Along with the steady increase in LL.M. programs at U.S. law schools, teachers have become increasingly interested in effective ways to improve the linguistic skills of ESL law students while introducing them to U.S. law and the U.S. legal system. This presentation will provide a basic overview of the latest materials and methodologies used to build linguistic skills. The presentation will then introduce a novel approach to teaching contract drafting skills to ESL students that merges linguistic skills exercises with drafting skills exercises to form a blended learning approach. This approach focuses on cross-border agreements and includes collecting and analyzing legal texts from the public domain for subsequent materials development. Contract drafting is especially well-suited to this approach because it naturally demands a critical attention to word choice, sentence structure, and paragraph structure. By combining linguistic skills exercises with drafting skills exercises, ESL students are working on both skill sets, each within the context of each other. This results in a more powerful learning experience for the students.
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