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Why English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is Necessary for Graduate Law Students

Discuss About The Developing Courses In Specific Purposes.

Graduate law students in an advanced college institution are focused on joining the legal profession. The course structure and entry specification indicate a requirement for proficiency in English for Specific Purposes. The course involves analyzing of theories, technical data and critiquing methodology. Students in an international university college are multicultural hence there are native and non-native speakers. These are mature learners with a high level of proficiency with a learning purpose of becoming learned professionals (Slager-Meyer, 2014). They require polished writing skills for reports and research papers. It is also mandatory that they communicate efficiently through presentation skills. This plan explains why these students need to reflect an ability to speak and converse effectively within the legal discourses.  An advanced class has a course content that captures legal roles and vocabulary. Critical thinking is a core in the course. Learners pursue this professional course based on the market demand for the skills within its professional sector. English for Specific Purposes is necessary for success in the global economy. In legal studies it breaks down the complex knowledge for analysis and documentation (Wiedemann, 2013).

This plan looks at the ESP needs assessment in the legal class featuring an analysis of course goals and objectives (Fard & Borouieni, 2013). The law class targets professionals in the sector. These are professionals in different areas of the legal profession. The curriculum goals include proficiency in communication, speech and written communication. The incorporation of technology in the course plan is in line with the communication needs for ESP and its use in the global village. This framework captures the language needs, individual psychological needs, group and classroom environment strategies. It is a comprehensive approach to teaching through inclusive education (Salvia, Ysseldyke, & Witner, 2012).

Learners at this level are native and nonnative English learners. International students come from different parts of the globe. Dealing with a multilingual class is a challenge but at advanced learning, students are able to speak, listen, read and write effectively. Students at this level should have competency in critical thinking and analysis of different texts, and audio visual, scientific, and general material presented as evidence by clients (McDonough & Shaw, 2012). Each student student has a responsibility of meeting credentials at the end of the course. For authenticity, the learner needs personal study strategies in te domain. Learning how to structure a hypothesis is one of the challenges that these students encounter. Integrating language features through procedures and practical application makes the learner aware of the course direction. Mature students have an academic experience from the undergraduate level. Progressive learning calls for advancement in language skills for professional tasks and effective communication.

The ESP Needs Assessment in the Legal Class

Most non native learners face challenges in intepreting written and spoken discourse. It is advisable that the learner pays attention to the subject content, industry vocabularuo and contexts. This will support the learners effort to meet the course epxpectation. Each student needs to engage in prereading activities such as discussions and prior content analysis. This is important for familiarisation with the course material. It facilitates for the development of well informed readers who are aware of the expected conventions (Hyland, 2012). Speciliasation in the legal profession means familiarisation with legal terms including specificvocabulary, words and phrases. At this stage, the learner reads widely and is able to access information that is specific to the course. Research and discussions become familiar with the student at this stage. Frequency of the language and the students exposure to the legal lingo sharpens the perception.

Social interaction is an important part of a lecture process that supports reflection and practice (Hessevaagbakke, Bjok, Christiansen, & Havnes, 2016). Students at this level have sharpened reading, comprehension, writing and reading skills. However, interpersonal interaction enhances learning in the multicultural environment. The learning process is mostly based on projects and team work is part of the learning process. International students need exposure to different pronunciations, ideas and perceptions. The legal industry is an international environment involving interactions with people from different environments. This exposure prepares them for the global markets. Collaboration through social interaction is one way to enhance concentration and coordinated learning for a successful learning environment. This could be through face to face or online video communication. By bridging this gap the learner adopts new ideas for a holistic approach to learning through social action. This strategy is also encourages class attendance and learners develop team work which is an integral part of professional skills (Wozniak, 2010).

Group learning brings out different types of behavior, lifestyle and educational perspectives. Learning to talk about ideas and sharing ideas is part of innovation. In a law class, partners complete tasks, research information and link ideas. This is an opportunity for members to preview their presentation, and speak about information. Some students are better in language while others do better in research. Combining efforts in problem solving is critical in case study analysis for legal studies. Basturkmen, (2010, p. 126) discusses specialist discourse to give insight on the synthesis of information. Classroom discussions support instructional strategies by generating different meanings and text significance. This is also a boost to the relationship between the students and the teacher. From group work, learners can present a number of ideas thereby expanding on knowledge through new dimensions.

Challenges Faced by Graduate Law Students in English for Specific Purposes

Academic writing at the graduate level caters for all kinds of English varieties (Tomlinson, 2012). Learners familiar with the US and UK English have no problems. However, nonnative student’s still experience challenges with the adoption of subject specific vocabulary. ESP includes proficiency in professional writing. A student at this stage has to polish on writing skills. In text citation is an integral part of academic writing. The learner at this stage understands the difference between technical and industry specific referencing. Proper citations with punctuations for primary and secondary sources are necessary. Most students encounter difficulties dealing with multiple publications in research because of this. Although most students are familiar with referencing books and journals, there are gaps in chapter, unit, report, and book referencing styles. From undergraduate studies, students are familiar with grammar issues but proficiency in this industry includes the use of professional formatting styles in technical papers. Knowing how to reference texts and present bibliographies is mandatory.

