A Research On Teaching Extensive Writing! SSThe best way to test people! |s writing ability is to get them to write. !" - Hughes, 1989: 75 in Charles & Bachman (eds), : 1) I. INTRODUCTION This study was set out to measure the writing ability of students in terms of number of words that were written by students in certain time. This study was carried out at the Nong lam University! V Center for Foreign Studies in Ho Chi Minh City.

The researcher would like to investigate whether the intermediate students could complete their writing with from 250 to 300 words in twenty minutes. This investigation was carried out for the overlook from the researcher towards the National Certificate Examination, level A, level B and level C. In this kind of tests, in the writing section, students were asked to write from 250 to 300 words in only twenty minutes. Many of them were failed just because of their writing skills. Therefore, the researcher was trying to apply an effective way of teaching writing to help students improve their writing abilities. In the process of learning English, most of learners said that listening and speaking were the most important skills.

In addition, these two subjects were interesting to be studied. Consequently, students often felt bored when they study Reading or Writing. Most writing teachers said that their students were lazy to write and they were afraid of writing. As a result, students usually failed in the National Certificate Examination mostly because of the writing section. In Viet Nam, there were not enough good books for teaching writing. There were some books which were good for teaching writing in other countries but they were not appropriate in a country whose English was taught as a foreign language like in Viet Nam.

Frequently, writing classes in Viet Nam were not motivated enough to be learned. Also, The methods of teaching writing skills here were mostly intensive. In these classes, students were given some sentences and asked to rewrite them in different ways but keeping exactly the same meaning as the given ones (With row, 1987). Students were also asked to do the word order in jumbled-word sentences or fill in the blanks with verbs or verb phrases (Segal & Pavlik, 1996). These kinds of exercises in some way were good for students in terms of helping students with the abilities to write sentences in different ways.

However, they did not work well in helping students write essays. Students just paid attention to the techniques of changing some kinds of sentences. As a result, they were stuck in writing essays because writing essays was something different. It required students abilities to write, especially a habit of writing. Therefore, the researcher tried to do a research to investigate the effective ways to improve students! | writing skills. Research Questions: 1.

Could students write from 250 to 300 words in an only 20-minute writing? 2. Does the extensive writing method help students improve their writing skills better than the intensive writing method? II. LITERATURE REVIEW Nowadays, we all know that! SSThe ability to write effectively is becoming increasingly important in our global community, and instruction in writing is thus assuming an increasing role in both second and foreign Education!" (Bachman & Alderson, 2002). Bazerman (1989) stated that! SSwriting makes things happen in the social world, and much of that social world is embodied in previous pieces of writing!" . Alderson & Bachman (2002) confirmed that! SSthe ability to speak and write a second language is becoming widely recognized as an important skill for educational, business and personal reasons.

!" Therefore, ! SSWriting will be an essential component in the learning program!" (Tribble, 1999)! SS There are many types and many reasons for learning to write. !" (Tribble, 1999)! SSIf writing ability is seen as an inherent and relatively unchangeable talent, students tend to be more anxious and to think less of themselves as writers!" (Palmquist & Young, 1992, in Alderson & Bachman, 2002: 25). Many people think of writing in just this way: ! SS My life will be miserable until I get this paper written, but I don! |t know what to write. !" (Bazerman, 1989). For those students who have the same above ideas, Michaels (2004) suggested that! SSthe only way to do it is to do it: by writing, writing and writing.

!" He added! SSWrite, write and write some more. Think of writing as a muscle that needs lots of exercise. !" Spinelli (2004) gave us a rule that! SSThe golden rule of writing is to write what you care about. If you care about your topic, you! |ll do your best writing, and then you stand the best chance of really touching a reader in some way. !" When you get started writing! SS ideas are the cheapest part of the writing. They are free.

The hard part is what you do with ideas you! |ve gathered. !" (Yolen, 2004) Bazerman (1989) had a great advice for writing students! SS some of the pleasure of writing is to find a beautiful phrase or a striking thought; yet good writing begins with understanding why you are writing and then developing an effective writing strategy to meet the situation. !" The more the students write, the better skillful they are. Classroom is not the only source of language input, students can also read and write outside the classroom (Jacobs & Reynanda, 1999). Lett man (1990) stated that! SS Students produce their own writing, guided by warm-up activities, brainstorming activities, guidelines for paragraph organization, and topical assignments that allow me of vocabulary as well as sentence and discourse level grammar. !" Hughes (1989: 75 in Charles & Bachman (eds), : 1) gave us the best statement of checking writing that! SSThe best way to test people! |s writing ability is to get them to write.

