they liked writing more. Wisessang (1996) studied the impact of the pr ocess approach on the ninth grade students English writing ability. She divided the students into two groups (experimental and control groups). The experimental group was taught through the process approach while the control group was taught based on the curriculum whic h focused on the product. Wisessang (1995) used the test scores to compare the students English wr iting ability in both groups. The results of this study showed that the students who were taught through the process appro ach wrote better than those who were taught through the product appr oach. Wisessang concluded that the process approach enhanced the students English writing ability. Similarly, Patarapongpaisan (1996) studied the effects of the process approach on the English majored students at college level in Bangkok. She conducted an experiment to compare English writing ability of the students taught th rough the process approach (experimental group) 48


and the product approach (control group). She us ed pre-test and post-te st to evaluate the students writing ability before and after learning. Similar to the results of Wisessangs (1996) study, Patarapongpaisan concluded that the process approach helped the students write better compared with the product approach. In addition, Chaisuriya (2003) studied the im plementation of the process approach, which he named social-constructionist approaches (p. vii), to teaching technical writing at college level in Thailand. His participan ts were thirty sophomore scie nce students. He taught this English writing class based on the syllabus he created. His teaching approaches included collaborative writing, writing as a process, peer-review, teacher/student writing conference, and peer evaluation (Chaisuriya, 2003, p. vii). The data were collected by observation, interviews and artifacts. The results showed that it was possible and useful to implement the socialconstructionist approaches in an EFL class such as one in Thailand. Moreover, the students in this study learned more through collaborative wr iting. He mentioned the main problem found in collaborative writing, such as participant s accountability and responsibility, group work management, and the evaluation of participants ( p. vii). The students learned from their peers writing and comments to improve their own writ ing. Chaisuriya (2003) also found that the students English language proficiency, part icular grammar and vocabulary, was another problem in leaning writing in his class. He also concluded that the assessment should be compatible with the writing instruction. In other words, evaluating only the products of writing alone seemed not to be valid. The results of these studies showed that the process approach tended to enhance the students writing ability both in Th ai and English. However, these studies rarely discussed about the variables that affect the teaching instruction and the students achievement in writing. 49


Moreover, they rarely discussed the students response on writing instruction particularly the process approach. Unlike the other studies of ESL/EFL writing classroom, the studies in Thailand tended to focus on the test scores as a measurement for students writing ability. According to the studies on the process appr oach in ESL/EFL classroom, it seems that nonwestern educational and cultura l backgrounds have an influenc e on the implementation of the process approach for teaching writing. For the pu rposes of the current study, it is necessary to discuss the cultural background of Thai society and the Thai educational system in order to help the readers understand the setting better. First, ho wever, I would like to di scuss other factors that influence ESL/EFL writing. Then, the educational and cultural background will be discussed. Factors Affecting Second Language Writing There has been much research done on ESL wr iting in order to help the students improve their writing abilities. One aspect of such research is the explor ation of factors that influence second language (SL) writing with the intention of understanding how students write, as well as to identify difficulties and the sources of those difficulties. Researchers hope that understanding ESL students writing and thei r problems will help teachers and students discover a better method for developing students writing performance. This secti on will discuss factors that affect the acquisition of second language writing. Factor s affecting or enhancin g the acquisition of second language writing have been examined by many researchers, such as Kaplan (1966), Mohan and Lo (1985), Cumming (1994), Kubota (1998), and Ho (1998). The results from these studies reveal that there are pos itive and negative f actors that influence L2 writing. The factors that have been shown to have an impact on L2 writing are first language transfer (L1 to L2), L2 proficiency, and cros s-cultural values. 50


L1-L2 Transfer There has been much research done on L1-L2 tr ansfer in order to di scover if transfer occurs and whether or not it influences L2 wr iting. The evidence from such research suggests that L1-L2 transfer does exist a nd that it does affect L2 writin g. This section addresses how and what kinds of L1-L2 transfer affect L2 writing. The transfer of first language to second language learning includes cross-linguistic and rhetorical pattern transf er (e.g., Kaplan, 1966; Fieg, 1983), developmental factors (e.g., Mohan & Lo, 1985), tran sfer of cognitive as pects of writing (e.g., Cumming, 1994; Kubota, 1998), a nd translation (e.g., Siripha n, 1988; Kobayashi & Rinnert, 1994). A cross-linguistic and rhetorical pattern transfer The effects of L1-L2 tr ansfer, particularly cross-linguistic and rhetoric transfer, on L2 writing have been discussed and argued since Ka plan (1966) proposed the concept of contrastive rhetoric. It has been found that L1 transfer is one of the main factors affecting L2 writing. According to Odlin (1989), transfer refers to t he influence resulting from the similarities and differences between the target language and any other language that has been previously (and perhaps imperfectly) acquired (p. 27). Transfer is universal as it occurs when learning any second language (Ellis, 1994). L1 transfer can result in errors in L2 learning (negative transfer or interference), facilitation in L2 learning (positive transfer), avoidance, and over-use (Ellis, 1994). In terms of L2 writing, both negative and positive transfers have received attention and have been studied extensively. Negative transfer or interference occurs when th e L1 differs from the L2, both linguistically and non-linguistically, whereas positive tr ansfer occurs when the L1 and the L2 are similar in some respect. 51


Since the 1950s, learners errors in the L2 c ould be predicted by comparing and contrasting the grammar of the students L1 to that of the target language. Fo r example, Thai students tend to omit a copula when it precedes a pred icate adjective as in, I really happy with them, because in Thai, a copula in this sentence structure is not needed (Fieg, 1983). Unlike English, Thai, Chinese, and Korean do not have articles, and are not inflectional languages. Therefore, ESL students from these countries tend to make erro rs of article omission, tense, and plural-noun inflection (Kim, 1983). On the other hand, word or der does not tend to be difficult for many ESL students because, like English, many othe r languages have sentence structure SVO (Krzeszowski, 1981). The first two examples above are instances of negative transfer, while the last is an example of positive transfer. Studies based on Error Analysis (EA) and C ontrastive Analysis (CA) tended to focus on the sentence-level or on grammatical errors. Ka plan (1966) argues, Foreign students who have mastered syntactic structures have still demonstrat ed inability to compose adequate themes, term papers, theses, and disser tation (p. 3). He then introduced cont rastive rhetoric in to linguistic and educational research on ESL literacy. For Kaplan, rh etoric is a mode of thinking or a mode of finding all available means for the achievement of a designated end (1966, p. 1). He also argues that writing involves not only linguistic components, but also cultural thought patterns. He studied and identified paragraph patterns of writing from different cultures and concluded that ESL/EFL students carry their L1 rhetoric pattern into their L2 writing. Using L1 rhetorical patterns, such as Oriental writing (the circles or gyres), in Eng lish essays would strike English readers as awkward and unnecessarily indirect because English paragraph patterns are linear (Kaplan, 1966). ESL teachers woul d most likely consider such nonnative types of essays poorly organized. Since Kaplans seminal study, there ha ve been several other contrastive rhetoric 52


studies looking at different langua ges including Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai (e.g., Fieg, 1983; Kim, 1983; Ster, 1988). Their results confirm Kaplans findings that ESL students write according to the rhetorical pattern preferred by thei r own culture. Ster (1988) concludes that, according to the study of contrastive rhetoric, which identifies cultural or organizational patterns, we may further develop our understanding of factors that crea te difficulties for ESL writers beyond the lexico-grammatical system employed (p. 201). Mohan and Lo (1985) challenge Kaplan because Kaplan examined only L2 texts written in English by students from different cultures. Yet, other studies, such as Oi (1984), Indrasuta (1988), and Kobayashi and Rinnert (1994), have examined both L1 and L2 texts written by students studying other second langua ges, such as Japanese and Thai The results of their studies also confirm Kaplans findings th at L1 transfer of rhetorical patterns does occur. The counterargument of L1-L2 transfer was raised when th e results of the studies on ESL writing such as Mohan and Lo (1985), Cook (1988), Zamel (1989) did not support Kaplans research in terms of L1-L2 transfer of written discourse features. Th ese challenging studies found that the lack of writing skills in English is not due to their cultural t hought patterns, but to ot her factors, and that these factors that are referred to as developmental factors could have negative or positive influences on L2 writing. Developmental factors Cummins (1981) argues for the importance of L1 literacy for learni ng English as a second language. He points out that if ES L learners are fully literate in their L1, they tend to perform better in L2, compared to those who are less lite rate in their L1. Similarities in development between first language composition and second language composition have also been found (Zamel, 1983). Mohan and Lo (1985) suggest that developmental factors which include students native literacy and e ducational experience, play an im portant role for dealing with 53


organizational problems in L2 academic writing. Sentence-level skills such as spelling, and grammatical accuracy are establishe d early, and awareness and control of them declines as they become relatively automatic. Awareness and c ontrol discourse strategies, competence in organizing larger units of discourse coherent ly, are a later development (Mohan & Lo, 1985, p. 522). The results of Mohan and Los study show that the organizational problems of Chinese students in academic writing are not due to the preference for Chinese rhetorical patterns of indirectness, rather they relate to the way ESL students are taught in English classrooms. Most English instructions in Asia (Thailand, Japan, Korea, and China) are grammar-based and focus on sentence-level rather than discourse level structures (K im, 1983; Mohan & Lo, 1985; Carson, 1992; Phongsuwan, 1996). Students in such countries rarely have a chance to communicate in written English and are not taught to develop logi cal arguments or to orga nize logical sequences of ideas; both of which tend to be important princi ples for English writing. Therefore, lack of experience in English composition influences low ESL writing scores (Kubota, 1998). Asian students rarely practice a wide variety of English compositions, for example, writing argumentative and persuasive essays. The Thai students in Phongsuwans (1996) study reported that their problems in learning English in the United States included a lack of practice in language skills in Thailand and in the United States; a lack of background knowledge; a lack of practicing idea expression; learning from inad equately trained non-na tive English speaking teachers in Thailand; and differences in educ ational systems and cu ltural backgrounds. These ESL students, who were trained to focus on prod uct, did not know the e xpectations for English writing and how writing is taught and learned in second language classrooms in the United States, which are process oriented. They expres sed feeling frustrated and leaning more on their 54


L1. As a result, ESL teachers evaluated their wr iting quality as poor or they did not understand what the students were tryi ng to convey. Such studies s upport the idea that educational experience and L1 literacy transfer to how ES L students learn and perform writing in English. Cognitive aspects of writing Another factor which transfer s from L1 to L2, thus affecting L2 writing ability, is cognitive aspects of writing. Cognitive abilit ies include the composing process, writing strategies, and L1 writing ability or expertise. Like developmenta l factors, cognitive aspects in writing can be a hindrance or a facilitator for ES L students in developing L2 writing abilities. Studies show that cognitive abilit ies tend to transfer from L1 to L2 (Cummins, 1981). In other words, if ESL students are good writers in thei r L1, they can carry their writing expertise including the composing process and writing strategi es they successfully use in L1 over to L2 writing (Cumming, 1989). On the other hand, if they are not good at writing in their L1, they tend to have low performance in L2 writing. Th e research suggests that writing process and writing strategies, for example, prewriting, rescanning, revising, and editing, in L1 are comparable with those in L2 (Raimes, 1994; Zamel, 1983). Cumming (1989) and Cook (1988) found positive effects of L1 writi ng ability on the quality of disc ourse organization and content in ESL writing, problem-solving behaviors, and qua lity scores. Therefore, in general, writing performance in L1 influences writing in L2. Kubotas (1998) study confirms this argument that rather than a contrastive rhetor ic factor, good L1 essays in Ja panese and English share some similar characteristics (p. 88). Kubota also found that L1 writing skills have positive correlations between Japanese and English organization scores. In other words, poor organization in English essays is related to the lack of ability to organize text in L1. According to the results of many studies mentioned above, the cognitive aspects of writing, like developmental factors, tend to be a univers al factors affecting L2 writing. 55


Translation Translation is another factor related to transfer, which can be negative or positive depending upon how it affects L2 writing. Negative transfer is the result of using word(s) or phrase(s) that two cultures assign differently to concepts, whereas positive transfer results in the use of appropriate or acceptable terms in the ta rget language (Siriphan, 1 988). Direct translation or word-by-word translation seems to have a ne gative effect, particularly when dealing with cultural content or when the structure in the L1 di ffers from that of the L2. Direct translation can lead to awkward expressions, re dundancy, incorrect word choice s, or ambiguity for Englishnative readers. For example, these errors are made by Thai students due to direct translation: I have to listen carefully, but it was in my left ear and go my right ear out corpse box (for coffin) (Siriphan, 1988). Siriphan also explains that some errors still occur after students editing because they lack training in proofreading and revising skills. Translation can also be useful for ESL students though, especially for beginners or students with low levels of L2 proficiency. K obayashi and Rinnert (1994) found that translation can have a positive effect on L2 writing. They conc luded that translation from L1 essays into L2 can help adult ESL learners with low levels of L2 proficiency develop their id eas in the text. It is easier for ESL learners to think in their L1 and discover the mean ing that they want to express (Fu, 1995). Students also tend to write more when th ey first write in their L1 and then translate in L2. In Kobayashi and Rinnerts 1994 study, ad ult students, both high and low L2 proficiency, tended to use a variety of language structures, for example, complex sentences, when they translated, whereas they used familiar and simpler structures or ideas when writing directly in the L2. However, the advanced students did not benef it as much from translation, compared to those with low L2 proficiency. On the contrary, th ey tended to produce more awkward forms of English in their translated versions (Kobayashi & Rinnert 1994). In general, ESL/EFL beginners 56


tend to translate directly from L1 into L2 wh en writing in the L2. Intermediate or advanced students sometimes still think in their L1 and tr anslate into English, even though they can write directly in English (Indras uta, 1988; Siriphan, 1988). L2 Proficiency Second language proficiency as well as its in fluence on L2 writing has been studied and mixed results have been found. Many studies (e.g., Raimes, 1985, 1994; Zamel, 1982) have argued that L2 writing does not seem to be influenced by students L2 proficiency. Although Raimes (1994) concludes that there is little correspondence between language proficiency, writing ability for college placement, and com posing strategies, she also recognized the limitations of her study. Her conclusions are draw n from a quantitative analysis of a multiplechoice test and a writing placem ent test, and the lack of correspondence between language proficiency score assessed according to a wr iting sample points to the limitations of standardized testing (p. 149). Ne vertheless, these researchers tend to emphasize that, rather than L2 linguistic competence, the composing competen ce, as well as compos ing strategies, are the determining factors of L2 writing quality. On the other hand, several studies (e.g., Cumming, 1989, 1994; Kubota, 1998; Sasaki & Hirose, 1996) have suggested that L2 proficiency is one of the explanatory factors of L2 writing ability. Cumming (1989) argues that L2 proficie ncy facilitates writing performance in the L2. Second-language proficiency is an additive fact or enhancing the quality of writing production and interacting with the attention that particip ants devoted to aspects of writing (p. 81). In other words, advanced ESL students are more ap t to refer to more aspects of writing: gist, language, discourse, and procedures than basic writers. Moreover, Aungpredathep (1989) found that students who were more proficient in com posing tended to write more fluently, express themselves at greater length and more clearly and to write with a stronger sense of audience than 57


lower proficiency students. The results of Sasaki and Hirose (1996) confirm that L2 proficiency is one of the factors influencing L2 writing abil ity. These researchers f ound that students limited L2 proficiency hinders their L1 ability and thei r L1 composing competence from transferring to L2 writing, and is also related to a lack of concern with organization in L2 writing. Kubota (1998) also suggests that L2 profic iency can enhance the quality of writing in terms of language use. ESL students with lim ited English skills, such as knowledge of vocabulary and syntactic control, tend to lack attention to organization, produce simple text structures, and use ineffective connectors. They also rely mo re upon their first language, which results in L1 interference. The results of K ubotas study also shows that without enough L2 proficiency skills, many students do not receive high scores in or ganization despite their good L1 writing skills. In contrast, students with strong L2 language skills get high scores in organization. Therefore, L2 proficiency seems to be a factor affecting quality of L2 writing. Cumming (1994), Sasaki and Hirose (1996), and Kubota (1998) all reveal that L2 proficiency is one of the influences for ESL students with low L2 proficie ncy skills, both at the se ntence and the discourse level. In addition, without sufficient understanding and control in the L2, ESL students apply the rules of the L2 incompletely when they write in English, and induce lingui stic errors such as You like to sing?, (Ellis, 1994). In summar y, despite the counter-argument (Zamel, 1982; Raimes, 1985, 1994), the results of many studi es (e.g. Cumming, 1989, 1994; Sasaki & Hirose, 1996; Kubota, 1998) indicate that L2 profic iency, generally, influences ESL writing. Cross-cultural Values Besides L1-L2 transfer and L2 proficiency, research on ESL writing has paid attention to the impact of cross-cultural values like co llectivism vs. individualism on writing performance (Carson & Nelson, 1994). The argument about how much cultural issues impact learning and writing in a second language has been focused on th e role of culture in composition, and to what 58


extent cross-cultural values influence the way ESL students learn to wr ite in English. Many researchers (Carson & Nelson, 1994; Dean, 1989; Li, 1996; V. Ramanathan, & Atkinson, 1999; Ramanathan, & Kaplan, 1996; Ransdell, 1998; T hongrin, 2002; Voges, 2001) have studied the impact of culture on ESL writing. Some argue that culture has a very important impact on ESL students writing difficulties a nd on developing pedagogical appro aches to cope with these difficulties (Carson & Nelson, 1994; Li, 1996; Ra manathan, & Atkinson, 1999; Ramanathan, & Kaplan, 1996; Ransdell, 1998) Others argue that culture is on ly a minor factor affecting ESL writers in learning to write in L2 (Atkinson, 1999; Lucas, 1989; Spack, 1997; Voges, 2001). In general, socio-cultural background has been f ound to affect ESL students writing performance and development in L2 writing. Many studies on cross-cultural issues related to ESL writing have focused on the issue of individualism and collectivism. Some ESL students come from co llectivist cultures, Chinese and Japanese for example. For collectivist culture, individuals work for the sake of the group or society. They admire and value the authority. This cultural perspective shows up in their writing as Asian students avoid using I. Instead, they prefer to use we. They also like to imitate classic or well-known phrases or idioms in thei r writing, instead of bein g original or creative (Ho, 1998). Unlike Asian culture, We stern culture, like that in Am erica, promotes the use of individual voice both in and outside the classroom. Children in this culture are trained to express themselves and their ideas. Given this differen ce, Asian students struggle when they come to ESL classroom where individual voice is valued ESL students have to learn and adjust themselves to express their idea in their wri ting by using I. Als o, for ESL students like Chinese, Japanese, and Thai, the concept of copyr ight or plagiarism in writing is found difficult 59


to understand because in their culture imitating cl assic works from other authors is valued and considered as good writing. Given collectivist culture, student s expectations of the princi ples and practices in the ESL writing classroom is different from that of mo st mainstream teachers. This mismatch of expectations between ESL learners and teachers causes problems for ESL students in terms of developing in writing, participating in the classroom and with the concept of critical thinking (Ramathan & Atkinson, 1999). When ESL students are in mainstream classrooms, they are frustrated with the activities and interaction between the t eacher and the students and among peers themselves. This frustration is caused by the mismatch of expectations. For Asian students, they expect the teacher to give lectures. The role of the teacher is transmitter of information, while the role of students is the passi ve receiver. Students are expected to listen and not ask many questions. Asking questions, in Asia n culture, shows disrespect and is viewed by teachers as challenging behavior on the part of the student. To the contrary, in American classrooms, the students are e xpected to actively participate by asking question, and expressing their opinions. Difficulty and frustration with active participation can also be found when ESL students are asked to participate in group work or in peer reviewing activities. For instance, writing groups in composition classrooms in the United States function more for the benefit of the individual writer than for the be nefit of the group. This concept is different from the concept of group work in collectivist cultures, where group work is used as a technique for knowledge acquisition and as a method that teaches and reinforces the group ethic of their collectivist cultures (Carson & Nelson, 1994, p. 23). Given this mismatch, Asian students tend to passively participate in group work in mainstream western classrooms. They are seen as silent students. 60


For peer reviewing, Asian students rarely comment on their peers work because in collectivist cultures, relationships that include group member s are perceived as more nurturing, respectful, and intimate than they are in individual cult ure (p. 24); thus, comme nting on an individuals work is viewed as disrespectful, as it does not reinforce nurturing or intimacy. This notion is described in Japanese norms of politeness (Matsu moto, 1997), and this behavior is also found in Thai students when they have to review their peer s writing. Thai students hesitate to give strong comments. They rather start with the compliments fi rst and, only if necessar y, they prefer to give indirect critical comments (T hongrin, 2002). For Thai culture, this notion can be explained by the norms of politeness and the cultural word Kreng-Jai which is similar to consideration. From these studies, it is evident that culture plays a very important role in ESL learning and writing. However, Voges ( 2001) studying the impact of cultu re on ESL writers argues that for her two participants, one from India and the other from Central Mexico, individuality, motivation, language proficiency, and difference of prior writing experience or educational background play more important role in learning to write in Eng lish than cultura l issue. Voges perceived culture as only part of the individu al (p. 101) which has le ss influence on students writing problem than other factors. To sum up, there are many factors affecting SL writers. Atkinsons (1999) revision of the notions of culture and individuality allows us to explore ESL writers and their developing strategies in writing broadly and insightfully in terms of the factors that influence SL writers. Therefore, researchers as well as educat ors should reexamine the im pact of culture (e.g. L1-L2 transfer, developmental factors, cross-cultural issues) and individuality such as their attitude toward English writing and past writing experience on ESL and EFL writers. 61


Interpretations of Thai Culture and Educational System There is no doubt that cultural perspectives, one way or another, influence the way students respond to new teaching approaches It is important to discus s and explain cross-cultural attitudes especially those towa rd the educational system in order to gain better understanding about the students cultural a nd educational background. Therefore, the following session is partly based on my own experi ence and my interpretation as a Thai teacher and learner. Culture and language are interdependent. Cultu re supports language teaching and learning because language is a tool or media to tran sform and perceive knowledge (Bruner, 1986). For ESL/EFL teaching, cultural perspectives need to be taken into consideration because cultural awareness and second culture learning help students understand the social context and learn language successfully (Kramsch, 1991). Addressi ng cross-cultural issues helps teachers to understand the interactions and responses of students toward s the target language, teaching methods, and overall learning. Thai society is based upon hierarchical patr on-client relationships where a number of subordinates support a leader who holds thei r allegiance by successfu lly advancing their interests (cited in Thongrin, 2002, p. 45). This attitude can be seen in the way Thai children always obey and respect their elde rs, particularly their parents and grandparents. Juniors avoid arguing with seniors. The concept of hierarchical relationships a nd authority can also be found in the Thai language. Thai shows not only the re lationship between the sp eakers in terms of authority, but also shows their status through th e use of given linguistic patterns. Thai is classified into three main categories, one used for the king and royal family, one used for monks or priests, and the other category used for ordina ry people. Thai for ordinary people has further subtle categories in terms of politeness markers related to status of the people. For example, Thai language has several words for thank you, each used by people of different status. For example, 62


khob-khun is a neutral term for thank you. Khob jai is used by the senior or a higher status person when he/she talks to the younger or lower, while khob-pra-khun is used by the younger or junior when he/she talk s to the older or senior. In education, this cultural concept can be s een in the relationship between the teacher and the students. The students treat the teacher as a wise and knowledgeable person and believe in what they are taught. The power or authorit y of the teacher promotes teacher-centered classrooms. The students rarely express their ideas or opinion without the teachers permission. Kennedy (2000) states that Thai culture promotes students passi vity. She explains, The Thai culture is remarkably deferential to people in aut hority roles and it is very difficult for most Thai to speak out in the presence of an authority (p. 78). Thai students are trained to expect the teacher to give lectures or transmit the information to them. As a result, Thai students become passive and unlikely to engage in critical thinking. Other cultural concepts that seem to play an important role in learning are kreng jai or being considerate, and losing face. Thongrin (2002) discussed these concepts in that the students in her study tended to feel kreng jai and be afraid of making their peer lose their face when they gave the feedback to their peers writing. Th e results of these cultural concepts can be seen in their feedback which tended to be short, general and positive. The students in her study discussed that because of the concepts of kreng jai and losing face, they were frustrated to give a sincere feedback. However, Thongrin noticed that later on when the students understood the purpose of peer-response and found that they were ab le to learn from their peers comments, they began to write a longer and more specific feedback to be useful for the writer. As the process writing approach addresses the individual and fo cuses on the learners, it can be anticipated that when this approach is intr oduced to Thai students, they will be unlikely to 63


understand the premise behind such an approach. As discussed earlier in regard to Asian students in general, Thai students may hesitate to participate or rarely express their ideas in class and group discussion because they have not learne d how to speak their minds; therefore, they may be afraid of losing face or may feel embarrassed if they express their ideas. In teacher-center classrooms, Thai students often lack self-confidence. They are afraid to critique others work. In addition, from my experience and interviews, although Thai st udents may receive feedback from their peers, they still expect or wait fo r the teachers feedback and value the teachers feedback rather than their peers because they believe that the teacher is more knowledgeable and will always provide the right answer. Resiliency and ESL/EFL Students Another aspect that is related to ESL/EFL learners is resili ency. The students success or failure in academic setting seems to gain more attention. Instead of studying the risk, more researchers (Sanacore, 2000a, 2000b; Temes, 20 00; Thorne, 2001; Walk er, Gleaves, & Grey, 2006) have paid attention on resilient behavi ors and the factors e nhancing the adaptation. Resiliency in ESL learners is a possible expl anation why some students are successful in academic setting while the others fail and drop out of the school. Likewise, with challenging environment like an innovative a pproach, some ESL/EFL students may be able to cope with the unfamiliar situation and tasks and become successful learners. It is worthwhile to look at the resiliency of ESL/EFL learners in order to gain better understanding about their successful behaviors. Resiliency is defined by many researchers. Winfield (1991) defines resilience as vulnerability or protective mechan isms that modify an individuals response to the risk situation and operate at critical turn ing points during ones life (p. 7, cited in Thorne, 2001, p. 27). According to Masten, Best, and Garmezy (1990) resiliency is referred to capacity for or 64


outcome of successful adaptati on despite challenging or thre atening circumstances (p. 425, cited in Thorne, 2001, p. 28). In addition, Wang, H aertel, and Walberg (1994) defined this term as heightened likelihood of success in school and in other life accomplishments, despite environmental adversities, brought about by ear ly traits, conditions, and experiences (p. 46, cited in Thorne, 2001, p. 28). According to these definitions, resiliency can be seen as the positive or successful adaptation of the learners when they encounter the challenging or unfamiliar environment. Thorne (2001) studied the Caribbean middle and high school students. She studied the high and low achieving English speaking Caribbean students as well as impact of the attitudes of their parents and teachers on these students. The results showed that despite the unfamiliar environment as well as teaching style, the Cari bbean students were able to adapt themselves successfully if they were supported by the teacher and their parents. In addition, she suggested that to enhance resiliency on ESL learners like the Caribbean, ) better assessment of English speaking Caribbean students ability to use St andard English and 2) greater planning and collaboration among parents, teachers, and students are recommended (Thorne, 2001, p. v). Moreover, Sanacore (2000a) argued that in orde r to help the literacy learners particularly the ones in challenging environment to become successful learners, the teachers had to promote the resilient circumstance. She s uggested six strategies promoting the resiliency in the literacy learners. They are: ) [r]ead aloud childrens literature; 2) [e ]ncourage the selection of a wide variety of authentic literature; 3) [give extra s upport to individuals w ho experience difficulty selecting appropriate re sources; 4) [p]rovide time for pleasurable reading and writing; 5) [e]ngage learners in interactive activities that help them think about their thinking; and 6) [a]sk questions that stimulate responses from all children (p. 5-8). Additionally, Temes (2000) studi ed the factors that affect the resilience in the MexicanAmerican high school students in an ESL classroom. Based on the review of research done in 65


this area as well as her experience of teaching, she interviewed the Mexican-American students, discussed with them, as well as keeping the journa l written by her particip ants and herself on the discussion. Temes (2000) stated th e factors that affecting the su ccess of ESL learners. They are internal protective factors and environmental protective factors (p. 61). Internal protective factors include attitude and pers onality traits, while the latter one s include other sources such as information, advice, and supports that enhance students adaptation to a new environment. Despite the different environm ent and expectations of ESL/EFL students, some of them tend to adapt themselves in order to become su ccessful students. The teachers and parents can help promote the resilience by giving the students positive supports and relaxing environment. In writing class, the teacher should provide the students time to pr actice, guide them through the process of writing, and promote collaborat ive learning, such as peer-response. Summary of the Chapter In this chapter, I review and discuss thr ee main areas: theoretical approaches to NES writing, SL writing instruction, and factors affecting ESL/EFL writing, such as language transfer (L1 to L2), L2 proficiency, and cross-cultural values, and Thai culture. As evident from the above review, the body of research focusi ng on ESL writing has largely overlooked how different cultures adapt to i nnovative teaching methods; furthermore, there are actually few studies on the implementation of th e process writing approach in EFL settings. Within the few studies that do exist, even fewe r have addressed teacher training, how EFL students perceive and respond to this approach, or how cross-culture intera cts with this approach. Introducing a new teaching method, like the process approach, in a Thai context would be very insightful. The following questions emerge: 1. How did Thai college students respond to an instructors teaching approach in an English writing classroom? 66


2. What were the impacts on the students grow th as writers in this writing class? 3. What were the frustrations the students had when they engaged in this writing class? 67


68 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY In this chapter, I discuss the methods through which this research was conducted. I present the theoretical framework, followed by the researche rs perspective. Then, I describe the location of the study and the procedures for participant selection. The last s ection of this chapter presents the method of data collection and data an alysis and issues of trustworthiness. Theoretical Framework This qualitative study is situated under the constructivist th eoretical framework. Constructivists adopt the perspec tive that knowledge is constructe d by inquirers based within the context they study. Even though th e terms constructivism and constructionism in some sources are often used interchangeably, Crotty (1998) distinguishes these two terms as: the term constructivism for epistemological considerations focu sing exclusively on the meaning-making activity of the individual mind and to use constructionism where the focus includes the collective generation [and transmi ssion] of meaning (p. 58). That is, constructivists emphasize the meaning constructed by individuals. The ontological background of constructivism is based on relativism which holds that there is no single reality, but there are multiple re alities created by individuals. (Patton, 2002) Epistemologically, constructivism is based on Subjectivism (Guba & Lincoln, 1990). Constructivists see the researcher as an instrument and Subjec tivity is not only forced upon us by the human condition but because it is the only means of unlocking the constructions held by individuals (Guba, 1992: 26 quot ed by Pickard & Dixon, 2004: 5). In the present study, constructivism refers to the form of research focusing on the attempt to make sense of or to interpret the experi ence and perception of the participants via the researchers perspective. The knowledge that em erges from observations interviews with the


participants, and documents is part of the research process and was constructed by the researcher within the context of this study. Therefore, th e research findings are based on the assumption created by Guba and Lincoln (1989) in that D ata derived from constr uctivist inquiry have neither special status no r legitimation; they represent simply another construction to be taken into account in the move toward consensus (p. 45 cited by Patton, 2002, p. 98). That is, the knowledge constructed by the researcher of this present study is one of many possible interpretations of the similar data. Purpose of the Study and Research Questions The purposes of the study, as well as research questions, were shaped by this constructivist perspective. The present study aimed to explore how the participants, Thai college students, constructed their experience of learning to wr ite in this English writing class, how they responded and perceived this experience, and the impacts of this experience that they constructed on their writing development as writers. Based on constructivist perspectives, I studied the multiple realities constructed by the students and the implications of the experiences they gained from this writing class for their teaching a nd learning. The students perception on writing instruction was shaped by culture and linguistic constructs, and by interacting with other students and the teacher. For conducting the study based on the constructivist fram ework, I attempted to capture a variety of students experiences and perceptions through different sources such as classroom observation, interviews, and documen ts and artifacts. The students background and culture were used to id entify and understand the students expe rience and their responses to this writing instruction. Based on thes e research purposes, the following research questions were used to guide the study: 1. How did Thai college students respond to an instructors teaching approach in this English writing class? 69


2. What were the impacts of writing instructi on on the students growth as writers in this writing class? 3. What were the frustrations the students ha d when they engaged in this writing class? Researchers Perspectives In qualitative research, the researcher is the primary in strument for data collection and analysis (Merriam, 1998, p. 7). As a researcher, I realize that my personal background as an EFL/ESL student and teacher and my theoretical background unavoidably play a role in my interpretation. It is, therefore, important to report my personal background, my beliefs, and the history of this study in order to enhance the objectivity and credib ility of this research and to help me, as a researcher, remain cautious about my bias when entering the field to collect data as well as during analysis. An EFL Learner and Teacher As an EFL student, I shared similar experi ences with the students in this study. I understood how EFL students struggled when lear ning English as a foreign language. I also shared the difficulties of writing both in my firs t language (Thai) and in English. Being educated in a traditional writing classroom in Thailand, I wr ote about two to three e ssays in a semester in Thai. In Thai writing classes, I also learned letter writing by imitating wr iting. For essay writing, I was given a topic related to spec ial occasions such as Fathers Da y or Mothers Day to write in class and then turned it in. The teachers focuse d on language usage and grammatical structure. Some teachers occasionally taught some strategi es to make the introduction or conclusion interesting. But ultimately, students were left to write the essay by themselves based on the topic given. The teachers duty was marking students essay. In English writing class, I was taught how to write something like a five-paragraph essay, including an introductio n, a body and a conclusion. The teachers always corrected my language 70


usage and grammatical structure. Language usag e was emphasized over content ideas. I learned to write according to the expectations of the t eachers and to the west ernized style of writing, which was different from Thai writing. Unlike writing in Thai which tended to be wordy and used indirect statements, English writing styl e was straight-forward. My grades depended upon how many mistakes I made and on how comp licated language on the essay I used. My learning experience allowed me to be an em pathetic listener and observer, and to work hard to understand the students wr iting background. However, this also means that I have been cautious about my biases and tried not to use my own experience to judge the experience of the participants. In this study I intended to descri be and present the part icipants experience and perception of their English writing classroom. My experience only provided a special lens to aid in interpreting the data as an insider. As an EFL teacher, I had a chance to teach an English writing class once, and the text I used was entitled Writing Process. I shared my experience of trying to use the process approach with the teacher in this study; howev er, my beliefs and teachi ng experience were not exactly the same as hers. My aim was to e xplore and interpret her experience of teaching English writing, via students perception, using my teaching background to help me understand the context better. In add ition, it is also important to note that as classmates in the same graduate program in Thailand, Ms. B and I shared the similar educational back ground, and we are now colleagues. Although I have never taught Writing 1 at the university where she has been teaching, I have shared first hand knowledge of the setting and the cont ext of this setting. An ESL Learner As a graduate student in the United States, I was an ESL learner. I found that as an ESL student, I had more opportunities to use English, both in and outside the classroom, and that I had more opportunities to practice my English compared to being in an EFL situation. I also 71


encountered culture differences, in which I had to adjust myself. I soon discovered that in American classrooms at the college level, inte raction and discussion with the professors and among classmates was important for learning. My learning habits changed fr om being passive to active. The first year, I kept quiet and waited for my turn to speak. I was afraid that I might ask a dumb question. I was not used to classroom discussions, although I was familiar with group work activities. Years passed, and I got used to how American students voiced their ideas. I had to learn to use examples to back up my opinions, not just to give general opinions or comments. Despite learning a new knowledge, I found that writing was challenging for me. Similarly, other Thai students I met at this university stated that writing was their pr oblem with learning in the United States. This was possibly the reason th at made me want to study the teaching of writing in Thailand: in order to help Thai students develop their writing skills and to prepare them to study in English-speaking countries like the United States. Afte r I was introduced to writing workshops, I found that I could improve as a writer when I learned how to write and practice writing with assistance from the teacher and my peers. Additionally, I was fascinated in writing workshops and wanted to know how they would work if used in EFL classrooms. Based on my learning and teaching experience, as well as the difficulty in English writing as an ESL/EFL learner, I thought the improvement of writing instruction was n eeded in Thai schools. My curiosity was not easily satis fied by existing literature, as th ere was little research by Thai teachers on this topic. There are many factors affecting how to learn to write in a second or foreign language. I wondered if any teachers, wh o were educated in English-speaking countries, would apply or adapt their forei gn experiences regarding teaching writing with their students. If so, how would they use or adapt what they lear ned for their students in Thailand. With different 72


educational and cultural backgr ounds, how would Thai students react to such a teaching approach which appeared st range culturally to them? Perspectives on Research Methodology In a constructionist perspective, I have le arned that it is not enough to study only the present situation, but that hist ory counts as well (Vygotsky, 1978). We, as human beings, are shaped by history and culture. In order to understand human beings consciousness, researchers have to understand the history a nd culture of the participants involved with the study. Similarly, to understand the writing of EFL students, as rese archers, we have to enter their world, English writing classrooms, to learn and und erstand their experience in a particular class, as well as to learn about their prior experien ce and background regarding their learning to write in order to understand why they react to certain situation. Constructivists believe that ac tivities create meaning in the individual mind (Crotty, 1998). However, culture or society is the source of inte lligence and the source of the interpretative strategies whereby we construct meaning (F ish, 1990, p. 186). So, in order to understand the phenomena and the participants, we need to unders tand how they interact with their world and how they make sense of it. Crotty (1998) also states as engaging with their world and making sense of it, such a description is misleading if it is not in a genuinely historical and social perspective (p. 54). That is, in order to describe and interpret the experi ence of Thai students learning to write in English, the natural classroom should be explor ed to learn how they engage and make sense of their learning experience. Quantitative research limits or ignores some important variables, particularly cultural ba ckground and prior knowledge and tries to control the setting, thereby creating an unnatural soci al environment (Patton, 2002). Moreover, quantitative research does not study participants in the context. Without considering the whole context, quantitative research does not allow us to fully describe the participants and their 73


interpretation of the phenomenon. Therefore, I d ecided to use a qualitati ve study to explore the participants experience of being taught to write in English in this particular class. Finally, via the lens of constructivists, the focus of this study was on the participants experience on this English writing class: how writing was taught in this English writing class, how the participants responded to a given writi ng instruction, how their writing performance and attitude changed towards writing, and the factors aff ecting their learning to write in this class. With these intentions, quantitative research was not capable of providing in-depth information because quantitative research em phasizes product rather than pro cess. For example, quantitative studies on the writing process in Thailand tend to focus on student s writing achievement (based on scores from writing tests) af ter they were taught by the writing process approach or techniques based on this approach (Chuendaechum, 1999; Tanuwongviwat, 1995; Thammasarnsophon, 1991). This kind of research does not allow us to see the changes that may have taken place during the students experience in the classroom. More importantly, this kind of research tends to ignore the students voice, wh ich might have reflected how effectively the teaching approach was used (Leki, 2001). Without studying the process of change and students experience, we are not able to understand what happens when the writing process approach is introduced to EFL students. Pilot Study The purposes of the pilot study were: 1) to find an appropriate research site, and 2) to train myself in classroom observation and participant inte rviewing. I started to look for an appropriate classroom setting in June 2002 when I visited Tha iland during the summer. It was challenging to find a setting that suited the purposes of this st udy. I found few teachers who were willing to let me observe their classes regularly because genera lly Thai teachers were not comfortable letting anyone besides their supervisors obs erve their classes, particularly for a l ong period. The aim of 74


this study was also to examine how a teacher w ho was trained in an English-speaking country teaches English writing; therefore, time was spen t searching for such teachers. Through contact with friends and colleagues, I finally met thr ee college teachers, Ms. B, Ms. O, and Ms. T (pseudonyms) who were educated in the United St ates and allowed me to conduct my pilot study in their classes. In November 2003, the second semester began as did my pilot study. With the approval of the teachers and their departments, I started classroom observations for seven weeks (from the beginning to the midterm examination week). Thes e classes met twice a week for a total of 3 hours per week. During this period, except when th ere was a conflict betw een the schedules of Ms. Os and Ms. Ts classes, I visited each cl assroom twice a week spending one and a half hours observing each day. The majority of informa tion was gathered from three main sources: observations, formal and informal interviews, an d artifacts. The interv iew schedule was planned during classroom observations based on the participants convenience. Because I conducted this pilot study in order to train myself in doing observation and interview, the information gained from this pilot study was used as a background of the study. Observation and Field-note Development To train myself in observing the classroom, dur ing classroom observations, I tried different methods of taking field notes in order to gather in formation about teaching instruction, as well as students behaviors and reaction to each task or activity. I trie d a few different techniques of taking notes. My first field note was written in English ba sed on what I saw in the classroom with my comments or questions in the right margin. When I reviewed my first field note, I found that my words seemed to interpret, rather than desc ribe, what was going on in the classroom: more importantly they lacked the voice of the classroo m and its participants because sometimes it was 75


difficult to find appropriate English vocabulary to match what the teacher and the students said in Thai. Also, my comments and que stions in the right margin made it difficult for me to trace back to the incident that initiated my notes. Th is review prompted me to try another way of writing my field notes. For the second field note, I tried to put down the teacher and the students own words as much as I could in Thai or in English, and I took note of any reactions while they participated in conversations or activities. S till, I put my own notes in th e right margin, but I added the beginning of a given incident. Although it was still difficult to trace the original incident, it was easier for me to separate the field notes and my thoughts. With these field notes, I learned more about what was going on in the classroom and how the students responded to the instruction and to the activities. They also allowed me to use the participants own words for data analysis. Moreover, these field notes recorded what was exactly happening in the classroom which included their reactions and responses, including sense of humor (i.e. laughing, teasing) and wondering (i.e. questioning, discussing). Because the second method of taking field notes yielded more useful data, I decided to record my observations in this way. However, for recording my comments or my questions, I found that it was more convenient for me to use brackets to indicate my own thoughts, so I eventu ally abandoned putting my comments in the right margin. Interview Development For the informal interviews, I had opportunities to talk with some students in class. For formal interviews, I translated my guide ques tions (See Appendix B) into Thai and asked my colleague, who was an expert in translation, to review my questions. I made some changes in the language and sentence structure according to her suggestions. For this pilot study, I had one formal interview with Ms. Bs students and one student from Ms. Ts class. For my data 76


collection, this interview experience helped me develop the way I woul d approach the students as individuals and as a group, and how I should c onvey my questions in order not to guide their responses. I decided to use Thai in the interviews to allow the participants to feel free to express their feeling and their th oughts. For my data collection, I d ecided to do three interviews with each participant, one at the beginning, one in th e middle, and one at the end of the semester. Selection of Participants The previous description detailed a pilot study in order to select th e setting of the main study and to train myself as an observer and an interviewer. Although these three classrooms seemed to serve the purposes of this study, due to limitations of time, I decided to focus my study on one class. I chose Ms. B class to be my focal class because th e other teachers did not teach writing at the time I started collecting my da ta for this study. To serve the purposes of the study, purposeful sampling (Patton, 2002) was us ed for sampling procedures. The strength of purposeful sampling was due to selecting the rich -informative context of the study that provided a great deal about the important issues that the researcher aime d to study. With rich information of the setting, this study provided in-depth unders tanding of the context u nder the study (Patton, 2002). More specifically, criterion sampling (Patton, 2002) was applied for selecting the setting and participants of this study. Because the purpose of this study was to explore an English writing class that the teacher wa s educated from English-spea king country and s(he) used, adapted, or implemented an innovative approach for writing instruction, I predetermined the criterion of importance. Then, I reviewed and studied the possible settings and participants that met the criterion, and selected th e focal one that yield the inform ation rich for this study. Ms. Bs English writing class served the purpose of th is study in many ways. First, the teacher was educated in an English-speaking country, and she ad mitted that she used or applied aspects of the process writing approach in her classroom. Secondl y, this research studied how the teacher used, 77


adapted, or implemented an innovative approach to teaching writing with her students. Last but not least, Ms. B was willing to participate in this study. The attitude of the teacher towards this study was very important. Because of her willingness, I gained her full cooperation for the study. Ms. Bs attitude was the key because she made th e participants feel comfortable when I entered her classroom and observed how she taught. She was also open enough to share her opinions and comments about this research, which made the res earch more meaningful overall. With the oral permission of the chair of the de partment of Foreign Languages a nd the permission of Ms. B, the teacher, I started my data collecting in Ms. Bs classroom. Research Participants Ms. B Ms. B is an instructor at a public university (KU) in Bangkok, the capita l of Thailand. This public university is one of th e major universities in Thailand. The students who attend KU have to pass the National Entrance Examination. All stude nts are required to take 12 credits of foreign languages to meet graduation requirement. From th ese 12 credits, the studen ts are required to take 9 credits of Foundation English. The purpose of learning English is for academic purposes such as reading English texts in their field of study, writing papers reports or class assignments. The Department of Foreign Languages under the Faculty of Humanities (equivalent to the College of Liberal Arts in the US) is res ponsible for English courses including Foundation English (I, II, III) and other foreign languages su ch as Japanese, German, French, and Chinese. The three Foundation English courses have a fo cus on grammar structures and skills. After taking these three Foundation Englis h courses, the students have to take three more credits of any foreign language courses. Most of the student s choose one of English courses offered by the Department of Foreign Languages. Writing 1 is one of these courses offered for them. 78