Productive skills in research feature the proper use of texts in writing and presentation. The ability to write professional publications is parallel to the presentation skills. As the learner gains new vocabulary the new challenge arises on how to pronounce the words effectively. It is normal to make mistakes when dealing with scientific lingo. However, the professional in training knows the value of developing proficiency through language competencies (Richards & Rodgers, 2014: Mancho & Arno-M, 2015). Each discipline has specific needs and content is important for research. In the technical sector, quality training encourages progressive improvement in content production by encouraging the learner’s interests for excellence in literacy. Research skills include writing reports, differentiating between types of essays and research papers. This is an advanced level of proficiency within a specific language genre.  In a law class, the language focuses on the business community and it seeks an informative approach.

Samuda & Bygate (2008) indicate that learning language for specific purposes ( LSP) has a holistic approach and researchers comprises of a broad spectrum of topics. Structured knowledge is made of principles, practices and methodology. These form research material for learners to read, analysze and form argumesnts. Students at this level are expected to handle all kinds of tasks including essays, research papers and thesis. Insight into proper analysis of documents through research is important. Short, long, complex and simple tasks form themes within the legal course. Covered in units, chapters, sections, statements and texts structured knowledge forms a connection between the curriculum and professional knowledge. Students in higher learning manage complex information through processes. The legal industry covers a wide array of information. Managing information from qualitative, quantitative, mixed and descriptive research comes with challenges. Benefiting from cross-sectional research takes an in-depth analysis of case studies, observation, and experiments. Merging all information into a technical paper requires advanced language skills and tools.

Improving Skills in English for Specific Purposes

Computer assisted studying simplifies the learning process especially for legal research oriented information, analysis of outcomes and components. This technique is important in legal based learning. Understanding the computer language starts with insight into the instructional objectives and visual skills. Learners in higher education should be able to present information clearly. Such techniques simplify information for easy comprehension, presentation and displays in the field. Listening skills in this industry is important because it supports the accurate translation of data in the industry. Successful application of ESP at this level captures listening, writing, reading and speaking skills. Misinformation poses risks to the passenger and jeopardizes careers (Flores, Matkin, Burbach, Quinn, & Harding, 2012). The ability to read complex texts in the legal industry enhances proficiency in the profession.

Pre-reading skills for higher education activate the student’s desire for knowledge before reading a book. When students have insight into a subject before a lesson, it prepares the learner for more discourse. This encourages class participation and sharing knowledge. This strategy supports comprehension and listening skills. Research shows that students pay more attention to subjects that they understand (Perfetti, 2013). Prereading encourages the learner to engage in the topic. While reading activities become alive because of the preparation process. Law is a complex subject that requires interactive learning. A reader goes through the texts for improved concepts, solutions and explanations of the existing ideas. A question and answer process gives the student in ESP comprehension. The best theoretical framework for information features reading and writing. When reading it is advisable that the learner makes some notes for reference and summary points

Canale & Swain (1980) discusses cumulative competence through effective approaches that engage the learner. Competence in the theoretical framework starts with language development through grammar, situational discourses and the development of significance. The demonstration of knowledge through authentic communication separates the distinguished learner from the rest. Integrating principles and placing emphasis on information calls for sociolinguistic competencies. Basic communication skills such as language functions support model analysis which is the backbone for legal subjects. Law topics explore learning through written, and audio visual material. In line with the syllabus design, this strategy encourages response through testing and personal involvement. Paying attention to topic development is important for learners seeking to sit for tests. Research papers involve the student participation trough expressed interests. An effective teaching strategy for graduate learners emphasizes on communication of ideas. Vocabulary development is important for accurate expression and effective approaches incorporate such tasks. Competence in speech, public presentation and writing depend on the effectiveness of listening skills.

The Role of Social Interaction in English for Specific Purposes Learning

Deducting meaning from knowledge is an analyzing the context. Reflection is making sense of all the information from books, journals, peer reviews, and technical documents. ESP supports learners from different communities because it focuses on language designed for the industry. These are legal based learners looking for literacy in the legal industry. However, the course requires extensive reading and application of information on a wider scale. Therefore students applying knowledge should reflect on the real life application of the knowledge obtained (Ellis, 2002). Research strategies include improving on the comprehension by activating previous knowledge into text narration. This indicates knowledge acquisition. Using appropriate language ensures that the learner has a solid background for further studies in the industry. Reflecting on knowledge and industry problems is part of conceptualization process. Questioning the existing knowledge provides more topics for further discussion and an order of events for a conclusive outcome. ESP helps students to present proper summaries, description of tables, maps and diagrams. Reflection through note taking highlights the writer’s thoughts, and the information obtained (Smit & Dafouz, 2012).