!" This is also the philosophy that the researcher would like to make an investigation on teaching extensive writing to intermediate students. III. RATIONALE OF THE RESEARCH 1. English requirements in Viet Nam: English nowadays in Viet Nam is very widely taught throughout the country. In the past, children started to learn English when they went to secondary schools. But today, English is brought to many schools to be taught.

Children could learn English when they are in grade 3. When pupils are going to finish secondary schools and move up to high schools, they must take an English test. It is one of the four main subjects which are unavoidable. And when students finish high school programs, English is also one of their most important subjects to get certificates. Afterwards English is required in many college entrance examinations as well. And during the four or five years of universities, English is a partner of almost students.

Every university students needs to learn a foreign language, so English is a prior because it is useful in their lives. When students get their B. A degrees and look for good jobs, English is a must. Most of companies even though domestic ones also ask the interviewers for National Certificate in English of level B or C.

Therefore, English is considered as a key to open the door-life of students. 2. The important of writing: As the researcher mentioned above, English is very essential in the door-life of students. When they study English, they have to master four skills such as listing, speaking, reading and writing. Most learners thought that listening and speaking are important, but the terms of every examination and in working life, writing is important as well. To say the least, in most exams, students are required writing skill more than the first two.

Even though at work, employees need much of writing skill to complete their daily papers. They encounter letters more than talking to their boss. In short, writing is as a pen in students! | life, as a dictionary of test-takers or as a briefcase of officers (Jacobs & Renandya, 1999). Since writing is so important like that, the researcher realized that teachers should help students improve their writing abilities as much as possible. The researcher was trying his best to do the research on the purpose of finding out the best ways to meet the learners! | needs and interests. IV.

AIM OF THE RESEARCH: The aim of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of teaching extensive writing to find out whether it would help intermediate students improve their writing abilities in terms of counting number of words in a twenty -minute writing. In addition, it is also done with a purpose from the researcher to find out whether this kind of method helps students improve their writing skills better than the traditional method, intensive writing method, in terms of number of words in a twenty-minute writing. V. METHODOLOGY OF THE RESEARCH: 1. Participants: a. Students: The research would be carried out with 60 students from two classes at Nong Lam University, Centre for Foreign Studies.

Each class contained 30 students. There ages were from 20 to 25. They all studied English for communicative purpose. The two classes were called 400 s (Toefl). Their level of English was intermediate. They were trying to pass the test of the National Certificate! V level B.

Students studied five days a week, and four hours per day. The course lasted twelve weeks. There were four hours on writing subject per week. b. Teachers: Two teachers were chosen to teach these classes.

They had both attended the postgraduate program at Seamen of Intensive and Extensive Writing. Each teacher was in charge of one class. Two classes were taught at the same time. Students all had the same level. Two classes were taught with different methods. One was taught by Intensive Writing in which teacher helped them complete sentences such as completing sentences with some jumbled words, rewriting sentences in different ways but keeping the meaning exactly the same as the sentences printed before or choosing the correct verbal tenses from the choices A, B, C or D to complete sentences.

Students had to care much for grammar and structures. The other method was taught by Extensive Writing in which teacher helped students write as much as possible. Every time the teacher gave out a topic, he asked students to write freely, write whatever they thought, write everything, write anything that came up to their minds, sometimes write in groups. Students should not care much for grammar and structures until the final drafts. After each given topic, the teacher gave students twenty minutes to write. Then students counted the number of words on their writing to see how many words they completed.

Twenty-minute writing and counting number of words were to help students meet the requirement of the test in level B (intermediate) of the National Certificates. Students were also encouraged to write journals at home in order to improve their writing. These two classes were done because students from these classes all got started learning writing and they were representatives of the Center for Foreign Studies at the head division. The time for this research was twelve weeks. 2.

Instruments: The instruments used in this research were tests, questionnaires, interviews and observations. a. Tests: There would be two tests with for topics (see appendix 4) for all students of the two classes. A pre-test was given at the first hour of the classes. There were two topics in the test, so students could choose either one of the two topics for their writing. Giving two topics in the test was to make sure that each student could pick out the one that was familiar to their background, so they felt easy-going with their writing.

If the topic was relevant to students, they would write with all their efforts to perfect their writings. Therefore, the researcher could measure the students! | real abilities. The test questions were designed by the researcher and examined by the Director of the Center. Students of the two classes were asked to write a short essay about one of the given topics in twenty-minutes.