Ms. B received her bachelors degree in education and got her master in Applied Linguistics in Thailand. Later, sh e received her Ph.D. in the Un ited States. During her doctoral study in the United States, she was introduced to process writing in theory and through practice, which led her to try some ideas in process writing approach into her writing instruction when she returned to Thailand. She introdu ced journal writing in her E nglish classroom for non-English major students. She believed that integrating some elements in both product-based and process writing approach would benefit her students. Howe ver, she accepted that it was difficult to apply all process writing activities in he r writing classroom because of the large number of the students and the restrict requirements of curriculum. In no choice, she had to prep are her students for the writing examination which stressed more on lan guage usage rather than content writing. In her writing class, she let her students work on multiple drafts, had students respond to each of their writing, and helped each other edit their work. She did not solely focus on grammar instruction, and told her student s not to be worried about corr ect grammar during drafting phase. Rather, she taught the students how to write and improve their writing performance through the activities she introduced. Students The focal student participants in this present study were forty-one students attending to Writing 1 (355231) in the first semester of academic year 2004 (June October 2004). There were twenty males and twenty-one females. Th e class had 29 sophomores and 12 seniors. Their average age was 20 years old. They were studying in the fields of Engineering, Business and Administration, Economics, Education, Humanities, Bio Fishery, Forestry, and Veterinary. In the personal background questionnaire, these participants revealed their different experience in learning English language. The rang e of the years they had studied English in school was from 6 79


to 17 years; the average was 13 years. The person al information about the student participants will be described in more details in chapter four. Data Collection Data were gathered from three main sources: observations, formal and informal interviews, and artifacts such as collecti ng students writing samples, c ourse syllabus, supplementary exercises, and the textbook. The different data collection methods were used to strengthen the study in terms of data triangulation (Denzin, 1978) The observations provided insights for the classroom context, the teaching instruction, a nd the students engagement in activities and interaction with peers and with the teacher. Formal interv iews which were semi-structured served as a tool to explore the students response and perception to this writing class particularly the activities they engaged and as a cross ch ecking for observation a nd data interpretation. Artifacts such as students writing served as evidence of the students writing development, while the textbook, course syllabus and supplemen tary exercises provided a background of the context of this writing class. The other archival research data, such as my journals and memos helped to document and guide my data collection and analysis process. My data collecting began in June 2004 when th e semester started. I collected the data for the whole semester for 15 weeks (June 2004 Oc tober 2004). The class met twice a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), 90 minutes per peri od, for a total of 3 hours per week. Before conducting the study, Ms. B introduced me as a resear cher to her students in her first class. Then, she allowed me to introduce myself and explai n my study to her students for the rest of the class (about 30 minutes). In orde r to conduct this study, I asked th e students and the teacher for their consent to partic ipate in this study. First, I introduced my study and gave th e students the consent form and personal background questionnaires (see A ppendix C) to complete. 80


Second, I informed them that they were being asked to join the study voluntarily, and that by signing the consent form, they were agreeing to this. I explained to th em the content of the consent form and asked them to return it to me at the end of this class or the next period. For the personal background questionnaire, I asked the students to comp lete it in class in Thai or in English. A few students could not finish the questionnaire and asked to turn it in the next period. I received all consent forms signed by the students and the teacher at the end of the first class. I received all complete d questionnaires by the third period. During this period, I visited the class tw ice a week spending one and a half hours observing each day. At the end of the first period, I talked to a few students sitting next to me and tried to build relationships with them in order to reduce th eir anxiety when I conducted the formal interviews later. They asked me more about my study, and they seemed to be interested in this project. A few of them even told me that th is was the first study they had participated in that showed interest in hearing their voices. They wished to be heard, never happened. The semistructured interviews were scheduled based on the part icipants availability. After each observation, I typed my field notes on my computer (see sample of field note sheet in Appendix D). Typing my fi eld notes served as the reflection which is an important part of field research (Patton, 2002). I had a chance to reread and re called what I observed and noted the comments or thoughts that I had in order to find out in the next observation or in the interview. After the first semester completed, I continued to observe writing in struction as a followup study in a new class with the same teacher but with different students in the following semester. However, for the second semester, I obse rved the class once a w eek instead of twice a week due to my own time limitations. I followed the same introductory procedure in that I 81


distributed the consent forms and the personal background questionnaires to the students during the first period. One of them did not want to participate in this study and did not sign the consent form, but he completed the questionnaire. Even though he did not participate in the research, he was the one who talked to me the most while I was observing this cl ass. I only chose seven students as focal participants for the follow-up. I chose these focal particip ants according to their writing proficiency and their willingness to participate in the formal interviews. The data I collected from these participants were used to confirm the data I collected from the first semester. Observations The aim of s qualitative study is to provide detailed and in-depth information of the specific context under study. According to Patton (2002), observations of a setting play an important role in: 1) provid ing firsthand information of the class under study, 2) better understanding and to capture the co ntext of the study, and 3) allowing the researcher to bring out the personal knowledge, reflection on the observe d, during the interpretation of the data. Data from written field notes can also be used to guide in-depth interviews and, when combined with information from other sources, will support th e interpretation of the teaching and learning experience in the classroom. In the present study pa rticipant observations we re used to gather the firsthand information of the classroom, of writing instruction, and of the students participation in the writing activities. Patton (2002) states that there are variations in observers involvement, ranging from complete immersion in the setting as full participant to complete separation from the setting as spectator (p. 265), an d the extent of the participation in the setting can change over the period of the study. He adds that sometime s the extent of the par ticipation is due to the studys setting, in which it is not possible for the researcher to become a participant. For my study because the theoretical framework is based on constructivism and my aim of the study was 82


to explore how writing was taught and how the student s reacted to this inst ruction, I did not want to interfere with the natu ral setting. Therefore, I di d not fully participate w ith the students and the teacher in the classroom. However, I adapted Pa ttons participant observation in terms of the extent to which I participated in the class due to the occasions provided. In other words, I occasionally participated with the participants, such as, when the st udents asked me to help them with their writing, when the teacher asked me to share my opinions with the class, or when she asked me to take care of this cl ass when she was not available. To observe classroom events and to identify the patterns of behaviors of the informants, I was present in the classroom, but did not participate or interact with the informants to any great extent (Creswell, 1998; Patton, 2002). I did not guide or disc uss with the instructor the instruction unless it became necessary for th e study or unless the teacher asked for my suggestions. During the observations, I tried to main tain a distance from th e teacher in order to avoid interfering or infl uencing her beliefs and her instructi on. Moreover, keeping distance from the teacher helped me gain the students trust. In other words, the students felt more comfortable and trusted me when they found that I did not ha ve close contact with the teacher. Meanwhile, I helped the students when they asked. I conferred with the stud ents about their writing. The students frequently asked me about English usage and asked for my opini on about their writing. With the teacher, we had informal talks about he r writing class and writing instruction before and after the class. To carry out this study, I observed the entire clas s by sitting in a corner in the back of the room. The classroom observations began at the s econd meeting of the course. In class, I took field notes in a notebook with details emphasizi ng teaching instructions, students reactions or responses, their conversations, a nd the students routine while wr iting. I began by recording the 83


date and the starting time of th e class. I drew a diagram of the classroom focusing on the organization of the classroom. I recorded the time of each classroom activity, particularly the times of the composing activities. When the teacher let the students writ e, I observed the overall task and took notes on their writing behavi ors including conversati on, interaction, and body language (i.e., student stopped to think, or asked his/her friend about vocabulary or sentence structure). To gain trust, I offered my help as a teachi ng assistant if the stude nts asked for my help during their writing or during the class activities. Most of the time, the students sitting close to me would ask for my assistance. For example, at the beginning, they often asked me about vocabulary, either regarding sp elling or word choice. Later on, they asked about sentence structures or how to convey their thought in English. After the midterm examination, some students started asking me to read their writing and give them my feedback. In the last month, a few students asked me to read their work and want ed to have a conference with me after class. I had several one-on-one conferences with individual students to discuss pieces of writing that the students wanted to publish. With the teacher, I offered suggestion if this assistance did not inte rfere with her beliefs and instructions. I sometimes discussed issues with the teacher when she asked me to do so, and I helped her with other work such as grad ing the midterm papers for the grammar part, substituting for her when she had a meeting or conference, which helped me build a friendly relationship with her. When I substituted, she would give me handouts or directions of class work. By having this relationship, she was will ing to help me cross-check my analysis, particularly about her beliefs and her method of instruction. 84


Data from each observation were transcribed as soon as possibl e. I identified the language used for each field note entry in or der to reveal the same differ ences in language usages as the actual field situation (Sprad ley, 1980). For example, I reco rded the actual language the participants used (Thai or English) and not ed the usage of language (e.g., argumentative, emotional, etc) in the personal comment colu mn. I collected three forms of participant observation records described by Spradley (1980 ): condensed accounts, expanded accounts, and my fieldwork journal. I typed my field notes and organized my fiel d notes in three columns: filed notes (condensed accounts), personal notes or comments (expanded accounts), and codes used for data analysis. (See Appendix D) The condensed notes taken during actual field observation represent a condensed version of what actually occurred (Spradley, 1980, p. 69). The condensed accounts were recorded in the firs t column, and these verbatim and concrete records of what was said and observed in the classroom provided a deta iled description of the classroom context that were useful for analysis and interpretation. The condensed account of the field notes was valuable because it was recorded on the spot which made it accurate. The expanded accounts were made as soon as possible af ter each session in my journa ls, or during the observation in brackets next to the account. The expanded account he lped fill in details and recall things that [are] not recorded on the spot (p. 70). Additionall y, I kept a fieldwork journal as a record of my personal feelings about fieldwork. This j ournal contained my personal comments on the observation experience: ideas, feel ings such as confusion, mistak es or problems arising during the fieldwork, or when I had a conversation with th e student participants or the teacher after the class. This journal was an important source of da ta. It was a tool to remind me of the thoughts about the events occurri ng during the observation. It was also used as a guide for the interviews and for data analysis. 85


Interviews Interviews were used to gain detailed inform ation of participants perception and responses to their experiences in this English writing cl assroom. The interviews were guided by the observation field notes. I used an interview guide, a set of questions or issues to be explored, (Patton, 2002) to build upon and explore each participants responses The interview guides provided me the basic lines of inquiry to pursue with each respondent, helped me interview a group of respondents more systematically and co mprehensively, and, at the same time, allowed each respondent to reveal their perspectives an d experiences. During the interviews, I developed and adjusted the questions on the interview guides depending upon the respondents responses, their understanding about the topic being interviewed, and the extent to which I was able to detail the important issues. As previously stated, the student in terviews were arranged at the beginning of the semester, after the midterm exam ination, and after the last class. The formal interviews for the teacher were arranged in th e fourth week and after the midterm examination (the ninth week). During the observations, I often engaged in informal talks with the teacher after the class, which were recorded with my expanded accounts. Teacher interviews The goal of interviewing with the teacher was to give the teacher a ch ance to describe how she implemented or adapted the process writing approach in her English writing classroom. Open-ended questions (see Appendix B) were used as a guide to let the teacher talk about her teaching experiences. In the first interview which was conducted before the midterm examination (the fourth week), I inquired the teachers educational hi story, teaching experiences, teaching of writing in particular, and her attitudes in language teaching and learning, including her belief in writing instruction. The information from this intervie w helped me understand how the teacher defined 86


her beliefs, how she transferred these beliefs in to her teaching, and the rationales behind each strategy she selected to use in her classroom. In the second interview, using the informati on from the field notes and the notes from the first interview, I asked the teacher to talk a bout the sessions I observed in the classroom, her perceptions and comments on the use of writing instruction and classroo m activities, and the students reactions or responses to the use of thes e strategies or activities. This interview aimed at asking the teacher to clarify what she did in her classrooms. I conducted the second interview during the ninth week. I also asked the teacher about the curriculum demands and how these demands impacted her instruction. In addition, I asked the teacher about the students writing performance on the midterm examination. This information revealed the t eachers perception of the students performance and of her reflection upon her instructi ons. The information from the second interview was used to enrich and c onfirm the data collected by observations. I did not have a formal interview with the teacher after the final examination due to time constraints and her workload. Instead, we had an informal talk after th e class ended. During the talk, the teacher reflected on the classroom events and on her overall instruction. I asked her to evaluate her own instruction throughout the se mester, the students writing development and performance, and her attitude towards this particular classroom. Student interviews After the second observation, I decided to inte rview all students because they showed a great deal of enthusiasm and w illingness to cooperate, and they wanted to share their opinions with me. For me, students voice helped me to understand the instruction and learning environment. In addition, the students in this class studying in different field, a wide span of ages, and with wide range of English abil ities and writing experiences. Their personal 87


backgrounds seemed to impact their perception of the writing instruction. With information gained from all students, my da ta became detailed and in depth. 1. Formal interviews After making the decision, I asked the students to sign up for the first interview after the third meeting; the second interview, the week before the midterm examination; and the third interview, after the last class meeting and af ter the final examinati on. The interviews were arranged as individual and group (2-5) intervie ws, depending on the students availability and comfort levels. The students were interviewed in a conversationa l style in Thai. I allowed them to ask me questions and sometimes I shared my thoughts or feelings with them if it was necessary, which also helped to build trust. The open-ended quest ions (see Appendix B) were created to allow the students talk about their experiences learning English writing in this class. The interviews lasted from 45 to 90 minutes. The structure of the in terview was guided by the data collected through the observations except the first interview. The goal of the interviews was for the informants to reflect on their experiences of writing instruction in this class. I asked the students specifically how they perceived the writing in struction and the activities that took place in the classroom. The first interview was aimed at learning mo re about the students background, learning to write in Thai and in English, and their response to this writing class afte r the first meeting. The guided questions were based on the informati on on the questionnaires that the students completed. The other questions emerged from the students responses and were related to their writing experience and their perception or attitudes of learning to write in Thai and in English. The second interview was aimed at learning mo re about the students perception of the writing instruction and activities they engaged in this class. The guided questions were, thus, 88


based on field notes. Some students asked me about activities that they were not familiar with, or about terms used by the teacher that they did not understand. Responding to their question, I asked the respondent to r ecall their experi ence about those activ ities or I shared with them as it was necessary. The third interview aimed to gain more in-depth information regarding the writing instruction and students re sponses to this class, to lear n the overall perceptions of the students towards this writing class, and to expl ore how this writing class affected their writing performance. 2. Informal interviews During observations, there were some incidents that occurred which needed to be explored or clarified immediately, includ ing outbursts or strong emotions related to the activities. Exploring these incidents may shed light on how students feel about certain ac tivities. In cases as such, informal interviews were used following each incident. Although I could make a note of the event and ask the participants about it later, such impromptu interviews provided opportunities to gain information at the moment, which the participants might not be able to recall later, and they also provide d the participants with opportuni ties to review an incident and their reaction simultaneously. I had informal ex changes with the teach er and the students between or after classes when I noticed any incident that might reveal th e students reaction to this class instruction. For example, I once talked to the teacher while we were walking back to our office about a question-answer session and how she responded to a students question. I wondered why she limited the scope of students question. She explained to me her reason for this issue, as well as shared with me her experience with a former class. Documentary Data I also collected documents a nd artifacts related to the st udy including student drafts and finished pieces of writing, student journals, the textbook and teaching materials, the course 89


description, tests and evaluation su mmaries, and other related documents such as faculty meeting reports related to the course. I made copies of students writing from th e beginning to the end of the semester. These documents were a rich source of data because they were not created for the purpose of research (Merriam, 1991). The documents and artifacts represen ted and reflected the instruction and students writi ng performance and development. The documentary data were valuable in explaining and confirming the partic ipants interpretation, re sponses and perceptions of the instructional approaches, and classroom experiences. After a month of observation, I also discussed w ith the teacher if she could ask the students to write a personal response after each class. Th e teacher agreed with me, and asked the students to write a reflective note after each class. However, the students of ten forgot to write a reflective note after each class because they had to rush to another class. Some students gave me their reflective notes when we met at the next cla ss. These reflective notes were collected as supplementary data. Personal Background Questionnaires A personal background questionnaire (see Appendix C) was used to survey the students personal information, writing backgrounds, and per ceptions about writing experiences in their former classrooms. The questionnaires were based on previous studies of ESL writing. The questionnaire had two main parts: personal background and writing experience. The personal background section included personal informa tion, educational background, and reading and writing habits. The second part asked the students about their experiences of learning to write both in Thai and in English including writing in struction and difficulties in writing. The use of a questionnaire conveyed a broad perspective of th e students writing experience from past to present, and explored insight into different lenses they might us e to perceive the writing class under study. The closed-ended questions on the qu estionnaire were quantitatively analyzed, 90


whereas the data from open-ended questions were qualitatively analyzed and used to guide, support and enrich th e interview data. Data Analysis Qualitative studies are involved in a recursive process of data collection analysis (Patton, 2002). When designing qualitative study, a researcher cannot crea te a rigid research design. Instead, Patton (2002) suggests that qualitative research needs to engage in a simultaneous process allowing previous collected data to inform and shape upcoming research activity. The data analysis process is inductive in that it occurs throughout the data collection process, sometimes a new unit of analysis can emerge during fieldwork or from analysis of data. In this sense, a qualitative study is the analysis process that is formed by the data. For analyzing and presenting the data of this study, I adopt ed and adapted the ways to organize and report the qualitative data presen ted by Wolcott (1994): description, analysis, and interpretation. He defines these terms as follow: Description addresses the question, What is going on here? Data consist of observations made by the researcher and / or repo rted to the researcher by others. Analysis addresses the identification of essential f eatures and the systematic description of interrelationships among themin short, how th ings work. In terms of stated objectives, analysis also may be employed evaluatively to address questions of why a system is now working or how it might be made to work better. Interpretation addresses processual questions of m eanings and contexts: How does it all mean? What is to be made of it all? (Wolcott, 1994, p. 12) In my data analysis, this process was not a fixed linear approach. In fact, it was recursive and dynamic. Because he analysis process occurred throughout the data collection process, the procedures of data analysis coul d start again at any time. While collecting data, I also worked on the analysis process and used the information or questions generated from the analysis in the 91


next interview or to discover more informa tion during observations. In addition, I used the researchers notebook to document the analysis process. In the process of collecting and analyzing data, I triangulat ed the data from several sources: observation field notes, interviews, my personal journal and memos, students writ ing samples, the textbook, the course syllabus, and supplementary exercises, in order to fi nd similar information from different sources (Fetterman, 1989; Kirk & Miller, 1986, Denzin, 1978). The analysis began by creating descriptions of the experiences of the teachers and the students in English writing classrooms according to the students questionnaire and the first interview. The data were first described in order to gain the general information about the past experiences of the participants towards writing instruction. In order to start analyzing the data for writing instruction and the students responses for this class, I first read my fiel d notes, my interview transcripts, and the students writing samples. I started from my field notes. I r ead my organized and typed field notes to search for patterns as well as topics. I adapted Spradleys (1980) work sheet for doing domain analysis, for analyzing the data from observation. I also adopted Wolco tts (1994) method for desc riptive and analysis process. I wrote down words and phrases (domains) to represent the patterns and topics in the field notes, and then put these words or phrases on the domain analysis worksheet adapted from Spradley (1980) (see Appendix E). At the same time, once I transcribed an intervie w, I started analyzing the interview data in the same way as I did for observation data. I read through the transcript to search for information that was related to writing instruction and the students perception or response to the writing instruction. I highlighted those wo rds or phrases on my transcripts. I also used Spradleys domain analysis worksheet for doing domain analysis. 92


Next, the domains gained from the first analyz ing process were categor ized and interpreted for emerging themes. Meanwhile, the questions developed from doing dom ain analysis were used for the ongoing observation and interview proce ss, as well as for interpretation and to look for emerging themes. In short, analysis started with specific coding to generate categories of ideas or explanations of the teachers and students experiences in searching for central incidences or disconfirming evidence and then interpret the meaning of those categories. After that, I triangulated the findings, both from observations and interviews to discover the themes. The students writing samples were analyzed based on content an alysis in order to find any evidence of students writing development. The in formation from the analysis of writing samples was used to confirm the students words in the interviews and the cla ssroom observations. Sets of writing samples from the beginning, the middle, and the end of the semester were analyzed to explore their writing development in terms of length of the writing, th e complexity of the sentence structures used, the language usage, an d the organization of the ideas of their essays. Credibility, Transferability, and Dependability The nature and purpose of qua litative research is to expl ore, understand, and discover a phenomenon or a case in depth. To design a strong qualitative research study, notions of validity and reliability must be addre ssed. For qualitative research, the concept of validity can be interpreted as credibility and transferability, whil e the concept of reliability is referred to as dependability or consis tency (Merriam, 1995). To establish the credibility and transferabilit y of this research, tr iangulation of multiple sources of data was used. The logic of tria ngulation is based on the concept that no single method is perfect or able to provide adequate explanation (Patton, 2002) According to Merriam (1995), triangulation can confirm the emerging fi ndings (building credibility of findings), and lead to dependability or consistency. I used multiple sources of data including observations, 93


interviews, documents and artifacts, field notes journals and the res earchers notebook to compare and crosscheck the consistency of inform ation obtained. Multiple sources of data can contribute significantly to the credibility of findi ngs relying on different evidence rather than a single source of data (Creswell & Miller, 2000). To evaluate the data collecti on and findings for accuracy, fa irness, and perceived validity of the data analysis, I asked part icipants to review the data and findings during the data analysis process, and I crosschecked the participants in formation while I interviewed them by repeating what I heard or asking them to clarify what th ey said. Patton (2002) points out that participant review or member crosschecking is important no t only to confirm findings, but also to reassure that the right questions are being asked (Patt on, 2002; Merriam, 1995); thus, having checked the data with the participant increases consistency. Beyond the rigor of methods, the credibility of the researcher is also significant for trustworthiness in qualitative research. Relevant to the credibility of the investigator, Patton (2002) states that, The principl e is to report any personal and profession information that may have affected data collection, analysis, and inte rpretation (p. 566). In qualitative research, the researcher is the basic instrument. Merriam ( 1998) explains [d]ata are mediated through this human instrument (p. 7). Because of that, qualitativ e inquiry is inherently subjective. Therefore, in order to make a qualitative account credib le, I have addressed my background including beliefs, assumptions, values and biases that ma y have affected data collection, analysis, and interpretation. In order to establish qualitativ e researcher credibility, I was aware of how my presence at the site may have affected what has been observed. Prolonged engagement and persistent observation (Creswell, 1998) in the field can help mini mize the influence or effect of observer presence. Collecting data over a long peri od of time helps build tr ust with participants 94


and ensures an in-depth unde rstanding and interpretation of the case (Merriam, 1995). Additionally, the researchers oc casional participation and awareness of my presence at the settings also helps establish the re searcher credibility (Creswell, 1998). It also needs to be noted that for qualitative research there is no abso lute single truth. Truth is contextually defined and it depends on the need s and interests of those who adopt it. To build objectivity or trustworthiness and accuracy in this study, I carefully selected descriptive methodological language that best describes my own study and procedures (Patton, 2002, p. 576). Rich, detailed descriptions of procedures and findings lead s to an understanding of the experience under study as it was lived by the particip ants, as well as an u nderstanding of how the research was conducted, and how the data were collected, analyzed and interpreted. Detailed description also allows readers to make decisions regarding transferability, and use or compare it with their experience to c onstruct knowledge (Patton, 2002; Creswell & Miller, 2000). Summary This study focused on one college English writin g class with the partic ipants of a teacher and 41 students in Thailand. The study took pla ce during the first semester (June 2004-October 2004) and during the second semester (November 2004-Febuary 2005). The data were collected through 67-hour classroom observations, formal and informal interviews of the teachers and the students, and documents and artifacts. During observations, I took notes and kept these field notes (230 typing pages) for my data analysis proce dures. I also kept a jour nal to help me reflect and comment on the events I noticed while I observed the classroom or interviewed the participants. For data analysis, I adopted and adapted Wolcotts (1994) ways of analyzing and presenting data: description, analysis, and interp retation. During collecting data, I was aware of factors affecting the creditability and reliability of this case study. To produce strong qualitative 95


research, I established trustworthiness and cred ibility by using various strategies such as triangulation, prolonged engagement, and rich, detailed description. 96


97 CHAPTER 4 THE CONTEXT FOR THE STUDY This chapter provides the context for the study: the teacher and the students, and the English writing classroom. First, I describe th e teacher participant according to the classroom observations, the interviews, and informal talk; fo llowed by a portrait of th e student participants in this class in terms of thei r learning and writing background, as well as their purposes for taking this class. Finally, the teaching instruct ion is documented, including the instructional techniques and writing ac tivities, to demonstrate how the te acher implemented the activities borrowed from process writing approach. The Teacher Educational Background and Writing Experience As stated in the previous chapter, Ms. B r eceived her bachelors degree in Education and her masters degree in Applied Linguistics from universities in Thailand. She has taught English as a foreign language at univers ities for seventeen years. At the time of this study, she was teaching English at a public university in Ba ngkok, Thailand. During teaching at this university, she received a scholarship to pursue her studies at the doctoral level in the United States. She decided to study Rhetoric and Composition at Indiana University, Pennsylvania (IUP), and received her Ph.D. in 2000. After gr aduating, she return ed to Thailand. Ms. B was reluctant to regard herself as a wr iter. She did not recall how she was taught to write in Thai schools. Like other Thai students, she rarely wrote at school. She remembered that she wrote more often when she studied for her masters degree, during which she mostly wrote expository writing like reports or research papers She liked writing poems in Thai but she did not like expository writing. At that time she wa s not sure about becoming a professional writer.


Instead, she decided to be an English teacher. No wadays, she thinks about writing articles, both academic and nonacademic. When speaking about English writing, Ms. B experienced frustr ation. This difficult experience inspired her to explore how to improve her writing, and how to help EFL students learn and improve their writing performance as well. Ms. B, like other second language students, struggled with her writ ing particularly when she was a doctoral student in the United States. Because she was not taught how to write and rarely wrote bo th in Thai and in English at school, Ms. B had a problem when she wrote her papers for classes in the United States. She recalled that her writing experi ence at school consisted of bei ng assigned a topic or theme to write according to a special oc casion. Although she wrote more when she pursued her masters degree, she did not write well at that time. Sh e became interested in writing when she was a doctoral student because she wanted to improve her writing. As an ESL doctoral student, she struggled with writing academic writing to m eet the expectation of the professors. Through writing more frequently along with help from her professors with English as her readers and mentors, Ms. Bs writing improved. She learned how to write and discovered her own writing process. With this experience of writing and her study on theories and practices in rhetoric and composition, she decided to try what sh e learned to her students in Thailand. Ms. Bs Perspective on Process Writing Ms. B defined process writing as the invention of writing which indi cates the nature of the writing act. The process can be phased as pre-writing, drafting, wr iting, re-writing, and editing. Each phase can be starte d over at any point during the act of writing. When she was first introduced to process writ ing, she realized that writi ng was not a one-time perfect production, and (it) takes time and it need s processing. What she meant by the word processing is that, while writing, she was th inking and processing her thoughts into written 98


words on the paper. She was communicating with herself and trying to convey her ideas to readers via the written text. With this concep t of writing in mind, Ms. B discovered that I forgive myself that the first time what I write need s not to be perfect, that I am drafting, and that re-writing is needed, and that ed iting can be postponed to the fina l phase of the writing act. Her writing improved after she had gone through the whole process. In addition, Ms. B found that, as a second language student herself, writing in En glish was harder for ESL students. However, she believed that when writing in English, the studen ts should learn to produce their writing closely to Standard English. She sometimes felt frustr ated when implementing the process writing approach in her class because of time constraints. Despite the constraints, Ms. B still believed in teaching the process writing approach. She partic ularly believed in the revision process, which she insisted should be used to make her stude nts learn to think and write, and finally they developed their writing competency as English writers. After receiving her Ph.D., Ms. B started teach ing Writing 1 which was an elective course for any students in this university. Teaching th is course gave her a ch ance to introduce process writing to her students. She wanted her students to experience writing th e way she did. She felt that the writing process helped her improve her writing ability and di scover her own writing process. Going through writing multiple drafts she became a better writer and understood how difficult it is to learn to write in a second or foreign language. Her own growth made her believe in process writing. Going through multiple drafts could help my st udent writers learn to write better. If they are helped develop their process, writing would not be that difficult. The students would be less frustrated because they were allowed to try out their writing, to accept something imperfect before getting the final piece. Writing process approach accepts students rough draft during the drafting process wi thout punishment with low grades. 99

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This approach would set the students free from focusing on gramma tical structure and correctness. The students would have chances to explore their ideas th roughout the composing process. With this opportunity to work with th eir writing, the students woul d eventually discover what they wanted to write and how they want ed to convey their thoughts in their writing. Ms. B. loved to read original works by stude nts, but not those copi ed from textbooks, so she gave students credit for their creativity. Sh e believed that working in a friendly atmosphere and having the freedom to write, the students would write what th ey wanted to and would not copy from the text. She found that in this class, so me students tried to add their voice or what she called personal involvement to their piece of writing. Compared w ith former classes she taught, she found that the students writing in the cla ss which this study observed improved in terms of the level of personal involvement the students pu t into their work. This performance made her feel satisfied and enjoy teaching process writing more. The Student Participants Personal Data and Educational Background There were forty-one students attending th is writing class. All of them had passed Foundation English III, a prerequisite for Writin g 1. Before entering the university, they had studied English for at least six ye ars, some as long as fifteen y ears. Thai students had different English learning experience at school because English was not mandate at the primary school level. Some private primary school s provide English as extra curri culum. Therefore, many of the Thai students in this study who grew up in rural areas began to learn English in the fifth grade. They were not directly taught how to write because writing has not been a main focus of learning Thai and English. Among these 41 students, twenty were males and twenty-one, females (see Table 4-1). They were in their second to sixth-year of college, and ranged from 18 to 24 years old. They 100

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were from different majors, including: Engine ering (Computer, Water Resources, Industry, and Electronics), Business and Administration, Economics, Education (Math, Physical, and Business), Humanities (Thai, Mass Communicati ons, and Philosophy), Bio Fishery, Forestry, and Veterinary. Most of the students liked read ing (33 out of 41), and over half of them liked writing (27 students). Most of the students in this study usually read Thai textbooks, newspapers, magazines, and comics, and most of them wrot e homework or academic reports in Thai (see Table 4-2). Some of them wrote short answers for te sts. It is interesting to note that the students did not regard themselves as writers in English; many of them claimed that they could write in Thai but not in English. Writing Experience at School On self-reported, none of them had taken a writ ing course before either in Thai or in English at school. In other words, writing was included in a language course such as Thai language and English language. According to th e National Curriculum for Basic Education for grades 1-12, two of the 8 subjects students have to take are Thai Language and Foreign Language. Most schools choose English as the Foreign Language subject. Foreign Language starts in middle school. In language classes (both Thai and English), stude nts learn four skills, speaking, listening, reading, and writing. However, writing practice seemed to be ignored. According to Leki (1992), this is because most of the teachers are not keen on teaching writing. Actually, there are only one or tw o units of writing in the course syllabi for language classes; therefore, students only write 2 to 3 times per semester. As a result, the students in this study acknowledged that they never took writing cla ss, though they did do some writing when they were at school. 101

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Writing in primary school According to the interviews, the students in this study were rarely taught how to write in Thai. What they could remember was that the teac hers gave them a topic on special days, such as Mothers Day or Fathers Day, and told them to write about those topics without any instruction or guidance. The students wrote in class and then turned what they were able to write in to the teacher. Sometimes writing was assigned as homewor k. Teachers graded their writing, focusing on language usage. They gave general comments such as good writing, good introduction, or beautiful language. The teachers underlined or co rrected the mistakes in their writing and then returned it to the students. Gene rally, the students didnt have to correct or rewrite the piece. If they did, they just corrected what the teacher poi nted out and turned it in again. One student said, Just giving marks [grade]. [The teacher] did not correct anyth ing, just gave marks (Pat, INT-1, 16). Students reported they wrote two to three essays each semester. Another type of writing they learned in Thai class was writing letters and poems. They practiced writing personal letters, permission letters, and a few types of Thai poems. Look ing at a few textbooks used for teaching Thai in primary schools, I found that th e students learn one type of letter or poem per semester, and they do this by following the form at and models provided in the textbook. For writing in English, the students in this study repo rted that they were not taught to write in English class. Writing in middle school In middle school, the participants in this study had less opportunity to wr ite in English than in primary school. Some students, who had mo ved to cities like Bangkok said, Our schools did not emphasize writing. They focused on content areas (Pat, INT-1). This may be the case because the students had to be prepared for high school examinations, in which writing is excluded. As in primary school, their teachers just gave them topics to write about, graded their 102

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writing and pointed out mistakes, which mainly were sentence structure and grammatical mistakes. Not many students had experience revising their papers. Some had a chance to rewrite but they didnt pay much attention to conten t; they only corrected grammar and what their teachers asked them to correct. In middle school, English is offered as a requ ired subject. In many of the schools attended by the students in this study, the students were only taught language usage and grammar in order to take a test. It is not a surprise then that the only writing done was for a test, which usually consisted of writing sentences; for example, substituting sentences, combining sentences, filling in blanks, or short answering. If the students ha d to write an expository essay, the teacher would provide them with a model paragraph from the textbook and ask them to write according to the model. However, a few of the students in this study did have a better experience learning to write in English. One of these students was in a school in the south of Thailand. He had an English-native teacher who taught them how to write. He regularly had individual conferences with the teacher about his writing. He received comments on his writing not only about grammar but also about the content. He added, I could wr ite well because of this experience and I liked to write in my free time too (Sak, INT-1). But wh en he entered the university he rarely wrote anything because of the heavy study load. Writing in high school Similar to middle school, the participants wr ote little in high school This was because during high school, the students were prepared for the entrance ex amination to the university level. This national examination emphasized kn owledge of content areas and language usage. English writing was not included in the entrance examination. Therefore, the teachers focused on grammar in their language classes, both in Thai and English. In English cl asses, the only writing 103

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assignment the students remembered was writi ng a paragraph introducing themselves or a description of a person or a place. Some stude nts remembered nothing of writing at high school. Writing in college At the university in this study, the students were required to ta ke 12 credits of English in order to graduate. There were required English courses called Founda tion English 1, 2 and 3, which are grammar-based. The students were pla ced into each Foundation English course based on the English score of their Entrance Examinati on. At this university, except English majors and minors, the students who did not take English wr iting course, had less oppor tunity to learn to write. In each Foundation English co urse, writing activities were only an optional suggestion at the end of each unit; so whether the students wrote or not depended on the teacher. Mostly, students wrote at the sentence level for grammar pr actice. Such exercises included substitutions or writing short answers for r eading. As in middle school, teachers followed the syllabus and prepared their students for the tests, which we re grammar-based. Sometimes there was a control paragraph writing task on the test. In this case, the teachers would assign the students a paragraph to write based on the grammar they learne d in a particular unit. The students writing was focused on grammar and followed the model given in the textbook. Writing exercises were simply for demonstration of the mastery of langu age skills. Like other students, those in this study were not taught how to write in Eng lish before taking this writing class. In contrast to the requirements of the E nglish language program, the students in this university had to take a Thai writ ing course as one of basic subject s in order to graduate. At the time I conducted this study, the Thai writing course focused on grammar, sentence structure, and language use rather than teaching writing. According to the textbook used for this course and my informal observations, the students did not have a chance to write at all. The exercises were based on filling in the blank and correcting the mistakes in each sentence or in a paragraph. The 104

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students had to learn the appropria te Thai language used by the Royal family as well. Therefore, even though this was a writing course, th e students were not trained to write. In summary, from primary school to college, the students in this study rarely practiced writing after primary school where they experien ced some unguided writing. In general, writing is only for learning language or a way to practic e language structures and usage (Sakontawut, 2003). I was not surprised that the students in this study did not regard themselves as writers, and that they commented that their writing was not good; ranging from 1 to 5, most of them rated their writing in Thai at a 3, and a 1 or 2 for writing in English. The students experience in writing is representative of the traditional wr iting instruction in Thailand, which will be described at the end of this chapter. Purposes for Taking This Writing Class According the interview, many of students now adays registered for classes that, they thought, were easy for them and there was not mu ch work. However, the students report on the questionnaire (see Table 4-3) show ed that the most common reasons they took this writing class are as follows: 1. They wanted to practice wr iting in order to use it in real situations and in the future. 2. They wanted to improve their writing skills. 3. They wanted to write fluently. 4. It is a requirement (any elective English course) for graduation. 5. It is an interesting course. 6. They were able to regist er for this course, and 7. They want to learn to write. 105

