English Linguistic and Argumentation Skills I has two principle tracks:
The principal focus in this part of the course is on areas such as the efficient and insightful composition of paragraphs, the different text structures possible in argumentative academic writing, and the clear marking of argumentative steps. The course also addresses how to discuss, compare, and criticize source materials using the appropriate textual devices and language. Students are also familiarized with a number of principles of rhetoric and legal argumentation. Selected topics of advanced grammar and vocabulary use are given particular attention in the context of the discussion of the composition of argumentative essays, including but not limited to conditional and modal constructions, the passive voice, reported speech, and relative constructions. Students are also introduced to the basic components of the research paper: the research question, the hypothesis, the formulation of research goals and the relevance of a particular study, and the description of research method. Finally, students are instructed in the APA format of referencing.
Students are instructed in and provided opportunity to practice the delivery of a formal argumentative presentation on a topic of legal scholarship or debate. Specifically, the focus is on techniques of delivery, the structure of formal presentation, and the specific differences between formal writing and speaking and how this impacts the choices speakers need to make in putting together and delivering a presentation. In addition, some attention is given to speech and sound production in English.
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.
Type of Instruction
Seminars (12 x 2 hours of class instruction on writing + 6 x 2 hours of class instruction on speaking)
Type of Exams
- A final argumentative paper (2000 words) on a topic to be determined in the course Methods and Techniques of Social Science Research (MTSSR)
- A final presentation of 10 minutes in length + 5 minutes for Question and Answer (Q and A)
- A written examination on language use
- English Legal Toolbox. available on Blackboard
- Tilburg University RefCite. Online referencing module
- Ingels, Mia, Legal English Communication Skills, Acco, 2010, ISBN 9789033475641.
- Garner, Bryan. (2013). Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
- Garner, Bryan. (2002). The Elements of Legal Style (Second Edition). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Further materials to be provided in class.