Experiences of publishing in English: Vietnamese doctoral students' challenges and strategies

Thi Van Yen Hoang, Lai Ping Florence Ma

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Writing for publication in English-medium refereed academic journals can be a challenging task for doctoral students who use English as an Additional Language (EAL). Limited research, however, has been conducted in the Australian context to explore this practice among EAL doctoral students. Adopting a qualitative research approach with semi-structured interviews for data collection, this study aims to investigate the experiences of seven Vietnamese international students studying doctoral programs in Australian universities when writing for publication in English. Particularly, it seeks to find out what challenges this group of students encountered and the strategies they employed for scholarly publishing. The results show that these Vietnamese students faced similar linguistic and rhetorical challenges in scholarly writing with other groups of EAL doctoral students. Yet, some of their difficulties (for example, linguistic bias in journal gatekeeping, power inequality between co-authors) as well as some of their adopted strategies, are quite different from those of students in non-Anglophone contexts. It is possible that the close connection to the English-based academic discourse community gives Vietnamese students more confidence than those in non-Anglophone contexts. This study provides practical recommendations for writing support programs for this cohort of doctoral students in Australian universities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-66
Number of pages17
JournalAcross the Disciplines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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