Two classes had the same test. After the test, students handed in their papers to their teachers so that the researcher could receive the papers from the teachers of each class. The pre-test was designed to check how well students performed on their writing skills and to measure how well they progressed in terms of number of words in twenty-minute writing during the time of the research. The results of the test would show the different levels of each student at the current time.

Then the researcher picked out nine representative students from each class who showed the discriminating differences. Three of them just completed about 80 words. The other three did about 120, and the rest of them accomplished about 160 words. These two nine-student groups would be much focused on during the time of the research because they were the representatives of the research on two classes. The results of these students would be kept until the end of the course to compare with the final results of the second test. The final-test was given at the end of the course.

This test was very important. It was considered as the final findings of the research. There were also two different topics in the test. These two different topics should be very relevant to the students (see appendix 4) to make sure that all students could do their writings with all of their capabilities.

If students could do so, the findings from the research could be reliable. At last, the results of the final test, especially of the 18 students from two classes were compared. Then the final product of the research was accomplished. b.

Questionnaires to the teachers: The questionnaires to the teachers (see appendix 1) were developed by the researcher. There were 20 questions designed in form of closed-questions and some open-ended questions. Most questions focused on the ways of teaching writing. Some principles of teaching writing were given in the questionnaires as well in order to make sure that the teachers did questionnaires in academic manners. The forms of questionnaires designed in the way of easy-choosing and saving time for all busy teachers at my Center for Foreign Studies.

When the teachers were given the questionnaires, they always looked at the forms to see that it was not waste of their time. When teachers found out that these questionnaires were not time-consuming, they would spend their valuable time answering the questions seriously. As a result, the functions of the questionnaires could be effective, so the researcher might discover some real ideas to support the final findings of the research. The questionnaire papers were also sent to most senior teachers who were specializing in teaching writing.

These teachers felt free to answer the questions because most of them did not participate in the research process. Also, The questionnaire papers were sent to the two teachers who took part in the research in order that the researcher could know their deep opinions about teaching writing. When all the above teachers completed their questionnaires, the researcher would discover their attitudes towards teaching extensive writing and intensive writing. That was the aim of the questionnaires. c.

Questionnaires to students: The questionnaires to the students (see appendix 2) designed by the researcher were sent to 60 students who got involved in the research process. There were 20 questions for them. The questionnaires were done in mostly closed-questions, some were open-ended questions and two questions were free-expressing questions. The first 6 questions were designed to know the students! | backgrounds. The questions from 7 to 18 were made to discover students! | attitudes towards learning intensive and extensive writing. Especially, the last two questions aimed at the reasons why students like or dislike studying intensive or extensive writing.

Therefore, students could express their own ideas on the papers to the researcher. This activity was aimed at investigating the precious abilities of students about writing skills and discovering the motivation and attitudes from students towards learning writing. The questionnaire forms were easy to choose the answers from the close-questions, so students felt easy to complete their answers. If they had different ideas from the given choices, they could give their own opinions on the open-ended questions.

Finally, all the questionnaire papers would be turned in the researcher in order to accomplish the results of the research. d. Interviews: The researcher would see some teachers randomly and carried out the reviews. These teachers were those who did not take part in the questionnaire activities.

The interview questions (see the appendix 3) were yes / no and information questions to learn more experiences from the interviewers. There were 15 questions which aimed at the methods of teaching writing to see the attitudes of most teachers towards teaching intensive or extensive writing. In addition, these interview questions were to find out what the best ways were to help students improve their writing skills in terms of number of words in only fifteen-minute writing in order to help them meet the requirements of the writing section whenever they take part in the National Certificate Examinations. (this is the aim of the researcher! |s). e.

Class Observations: The researcher came to the two writing classes during the research for observation. He got into each class five times during the twelve weeks of the research process to make sure that the two teachers used the right methods of (1) teaching intensive writing in which the teacher focused mostly on the grammar corrections and structures of the sentences, translation from Vietnamese to English and vice versa as the writing teachers in Viet Nam often do currently in every writing classes, and (2) teaching extensive writing in which the teacher paid much attention to the free writing activities such as writing journals, checking students! | writing diary at home, describing members in class or a famous person, in turn creating a story, guessing the end of the stories that the teacher told the class just the first parts, writing topics. During these activities, at first the teacher asked students not to care much for the grammar, punctuations, structures or vocabulary. The students only took care of these points at the final papers when they handed in the teacher. These activities aimed at students! | fluency in writing.