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It seems that many students in this class expected to learn to write in English in this class, and wanted to improve their writing skills. The Students' Perception of Writ ing and Difficulties in Writing When talking about writing, the students ta lked mostly about grammar and the use of language. It is interesting to not e that they really did think ab out writing, but when they were asked what writing was, they c ould not express it. They had never thought about what writing was, and were never told what writing was. Th ey did, however, seem to have some vision about what good writing was. They perceived good writing in different ways. Many of them viewed good writing as that which communicates ideas clear ly. It should also be easy to understand and not ambiguous, and it should represent the ideas of a writer. Table 44 shows the students perceptions of writing before they took this writing class. It s eems that the students were aware of the importance of writing as th e tool to communicate their ideas to readers or to an audience. The students also shared their perceptions about difficulties in writing both in Thai and in English. In Thai writing, the common four problems they encountered are: 1. organization, 2. the use of written language or form al language rather than using spoken language, 3. spelling, and 4. word choice and language use. The students seemed to pay attention to the langu age rather than the content they wanted to express, which was not surprising according to their writing background. Moreover, it was found that in a Thai Language class at the university, the students were still taught writing the same way that they were in high school; that is, they learned language use and structure. They had to write correctly and use a ppropriate language in thei r Thai writing classes. 106

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The students also had difficulties when they wr ote in English. They complained that they didnt know enough English vocabulary for writing. Also, most of them were worried about grammar, in that they were afraid to make grammatical mistakes. This experience occurred because throughout their schooling, many teachers focused on grammar and language usage. Their teachers corrected grammatical mistakes in their writing and their grades were reduced due to their grammatical mistakes. This kind of expe rience made them fear writing and think that writing in English was more difficult than wri ting in Thai because th ey didnt know grammar and vocabulary well enough to produce acceptable work. Traditional Writing Instruction in Thailand In Thailand, writing was included as an aspect of language cl asses, both in Thai and in English, and was normally neglected by the teacher. This is because writing was not a part of the examination. Students typically wrot e two to three times per semest er. In Thai language classes, teachers focused on language structure and languag e usage rather than writing process. What happened in a writing session was that the teach er gives the students a topic or theme. Tagong (1991) described the writing instru ctions in Thailand as follows: In elementary and secondary school, it was customary for a teacher to assign a topic or theme for the students to write usually as homework and sometimes during the class session. Students were given no opportunity to do multiple drafts, nor did they receive comments from a teacher during their composing. Once their first draft was finished, they handed it in for a grade. On the returned and graded essay, the teacher rarely suggested any changes since the student was not to rewrite the same essay again. What appeared on paper, in red ink, were primarily crossedout words with suggested substitutions or comments about the use of right words for the right person or the right occasion The ideas were emphasized, but not as mu ch as surface features. (p. 123) In Thai language classes, one kind of writing the students experience was writing letters. The teachers followed a model and an explanation in the textbook and asked the students to write a letter according to the model. Each semester the students learned to write one kind of letter, such 107

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as an official letter, a personal letter, or a pe rmission letter. In middle and high school students, in addition to writing letters, le arned to write poems. Again, the teacher gave a model or a pattern for a given type of poem, and then the students were asked to write a poem for homework. The teacher graded the students letters and poems focusing on the surface features like format and language usage. Similar to Thai language classes, in English classes, students rarely wrote essays. Writing was also a part of English language instruction, but the curriculum focused on grammar and language usage, and reading. Mostly, writing was only for language practice, which was mainly at the sentence level. In a composition session, th e teacher used a traditional approach, which was product-based, to teach writing. (Sakontan ut, 2003; Tagong, 1991) The teacher introduced a model of English composition and explained its format: introduction, body and conclusion. Sometimes the teacher explained how the introduc tions in Thai writing and English writing were different. Ms. Bs Classroom The Structure of Writing Instruction Ms. B established a friendly and relaxing environment for her students. During my class observations, Ms. Bs classroom contained many ac tivities and interactions between the teacher and the students and among the students themselv es. From the beginning of the semester, Ms. B provided routine activities based on the writi ng process and writing curriculum, and let the routines become more flexib le throughout the semester. Physical Appearance of the Classroom This English writing class was held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Each class meeting lasted about 75 to 90 minutes because the teacher had to let the students 108

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leave about 15 minutes early for the next class. Figure 41 shows how the classroom was arranged. White board Ts table = Students seat = Researcher Figure 4-1: The classroom diagram A teachers table was at the front of the room Ms. B liked to sit on the table while talking to the students. While the students were busy writ ing, she was sometimes sitting at this table and doing her own work, including readi ng the students writing. Sometimes she left the room in order to let the students work on their own. She wanted the students to become rely on themselves and their peers and less depended on her while they were writing. The students seats were arranged to face the teachers table. In th is room, there were about 42 seats as shown in Figure 4-1. The students arranged a narrow path between the fift h and the sixth rows for the teacher to walk around. The students always sat with their friends in the same spot, which they took on the first day of the class. Th e seniors always sat in the back row. I always sat at the back row, the second seat close to the back door. 109

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Building a Less Serious, Relaxing Atmosphere From the first class meeting, Ms. B tried to es tablish a less serious, relaxing atmosphere in the class. On the first day, she informed the students about the course syll abus. She explained to the students what English Writing I was, the assignments, the tests, and the grading criteria (see Appendix G). Ms. B told the students that for this class, there w ould be a lot of in-class writing practice. In other words, the students would mostly write in cla ss and were not allowed to make up their work if they were absent. She emphasized the writing practice and writing process. After an orientation about this course, Ms. B. asked the students to take out a piece of paper and write about themselves. She called it fr eestyle writing. She told them to write what they wanted her to know about them and to not worry about grammar. She wanted to create relationships with the students and also get to know them via writing. At first, the students seemed to be uncertain about this assignment. So me looked at their friends, some started writing, and some took out their piece of paper and stared at it. The students in the back row did not seem to know what to write. Each looked at his piece of paper, wrote a sentence and paused for a while. Sometimes they talked with their friends sitting next to them. Some students used their talking dictionaries to find word s. Some students asked their friends how to spell a word. In my first interview with the students, some stated that they were shocked because they did not expect to write during the first period without any instru ction or lecture. When looking at their first pieces of writing, I found that some of them wrote a half page, and some wrote a few sentences. Before the end of the class, she collected their writing. She asked fo r their permission to read some of their writing out loud in order to get to know them. The students didnt say a word. She started to read the first one. While readi ng, she asked the students whose writing she was reading to stand up and introduced themselves. She read it without corre cting their English. She sometimes asked questions to get more informati on about the students, and talked with them. I 110

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noticed that she tried to make the students feel relaxed by making jokes with the male seniors. When she started reading, the students were listening to her. The student whose writing was read stood up to introduce herself or himself. As the readings progressed, the students started to talk more, turned to see who the writer was, and an swered the teachers questions. They laughed when the teacher teased the seniors. The atmosp here changed from a quiet room into a lively one. Ms. B, while reading, changed her tone to make it dramatic. Sometimes she raised her voice, sometimes she read gently, and sometimes she skipped the personal part to make the students curious. She seemed to know with whom she could make jokes. She teased them based on the information they wrote, but not on the gr ammatical mistakes. The way she read and the way she approached the students made them laugh and got them talking. She tried to remember their names, asked related questions, and laughe d with them. The students told me that the teacher made them feel less nervous and more relaxed. They thought the teacher was friendly and funny, and that she was not st rict, particularly about gramma tical mistakes. By doing so, Ms. B used her own words to make the class rela xing and this was her personal teaching style as well. Ms. Bs Instructional Techniques This section describes the way Ms. B organized her writing classes. She designed activities in order to help her students learn and enjoy wr iting. She wanted her students to experience the writing process and discover their own proce ss of writing. Throughout the semester, Ms. B emphasized revising and peer response. Organization of Writing Classes According to the course syllabus, the stude nts were required to complete 6 writing assignments for the whole semester, one writing assignment for each unit. For this class Ms. B let the students write four drafts for each assignment. The structure of this writing class was 111

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imitating the cycle of the writing process fo r each assignment: brainstorming, free writing, revising and peer response, editing, and the final draft. Ms. B usually began her classes with general conversation and then referred to the la st writing assignment Sh e called this beginning session a warm-up, which lasted about 5 minutes. After the warm-up, she would brainstorm for about 10 minutes to get the studen ts ideas about the writing tas k. Ms. B liked to use question and answer for brainstorming. If there was a new writing assignment, Ms. B would let the students do free writing for 30 to 40 minutes. Ms. B would give a general topic based on one of the topics in the unit. However, she would not let the students consult the text book when they did freestyle writing. Then, she would ask them to exchange thei r writing with their peers, and one student would read and give feedback for their peers writing; this lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes if there was enough time, she would ask the writer to reflect on their peers feedback or write about their plan for revising for the next draft based on their peers feedback. This activity would last about 5 to 10 minutes. Before class was dismissed, Ms. B w ould assign the students homework. Some of the assignments were revising their drafts or preparing some reading materials for the next class. For the homework assignment, Ms. B sometimes wrote down the instructions on the whiteboard to make sure that the students understood wh at they had to do for their homework. Her class structure would be different if it wa s during the second and th ird drafts stage of the cycle. Ms. B began her classes during these phases with a greeting and general conversation for 5 minutes. Then she would explain the gr ammatical structure based on the mistakes the students made in their former drafts as examples. The grammar lesson focused the key language usage for each unit, which was based on topics such as introducing themselves, describing a person, or describing a place or a past experien ce. This session would last about 15 to 20 112

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minutes, depending on the students understanding and the mistakes they made. Ms. B often used a question and answer format for the grammar less on. She asked the students to see if they had background knowledge about the gramma tical structure, and then let them ask question related to the grammar lesson. Ms. B did not answer the st udents questions directly. Instead, she guided them by asking them questions to make them think by themselves. Sometimes she asked them to consult the course textbook or other grammar books. Sometime s Ms. B would use the textbook during explaining grammar. For this kind of lesson, Ms. B would ask the students to do the exercises in the textbook orally. After that, she would ask the stude nts to read their writing for about 15 minutes and look for grammatical mistakes related to the lesson they discussed earlier. This was an editing session with the specific pur pose. While editing their draft, Ms. B sometimes encouraged the students to ask her if they had a question about their writing based on the grammar point. At this point, Ms. B sometimes as ked the students to exchange their drafts for editing. Then she asked the studen ts to rewrite their work for 30 mi nutes. At the end of the class, she assigned homework for the next class. Use of the Writing Process Ms. B explained in interviews that she planned her whole semester according to the cycle of writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing. She did not have a rigid lesson plan for each class. What she had in mind was th e various stages of the writing process, and where the students were in the process. Then she thought of an activity that fit each stage. Sometimes she had an activity before going to cla ss, sometimes she just had a broad picture of what she wanted the students to do, but she let her class lead her to the ac tual activity. She called this an impromptu activity. However, she always ha d her students write in class. She adjusted the implementation of the writing proc ess to the 80 minute class period in order to meet her students 113

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needs. Her overall organization involved brai nstorming, independent writing, revision and peer response, and edit ing and publishing. Brainstorming Ms. B always started her class by brainstormi ng. She urged her students to generate ideas by asking them questions and jotting down th eir ideas on the board. The purposes of brainstorming were to draw out the students ba ckgrounds on the topic or language usage, to get the students to think, and to prepare the stude nts to write. Ms. B belie ved that speaking would help them generate ideas for their writing. Independent writing For each unit, Ms. B would let the students write independently for 40 minutes. She called this first draft free writing. During class observations, I noticed that when she started a new unit, Ms. B would have her students have free-style writing after brainstorming. She encouraged the students to write whatever came to mind and concentrate on their ideas. She told them not to worry about grammar or language at this point. She assured them th at they were allowed to make mistakes for free writing by telling them that she would not reduce their grade for grammatical mistakes. She told the students that if they di d not know how to write in English, they could write in Thai. She told them not let the language interrupt their flowing of thoughts. She wanted them to put their ideas on paper. During free st yle writing, Ms. B would ask the students not to talk because it would inte rrupt their thought process. She also told them not to erase anything. She told them to cross it out if they wanted to ch ange something or if they made a mistake. Most of the time, Ms. B would leave the room duri ng free-style writing. She wanted them to write independently. However, during my observations, wh en Ms. B left, some students talked to each other or asked the person sitti ng next to them for spelling. 114

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Another kind of free-style writing was refl ective journal writing. Ms. B used reflective journals as a way for her students to reflect how they wrote, to become aware of their writing process, and to plan their next draft. For the reflective journal, Ms. B allowed the students to write in Thai because she thought that to reflect their thoughts, the native language would help the students express their thoughts more easily and fluently. Ms. B would let them write in their journals for 15 to 20 minutes. Usually, Ms. B of ten asked her students to do this kind of freestyle writing after revising or peer-response. Revising and peer response After the first draft or free-style writing, Ms. B would let the students revise their writing. Ms. B called it drafting. The students revised th ree times for each writing assignment. Ms. B emphasized revision because she believed that revising was the most important process in writing. For revising, Ms. B would have two main ac tivities for this phase. First, she would let the students revise by themselves for homewo rk. Second, she would ask them respond to each others writing. The feedback from peers was fo r revising their next draft. They sometimes revised in class or did it at home. Ms. B also asked the students to read other English materials to help them improve their writing by exposing them to authentic ma terials so they could see the way English is used and to get some informati on for their essays. For example, for describing places, after free-style writing in clas s, she asked the students to bring in an English text about an interesting place. She asked them to read the text and look for some specific information, as well as to take into account how the writer wrote or in troduced the place. In class, she let the students revise their writing using the information they had learned from the reading. For peer response, during my observation, I f ound that at the beginning, Ms. B would read their responses in class without revealing whos e writing it was. The stude nts rarely responded or gave feedback except writing their general comments, such as easy to read, interesting 115

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information, or nice handwriting. Ms. B encouraged them to respond to content for the first draft. She asked them to describe how they fe lt when they read their peers writing and what should be changed or improved. She did not want them to correct the grammatical mistakes. She wanted the students to focus on content first. Al so, another goal she had was that she wanted them to trust their peers. She often told her stude nts to give sincere comments, but not those that create negative feelings because the purpose of peer response was to help their peers improve their writing. With this kind of response, th e students started to enjoy reading and giving feedback to their peers. During interviews, the st udents said that they liked peer response and liked to read their friends writing because they could see how their friend wrote and how they used English. Also, the peers feedback helped them know how to revise their writing. They eventually came to trust their friends responses. After the second draft, I noticed that Ms. B would ask her studen t to revise and at the same time to be aware of the language focus for that un it. During the peer respons e or revising stage of the second draft, Ms. B would start with grammar lesson by discussing the language structure and language usage for the particular unit. For ex ample, simple present tense was emphasized for describing a person. She pointed ou t some of the mistakes the students made in their writing concerning the use of simple present tense. She then asked the students to look for other grammatical mistakes in that ar ea. She let them ask her questions on particular grammar points. She told me in interviews that the students ma de many kinds of grammatical mistakes when they wrote in English, but at this ti me she wanted them to focus on the grammar and language usage mentioned in each unit and related to each topic of writing. She wanted them to understand those structures and be able to use them correctly in their writing because this was important for the test. During my class observations, I found that the students paid more attention when they 116

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looked for mistakes in their writing. They told me in interviews that they learned more about grammar than before because they learned from their mistakes and the teacher let them find out by themselves instead of just telling them what was right and what was wrong or giving them a lecture. Editing and publishing After the third draft, it was time for editing befo re turning their final draft to the teacher. However, it was only the fifth assignment that Ms. B asked the students to edit their writing for publishing. She told them to type or use a word processor for thei r final draft and to prepare an envelope with the address of the sender and r eceiver on it. She would mail the pieces of writing to the publisher of an English newspaper or Engl ish magazine in Thailand. It was the last individual assignment. She asked the students to revise and edit carefully, particularly for grammatical mistakes and spelling. After the third draft, she fo cused on grammar. Students ed ited their writing based on the grammar they had learned in class, and they c ould consult the textbook if they were not sure about how to correct their grammatical mistakes For editing, Ms. B introduced and explained writing correction codes to her stude nts and asked them to use those codes when they edited their peers writing. Ms. B gave some points for every draf t. She told her students that her criteria for grading each draft was based on the focus she pointed out during the re vision. The first draft focused on content and ideas. The second and thir d draft focused on revision of both content and structures. Ms. B expected the stude nts to turn in their final draft with clear content, appropriate organization, and corrected for grammar. Summary The context of this study was described in th is chapter according to what the teacher, Ms. B, did in the writing class. Firstly, the t eacher educational and teaching background was 117

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provided including her belief on wr iting process approach. Then, the students background i.e. personal and learning background, part icularly in learning writing at school, was portrayed. The last section of the chapter desc ribed the teaching instruction focu sing on the activities the teacher used in this writing class and how the teacher employed each activity. Table 4-1 Students personal background Personal Information Frequency Percentage (%) 1. Gender Male Female 2. Age 18 19 20 21 22 24 3. Experience in learning English (years) 6 8 9 11 12 14 15 18 4. Grade for Foundation English III A B B+ C C+ D D+ NA (not answer or Exempt) 5. GPA 3.5 4.00 3.0 3.49 2.5 2.99 2.0 2.49 1.5 1.99 NA (not answer) 6. Majors Accounting Bio Fishery Business Administration Economics Economic Agriculture 20 21 23 10 8 3 8 12 18 0 19 12 7 3 2 17 10 5 6 1 1 1 6 4 4 48.78 51.22 56.10 24.39 19.51 7.32 19.51 29.27 43.90 0 46.34 29.27 17.07 7.32 4.88 41.46 24.39 12.19 14.63 2.45 2.44 2.44 14.63 9.75 9.75 118

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Table 4-1 Continued Personal Information Frequency Percentage (%) Education Engineering Forestry Humanities Psychology Veterinary 7. Attitude towards reading Like reading Dont like reading 8. Attitude towards writing Like writing Dont like writing 8 13 1 1 1 1 33 8 27 14 19.51 31.71 2.44 2.44 2.44 2.44 80.49 19.51 65.85 34.15 Table 4-2 Students experien ce in reading and writing Experience Frequency (n = 41) 1. Reading materials 1.1. Textbooks 1.2. Newspaper 1.3. Novels 1.4. Magazines 1.5. Periodicals 1.6. Comics 1.7. Others Thai Dharma books Outside reading (assignment) Japanese books (translated) 2. Writing materials 1.1. Lists 1.2. Homework/reports 1.3. Poems 1.4. Diary 1.5. Short answers 1.6. Essays/stories 1.7. Novels 1.8. Comics 1.9. Others Letters Notes/appointments Thai 36 36 15 26 9 24 1 1 1 10 41 5 13 21 7 2 2 1 English 19 4 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 13 0 0 6 1 0 0 1 0 119

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Table 4-3 Students reasons in taking this writing course Reasons Frequency (n = 41) 1. Want to practice writing in order to us e it in real situations and in the future 2. To improve writing skills 3. Want to be able to write well/fluently/correctly 4. It is a requirement (any elective English course) for graduation 5. It is an interesting course 6. Was able to register 7. Want to learn to write 8. To graduate in this semester 9. Think that I can learn this subject (writing) compared to other English courses 10. Want to know writing principles in di fferent kinds of writing in order to communicate with others 11. To be able to tell or write different stories 12. Would like readers to understand my writing 13. Want to try it 14. Not good at writing 15. Am interested in writing 12 7 6 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 Table 4-4 Students perceptions of writing before taking this class Perceptions of Writing Frequency (n = 41) 1. Difficulties in writing in Thai 1.1. Organization 1.2. Word choice such as Royal vocabulary 1.3. Have to write in a written language or using spoken language in their writing 1.4. Spelling 1.5. Language use 1.6. Repetition (wordy) a nd the content is not concise 1.7. Sentence structure 1.8. Lack of creativity to make writing interesting 1.9. Cannot write in limited time 1.10. Relationship between persons (speaker and audience) 1.11. Lack of practicing 14 7 5 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 120

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Table 4-4 Continued Perceptions of Writing Frequency (n = 41) 1.12. The topic and the fee ling or emotion about the topic 2. Difficulties in writing in English 2.1. Dont know English vocabulary 2.2. Worry about grammar, am afraid of grammatical mistakes, structures such as tenses 2.3. Meaning and communicating 2.4. Sentence structure such as word order 2.5. Translation into English 2.6. Organization 2.7. The content may not be related to the topic given 2.8. Lack of practicing 2.9. Rarely have a chance to use in real life situations 2.10. Dont like writing 3. Good writing 3.1. Communicate writers purpose or idea clearly 3.2. Easy to understand, not ambiguous 3.3. Concise and cover the topic 3.4. Grammatical correct 3.5. Use beautiful and a ppropriate written language 3.6. Well organization 3.7. Neat, beautiful hand writing 3.8. Interesting plot, content 3.9. Have the authors voice, authorship, style 3.10. Write with attention or purpose 3.11. Be imaginative 3.12. Correct word choice 3.13. Combine experience and new information 1 34 31 4 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 31 12 7 6 5 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 121

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122 CHAPTER 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS WRITING CLASS In chapter 4 I described the classroom setti ng and the activities th e teacher employed to help her students learn to write in English. In order to understand the writing instruction used in this class and how it affected th e students growth in writing, th e present chapter discussed the characteristics of this writing class because the context of the experience is important in making sense of the human experience such as intera ctions, behaviors, and events (Vygotsky, 1978; Bakhtin, 1986). This chapter uses second language acquisiti on perspectives particularly Comprehension hypothesis (Input hypothesis), the Affective Filter hypothesis, and the Problem-solving hypothesis proposed by Stephen Krashen (1977, 1982, 1995, 2002, and 2004), and Vygotskys (1978) sociocultural perspective as the main theoretical frameworks to discuss the characteristics of this writing class. Through merging descripti ons and themes of the findings, I categorized the characteristics of Ms. Bs writing class into three major foci: Teachers personality Focus of writing class (Learning environment) Style of class Teachers Personality: Kind and Friendly Research in second language acquisition (SLA) theories and models over the past 30 years have found that one of the factors involved in adult second langua ge (L2) learning is learners attitude and motivation toward the target langua ge learning. Attitude and motivation is one of the psychological variables that play an important role in L2 learning a nd success (e.g. Gardner, 1985; Nagle and Sanders, 1986; Krashen, 1987, 1988). According to Krashen (1987, 1988), motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety which he calls affective variable s play a facilitative

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role in second language acquisition. In order to help the learners, es pecially the ones in a monolingual context like foreign language (FL) le arning who tend to have less positive attitude and low motivation to learn the target language to succeed in learning and acquiring L2, the teachers have to lower the level of affectiv e filters (Krashen, 1987, 1988; Wudthayagorn, 2003; Schtz, 2005). The study of Cohen and Norst (1989) shows that the teachers personality plays a crucial part in comforting the students, particularly the adult learners, when they study L2 or a foreign language. Moreover, the results from th eir study reveal that the teachers unfailing caring, support, positiveness, encouragement, kindness and patience can help to overcome anxiety in time, and that these attributes are actually mo re important than technical knowledge or skill (p. 61). For the present study, the predominant impression that all students expressed their feeling about this writing class was th e teachers (Ms. Bs) personalit y. The students words about her were kind and friendly. When asked about the out standing features of this writing class, all students said it was the teachers personality that made them enjoy learni ng this writing class. The teachers personality played an important ro le in creating a relaxing atmosphere and helped the students feel less stressful. The students revealed that this writing class was different from their past experience in English learning. According to Lo (1996), the teacher in a traditional writing classroom tends to be stri ct on correctness and writing is taught based on the format of examination. The atmosphere in the traditional wr iting classroom, in which writing is a means for testing grammar and sentence structures, make s the students feel stressful and feel fear to write because they are afraid to make errors. Th is stressful atmosphere leads to the students negative attitude towards English writing. Unlike their past experi ence in learning English and in writing, the students in this st udy found Ms. B friendly, amusing, a nd not strict on correctness. 123

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From the first meeting, Ms. B began to build an atmosphere that promoted nontraditional instruction for her process writi ng approach. She told th e students that writing in her class was not a means for testing grammar and sentence struct ure but she wanted them to learn to write and practice writing. She did not focus on grammar and sentence structure for the first draft. She wanted the students to feel free to write and express their ideas in their writing. This concept of teaching writing and her personalitykindness a nd friendlinessfacilitated the students learning and lowered their anxiety when they experienced the unfamiliar instruction. Cohen and Norst (1989) state that the personal qualities of th e teacher such as the warmth, friendliness, and empathy are crucial factors that can help the le arners who have low motivation to be able to enjoy their language experience. Similarly, about 30% of the stude nts in this writing class who had low motivation to learn to write such as Benz, Nini, Wee, Tit, and Chai changed their attitude toward English and writ ing in English. These students were required to take any English course in order to graduate. They did not have an intention to improve their writing skills when they first chose this course. However, as time went on, these students at titude toward English and writing in English became positive due to the teachers personality. Wee said in the second interview that he had a positive attitude towa rds this writing class because the teacher was friendly, and not strict. The teachers personality made this writing class enjoyable, he added. It is obvious that Ms. Bs personality played a crucial role in creating the basic motivational conditions (Krashen, 1982, 1988; Cohen and Norst, 1989; Drnyei, 2001; and Wudthayagorn, 2003). With her personalitykindness and friendlinessMs. B lowered the students anxiety and built a friendly, relaxing and supportive atmosphere that enhanced the students positive attitudes and motivation to le arn to write in a nontra ditional English writing class as Wat and Pat said: 124

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The teacher did not put pressure on us. The teacher was not serious, not strict. This encouraged my friends and me to learn. It made me feel that this English writing class was not a dangerous zone. It made me want to come to class, and I noticed that my friends were rarely absent. (INT-2) Focus of Writing Class This writing class was a nontraditional writing cl ass in which the teacher tried to adapt the process approach that she experienced into her class. The students encountered an unfamiliar experience they rarely found when they learned English in the past. What made this class different from the traditional langu age class were the types of activities and the structure of the teachers instruction that focused on writing ra ther than on grammar. Krashen (2004) in his Comprehension Hypothesis claims [L]anguage acquisition does not happen when we learn and practice grammar rules. Language acquisition only happens when we understand messages (p. 2) Actually, Krashen does not re ject learning grammar rule but he suggests including grammar as a supportive role to fill in some of the gaps such as for accuracy in writing. The teacher can promote and teach grammar for editing stage of the composing process. Moreover, Krashen (1995) claims that the students learn through the process of problem-solvi ng rather than direct instruction. In other words, th e students learn new facts and concepts by doing, not by listening to the lectures. For a writing class, engaging in a variety of activities a nd practicing writing more frequently will help the students not only learn to write, but they also learn language from their writing and errors they make. In order to provide learning environm ent to promote writing in this writing class, the teacher emphasized activities th at helped the students learn how to write and practice writing more, such as free writing, pe er-response, revising, and question-answer. Types of Activities: Promoting Learning to Write Ms. B believed in writing process approach and she found that to help the students learn to write, the students needed more practice in writ ing. In this writing class, she introduced the 125

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students to a new concept of writing and helped them improve their writing skills. Ms. B provided the students time and opportunities to wr ite, revise and get others responses via a variety of activities response wh ich were basic needs of writ ers (Graves, 1983; Murray, 1985; Atwell, 1987; and Calkins, 1994). Moreover, Ms. B tried to encourage her students to be independent writers in order to develop their se nse of ownership through free writing and peerresponses. In addition, to learn to write in L2, the stude nts have to deal with not only the composing process, they have to deal with the language that they are not comfortable with. In other words, in the L2 writing class, the teacher has to f acilitate the students to develop their composing process (expressing the ideas) and to learn language as a tool to communicate their ideas. The learner acquires the second language when they receive second language comprehensible inputthe input that is one step beyond his/her current la nguage competence (Krashen, 1982, 1988, 2002). Besides comprehensible input, enga ging in the problem-solving and pleasant activities results in language acquisition and cognitive development (Krashen, 1995). Another theory contributes to understanding language an d literacy learning is a sociocultural theory developed by Vygotsky (1978). This theory suggests the role of social interactions in an individuals cognitive de velopment. It claims that learni ng takes place when an individual interacts with the others who are more advance in the community. To become an expert, an individual has to go through the socialization process (Vygotsky, 1978). In this writing class, the students were engaged in question-answer sess ion and peer-response that provided the students not only comprehensible input and problem-solvi ng activities for language learning but also a chance to interact with their peers and th e teacher in the comm unity of practice. 126

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The implemented activities that the students f ound helpful for their growth as writers are free writing, peer-response, revi sion, and question-answer. These activities provided the students the three basics that writers need when they write: time, ownership, and response (Graves, 1983; Murray, 1985; Atwell, 1987; and Calkins, 1994). The students had sufficient time to write and revise, and opportunities to get response s from their peers and the teacher. In-class writing: Providing sufficient ti me to write and promoting ownership In this writing class, there were three type s of in-class writing: free writing, journal writing, and reflective writing. Free writing referred to first draft writing for each assignment. For this activity, the teacher gave a prompt or a general topic such as writing about oneself, or writing about a memorable experience. The prompts were related to the to pic of each unit in the textbook. The teacher allowed the students to freely express any ideas they wanted to communicate, and the students did not have to worry about error-free composition because the teacher did not emphasize or expect accuracy in this stage in th e writing process. The teacher even allowed the students to use Thai (their first language) if there was an expression or word that they did not know how to express in Englis h. Journal and reflective writing referred to writing exercises where the teacher asked the students to reflect on previous writing assignments or on the process of writing a draf t. Sometimes, in their journal th e students were expected to ask questions about their writing. For both journal and reflective writing, the students could also use Thai. The students were given the opportunity to pr actice writing for about 30-45 minutes during every period via free writing a nd revision. The students reported that they found this time of practice writing to be very beneficial for thei r writing development and helped them grow as writers. According to the course syllabus, the st udents had to complete six writing assignments during the semester. Through the semester, th e students wrote more frequently for six 127

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assignments. They freely wrote for their first drafts and wrote for revision (3 drafts). In addition to improvement in their writing skills, they also said that writing activities made them feel free (feeling free from structure and stress, and freedom of language), let them express their voice, and helped them become confident writers. In this writing class, Ms. B provided the students sufficient time to write, and revise their drafts. Atwell (1987) said, growth in writing take s time (p. 56). The students need regular and frequent time to grow and develop their writing skills which are not a linear process. They need adequate time to learn from their former writing, to take risks, and lear n what works and does not work for their writing. The students in the presen t study were similar. They needed time to grow and learn to improve their writing skills. In order to help her students learn about their writing and grow as writers, Ms. B pr ovided them regular, frequent time to practice writing. Through writing more frequently in a short period of time (15 weeks), the students found that their writing improved in terms of length, language structures and grammar, and creativity (as described in chapter 6). Additionally, although 15 weeks seemed to be a short period of time for growing as writers, through frequently writing, the students ac quired a new concept of writing as a process, and became confident in writing in English. Free writing set the students free from accuracy and stress they had experience in the past. They were allowed to write free ly in their own styles and not worry about grammar for the first draft. They wrote what they wanted to. In other words, they wrote their own stories rather than what the teacher expected them to write. This freedom as well as sense of ownership made the students feel relaxed and encouraged them to wr ite more in order to improve their writing. The students in this study believed th at the more they wrote the bette r writers they became. In the past they were afraid to write because teach ers always emphasized accuracy and highlighted 128

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grammatical errors. Previous teachers expected e rror-free first drafts fr om the students. As a consequence, the students feared writing, or hesi tated to try a new sentence structure because they feared red marks on their papers. Students w ould try to circumvent th e possibility of getting bad grades by writing short essays in order to make as few mistakes as po ssible. They would also strictly imitate the sample paragr aph in the textbook. They did not feel free to write what they really wanted to communicate to the audience, as the only audience they had was the teacher who did the grading. For example, Jane, Nat, Nok, and Tida talked about their past experience, as we studied writing in the past, most t eachers emphasized grammar. That is, they did not allow us to think and have imagination. They followed the textbook. (INT-1) Unlike their past experiences, in this writing cla ss, the students learned that they were free to express themselves in their writing. Free writ ing reduced the students fear from accuracy and eliminated their frustration associated with the purpose of writing. Free writing lowered the students affective filters such as fear and anxi ety and helped the studen ts acquired the target language (English) when they wr ote and also they learned to write in English (Krashen, 1982, 2004). Free writing increased the students self-e steem in writing because it made the students feel more confident to write in English because they did not fear to make mistakes. They knew that they had a chance to revise their piece of writing and to corre ct the mistakes they made. The students felt confident to create th eir stories longer. Tida expressed, In this writing class, we have freedom in wr iting. It is like you dont have to worry about grammar at first. If you are always concerned about grammar while writing, you will not be able to create your story. (Tida, INT-1) Jane agreed with Tida. She added that being co ncerned about grammar all the time would block the flow ideas. Nat and Nok stated in her first interview that if the teacher emphasized grammar, the students would be afraid of writing. Many of the students expressed that after writing more frequently, they were not afraid to write any more and they found that they expressed their ideas 129

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more easily. Like other students in the class, Pat, Wat, and Fauda were proud of themselves when they found that they wrote an entire page. Pat said that he had never written more than a half page, while Wat never thought that he would be able to write in English. I am proud that I can write in English now. Befo re if the teacher aske d me to describe a person, I didnt know I could write even three lines. But now I can write a page. I think I learn to write and not just a beginner. (Wat, INT-2) I improve my writing skills a lo t. I had never tried to write in English. Now I can write in English for a whole page despite some errors. (Pat, INT-2) It worked in that we had chances to express our opinions. With freedom to think, we were not afraid to write. We were able to describe more and felt confident to write better because we wrote what we wanted to. (Fuada, INT-3) The students felt confident in writing in English and they tried to use less Thai in their writing. They found that some of their ideas flew out in English, and that they di d not need to write in Thai and translate to English. Additionally, when th e students translated Thai words into English words by using dictionaries, they discovered th at they learned new vocabulary which helped them write in English more fluently. Like othe r students, Mate (INT-3) confirmed that he was not afraid to write any more. He attributed his lack of fear to practicing writing during each class period and to the fact that the teacher emphasized expressing voice over other aspects of writing. In addition, good writing teachers should give their students not only time but also ownership for their writing (Atwell, 1987). Atwe ll says that good writing teachers do not take responsibility for their students writing but they help them be responsible for their writing. In other words, good writing teachers should encourage their students to be independent and know what they want to do about their writing. Ms. B used free writing or independent writing as a stage to shift the responsibility for writing to the students. Free writing allowed the students to search for their stories to share with the others The students felt that th ey owned their stories. For instance, Mate said that he, like other peers, knew his stories better than the others or even 130

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the teacher because they were his stories. In this sense, the stud ents built their sense of ownership for their stories. However, in terms of revision, the students still needed the teachers feedback to tell them how to revise. For example, Fuada in the third interview asked for the teachers feedbacks for his writing because he did not kno w how to revise his stories. He wanted the teacher to tell him what and how to improve hi s stories and his writing. This is because Thai students are used to the direct instruction from the teacher to tell them what and how to do their tasks. It is too soon to change this habitual behavior within 15 weeks. Although the students developed the sense of ownership by creating thei r stories, they still needed time and teachers assistance to develop their sens e of ownership in writing and re vision. Peer-response is another activity that can promote ownershi p and allows the students to rely on their peers and themselves more. Peer-response: Valuable response and personal conflict The only time for the students to seek for re sponses was when Ms. B introduced them to peer-response. The students in this study participated in a nother new activitypeer-responses, sometimes referred to as peer-editing. In this writing class, peer-respons e and peer-editing were used interchangeably. Prior to this class, the stud ents rarely had their peers or others read their writing before except to the teacher for a grade. A few students might have friends read their stories but not very often. This is because in Th ai society, teachers are the experts of knowledge. The students believe in teacher as authority of teaching. They do not want any opinions from their peers whom they consider as non-experts. That is why Thai students tend to depend upon the teacher. In order to provide the students response and owne rship, Ms. B introduced them to peer-response. In this class there were tw o main tasks involving peer-r esponse: responding to the first draft and responding to the revised works. They were different in terms of the focus of the 131

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response. For responding to the first draft, the teacher asked the students to read and respond to the content only. She emphasized the communication between the author and the reader. She told them not to look for grammatical errors but rather focus on content, understanding, and impressions. For responding to the second and third drafts, the teacher gave the students guidelines of what to look for. The guidelines we re mainly the grammar structures related to the writing assignment and were the langua ge focus of each unit in the textbook. The students in this writing class found thes e two kinds of peer-response helpful and they thought the teacher wanted them to learn from their peers writing. Through experiencing peerresponse activities throughout the semester, th e students became confident writers and found peer-response a place for them to learn how to wr ite, to become critical readers, and to learn about grammar and apply it when they revised th eir own writing. Besides, peer-response made them learn to value their peers comments and encouraged them to share their writing and their ideas to the others besides the teacher. [Peer response was] Good. We learned our mistakes and wh at we should revise from peers feedbacks. Sometimes we thought our work was good but it was just our opinion. Having readers gave us various opinions. Also, we learn fr om peers work about their writing styles, and vocabulary that we did not know before. I could imitate their styles and add some ideas in my work. (Nan, INT-2) We learned from peers works su ch as writing styles, a variet y of sentence structures, and we applied them with our works. We learned our mistakes and what we should revise. (Tisa, INT-3) When we read peers works, we reviewed what we learned because we had to use our knowledge [to give feedbacks]. We learned fr om their mistakes and when we wrote our stories, we would not make that kind of mistakes. I think we exchanged the knowledge. (Korn, INT-2, 3) [From their feedbacks] We knew what the readers expected from our writing and we learned how to write for the audience. (Phum, INT-2, 3) It (peer-response) was fun because when we read peers works, we learned from them. Also, we had to apply what we knew in orde r to read, correct their works and gave the feedbacks. It was not just read but we had to comment their works. (Mate, INT-2) 132

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We learned the weak points we made in our writing. We used the others writing as a model and apply it to the next assignment. (Lisa, INT-2) We can learn by comparing our writing with the ot hers. It helped me learn to organize my stories better. (Ya, INT-2) Although the students valued thei r peers feedbacks as time went on, they were not sure that their peers could help them learn better th an the response from the teacher. Thai students experience the direct instruction which is based on teacher-centered; as a result, they trust the teacher the most that he/she is the knowledgeab le person who can help them learn. According to their past experience and the e ducational system, the students in the present study relied only on the teacher who transferred the knowledge to them. With this value and attitude, when Ms. B asked the students to exchange their writing for peer s response, they felt frustrated. They did not trust that their peers would be able to help th em due to their limited English proficiency. They believed that the teacher was the only person who was capable of correcting their writing, particularly the grammatical errors because the teacher knew the best. But I dont like the way we had to give fee dback. I mean sometimes we had to check if they made any mistakes. For myself, I coul d not find my mistakes in my writing. How could I check or find out their mistakes. I dont know whats wrong with their works. I dont quite like it. When I read their storie s, I understood, but the teacher asked us to check their grammar such as the use of verbs. I could not edit my work, so I could not correct theirs. (Tida, INT-2) Sometimes peers correction might not be gra mmatically correct and we could not be sure about that. We had to apply grammar and langu age usage in the exam ination. If our peers correction was not right according to the te achers opinion, we would not be happy. Our peers had similar level of language proficienc y and knowledge. Its like they knew snake snake fish fish (just basic skills) but we n eeded the teacher to point out right or wrong. The teacher would know better than we di d. (Paula, Tisa, Rachael, and Wan, INT-2) I like when the teacher gave feedback because I was sure that it was wrong and I learned from the teachers correction. Sometimes I was not sure about peers feedbacks whether it was right or not. (Su, INT-2) Me too. For example, when I read my fr iends work, I understood and did not find any grammatical mistake. But when the teacher read it, she found some. I felt like I already read it and I understood. Why were there mistak es? I could not read and give a feedback. (I 133

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could not do peer-response) I was not confident that what I wrote was right or not. At first I thought what I wrote was ok, I understood. I was confident that I did not have any grammatical mistakes. Sometimes when the peers read, and wrote feedbacks that my sentence was ungrammatical, or they didnt understand, or you might use the wrong verb. Something likes this. I was confident that I wa s right, but when I read their feedback, I was confused. I was not sure if my sentences were grammatical correct or not. I was confused. Finally, I got confused. (Nok, INT-2) In addition, they were not familiar with letting others except the teacher read their writing. Some students felt that their writings, particularly the first drafts, were not good enough to share with the others and they were afraid of the loss of face which is a very important aspect of status for Thai people (Jones, 2003, p. 34). Meanwh ile, the students were afraid to give the direct or harsh feedback to avoid causing their peers humiliation or loss of face. This is one of the crucial Thai society values. Thai people in order to maintain harmony, they avoid to confrontationovert expression of anger, displeasure, and cri ticism (Klausner, 1993; Jones, 2003). Giving feedback was considered and perceive d by Thai students as giving criticism. As a result, they felt frustrated to give direct feedback and they tended to exch ange their writings with their friends rather than to their classmates wh om they rarely knew. Th e students expressed this frustration when they talked with me in the interviews. This behavior can also be explained by cross-cultural psychology called a low-cont ext communication culture and a high-context communication culture (Gugykunst, 1998; Ting-To omy, 1999; and Ageyev, 2003). Low-context communication, which is found in American culture, tends to be direct, precise, and clear, whereas high-context communication, which is f ound in many other countries like Russia and Asian culture, tends to be indirect and ambiguous (Gudykuns t, 1998, p. 57). The differences between highand low-context communicative pa tterns have an influence on interpersonal interaction and can lead to culture clashes and mutual frustr ation (Hofstede, 1997; Gydykunst, 1998). As peer-response is originally found in a low-context communication culture like American culture, the frustration and culture conflict in interpersonal relationship can be 134

