English Linguistic & Argumentation Skills helps students develop their English skills in order for them to function in an English-speaking academic environment as well as in their future internationally oriented careers. More specifically, the course aims for students to:
- Improve their general academic and specifically legal writing style. This includes being able to write a well-structured tekst with appropriate register, grammatical accuracy and referencing.
- Improve their oral skills, including fluency, accuracy and pronunciation, in a number of contexts, specifically an academic presentation.
English Linguistic & Argumentation Skills covers the following topics:
- Text structure: The course will consider a variety of writing products with their specific styles and structures with a main focus on writing an argumentative text. Attention will be paid to efficient and insightful construction of paragraphs, overall tekst structure, and clear marking of argumentative steps.
- Discussing sources: Students will learn to critically discuss and incorporate sources into their argumentative texts by means of quotation, paraphrase and summary using the appropriate referencing format.
- Written and spoken accuracy: Students should be able to describe and argue complex issues using appropriate vocabulary and terminology as well as accurate language. Students will therefore build vocabulary, learn how to use dictionaries and other language sources, and work on a number of language and grammar issues.
- Oral proficiency: Students also need to be able to express themselves orally in a variety of contexts. Speaking training will deal with answering questions and persuasively arguing a point during debate or discussion. The focus will be on fluency, rhetorical devices, and pronunciation.
Teaching and assessment methods
The course will consist of 18 lectures in total. During 12 weekly interactive seminars, students work primarily on improving their writing skills (structure, style and accurary). In the other 6 seminars, which run parallel to the weekly seminars, students work on improving their oral skills.
All seminars are taught in small groups (approximately 20 students) in order to make the seminars as interactive as possible. Students are required to actively participate in the discussions with both instructor and each other and give peer feedback on writing products and spoken expressions. On a number of occasions, students receive personal teacher feedback on their writing assignments.
NOTE: This course is taught in conjunction with Methods and Techniques of Social Science Research. The final paper for this course is the final paper to be submitted for MTSSR.
- English Legal Toolbox. available on Blackboard
- Tilburg University RefCite. Online referencing module
- Ingels, Mia, Legal English Communication Skills, Acco, 2010, ISBN 9789033475641.
- Further materials to be provided in class.