When they started writing, they wrote with non-stop in order to write more and more. The observer would take a seat at the end of each class to have an overlook throughout the class activities. The observer also wrote down the steps that the two teachers used to conduct their writing classes, and then he compared the motivations of the students! | learning during the time of study. This comparison helped much of the methods of teaching writing skills.

When the researcher discovered that the extensive writing classroom was interesting, most writing teachers would change their minds about teaching writing in which they thought that writing class was always borings. The observation activities supported the researcher about the true results of the research. 3. Pilot study: The pilot study of the questionnaires to the students would be first sent to about 60 students of the Center. These students did not get involved in the two researching classes, but they were also learning writing in other classes from other teachers. This action of the researcher was to make the questionnaires valid before getting them in the real procedure at the end of the course.

The questionnaires to the teachers were sent to some experienced writing teachers who did not participate in the study. The researcher also asked them for their opinions about these questionnaires in order to apply it effectively. The interviewing questions were carried out with some teachers who had good experiences in teaching writing at the Center. After that the results would be analyzed to check if students and teachers completed all the questions.

If some questions were not clear enough for the results of the research, the researcher would change some questions to make it appropriate to the research procedures. 4. Procedure of the study: When the pilot of the study had been accomplished, the researcher would give the questionnaires to the 60 students of the two researching classes and the two teachers who took part in those two. These questionnaires would be given at the end of the course to make sure that students had already undertaken the methods of teaching writing of their teachers so that the answers of the questionnaires were answered in what they had perceived during the learning time. The observation occurred around the middle of the research. But the interviewing questions would be carried out after the course ended with other teachers in order to make sure that the research is reliable.

VI. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: a. Collecting data from the questionnaires to the teachers: 16 questionnaire papers were received from the teachers out of 17 were sent out (94%). There were three teachers with the ages from 25 to 29, eight teachers from 30 to 40, one teacher from 41 to 50 and four teachers over 50.

Six of these teachers have experience of teaching writing from 3 to 9 years, seven of them have from 10 to 20 years of experience, and the last three have over 20 years. For the qualifications, five teachers have B. A degrees, three of them completed their diplomas in Tesol, especially there are eight teachers who have M. A degrees.

The first chart would show the attitudes of these teachers towards teaching writing to students. Most of them thought that writing is important for their students. This indicated that they used to do their best to find the best ways to teach their students in learning writing. Chart 1: When the question of methodology in teaching writing was given, ten of them used the intensive writing to teach their students, and only six them used extensive writing method.

Chart 2: This is very amazing. When the questions from 6 to 12 were asked, most of the teachers tended to use the extensive method in order to improve their students! | writing abilities, but all of them were still kept their traditional method of intensive. They were changing, but not absolutely. This was also good students in terms of focusing on content and form in their writing. In the question 8, all the activities in teaching writing symbolize for extensive method, but most teachers chose 1 or 2 options, only one of them chose 5 options to indicate his / her strong method of teaching extensive. Whereas in the question 9, the selections of the options! yen complete sentences! |, ! yen sentence constructions! |, ! yen grammatical structures! |, ! yen tenses! | were picked up by fourteen teachers (87.

5%) out of 16. These fourteen teachers selected 4 options in one question. This result showed that 87. 5% of these teachers still strongly believed in the traditional method of intensive writing.

In the question 10, when teachers were asked if they gave time to their students to practice writing in their class, two of them spent less than 10% of the time in class for their students to write, nine of them took from 10% to 30% of the class time for their students practicing, and five of them used class time from 30% to 50% for training their students! | writing abilities. This was shown by the chart 3 below: Chart 3: In the question 13, the researcher wanted to find out the reasons why their students were not motivated in learning writing, each teacher chose several options of the same question. 4 choices of the teachers agreed that students were not motivated in writing class because! yen they do not like writing! |, 8 choices had the same ideas as eight teachers! | that! yen students do not know how to write! |, 9 choices of the teachers agreed that! yen students have no ideas to write! |, 8 other choices of the teachers showed that! yen students do not know how to express their ideas in writing! |, and only 3 choices thought that! yen students do not think that writing is important! | in their lives, so they were not motivated in writing classes. There were also 2 other choices from 2 teachers! | own opinions that students were not motivated in learning writing because! yen they found that writing was difficult! | and because! yen they were not encouraged properly in the process of learning writing! |. In questions number 14 and 15, when the teachers were asked about the ways to help students improve their writing abilities, teachers also chose several options in each questions in which 13 choices of thirteen teachers had an idea that students should practice writing everyday, 11 choices advised students read a lot in their daily life, 6 choices requested students to be good at using vocabulary, and 6 choices required students to be good at grammar. This indication was shown in chart 4: Chart 4: In the question 16, the researcher would like to investigate teachers about their common students! | writing abilities that in their intermediate level classes, if they gave 20 minutes to their students to write, how many words students could complete, the answers were very surprised.