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expected when this activity is adapted in the high-context communicative st yle like Thai society. The logical reasons for being indirect in a hi gh-context communication like in Thai culture include an attitude of conflict avoidance and saving face (Ageyev, 2003). The students tended to give indirect opinions or general feedback in order to avoid the conflict or harsh feeling or to save their peers face. I felt shy or ashamed if the teacher gave my st ory to the peer I did not know. I was afraid of their response, how he/she felt about my writing. But if the reader was my friend, he would tell me directly. Sometimes I saw that the students who read my story was talking and laughing with her friend. I saw her ask her friend to read it too. But she did not give me a frank comment or her opinion about my writing. When I got my paper back, she gave a plain and general feedback. I felt losing my face (humiliated). This is the different (between friend reader and peer reader) becau se sometimes the reader who was not a close friend would be afraid to give us a sincere comment. On the other hand, I was not afraid to comment whether my friend or peer reader because I did not quite kreng jai anyone. (Fuada, INT-3) I preferred to choose my own reader because I knew him and his personality. When I wrote comments for my friend, it would be somethi ng funny but I would give friendly feedback if I didnt know the author. Fo r my friend, I felt comfortable to express my opinion and to tease him, but with the one I did not know personally, I woul d be polite. (Wee, INT-3) It is obvious that peer-response, on one hand, is the place for the students in this study to seek for feedbacks to help them revise their writ ing. The students felt that they learned to write and learned language usage from their peers fee dback and their peers works. On the other hand, because the students were familiar with the direct instruction and believed that the teacher was the only knowledgeable person in the classroom, th ey were frustrated when they were asked to give and receive feedbacks to their peers. They we re not sure that they could really help their peers to improve their writing especially for gr ammar and sentence structures, and at the same time, they did not trust their peer s English proficiency. They were afraid that they would get the wrong feedback and that would lower their grade for the grammar-section in the examination. At the end of the semester, although many of the studen ts felt more comfortable to give and receive feedbacks from their peers, they still expresse d their concerns about grammar correction which 135

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they wanted the teacher to check for them ra ther than their peers. Moreover, although the students felt that giving feedback was helpful to them and their peers, they were afraid to give sincere or critical feedbacks becau se they did not want to make their peers, especially the ones they rarely knew, lose face. It will be more helpful if the teacher encourages the students to give sincere and constructive feedbacks by creating the atmosphere that allows the students to know each other more in order to decrease the sense of unfamiliarity among the students. Mate and Kit said in the second interview that if they knew the other student s better, they would be more comfort to give the direct or sincere feedback. Revision: Time to rewrite and rethink Revision was an activity that th e teacher allowed the students to have more time for their writing. The students, while revising, had time to rethink and rewrite to make their pieces or writing readable to meet the read ers expectation. Also, through the revision process, the students learned that writing was a process that needed time to complete. In the past, the students learned that writing was a one-complete draft because they were not allowed to revise their pieces of writing except to rewrite by corre cting the mistakes pointed out by the teacher. The students learned that a good writing needed time and needed multiple drafts to produce the final readable piece. Through revising, the students reread their works, read their peers feedbacks and applied those feedbacks for revision. They added and cu t some information, rearranged the stories to make it readable for the readers. They gr ew as writers through revision process. Its good in that we had a chance to check our work. Sometimes I rewrote the whole story because I could not think in the classroom b ecause of time limitation. I decided to rewrite it. Mostly, I added the informa tion when I revised. Sometimes I edited grammatical errors, looked for suitable vocabulary. (Paul, INT-1) (Via revision) I felt that we improve our work and our ideas. We learned from our mistakes that we corrected. (Ya, INT-2) 136

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Moreover, through revision, the students learned to solve their problem when they wrote. While they revised their work, they solved their problem about writing, and at the same time, the students acquired the knowledge of writing and the target language (Krashen, 1995). They learned grammar and sentence structures. They took risks to use the new st ructures they learned in class in their writing because they knew that it was a chance for them to learn and use it. They did not fear to try out the ne w structures. Through revision, the students learned by problemsolving which would help them grow as writers. We learned new things every time we revised. For example, when we learned something new in class and when we read what we wrote, we could apply what we just learned in our work which might make our work better. If we revised, we wrote longer than we edited. It helped us organized our stor ies better. (Korn, INT-2) With a variety of activities, the teacher allowe d the students to have time for their writing, provided them to get feedbacks from their peers, and to encourag ed them to develop their sense of ownership when they engaged in activities in class. With sufficient time to work on their writing, the students understood the concept of writi ng as a process and learned how to improve their writing through free writing, peer-response, and revision. In a ddition, learning by doing (practicing writing more frequen tly, revising their drafts, and gi ving peer-response) enhanced the students to grow as writers, to learn how to write and improve their writin g skills, as well as to acquire English language (Krashen, 1995). Th is can be seen through Tais conclusion: At first I thought this class was a burden. I had a lot of homework to do. Compared to learning English in the past, I learned about grammar and di d grammar exercises in the textbook. Thats it. But for this writing class, I had to search for information and did everything by myself. I felt hard. Later, I found th at I gained benefits fr om this class. These tasks helped me improve my writing a lot. (Tai, INT-2) Question-answer: Language acquisition and culture adaptation Question-answer activity in this writing class had two forms: an oral session and a written form in journals. Mostly when mentioned about que stion-answer, the students referred to the oral 137

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sessions. For question-answer activity, Ms. B allo wed the students to ask questions based on their writing. The students mainly asked about grammar and sentence stru ctures rather than composing process. According to my observatio n, a question-answer sess ion was the main stage for the students to learn language and to interact with the teacher. The teacher used this session to explain grammar and sentence structures that the students n eeded or had difficulty with. Interestingly, although the student s claimed that this activity was useful and was a chance for them to interact with the teacher and to lear n language, a few of them often asked questions, while about half of them rarely raised questions in class, and some of them occasionally asked questions. It is notable that second la nguage writers are afraid to make mistakes, particularly grammatical errors due to the attitude of the t eacher who emphasizes the co rrectness rather than composing process (Leeds, 2003). In L2 writing cla ss, the students understand that to learn to write, they have to pay attention on errors in la nguage use. They understand that their linguistic competence is their main problem in learning to write in L2. As a result, the students particularly those with a low level of L2 proficiency tend to focus on language use rather than on ideas. According to their past experience in learning E nglish, the students in the present study had the similar understanding about Eng lish learning process and learning to write in English. They thought that they could not write well because of their limited English proficiency. Therefore, they paid more attention to linguistic competence than to ideas and th e content. In questionanswer sessions, they asked mainly on grammar, language usage, and vocabulary. The following is an excerpt of the observation field notes which is a part of question-answer session. S5: Could you please explain the th ird topic (Definite articles)? Ms. B read the text. S5: Is it wrong to say: we got to a train station in Had Yai? 138

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Ms. B repeats the question and asks: Do you know which station? (no answer) If I say a train station it implies that I dont know which station. This is about definite information. (S5 is taking note) S9: I hate a lizard and I hate the lizard. Ms. B: a does not only mean one but it has a Thai concept as one S9: If we want to say this, which one will we use? Ms. B: Use what? S9: the Ms. B: If it is specific, we use the, but if we mention about it in general, we can say, I hate lizards. If you say, I hate the lizard, you specify which one. S6: How about I have a cl ass and I have class (Field note, page 38) Through question-answer activity, the students in this writing class learned language use and usage based on their interest and their need s. The teacher did not lecture and anticipated what the students should learn. With their inte rest, the discussions during this session were comprehensible for the students. It was authentic discussion that enhanced the students language learning and cognitive development. (Bakhtin, 1986) The students found that they learned grammar when they engaged in question-answer sessions. We learned more. For example, sometimes our friends asked questi ons that I didnt pay attention before. When they asked, it made me think and when the teacher answered, we learned from her explanation. I got benefits. (Jane, INT-2) As I mentioned above that although the stude nts felt that they be nefited from questionanswer sessions especially in terms of l earning grammar and language usage, they felt uncomfortable to raise their questions in class due to the cultural aspect in the classroom, and they were concerned that the te acher did not teach them much a bout grammar. This concern was related to the examination structure of which 50% was grammar-based. This was because this writing course was a product-based course which focused on form. It served the traditional writing class in which writing was a means for le arning grammar and sentence structures. As a 139

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result, one of the main parts of the examinati on tested the knowledge of grammar and sentence structures. Additionally, according to their past experience in a traditional writing class, the students understood that to be ab le to write, they had to lear n grammar and structure (Lo, 1996). In other words, writing is a by-product of l earning grammar and language usage. After the midterm examination, the students were worried about grammar, and in the second interview they revealed this concern. [The teacher] should teach more grammar, and should have us work more on grammar exercises. Although she did teach grammar but she should do more. The teacher should answer our questions in stead of not answer and ask us b ack. This made me puzzled. I think if we learn more grammar we will be able to write. Having knowledge of grammar but writing ungrammatical sentences is better than not knowing grammar. Writing class at school or university should teach grammar first, and have the students to write as homework. If it is a short writing, it may be a class assignment. (Wan, INT-3) [We] wanted the teacher to give more time for writing assignment especially homework (grammar exercises). I wanted her to give explanation or an swer when we asked questions. (Nini, Tanya, Tai, and Su, INT-2) [I] wanted the teacher to teach the cont ent in the textbook more. The examination emphasized the content in the textbook that the teacher did not teach (Tisa, INT-3) Yes, my friends in another class told me that this (the content in the textbook such as sentence patterns and control writing exercises) would be in the test, but our teacher did not teach us. (Wan, INV-3) There was one part that I thought the teacher did not prepare us for that part in the test. Its about making questions from the sentences given. The teacher rarely taught us how to make questions. So, I could not do this part. (Korn, INT-2) The students concern about examination is un derstandable. In this writing class Ms. B would not follow the textbook and would not focus on exercise drills in the text until a few weeks before the examinations. She wanted her students to experience th eir writing process and learned from their writing. At the same time sh e believed that if the students could write, they would learn language via their wr iting. Moreover, she allowed the students to ask questions which mainly were grammar-based and she took that chance to explain it. However, not many 140

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students raised their questions when the teacher al lowed them to because of the culture constraint and the way the teacher responded to their questions. A ccording to Thai culture, respect for others is considered as an important value a nd attitude. Thai children are brought up to respect their parents, the elders, and th e authority (Jones, 2003) Thai students respec t their teacher who is considered as the elder, the wise, and the au thority in the classroom. The students will not dare to argue with the teacher or even ask them ques tions. Foley (2005) conclude s about the status of teachers in Thailand as a knowledgeable and resp ectful person and [t]o question that knowledge is not to question ideas but to question or doubt the person (p. 229). For st udents, being quiet in class is considered an appropria te behavior and the way to show the respect for the teacher. Merged with respect, kreng jai which Klausner (1993) defines as diffidence, deference and consideration (p. 258) also play a part in the students behavior in asking the teacher questions in the classroom. Klausner notices that kreng jai probably results in ones reticence to seek for help or ask for something from a superior unless it is really necessary. He suggests that this type of traditional Thai behavior can be seen in th e classroom in transition as students argue with their teachers (p. 259). The reflections on Thai culture about respect and kreng jai concept by Jones (2003) and Klausner (1993) can explain the students behavi ors in this writing classroom when they participated in question-answer se ssions. Moreover, the students themselves accepted that they were not comfortable to ask questi ons in class unless it was really necessary. It may be because of the way we were raised from our parents and the way we were taught at school. Mostly, children were not allowed to express their opinions in the classroom. Some adults may feel annoyed. In other words, they would not pay much attention to the childrens questions. (Mate, INT-2) Because its like the knowledgeable person and the one with less knowledge. The teacher held knowledge and wisdom but the students lik e us felt that we were not knowledgeable and did not know how to ask a question. (Mate, INT-2) Most Thai children [students] were trained to be passive: just listen to the teacher, the teacher came in and lectured. Mostly, stude nts rarely asked questions. (Kay, INT-2) 141

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We were used to the way we learned in the pa st. The teacher taught but not let the students ask a question. (Chai and Tit, INT-2) Besides the cultural value of respect and kreng jai the students responses in the interviews implied another Thai cu lture value of loss of face. This value is related to the concept of kreng jai and leads to avoidance of confrontati on or overt expression of their opinions and criticism. Jones (2003) explains the status of face in Thai society that The Thais will experience shame if they do something that others would regard as dishonorable, and they expect to be treated honorable and not have their dignity offended (p. 34). With this concept, Thais will avoid giving direct or harsh opinions because they do not want to humiliate others or make others lose their face. At the sa me time, Thais will be concerned about their face so that they will not show or share their opinion unless they are sure that it is right, valuable, and appropriate to express. This traditional Thai behavior can be seen in trans ition as students respond to their teachers question or to their peers writing. In this writing class, this concept of face results in the way the students participated in question-answ er sessions. Many students in this class were afraid to raise their questions or answered the questions because th ey did not want to lose their face among their peers because they felt that their questions were not important or worth to ask. Meanwhile, they rarely answered because they we re not sure whether they had the right answer. Here are some of their explan ations about their behaviors in question-answer sessions. I was afraid to give a wrong answer. I did not dare to raise my hand to answer. It is common that Thai students were afraid to answer. Not many students would express their opinions in class. We were used to this wa y. I didnt know why but if I could answer or knew that I had a better answer, I might share it with class, but if I was not sure, Id rather keep quiet. (Benz and Nan, INT-3) Knowing other students in the class would help me not afra id to ask and answer the teachers questions. [I] would not feel ashame d. We were afraid that we would ask a silly question. (Yut, INT-2) 142

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They (adults and teachers) might think that the students question was not that difficult. Why couldnt they get the answer by themse lves? (Why bothered to ask the teacher?) (Mate, INT-2) In general, if we were in class, most st udents did not ask questions because they were afraid of what their peers w ould think about their questions. Their peers might think that their questions were simple, not worth to as k in class and everyone knew who raised the questions. But if we were allowed to write the questions, I thought more students would ask. (Nan, INT-2) [I] was afraid to ask the teacher because I wa s afraid that it was a simple question and everyone already knew the answer. (Tit, INT-2) [You (the researcher) sat] next to me. Aski ng you (the researcher) was personal. If [I] asked Ms. B in the front, it would be a pubic. Sometimes it was just simple questions. (Sak, INT-3) Sometimes I felt my questions were silly or simple, the other students might have known the answers. So, I liked to ask the teacher after class, not in class. (Paul, INT-1) Some students who rarely participated in Q-A activity and would only speak up when the teacher directly addressed them or when they rea lly needed help gave a reason that they felt shy to ask the questions in class. Thes e students said that they were ra rely allowed to ask questions in other classes. Therefore, they were not used to asking questions in this cl ass. They would rather ask their peers instead because they found it was not comfortable to ask the teacher in class. Gradually, some of the students, such as Kit, Paul, and Yut, who were shy initially, began to participate by asking the teacher questions. Howe ver, this did not happen frequently for these students. They explained that they would ask th e teacher when they really needed help about grammar and language usage. Otherwise, they w ould rather ask their peers. This response behavior is related to social values like being humble and senior ity system. Shy for Thai people seems to relate to the way we are taught to be humble, not show off. Asking questions or speaking up is considered by Thais as showing off. Along with the seniority system that prohibits Thai students to argue or discuss with the teacher in class makes them become shy and not feel 143

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comfortable to ask the teacher. Many times, they prefer asking their peers because of the same status that makes them feel more comfortable. Nan and Benz gave another reason for not partic ipating in oral Q-A activity. It was because of the teachers responsethe way the teacher limited the scope of the questions and how she responded to their questions. In this writing class, the teacher, in order to focus on one aspect at a time, decided to limit the scope of the questions each time. For instance, at one time, she let the students ask the questions about simple sentence pattern, or another time, she allowed them to ask questions about present simple tense. The teacher would not answer or explain if the students asked the questions that were not relevant to the scope she allowe d them to. She would tell them that it was not relevant. Another re sponse that made the students felt afraid or frustrated to raise their questions is the way the teacher responded to their questions. Similar to Nan and Benz, Tisa, Wan, Rachel, and Paula complained that rath er than giving them the answers, the teacher sometimes asked them to find the answer by them selves. The students felt that they didnt know how to do so. Even though some of them consu lted grammar books after the class, they still wanted the teacher to explicitly e xplain or give them the answer in class. In addition, the teacher sometimes threw the questions back, which made them feel uncomfortable because they did not expect to be made to think like this. Although th ey understood that the teacher wanted them to work on their own, they would like to have the dire ct answer or more guidance particularly about grammar and language usage. As a result, some students found no point to ask the teacher and did not want to take a risk if the teacher aske d them to think on their own instead of answering their questions. These students expressed: Sometimes I was afraid to ask. Sometimes I asked but it was not the t opic that the teacher allowed, so she did not answer. That made me afraid to ask anymore. If I asked a question and the teacher said it was not relevant, I felt shy (a shamed). (Lisa, INT-2) 144

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Sometimes when we asked the teacher questions, she asked us back rather than giving us answers, and made us puzzled. So, we were afraid to ask questions because we were afraid that she would ask us back and we did not know how to respond. (Wan, Tisa, Rachel, and Paula, INT-2) The preconception of traditional classroom has a major impact on these students. In traditional classroom the teacher transmits the knowledge to the students, one-way interaction. As a result, Thai students are used to receiving, not thinking nor solving the problem on their own. Paul in the first interview claimed, Mostly I could not think of anything to ask. I did not know what to ask because I was not trained to th ink. The students became passive and did not want to work hard to learn to get the answers. When Ms. B encouraged them to think and solve the problem by themselves the students felt uncom fortable. In addition, in Thai society, the authority of teaching belongs to the teacher. This makes Thai students not confident to find out their own answers. They feel th at only the teacher can give th e right answers because he/she knows best. Although the students can consult the textbook, they are not sure they will understand it as the teacher does. They need the t eacher to confirm what th ey learn or interpret from the textbook by giving lect ures or explanations. In summary, the students found question-answ er activity, which were teacher to students or students to teacher patterns, both in oral and in written forms, interactive. In addition, participating in question-answer activity provided a chance for them to learn about English grammar, language usage, and writ ing techniques; unfortunately, not all of them orally asked the questions during this activity. T hose who rarely spoke up chose to listen to their classmates asking questions and waited for answers. As stated above, there were various reasons due to Thai values and educational system, which prevented th em from orally interacting with the teacher during Q-A sessions. Paul summarized, The teac her provided us opportun ities but not all the students took the advantage of them (Paul, INT-3). 145

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It is obvious that writing activities in which the students engaged in this class not only are the opportunities for them to l earn second language (English), but also the opportunities for them to practice writing. They learned English gra mmar and language usage when they wrote and when they engaged in peer-response, revisi on, and question-answer activity. With these activities, the students were provided time, response and owners hip what were basic components for writing. However, engaging in the activities which were foreign to them somehow makes them feel uncomfortable and frus trated because of their past experience and different cultural values. Some students might gradually overcome th eir frustration and started getting used to these activities, some did not. This leads to th eir behaviors that hinder their learning and writing development in a new situation. For example, some students did not give the sincere feedbacks to their peers and at the same time they did not trust their peers feedback about grammar. As a result, the students did not fully learn and gain bene fits from their peers response as it should be. Writing Concept: From Correctness to Expression Engaging in this writing class, the students went through the process of adaptation from the familiar environment to the foreign environmen t. Adapting a new writing instruction in EFL classroom is like transplanting native plants into the foreign soil. The native students have to adapt and adjust themselves to meet the require ment or to accomplish the goal of this writing class. The focus of this writing class was to in troduce the students to the new concept of writing as a process of expressing and communicating their opinions and th eir ideas to the audience, not as a by-product of learning language. Ms. B mentioned at the beginning of the semester that this was writing class, not English language class. Sh e emphasized practicing of writing rather than grammar. She provided the studen ts activities such as free writ ing, peer-response, and revision, to help them learn how to write and promote their expression. 146

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In the second and third interviews, the stude nts reported that their concept about writing changed or expanded. Prior to taking this wri ting class, for them wr iting meant writing one single draft and imitating writing from textbooks. In terms of English writing, this meant completing grammatical exercises in textbooks. They also stated that when they wrote essays in English, they thought of grammar and that made them afraid to write. From the interviews I found that the students concept of writing as be ing only an assignment they had to complete changed. After midterm examination during the sec ond interview, when the students talked about writing, they always mentioned the importance of th e thinking process. To get a piece of writing they had to think about their experiences and chose which information should be included in their writing. The students said they spent a lot of time thinking and searching for information when they wrote. In their past experience, th ey never had a chance to think much when they wrote. Therefore, after taking this writing class, they felt that writing allowed them to think and express their ideas and voices rather than simply imitating a paragraph in a textbook. Moreover, in the second and third interviews the students talked about a more important change in their writing. They bega n to show ownership in their wr iting. Before taking this class, the students wrote to please the teacher because the teacher was the person who graded their essays. In the first interview, the students stated that they wrote what the teacher wanted them to write and tried to avoid making mistakes that may result in a low grade. To avoid making mistakes the students tended to write short essays and imitate models. On the contrary, after taking this class, the students wrote for themselves to express their ideas. Many students felt that free styl e writing allowed them to add their voice and style of writing to their stories. In the interviews, the students were pr oud of their stories and how much they could write. Pat and Wat were the best sample of this. They were very proud that they could 147

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write what they wanted in English. When I asked the students how this writing class helped them improve their writing abilit y, here what they said: I had never before had my voice in my story. Finally, in this cl ass, I am able to tell my story to the readers includi ng the teacher and I, not the teacher, owned the story. (Wat, INT-2) A lot. I think [it helped me] a lot. I never tr ied to write English before. Now I am able to write [in English] about a page although there might be some mistakes. (Wat agreed.) But I can write for a page. (He said proudly.) From the first da y when you asked me whether I used to write or not, I said that I never wrot e. But now I can write [i n English] for a page. But I dont know whether I write ungr ammatically or not. (Pat, INT-2) We had never been asked what we thought. None of the teachers listen ed to the students voices. (Pat and Wat, INT-1) we think for ourselves. We wrote in our styl e. There was not a fixed style of writing. It was up to us, what we wanted to write. We had chances to write our own stories. (Jira, Nee, Orn, INT-2) I am not afraid to write. I am more confident to write because I write what I want to. I took a risk and learned from my mistake. (Sak, INT-3) Free writing practice helped the students expr ess themselves freely while letting them free from correctness. At the beginning, the students felt uneasy to write what they wanted to because they were used to the direct-instruction and were worried about grammar when they wrote. Gradually, they felt more confident to expre ss themselves through thei r stories. When the learners began to write their ow n stories, they enjoyed writin g and tended to write more (Fu, 2000). They were not afraid to make mistakes or grammatical errors beca use they learned that writers cannot get it right at the first time. They could make their writing better by revising it. Revision and peer-response enhan ce the students to listen to their peers more. They learned about the audiences expect ation which they were aware of when they wrote. When introducing the innovation in the edu cational context, any kind of change is expected. Pennington and Cheung (1995) describe d the factors shaping the adoption of the innovation of process writing in Hong Kong in cluding cultural conf lict and educational 148

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background of the context. This writing class in which the teacher adap ted the innovative writing instruction to promote the new concept of writing also led to the students adaptation in learning to write and their perception of writing. The st udents, through extended writing practice over the semester, gradually perceived the concept of writing as a process of expression and communication. Through the interpersonal communica tion in a variety of activities, the students in this writing class, started to internalize what they experienced in this context and their previous experience in writing. The conflict between the old and the new experiences can be seen in their behaviors when they engaged in th e activities as described above. At the end, the students understanding of the nature of writing changed from the perception of writing as a correctness and error-free first draf t to the perception of writing as a process, a tool of expressing their ideas, a tool for thinking, and a problem-solving process. They also learned that a good writing comes from multiple drafts via revision. The students conceptual change is possibly explained by Vygotskys (1978) sociocultural theory of teaching and learning. Th e students conceptual change is contributed to the teachinglearning process of both the teacher and the students peers. Interacting with the teacher and the students peers in a process of negotiation a nd co-construction of knowledge in a learning environment helps the students develop a new c onceptual framework (Vygotsky, 1978; Galperin, 1982). It is found that introducing conflicting information possibly re sults in fostering conceptual change (Haenen, Schrijnemakers, & Stufkens 2003). Mason (2001) found that the conflicting information only is not adequate for conceptu al change. The students may only combine the diverse information and their prior knowledge supe rficially, rather than reconstruct the concept at the semantic level (Vosnia dou, 1999; Haenen et al., 2003). Supporting data, alternative theory, and a variety of learning activit ies may help the students restructure the conceptions (Harrison, 149

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Grayson, & Treagust, 1999; Mason, 2001). This is in accordance with the sociocultural view on teaching and learning. According to Vygotskys (1978) cultural development appears twice: first, on a social level, an d later, on the individual leve l: first, between people (interpsychological), and then inside the chil d (intrapsychological) (p. 57). Aljaafreh and Lantolf (1994) modified this soci ocultural view that T he transition from interto intramental functioning is dynamic process of reconstructi on and qualitative change in which the novice and the expert collaborate in constructing a mutual activity frame (p. 467). By teachers introducing a new concept or conf licting information, and providing the students more data as well as activities that promote the interaction with the teacher and the students peers, the students will be stimulated to become aware of an alternative way of th inking (Haenen, et al., 2003). Through the dynamic process of reconstr uction and qualitative change (Aljaafreh & Lantolf, 1994, p. 467), the students will restructure their conceptions. This process leads to the conceptual change. In this writing class, the t eacher introduced the new concept of writing which is contrast with the traditional concept. To he lp the students reconstruct their prior knowledge and the new one, the teacher provided the students activities like free writing, peer-response, and revision to stimulate the students awareness of the two different conceptio ns. Engaging in these activities, the students concept of writing em erged. As a result, the students developed the conceptual change. According to the second and the third interviews, the students revealed their understanding about writing as a pr ocess and a tool for expression be tter when they talked about free writing. They understood that writing was no t only a text produced, but also involved what the writers employed such as drafting, re vising, and editing, when they wrote. In general, in order to promote the writ ing development and language learning, Ms. B created the environment that was different from the traditional writing classroom. The focus of 150

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this writing class shifted from a traditional classroom to th e learner-centere d one through the activities that promoted learning and writing. To help the students learn to write as well as acquire language, the teacher provided the stud ents meaningful context with a variety of activities such as free writing, peer-response, revision, and question-answer, to let the students learn by doing and writing through the problem-s olving process rather than lecturing and grammar drills (Krashen, 1995, 2004). Writing was em phasized instead of grammar. Through the various activities, the students perceived the new concept of writing as a process of expressing their ideas. In other words, th e adaptation of writing concept sh ifted from writing for correctness to writing for expression. Style of Class Believing in process writing, Ms. B employed so me activities such as free writing, peerresponse, and revision used in process appro ach in her writing class. Implementing this nontraditional approach made this writing class different from the ones that the students were used to. In the traditional writ ing class, particularly English writing class, the teacher gives lectures and explanation about grammar and structures and encourages students to contribute to classroom communication only through the presenta tion of a finished draft, of a well-thoughtthrough idea (Young & Lee, 1987, p. 85). The traditional teacher emphasizes accuracy rather than fluency and meaning. The students rarely part icipate in a variety of activities. The students in this study compared this writing class and the ones they experienced in th e past. They said that in this writing class they had chances to engage in different activities and they were busy all the time. On the contrary, before taking this writing class, they just listen ed to the lecture about grammar and then they wrote an imitating paragraph or essay as homework. They learned by doing in this writing class. Besides, the style of this writing class was different in that the teacher did not lecture but she used the conversationa l style for teaching or explaining grammar or 151

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structures. It was an engaged-learning class. The students were busy or occupied by various activities. In addition, this writi ng class was open-ended style. Conversational Style To develop cognitive development, authenti c dialogue or authenti c discussion should be employed (Bakhtin, 1981, 1986; Vygotsky, 1978). In this writing class, in order to help the students develop the concept of writing as a co mmunication between the writers and the readers and learn the purposes of writing; Ms. B used info rmal guidance or conversational style, instead of prescriptive instruction. She also taught grammar and langua ge structures vi a question-answer sessions. Although the teacher ofte n initiated the communication or discussion in the questionanswer session, it was two-way communication a nd no right or wrong answ er. She allowed the students to raise the questions related to th eir writing works. Based on their questions she explained grammar to them via conversations. Sh e rarely answered their questions directly. Instead, she responded by asking them a question back to make them think and try to get the answer by themselves. Unless the students got th e answers, the teacher gave them the answers and explained more to help them understand. The following is the excerpts of the conversations occurred in this classroom. It shows how Ms. B responded to the studen ts question and how she talked to the students when she taught grammar, writing tasks, or when she responded to their writing. The excerpt was from the classroom obser vation of the second class period. The teacher responded to their first draft of the first assi gnment (Introducing yourself). She called each of the students randomly and responded to their writin g. Then she moved on to the purpose of this writing assignment. Ms. B: Watcharasak, Watcharasak (No response, silent) Ms. B: Did I pronounce his name wrong? I could not guess any other pronunciation. Is he absent today? So, let me gossip about him. 152

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(She reads his writing and make s some comments) Why did he have to tell that he is studying at KU. Ive already known it. (She continues reading.) But I dont like what? I cant read it. Ms. B: Wattanasak S31 raises his hand and responds. Ms. B: Ok. Youre from Engineering, Water Resources. Ms. B: Polachai S30 stands up. Ms. B calls another student and asks her some questions based on her writing. Ms. B: Have you been there for long? Since you were born? S: No. Ms. B: Where were you from? The student doesnt answer. So, Ms. B speaks to her in Thai. Then, Ms. B: I didnt ask the right questio n. I thought you moved from the other province to Bangkok. But you just moved from On-nuch, a place in Bangkok, to the present one in Bangkok too. (So the student could not answer because she thought that the question Where were you from? intended to ask about moving from another province.) 11.28 am. Ms. B: Why did we write this? When will we write to introduce ourselves? S5: To apply for a job. Ms. B: And what you wrote is for appl ying for a job? Well, let talk about the real situation. S5: To know us. Ms. B: Yes, to know you. Id like to know you. S: To write a pen pal. Ms. B: To write a pen pal. Yes. What is pen pal? (Silent. No response. Ms. B write Pen pal on the board.) Ms. B: What does pen mean? Sts: Paak-ka (a pen) Ms. B: What does pal mean? 153

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Sts: Puen (friends) Ms. B: Writing for life Ms. B: Shaking your head. What does it mean? S38: I cant think of anything. 11.33 am. Ms. B: What did you write? Sts: [Name Nickname Faculty] Ms. B: Keep saying. Writing is speaking. Sts: [Phone number Home stay Hobby] Ms. B: Hobby such as watching football playing the guitar. What elses? Ms. B: You can tell about personality, appear ance. (She gives examples of personality and appearance such as tall and some Thai words with explanation.) Tall and dark is appearance. Ms. B: What elses? (Silent) Ms. B: You look at me. Why do you look at me? You look and I look back. Good. This is better than avoiding my eye contact. (Students are silent a nd then laugh softly.) Ms. B: What elses? S13: Favorite Ms: B: Yes, favorite su ch as favorite star S38: What we did during summer. Ms. B: That is life experience during summer Ms. B: (reads a students writing) If I have money, Ill go shopping. What is this sentence? S: If-clause. 154

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Ms. B: If-clause? This is not a gra mmar course. This is writing. Grammar is not writing. In this class gr ammar is not focused. Writing, how you write is focused. So, what does this sentence If I have money, tell us? Why did the writer write it? S: Tell the future. Ms. B: Telling the future. In the future if I have money, Ill go shopping. Only this sentence, it doesnt work. Its too vague. I have to read again. Ms. B reads the sentences before this one, and then asks them again. Ms. B: Is the sentence related to the previous ones? How? S: The hobby. Ms. B: If I have money, Ill go shoppi ng. Is this a hobby? If this is a hobby of Thai students, Oh! The future of Thailand! But it seems to be part of it because he was talking about his free time such as when he has free time, he watches TV. If he just wrote this sentence alone, we would not know what its about. So, what am I discussing? (Silent) S14: There must be some conn ection of what we are talking. Ms. B repeats his words. Ms. B: In writing what this tells us? S6: Purpose of writing Ms. B: Purpose of writing? Please explain more. S6: (I cant catch her words.) Ms. B: What makes you write that? Why do you write this sentence? S5: Write a statement to support. Ms. B: To support before or after it? S5: Before Ms. B: And does this one support? S7: It is an expectation. Ms. B: Expectation? Effective writing should be what the writer wants to communicate with the readers and th e readers have to receive the same message. Why do we write? We write for readers, other people or even us, the writers them selves. If the others read and comment our work, what are we going to do? Have you ever written for the readers? Sts: the teacher 155

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Ms. B: Except the teacher. Have you wr itten a letter to your parents? No! What have you written in your life? S: Short note S: Greeting cards (Field notes, pages 10-15) The excerpt shows that when the teacher started the conversation, th e students gradually joined it. The participation of some students made the class relaxing and encouraged the others to join the conversation later. The way the teach er responded to the students responses was friendly. The students felt safe to answer and share their opinions The conversational style of teaching made the students feel relaxed, not be af raid to try or take risks. The students made comments on the teaching style of th is writing class as the following: The teachers style of teaching is different fr om the others. Its like conversational style rather than lecture which was good. It made us feel more relaxed. (Siwa, INT-3) The teacher had free style of teaching. The class environment is relaxing, not serious. We did not follow the textbook. (Jira, Nee, and Orn, INT-2) This class is informal. The teacher did not give lectures, but she explained in conversational style. (Sak, and Fuada, INT-3) This class was child-centered. I mean the teach er let the students think and express their opinion first. The teacher le t us think and prepare befo re writing. (Jane, INT-2) Besides, the students started to think about th eir writing and what they wrote regarding to the reader and the writer. Before taking this writ ing class, the students di d not think about readers and the purpose of writing. They wrote for the teacher to grade. The way the students responded to Ms. Bs questions at the beginning is possibly because of their previous experience in learning to write both in English and in Thai. They we re taught to focus on error free sentences and language used in writing rather than the content. When they were asked about their writing, their answers were based on the teachers expectati on in the past. At the beginning of this conversation, the students tended to stick to the grammar and se ntence structure. However, Ms. 156

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B tried to point out the purpose of writing in the real situation and made the students aware of the readers point of view. The way Ms. B responded ma de them realize that this writing class was different from the former writing class that th ey experienced. In stead of lecture about writing the format of writing and sentence structuresMs. B used the conversational style of teaching to help the students think and learn that the purpose of writing is to communicate with the readers. Language was a tool for communication. Their con cept of writing and wri ting process gradually changed partly due to the conversations with the teacher and their peers. [The Q-A] made us think better and had diffe rent point of views. We learned about good writing and how to write. This made us write longer. (Jira, INT-3) For the first assignment, it was the same (as we wrote in the past) and we used the familiar sentences that we used in the past. So we didnt have to worry about grammar. Nowadays, I have written for communication and understand able. I did not think about grammar when I wrote the first draft. (Ya, INT-2) Engaged Learning This class is different from the traditional language classroom in that the teacher got the students involved in various act ivities particularly writing task s, peer-responses, and questionanswer sessions. The students did not come to class and did nothing except listening to the lectures and taking notes. Engagi ng in activities helped the stud ents learn to write (Calkins, 1994). Additionally, Krashen (1995, 2004) argues that to help the SL learners acquire target language the teacher should let the students solv e the problem and practice more rather than doing the grammar drills. In this writing class, Ms. B helped the students learn to write as well as learn the language via ac tivities. She provided the students op portunities to practice writing more frequently. The students wrote every period, discussed or talked with their peers about their writing (peer-responses), and learned grammar and structure via question-answer. These activities allowed the students to think and work on their own initiative (Jira, Nee, Orn, INT-2). Jai (INT-2) said that, for this class, the t eacher and students exchanged their ideas and the 157

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students were not passive. She explained that th e teacher did not only transform information to the students but the students also participated in teaching/learning activities. The students expected to write and do other ac tivities when they came to class. The students did not feel bored because they were busy, engaging in different kinds of activities. The followings are what the students concluded about this class. The teacher had activities that kept the stude nts engaged all the time. The students did not just sit and listen to the l ectures. (Wat and Pat, INT-3) Engaging in a variety of activ ities made this class successf ul because the students paid more attention. (Jira, INT-3) The outstanding characteristic of this class is that the students were active by doing a variety of activity. Although at first I felt bored because of the load of work, later I felt ok because I knew that practicing more he lped me improve writing. (Yut, INT-3) Open Ended One of the styles of this writi ng class is that the teacher was open to the students ideas. She let the students think and fi nd out the answers by themselves. If necessary, she would help them by giving them explanation. With conversat ional style of teaching, Ms. B always used open-ended questions to let the students share th eir opinions. She rarely judged their answers as right or wrong. She tried to help them get the answers by asking rather than telling them the answers. This kind of her response made the students feel less stressful and more relaxed when they participated in the question-answer sessions. More students began to join the conversations. The following excerpt showing the open-ended que stions and the way Ms. B responded to the students answers or ideas when she wanted to explain how to describe a scene. She read the students writing and made some comments. Then she read the pa ssage in the textbook and asked the students to compare their own stories and th e sample passage (Sarahs letter) in the textbook. Ms. B: This one is the present scene. The firs t part cant be drawn. He could tell this is KU student from the back. (Students laugh) 158

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Ms. B: (reading) He made me and my friend have fun. (Ms. B smiles and laughs while she is reading. She moves back and forth as she is reading. This makes the students laugh. She read at the end and laughs. The students laugh too.) Ms. B: Too soon to end. (She chooses another one.) Ms. B: Present scene. (She continues reading) Ms. B: She cooks delicious. This mean s she already tasted it. She goes home. Oh! The author knew that she goes home! (Students laugh.) Ms. B: These are what you wrote. Compared with Sarah, whats the difference? (Silent) Ms. B: Compare them. Try drawing the pict ures from your friends stories and from Sarahs. S: (I couldnt catch her words). Ms. B: You said Sarah focused on the important details. S15: Sarah wrote from inside to outside. Ms. B: Sarah wrote from inside to outside So, what about this one and that one? S20: Sarah described where she was, but we wrote as if we were in the distance. Ms. B walked around. S35: Sarah told her story as a shot, bu t we describe our stories continuously. S34: Sarahs story is interesting and longer. Ms. B: Longer? S34: Sarahs story is longer. S26: We can picture what Sarah describes the s cene, but we cant draw a picture for our stories because we just described an event. Ms. B: (Repeat his words) Sarah de scribed the scene, not the event. (Field notes, pages 191-192) From the excerpt above, Ms. B tried to encourag e the students to share their opinions about this assignment, to describe th e scene. She found that the stud ents did not understand how to describe the scene. Therefore, she asked them to compare the text, Sarahs letter and their own writing. Comparing their stories and the sample pa ssage made the students learn how to describe 159

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the scene better than lect uring. Under the assistance of the teacher, by asking them questions and giving them some comments to guide them, the students reconstructed th eir understanding about describing the scene. (Vygotsky, 1978) Summary This chapter shows the characteristics of this nontraditional writing class that promoted the students attitude towards English and writing in Englis h and provided them learning environment to enhance writing development. Due to the students previo us English education which emphasized grammar and language usage, the students viewed writing as a means to practice grammar and language structure. Additio nally, the teachers expectation and the way they gave feedbacks to the st udents writing made the students fear of writing creatively. The writing teachers expected the clean first draft; error-free writing. The students were afraid to take risks because they were afraid to lose the point s. Unlike the traditional writing classrooms, Ms. B tried to encourage the students to write and free them from their previous concepts of writing. Her style of teaching, the conversational style, helped lower the student s affective filters. Another outstanding characteristic is the focus of this writing class or learning environment. According to writing process, the teacher got th e students involved in various activities that enhance them to learn to write. Besides, engaging in different activities such as free writing, revision, and peer-response helped the students transform from passive learners to active learners and reconstruct the concept of writing from co rrectness to expression. However, due to the cultural difference, the students fe lt frustrated when they expe rienced peer-response. According to the Thai cultural concepts of krengjai and losing face, the students in this study were afraid to give sincere and constructive feedbacks to their peers because they considered the feedbacks or comments as criticism that may make their peers lose face. Finally, the style of this writing class 160

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such as conversational style of teaching enhances the students to become active learners and writers. 161

