The Challenge of Teaching English Writing in Thailand: A Tri-ethnography of Thai University Lecturers

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Neil Bowen
Chatuporn Insuwan
Natakorn Satienchayakorn
Mareeyadar Teedaaksornsakul


Against a backdrop of increasing internationalization in higher education, students and teachers frequently move between learning-to-write and writing-to-learn. For example, in English as a foreign/second language (EFL/ESL) classrooms, learning-to-write would be a priority, whereas in English as a medium of instruction (EMI) classrooms, writing-to-learn may be a more appropriate goal. However, little is known about how teachers who move between such classrooms adjust their writing pedagogy as they do so. Accordingly, we bring together the views, beliefs, and experiences of three Thai university lecturers who teach across EFL, CLIL, and EMI platforms. Collectively, they serve as researchers/participants in the co-construction of joint autoethnographies on teaching English writing at Thai universities. Their emergent themes give valuable insights into how they navigate the complexities of moving between language and content concerns, expectations and realities, and idealism and pragmatism. Results also show how there is no one-size-fits-all approach for these researchers/ participants, and that both bottom-up and top-down constraints shape their actions and beliefs as writing teachers. Overall, by drawing on their combined experiences, we hope to raise awareness of the challenges placed upon English language teachers when teaching writing and provide useful guidance for those working in similar contexts.

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How to Cite
Bowen, N., Insuwan, C., Satienchayakorn, N., & Teedaaksornsakul, M. (2023). The Challenge of Teaching English Writing in Thailand: A Tri-ethnography of Thai University Lecturers. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 16(2), 482–498. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Neil Bowen, Department of English & Linguistics, Thammasat University, Thailand

A lecturer who is primarily a writing research, focusing on process–product relationships and text analysis using Systemic Functional Linguistics. He is the author of Essential knowledge and Skills for Essay Writing (Equinox), and his research can be seen in journals such as Applied Linguistics, System, Journal of Second Language Writing, TESOL Quarterly, and others.

Chatuporn Insuwan, Business English for International Communication, Phranakhon Rajabhat University, Thailand

A lecturer at Phranakhon Rajabhat University and a PhD student at Thammasat University. His academic interests are critical pedagogy and EFL writing instruction.

Natakorn Satienchayakorn, Rangsit English Language Institute (RELI), Rangsit University, Thailand

A lecturer and Assistant Deputy Director of Academic Services and Testing at Rangsit English Language Institute (RELI), Rangsit University. His research interests include language and ideology, corpus linguistics, and Critical Discourse Analysis.

Mareeyadar Teedaaksornsakul, Department of Western Language, Maejo University, Thailand

A PhD student at Thammasat University and an English lecturer at Maejo University. She is interested in multimodal analysis using Visual Grammar, semiotic analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics.


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