Three teachers said that their students could complete less than 100 words in 20 minutes, eleven teachers affirmed that their students could write from 100 to 150 words, and only two of them confirmed that their students could write from 150 to 200 words. None of them had ever seen any of their students could have completed 250 words in 20 minutes. (chart 5) Chart 5: In the questions 18 and 19, the researcher gave 2 concepts for teachers to choose in order to make sure and to measure their philosophy of teaching writing. These ideas were also concerning to the methodology of teaching Intensive and Extensive Writing. In the principles of teaching extensive writing, ! SScontent (in process of learning writing) is more important than form!" , and! SSA life-long writing habit is caught not taught!" (Jacobs & Renandya, 1999: 2, 3). However, the teachers were not identical in their choices.

In question 18, there were twelve teachers choosing! SScontent!" which was more important than! SSforms!" in writing learning process while only four teachers selected! SSforms!" . On the contrary, in question 19, eleven teachers agreed that! yen students get a life-long writing by being taught whereas 5 teachers chose that! yen students get a life-long writing by being caught! |. The answers from these two questions seemed to be conflicted in the concepts of teaching writing among those teachers, but thanks to the results, the researcher recognized that although these teachers tried to keep their traditional methods of teaching writing in their classes, they had a tendency to adapt the extensive writing to improve their students writing abilities. (chart 6) Chart 6: The last question for the teachers was the open one to ask teachers to give their own advice to help students improve their writing skills. All the ideas from teachers were very amazing. Most of them had common ideas.

They all asked students for practicing writing everyday. Here are some advice that the teachers sent to their students: ! SSWrite, write and write as much as possible!" , ! SSRead more, write everyday!" , ! SS practice writing!" , ! SSRead and write as much as possible!" , ! SSThe more you write, the better you are!" , ! SS You can not write well without practice!" , ! SSRead a lot to improve knowledge, pay attention to the differences between Vietnamese and English styles, then practice writing everyday!" , ! Spreading a lot, writing a lot!" , ! SS Keep reading books and writing everyday, outlining before writing!" , ! SSC are for the content first, the forms next, not both at the same time!" . Those were ideas which shared the methodology of Extensive Writing. And the followings were the ideas of intensive methods: ! SSRead books or newspapers, read grammar and writing materials!" , ! SS learn about the techniques of writing before you write!" , ! SSRead a lot to get ideas and learn how to write well.

Check grammar in every writing to avoid mistakes and errors!" , ! SS When practicing writing, students should pay more attention to grammar and vocabulary!" . b. Collecting data from the questionnaires to the students: There were 60 questionnaire-papers collected from 60 students who were in the researcher program (100%). The questions 4 and 5 were to investigate the attitudes of the students towards learning writing.

47 students (78. 3%) supposed that listening was the most difficult skill, 5 students (8. 3%) said that reading was the hardest skill, 4 of them (6. 6%) thought that writing was, and the last 4 (6.

6%) agreed that speaking skill was. The answers from the question 5 got surprised the researcher when he found out that 52 students (86, 6%) selected speaking was the most important skill while only 3 of them (5%) agreed that writing was the most important, 3 students (5%) chose listening and the last 2 (3. 3%) selected reading. This was one of the reasons why students did not want to study writing. They did not realize how important writing was in their life, so they got bored in their writing classes. This finding was showed in the chart 7 be love: Chart 7: At the question 12 when the students were asked if they like to learn writing through the activities, 2 students (3.

3%) said! SSno!" . These two students stated that they liked to study writing based on the materials. 9 students (15%) chose the option! SS sometimes!" without any reasons. However there were 49 students (81. 6%) saying! SS yes!" with the explanation that activities were so interesting for them to learn writing and they were good tools to write. The questions from 13 to 20 were used to investigate students if they like to study writing through the intensive or extensive methods, and some advantages they perceived from the two methods that they had already undertaken.

There were 12 students (20%) stating that they liked to be trained under the method of intensive writing because this method helped them a lot in applying grammar to writing, and intensive writing provided them good techniques for writing skills, 4 students (6. 6%) selected the option! SSnot much!" , 33 students (55%) chose the option of! SSok!" , and 11 students (18. 4%) said! SSno!" without any explanations. However there were 27 students (45%) really enjoyed learning writing with the extensive method, they chose the option! SS very much!" and most of them explained that extensive writing helped them be easy to write essays and some reasons stated that they felt more confident to write. 6 students (10%) chose the option of! SSnot much!" , 8 students (13.