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162 CHAPTER 6 WRITERS DEVELOPMENT In Chapter 5 I addressed the two research question: How do Thai college students respond to a new teaching instruction in an English writing classroom?, and What concerns and frustration did the students enc ounter while participating in th is writing class? Although the students had positive responses towards this writing approach, they pointed out some concerns they had when they participated in the activ ities provided. Their responses as well as their concerns led me to the other res earch question. In this chapter, I will address the other research question: What was the impact of the writing inst ruction on the students growth as writers in this writing class? I wi ll discuss the impact on th e students attitudes toward writing, perceptions of the roles of the teacher and the learners, pe rceptions of writing, and writing development. Definition of Writers Development The purposes of this study and the research design allowed me to explore writers development as an affective phenomenon rather than a linguistic or strategic phenomenon By viewing a writers development as an affective phenomenon, I mean that I did not focus on the development of the students pro cess of writing (what they did when they wrote an essay) and their final written products; instead I emphasized their perceptions when they engaged in this writing class. Their writing works were used to verify their perceptions of writing development. A significant response from the students is that they felt their writing improved and they became confident writers. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify and narrow the term writers development in order to suit this investigation. The research on the affective factors in writ ing such as emotion, motivation, self-esteem, and self-efficacy (Brand, 1989; Cleary, 1991; Hayward, 1991; Thomas, 1992) shows the relationship between the affective factors and the students growth as writers. To investigate the

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writing classroom and the student s responses without looking at the students feeling and attitude toward their writing development woul d ignore one of the important pictures of the students response which is necessary for the teacher to learn how well her in struction is as well as activities and materials are learned. For the purpose of this study, I adopt the defi nition of writers development defined by Malicka (1996) in her study. Sh e defined this term as a self-reported CHANGE in attitude, feeling, beliefs, and/or thought a bout writing. Writers developmen t, then, is defined as an affective change within the writer herself (p. 21 ). In this study, students written performance, such as students writing, is used only to verify the students words and the researchers findings about their development as writers. Students wr itten performance is not used as a reliable assessment of the visible changes in the quality of students written product. To study the students response to this writing class in term s of writers development, students attitude toward their writing development will help us under stand how they affectively change as writers. Students Attitudes towards Writing: Before and After When talking about attitudes towards writing, I am referring to how the students felt about writing, particularly writing in English. The quest ionnaires and interviews I conducted were used to investigate their at titude towards writing. The questionnai res were completed by the students at the first week of the semester. I interviewed th e students at the beginning of the semester, after the midterm examination, and at the end of the se mester. I also relied on observations of their behavior as they participated in class. The data I collected rev ealed that the students attitudes towards writing, as well as their concepts of writing, gradually changed. In addition, I found that their expectation of taking this course was modified as the study went by. 163

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On the questionnaire about 65% of forty stud ents reported that they liked writing. When asked how often they wrote, they stated that they wrote most frequently in Thai for academic purposes, such as homework or reports. Most of them rarely wrote in English. During the interviews conducted at the beginning of the semester, when asked about writing both in Thai and in English, the students confirmed that they liked to write in Thai, not in English. Besides academic writing, about one-third of the students stat ed that they wrote in their diaries in Thai, but not all of them kept writing their diaries wh en they entered the university due to the heavy course load. During the first interview, the st udents stated that they had a negative attitude towards English writing due to their past expe rience in English classrooms and with writing instruction. They felt stressful wh en they had to write in Englis h. They did not want to write much because they were afraid to make gramma tical mistakes which would affect their grades. They also felt that they were not able to wr ite in English because of their limited English proficiency. After the first month of being in this writing class, the students at titude towards English writing began to improve. Before taking this class, the students did not like writing in English and they were afraid of writing. They felt that wr iting particularly in En glish was difficult and only the students with high level of English proficiency were able to write well. Through the semester, there was a reduction in their fear of writing in English. From my observations, after a few weeks, the students did not he sitate anymore to write in English when they were asked to. The first week most of them took a lot of time to start writing and wrote only three to five lines for the first draft of the first assignment. Duri ng the first interview, conducted during the third week, they reported that at firs t they did not know what to writ e and they did not know what the teachers expectations were. They were only fa miliar with highly structured assignments which 164

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the teacher would show them a paragraph or an e ssay that they should imitate. They were afraid to make mistakes in their writing because they did not know how the teacher would grade their writing. Then, after Ms. B told them not to worry about the grammar and allowed them to use Thai in their writing, they reporte d feeling relieved, and the fee ling that writing in English was difficult gradually changed. They were willing to take risks. After the first week, Wat recalled that he did not like English, nor di d he like writing in English. He said that ever since his first Engl ish class, he had hated it. He did not see the necessity of learning English because he never used it in real life. Moreover, the teachers emphasized grammar and sentence structures whic h he did not understand. When he attended the university, he discovered that English was important for his future career. Even still, he did not understand English grammar and structures, which were the main content in his English learning, nor did he like writing in English before he en rolled in Ms. Bs writing class. Wat described his past experience with English as follows: I had negative attitude towards English sinc e I first learned English. I didnt know why. I didnt pay attention to English. I think it wa s because I thought it was not our mother language. So, I thought I was not good at Englis h. But now I think my English is better. I feel good about it too because I found it is not so difficult. I ca n use it in my real life. (Wat, INT-1) For example, when I studied English Foundation 2 and 3, the teachers emphasized grammar. I always reviewed the grammar lesson and did the exercise af ter class, but after that I forgot. Then I had to memorize vocabulary, learned by rote. I could memorize all vocabulary but when I read a sentence, I co uld not translate it because I could not understand the other words. (Wat, INT-2) His attitude towards English and writing in English changed. He felt that he could write despite his limited English. He was not afraid of writing because Ms. B allowed him to use Thai if he could not find the words in English. Sim ilarly, Pat did not like English and writing in English either, but his attitude during the course of the semester improved. Pat became more confident in his English writing abi lities because he felt that he c ould write in English and that it 165

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was fine to mix between Thai and English beca use he could translate those Thai words into English later. He began to feel that writing in English was not so difficult, and he was not afraid to write any more. This writing class helped me improve my wr iting a lot. Since I never wrote in English, now I can write a story in English for a pa ge although it may have some mistakes. (Wat, INT-2) Yes (agreed with Wat). Although I may make some grammatical mistakes, I am proud of myself that I can write in English. Since the first day of the semester, you (the researcher) asked me whether I wrote or not and I told you that I never wrote in English. But now I can write a page in English. (Pat, INT-2) Another impact on the student s perception of writing was that the students had some insight into the fact that they were getting more out of the class th an their original expectation for taking the course. I consider that the purpose for taking English cla ss is related to their attitude towards learning English and learning to write in English. In fact many Thai students think that English and writing in English are difficult. However, they have to take English courses because they are required for graduation. Many students in this study had similar attitude when they took English courses. Therefore, what they reported in the interview was different from what they reported in the questionnaires. In the beginning, over 50% of the students re ported on the questionnaire that the main purpose for taking this course over other English courses was to improve their writing. At the same time, they gave the reason of selecting this writing course because they thought it was simply to get the credits for graduation. I asked them again about the purpose of attending this writing class at the end of the se mester, and over 50% of the stude nts confirmed that they first took this class because they heard that it was easy to get a good grade and because they had to take an English course to fulfill a requirement for graduation. Particularly, the senior students would take any English class that fit their schedule. Wat and Pat explained that the seniors like 166

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themselves did not have much choice due to thei r time schedule. However, they were lucky that they were able to attend this writing class. Pat added during the third interview that he wanted to take a writing class because he thought he would be able to make it, comp ared with reading class which he would have a hard time completing the assignment. Only 20% of the students took this class in order to learn to write and improve writing according to th e interview. It appears to me that when the students went thr ough all activities in th is writing class, th eir expectation of attending this class had changed. After the second month, the students became interested in this class because they found that they could improve their writing and practice English skills. They thought that learning to wr ite in English would be beneficial to them in the future. Therefore, they put more effort in this cla ss than they originally planned. Th ey found that they were able to develop as writers if they were taught how to write and practiced writing more often. Perception of Teachers and Learners Roles As one of the purposes of this study is to investigate the student s perception of an innovative English writing classroom, I decide d to examine whether or not the students perception of the role of the te acher and students changed through th e course of the semester. In order to collect data to answer this question, I asked the students a bout their roles and the teachers role in this class duri ng the third interview. I analyzed their answers in terms of how they described the participants role during classroom interacti on. I focused on the relationship and interaction between the teacher and the stud ents: how the students pe rceived their roles in this writing classroom as well as how they perceived the teachers role. The general view, discussed in detail below, is that the students tended to perceive the teachers role as being different from the role of a traditional classroom teacher, but that their roles were the same. They perceived the teachers ro les as a guide, a suppor ter, a facilitator, and 167

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an instructor; whereas, they perceived themselves as the learners or the receivers who followed the teachers directions and prescription. They also percei ved their role as the doers or participants, the ones who performed the tasks such as writers or participated in activities like peer-response. The fact that there were no cha nges in perception of th eir own roles through the course of the semester was surprising given th at they acknowledged Ms Bs class as being learner-centered. Teacher as a Guide, a Facilitator, a Supporter When the students discovered that this writing class was different from other traditional writing classes, it would not be unus ual that they would view the teacher from a different point of view; and, indeed, this is wh at they did. The students stated that one of the outstanding characteristics of this class was that it was le arner-centered. They acknowledged that the teacher did not only lecture or give dire ctions, but that she provided th em with opportunities to perform various activities. The teacher let them think a nd study by themselves. Fuada and Sak described how Ms. B taught like this: I think a good point of this class is that th e teacher did not open the textbook and gave a lecture based on the textbook when she started each lesson. Instead, the teacher asked us to study or search for information about the topic for each lesson from website or any books.This gave us a chance to read a nd study writing style before (writing our essay). We expanded our ideas when we read other texts. (Sak, INT-3) The teacher just suggested and encouraged th e students to participate. (Rachael, Tisa, INT3) The teacher was a guide. She would let us work on our own. If we had any questions, we asked her. She taught us to solve the problem by ourselves by telling us to search for the answers. (Jira, INT-3) Engaging in the writing practices that allow the students to be autonomous, they perceived the teacher as a guide, a facilitato r, and a supporter in class rather than a lecture as they always did (Chowdhury, 2003). They explained that the teach er always suggested or gave them advice 168

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when they performed each task. The teacher expl ained to them how to do each activity, but the students themselves had to think and perform each task. In the traditional classroom, the teacher gave a lecture when they started a new lesson, then gave examples and finally asked the students to do some exercise drills or do imitating writing or controlled writing. Unlike a traditional class, the students in this class wrote in their own styles and searched for information that they wanted to include or write about. When they had a pr oblem, the teacher allowed them to ask questions, but she did not give them a dir ect answer. She gave the students the freedom to think and write on their own. At the same time, the teacher provi ded the students many activities, such as free writing, peer-response, and revising, for them to learn to write and to improve their writing skills. She encouraged them to write without worrying about making gra mmatical errors. What the teacher did in this class made them feel th at the teacher wanted them to be independent learners, not to depend only on he r. The students felt that they learned to write by writing, but not simply by listening to lectures and directions. Teacher as an Instructor Interestingly, some students also viewed the teacher as an instructorknowledge transmitter or information provider. They viewed the teacher as a person who told them what and how to do each activity. It seems from their stat ements that sociocultural influences play an important role in how the students view the teache r. Although the students viewed the teacher as facilitator, they still viewed th e role of the teacher as information provider or the authoritative standing of the teacher. The students viewed Ms. B as an instructor or the provider of information because they felt that the teacher gave them explanations and also gave them directions in order to complete each task or to perform each activity. Moreover, they felt that the teacher was the person who gave orders and the students were the ones who followed the orders. This view of the teacher is common among Thai st udents. They were taught both at home and at 169

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school to view the teacher as an instructor, someone knowledgeable and someone who transmits knowledge to the students. Although Ms. B gave them some freedom, she still had to teach and give lectures (explanatio n about grammar structures) to meet the students expectations and to teach the curriculum designed by the coordinator of this course. Although the students stated that they felt relaxed when the teacher did not focus on correctness in language, and found the class interes ting because the teacher did not lecture, they still wanted the teachers di rect instruction. These student s have only had experience in traditional classrooms. When they encountered free dom in this writing class and had to think and solve problems by themselves they felt insecure in terms of coming up with correct answers. Teachers in Thailand had always told the students the correct answer and had always made them think that there is always a ri ght and a wrong answer. There is al so the attitude in Thai schools that the teacher is the only person who knows the best, and that the students are the receivers of the knowledge. In other words, th e teacher transmits the knowledge to the students. This kind of perception is related to the Thai culture view of teaching and author ity, as well as to the hierarchical nature of Thai society. Sense of hierarchy can be observed through Thai personal re lationships. Klausner (1993), an American who has spent more than half of his life in Thailand and is interested in various of Thai culture, observes the patt ern of hierarchical behavior and concludes, There are well defined patterns of behavior required for both parties in the symbiotic relationships of patronclient, teacher-pupil, elder-younger, boss-worker, master-servant ( p. 272). The behavior that is obviously observable is the one that the lower rung of the hierarchical ladders shows to those above. For instance, deference, diffidence, and respect are the behaviors that the person with lower rank of the hierarchy shows to the superior Meanwhile, the superior is expected to keep 170

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the relationship meaningful and complete by givi ng moral and/or material supports, advice, and protection to the inferior (Kla usner, 1993). For Thai society, the hierarchical behavior is normally framed by seniority, status, power, and knowledge. The ones with higher rank are considered as authoritarians. In this study, the students who were considered as inferiors in the classroom showed their respect to the teacher by being obedient. Consistent with Chowdhurys (2003), the social and cult ural norms play an important role in shaping the way students viewed the teachers role. Chowdhury discusses, The culture in Bangladesh is one that a long traditional of unconditional obedience to authorit y. The teacher is seen not as a facilitator but as a fount of knowledge. The south Asian teacher is the author itarian purvey of knowledge, one to lead and to draw matters to a correct conclusion (p. 289). With this cultural constraint, when EFL students expose to the new and unfamiliar approach, their perception of the teachers role seems to be conflict with their expectation due to th eir past experience shaped by their social and cultural norms. Students as Learners and Apprentices While the students in this study viewed the teach ers role as a guide, facilitator, supporter, and an instructor, I was not surp rised that they perceived themse lves as students and apprentices. This is because in Thai culture both inside the classroom and in society, the students and youth are trained to obey people in positions of author ity, including teachers and elders, such as their parents and grandparents. At first I was not sure what they really meant when they said their role was that of being students or doers. I asked them to clarify what they meant by this. The students explained that they followed the teachers instructi ons or directions to perfo rm a task or activity. The followings are what Wee, Wat and Pat said: The teacher assigned the tasks and [students] did as they were told to. (Wee, INT-3) Mostly, the students received [knowledge fr om the teacher]. (Wat and Pat, INT-3) 171

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Although they had more freedom than in tradit ional classrooms, they just did what they teacher told them to, no more or less. For exampl e, some students, such as Wee, might not have wanted to revise their essays, but they had to do it because the teacher told them to and because it affected their grade. I asked them if they would revise their essa ys if the teacher had not told them to. Some students like Wee sincerely responded that they would not ha ve revised it or that they might have revised it only once. In fact, I was also bored. I was lazy to do [revising multiple drafts], but I had to because, first, it was a teachers order. Second, it a ffected us both in pract icing writing and in the examination. (Wee, INT-3) Although I was not surprised by responses like the one above, I somehow felt that they might not really understand their role in this class. Most of them repeatedly told me that this class was different from other classes and that the teacher tended to make it learner-centered. When they told me that they viewed themselves as apprentices, I thought they meant participants or performers who participated in activiti es energetically. I belie ved that, based on my observation, they generally enj oyed doing activities. Meanwhile, some of the students felt that they had too much work, compared with their friends who attended othe r writing classes. They sometimes wanted the teacher to reduce the number of revisions for each assignment. I understand that it is not easy to change students in a short period of time (15 weeks); especially because they were used to playing the traditiona l student role. They expected to learn from the teacher. For example, although they understood th at the teacher would like them to be independent and to learn how to solve problem s on their own, some students complained that they wanted the teacher to just give them a direct answer when they asked her a question. The teacher should answer our question in stead of not answer and ask us back. This made us puzzled. I didnt know who was wrong. I think if we learn more grammar we will be able to write. Although we learn grammar ru le and use it wrongly, it is better than not learning. Writing class at school or university should teach grammar first, and have the 172

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students to write as homework. If it is a shor t writing, it may be a class assignment. (Wan, INT-3) The teacher should answer the question directl y. Sometimes the teacher did not answer the question, sometimes she asked us to find out or check grammar text books. The teacher please answered our question because we did not know how to find out the answer. Sometimes we could not find it. (Kit and Siwa, INT-3) [We] wanted the teacher to give more time for writing assignment especially homework [grammar exercises] I wanted her to give e xplanation or answer when we asked a question. (Nini, Tanya, Tai, and Su, INT-2) Besides their past experience in the prescrip tive classrooms, the possible explanation for the conflict perceptions on their role may relate to thei r understanding of the term learnercentered. The term learner-centered may be a culturally situated. Like the term communicative in a language cl assroom which seems to be a cu lturally situated word and is different in its connotations and expectation across cultures (Holliday, 1994; Hall, 1997). Hall (1997) and Holliday (1994) point out the cultu ral connotation and expectation across cultures when the term communicative is used in a language classroom that what may be communicative in one setting might not well be in another. This incident depends upon the local culture which may or may not compatible with the premise of communicative approach. For example, the classroom with small amount of students with plenty of resources supports communicative approach, while the big class with few resources might be incompatible with communicative approach. The term learner-centere d, which is coined and originated in the culture that emphasizes individuals such as Amer ican culture, may be perceived or interpreted differently in EFL countries due to cross-culture. With cultural diffe rence and their past experience with prescriptive teachers, the st udents in this classroom may perceive and understand this term learner-cente red approach literally as th e approach that promotes the students to do the task as the te acher assigned, in stead of the one that promotes the independent learners who were responsible fo r their writing and th eir learning. They were in the process of 173

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transforming their roles from the old one to the new one. This leads to th eir perception of their roles as a combination of the old role (learners) and the new one (apprentices). Changes in Writing Perception In the second and third interviews, the stude nts reported that their concept about writing changed or expanded. Prior to taking this class, for them writing meant writing one single draft and imitating writing from textbooks. In terms of English writing, this meant completing grammatical exercises in textbooks. They also stated that when they wrote essays in English, they thought of grammar and that made them afraid to write. After taking this class, the students found that writing entailed more than writing just one draft. Ni ni, Tanya, Tai and Su in their second and third interviews described writing as a multiple draft process. They thought that to get a finished piece of writing, they had to revise and revise. They said they had never thought of revising a piece of writing before they entered this writing class. Vygotskys (1978) sociocultural theory of teach ing and learning, particularly the zone of proximal development, asserts that learning awakens a variety of international development processes that are able to ope rate only when the child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers (p. 90). Haene n, Schrijnemakers, and Stufkens (2003) modify Vygotskys assertion to explain the conceptual change in that the child develops academic concepts during the teaching-learning process through, embedded in, and mediated in and by relationships with peers a nd adults (p. 251). In other words, interac ting with adults and more competent peers enhances the child to em erge, absorb, and intern alize the new knowledge or the new concepts. In this writing class, the students had more chances to interact with the teacher and their peers via writi ng activities. Interacting with th e teacher and their peers helped the students develop the new c oncept of writing as a process. 174

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From the interviews I found that the student s concept of writing as being only an assignment they had to complete changed. After midterm examination in the second interview, when the students talked about writing, they always mentioned the importance of the thinking process. To get a piece of writing they had to think about their experiences and chose which information should be included in their writing. The students said they spent a lot of time thinking and searching for information when they wr ote. In their past experience, they never had a chance to think much when they wrote. Therefore, after taking this writing class, they felt that writing allowed them to think and express their id eas and voices rather than simply imitating a paragraph in a textbook. Moreover, in the second and third interviews the students talked about a more important change in their writing. They bega n to show ownership in their wr iting. Before taking this class, the students wrote to please the teacher because the teacher was the person who graded their essays. In the first interview, the students stated that they wrote what the teacher wanted them to write and tried to avoid making mistakes that may result in a low grade. To avoid making mistakes the students tended to write short essays and imitate models. On the contrary, after taking this class, the students wrote for themselves. Some students such as Nat and Wee stated: We knew our own story better th an any others so we did not need any help from the teacher for the content but we needed help with language usage. (Mate, INT-2) Many students felt that free styl e writing allowed them to add their voice and style of writing to their stories. In the interviews, the students were pr oud of their stories and how much they could write. Pat and Wat were the best sample of this. They were very proud that they could write what they wanted in English. When I asked the students how this writing class helped them improve their writing ability. Here what they said: 175

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I had never before had my voice in my story. Finally, in this cl ass, I am able to tell my story to the readers includi ng the teacher and I, not the teacher, owned the story. (Wat, INT-2) A lot. I think [it helped me] a lot. I never tr ied to write English before. Now I am able to write [in English] about a page although there might be some mistakes. (Wat agreed.) But I can write for a page. (He said proudly.) From the first da y when you asked me whether I used to write or not. I said that I never wrot e. But now I can write [in English] for a page. But I dont know whether I write ungr ammatically or not. (Pat, INT-2) We had never been asked what we thought. None of the teachers listen ed to the students voices. (INT-1-Pat and Wat) I can write, not the beginning leve l, [but] its ok at some level. That is before taking this class or after I passed Foundation English 3, if you asked me to describe a picture, oh ho, how many lines I could write, three [lines] ma ybe or maybe not. But if you ask me now, I can write. I dont know how to explain it to you. I feel that my writing improves. (Wat, INT-2) we think for ourselves. We wrote in our styl e. There was not a fixed style of writing. It was up to us, what we wanted to write. We had chances to write our own story. (Jira, Nee, Orn, INT-2) I am not afraid to write. I am more confident to write because I write what I want to. I took a risk and learned from my mistake. (Sak, INT-3) Before taking this class, when the teacher as sign writing task, I had to write in Thai first, and then I translated it into English which was very difficult. Now I began to write in English. I thought in Thai and then wrote in E nglish without writing in Thai as I used to. The teacher made us feel good about Englis h. The teacher was not strict on grammar and reduced the points. In general, she wanted us to be able to write and like writing. When we saw our grade, we felt that this was our ability. It made us proud of ourselves and our writing. (Jane, INT-3) The students reported their attitude towards wr iting as well as thei r perception on writing changed. In terms of writing as a process, the students learned to aware that writing is a process of discovery and to generate th e ideas, not just transcribe th em. Moreover, in the process of writing, the students learned to inte ract with their peers to excha nge the feedbacks. In terms of writing as a product, the students stated that they wrote longer essays and stories and they improved their writing performance in term s of using new vocabulary and grammatical structures and had better organization. In the following section, I will use their writing product to 176

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show and verify the students change in their thought about their writing development and their writing performance. Writing Development As mentioned in Chapter 5, the students in th is class had experienced a change in teaching approach from the outset of the course. They engaged in various activities that made them became active writers. They learned to write fo r communication purposes and for an audience. They gained a sense of ownership when they were allowed to choose their own topics. They learned to express themselves th rough their writing. They also learned more about the English language, its grammar and struct ures via writing, peer-respondi ng, revising, and editing. The students found that their writing skills and writing performance improved. They reported that they learned to think and write faster, wrote longer essays and st ories, and were more careful about grammar and structures when they revised. They thought that their writing was better organized as well. This section presents the analysis of student s writing samples in terms of surface features, content, craft, and language. The surface features include length, spelling, and handwriting. The content refers to ideas and details while craft re fers to organization, style, and word choice or vocabulary. Language includes grammar and sentence structure. I decided to analyze the first draft of five writing assignments of nine focus students representing low, intermediate, and high English proficiency students because the first draf ts particularly the first four assignments were written in class which well represented their wr iting ability when time was limited. Only the fifth assignment was homework assignment. The sixt h assignment was group work assignment so I decided not to include it in this analysis. Their real names are withheld, and the pseudo names were used instead. The first and second assignmen ts were about describing people (Introducing yourself, Introducing your friend), and the th ird assignment was describing a place (Your 177

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favorite place). The forth assignment was desc ribing past experience (Your experience of learning English), and the fift h assignment was a narrative (Your impressive experience). Surface Features Length The students tended to write longer after the first assignment. Wat and Fuada, although their second, third and forth assignment were gr adually longer, wrote s horter in their fifth assignment due to the fact that the topic about an impressive experience was more complicated. The length of the students writing increased from first assignment to the fifth assignment (see Table 6-1). The mean scores of the number of words and number of sentence show that the students with low English proficiency wrote longer from 74 words, 7 sentences to 160 words, 14 sentences. The intermediate level wrote fr om 146 words, 14 sentences to 217 words, 27 sentences. Similarly, high English proficie ncy students wrote longer from 134 words, 17 sentences to 214 words, 21 sentences. The students tended to write longer with more details and elaborate in their writing. Spelling The low English proficiency students, especial ly Fuada, tended to spell incorrectly for simple words in the first assignments but late r their spelling was better except Fuada who seemed to have a problem with spelling. For example, Wat spelled hope as holp or basketball as bass. For the word basketball, I think he used the short word for it or he was not sure how to spell it. Tit spelled seniar for s enior, hards for hard in his first assignment. Tit learned from his former mistakes. When he wrote about his pa st experience (fourth assignment) he did spell the word hard right in the same senten ce pattern, but he made another mistake like vocabuary and unknonw. Among th ese three students, Fuada had the problem with spelling the most. He made some errors on spelling in every assignment, such as leanning 178

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(learning), cross (course), herry (hurry), hiseasons (high seasons), ans (and), Froundasion (Foundation), whatching (watching) talavition (television), and channal (channel). When he got the feedback from his peer s or the teacher, he learned and corrected these words in his other drafts. For the intermediate and high English proficie ncy students, they did not have the problem with simple words, but they did have misspelling for longer words or the words that they rarely wrote although they heard them or spoke them For example, Kit misspelled Argiculture, keybroad, rountines, and nursesary, while th e others rarely had mi sspelling. I think Kit had a problem with the words that the spelling and the sound did not match, or the diphthongs. The other students seemed not to have the problem with spelling. Their misspellings might be just typo. Handwriting The students handwriting was easy to read except a few low-English proficiency students such as Fuada. The female students tended to ha ve neat handwriting even in their first draft. Male students had readable handwriting but many scratches for the first drafts because the teacher told them not to bother about misspelling. She told them not to erase but just cross out. So, there were some crossing out or scratches in their first draft. In general, according to the surface features the students writing improved. They wrote longer stories, made less errors on spelling. They learned from their mistakes in the former works. Their handwriting was readable and the high English proficiency had good handwriting. Content The content includes the ideas and the details of the essay or story. The students had experience for the first topic (Introduce Yourself ). However, the students with low English proficiency tended to have simple or basic ideas when they wrote about themselves in their first 179

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draft (see Table 6-2). For the first and second as signments, they described a person (introducing themselves and describing their friend). Their id eas were not complicated because they just describe who they were. They introduced their na me, described their age, their major, where they were studying, where they lived, an d what they liked to do. After the second draft, they added more details about their routines because the teacher told them to write about routines, which was one of the focuses for this unit. Fuadas firs t draft of the first assi gnment showed that the ideas were poorly expressed due to the use of vocabulary: Hello, My name is (name) Surname (last name). Now I leaning in Engineering Faculty at 5 year. My nickname is Benz, but My friend tell to me YIck ( ) Im very happy take cross in class. by the way in freedom I ha ve to see the movie and sometime I tour and I like drive a car on myself For the third assignment, describing a place, these students had a chance to read from the other materials before writing the first draft, th erefore, their ideas were more complicated. They had to think about their favorite place, what made it their favorite, and what information they would include in their essay. However, the teacher told them to search for any information about a place and made sure that they had informa tion about the location, climate, population, and interesting spots because those were information that they had to write in the examination. So, the low-English proficiency stude nts tended to cut and paste the information from what they read. As a result, they had more details when they wrote this essay. For the fourth assignment, the students wrote about their past experience. They tried to give details on how they learned English and what they felt about it. Their ideas were complicated and they had difficulty choosing En glish words due to their limited vocabulary. They switched to Thai language. The excerpt be low shows that Tit switched to Thai language when he talked about what he thought about his experience. 180

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In Year One, I was study in Eng I. There are some thing to learn [literary mean like but he wanted to say it seems] I started from 0 to 1 [literary mean new but he wanted to say again or started all over again] Because study from 1 to 6, I never [because I did not understand what I learne d from grades first to twelfth.] At Entrance [examination], I 45 [For entrance examination, I just guessed the answers and I got 45 points.] For the fifth assignment, the low English prof iciency students had more complicated ideas when they wrote about their impressive stories. This may be because for this assignment, the teacher prepared them more before asking them to write their first draft at home. She asked them to find an impressive story either in Thai or in English. She told them to highlight the part that showed emotion such as sadness or fun. Later she asked them to critique the story their peer brought. Then she discussed with th e students about the language th e writers used to show their emotion, such as verb, adjectives, and how it worked for the audience. As a result, when the students wrote their first draft th ey presented the logical and comp licated ideas with details about their experience. However, Fuada and Wat di d not show much improvement in terms of complicated ideas but they did show that they integrated what they learned from the former assignments in the fifth assignment. Wat described the place he felt impressed while he narrated his story about his trip to that place. He gave hi s opinions about that place as well. Tit was the one who showed much improvement when he wr ote the fifth assignment. The excerpt below shows how Tit narrated his stor y with logical and elaborate id eas by using cause and effect transition such as because. He told the read er what he did after he left home clearly. When I was seven years old, I left out home al one because I didnt want to go to school. My father and mother werent know that. I le ft home at 5.00 a.m. Everybody in my family were sleeping. I had a big bag and 500 B money in my pocket. I walked to the bus stop and randomly catched the bus. I didnt know where the bus go. I sat beside the window and enjoyed the view outside. I didnt fear anyt hing because I was a little boy. I went to so many places, which I didnt know. I went to the market and department store. It was a big adventure. A man looked at me surprisingly, they didnt look at my parents. 181

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Similarly, the intermediate English students pr esented the simple ideas in their first and second assignment. However, they had more details besides their personal information, such as their name, age, what they studied, their fam ily, and their hobby. They added information like their appearance, their future, th eir feeling, and their experience a bout this university. Their ideas were more complicated when they wrote about their past experience and their impressive experience. They described more about their f eeling. Some students like Kit switched to Thai when they expressed the complicated and abstract ideas. The fifth assignment show how much these students improve in terms of content. They expressed ideas logically, and had details to support their ideas. Like the other students, high English proficiency students pr esented simple ideas when they described themselves and their friend in the first and the second assignment. Their ideas were about who they were. The de tails included general personal information as well as their family and their interest or hobbies It seems to me that this might be a format that they learned from school when they were asked to introduce themselves. They give information that they thought the teacher expected. In this group, Su seemed to be the strong writer. Her first assignment had more ideas and details which were different from the others, such as introducing her hometown and its interesting spots. For the third assignment, describing a place, this group had more ideas on how to present the place. Besides information about the place, th ey added why they liked that place, why they chose to write about that place, what they want ed to do, or where they wanted to visit. The content of their forth and fifth assignments were also logical and complicated. They presented their story with sufficient and vivid informati on. Their ideas had unity and they presented the main idea in their paragraph. For example, Su st arted her story with My impressive story was 182

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happened when I studied in primary school (Pratom 6) at Aroonpradit School in Petchburi. Her opening sentence gave enough details for the r eader to know when and where this story happened, and what kind of story they expected to read. She ended her story with happy result, I received a certificate an d the money 4,000 baht. And this is my impressive experience that I will remember it forever. In summary, after the students practiced writ ing more frequently, their ideas were more complicated in the fourth and fifth assignments They generated more ideas. Since they read from outside materials, they added more details in their stories. However, the low proficiency students had problems when they wanted to express the complicated ideas. They switched into Thai to solve this problem. Unlike this group, the high English proficiency presented their complicated ideas logically with good organization. Craft Craft, in general, refers to an art or skill in doing something. In writing, craft is part of the writing process. Craft is the stage when the writer drafts, revises, and edits for their final product. The writer generates the ideas and put them in a written form. In doing so, the writer organizes their ideas, uses different writ ing techniques or styles, and langua ge to create and convey his/her story to the audience. In this se ction, I will discuss the students writing development in terms of organization of stories, writing techniques or styles and the use of language. Organization The students writing showed the improvement of organization. In general, their organization gradually improved from the first assignment to the fifth assignment. The lowEnglish proficient students showed huge improveme nt in their first draft of the fifth assignment except Fuada who still struggled wi th it when he wrote the first draft of the fifth assignment. But after receiving peers feedback, Fuada showed much improvement in his third draft. For the first 183

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draft of the first assignment, the students writ ing was not well organized. They switched their information back and forth. For example, Wat started from his personal information (name and age), then his education (university and major), then turned to his personal information again (where he lived), and then ab ruptly moved to talk about hi s hobbies, and ended with personal information (birthday) and his hope Tit had the similar organization in his first draft of the first assignment. He started with his personal informa tion to education, then switched to his personal information, and ended his essay with his hobbies For the second assignment, the organization of their essay was better. Wat, during the first interview, told me that he learned from his first assignment how confusing his essay was. The teach er pointed it out to him. When he read the teachers feedback and reread his essay, he agreed th at he confused the readers by ab ruptly presented different ideas and information. However, when viewing his first draft of the second assignment, he did not show much improvement of organization in this piece. Unlike Wat, Tits second assignment was better organized. He separated the information in to three short paragraphs. He focused on the routines: during the day, in the evening, and on weekends. Similar to Tit, Fuada described his friends routine from getting up in the morning to going to bed. It seems to me that the students lacked the knowledge of a paragraph concept or essay format. Although during the interview they mentioned the format of essay (introducti on, body, and conclusion), they did not show this understanding in their essay. It is possible that their writi ng was just a paragraph essay. Therefore, they were not aware of the essay pattern. Moreover, the students writi ng did not show the paragra ph pattern (topic sentence, supporting details, and conclusion). This relates to how Thai stude nts write a descriptive essay in Thai. They have introduction but it will not st raight forward. They may end the story or 184

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paragraph by telling the future hope like Wat di d which may not be a conclusion sentence of the paragraph but for Thai writing it is acceptable. We call it a personal style of ending. The following is Wats first draft of the first as signment. He ended his story with his hope. My name is (name). I 22 years old. I study at K. University. My faculty of Engineering. I come from Nakronphanom. I stay at nhamw ongwasn cord apartment. It opposite K. University in ngamwongwan Rd. I like play gu itar and watch Television in free time. And I like football but I dont like bas. My birthday is 10th June 1981. I holp to graduate in this year For the opening for introducing someone like fri end, The students star ted with Her/his name is (name). This may be strange way to es tablish a topic for native-English speakers but for Thai people, this is quite acceptable. I think th e students may imitate the pattern from the essay of introducing yourself when they opened thei r essay with My name is (name). Another possible explanation is that they might transfer Thai style of writing to English writing. We can begin our story with the pronoun like Her name is She is ., and we probably end the essay by telling her name or maybe the writer herself. The intermediate and high English proficiency students showed better organization in their writing. They presented ideas smoothly and pretty well organized since the first assignment. However, similar to the low English proficiency st udents, for the first two assignments they used the similar opening statement. Unlike those students, the intermed iate and high English proficiency sometimes showed their knowledge of paragraph concept such as providing topic sentence, details that supported the topic sentence. For example, Nok started her their assignment like this: Finland is my favourite country. Then she provided details about this country to support her first sentence. Kit in his fifth assignment started his st ory as This is my sad story. Then he narrated his story chr onologically and logicall y. And he ended his story with That day I felt very sad. The high English proficiency students appeared to use appropriate transitional devices and vocabulary to make th eir story well organized and sm ooth. For example, Nini wrote: 185

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When I was 10 years old, I came to Bangkok with my father. It was the first time that I came to Bangkok by plane. I was glad when I known that I was going to Bangkok by plane. About ten minutes later, and air hostess explained how to use a parachute. Then she I was very tired, so I went to bed early. A day later, my father and I went to visit many interesting places in Bangkok such as Although it passed many years, I still remember it well. Nini used complex sentences such as adverb clauses and adjective clauses to show the connection of the events (whe n, although, that). Similar to Ni ni, Tanya and Su showed the knowledge of paragraph and essay concept by ha ving opening and closing sentences and used transitional devices to make the organization better. For example, Tanya began her essay about place as: I know Korea long time but I dont know th at what is interesting thing in Korea? I saw many beautiful places, lifestyle from televi sion so I would like to find data about Korea. Tanya began the third assignment as: I selected to write about Japan becau se it is interesting country. They gave good opening to this piece while other students tended to write this piece as a report without good organization but with a lot of information they gathered from the materials they read. Their opening statements made thei r essay interesting and got attention from the audience. As I mentioned above, the fifth assignment showed huge improvement of the students writing. Before they wrote this piece, the teacher provided them many task s in order to prepare them for their writing. She started with an oral discussion of their impre ssive life experiences. Then, she asked them, as homework, to find a story that expressed emotions, such as sad stories, jokes or funny stories, and love. She gave some directions for this task including highlighting the words or language reflecting the feeling or emotion, finding the meaning of unknown words, telling why they thought it was funny, sad, or happy. In class, she randomly read the students stories and asked them to critique the story. For example, when she read a sad story, she asked if 186

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it was sad, what made it sad. She then asked the st udents to read their pe ers stories and gave their feedback on the stories they read. She, th en, elicited the language from the story based on the students ideas and showed them how these language choice and structure reflected the feeling. She also explained the us e of dialogue in the story and th e present and past tense when narrating the story. For their homework, she asked th e students to retell the stories they read in their own words or to write their own stories about an impressive experience. The students chose to write their own stories. Sin ce they were well prepared and taught how a writer uses language to express their emotion, the st udents learned and tried those techniques (using dialogue, some emotional verbs and adjectives) in their own stor ies. Moreover, they worked on their pieces at home so they had more time to generate their id eas, to organize their information and to revise their piece. That is why this piece showed huge improvement in organization. Their journal on how they wrote this writing assignment confirmed that they applied what they learned in class from the reading materials and struggled in select ing which story to tell, in translating it from a Thai draft or outline into the E nglish version, in organizing their ideas to make it smooth and logical, and in choosing the right words and tenses to express th eir ideas. For example, Fuada wrote his story in Thai first and then translated it into English. The following excerpts from the students journals showed that they spent ti me crafting this piece a nd tried the techniques, vocabulary and grammar structures (tenses and complex sentence) they learned when they wrote this piece. Since last Tuesday, I have learned some [English] vocabulary and interesting English article. Its fun and I felt happy in learni ng. Although I might not write well, I had an opportunity to try and write which was better than not doing anything. (Pat) I wrote this piece based on my past experience. Before writing this piece, I read some books about how to use past simple tense a nd how to organize the story. Then, I started writing this story. The problem wa s I was confused with past simple form of verbs(Tit). 187

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I recalled my past experience that I would write about. Then, I wrote it in Thai first. I wrote everything that I could recall. After that [I] read the whole story and reorganized the sentences or added [some more details]. When I got a draft, I started to write in English. There were some problems. [That] is, I coul d not translated some Thai sentences into English if I wanted to keep the exact mean ing. So, I changed the sentences. Using my own language may make the sentences ungrammatical but I think this piece of writing is better than the last ones because [I] had more time to think and had time to organize my story. (Sara) Before writing this piece, [I] had to recall my impressive experience. I recalled when, where, and how it happened. Then I tried to wr ite it in English. Its difficult to write in English because I thought in Thai. I could not translate some sentences in English. I decided not to have those sentences. (Nok) I spent much time to write this piece. First, it took much time for me to decide what I would write about. At first, I wrote another story, but I coul d not finish it. I changed the story to this one. I drafted it in Thai and then translated it into English. I spent much time for some sentences. I didnt know how to write them in English. For grammar, I used some verbs but I was not sure if I used them right or not. (Su) According to my observation and the students journals, the students in this class learned more about organization when they wrote about their impressive experience. The teacher prepared them well in order to create this pi ece of writing. With the preparation and exposure to authentic materials, the students showed huge impr ovement in how they narra ted their story; they had the opening statements, and closing sentence. Th ey also used the language patterns to make their story smooth. Style The students in this class deve lop their own style and also le arned some writing techniques such as the use of dialogue to narrate their stories, the use of ve rbs and adjective to express their feeling. Mainly, they had personal writing styles in their description and their narration. Except for the third assignment writing, they used I in their stories which revealed their voice in their essays. Their personal style gradually developed a nd can be vividly seen in the fifth assignment. Many students including low English proficie ncy students tried a ne w writing technique-including dialogueto write personal narrative which made this piece more interesting and 188