This unit analysis focuses on Exercises in Legal English by Rosemary Richey (2017) who targets the practice and expansion of vocabulary and prases. This is a lesson targeting advanced level and intermediate learners. Thelesson starts with a prelesson exercise in which the participants practice basic roles and English tasks for use. With distributed worksheets and exercises, the lesson encourages research with other coursebooks, and the use of internet material for  reference. Business words, phrases and expressions incorporate vocabulary for office conditions. This exercises encourages students to visualize the real workforce when tackling the exercises. It starts of with a procedure directing the learner to use an advanced level dictionary as reference material. It also shows how the student can come up with sentence examples, roles and duties during tasks.

The first exercise introduces English varieties by encouraging learners to accept the existence of British and American English. The first exercise uses two pages to present learning material that sharpens the learners proficiency in English for legal studies. This use of English for  professional language is genre specific and supports the globalisation of knowledge. The use of  technology in integrating information is important in all types of learning (Warschauer, 2006). Digital technology is essential for computer asssited learning. This exercise starts off by encouraging the student to read widely for the course. One of the tips is to refer to the basic legal coursebook and solutionf for the legal exercises. Through interactive learning it gives tips for effecive comprehension of complex information (Hyland, 2012).

Academic Writing in English for Specific Purposes

The question and answer fomula is effective for an independent learner who may not require asssitance when studying. In the lessons, this allows the student to research the information in relevatnt books. The pre reading exercise will guide the learner into understanding the information. This exercise example is not as colourful as other texts but it has a clear heading showing its objective as an overview of the legal profession. It enhances learning by capturing the learner interest, improves comprehensioin and the ESP students text structure. Giving students cues the unit refers to other pages for wirder reading. Exercise 1 shows a practice with roles and tasks for the legal student.  The second exercise asks the student to circle areas of practice in the profession. This is a competency exercise that targets English for Specific Purposes and supports learners who have an intention of pursuing legal courses (Basturkmen, 2010). The texts call for a high frequency vocab approach in which language is specific to the learner. The exercise design targets ESP difficulties faced by learner and gives practical solutions.


Exercise 3 is about underlining the sentences and it captures specific language structures. Within its context, it helps learners to identify common words and phrases such as “deeds”, “to sew”, “on behalf of” among others. The use of tasks in the explanation of sentences informs readers through content information (Samuda & Bygate, 2008). The teaching material and the text present a discourse that the students are familiar with. A learner viewing the sections deconstructs the information by analyzing the discourse from an industry specific level. This chapter engages the learner through a question and answer process that sets the pace for the discussion. This is important because it represents the learner’s interests. It divides the critical issues using words, phrases and sentence constructions.

Although the exercises focus on reading and writing skills, there is a gap in listening skills. Question 4 discourse encourages proficient writing in professional practice by asking the student to use words from previous exercises for creating roles in the industry. This genre specific exercise is within the context of the practice and provides a generic struture that focuses on communictaion for through progressive learning. Language modes in these exercises features tasks that places an emphasis on specific skills (Gollin-Kies, Hall, & Moore, 2015). The conceptualization and use of legal  vocabulary is for interpretation by specific users. The language used in the exercises is within the subject and involves a synthesis of terms and phrases. The frist exercise encourages learners to adopt an intercultural approach to the global language. Having a collective approach to lingua franca involves using English as a global language with American and British English. ELF features in critical global industries and the legal profession is one of those. This exercise is a multidisciplinary tool for training ESP learners from all fields.

Productive Skills in Research

A group discussion enhances interpersonal communication. In this exercises the learners take an interpersonal approach. However, in the procedure section the author encourages the learner to discuss with others on legal services. Engaging learners and professionals in the field is necessary in law. The materials and tasks design encourages learners to take a problem solving approach. Authenticity in the learning approaches is suitable for the business setting and promotes comprehension for legal professionals. The content has an analytical approach based on law (Huhta, Vogt, Johnson, & Tulkki, 2013). The language designed for mutual interest beneits the learner who seeks to gain competency and the teacher who needs tasks and activities that support competencies in ESP. The exercises use official language which prevents vague and casual language.

The suitability of these exercises depends on its ability to meet the needs of specific learners. Language for Professional Purposes (LPP) defines the target learner, and outlines effective strategies to present a course material in their genre (Long, 2005). Exercises 1-4 have an advanced cum intermediate learner language. The discourse material revolves around subject which is Law. It has a professional formality and the language is clear. Since it is industry specific, this section moves away from one Standard English by attracting a multicultural audience. This unit does not deviate from its focus hence it is successful in expressing the pragmatic approach to language. Although designed for the subject area, the language explores other language needs such as researching for advanced learners. This captures writing skills such as referencing (Huhta, Vogt, Johnson, & Tulkki, 2013).