3%) selected! SSOK!" . These 14 students had no explanations for their choices. Surprisingly, 19 students (31. 7%) did not like to study with the method of extensive writing. They reasoned that extensive writing did not help them much of grammar in use, of structural sentences and the quality of extensive writing was not good enough. (These students maybe came from the class of intensive writing.

) c. The results of 20-minute writing from students: After twelve weeks of training, two teachers in two classes gave the final test to students. All the papers from students were turned in the researcher to compare the results. Nine focused students from each class were more considered. This was the results of nine focused students in the extensive writing class after 20-minute writings: No.

Full names Pre-test results Final- test results Three students completed about 80 words at the pre-test 1 Huynh Thi My Hoa 76 words 184 words 2 Tran Sao Mai 84 words 198 words 3 Nguyen Van Bau 105 words 261 words Three students completed about 120 words at the pre-test 4 Vu Minh Khoa 122 words 263 words 5 Nguyen Thi Diem Trinh 114 words 250 words 6 Tran Le Truc Vi 136 words 254 words Three students completed about 160 words at the pre-test 7 Tran Thuy Anh 156 words 266 words 8 Do Thi Kim Hue 171 words 287 words 9 Vu Quoc Dai 165 words 312 words To clarify the improvements of these students, the researcher showed the results of them in the following chart: When we have a look at the diagram above, we see that all students had clear improvements after a 12- week course of training extensive writing. There were still two students, Huynh Thi Minh Hoa and Tran Sao Mai, who had not yet met the expectation from the researcher. In some way, they still improved much at the final products when compared with the pre-test. In general, most students in this class had good results, especially the student named Vu Quang Dai. He was an outstanding student. His final product was beyond the results that the researcher expected.

He completed more than 300 words. The teacher who was in charge of his class reported that at first he got confused to apply the new method of writing because he used to focus on the traditional method! V paid much attention to the structural sentences. However, when he understood the purpose of extensive writing after three weeks, he was used to doing it. Then he doubled his ability of writing at the final product from 165 words (at the pre-test) to 312 words. The other students whom we should discuss here is Nguyen Van Bau, at the pre-test, he wrote only 105 words after 20 minutes so that he was ranked into the first group of the extensive writing class. Surprisingly, at the final test, he accomplished 261 words.

He met the researcher! |s requirement (from 250 to 300 words) and he also indicated that many students could not showed their own potential of writing until they were directed a good method by their instructors. The following was the results of nine focused students in the intensive writing class after 20-minute writings: No. Full names Pre-test results Final- test results Three students completed about 80 words at the pre-test 1 Ho Than Binh 69 words 145 words 2 Le Truong Mai Thy 77 words 168 words 3 Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai 92 words 210 words Three students completed about 120 words at the pre-test 4 Huynh Ngoc Thanh 108 words 189 words 5 Le Thi Tu yet Nga 123 words 224 words 6 Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang 130 words 204 words Three students completed about 160 words at the pre-test 7 Ngo Ngoc Thanh Tam 152 words 205 words 8 Le Thi Minh Trang 161 words 211 words 9 Phan Thanh Hien 174 words 242 words The researcher also indicated the differences among nine focused students in the intensive writing class in the chart below: Looking over the diagram above of the intensive writing class, although the number of words of these students was not as many as those of the students in the extensive writing class, they still showed relatively steady improvements among students. The best students, Phan Thanh Hien, also completed nearly the requirement of the researcher with 242 words out of 250. Generally, most students in the intensive writing class had certain improvements in writing after 12-week training.

One of the reasons why their writings could not reach from 250 to 300 words in 20-minute writing was that the purpose of the intensive writing was not concentrated on the number of words but on the qualities of the products in terms of structures, grammar and sentence patterns. VI. SOME LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH When the researcher analyzed all the data and results of the research process, he realized some limitations from his work. First of all, there was no reason to compare the results of students between the intensive and extensive writing classes because the purposes of the two methods were different. If the researcher had a close look at the results of those writings in the intensive writing class, he should pay attention to the qualities of the writing in the ways of writing techniques, he should not care much for the number of words that the students had written.