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lively. The following are the excerpts showing how they used the dialogues to reflect their voice in the fifth assignment. In the evening, while I was walking along the ro ad, the policeman came to talk to me and asked me who is coming with you. I answered I come alone. He took me to the Bangkhen Police station I just only said :I dont know I stayed there until late night. (Tit) This is my sad story. It bega n while Im freshy In the days the phone rang. Hello! I said. Bank! This is your uncle. Please give me sa ys with your mother My mother told me Your grandmother pose to a hospital. (Kit) I told my mother I would like to play the Space Mountain. When I and my mother came out, we sat on a chair. My father asked me Is it fun? I answered Yes. My mother blamed me but I laughed (Tanya) Word choice The students in this class tended to have a problem with word choice. They had limited English vocabulary particularly the low-English proficiency students. From the first assignment to the fifth assignment, from time to time, they showed they had hard time to find the right or appropriate English words for their ideas. Althou gh they learned more vocabulary as Wat and Tit said in the interview and in Tits journal and in their revision, when they wrote a new essay, especially about the elaborate topics, this problem reoccurred. The students also had difficulty when they wrote about abstract ideas such as emotion, or learning. Sometimes, they could not translate their ideas into English, they chose to use Thai in their first drafts, and then used a ThaiEnglish dictionary to help them when they revise d their drafts. Frequently, in class, the students used Thai-English dictionaries (electronic dictionaries) wh en they had a problem about vocabulary. However, when they used the dic tionary, they got only English words and they tended to use those words ungrammatic al or inappropriate words in the context. Fo r example, Tit and Fuada struggled with word choice and sometimes he chose to use Thai when he talked about the purpose of his study and his ab ility in learning English: 189

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Im happy for study in English writing because it maky I funny for learn.At the time I study very hards I dont English. [My translation: I studied very hard in order to gradua te this year. I am not good at (literary means keen on or expert) English.] (Tit) ... by the way in freedom I have to see the movie and sometime I tour [I travel, or I went to the countryside] and I like drive a car on myself. (Fuada) The intermediate and high English proficiency students had this problem when they wrote about a complicated topic or when they expresse d their feelings. The also switched to use Thai when they could not translate their ideas into English for their first drafts. However, the high English proficiency students tended to make fe wer errors on word choice. It was probably because they wrote about themselves and their experience, or they chose to write their essays based on the knowledge of vocabulary they had. They appeared to have sufficient knowledge of vocabulary to express their ideas. Next I learned the grammar. I read the na tion junior [English newspaper for students] and listened a tape to [to get the main idea or for comprehension] but I dont like it. (Kit) I am alone because my friend cant add th is section. If I drop I am afraid, I will tired [be retired] next term. (Sara) And I like very much, because I ca n write everything I think and dont scare about grammar And it dont make me serious when I am serious, I cant write. But my teacher was quite fix about grammar. (Sara) I am joyfu l but sometimes easy to angry (Tanya) After practicing writing more frequently along w ith the teachers guidance particularly for the fifth assignment, the students in this class developed their writing skills such as organization, and tried a new writing technique they learned when they wr ote. They also learned new vocabulary when they translated Thai words in to English by using dictionaries. However, the students still had a problem with word choices especially when th ey wrote an elaborate story. 190

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Language In this section, language incl udes grammar and sentence structure. The students in this class had basic writing skills in English. They had knowledge of simple sentence structure (Subject, verb and object or modifiers) However, they produced some errors when they wrote the first assignment. The teacher decided to empha size the basic sentence structure because the students tended to write incomplete sentences. She discussed with st udents the pattern of a simple sentence to make the students aware of the sentence structure when they wrote. Sometimes the students forgot to put a period afte r a sentence. It is because Thai language does not use the period to indicate a complete sentence. It appeared to be a run-on sentence for the native English readers. According to the studen ts writing samples, there were four major grammatical errors: verb phras es, subject-verb agreement, determiners and preposition, and sentence structure (see Table 6-3) Verb phrases include improper use of tenses, incorrect use of infinitive or present participle and deletion of auxiliaries. Th e students, although they had basic skills of English, they app eared to produce a lot of errors when they wrote in English in their first drafts. The major problem that the students in this class had was related to verb phrase. They perceived that tense usage was their problem when they wrote in English. This problem appeared in their writing particularly in the forth and fifth assignments which tested the knowledge of tenses. For the first three assignments which did not aim to test the use of tenses, the students made fewer errors on verb phrase. Viewing onl y the fourth and the fifth assignments, the students in all groups produced fewer errors on verb phrase. Subject-verb agreement and determiners along wi th preposition tended to be another main problem for the low English proficiency student s. The second assignment, which tested the knowledge of subject-verb agreement, showed that they made a lot of errors on these types of 191

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errors (12 and 13 errors respectively). For the intermediate proficiency students, the determiner and preposition usage were their second problem. They made more erro rs in the last two assignments. It is probably that they wrote longer and the topics of the assignments were more complicated than the first three assignments. Unlike the other two groups, the high English proficiency students made fewer errors in subjec t-verb agreement, determiners and prepositions. For sentence structure, the student s in all groups made fewer erro rs in their fifth assignment. In conclusion, the students in this class had some basic writing skills in English at the beginning of the semester. Through practice writi ng, peer-responses, and revision, they learned how to organize a paragraph, some writing tech niques such as using dialogue, and sentence structure i.e. simple, complex, and compound sentence s. They tried what they learned in class in their writing although they made some mistakes They tried to use transitional devices and connectors (i.e. after, when, first, then, because and although). The fifth assignment showed that the students made fewer errors; they were aware of the use of tenses as they reflected in their journal; they paid attenti on to the organization of their ideas to make their story smooth; and they tried a new technique. In additi on, their knowledge of vocabulary increased due to they made fewer errors on spelling and word choices. Summary In general, the students liked this writing class and felt that practice writing more frequently helped them improve their basic writing skills. They became more familiar with English writing and did not feel stressful when they were asked to write in English. Their attitude towards English and writing in English change d. They felt more confident and proud of their writing. Their essays were better organized and they tried to use some grammar and sentence structures, such as adjective cl ause and past tense, in their essays although they might make some errors. They learned from the errors th ey made. They also learned from their peers 192

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feedback particularly for the fifth assignment. Their fifth assignment s howed much improvement in organization, the style of writing (personal narra tion), the use of transitional devices, and the use of dialogue in this piece. However, some students felt that sometimes revising the same piece more than twice was boring. They did not know how to revise if the teacher did not give them the feedback. The teacher only gave them the fe edbacks for the final draft. During the revision, the teacher used question-answer sessions and pee r-responses to help them revise and learn about grammar. However, they did not have much to re vise based on their peers feedback. What they did for their second draft was adding details, deleting some information, and correcting grammatical errors. They felt that the teacher di d not give sufficient lectures on grammar that they needed for writing and for the test. 193

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Table 6-1 The length of students writing Students A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 # W # S # W # S # W # S # W # S # W #S Group1 1. Wat 66 11 72 8 189 12 142 14 124 10 2. Tit 97 12 95 7 103 10 213 19 227 23 3. Fuada 60 5 86 6 109 9 130 10 85 5 Mean 74 9 84 7 134 10 161 14 145 13 Group 2 1. Kit 143 20 178 21 175 12 181 18 148 23 2. Sara 191 26 122 15 151 17 217 27 287 33 3. Nok 105 14 167 20 128 15 163 16 216 26 Mean 146 20 156 19 151 15 187 20 217 27 Group 3 1. Tanya 138 20 154 15 180 14 215 21 211 28 2. Nini 99 14 125 15 125 13 167 17 217 18 3. Su 165 19 136 18 134 16 223 23 217 18 Mean 134 18 138 16 146 14 202 20 214 21 Notes: A1-5 = Assignments 1-5 # W = Number of words # S = Number of sentences Group 1 = Low English proficiency students Group 2 = Intermediate English proficiency students Group 3 = High English proficiency students 194

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Table 6-2 Writing content Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 A 1 & 2 Simple and basic ideas Simple and basic ideas Simple and basic ideas name, age name, age, family name, age, family education i.e. major educati on i.e. major education hobbies hobbies hobbies, interests appearance experience, future A 3 Complicated ideas Complicated ideas Complicated ideas details on place i.e. details on place i.e. details on place location, population, location, population, reason to write about weather, interesting weathe r, interesting this place spots spots things they wanted to do A 4 Complicated ideas Complicat ed ideas Logical and complicated ideas describe events describe events describe events use Thai to express use Thai to express give supporting complicated ideas or complicated ideas or details abstract words. abstract words A 5 More complicated ideas More complicated ideas Logical and complicated ideas (Except Fuada) na rrate impressive have opening narrate the impressive event statement and event give supporting details conclusion give information i. e. give supporting places, feelings, scenes details Notes: A1-5 = Assignments 1-5 Group 1 = Low English proficiency students Group 2 = Intermediate English proficiency students Group 3 = High English proficiency students 195

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Table 6-3 Frequency of grammatical errors in five assignments Grammatical errors A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 Group 1 1. Verb phrase 8 2 4 20 11 2. S-V agreement 1 12 6 2 3. Determiners and 5 13 3 8 5 prepositions 4. Sentence structure 1 3 7 5 4 Group 2 1. Verb phrase 7 9 3 20 9 2. S-V agreement 1 4 4 2 3. Determiners and 6 4 8 10 19 prepositions 4. Sentence structure 2 3 7 4 Group 3 1. Verb phrase 6 5 4 31 7 2. S-V agreement 4 3 2 3. Determiners and 2 4 4 3 3 prepositions 4. Sentence structure 1 2 3 6 1 Notes: A1-5 = Assignments 1-5 Group 1 = Low English proficiency students Group 2 = Intermediate English proficiency students Group 3 = High English proficiency student 196

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197 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS One conclusion should now be incontestable. The numerous recommendations of the process-centered approaches to writing instru ctions as superior to the product-centered approaches are not very useful. Everyone t eaches the process of writing, but everyone does not teach the same process. The test of ones comp etence as a composition instructor,, resides in being able to r ecognize and justify the version of the process being taught, complete with all of its significance for the student. Berlin, 1982, p. 777 This study aimed to explore an English wr iting classroom in which the Thai teacher adopted a new process writing instruction to her class. The study focused on the students perception on the instruction th at they experienced in this class. Chapter 4 described the classroom setting and the activities the teacher em ployed to help her students learn to write in English. Chapters 5 and 6 discussed the students behaviors and re sponses to this writing class and their developments in terms of writers and writing improvement As Berlin (1982) concluded his article about L1 composition pe dagogical theories, to suggest which approach is superior to another is not useful because no one teaches th e same approach in the same way. The way to evaluate the success of the teach ing is to look at how the teacher teaches and employs the significant components of the approach for the students. In this chapter I summarize the findings related to writing development and second language acquisition, and sociocu ltural influences based on the innovative writing instruction and the students responses which were discussed in Chapters 5 and 6. From the findings, I arrive at the major conclusions on how this new pr ocess writing instruction may support students understanding of writing as a process, the impact of this instruction on the students writing ability, and frustration as well as the factors, such as sociocultura l factors, affecting their learning to write and their interaction while engaging in the process writing activities. Additionally, this

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chapter concludes with theoretical implications, relevant implications for practice, and suggestions for future research questions. Ms. Bs Writing Class and the Process Approach According to Berlin (1982), all pedagogical approaches in L1 share four elements of the composing process: the writer, the reader (audien ce), reality and truth, an d language. In order to understand the writing instruction us ed in this class and the studen ts responses, this section will discuss the approach in the teaching of writing th at the teacher (Ms. B) implemented in this writing class using Berlins elements of th e composing process and the approaches to composition theory: the process approach, the intera ctive approach, and the social constructionist approach (Johns, 1990; Reid, 1993). The constraint s for implementing the new writing approach will also be addressed. Ms. B believed in the process approach whic h she studied and experienced. However, she realized that her writing cla ss was not for native English sp eakers (L1) but for non-native English speakers (L2 learners). Moreover, her st udents learned English as a foreign language (EFL) which was different from English as a sec ond language (ESL) in that students were rarely exposed to English outside the classroom. In or der to implement the process approach in her writing class, Ms. B adapted and adopted some tec hniques of the process approach in her writing class. Instead of implementing the writing works hop, she selected some strategies that, in her opinion, were important and would help her student s learn to write and im prove their writing in English. The approach she used will be discus sed based on the basic approaches presented by Johns (1990) and Reid (1993): the process appro ach, the interactive appr oach, and the social constructionist approach. Berlins (1982) four elements will be used as the organization for the presentation of the strengths and weaknesses in her approach. 198

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The Writers Johns (1990) referred to Faigley (1986) wh en she grouped the process camp into two groups: the expressivists and the cognitivists. A ccording to Johns, these two groups look at the writer as the important component in the theo ry. However, the expressivists emphasize the writers voice, whereas the cognitivists focus on the writers mental processa thinking and problem-solving process (Reid, 1993, p. 260). The in teractivists look at the writers role as interactant (Johns, 1990, p. 27). According to in teractivists view, write rs create the text through a dialogue with the readers. For the social constructionists view, writing is a social act taking place in a social context. The writer, in this view, is not the person who creates or discovers the truth or knowledge, on the other hand, the writer is the person who is shaped by the discourse community. In other words, the writers text or knowledge is the result from the internalization and transformation of social interaction (Vygotsky, 1978). When we look at the writer as an elemen t of the composition process, Ms. Bs writing approach leaned toward the expressive view. She emphasized the students as creators of texts. She encouraged them to express their t houghts and opinions. She designed the classroom activities such as free writing, journal writing, and drafting to promote writing fluency and the writing act. She allowed the students to use thei r native language (Thai) when needed. Revising gave the students chances to practice writing more frequently. In her class the students interacted with the teacher mostly in question-answer (Q -A) sessions. Normally, the teacher played an important role in the Q-A session by asking th e students questions related to their writing assignments, and encouraging the students to as k questions. Ms. B did not focus on the writers mental process of thinking. She le t the students write on their own. The students rarely interacted with each other, even in peer-response. For peer -response, the students mainly read their peers work and wrote the feedback. On a few occasions that the teacher asked the writers to read the 199

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feedback they received and to write comments about their peers feedback. Some students had a chance to ask their peers about the feedbacks th ey received. Ms. B did not build the writers community to encourage social interaction. In ge neral, this writing class focused on the writer and their writing act. The teacher promoted the students voice in their writing which was supported by the course assignments. The st udents expressed their ideas and voice through personal writing essays such as introducing themselves and their impressive experience. The Audience In the process camp, the expressivists do not give much role to the audience. Because the writer is the one who creates and discovers the truth or knowledge and transforms it into the written text, the audience is just the one who helps the writer remove errors (Berlin, 1982). Moreover, the expresivists view the audience as the one the writer creates in the form of the purposes for the text (Johns, 1990) The cognitivists view the audi ence as more complicated than the expressivists. For the cognitivists, successf ul writers have to understand and develop the sense of the audience when they write. The writers should be aware of the readers interest and expectation (Johns, 1990). The cogni tivists view of the audience is closer to the interactive approach. For the interactive appr oach, the audience is viewed as important as the writer. They both have responsibility in crea ting a coherent text. The last group, the social constructionists also view the audience as an important element of composing text. The re aders are part of the discourse community. With their knowledge of writing (i.e. the conventions of writing, the expectation), the readers can accep t or reject the written text. The students in this study did not pay much attention to audience when they wrote. Although Ms. B let the students have peer-response it seemed that the writers were the most important element in the writing process. The writers made the decision to accept or reject the peers feedback. The only benefit of the audience in this class was when the readers corrected the 200

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grammar and sentence structure or when they corr ected the writers errors. This concept of the audience is parallel to the expressivists view of the audience. Ms. B did not encourage the readers to dialogue with the writers when they responded to the writing. She did not explain to the students how the constructive feedback would help the writer improve their writing. She only encouraged the students to give positive feedback for the first drafts, and paid attention to grammar and sentence structure in the second and the third drafts. Reality and Truth In terms of reality and truth, in the pro cess approach camp, both expressivists and congnitivists view the truth as the knowledge the writer creates. It is the internal process in the writers mind. For this approach, all good writing is personal, whether it be an abstract essay, or a private letter (Miller and Judy, 1978, p. 12 cited in Berlin, 1982, p. 772). On the contrary, the interactivists view the truth as the communication between the writers and the readers. The writers create coherent texts to appeal to and convince their reader audience. For the social constructionists, the truth is viewed as the meaning constructed, and interpreted by the members of the community (wr iters and readers) In this writing class, the writing products we re viewed as personal texts because of the nature of the course assignments, which we re mainly personal essays. The teacher also encouraged the students to learn language fr om their own writing. She had the students do independent writing in class. The students in this class develope d a sense of the ownership via writing by expressing their ideas and telling their stories. They wr ote in their own voices. They only needed help from the teacher and their peers for language such as spelling, vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. In general, the teacher supported the students as they tried to express themselves via personal writing. 201

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The Language Component The last element in composition theory is language. For the process approach, both expressivists and cognitivists, who focus on writers and writing process, view that the writers will learn language from th eir texts or the content about which they write. The writers use their own language ability (prior knowle dge) to create their own conten t and to communicate with the readers (Berlin, 1982, Johns, 1990). Fo r the view of inte ractivists, the writers must produce the appropriate language in anticipation of the audien ce, and at the same time the readers have to acknowledge the writers language. Th e social constructionists view language as prior to truth and determines what shapes the truth can take (Berlin, 1982, p. 775). Berlin added, Structure and language are a part of the formation of meani ng, are at the center of th e discovery of truth (1982, p. 776). Language is part of the discourse community and the writers in that community use the language to create meaning. For ESL/EFL wr iters this may be difficult because they are not familiar with the language and the use of th e language of a discourse community (of target language). In this writing class, Ms. B tended to treat la nguage in the social cons tructionists view and in the view of the process approach. She realiz ed the language as the students prior knowledge and, at the same time, they could learn from thei r writing. She allowed the students to create their texts by using their language abi lity, not imitating the paragraph models in the course textbook. Meanwhile, she also realized that English was not the nativ e language for her students. Therefore, when writing, the students might encounter difficulty in using English. The way she solved this problem was that she taught the students grammar and sentence structures according to the students errors and the course syllabus. She did not give the lectures; on the other hand, she used the question-answer session of her cl ass as a place to teach grammar. The way she handled the students language difficulty tended to lean toward the traditional approach because 202

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she explained the grammar at the di screte points or sentence level, rather than at the discourse level. In general, according to the four elements of the composing process and the approach to composition theory, Ms. Bs writing approach was close to the expressivists and cognitivists view. She focused on the writers rather than the other elements. Although she allowed the students to have an audience via peer-response, the students perceived th e audience as the ones who helped them correct errors rather than th e ones who helped them create their texts. The writers are the creators of the text. For language Ms. B combined the process approach and the traditional approach. She explained the grammar and sentence structures that the students needed for their writing assignments. The next part w ill discuss the strengths and weaknesses of her approach as well as the constr aints affecting her approach. Strengths Compared to Traditional Teaching Although Ms. B did not fully implement the writing workshop, she tried to implement some strategies or activities from the process approach as discussed above. The strengths of her approach compared to the traditional teaching that the students are used to are: 1) the opportunities for writing practices, 2) building the sense of ownership, and 3) promoting the positive attitude toward writing. The more frequently the students write, the more they learn and acquire knowledge and language. In the traditional teaching, the students did not have much chance to practice writing. They wrote only one draft for each assignment. The students were provided a model paragraph or essay to imitate. The teacher gave lectures of the language and vocabulary they needed for their writing. Through the traditi onal approach, the students did not create their own stories, but they wrote the stories to meet the teachers e xpectation. They did not learn from their writing. Krashen (1995) compared two hypotheses, stu dy hypothesis and problem-solving hypothesis 203

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(p. 347). The study hypothesis claims that th e students learn new facts and concepts by deliberate study, by trying to learn whereas the problem-solving hypothesis view learning as a by-product of trying to solve problem (p. 347) Krashen disagrees with the study hypothesis and found that the students learn through the process of problem solving rather than direct instruction. To let the st udents write more frequently is the way to let the students learn through their process of writing (thinking and problem-solving). The students not only learn to write, but they also learn language from their stories and the errors they create. Allowing the students to express themselves freely through free writing builds their sense of ownership. In the traditional classroom, the st udents do not have a sense of ownership because they do not write what they want to or about things that they r eally care. Giving students freedom to write what they want and what they are inte rested in helps create their ownership in their writing (Fu, 2000). Although Ms. B did not let them choose their topics for writing, she allowed them to write what they wanted and how they wanted under the general topics which were related to their personal experience. The students do know what to write if the teachers give them a chance to think and choose their own stories. Th e freedom to write what they want also helps the learners think, learn, and s earch for relevant, reasonable, and meaningful information to support their ideas (Fu, 2000). Thro ugh free writing, students learn to take responsibility for their writing and learning. They will learn skills that they need in a meaningful way, and then, become independent (Five, 1992). Moreover, a sense of ownership may be more important for Thai students with low English proficiency. They have low motivation to learn English, and think that they cannot achieve. Through free wri ting, the teachers encourage them to write what they are good at, what they know well. They will be proud of their work and would like to share it with their peers. 204

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Ms. B allowed the students to write freely and practice writing more frequently. She built the friendly atmosphere with less stress on gr ammar correction. Krashen (1995) argues that pleasant activities such as free reading are good for language acquisition and cognitive development. In writing class, free writing is a pleasant activity which enhances the students to learn language and how to write. Through thinking and problem-solving while writing, the students are enjoyable and feel engaged in the activities. With the less-stress atmosphere and have more opportunities to write a nd rewrite, the students attit ude towards writing particularly writing in English changed. They felt that writing wa s not that difficult as they used to fear. They learned a new concept of writing as multiple draf ts. They could rewrite and learn from their mistakes. Unlike the traditional classroom where th e students writing are corrected and they are expected to produce only free-error writing for the first draft, the students felt stressful and forced to learn language. According to Kras hens (1995) input hypothe sis and problem-solving hypothesis, learning is the natural state which will occur when the learning is enjoyable. The problem-solving that enhance the st udents to engage in the activity or task pleasantly is an important condition for learning language and for cognitive development to take place. In Ms. Bs class the students learn by hands on, practicing writing. They had chances to engage in activities including writing, and peer -response which allowed them to think and solve the problem by themselves. They felt that they co uld write and create their own stories. They felt proud of themselves. Finally, they changed their attitude about writing in that writing was not so difficult for them to accomplish and writing coul d be messy before it was the complete one. Weaknesses of Ms. Bs Approach As mentioned in the beginning of this sect ion that Ms. B approach was based on the expressive and cognitive view; therefore, she ra rely promoted the interaction among the students and the sense of the audience. Without interac tion among the students, th ey did not build the 205

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community of learners or the writers community. She did not help the students through their process of writing. According to social constructionists view like Vygotskys (1978) zone of proximal development (ZPD), with the assistance of the capable person, such as the teacher and their peers, the learners will learn and move on to the next level. Like special education and ESL students, Thai students do not have a chance to become part of any learning community. They never share their work with the others. Thai students do not realize that their friends can help them so lve learning problem such as writing. Although Ms. B allowed the students to share their writing with their peers, she did not encourage them to interact, asking questions while sharing their writing in the pe er-response activit y. Most of the time the students chose to share their writing to their friends in their own group. The students did not have much chance to share their writing to th e whole class or to ge t feedbacks from more than one reader. Only for a few times that the te acher chose the readers for the students or asked the students to have more than one reader. A ccording to Graves (1983, cited in Wansart, 1990), to build the community of writers needs the setti ng including a) daily sustained writing time, b) individual writing conferences between students, and c) shari ng of both work-in-progress and published pieces with the whole class (p. 83). In Ms. B class the students had daily time for writing (about 25-40 minutes). Howe ver, she did not have indivi dual writing conference between students nor sharing work-in-progress and final pi eces with the whole class. In fact, sometimes she read some of the students work in class, but her purposes of readin g was not to share their writing but to read the students feedbacks or comments about their works. The students never knew who the writers of those pieces or comments were. Another weakness in Ms. Bs approach is that she did not really promote the sense of the audience. According to Berlin ( 1982), audience is one of the el ements of composing process. 206

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The students should be aware of the audience not only as the one who help s correct th eir errors, but also the one who shares a nd helps them build their stories. The students should have the audience in mind when they write their stories in order to make their story readable and coherent with the audiences expectation. The respons es from the audience help the students for developing their ideas, for revision, and for evaluation (Fu, 2000). Th e audience helps the learners develop and organize their thoughts and make their stories more interesting, more reasonable, and more readable. Finally, Ms. B did not promote the students ZPD as much as she could. She tried to promote the students to learn and writing inde pendently. She allowed the students to expose reading materials when they searched for their stories, and she allowe d the students to make mistakes while writing drafts. However, she forg ot that for EFL learners, like the young writers, they needed the capable person to help them move on to their next zone. Without the assistance of the teacher or the capable peers, the students will struggle by themselves while they discover their process of writing. Particular ly within a short period (15 w eeks), the students will not be able to fully succeed as writers without the teache rs help because writing and learning to write takes time. It seems that the way Ms. B implemented the pr ocess writing contributes to the growth of the students as writers. Ms. B emphasized the ac tivities she employed instead of the process of writing. Calkins (1994) comments that the problem of adapting the writin g workshop to suit the students is, the teacher has abandoned the wri ting workshop. He is putting his students through writing process exercises rather than helping them to write with purpose and self-investment (p. 166). Ms. B did not help her students go throu gh the process of writing. She just introduced 207

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the activities of process writing and let the students work on their own before giving the feedbacks after they were done. Constraints for Implementing Writing Process Approach To implement a new approach to EFL stude nts, the teachers have to encounter the constraints such as time, space, students, school system, and the teachers themselves, and they have to adapt the activities to suit their students needs (Peyton et al, 1994). Similar to Peyton et al., Ms. B had to adapt the approach into her class because of the constraints including the curriculum, the class size, the students Englis h proficiency, and the teachers experience in writing workshops. As mentioned early in this section that Ms. B could not have free writing or give students choice of topic due to the curriculum and course syllabus. This writing class was designed by the coordinator in order to be an elective cour se for the students whose major was not English at this university. The purpose of this writing cour se was to develop elementary writing skills by placing a strong emphasis on writt en production (Sweetapple, 2003, p. ii). The students were expected to write two to thr ee paragraphs in response to th e language functions such as describing people and place, narrating. In order to prepare the students for the tests, Ms. B decided to give the students pr ompts for writing assignments. Moreover, she put emphasis on the grammar and sentence structures that were part of the main focus of th is course. Although she did not give lectures on grammar, she asked the students to check grammatical errors when they read their peers works and in question-answer sessions, she ma inly discussed about grammar and sentence structures based on the students errors and the grammar points in the course textbook. Another constraint that the teacher in this study had is the class size. The large class size (41 students) made it difficult for Ms. B to read and grade all students dr afts. It took much time 208

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for her to read and grade the students works. She returned the students writing assignments quite late and, even though they understood this situation, some students complained about this. They wanted to read the teachers feedbacks before they wrote the final draft or before they started the new assignment. However, Ms. B could not make it to meet the students expectations. She confessed that she had too much workload with this number of the students. The class size did affect the quali ty and quantity of the feedbacks th e teacher give to the students. In order to make this approach work more effectively, the teacher should take the class size into account. With a large class size, Ms. B could not help individual student much. In addition, to make the feedbacks useful, the teacher should gi ve feedbacks during the writing process, not at the end (Krashen, 1984). The teacher should orga nize his/her class to have time for giving feedbacks during the writing process. Students language proficiency is another constraint that affects the implementing of the new approach. EFL students rarely expose to English outside the classroom and they do not have much opportunity to practice writing in Englis h. When they have to write in English, the students, particularly the ones who are trained in the traditional approach, will focus on grammar and sentence structures rather than crafting and the content. W ith limitation of their language proficiency such as word choice and grammar, EF L students may not develop effective skills in peer response and revision. In this writing cl ass, the students believed that their English proficiency was their obstacle that made them not able to give useful feedbacks particularly on grammar and sentence structures. With this c onstraint, Ms. B decided to focus on grammar and sentence structures when she asked the students to revise their second and third drafts. This led the students more emphasize on checking gramma tical errors rather than the content and organization when they revise and read their peers writing. The writing process approach or 209

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writing workshops do not ignore grammar and la nguage usage (Krashen, 2004). In the process approach the teacher allow the students to disc over their writing process by practicing writing and various activities, meanwhile, the students will learn language while they learn to write. To help ESL/EFL students, the teacher can use mini lessons for teaching grammar. With explicit and direct explanation, the students wi ll feel more comfortable to lear n grammar. At the same time the teacher can use mini lessons to teach the st udents knowledge of English writing to help them develop the sense of the audience (readers e xpectation) when they write their story. Finally, the teachers background and experience in the new approach also plays an important role in implementing the new approach. As Murray (1985) entitled his book A writer teaches writing, it is important for the teachers to learn to write and become writers themselves in order to teach their students to write. For writing instruction, the teachers have to have background and experience of the approach they us e or want to implement. Not only have the theories underlying the approac h, but the teachers have to lear n about the practices of that approach in the classrooms. For ESL/EFL teach ers it is more important to study about the practices of that approach in ESL/EFL cla sses as well. In this study, although Ms. B had educational background in composition theories a nd had experiences in process writing, she was not trained to teach writing. She did not have ex perience of conferences. Therefore, she did not introduce this activity in her writing class. Ms. B did not explicitly teach and show the students how to revise and give feedback through conferences. Calkins (1994) suggests, In order for young writers to learn to ask such questions of themselves, teacher s and peers need to ask them of young writers. Teacher-student and peer conferen ce, then, are at the heart of teaching writing (p. 223). Similar to the young writers, EFL students like those in this study should have gain more benefits from peer response and revision if the teacher had shown them how to respond and 210

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revise via conferences. With clear understanding of the approach as well as effective adjustments and modifications to suit the students need and the teaching context, it is possible to implement the process approach and make it works fo r ESL/EFL students (Lo, 1996; Pennington and Cheung, 1995). The Teacher Could Do Better Under the Constraints Although there are some constraints for implem enting the new approach in this writing class, the teacher could do better by trying to implement the full process approach or writing workshop in her class. In other words, she should not only introduce the strate gies or activities of the process approach, but what sh e could do is to show the student s how to write and revise via the conferences. At the same time, she could use mini lesson to help the students learn language, grammar and structures, and the convention of writing. The class size and the curriculum may hinder the implementing of the new approach like the process approach as Ms. B encountered. Ho wever, the teacher could organize her writing workshop and make it work better as it could be for the 15-week course. Graves in Calkins (1994) said that a good writing workshop has to be well organized and he admired Calkins class because she did organize her class very well. He r children knew the process of her instructions and could expect what they would do when they came to class. I do believe that with well organization, the teacher could implement the e ssential elements of writing workshop including a sense of community, response, freedom and time, ownership, and support. In order to build the community of learners, response, and support, conf erences and peer-response are the strategies. For freedom and time, Ms. B already showed that it is possible to provi de the students freedom and time to write under the constraints. Howeve r, only time for writing is not enough for the growth of the writers. The teacher must provide them time to help them while they are writing. Individual and group conferen ces can solve this problem. 211

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Teachers can create the supportive commun ity by giving supportive and constructive response (Five, 1992). Five encourages her st udents to support thei r classmates by giving positive and constructive comments in response to their writing work. While they are conferring, students will respect and listen to the comments of the special needs children made in response to the writing of their peers (p. 180). Via c onferences, students will learn to give supportive response and benefit from the response they receive from each other. Townsend & Fu (1998) emphasize a safe environment that will encour age ESL students to enter the new language learning community. Social support networks will help ESL students to take risks necessary for [their] learning (p. 200). The supportive response will help Thai studen ts who receive response mainly from the teacher feel safe and confident to share their writing. Most traditional responses are grammatical correction, not much on content. Additionally, te achers respond on product, not process. This kind of response is not supportiv e or constructive for EFL students. On the contrary, the traditional response will discourage them to take necessary risks for their learning. Writing process approach encourages teachers to have conferences with student s and to give supportive and constructive responses on their in-progress writing or to help them get their topic to get started. Teacher-student conferences will be a m odel for peer conferences (Graves, 1983; and Calkins, 1994). Conferences will also be the safe places for Thai students to experiment expressing their ideas and English. The teacher can devote at least 15 minutes for conferring with individual and then encourage them to have peer conferences Within 15 minutes, the students will be able to learn how to respond to their peer s writing and then they can practice conferring with their peers. 212

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However, the peer conference and sharing their work is a new concept for Thai students. Graves (1983) says, Some students need help (especi ally if older and new to sharing) to see that they have materials worth sharing with others (p. 28). With teachers help by giving specific and actual language and supportive response while c onferring, students will learn to revise their work and become confident to share their wor k. The teacher probably de monstrates conferring during mini-lesson first to give the students some time to observe how the teacher confers their peer before encouraging them to go to thei r peer. The teacher should encourage the good students to help the low-proficiency students. This section discussed writing instruction that Ms. B adapted from the process approach, or writing workshops. Her writing approach was based on the expressivists and cognitivists view. However, she did not fully and mechanically impl ement the key components or strategies used in writing workshop such as conferences in this writi ng class due to the constraints such as English proficiency of the students, th e curriculum, class size, and he r experience of the process approach. What she did not do when she introduced the activities (prewriting, free writing, peer response, revision, and editing) was that she did not guide the students and help them learn to write by demonstrating each activity. In other words, the students did not have a model to learn how to write, how to give useful and constructive feedbacks, a nd how to revise and edit their stories. Finally, what Ms. B could do better under the constraints is to organize and implement the writing workshop in her writing class. With the large number of the students, the teachers who want to implement the new approach have to well prepare and well organize the strategies and activities they will use in their class especi ally for the short course. The teacher should try individual conferences (teacher-student and peer conference/response). With the model from the teacher, the students will learn how to res pond and to revise their stories effectively. 213

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The experience from Ms. Bs writing class suggests that, compared to other constraints, the teachers knowledge of the teaching approach (theories and practices), in addition to the students background, plays a signif icant role in implementing an innovative writing instruction. The teacher will adapt and apply the new approach more effectively to the students if s/he understands and is aware of the theories and pedagogies underpinning the approach. When the teachers implement a new approach or activities, it is important to evaluate how the new approach works with the students. St udents responses are the main and direct reflections for the teacher to learn how well they apply the new approach and what the constraints they need to take into account (Leki, 2001). The following sections present the conclusions suggested by the data on the studen ts response in terms of the growth of the students demonstrated as write rs which attributed to the new teaching approach and the frustrations that they encountered. Writing Practices The students experience in writing process ac tivities, such as free writing, revision, and peer-response, as well as their cultural background plays an importa nt role in conceptual change about writing as a process. The way we think an d learn develops through and is shaped by the activities in which we engage (Vygotsky, 1978). Engaging in various activities allows the students to explore their process of writing and learn how to wr ite. The contributions of writing practices that the students experienced in this wr iting class are grouped into three areas: view of writing, psychological improvement and writing development. View of Writing as a Process Murray (1997) said, when we teach compos ition we are not teaching a product, we are teaching a process (p. 3). He added that the pr ocess that the teachers should teach is the process of discovery through language. It is the process of expl oration of what we know and 214

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what we feel about what we know through langua ge. (p. 4) Although Ms. B did not implement the writing workshop in her class, she adapts some key components of writing workshop and with her intention of introduci ng the students to writing as a process, her writing class was successful at a certain degree. Through the process of writing, the students begin to view writing as a process by moving from co rrectness to expressionist. Theoretically, the process approach focuses on learners and process of composing (Zamel 1976, 1982; Flower and Hayes, 1981). The instructiona l activities in this approach are designed to help the students express their ideas fluently and help them cr aft and revise their drafts. The students are encouraged to e xplore their writing process a nd the topic they write through practicing writing and revising. Writing is a recu rsive process, not a linear one (Emig, 1971; Zamel, 1982; Raimes, 1085). As being trained in a traditional writing class which focuses on accuracy, EFL learners like Thai students tend to have a concept of writing as the first error-free writing. In other words, they write only one draft and want that draft to be perfect without any grammatical errors. The students in this study also had this concep t of writing when they first entered this class. They thought th at their first and final draft had to be error-free. This concept of writing made the students feel stressful when they wrote. Moreover, while they were writing, they were not aware of the process of writing and revising in their head. Until they experienced this writing class which they were encouraged to write multiple drafts for each assignment, the students realized that writing wa s not the product of learning gram mar and sentence structures. Through the writing activities, such as free writing, revision, and peer-response, the students in this study learned the new concept of writing. While free writing allows the students to express themselves freely and to practi ce writing without stress, intera cting with peers through peerresponse helps them learn to write and aware of the audience. They learned that writing was the 215

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expressive and creative process and was multiple drafting, not the first free-error draft, and writing could start with messy work. Through the process of wr iting and practices, the students became writers who explored their ideas thr ough language while they were writing. This experience of the students suggests the conclusi on that the students view of writing seems influenced by the writing practices in which they participate. Students Move from Feeling of Discomfort to Comfort According to the expressive view, writing is a process of discovery and self-expression (Elbow, 1973, 1981; Perl, 1979; and Murray, 1985) Through exploring and discovering, the students should enjoy writing task at school. In fact, writing is taught based on the format of examination (Li, 1996). Under the stressful atmos phere in which writing is a means for testing grammar and sentence structures, the students fi nd writing is difficult and feel fear to write because they are afraid to make errors. Without help from the teacher and their peers during writing, the students hardly learn to write and develop their writing skills. This stressful atmosphere leads to the students negative attitu de towards English writing. The students in this study had negative attitude towards writing in English when they firs t attended this writing class. They were afraid to write in English. However, after the teacher allowed the students to practice more frequently without concerning with langua ge correction while they were producing their drafts, the students felt more relaxed and more confident to write in English. The emphasis on writing process and self-expression made the st udents in this study develop positive attitude towards English and writing in English. Therefor e, the affective filter is low (Krashen, 1982). After the second month, the students in this study found that they felt comfortable to write in English and they enjoyed writing more. Moreover, allowing the students to use Thai in their drafts helped the students with limited English feel less frustrat ed and express their thoughts and emotion easily (Fu and Matoush, 2006). Through th e process approach, th e students attitude 216

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towards English writing improved. They began to en joy writing more and f eel less frustrated and less stressful when they learn to write through th e process approach. In other words, the students moved from feeling of discomfort to comfort duri ng the semester as they gained experience with process writing. The students experience in this writing class asserts that meaningful writing practices, especially free writing, help lower the affective filter. The low affective filter helps learners to learn and acquire second la nguage successfully (Krashen, 1982, 1988). Students Feel Confident in Their Ability to Write After engaging in the writing cl ass that creates a stress-free environment that promotes social discourse, the students feel confident in their ability to write. The stress-free environment lowers the students affective filters (Krash en, 1982). The students, particularly the low proficiency students, such as Fu ada, Pat, and Wat, grew and felt confident in their writing. They were proud of themselves when they produced a full page of writing. They felt that they could write in English after practicing more frequen tly. Besides free writing, participating in peerresponse provides students the sociocultural practices of the community. The social discourse provides students a safe and s upport environment to explore and to practice so that they can make a transition from novices to experts (Vygot sky, 1978). In the support environment or social discourse, students feel safe to take risks and le arn from their mistakes. As a result, students grow as confident writers. Writing Development Many educators and researchers found that t eaching writing through the process approach enhances the students writing skills and language ability (G raves, 1983, 1994; Calkins, 1994; Zamel, 1982, 1983; Raimes, 1983, 1994, 1996; Fu, 2000; Chaisuriya, 2003). In this study, in order to confirm the students perception on their writing developm ent, their writing works were analyzed. Overall, the students exhibited growth in terms of surface feat ures, spelling and length, 217

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which implies that, through process writing prac tices, their fluency in writing improves. However, the findings reveal that the students hardly develop crafting (organization, style and word choices). For language usage, there was the mixed result. After going through a lot of practic es in writing, the students in this study showed that they wrote more fluently. They wrote longer and had less spelling errors. The possible explanation for their development is that through writing, the stud ents learned to express themselves freely and at the same time developed vocabulary. When they had the problem about spelling and new vocabulary, they used dictionaries to help th em. With this strategy, the students made fewer errors on their spelling in the next drafts and in the next assignment. Fu (2000) states that when the learners are allowed to expr ess themselves freely, such as th rough free writing, they can write more. Like Graves (1994), Murray (1985) and Fu (2000), Calkins (1994) says, writing matters the most when it is personal ( p. 14). Although the stude nts in this study could not choose their topic to write, they could choose their own styl e of writing and their language in their drafts. With general topics given, the students were sti ll allowed to express thei r thoughts freely and this made them write longer. In addition, the topics given for this writing c ourse were related to personal experiences such as introducing yourself and past experience; they wrote personal stories and they could choose which information or experiences they wanted to convey to the readers. As a result, they wrote better and longer. According to the students writing work, the students did not show much improvement in terms of crafting (organization, wr iting style, and word choices). One of the possible reasons is related to their ed ucational background or lack of the knowledge of Eng lish writing which I will discuss in details in the section of factors affecting the studen ts writing development. Another possible reason that the students di d not show much progress in or ganization is that all writing 218

