Publication details

Individual and Collaborative Vocabulary Building Strategies in Legal English Classes


BILOVÁ Štěpánka

Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Attached files
Description One of intricacies of legal English, as a kind of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), stems from using distinctive technical terms and concepts. Although the knowledge of specialized vocabulary is essential for learners to become fully-fledged members of a particular community, it is only one of the features which characterize ESP. Vocabulary is closely connected to the content knowledge of the discipline, and at the same time, being familiar with the vocabulary is a complex process involving a combination of several skills and strategies. The paper presents vocabulary broadening and consolidating strategies and shares classroom experience from undergraduate courses of English for legal purposes. Students can be asked to keep their learning logs or glossaries which can be either individual or they can be created collaboratively by the whole class. Nowadays, many online tools can be used for storing vocabulary and generating more practice, e.g. Google Docs, Memrise, Quizlet, nevertheless, the role of the teacher is to show that mastering legal English means using appropriate English in various legal situations, not memorizing lists of vocabulary. The paper thus proposes ways of assisting students in developing their legal English skills by showing them a variety and complexity of vocabulary building strategies set into professional contexts.