And if he came to the extensive writing class, he just cared for the big writings from the students in terms of number of words they accomplished. Second, the research was done in a short time, only 12 weeks. It was not enough to have a valid conclusion. The researcher should implement the research at least 6 months to make sure the results come true. Third, the research was done with only 2 teachers and 60 students.

It was not of high reliability. There should be more teachers, more classes and more students getting involved in the process of research, about 8 to 10 teachers with at least 200 students. More teachers and more students took part in the research would show the variety of the results. As a result, the researcher would discover more good findings. Fourth, the extensive writing method just applied for the students in elementary and intermediate levels, because after a long time of being trained, students got used to writing with long papers. At this time, if the teacher still focused only on the extensive writing method, the class would not be interesting any more, for the students did not find out any challenge in their writing abilities.

At the advance level, the teacher should not only focus on the number of words that students produced, but also on the qualities of the writings. Finally, in terms of Vietnamese customs, teachers were highly respected, so students sometimes dared not give any complaints about the teachers! | methodology. They maybe gave good comments in the questionnaires, so the questionnaires to the students were not so reliable. VII. CONCLUSION: This small research hopefully would be one of the new versions that were a ring to help writing teachers in Viet Nam with a new effective method to improve students! | writing abilities.

Although the research had some limitations, it still had remarkable results in writing classes. Thanks to the findings of this investigation, the researcher feel more confident in the philosophy of the extensive writing method, ! SSA life-long reading and writing habit is caught, not taught!" (Jacobs & Reynanda, 1999). He draws a lesson for himself that students will be easy-going in writing when the teachers teach them how to write, not only test them (Jacobs & Reynanda, 1999). The easiest way for students to write is to write. If they do so, they will overcome their fears of writing. The researcher also has strong belief with the saying! SSThe best way to test people! |s writing ability is to get them to write.

!" (Hughes, 1989: 75 in Charles & Bachman (eds), : 1). The more the students write, the more skillful they are. In addition, if the writing teachers want their students to commit to writing in class, they need to know the way to stimulate students to write through some activities. Students will be more engaged in the activities when the teachers know how to! SS connect new information and language to their current knowledge, interests and feelings!" (Jacobs & Reynanda, 1999).

Thanks a lot to all teachers and students who got involved in the research process and who were the decisive factors to complete this research. (6, 457 words) Apprendix 1: Questionnaires to the teachers: Dear teachers and colleagues, I am Pham Vu Phi Ho. I have been teaching at Nong Lam University! V Center for Foreign Studies for six years. Recently, I have been a teacher of writing for intermediate and advance students. I am trying to find out some effective ways to help my students with writing skills. Therefore, I do a research on teaching extensive writing.

I have a strong feeling that extensive writing will help students a lot in improving their writing skills. But your own ideas and experience towards this matter are very important. Please take a little time to complete the questionnaires below: Personal information: Age: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K Highest academic qualification: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! Years of experience: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 1. Level of teaching: f'a Elementaryf'a Pre-intermediate f'a Intermediatef'a Advance 2.

How long have you been teaching writing? f'a From 1 to 2 years'a From 3 to 4 years'a From 5 to 6 years'a Over 7 years 3. How many hours a week do you teach writing? f'a 2 hours'a 3 hours'a 4 hours'a 5 hours or more 4. In your opinion, how important writing is for students? f'a Not so important'a Just necessary'a Importantf'a Very important 5. What method do you usually use to teach your students in writing skill? f'a Intensive writing'a Extensive writing 6.

Do you often use pre-writing activities in your writing class? f'a Alwaysf'a Oftenf'a Sometimesf'a Never 7. Do you usually use post-writing in your writing class? f'a Alwaysf'a Oftenf'a Sometimesf'a Never 8. When you teach writing, what kinds of activities do you often use? f'a Gamesf'a Writing stories'a Writing journals f'a Writing diary'a Writing (Guessing) the end of a story'a Other: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 9. In your writing class, do you often teach your students! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K? f'a Complete sentences f'a Sentence constructions f'a Grammatical structures f'a Tensesf'a Matching sentences f'a Filling the blanks f'a Other: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 10.

Do you often give your students time to write in class? f'a Less than 10%f'a From 10% to 30%f'a From 30% to 50%f'a From 50 to 95%11. Do you often use reading text in your class? f'a Alwaysf'a Oftenf'a Sometimesf'a Never 12. In your writing class, do your students usually do their homework (writing)? f'a Alwaysf'a Oftenf'a Sometimesf'a Never 13. In your opinion, why are students in writing class not motivated to learn? f'a They do not like writing'a They do not know how to write'a They have no ideas to write'a They do not know how to express their ideas in writing'a They do not think that writing is important'a Other: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 14. In your experience, students improve their writing skills through! K! K! K! K! Kf'a Writing everyday'a Writing a topic once a week'a Just doing assignments from their teachers'a Reading a lot 15.