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assignments they did were personal style wr iting. There were only tw o genres of writing: description and narration. The st udents did not practice other type s of writing. Therefore, they were not aware of the organization of English writing when they wrote. When they described their stories, they tended to organize their stories chronolog ically. For essay format and paragraph pattern, the students particularly th e low English proficiency did not show the knowledge of the paragraph format. The high Eng lish proficiency sometimes did have paragraph format (opening and closing statements). In addition, the teacher did not emphasize the organization. The students focused only on their content and language. The only writing that showed the students development in crafting was the fifth assignment. The students showed improvement in organization and writing technique (using dialogues in their writing) when they revised their drafts. This is because of much wr iting practice as well as receiving useful feedback from their peers, finally in the fifth assignment; they showed much improvement on writing overall. For language, the students development wa s not consistent. They tended to make grammatical mistakes when the topic was comp lex. And each assignment did not test the same grammatical structures; it was hard to trace the students development in terms of language. For each unit, the students learned new grammar and sentence structures. The students made new grammatical errors when they wrote a new story. However, the students became aware of some grammatical structures such as subject-verb agreem ent, and the forms of verbs in past tense. The explanation for their language development can be related to their Englis h proficiency (Cumming, 1989; Kubota, 1998; and Sasaki & Hirose, 1996) which will be discussed in the factors affecting the studen ts writing performance. 219

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In general, what have been achieved during 15-week writing course is found in the students attitude and writing per ception, and in their writing deve lopment. First, the students attitude towards writing in English improved. They were not afraid to wr ite and try new language or writing strategies in their wr iting. Their perception of writing changed. They perceived that writing is multiple drafting and the first draft is not necessary to be the complete draft. This perception helped the students learn to write wi thout pressure and fear of language correction. In addition, the students writing improves at a certain level. Mainly, the students in this study developed their writing skills at a surface le vel rather than the hi gher level, such as organization. Moreover, their knowledge of Eng lish language did not show much improvement. The students still made similar grammatical errors when they wrote a new topic. This suggests that the teachers should also pa y attention in students writing development and the knowledge of English language when they implement the new a pproach that focuses on the process of writing. It is important for the students particularly ESL/EFL students to learn both how to write as a process and how to use language to produce th e acceptable text (Raimes, 1996). Similarly, Cahyono (2002) and Tsang and Wong (2000) argue th at in writing workshops with emphasis on students expression and creation, the teacher shoul d also provide the students the knowledge of linguistic aspects of writing in orde r to enhance their writing ability. Cultural and Instructional Frustrations Importing an innovative instru ction, particularly the one from the western academic setting, to the ESL/EFL setting may lead to the culturally and socially sanctioned basis of teaching and learning (Edge, 1996). We learn a fo reign language to communicate with the native speakers of the target language. Since language is part of a culture and vice versa, language and culture cannot be separated from each other (Chowdhury, 2003). According to Hall (1997), we use language to practice culture. Teaching and learning is embedded and is shaped by culture; 220

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therefore, the teacher should be aware of cultura l issues in their pedagogi cal practices. In fact, culture is often neglected or mostly overl ooked in the language cl assroom (Damen, 1987). Besides teachers professional, social and cu ltural identities involve in their pedagogical practices. To implement a new teaching approach or pedagogy in EFL situation, teachers have to understand the mismatch and an unobtrusive as similation of the two cultures (Chowdhury, 2003) so that they can help students reduce or ove rcome cultural and instructional frustration as teachers infuse innovative writing inst ruction into the existing curriculum. To expose to an innovative writing instruc tion, the students in this study experienced frustrations due to the mismatch, the cross-road, and lack of knowledge. The students had to struggle with the tension or contradiction cause d by sociocultural influences although they felt comfortable with this writing class. Cross-roads: Thinker versus Examination As mentioned above that the ex ist curriculum and syllabus is one of the constraints that the teacher and the students encountered. The conflict between the nature of the curriculum and the new writing instruction can cause students cultura l and instructional frus tration. The students in this study experienced this frustration while they engaged in the activities, such as free writing, peer-response and revision. The curriculum is compatible with the product-based approach, whereas the new writing instruct ion is based on process-based approach. The conflict occurs when the students are trained to think and expr ess their ideas freely, but they have to pass the examination that emphasizes the grammar and sentence structure. Although the teacher somehow prepared the students to deal with the grammar part of the examination, the students felt frustrated when they have to choose betw een the grade and their growth in writing. After the st udents took the midterm examination, they began to concentrate more on linguistic features when they revise d and gave feedbacks to their peers. The 221

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examination reminded the students the real situati on they had to face. The students were not sure that training to be a creative thinker only w ould help them pass the examination and get the better grade. Although they enjoyed this writing class and believed that they learn to write through the practices, they also wanted to pass the examination. Therefore, they felt insecure if the teacher rarely taught grammar and let them work more on th e exercises in the textbook. This tension hinders the students cogn itive growth and development. In this cross-road, the students need the teacher to help them go through the transition from inexperienced to experts and overcome the frustration. Mismatch between Curriculum Instruction and Assessment As discussed above, the mismatch between cu rriculum instruction and assessment causes the students frustration. According to the curr iculum, writing is seen as grammar instruction. The controlled composition, correction of the pr oduct, and correct form are emphasized. On the contrary, process writing instru ction gives emphasis to expressi on of ideas and creative process of writing. EFL students who are introduced to proce ss writing have to conf ront the contradiction of the assessment which is compatible with produ ct method. In this writing class the students felt that they were not sufficiently equipped for this type of assessme nt. After the midterm examination, the students paid more attention to grammar instruction. This mismatch may not be so crucial when compared to other constraint s and obstacles in implementing an innovative writing instruction; however, it makes the students be afraid to move on to the next stage of becoming experts. They were caught between the product and process methods. To help the students cross over this difficulty and to reduce th is tension, the teacher needs to cooperate with other teachers, the coordinator, and the administ rator to make the assessment more compatible with the process wr iting instruction. 222

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Mismatch with Cultural Norms Chowdhury (2003) discusses the problems associ ated with the implementation of western teaching techniques. One of them is the incomp atibility of imported pedagogies and the local needs and culture. The mismatch between the im ported techniques and the local understanding and culture norms may limit the success in im plementing imported teaching techniques in foreign language learning, such as in Asian EFL countries (Li, 1998). The culture in Thailand is one that has a long traditional of unconditional obedience to authority which can be seen both in the family a nd in the education system. The teacher is seen as a source of knowledge. The teacher delivers the knowledge without any concession without any concession. In Thailand hierarchy determines the nature of teacher-s tudents interaction. The students should pay respect to the teacher who is the authoritarian provider of knowledge in the classroom. The process writing which is stude nt-centered and emphasizes the independent learning is incompatible with the product-based and teacher-centered tradition (Liu, 1998; Zhenhui, 2000). Mismatch between the new writing instruction and cultural norms plays an important role in the way the students participate in the proces s writing activities, partic ularly peer-response and question-answer sessions. The students are afraid to give critical a nd constructive feedbacks because they are not used to gi ving comments or feedbacks. Besi des, because they believe that only the teacher can give the corr ect and useful feedbacks, the st udents are not confident to give feedbacks especially on grammar. Moreover, due to their sociocultural background, the students are not confident in peers. Ther efore, they are not able to create community of learners and writers. Cultural constraints inhibit the students growth in tran smission from dependent learners to independent learners. 223

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Factors Affecting EFL learners Writing Development The findings from the interview and students writing assignments show that the students had difficulty in developing their writing skills Many studies in teaching ESL/EFL writing show that the factors affecting th e students writing developmen t include second language (L2) proficiency (Cumming, 1989, 1994; Kubota, 1998; Sasaki & Hirose, 1996), lack of knowledge of L2 writing or developmental factors (Mohan & Lo, 1985; Kim, 1983; Carson, 1982; Phongsuwan, 1996), and cross culture (Carson, 1994; Kaplan, 1996; Voges, 2001; Thongrin, 2002). The results of this study reveal that thes e factors hinder or delay the students writing development when they learn to write in this EFL class. L2 Proficiency Cumming (1989, 1994), Kubota (199 8), and Sasaki and Hirose (1996) found that L2 proficiency has influence on the quality of writing. They argue that the students with low English proficiency skills such as knowledge of vocabul ary and syntactic control tend to produce low quality of English text in organization, producin g simple text and sentence structures (Kubota, 1998; Sasaki & Hirose, 1996). Consistent with these studies, Aungpredathep (1989) found that the students with more proficienc y in L2 wrote more fluently and longer text with the clearer and stronger sense of audience, compar ed with the lower proficiency students. The results from the interviews and the students wr iting works in this study confirm that L2 proficiency has influence on students writing development pa rticularly for the lo w English proficiency. The students in this study reported that their difficulty in English writing was their English proficiency. The most difficulties in their English proficiency that they encountered were grammar and vocabulary. The students found that they had a hard time to find the right English words for their thoughts when they transferred their thought into written text in English. They blamed their limited repertoire of English voc abulary. Moreover, they found that grammar 224

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especially the use of tenses was their problem when they wrote th eir stories. Without sufficiency understanding and control in the L2, the students applied Englis h rules incomple tely in their English texts and produce grammatical errors in their writing (Kubota, 1998). The students in this study tended to misuse the rule of English wh en they wrote. With limitation of exposure to English materials, the students vocabulary was limited. Using dictionary to find English words does not help the students to provide the ri ght words when they express their complicate thoughts in English. To help EFL learners improve their writing skills, the teachers have to provide them sufficient English materials in order to increase their exposure to authentic materials and gain more understanding on how English is used in the written texts. With teachers assistance in explanation and analysis of the use of English in the texts, EFL learners will learn English through writing. Lack of Knowledge in English Writing Mohan and Lo (1985) argue that the lack of knowledge in English writing which is one of the factor affecting L2 writing ability is re lated to the students educational experience (developmental factors). They argue that the way ESL/EFL write in English is related to the way they were taught in English classroom. Most E nglish instructions in Asia such as Thailand, Japan, Korea, and China, are grammar-based and focus on sentence level rather than discourse level (Kim, 1983; Mohan & Lo, 1985; Phongsuwa n, 1996). Writing in these classrooms is treated as the reinforcem ent of grammar practice. The students in these countries rarely expose to the English written texts and they are not ta ught to develop logical argument and logical organization when they write in English. Thes e two aspects are important for English writing. Without being taught how to organize their thoughts logically and limitation of writing practice, 225

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EFL students tend not to develop th eir higher skills in writing such as organization to meet the expectation of English writing. The students in this study had similar problem when they learn to write in English in this class. According to their educat ional background, they rarely e xposed to English materials and they were not taught English writing skills. Alth ough in this writing class the students had more chances to practice writing, again the teacher di d not teach them the composing process, and writing strategies. The lack of knowledge in Englis h writing hinders the st udents to develop their writing skills to the higher level. The student s improve only the surface level and also produce simple texts. They are not aware of the logical organization of their thoughts. For EFL writing instruction, the teacher should learn the student s educational background and how they were taught in English classroom in order to understa nd their difficulties. In addition, the teachers should teach EFL students the composing process a nd English writing skills so that they will be able to develop their writ ing ability to meet the English readers expectation. Cross-culture More studies (Carson, 1994; Ramanathan & Atkinson, 1999; Ramanathan & Kaplan; Kennedy, 2000; Voges, 2001; Thongrin, 2002) reveal th at culture has influence in learning to write in second language. Cross culture has an impact on ESL/EFL students writing difficulties and on the way they cope with th ese difficulties. The influence of cross culture is also found in this study. While the students learn to write in English through the new approach, they had to encounter the cultural difference which had an imp act on the way they responded to their peers writing and the way they participat ed in question-answer section. Kennedy (2000) states that Thai culture promotes students passivity. She added, [t]he Thai culture is remarkably deferential to people in authority roles and it is very difficult for most Thai to speak out in the presence of an authority (p. 78). As a result, Thai students tend to be 226

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passive and rarely engage in crit ical thinking. In this writing cla ssroom, the culture aspect has an impact on the way the students participate in Q-A sessions. The students, part icularly those in the back of the room, did not speak out to the teach er because it was considered rude. They unlikely shared their opinions unless the teacher asked them to, or unless they were confident that their opinions were worth to share. Th is concept also impacts the way th e students responded to their peers writing. Because they were trained to tr ust and respect the teacher as the expert, the students were afraid to give th eir feedback especially in term s of grammatical errors. On one hand, they believed that only the teacher could correct their mist akes; on the other, they thought that their English proficiency was limited, compared to the teacher, and they did not believe that their peers could correct their mistakes. With this concept, the students gained less benefit from peer responses. Another cultural concept that tended to play an important role in le aning to write of the students in this study is kreng jai (to be considerate). Thongrin (2002) discusses this concept in her study that Thai students were reluctant to give their feedb acks which they thought they might impose upon their peers feeling. As a result, they gave short and general feedbacks and they felt that they did not gain much benefit from their peers feedbacks. After Thongrin explained to them the purpose of peer response and how their feedbacks could help th eir peers revise their work, the students felt less frustrated when they gave the feedbacks to their peers and they learned to give sincere and constructive feedb acks which helped both the writers and the readers learned to revise their work better. The students in this study felt frustrated too when they had to give feedbacks to their peers. Some of them felt that they did not want to give harsh feedbacks to their peers who they did not know well because of kreng jai and did not want to hurt their feeling. 227

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Unfortunately, the teacher in this study was not aware of the crosscultural impact on the students when they learned to write and engaged in the activities in this class. Teachers should pay more attention when they introduce a new approach that may cause the cross-cultural issue to their students. The way to help the students overcome the cross culture is that the teachers have to explain to the students the purpose of the activities and how they can engage in those activities. For example, like Thongrin (2002), when teachers introduce peer response to Thai students, they should explain the purpose and how the students will gain the benefits from sincere and constructive feedbacks. Clear explan ation will reduce the students frustration and help them develop the strategies to cope with the difficulties caused. To implement a new approach to EFL students like Thai students, there are some factors affecting the students writing development and the way they engage in the new activities. According to this study, the factors that have influence on the students learning to write are second language proficiency, lack of the knowledge of writing in English, and cross culture. In order to help the students overcome these hi ndrances, the teacher shoul d provide the students with sufficient assistance in la nguage and writing skills as well as help them adapt themselves and overcome their frustrations by giving them cl ear explanation about the new approach. With the teachers assistance, the im plement of a new approach like the process approach to EFL students can be successful. In conclusion, this study suggests that it is possible to implement the new writing approach like the process approach in EFL contexts. The teacher can make it work by giving explicit and extensive instruction when they introduce a new approach and new activ ities. Through writing instruction that focus on the learner, the studen ts can learn how to write with the concept of writing as a process, they can deve lop their writing skills to higher le vel if the teachers help them 228

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learn and overcome the factors affecting their writing ability. In addition, to make the most benefit out of the teaching instruction, the wri ting lessons should provide the learners both knowledge of English writing (linguistic knowledge, discourse structure, and writing strategies) and the process of writing (how to write and revise their work). Finally, teachers should be aware of cultural differences that exist between the target culture and the local culture so that they can help their students overcome the mismatch with the cultural norms. Implications for Practice The results of this study show that it is po ssible to implement the new writing approach like the process approach into EFL classrooms. Ho wever, the teachers need to adapt and adjust the instruction to meet the students needs and to recognize the local constraints. In order to implement the new approach more successful, I present the implications for ESL/EFL writing classes. First, it was evident that the students in th is writing class had positive responses to this writing instruction and they found that their writi ng develop when they had more opportunities to write. Therefore, it is important for the ESL/EF L teacher to provide the students opportunities to practice writing more frequently. Moreover, th e teacher should promote free writing or with general prompts for the students to express themselves freely and are willing to write more. With freedom to choose their own topic or their own stor ies, EFL students felt th at they did not write just for the course assignment, but they write for themselves. Second, ESL/EFL teachers should provide explicit instruction in writ ing strategies and activities they introduce to the students. With cl ear instruction, the stud ents will be able to develop their writing skills a nd engage in the activities more effectively. Without the clear instruction, the students may find the activities such as peer response and revision not much helpful for their writing development due to the obstacles they have such as L2 proficiency. 229

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Third, for developing effective sk ills of revising and peer resp onse, the students should be trained of how to perform these activities and un derstand concepts of th ese activities including the purpose and the benefits they will gain wh en they employ these activities. The teachers should be modeling how to give constructive feedbacks, how to ask questions, and how to revise their works. Along with modeling, the students sh ould be provided assistance while they are writing. Conferring is a strategy that the teachers can use to help the students learn how to solve the problem while they are writing. Fourth, the students should be prepared fo r writing lessons in both knowledge of English writing and the process of writing. It was evident th at the students in this writing class did not develop their writing skills as much as they shou ld because of the impact of L2 proficiency and the lack of knowledge of English writing. Theref ore, promoting only process of writing is not sufficient to help ESL/EFL stude nts learn and develop their writi ng ability. Mini lessons can be used to provide the students li nguistic knowledge and writing strategies along with practicing writing. Finally, from the results of the study for ESL/EFL composition theory, another element that I think the teachers and educators should take into account are cultural constraints or cultural differences. Culture is not only referred as the so cial or educational culture, but it includes the contrastive rhetoric or the convention of L2 writing that may affect the way the students learn to write in L2. I adapt Berlins four elements for teaching L1 composition by including the fifth element for approaches to teaching L2 composition (see Figure 7-1). ESL/EFL students and the teacher need to be aware the impacts of th e students culture to the students writing development. Reducing cross cultural hindrance will help the students improve their writing skills more easily and effectively. With explicitly explanation how the cross culture affects their 230

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writing ability and their engagement in writing activitie s like peer response, the students will find their ways to cope w ith this constraint. Writer Figure 7-1 Components of L2 composition approaches adapted from Berlin (1982) Recommendations for Further Studies Since this study only focused on one teacher and he r writing class, it cannot be generalized that it will be successful when ESL/EFL teacher s implement or apply an innovative approach in their English writing classes due to several factors, such as L2 proficiency, teachers background in that approach, and students educational b ackground. It is worthwhile for ESL/EFL teaching Reality Truth Language Culture Audience 231

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and learning to further explore in this area to fill the gap of teaching writing in ESL/EFL classrooms. First for Thai educators and researchers, it is worthwhile to conduct the similar study in order to explore how the other Thai teachers implement the innova tive approach in their writing class and how successful they are in terms of students perceptions a nd their English writing ability. Second, it is interesting and w ill provide full understanding in ESL/EFL writing instruction if the researchers will also investigate the students process of wr iting and revising, and the teachers perception of the implementation of proce ss writing approach in or der to gain the better understanding how a new writing approach affects the students growth as writers and their writing development. Third, for teacher training programs, it will be beneficial for both the teachers and the program administrators to conduct the study ex ploring the follow-up project with the school teachers who are trained by the innovative approach to see how they implement the new approach and what the constraints or hindrances they have when they implement it in their classes. The results from the st udy will provide the program administrators with information to develop the program and to help the teachers solve the problem if they have so that they will be able to adapt and adjust their teaching instruct ion to suit the students need and the teaching context. Fourth, if this new approach is possible to help Thai students learn to write in English (L2), it should help Thai students learn to write and deve lop their writing skills in Thai which is their first language. It is worthwhile to use this writing approach to teach Th ai writing or other L1 writing in order to explore how it would im pact on their L2 writing development. 232

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According to teachers constraints, Ms. B did not implement the writing workshop in her writing class. Samway (2006) states, Although students are exposed to writing expe rience, often associated with a writing workshop (e.g. drafting and revising), none of the teachers had established a writing workshop and they did not incorporate minile ssons, conferences, or authors chairs, and students rarely had choice over what they would write about. In fact, many writing assignments were aligned with the state test which emphasized a five-paragraph essay (p. 159) It is interesting to implement the writing worksh op in my writing class with the similar teaching context and environment to that of Ms. B and to do the research in order to explore how I can adapt this approach to suit my students background and their needs as well as to help them learn to write and become writers. It will be wort hwhile if it is possible to implement a writing workshop in EFL setting. The information we will gain will help us as teachers and researchers understand the constraints affecting the way teachers implement an innovative writing instruction, and how to help the teachers adapt their teaching in struction and style to promote writing workshops in EFL writing instruction. Although this study did not plan to evaluate the students writing product, the findings reveal that the students writing improves in some aspects at so me degree. It will be worthwhile to study the improvement of students writing pr oduct such as linguistic features, organization, and style of writing when they experience the pro cess writing approach. Preand post-test as well as the students assignments should be used to investigate the growth of their writing ability. Finally, in this present study, sociocultural as pects play a crucial role in the way the students participate in writing activities and interact with their peers when they engage in peerresponse. Further studies, partic ularly in ESL/EFL settings, should take into consideration the role of sociocultural influences on implementa tion of innovative teaching techniques, such as process writing approach. More advanced res earch on how sociocultu ral factors affecting 233

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achievement in implementing the imported pedagogi es and how teachers and students involve in the transmission of culture should be investigat ed. The information from these further studies will provide valuable information to fill th e gap about ESL/EFL composition approaches. Summary This study aimed to explore the writing classroom where the teacher implemented or adapted an innovative approach in her writi ng class. The study focused on the students responses to this writing instruction. The impact s of writing instructions on the students writing development were also investigated. This chapte r presented the main conclusion of the findings found in this study. Firstly, the wri ting instruction of this writing class was discussed to provide understanding how the teacher implemented the new approach, what the constraints she had when she implemented it, and what the teacher could do better under the constraints. The second part concluded the main findings from the stude nts responses. The main conclusions included: 1) writing practices, 2) writing development, 3) cultural and instru ctional frustrations, and 4) the factors affecting EFL learners wr iting development. This chapte r ended with the implications for practices and the recommendations for further studies. 234

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235 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT Project Title: The study of Experience of Thai Teachers a nd their Students in Engl ish Writing Classroom where Process Writing Is Implemented Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to partic ipate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to investigate how Thai students and the teachers experience and learn to write in English clas sroom where process writing is implemented. The study focuses on how the students perceive and respond on writing process approach. Also, the experience of the teachers who introduce this approach in their English writing classroom will be explored. The study will focus on how they experience and respond on the implementation of process writing approach. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be observed in an English writing class. You may be asked for an interview about how you learn to write in English and how you percei ve the process writing approach used in your classroom. You may be asked to provide your wr iting for making a copy and being used as one source of data collection. Time required: The observation will depend on the class schedule. The interview should be completed in about 45 minutes, but may last longer depending on how much details you wish to convey. Risks: No more than minimal risk. Benefits/Compensation: There are no anticipated bene fits from participation. There will be no compensation for participation. Participation or non-participation will have no eff ect on your grade in the class. Confidentiality: With your permission, the interview will be audio taped. A researcher will transcribe the tape, and all person identifiers will be removed. Your id entity will be confidential to extent provided by law. Only the researcher and the supervisor or this study will have access the transcript of my interview, and copies of your writing. Some of what you say and part of your writing may be

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quoted in reports, term papers, a dissertation, or other publications, but you will never be identified by name. Voluntary participation: Participation is completed voluntary. You can refuse to answer any questions. Right to withdraw from the study: You can withdraw your consent and participation in the study at any time without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Researcher: Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon 304 Diamond Village, Apt. # 6 Gainesville, FL 32603 Telephone: (352) 846-5817 Email: ji@ufl.edu Or 86/2 Chalermsook 5 k. Chorakhebua, Ladprao, Bangkok 10230 Thailand Telephone: (662) 570-6829 Email: jiraporndh@hotmail.com My supervisor is Danling Fu, Ph.D. Associate Professor University of Florida Tel: (352) 392-9191 x 240 Email: danlingfu@coe.ufl.edu Whom to contact about your rights in the study: UFIRB Office, PO Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250: Phone: (352) 392-0433 Agreement: I have read and understand the procedure describe d above. I voluntarily agr ee to participate in this study and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: ______________________________________ Date: __________________ Principal Investigat or: ______________________________ Date: _________________ 236

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237 APPENDIX B GUIDED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Students Interview Question Guide (First Interview) 1. Please tell me about your writi ng experience both in writing in Thai and in English. How were you taught to write both in Thai and in English? 2. Have you written anything at home, not for cl ass assignments? If so, what did you write? 3. How would you describe yourself as a writer? 4. What makes you feel frustrated when you write, particularly in English? 5. What kinds of difficulty or obstacles do you experience when you write in English? 6. What is the best essay you have written? What makes it the best? 7. What is the worst essay you have written? What makes it the worst? 8. Who is/was your favorite writing teache r? What makes her/him your favorite? 9. In your opinion, what is a good writing? 10. What is your purpose or goal fo r taking this writing class? 11. What do you think about this English writing class in general?

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Students Interview Question Guide (Second Interview) 1. What do you think about the mid-term test? 2. In your opinion, what is the relationship betw een the teaching/learning of writing and the mid-term test? 3. What are the activities employed in this writing class? Could you describe them? 4. So far, what do you think of the activitie s in this class? (purpose, understanding, engagement, like or dislike) a) free style writing b) question-answer, orally and written c) journal writing d) p eer-response, peer-editing e) revising f) editing g) reflective writing 5. Are there any activities used in this class th at you like? What are they? Please describe what it is that you like about them? 6. Are there any activities used in this class th at you dislike? What are they? Please explain why you dislike them? 7. Compared with other writing classes that you taken before, what makes this class different from the former ones? 8. In this class, what have had impacts on your writing skills or perf ormance? (benefits, obstacles, confusion or frustration) 9. Since the first day, what have you changed espe cially in terms of learning to write and your writing performance? 10. How does this class fulfill your expectation that you had before taking this course? 11. So far, what would you like the teacher to do or improve in terms of teaching this class? 238

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Students Interview Question Guide (Third Interview) 1. What do you think about the final examination? 2. Based on your experiences in this class, what did you apply to your writing for the test? 3. What do you think about the intera ction between the teacher and th e students in this class? 4. Did you participate in any ac tivities in this class? If you did, how? If not, why not? 5. Please describe your writing process in this class. 6. Did you use Thai in your writing? If you did, how often and why? If not, why not? 7. What do you think about group work? 8. What do you think about exchanging your work with your peer? 9. What do you think or feel when the teacher oral ly read the students story in the class? 10. In your opinion, what is the role of the teacher and the students in this writing class? Please explain. 11. What changes do you perceive in yourself par ticularly in terms of writing ability as a result of participating in this writing class? 12. In your opinion, what should a writing class be to help the students improve their writing skills? 13. What do you think of this writing class? (S trengths, weaknesses, things you like the teacher to do or improve in terms of teaching this class, applications to the learners and to other writing class) 14. What are your last wo rds about this class? 239

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Teachers Interview Question Guide (First Interview) 1. Please tell me your personal, educational and teaching background. 2. Could you tell me about your experience teaching writing? 3. How do your teaching beliefs about writi ng affect your teaching instruction? 4. How does your education in a western country affect your beliefs? 5. What are your conceptions a bout teaching and learning, particularly in term of language learning? 6. What are your conceptions about teaching writing? 7. What is good writing? 8. Are you a writer yourself? If so, what kinds of writing do you do?. And what kinds of difficulties do you experience when you write? Teachers Interview Question Guide (Second Interview) 1. How have you planned for each class? 2. Why do you limit the scope of the students question? 3. Are there any difficulties or obstacles you encounter when you use this teaching approach? Please identify them and e xplain why you think they are obstacles? 4. What student feedback have you gotten for this writing class, particularly in terms of process approach/activities? 5. Please describe the students, and your perc eption of students background in writing. How are the students doing in class? How do they respond to your teaching approach? 240

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241 APPENDIX C PERSONAL BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE Instructions : This questionnaire has two main pa rts: personal background and writing background. Please fill out the following blanks. Y ou can answer in Thai or in English if you feel comfortable. I. Personal Background 1. First name: ______________________ Last name: ____________________________ Age: ___________ Sex: Male [ ] Female [ ] Place of birth: ____________________ Native language: _______________________ Other language(s) that you know: __________________________________________ 2. School Year: _________ Major: ___________________________________________ Minor: ___________________ Department/Faculty: ___________________________ University: _________________________ GPA: _____________________________ Grade of English: ________ Expected grade in the current English class: __________ 3. How many years have you studied English as a foreign language? ______________________________________________________________________ How many periods/hours per week did you study English at school or university? ______________________________________________________________________ How many English courses are yo u taking this semester? What are they? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

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4. Besides at school, where have you studied English? (You can choose more than one answer) ____ At private English school/institute. How often? _________________________ ____ At home (by yourself). How often? ___________________________________ 5. Do you like to read? [ ] Yes [ ] No How often do you read per week? _________________________________________ What kinds of books or texts do you read? Type of texts How often ____ Textbooks written in Thai ____________________ ____ Textbooks written in English ____________________ ____ Thai newspaper ____________________ ____ English newspaper ____________________ ____ Thai novels ____________________ ____ English novels ____________________ ____ Thai magazines ____________________ ____ English magazines ____________________ ____ Research journals (Thai) ____________________ ____ Research journals (English) ____________________ ____ Cartoons ____________________ ____ Others. Please identify. ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ 242

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II. Writing A. Writing at home 1. Do you like to write (both in Thai and in English)? [ ] Yes in ___________________________ [ ] No How often do you write per week or per month? ______________________________________________________________________ 2. What kind of text do you write? Types of texts Thai/Eng How often ____ a list T/E ________________________ ____ an assignment/paper T/E ________________________ ____ a poem T/E ________________________ ____ a diary/journal T/E ________________________ ____ a short answer T/E ________________________ ____ a story T/E ________________________ ____ a novel T/E ________________________ ____ a cartoon T/E ________________________ ____ others. Please identify. _____________________ T/E ________________________ _____________________ T/E ________________________ _____________________ T/E ________________________ 243

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3. Please describe your experience in writing. How have you been taught to write both in Thai and in English? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 4. Please describe/identify any difficulties or obstacles you have experienced when you write: in Thai: ______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ in English: ___________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ 5. What is good writing according to your knowledge and understanding? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 244

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6. Who is your favorite writing t eacher? Please explain why she/he is your favorite? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 7. If you are going to write a story, an essay, or an assignment, what is your writing process? Please describe how you write from the beginning until you finish it. ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Thank you for your cooperation 245

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246APPENDIX D SAMPLE OF FIELD NOTE SHEET FIELD NOTES Ms. B 1/2004 May 31, 2004 17 October 2004 Field Notes Personal Notes/Comments Codes

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247 APPENDIX E SAMPLE OF DOMAIN ANALYSIS WORKSHEET 1. Semantic Relationship: ______________________________________ 2. Form: ____________________________________________________ 3. Example: _________________________________________________ Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ Structural questions: _____________________________________________________ Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ Structural questions: ____________________________________________________ Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ Structural questions: __________________________________________________

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APPENDIX F STUDENTS WRITING SAMPLES First Drafts Low English Proficiency Students Wats writing: June 1, 2004 My name is (name). I 22 years old. I study at Kase tsart University. My f aculty of Engineering. I come from Nakronphanom. I stay at nhamwongwasn cord apartment. It opposite Kasetsart University in ngamwongwan Rd. I like play guitar and watch Television in free time. And I like football but I dont like bas. My birthday is 10th June 1981. I holp to graduate in this year. (66 words, 7 lines) June 28, 2004 Khanchai. He is my friend, because he studies in faculty of Engineering. He gets up at 7.30 a.m. He studies at 9.00 am until 16.30 p.m. He likes sport at all but he likes most football and I think he sleep less, because ____ ____ _____ is football Eu rope in Potugade. He is quiet. Oh! at night in free time is ____ He reads a cartoon book a nd listen to the radio. (72 words, 7 lines) ( ___ indicates the word that was not readable.) July 6, 2004 JAPAN Introduction to Japan. Japan have total area 377835 sqkm. Japan includes Bonin Islands, Daito Shoto Minami-jima and Voteano Islands. Ja pan have water area 3091 sqkm. Japan slightly smaller than California. Japan have 127,214,499 people. Generation 10-14 years 14.4%, 15-64 years: 67% and over than 64 y ears 18.6%. location of Japan is Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean an d the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula. Natural in Japan have negligible minera l resources, fish and many dormant and some active volcanoes about 1500 and have a lot hazards seismic occurren ces every year. Climate of Japan various from tropical in south to cool temper ate in north. Most Japanese like to eat sushi every time. Highest point of Japan at Fuji Mountain about 3,776 M. => (The last part was written in Thai. Translati on: Japans national fl ower is Sagura (Cherry Blossom) which is very beautiful when it blooms. And it has a lot of co astal area because Japan is a group of islands. Japan has a reputation for fishing and its unique artifact is a beautiful national dress called Kimono. Also, Japan has wa rriors called Samurai.) (249 words, 25 lines) August 19, 2004 248

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Back in seventeen years ago. I studied at Nakaephadungr atchagitjharern school, Nakae Nakhonphanom. I had many friends when I was young. I have ever been cry when my mother hit me because I did not go to school. When I studied in M.4. I love beautiful girl so much but I broken heart when I saw she walking with her boy friend. That I studied very hard for Entrance Examination. But had one subject I did not understa nd very much was Englis h although I love it. 3 years later I could study in water resources Engineering. My life was changing very much. Because I met many people and many friends. They were very nice for me. But someone I felt so good in my mind. Ann she beautiful girl and she help me everything she could. So I will make everything for her too. (142 words, 14 lines) August 31, 2004 Last year, I went to Changmai with my friends. Chaing Mai was a la rge city in north of Thailand. There are also famous tourist sites wh en I reached Chaing Mai has cold weather. The weather about 10 c. I thought weather was good for me because I loved cold weather. In first day I and my friends went to Doi Intanon. It was hi ghest mountain of Thailand and then I went to market in Chaing Mai. We starte d shopping food and silk for took it to our family and then. We relaxed in this town for went back home in th e morning. Then we went home by train but train was late but I did not serious because this trip is so good for me. (124 words, 12 lines) Tits writing: June 1, 2004 My name is (name). Im born in Im study at Faculty of Engineering. Im a senair I like to play football. At time I study very hards I dont English. But I try to study English Because English is life I live in Bangkok with My Father and Mother. I dont have brother and sisther. Im very happy in Major water resources Engineering. My hobby is playing football and listen to the music and sometime I play snooker. (97 words, 9 lines) June 22, 2004 Nattawee is a student. He studies in the Facu lty of Engineering. He often gets up at 7.00 a.m. or 10.30 a.m. because in the week he st udies in the morning 3 day and studies in the afternoon 2 day. When he finish studies, he usually play s football with your friends. Next he goes to home. he has dinner at 7.30 p.m. after that he us ually watches television or plays computer game. Finally, He goes to bed in the midnight. On Saturday and Sunday He usually goes to see a movie and shopping with my friend. (95 words, 10 lines) 249

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July 6, 2004 China has area 9,596,960 sq km. The Nationa l name is Zhonghua Remmin Gongheguo. The Chinas President is Hu Jintao. Chinas total population was es timated at 1,298,847,624 with a density of 351 people per square mile. The capital is Beijing city. China s language is Chinese, Mandarin, also local dialects. Th e Religious in China is Buddhi sm, Confucianism and Taoism. The Natural resources in China is coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese aluminum and hydropower. The ma jor trading partners with China is U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Germany Beijing is the nations political, economic, cultural and educationa l center. (103 words, 14 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience I hated to lean in English. Because Its hard. In M1-M6 I never happy for learn English I unkonw vocabuary and grammar. Its At Year One I started at Eng I. I past by study 1 Eng II, I drop 1 and past in 2. I past Eng II at summer year Two. I very study hard. for English but It dont help for my English well. Now I try to study in English Writing I and I think English is essential for my life. Im very happy for study in English writing because it maky I funny for learn. In Year One, I was study in Eng I. There are some thing to learn I started from 0 to 1 Because study from 1 to .6, I never At Entrance, I 45 I study Eng I with she teach and she teach In Eng II my teacher grammar and vocab so I drop and I get D+ in English II (212 words, 18 lines) August 19, 2004 When I was seven years old, I left out of home alone because I didnt want to go to school. My father and mother werent know that I left my home at 5.00 a.m. Everybody in my family were sleeping. I had a big bag and 500 B m oney in my pocket. I walked to the bus stop and randomly catched the bus. I didnt know wh ere the bus go. I sat beside the window and enjoyed the view outside. I didnt fear anythi ng because I was a little boy. I went to so many places, which I didnt know. I went to the market a nd department store. It was a big adventure. A man looked at me surprisingly, they didnt look my parents. In the evening, while I was walking along the road, the policeman came to talk to me and asked me who is coming with you. I answered I come alone He took me to the Bangkhen Police Station and gave me something to eat. He as ked me where is my home. I just only said I 250

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dont know I stayed there untill late night. My moth er came to see me and brang me home. She didnt say anything, but I felt guilty. I w ill not did anything like this again. This story is the bad thing that I did, when I wa s young. (227 words, 22 lines) Fuadas writing: June 1, 2004 Hello, My name is (name). Surname ____. Now I leanning in Engineering Faculty at 5 year. My nickname is Benz, but My friend tell to me YIck ( ) Im very happy take cross in class. by the way in freedom I have to see the movie and sometime I tour and I like drive a car on myself (60 words, 6 lines) June 22, 2004 In the mornings day, he go to study. he ge t up at 8.00 am. but he study in afternoon he get up at 11.00 am. he usually take motorbike to cl ass in a herry. After he finish the class in the morning then he have a breakfast before he study English from 11.00 am. untill 12.30 pm. and he has freetime to 4.00 pm. So he go his room at 10.p.m. for watch televisi on and he take his homework. he go to sleeps at 2.00 a.m. (86 words, 8 lines) July 6, 2004 Hong kong is interesting city. because it is Island, with shops selling curlous, clothing, accessories and more. Hong kong Chinese foods. more 96 percent of the populati on is Chinese. In Kowloon you can Hiseasons is winter, is dry ans cool with an average temperature of 17 c, but it sometime has snows. Hong kong Island has a combined area is 2,916 square kilometers, of which 1,004 square kilometers are land. The main land is hilly. Now, Hong kong has no forests and very little in the way of natural fauna and flora. (109 words, 11 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience I were studied English since Its start A-Z and learned to easy a vocabulary. On I learned a sentence for example t his is a book. But I dont like it. So I I were studied to pass a day. and I starts studied English in Kasatsard U. at Froundasion English I. I studied english together with friends major. My teacher is very nice woman but she sometime is cruel teacher but I have no fear because shes pretty and I pass Eng I (128 words, 11 lines) 251

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August 19, 2004 Dear Editor Last Wednesday while I was doing my homewo rk, my high school friend, Pat, called me. She told me that there was a party on Friday night because she would taken further her study in Australia and another friend Nut also was going to Japan. I felt very glad to hear my friend good news and I was a bit excited to meet all my old friends. Our party was held at Yatika on Road. I went to buy some presents at Siam Square on the following day. After choosing the best presents for my two friends, I went back home by BTS (the sky train). On the train I met a very cute girl. I noticed that she had no company, so it would be my good opportunity to ask her number. I ignored my destination in order to get off the same station as her. Everything seemed to go on plan until her boy friend walked straight to her from the opposite side. Then they got off together and left me alone on tr ain. I got so disappointed and f ound out the truth of an old saying Dont believe what you see (196 words, 19 lines) Intermediate Group Kits writing: June 1, 2004 Hello. Im (name). Im 18 years old. I study in Faculty of Fisheries. Major is Biology. Im studying in Kasetsart University in second years. I was born in 1985. My birthday is September 11th. My house is in Bangkok. Im single child. I studied at Mattayomwatmakutkasat school in high school. My hobby is swimming, play ga me and reading. I wish I will graduate in 4 years. And after I graduate I wa nt to be Aquaculture breeder. I want to travel around the world for explorer the fish. Thats my dream. I have my friend who came from a same school to study Kasetsart University. My friend study in Faculty of Forestry. Another peop le study in Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Argiculture. I like watch the football. I ch eer Liverpool and Real Madrid. But in Euro 2004 I cheer Fran ce to the champion. (143 words, 15 lines) June 22, 2004 Hello! My friend name is Yutharpoom Keartu msom. His nickname is Yuth. His birthday is on May 8th 1989. He studies in the Faculty of Forest ry. He comes from the same school. He has two sisters and one brother. His first sister works in Austra lia. Another sister works about law, but his brother is a student His hobby is play trombone, play keybroad and listen the music. Everyday he gets up at 6 oclock and takes a bath. Then he has breakfast. Next, he leaves his home at 6.30 a.m. He arrives univer sity at 7.30 a.m. He starts study at 8 oclock and finishes at 4 oclock. In the evening he sometimes has dinner with his friend at Bar Mai. On Tuesday and Thursday evening he plays music at the family music, and on Wednesday he goes to wildlife club. Then he comes home at 8 oclock. Next, he takes a bath and does his homework. After he finishes do his homework and reads the book. Finally he goes to bed at 11.30 p.m. That is his daily rountines. (178 words, 17 lines) 252