As an ESP course material the unit gives a theoretical explanation for students in higher education in research. Learners are able to identify statements and elaborate on them through explanations. The unit is an effective tool for communication in this genre.  It demystifies the complex information; the learner has to engage a critical analysis of the discourse material for learners in the industry and defines its terms (Flores, Matkin, Burbach, Quinn, & Harding, 2012). Advanced learners gather information through references. The exercises maximize on the students quest for information. The use of questions and answers and claims simplifies whatever sounds complicated for students. Raising learner’s motivation, each exercise incorporates a collaborative approach in which students learn from different material.  This course material separates exercises into segments allowing the learner to skip to interesting segments. However, the learner has to refer to other resources hence may get tired from the complex learning process.

Computer-Assisted Learning for English for Specific Purposes

 This exercise is appropriate for nonnative students who want to learn varieties of Englishes. This means students choosing to pursue higher education in a foreign land can polish on English language without worrying about translation. This limits its suitability as a course material for native learners. Its cross-cultural approach gives it a global image of a learning material that seeks to fill the gap in the international industry (Gollin-Kies, Hall, & Moore, 2015). The unit could do better with discourse exercises, note taking and listening exercises because pronunciation is a big part of ESP. Its use of short and brief instructions simplifies the learning process for independent learners. Students at this level need wider exposure to information. This takes a multidisciplinary approach to learning. The exercises could also provide reference material for learners to avoid looking in the wrong places.

References

Basturkmen, H. (2010). Developing courses in English for Specific Purposes. Palgrave Macmillian.

Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1, 1-47.

Ellis, R. (2002). Grammar Teaching-Practice or consciousness raising? In J. Richards, & W. Renandya, Methodology of language teaching: An antology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fard, M. F., & Borouieni, A. S. (2013). English for specific purposes:A Needs Analysis of English for Specific Purposes ( ESP) Course for adoption of communicative language teaching: ( A Case of Iranian First Year Students of Educational Administration) . International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Intervention, 35-44.

Flores, K. L., Matkin, G. S., Burbach, M. E., Quinn, C. E., & Harding, H. (2012). Deficient critical thinking skills among college graduates: Implications for leadership. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(2), 212-230.

Gollin-Kies, S., Hall, D. R., & Moore, S. H. (2015). Language for Specific Purposes . UK: Palgrave.

Hessevaagbakke, E., Bjok, T. I., Christiansen, B., & Havnes, A. (2016, March). Peer learning in higher education: Patterns of talk and interaction in skills centre simulation. Learning Culture and Social Interaction, 8, 75-87.

Huhta, M., Vogt, K., Johnson, E., & Tulkki, H. (2013). Needs Analysis for language course design . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hyland, K. (2012). Bundles in academic discourse. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 32, 150-169.

Long, M. H. (2005). Methodological issues in learner in needs analysis. In M. H. Long, Second Langauge Needs Analysis (pp. 19-76). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mancho, G., & Arno-M, E. (2015, 37). The role of content and language in content and language integrated learning ( CLIL) at university: Challenges and implications for ESP. English for Specific Purposes, 63-73.

McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (2012). Materials and Methods in ELT. John Wiley & Sons.

Perfetti, C. (2013). Acquisition of Reading Competence. Learning to read. Basic research and its implications, 33.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and methods in language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rosemary, R. (2017). Teaching Business English and ESP. Retrieved from Onestop English: onestopenglish.com

Salvia, Y., Ysseldyke, J., & Witner, S. (2012). Assessment: In Special and Inclusive Education. Cengage.

Samuda, V., & Bygate, M. (2008). Tasks in second language learning. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Slager-Meyer, F. (2014). Writing and publishing in peripheral scholarly journals: How to enhance the global influence of multilingual scholars. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 13, 78-82.

Smit, U., & Dafouz, E. (2012). Integrating content and language in higher education: An introduction to English-medium policies, conceptual issues and research practices across Europe. Aila Review, 25(1), 1-12.

Tomlinson, B. (2012). Materials development for language learning and teaching. Language teaching, 45(2), 143-179.

Warschauer, M. (2006). Forward. In E. A. Marcia, A. S. Cervera, & C. R. Ramos, Information Technology in Languages for Specific Purposes: Issues and Prospects (pp. Xiii-Xv). Springer Science & Business Media.

Wiedemann, G. (2013). Opening up to big data: Computer-assisted analysis of textual data in social sciences. Historical Social Research , 332-357.

Wozniak, S. (2010). Language needs analysis from a perspective of international professional mobility: The case of French Mountain guides. English for Specific Purposes, 29, 243-251.

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