According to you, what is the most important factor that students should have to improve their writing? f'a Reading a lot'a Writing a lot'a Good at using vocabulary f'a Good at grammar f'a Other: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 16. In your intermediate level class, if you give your students 20 minutes to write, how many words they will complete? f'a Less than 100 words'a From 100 to 150 words'a From 150 to 200 words'a From 200 to 250 words'a 300 words or more 17. When you give a topic to your student to write, do you expect them! K! K! K! K! K! K? f'a Write everything in their mind, not focus much on grammar until the last draft'a Think carefully before writing'a Care much for the grammar f'a Focus much on the content'a Other: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 18. When you conduct your writing class, which element is more important? f'a Contentf'a Forms 19. According to you, how could students get a life-long writing? f'a By being taught'a By being caught 20. What is the best advice that you give your students to improve their writing skills? f'a! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! KApprendix 2: Questionnaires to the students: Dear students, To provide the Center the opportunity to serve all of your needs and interests in learning English in the next few days, please complete all the answers of the following questionnaires: 1.

Personal information: Age: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! Class: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 2. How do you know the Center for Foreign Studies? o The old students registered for this class By brochure so By friend so By the ads on newspaper so By the reputation of the Center 3. How long have you been learning English? o From 6 to 9 month so From 10 to 12 month so More than a years Two years 4. According to you, what is the most difficult skill in learning English? o Listeningo Speakingo Writingo Reading 5. What is the most important skill in learning English? o Listeningo Speakingo Writingo Reading 6. What do you expect for your level of English? o National level Co Toefl score! |s over 500 o B.

A degree Just to learn a new culture Other expectations: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 7. Have you ever learned writing skill somewhere? o Never Sometimeso Yes, but quitted too long Yes, but the materials and the methods are not good Yes, I have been learning for! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 8. How well is your writing skill now? o Excellent Good Rather good OKo Very bad 9. Are you interested in learning writing? o Extremely Very Not much OKo No 10. Do you like to study writing based on the materials? o Yeso Noo It depend so Sometimeso Other reasons: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 11. Do you like the teacher designs his / her own lessons for you on writing? o Yeso Noo Sometimeso Other reasons: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 12.

Do you like to learn writing through the activities in class? o Yeso Noo Sometimeso Other reasons: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 13. Do you like to learn writing with the intensive writing method? o Very much Not much OKo No 14. What are the advantages of the Intensive Writing? (list from 1 to 4) o Easy to write an essay o Good techniques for writing skill Good for completing sentence so Good to apply grammar o Other reasons: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 15. Do you like to study writing with the Extensive writing method? o Very much Not much OKo No 16. What are the advantages of the Extensive Writing? (list from 1 to 4) o Easy to write with the activities provide do Creating good abilities to write Interesting to learn writing Other reasons: ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 17. Do you think that learning Intensive Writing is enjoyable? o Strong agree Agreeo Not sure Disagree 18.

Do you think that learning Intensive Writing is enjoyable? o Strong agree Agreeo Not sure Disagree 19. Why do you like / dislike to study Intensive Writing? ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K 20. Why do you like / dislike to study Extensive Writing? ! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! K! KApprendix 3: Interviewing questions: 1. How long have you been teaching English? 2. What is your favorite skill to teach? 3. How long have you been teaching writing? 4.

Do you like to teach writing in the manner of Intensive? 5. What activities do you often use to help your students write in class? 6. Have you ever helped your students write in group? 7. Could you describe your typical writing class? 8. Have you ever tried Extensive writing for your students? 9.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive writing? 10. What are the advantages and disadvantages of extensive writing? 11. Do your students often feel interested in your writing class? 12. According to you, what make the students get involved in a writing class? 13. If you had the right to change the materials of writing, what would you do? 14. What is your advice for a new writing teacher? 15.

What is your advice for students in order to improve their writing abilities? Apprendix 4: Tests 1. Pre-test: Pick up one of these following topics to write an essay: Topic 1: ! SS Why do you like to learn English? !" Topic 2: ! SS What are the advantages and disadvantages of learning abroad? !" 2. Final-test: Pick up one of these following topics to write an essay: Topic 1: ! Ssno you like to live in a big city or in a small town? !" Topic 2: ! SSIf a doctor explained that you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? !".