Teaching English Skills to International Lawyers

In many law schools today, legal writing is taught to international lawyers as a law subject. The teaching of English language skills and the teaching of law are taught together. This approach, however, is not necessarily the most helpful one when teaching lawyers for whom English is an additional language. For this group of students, it seems that teaching English writing and speaking skills separately from the teaching of law helps students improve their English language skills. This panel examines the teaching of three areas of language skills, English writing/discourse, presentation, and discussion, and describes how international law students learn these skills separately from the learning of the law. Each panelist will give an overview of an approach and activities to help students learn these skills. Writing and discourse skills include using legal sources to construct argumentation in written English. Presentation skills include an emerging understanding of the cultural conventions of different presentation styles common in U.S. settings through the practice of different public speaking styles and the incorporation of visual aids. Discussion skills include an understanding of the role of discussion in law classes, the ability to ask and answer questions in a discussion, and the ability to ask for clarification and to agree and disagree in an English discussion. There will be time for question and answer.