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July 6, 2004 Switzerland Switzerland is in west central Europe. It is covered by the Al ps. Swizerland is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe, and are fam ous for visitor is the Matterhurn in Zermatt. Switzerland is famous for its many lakes, particul arly those of the Alpine region, where the most important include Lake Geneva, Lake of Constance, Lake of Lugano and Lake Maggiore. On the plateau and lower valleys of Switzerland a temp erate climate prevails with a mean annual temperature. The peaks of most mountain are snow-covered throughout the year. Especially in the Alps the bise, a cold norther ly wind, predominates in the wi nter, and the foehn, a warm dry southeasterly wind, predominated du ring the rest of the year. The capital city is Bern, with a population. The Swiss people as a w hole are mainly of Alpine, No rdic and Slavic or Diravic descent. The official languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh. But the most commonly spoken language is Schwyzerttsch (Swiss German). However, German is the language of many theater, motion picture and television product. (175 words, 20 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience First I started wrote A,B, C and spelled it at the nursesary school. Next The teacher teached the vocabulary and gave me to spell and wrote it. When Im pratom 1, I learned verb and sentence. I began wrote a sentence. Next I learned the grammar. I read the nation junior and listened a tape to but I didnt like it. I started learned the hard vocabulary, the many sentence and gramma I started studied English II. I studied with new my friend. First I think English II harded but I started studied, I changed idea because the teacher teached enjoyable. I feeled enjoyable when I studied. But I was serious when I exam. I feeled I cant make it. When I happy with my score. My teacher open ed the tape and gave the student I listened but I The teacher gave his experience Sometimes he spoke joke. I f eel happy. (181 words, 17 lines) August 19, 2004 This is my sad story. It began while Im freshy In the days the phone rang. Hello! I said. Bank! This is your uncle. Please give me says with your mother uncle said. I send this telephone to my mother. After my mother said with my uncle. My mother told me Your grandmother pose to a hospital. At night my moth er packed bag to visited her grandmother. In the morning she traveled by a trai n but I didnt. Because I had the final exam. I felt terrible. After my mother visited her. She told me Grandm other is better. I felt happy. At night the phone rang. The uncle called to my moth er. He said Mother is coma. My mother traveled again. I worried her condition. Soon my mother called to me. She said Grandmother dead I felt surprise after she told me. That da y I felt very sad. (148 words, 14 lines) 253

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Tanyas writing: June 1, 2004 My name is (name). My nickname is Eaw. I dont have any brother or sister. I am 18 years old. I lived in Bangkok since I was young. I live with my mother and my father. I am joyful but sometimes easy to angry. I love Thai food very much especially Tom Yum Kung. Pop music is my favorite kinds of music. Now I am studying in Kasetsart University. I have studied in Kasetsart two years. My faculty is Economics. I want to be an Economist. My hobby is watching television, listen to radio, play computer. I have a dog. I love it very much. Its name is Romio. I love to sing a song with my friends when I have free time because it makes me so happy. I love to play tennis too. This is myself. (138 words, 13 lines) June 22, 2004 Introduce your friend Her name is Thaninee Chansuwan. She has two sisters and one brother. Now she studies in the faculty of Economics at Kasetsart University. She lives at Dormitory, which its far. So she must get up at six oclock to study. She goes to the university by motorcycle because she has class at eight oclock. She has lunch at Bar Mai, after that she will go to the library. When she backs her dormitory, she does her homework and watching television. Then she has dinner. She always reads books, listen to the ra dio before goes to bed. She likes watche television, listen to the radio for her free time. A singer in her heart is Buachompoo Ford. She likes to travel in Thailand. She used to be guide, but now she would like to be an Economist. In the future, maybe she is a Lawyer because she is going to study Law at Ramkhamhang university. (154 words, 15 lines) July 6, 2004 I know Korea long time but I dont know that what is interesting th ing in Korea? I saw many beautiful places, lifestyle from television so I would like to find data about Korea. Korea is located on peninsula. It was a varied terrain, mountainous, ri ver so Korea called that Land decorated with golden embroider y. The peninsula has been divi ded two part, the Republic of Korea in South and another North Korea. In South Korea, Han and Naktong rivers are responsible for lifestyle. About climate, Kor ea has summer, winter, spring and autumn. In summer, It has hot and long and in June, July and A ugust have heaviest rains. In winter starts in November and lasts in March, but in winter North Korea is get severe more than South. About population, Korea success in family planning cam paigns. In urban has many population and has many man power too. About places to visit, Ko rea has many places to visit such as Kanghwado Island. Kanghwado Island is Korea s fifth largest island and rich in history and beautiful natural. Folk village is a traditiona l village. (180 words, 19 lines) 254

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August 3, 2004 Past Experience When I was a Matthayom student, I love to study English very much. I studied with a kind teacher. I like to answer her question. When I was a Matthayom 4 student, I must learn English with a foreign teacher. I was afraid of him. I didnt like when he asked some question because I dont understand. Since then, I dont like English any more. I played with my friends when I was studying in class. When I had a test, I could not make it. Since then, I tried to study and attention in English class. I think, The foreign teacher was a kind man. Since then, I felt good in English the same my first time. When I was a Pratom student, I was very happy in English class. My teacher is very nice. She liked to teach with a game. It made me love to study. I had special study with her before I went back home. The student must have a stor y to tell our friends in English every day. I sometimes told my friends about my lifestyle, my background etc. I was very happy because I like to share my experience with my friend. love to study English very much. (215 words, 22 lines) August 19, 2004 I went to Dremworld with my parents when I was in grade 7. That was the first time to go Dreamworld. We went by taxi. We arrived at Dr eamworld in the afternoon. My father bought three tickets. After that we had lunch. I saw many clowns, waterfall, I told my mother I would like to play the Space Mountain. The Space Mountai n is a kind of trains. I invited my mother and my father but my father di dnt play. I went in with my mother. A woman said It looks like the sky, full of star. We sat in the Space Mountai n. It mays run slowly I said with my mother. Then the Space Mountain started running It was dark. I saw a lot of star. It was very beautiful. The Space Mountain ran up and down on the railway. Then it speed up. It ran fastly. My mother and I screamed loudly. The Space Mountain rotated. I di dnt see anything because I closed my eyes all the time. When I and my mother came out we sat on a chair. My father asked me Is it fun? I answered Yes. My mo ther blamed me but I laughed. I never saw my mother screamed loudly like that. It was very fun. (211 words, 19 lines) Ninis writing: June 1, 2004 Introduce myself My name is (name). Im 19 years old. Im studying at Kasetsart University. Im studying Economics. My hometown is in Narathiwat. I have two sisters and one brother. My parents are shopkeepers but I want to be an Economist. Now I stay at dormitory. When I miss my parents, I will call them, watch TV or listen to the ra dio. I like pop music. My favorite singer is Buachompoo Ford. She is pretty and sing a song very well. I like travelling very much. I want to go to Chiang Mai because its beautiful and there are many places. (99 words, 10 lines) 255

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June 22, 2004 Introduce my friend Her name is Tanyasiri Jiratrakulmahasarn. He r nickname is Eaw. She is 18 years old. She doesnt have sister and brother. She was born in Prae. Now she lives in Bangkok because her parents moved to live in Bangkok. She is studyin g in the faculty of Economics. Her major is Agricultural Economics. She must gets up early because she has cl ass at 8 a.m. everyday. I n the afternoon, she usually reads books, newspapers a nd magazines at the lib rary. She comes back home at 4 p.m. Then she takes a shower and prepare dinner. Her hobby is collecting card phone. In her free time, she likes listening to the radio and playing tennis with he r cousins. She has two dogs and she loves it very much. (125 words, 13 lines) July 6, 2004 Australia Australia is an island continent. Its the wo rlds sixth-largest countr y. It has four seasons; summer, autumn, winter and spring. Australias population is about 18 million. The most populous states are New South Wales and Victoria. There are many in teresting places to visit in Australia such as Blue Mount ains, Jenolan Caves, Tamwort h, Canberra, Parliament House, National Gallery of Australia and Kangaroo Island. I want to go to Australia because it has many interesting places. I want to got to Kangaroo Island very much because it has many animals. I want to see kangaroos, koalas, dolphins and penguins. If I saw them, I would take photograph with them. I will visit Blue Mountains. Its beautiful and cover with hazy. Although I want to learn languages in Australia. (125 words, 15 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience I started study English in Prathom 5 at Ban Sungaigo-lok School. I was excited when I started study English. My teacher is a kind man and I was enjoy. I like and my teacher usually told us to write vocabulary. He sometimes divided us 3 or 4 groups to play games. When I studied in Mattayom 1, I join in English Camp. It was a new experience for me. There are many exchange students from Australia join in too. We are enjoy a nd do many activities. I study English in Prathom 5 at Ban Sungaigo-lok School. My teachers name is Mr. Rassamee Mahamad. He is Muslim but he teach English very well. He is kind so Im enjoy when I study English. He teach grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening and writing. He sometimes teach us to sing a song and play games such as crossword and dictati on. Its fun and dont be serious. When I dont understand he alwa ys explains until I know and understand. (167 words, 16 lines) 256

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August 19, 2004 When I was 10 years old, I came to Bangkok with my father. It was the first time that I came to Bangkok by plane. I was glad when I known that I was going to Bangkok by plane. We got on the plane at the Had-Yai airport. When the plan flew in the sky, I was excited. Im a bird because I can fly. I said. How do you feel? My father asked. :Its very exciting. I answered. About ten minutes later, an ai r hostess explained how to use a parachute. Then she served food and drink. She has a beautiful smile. I said with my father. It took about one hour and half to fly from Had-Yai to Bangkok. When my father and I got off the plane, we went to my uncles home by bus. I was very tired, so I went to bed early. A day later, my father and I went to visit many interesting places in Bangkok such as Wat Prakaew, Sanam Luang, Victory of Monument and Dusit Zoo. There are many kinds of animals at Dusit Zoo such as hippopotamus, bird, monke y, giraffe and zebra. I took photographs because I would show them to my mo ther and my sisters. Although it passed many years, I still remember it well. (216 words, 21 lines) High English Proficiency Group Saras writing: June 1, 2004 My name is (name). My nickname is Ear ng. I am studying in Faculty of Humanities. My major is Thai. I come from Benchamatheputit Petchburi. My parents ha ve three children, two girls and one boy, I am the first. When I am in here, I am staying at dormitory near the university. Now I am studying in English class. I meet many people but I dont know Who are they? Sure! They are students. I am alone beca use my friend cant add th is section. If I drop I am afraid, I will tired next term. I feel happy when I study in this University Oh! I forgot. My teacher tells me introduce myself. I look like Chines e girl. My hair is black. I am quite shorts. I am cheerful when I am with my friends. I hate th e lizard very much, its ta il looks like the snake. I like eating an ice-cream very much because it is cool. I like shopping too. When I have a freetime, I like listening to the radio. It makes me to relax. I like green color, it shows the natural and the symbol of Kasetsart Univ ersity. (191 words, 17 lines) June 22, 2004 Her name is Lalisa Wannathim. She is nineteen years old. Her family have got five persons and they live in Pathumtanee. She likes football club very much. She studies in Faculty of Economics at Kasetsart University. Now she is the second years. She leaves home early morning because her house is so far. When it has the traffic jam, she always reads some books on the bus. When she arrives home. First, she takes a bath after that has dinner. Then she does her homework in her room. She likes to watch tele vision for relax herself. Sometimes her brother tells her to teach his homework. Its time to go to her room. Finally, she goes to bed and has a good dream. (122 words, 13 lines) 257

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July 6, 2004 TURKEY Turkey is a interesting count ry in the world. I think, it is a good country. Turkey is on the continent of Europe. It has seven river basi ns. Turkey has many regions and has different climates. The climates are cool, rainy winter s and hot, dry summer. The precipitation is depending on location. The Black Sea coast receives the most of rainfall but the eastern past of that coast receives rain fall throughout the year. The temperat ure in the mountain is how and dry in Summer, so cool in Winter. The mountain of Turkey are inhospitable. During spring and autumn are sudden hot and cold occur. The clim ate in the Black Sea ar ea is wet, warm and humid. Turkeys population are 66.8 million. Istanbul has the largest population. Istanbul is the city of Turkey. It is a interesti ng place and attractive the people to visit. It has a beautiful sea and a beautiful basin. (151 words, 15 lines) August 3, 2004 I studied English since I was in Pratom five. First time I enjoy studying very much. I thought, it was not difficult. I began study A B C D, What is your name? How are you? It was easy. But my teacher was quite fix about gramma r. It made me serious about it and scared when I wrote. When I was in Mathayom, I ofte n wrote. I thought it was difficult more than Pratom. I began describe about everything around me, added the information. It was different from Pratom. But my teacher was still fix about gr ammar. I did not like. I liked free style writing. It made me confident. Although, it mistaked. In English Class, I like an English teacher. She teach different from the other teachers. The most of teacher quite fix grammar when th e student writes. But she teaches easily. She opens the chance to write and dont care abou t grammar. The students can write about everythings or free style writing. And I like very much, because I can write everything I think and dont scare about grammar. And it dont make me serious, when I am serious, I cant write. The teacher is important for the student. This teacher makes me more confident in English writing. I feel happy when I study. (217 words, 23 lines) August 19, 2004 The impression in my love (or not) At first my attitude about love was not good. I had a bad popy love. It was in my primary time. I was in Pratom six. I liked a boy who was my friend in the same class and he liked me too. He took care me. He bought a necklace to me. I bought some gifts to him. We were happy until I told my mom that I had love. My mom did not angry me but she said. You were young and you should concentrate in education, you could be friend with him. I loved my mom more than him. I decided to tell him that I woul d be friend. After that, I did not ta lk with him and I felt, I feared love and I did not love anybody. My second love was in high-school. I studied in Mathayom five. I liked a man who was my senior at my school. He was a students chairman. I worked at 258

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students constitution too. So, I could close him up. He did not know about my feeling but the bad dream was coming. My senior knew from someone (I did not know until this day). He changed his behavior. He looked down me when he was with his friends. It made me sad. My teacher told me. In this world had a lot of good guys. That time, my love was changed to be hate. I told myself, I would like the guys from the inside. I would keep some good things in my mind. Love was a beautiful thing. In the other ha nds, it was a bad thing. And I wanted to thank you for two men. They made me know about love. Thank you. (287 words, 25 lines) Noks writing: June 1, 2004 My name is (name). I am study in faculty of Business Administration at Kasetsart University. I am study in second years. My family have four members. I have a brother. His name is Jim. I stay at home with my parent. My home is at Saphanmai, Bangkok. I have a dog. Its name is Io. I like listening to the radio and watching television. My hobby is playing with my dog and collect stamps. I used to study in faculty of Science for 1 y ear but I dont like so I am study in faculty of Business Administration major Management. I am a kind person. (105 words, 12 lines) June 22, 2004 My friend is Nuttaporn Junjareon. Her nickname is Fe. She has long black hair and brown eyes. She is quite tall a nd thin than me. She is shy and inpatient person. She has a sister and a brother. Her sister is ol der than her. Her brother is youn ger than her. Her father is a lecturer. She used to study at Kasetsart Univer sity Laboratory School b ecause her house is near Kasetsart University. Now she is a second-year student in the f aculty of Business Administration. She always gets up at 6.30 a.m. and she always goes to the university by car with her father. She usually has breakfast at Kasetsarts canteen. She likes the ca t. She feeds her cats af ter she comes home. She has dinner with her family and takes a shower Next she does her homework and watched TV. Her favorite programme is Drama. Finally she go es to bed at eleven oclock in the evening. In spare time, she goes to shopping at Cent ral with her friends. (167 words, 18 lines) July 6, 2004 Finland is my favourite country. There are gl aciers and lakes. It is a beautiful country. Finland is the northernmost country on the European continent. It shares borders with Sweden, Norway and Soviet Union. Finlands geography were glaciers. The glaciers were the countrys surface about 10,000 years ago. The winter is the longest season in Finla nd. Finland southern of the country are snowcovered about 3 months of the year and the north ern about 7 months. The Atlantic Ocean to the west modify the climate of the country. 259

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The population of Finland is approxim ately 5,200,000. Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe. The most people live in urban areas. Women on everage outlive men in Finland. Lapland is interesting place, that land of midnight sun and the Northern Lights. (128 words, 16 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience I studied English since I was 8 years old. My teacher is ki nd so I like to learn English. When I was 12 years old I studied in sound lab. I was very excited because my teacher is American. He cant speak Thai. Sometimes I didnt understand that he spoke. There were 60 students in classroom. My American teacher was kind but he gave a lot of assignments. I studied in sound lab twice a week. I didnt like to learn E nglish in sound lab because I didnt like to listen to English tape and I didnt like speak English. When I was M.1 I studied with American t eacher in sound lab. There were about sixty students in their class. My teacher opened E nglish song and gave papers to students wrote English song. Occasionally he 4-5 groups and sang English s ong in front of the class. He didnt strick grammar so I and my friend ha ppy to studied with him. (163 words, 17 lines) August 19, 2004 When I was fourteen years old. I went to Chiang Mai with my family. We went and returned by train. We leaved home on Wedne sday morning and arrived Chiang Mai on Wednesday evening. We traveled by train for a long time but we were happy. It was October and the weather was cold. We stayed in hotel for thre e days. Fathers friend lived in village near the hotel. He had a restaurant and he was a guide for us. We had dinner at the restaurant every evening. First day, we went to Doi Inthanon. When we arrived the top of hill, we had clogged ears. The weather was very cold and there was fog. S econd day, we went to Doi Tung. Doi Tung is in Chiang Rai. We liked it because it was very be autiful. There were many flowers and we took a photograph to remember it. That night we had shopping at Night Bazaar. There were many shops. The price was expensive but we bought a lot of things. Third day we went to waterfall. It was beautiful. The water was cold and clear. We had to return to Bangkok on Saturday evening and arrived home on Sunday morning. It was a wonderful trip for me. Chiang Mai wa s a beautiful town I ha d seen. (216 words, 23 lines) Sus writing: June 1, 2004 Introduction myself 260

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My name is _____. You can call me Toon. Im 19 years old. I study in Economics Faculty. My major is Ag ricultural of Economics. I live in Navachon Apartment with my friend. My apartment is on Ngamwongwan Road. In my spare time I like to watch TV and listen to radio. Sometimes I go shopping with my friends. I have one brother. My brother study in Engineer Faculty at Suranaree University. I live in Bangkok but my hometown in Phetchaburi. I graduated in primary school at Aroonmradit School and finished high school at Prommanusorn School. Phetchaburi is near Bangkok. My province has many traveling place such as Cha-am beach, Kangkajan National Park, Ramrajchnivach Pa lace, Water fall. My father is a government officer and my mother is a housewife. They is very kind with me and my friend. Sometimes they punish me when I stubborn. I have class at 8 a.m. everyday but it isnt a problem because I use the time about only 10 minute. (165 words, 18 lines) June 22, 2004 Introduce my friend My friend is Haruethai Janerithnunth. Her ni ckname is A. She is 19 years old. She has 2 brothers. She is the oldest sister. Her father is a general manager. Her mother is a housewife. Now, she studies at Kasetsart university in Facu lty of Economics. Her major is Agricultural of Economics. In the future she wants to be a good economist. She has classes at 8 a.m. everyday. Someday she finished classes at 11.30 am. Someday she finishes cl asses at 4 pm. She goes to the university by skytrain and shuttle bus. She us es the time about 2 hours for journey. In her freetimes, she likes to watch TV, read a book and serf the internet. Her favorite star is Ann Thongprasom. Her favourite food is Tom Yum Kung, Crab Fr ied Rice, Som Tum and Rotee Mataba. (136 words, 14 lines) July 6, 2004 I selected to write about Japan because it is interesting country. I like it. Japan is a small country. It consists of several thousands of islands. Islands th at is famous such as Hokkaido, Shikoku and Honshu. There are many valcanos and earthquakes in Japan that cant find another country. I think it is af raid and spectacular. Japan has 4 s easons (winter, summer, rainfall, typhoons) Almost the whole population is Japanese. Japanese respects Shinto and Buddhist religion. In Japan has interesting places to vi sit such as Himeji Cas tle, Tokyo DisneySea, Kagoshima, Mt. Fuji, Miho Museum, Kasai Rink ai Koen, Shirokawago and Miyajima. Each places are spectacular. There are beautiful views. It is worthwhile to visit. I think if I have some money I will go there sure. Japa n is a technological town. It has modern innovation. (134 words, 15 lines) August 3, 2004 Past Experience I start study English since I was 3 years old. Fi rst, My English teacher taught me about A, B, C Z. My teacher sang a ABC song which it was easy to remember. When I studied in primary school, I studied about easy vocabulary and grammar such as a cat, a dog, a cup. That time I think it was easy and fun. I lik ed it. But, when I studied in high school, I didnt understand 261

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why English was difficulty. My teacher gave diffi cult English homework. I did it for long time. I had a teacher. She is Miss Pikul. She is a kind English teacher. She taught me about vocabulary, which she taught it with song. Sometimes, she taught it with games. In my high school had some exchange students. I was enjoyable for speaking with them. When I studied in primary school, I liked to learn English because I thinked it was easy and fun. But, when I studied in high school, I didnt understand why English was difficult. I think I was silly for English in my class. That ti me, my class room had some intelligent students. They could speak, read, write and listen very goo d, which I wasnt that. My English teacher, which taught me, stricted in grammar, vocabulary a nd all about English. I feel afraid with it. (223 words, 23 lines) August 19, 2004 My impressive story was happened when I studied in primary school (Pratom 6) at Aroonpradit School in Petchaburi. I was chosen to be a deligate of school for Thai Speech Competition at Kanjananukhro School in Kanjanaburi. That time I was scary very much because I afraided to lose in this competition. However I was lucky because I received a reward. Afterwards, I had to prepare for a big comp etition at Phraharuathaiconvan School in Bangkok again. My teacher trained me ha rd. I had to speak about scien ce and technology which was a new information so I was tried very much. Finally, the day of competition reached. That day there were many competitions which all competitions spoke very well. I was the 16th person for speaking. When everybody finished for speech, they were excited very much, me too. Then the important time reached, the reward was announced until last reward for the winner. I told my mother and my teacher to go home. My mum said OK. While I was standing up, I heard someone called my name from the stage The ,w inner is _____, I wondere d about that sound in a minute before I walked to the stage. I receiv ed a certificate and the money 4,000 baht. And this my impressive experience th at I will remember it forever. (217 words, 23 lines) Wans writing: June 1, 2004 Hello My name is _____. My nickname is Took-ta. Im studying in faculty of Education. My Major is Business Education. Im studying in years two. Im living with my family at 685 Krungthonbuti Road Klongsan Bangkok. I have one sister and one brother. Im come from Chinorotwittayalai School Bangkoknoi Bangkok. In Summer I and my family went to Nakornsrithammarat to visited my grandmother. When I have a time I like to reading a book and listen to the radio. My hobby is collecting stamp. Im cheerful. I like to eat noodle, apple and chocolate. I come to Kasetsart University by BTS sky train. My favourite color is Blue. In future I want to be a Business Women. But now I hope to study happyness. June 22, 2004 Her name is Thitiporn Adipornphisut. Her ni ckname is Book. She is my friend. She is 19 years old and come from Nonthabur i. She is a single child. She st udies in Faculty of Education. 262

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On Monday She usually gets up at 6.00 a.m. a nd take a bath. She alwa ys goes to Kasetsart university about 6.30 a.m. She often goes to Bar-Mai to have breakfast. She likes to eat her spicy soup, noodle and rice with curry. She has classes from 9.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. She has English class twice a week. Next she always comes back home by bus. On Saturday she always gets up late because she doesnt go to the university. Sh e has a cat, its name Browny in her home. Her sister and she usually go to The Mall together. She likes to re ad cartoon book when she has free time. In the future she wants to has an own busin ess. Her motto is Time and Tide is no return. July 6, 2004 New Zealand New Zealand is my favorite nation because it consists of two main islands, The North Island and the south Island. There are the most beautiful Islands for me. In a country have beautiful lake and bush forests. The North Island also have a few volca noes still active. This country have steaming mud pools and spectacular geysers, I want to visit them very much. New Zealand have many mountains. An interesting pl aces in and around Auckland is variety. Such as Rangitoto Island, it is a feature of Aucklands inne r harbour. It have the volcanic fireworks that Maori tribes to call is SKY OF BLOOD. Take the ferry from Downtown Auckland. It have many mountains, The summits of Mount Victoria or North Head for 360 views. Mount Eden, Mount Hobson and Mount St. John are dormant volcanic cones offering commanding views of the citypack a picnic and walk up. New Zealand has largely a temp erate climate. The seasons are off course the reverse of the Northen Hemisphere with the warmest and coldest. Most of the 3.7 million New Zealanders are of British origin about 14% claim descent from the indigenous Maori population. They are Polynesian origin ab out 85% of New Zealand population lives in urban areas because it have the service. August 3, 2004 I started to learn English when I studied in Pr athom 1. When I started English class I was very happy because I liked to read English book but I didnt to write English. I n Mathayom I studies English writing, speaking and listeni ng. My teacher told me to r ead Student weekly every day. When I have freetim I went to Eric room, a libra ry English in my school. I liked to listen to the music, a conversation in English. I played a cros s word game with my friend. In Mathayom 4 my teacher told me to read vocabulary. In my house I read student weekly with my aunt every Sunday. He told me English in important for everybody now. In the feature I want to speaking English very well, because In Mahayom 4 I studied English with my teacher her name is Sutipee. She speak English very well. In my class my teacher told me to spoke or read English follow he r. Student must have student weekly in class every day. She read and translated or the topic to read. I have English homework every day. On Monday I have to read vocabulary because my teacher to me to and wrote vocabulary before I started the class. My friend and I have to said Hello or Good morning with my teacher. When I finished the class I have to said goodbye. My teacher spoke is See me next time goodbye everybody in the class just to said bye bye. I was very happy I studied in my class but I dont happy when my exercise was very hard. 263

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August 19, 2004 My past experience in Matthayom 6 In high school, U studied at Chinorotwittayalai school. In Matthayom 6 my life changed very much. I had to read a book and studied very hard because I prepared to entrance. I wanted to get a place in the facu lty I like. On Monday to Friday I stud ied in my school. In the evening of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I have extra classes in Thai and Social science. I attended math class on Saturday. And on Sunday I studied Englis h with my uncle at my uncles house. Every night I read a book from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. I was very tired. In August, I had an accident on my right eyebrow at my school. It made me st ay home for a week. I was worried about my entrance exam but I had my relaxt ion. I listened to the music, watched television and went to Central with my friends. Finally my dream came true. I get a seat in f aculty of Education at Kasetsart University. Im very happy and all my tire was gone. Sample of Multiple Drafts Jais first assignment First draft : My name is (name). My nickname is Nuch but my friend call me Duang. Im female. My birthday 15 October 1984. Im 19 years old. Im studying in Education Faculty at Kasetsart University. Im tall 157 cm. and weight 44 kg. I playing Petanque. I like sport very much. I have two sisters. Her name is Nid and Noi. I educat ed from Sriayudthaya School. I lived in Bangkok. I like shopping. I like to go to eat noodles, pizza, hamburgers and cake. I dont like milk and dessert. Future I would like to be a teacher. I love dog. My home have seven dogs and a cat. I like to watching TV and go to the cine ma. I go to the cinema every weeks. Second draft : Hello! My name is (name). My nickname is Nuch. I am nineteen years old. I am studying in Faculty of Education at Kasetsart Univ ersity. My major is Physical Education. I lived in Bangkok since I was born. Now I staying at th e University dormitory. I graduated from Sriayudtthaya school. I have a short hair and shor t. My family have five peoples. I have two sisters. They are studying at Ramkhomhang Univ ersity. They are twenty years old. They are twins. My hobby is listening to the radio, watching television, playing games, go to the movies, go to shopping and playing Petanque. Do you know Petanque? Petanque which come from France, is a kind of sport. I love to go to the movies at Major, Central and The Mall Ngamwongwan. I go to the movies every weeks. I like to go to shopping at MBK and Jatujak market. If I have a free time I will read a pocketbook and cartoon. I want to be a teacher because I like teaching and My ambition is to be teach at Kasetsart University or others school. Third draft : Hello! My name is (name). My nickname is Nuch. I am nineteen years old. I have short, brown hairs. I am a sportsman. I am studying in Faculty of Education at Kasetsart 264

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University. My major is Physi cal Education. I lived in Bangkok since I was born. Now I staying at the Unversity dormitory. I graduated from Sriayudtthaya School. There are five peoples in my family. I have two sisters. They are twins. They are studying in Ramkhamhang University. They are twenty years old. My hobby is listen to the radio, watchi ng television, plating petanque. Do you know petanque? Petanque which come from France, is a kind of sport. I love to go to the movies at Major, Central and The Mall Ngamwongwan. I go to the movies every weeks. I like to go to shopping at MBK and Jatujak market If I have a free time I will read a pocketbook and cartoon. I love to raise animals. My home have seven dogs, a cat, a fish and twenty mice. I want to be a teacher because I like teaching and My amb ition is to be teach at Kasetsart University or others school in Bangkok. Fourth draft : My Routines I am (name). I always get up at six oclock be cause I study from eight o clock until five oclock in the evening. Next I take a shower and dress. Then I usually go to Bar Mai at seven oclock and I have a breakfast. I often have noodles. In the af ternoon if I have a free time I will go to sleep at dormitory. In the evening I sometimes go to jogging and play sport. I have dinner with my boyfriend at Bar Mai at seven o clock. Then we go to shopping at Tops supermarket. At nine oclock I do my homework a nd read a book. Finally I go to bed at eleven oclock. Final draft : Hello! My name is (name). My nickname is Nuch. I am nineteen years old. I have short, brown hairs. I am a sportsman. I always jogging and play sport in the evening. I am studying in Faculty of Education at Kasetsar t University. My major is Physical Education. There are five people in my family. I have father, mother and two sisters. My sisters ar e twins. They are very nice. They are studying in Ramkhamhang Univer sity. They are twenty years old. I live in Bangkok. Now I am staying at the Kasetsart dormitory so I havent to get up early. I always get up at six oclock because I study from eight oclock until five oclock in the evening. Next, I take a shower and dress. Then I usually go to Bar Mai at seven oclock and I have a breakfast. I often have noodles. In the afternoon If I have a free time I will go to sleep at dormitory. In the evening I sometimes watch television and read a cartoon. I ha ve dinner with my boyfriend at Bar Mai or Central at seven oclock. At nine oclock I do my homework and read a book. Finally I go to bed at eleven oclock. At the weekend I always go to shopping at MBK and Jatujak market. I buy some clothes and shoes. I sometimes go to the movies at Major, Central and The Mall Ngamwongwan. I always go home on Friday because I miss my family and my pets. I love pets so my home has seven dogs, a cat, a fish and twenty hamsters I want to be a Veterinary medicine but now I want to be a teacher at Kasetsart University or others school in Bangkok. Jais First draft of the second assignment: My friend is Sunanta Thipimol. Her nickname is Toon. She is nineteen years old. She is studying in Faculty of Economics at Kasets art University. Her major is Agricultural Economics. She likes Economics. She was born in Petchaburi but now she is staying at Navachon Apartment in 265

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Bangkok. There are four people in her family. She has father, mother and brother. Her father is a government officer. Her mother is a housewife. Th ey are very kind. Her brother is twenty-two years old. He is studying in Faculty of Engineer ing at Suranaree University. She graduated high school from Prommanusorn School. She live in Navachon Apartment with her friend. Her friend is studying in Faculty of Fishery. She always ge ts up at six oclock be cause she like watching television in the morning. Then she takes a shower and dresses about seven oclock. Next she has a breakfast. She usually has some breads and a glass of milk. She studys from eight oclock until four oclock in the evening. In the evening she goes jogging with her friend. At the weekend she likes to go to the movies, go to shopping and listen to radio. In the future, She want to be a good economist. 266

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267 APPENDIX G CONTENT OF THE COURSE SYLLABUS Unit Function Grammar / Struct ure Expression / Vocabulary 1 2 PERSONAL INFORMATION yourself, friend Family Occupation Interests DESCRIBING ROUTINES: DESCRIBING PEOPLE: personal information Question forms (What/Where/When/How) Punctuation (period, capitals) Verb forms (present simple: 3rd person singular versus 1st person singular) Subject/Verb agreement with countable and uncountable nouns Question forms Definite/indefinite article (a, an, the) Tense: present simple Preposition of time Time expressions Question forms Connectives Adverbs of frequency Ordering adjectives in a series (length / size + kind / shape + shade / colour) What is your name? Where were you born? When were you born? How tall are you? I live in Bangkok. She lives in Bangkok. My sister is a student. There are six people in our family. Where do you study? What is your major? What year are you? What are your interests? He is a student. He is in the English Club. He gets up at six oclock. She works from seven until nine. Midnight, New Years Day, December, 1995, tomorrow, yesterday, next month, etc. What time/when does he get up? First, second, next, finally, etc. always never She has short brown hair. He has a long bushy black beard. She has soft brown skin.

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Unit Function Grammar / Struct ure Expression / Vocabulary 3 appearance clothing DESCRIBING PLACES: House Kitchen Sitting room Bedroom Buildings Towns Country Climate Paragraph (organization of ideas) Nouns count / non-count (a pair of ) Prepositions of location There is / There are Question forms Determiners Description + Location (adjective modifiers) Verb: is / has Vocabulary : (nouns) eyelashes, eyebrows, moustache etc. (adjectives) calm, kind, shy, polite, sophisticated, confident, talkative, friendly, loud, unfriendly, moody, impolite etc. shorts, trousers, jeans, sandals, shoes, blouse, skirt, long-sleeved, short-sleeved etc. near, above, next to, in front of, behind etc. There is a vase next to Nouns kitchenware, furniture, shelf, cupboard, sofa, armchairs etc. Where is the television? There is a / one There are two Khon Kaen is a large city in the northeast of Thailand. MBK is a large shopping centre next to Siam Square. Thailand is a hot country. Thailand has hot weather. Vocabulary : cool, cloudy, humid, windy etc. 268

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Unit Function Grammar / Struct ure Expression / Vocabulary 4 5 6 DESCRIBING PAST EXPERIENCES: DESCRIBING SCENCES: COMPOSITION (NARRATIVE): Compound sentences (and, but, so) Use of the comma Consequences Past simple tense Present simple (facts) versus present continuous (temporary situation, actions happening at the moment of speaking) Paragraph organization Complex sentences Adjective clauses Punctuation use of the comma (restrictive, nonrestrictive clauses) Past simple / past continuous (competed actions / actions over a period of time) Adverbial clauses Punctuation use of comma If clauses first conditional Past simple / past continuous We went to the beach and had a great time. We went to the beach, but the weather was terrible. I broke my leg, so I could not work. It is lunchtime. I am having a great time in Sydney. I am sitting in a caf. Who, Which / That, Where, Whose I left school when I was fifteen. I was studying from 9.00 to 11.00. WHEN when, while, whenever, before, after, since, until WHY as, so that, since, because ON WHAT CONDITTION unless, although, if HOW as if, as though If you work harder, you will pass. 269

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270 APPENDIX H SAMPLES OF SUPPLEM ENTARY EXERCISES ENGLISH WRITING I Revision Worksheet Unit 4 1) Make compound sentences using and but or so 1. I like basketball. My brother likes tennis. ___________________________________________________________________ 2. I went to Siam Square. Afterwards I went to the World Trade Centre. ___________________________________________________________________ 3. I heard a noise outside. I did not open the door. ___________________________________________________________________ 4. I did not see Rambo. My roommate did. ___________________________________________________________________ 5. I called my girlfriend. She was not at home. I knew she was still at the university. ____________________________________________________________________ 6. I felt ill. I went to see the doctor. He prescribed a lot of medicine. ____________________________________________________________________ 7. I went to the Lido Cinema. I could not get a ticket. I returned hom e. I watched a video. ____________________________________________________________________ 8. I studied hard. I could not do the mid-term exam. I dropped the course. ____________________________________________________________________ 2) Complete these sentences in your ow n words. (Use a comma where necessary.) 1. It rained hard all day so ________________________________________________ 2. I ran into the house and ________________________________________________

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3. She could not unlock the car so __________________________________________ 4. I like my teacher but __________________________________________________ 5. He did not feel well but ________________________________________________ 3) Write out the questions to the following statements. 1. ___________________________________________________________________? When I was young, I lived in a small house in Rayong. 2. ___________________________________________________________________? I went to school by songtaew. 3. ___________________________________________________________________? I went to school with my sister. 4. ___________________________________________________________________? It took half an hour to get there. 5. ___________________________________________________________________? I used to play sport after school. 6. ___________________________________________________________________? I enjoyed it. (school) 7. ___________________________________________________________________? No, I did not. (pass the entrance exam) 8. ___________________________________________________________________? Now I work in a restaurant. 271

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ENGLISH WRITING I Revision Worksheet Unit 5 1) Rewrite the following passage using either present simple or present continuous Where there is a double line (//), use a conj unction. Also, supply the articles. It / be / hot day // I / be / at / swimming pool at Kasetsart University. I can see / lifeguard who / teach / some young children to swim. He / lau gh / with / children // th ey / not laugh. They / look / afraid. Some teenagers / sit / near / pool // smoke / cigare ttes. I can also see / beautiful girl with her friend. They / dive / into / pool I keep watching her // she / not see /me! ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ 2). Each of the sentences below has a mistake. Correct the mistake. 1. I am seeing a snake under that bed. 2. Some of those girls is talking too loudly. 3. At the moment I eat lunch. 4. I went to Major Cine plex, so I did not see a film. 272

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5. I dont like durian, and my brother does. 6. I want to go home, but it rains. 7. We went to Ayudhaya and were having a great time. 8. Are you liking this novel? 9. Jude is sleeping, bu t Tim is hearing some music. 10. I go to the police and told them about the robbery. 3) Put in a / an or the When Jack first started his job in Sony, he stayed in _____ factory hostel. _____ hostel only served breakfast, so Jack had lunch in _____ can teen at work. When he finished work, he usually went to _____ cheap self-servi ce restaurant for his evening meal. He didnt enjoy living in _____ hostel very much, so he decided to find _____ flat to rent. He soon found one just out side Bristol. It was quite ___ __ nig flat on _____ top floor of _____ house owned by Chester Curtis. Because _____ rent was more than he could afford, and there were two bedrooms, Jack decided to find someone to share _____ flat with him. One morning he put _____ advertisemen t in _____ local newsagents window. _____ same day, _____ young student called Paul Blake went to _____ newsagent to buy _____ paper. When he saw _____ advertisement, he telephoned Jack i mmediately and asked permission to come and see _____ flat. _________________________ 273

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ENGLISH WRITING I Revision Worksheet Unit 6 1) Put the verbs into the correct form. (Past Simple, Past Continuous) 1. I _______ (see) Ann at the party la st night and she __________ (wear) a red dress. 2. How fast __________ (you / driv e) when the accident __________ (happen)? 3. When I last __________ (see) Ala n, he __________ (try) to find a job in London. 4. I __________ (walk) home when I __________ (meet) Dave. 5. I __________ (have) a shower when somebody __________ (knock) at the door. 6. My wife __________ (talk) on th e phone when I __________ (fall) asleep. 7. I __________ (listen) to the radio when the storm __________. (begin) 8. When Karen __________ (arr ive) we __________ (have) dinner. 9. I __________ (walk) along the street when I __________ (hear) footsteps behind me. 10. The accident __________ (happen) when I __________ (cross) the road. 2) Join the following sent ence groups using either adverbial or adjective clauses Rewrite the paragraph. I booked into a hotel. The hotel was near a river. I had a shower. I went to look around the town. I was walking along a road. A man called to me. I had never seen the man before. Then he apologized to me. He made a mistake. He thought I was his brother. He had not seen his brother for 20 years. 274

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288 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jiraporn Dhanarattigannon was born in Saraburi, Thailand. After graduating from high school, she came to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, to study at Srinakharinwirot University as a major in English. After receiving a B.Ed. in secondary education, she continued studying for her masters degree in applie d linguistics at Mahidol Univer sity. While she was doing her masters thesis, she worked as a part-time teacher at Silapakorn University, Nakorn Prothom; Srinakharinwirot University, Bangsaen, and Rangsit University, Bangkok. In 1990, she completed her masters degree and started her full time teaching at University of Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. In 1991, she decided to work for the public university, Kasetsart University. At Kasetsart Univer sity, she taught English courses such as Foundation English 1, 2, and 3, and Technical English for veterinary medi cal students. In order to improve her English skills, she took English courses at British Council while she wa s teaching. After a few years of teaching, she realized that in order to impr ove her teaching and brush up her knowledge, she should pursue a doctoral study. She decided to a pply for a scholarship. Finally, in 1997, her efforts paid off. She got a scholarship to st udy in the United States. First, she entered the University of South Carolina, Columbia, for her masters degree in applied linguistics. Here, she learned the different culture especially in th e classroom. She had to adjust herself and her learning behavior during the first year of the study. After receiving he r masters degree, she moved to Gainesville for her Ph.D. studies at the University of Florida. In 2003, due to her financial situation, she went back to Thailand to collect data fo r her dissertation. Meanwhile, she was involved in an accident and stopped collecting data for m onths. After the accident, she decided to return to her teaching while collect ing data and working on her dissertation. In 2006, she came back to finish her Ph.D. studies on he r own funding. Staying in the United States for some years, she experienced different education systems and cultures. These experiences helped

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her understand and appreciate the differences an d become professional. After graduation, she plans to continue her work in education and her research in teaching and learning especially in ESL and EFL literacy in Thailand. She hopes to do her best to help her future students to become lifelong readers and writers and for their Engl ish education. She also hopes to share her knowledge and experiences with other teachers and educators both in and outside her country. 289