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Perspectives in Legal English in-Service Education: Needs Analysis in Lithuanian Context

Abstract

Legal English, being among the most complex and multifaceted areas of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), has duly received considerable attention on the part of linguists, discourse and learner needs′ analysts, sociolinguists and ESP researchers (Cheng and Cheng, 2014; Hafner, 2013; Hartig and Lu, 2014; Huhta et al, 2013; Shuy 2001). Most research has been carried out to investigate lexical, syntactic, grammatical and other communicative competences of law students in various cycles of higher education. An area that is still highly in need of examination is the development of communicative competences of Legal English among law practitioners who might have had a course of Legal English in their law studies and face with an urge of revision or might have not been introduced to Legal English whatsoever. In light of these observations, the present study examines the needs and problems regarding the use of general and legal English faced by 34 law practitioners, namely lawyers and judges working at two law companies and a district court in Kaunas, Lithuania. The study assumes qualitative methodology including a semi-structured interview and a questionnaire. The results have revealed that communicative competence of legal practitioners gained during their formal education does not meet the demands of their legal practice. While skills of general English appear not to cause many problems, skills of legal English are not developed to an adequate level. Therefore, as the study shows, it is absolutely inevitable to develop and offer in-service education of Legal English carefully attuned to the diverse levels of competences and needs of legal practitioners.

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Subjective perceptions of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) university teachers’ professional beginnings: Quantitative research into pedagogical content knowledge

for Specific Purposes. Available from http://www.usingenglish.com/teachers/articles/teaching-english-for-specific-purposes-esp.html FULLER, F. F. (1969). Concerns of teachers: A developmental conceptualization. American Educational Research Journal, 6(2), 207-226. GAVORA, P. (2000). Úvod do pedagogického výzkumu [Introduction to pedagogical research]. Brno: Paido. GAVORA, P. (2005). Učitel a žáci v komunikaci [Teacher and students in communication]. Brno: Paido. GAVORA, P. (2012). Tvorba výskumného

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Analysing ESP Texts, but How?

Abstract

English as a second language (ESL) teachers instructing general English and English for specific purposes (ESP) in bilingual secondary schools face various challenges when it comes to choosing the main linguistic foci of language preparatory courses enabling non-native students to study academic subjects in English. ESL teachers intending to analyse English language subject textbooks written for secondary school students with the aim of gaining information about what bilingual secondary school students need to know in terms of language to process academic textbooks cannot avoiding deal with a dilemma. It needs to be decided which way it is most appropriate to analyse the texts in question. Handbooks of English applied linguistics are not immensely helpful with regard to this problem as they tend not to give recommendation as to which major text analytical approaches are advisable to follow in a pre-college setting. The present theoretical research aims to address this lacuna. Respectively, the purpose of this pedagogically motivated theoretical paper is to investigate two major approaches of ESP text analysis, the register and the genre analysis, in order to find the more suitable one for exploring the language use of secondary school subject texts from the point of view of an English as a second language teacher. Comparing and contrasting the merits and limitations of the two contrastive approaches allows for a better understanding of the nature of the two different perspectives of text analysis. The study examines the goals, the scope of analysis, and the achievements of the register perspective and those of the genre approach alike. The paper also investigates and reviews in detail the starkly different methods of ESP text analysis applied by the two perspectives. Discovering text analysis from a theoretical and methodological angle supports a practical aspect of English teaching, namely making an informed choice when setting out to analyse texts in English. It can be concluded from the literature that the register perspective yields more readily applicable data of text analysis for ESL teachers instructing in a pre-college environment. Besides teachers working in bilingual secondary school, the pedagogical conclusions of the study are also useful for teachers instructing in international secondary schools where the language of education is English and the alumni comprise non-native students.

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Medical Students’ English Language Learning: Needs and Perceptions

Summary

This study investigated the medical students’ English language learning needs and their perceptions of ESP courses in an academic environment. To do this, 100 medical students studying medical sciences in the faculty of medicine in Mashhad, Iran, were selected as the participants. Hutchinson and Waters’ target language needs analysis framework was drawn on as the analytic model guiding the study. A needs analysis questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire designed to identify the learners’ perceptions of the frequency of English language skills/sub-skills use, the importance of English language learning, their ability in using language skills, their needs of language learning and their preferences of an English language course. After gathering and analyzing the data, it was found that reading skill is given priority by the students in terms of frequency of use, importance and proficiency. It also revealed that students need and prefer training in speaking, listening and communication skills. Considering the students’ perceptions of the current ESP course, the findings implied that the English language skills incorporated in the current ESP book for the medical students and the allocated time for this course are not compatible with the English language learning needs and wants of the students.

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Mediation in Legal English Teaching

Abstract

Mediation is a language activity that has been unjustly neglected when preparing law students for their future professional careers. When trained in a professional context, students need to develop and improve complex communicative skills. These include not only the traditional language skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking, but also more advanced skills such as summarizing, providing definitions, changing registers etc. All these are involved in the students’ acquisition of ‘soft skills’ that are particularly important for students of law since much of their future work involves interpersonal lawyer-client interaction. This article argues that mediation is a crucial (though previously underestimated) skill and that law-oriented ESP instruction should provide training aimed at developing this skill. Showing a practical application of this approach, the paper demonstrates that mediation can be successfully integrated in the legal English syllabus and make the learning of legal English more effective.

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Kolb’s Learning Styles: Preferences among Male and Female Students of English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

Abstract

The preference for learning styles is an important and widely discussed topic in educational psychology. Knowing students' preferences regarding learning style enables teachers to use more effective methods of providing information and to choose better educational tools for a particular student. This research deals with the comparison of male and female students' learning styles and contributes to the discussion of whether gender can affect a student's learning style. Kolb's assessment method was used to determine an individual's learning style. The research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in order to strengthen each method and get clearer results. 100 questionnaires were given out and 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted. The study took place at the College of Healthcare and Nursing in Brno (Czech Republic). To concentrate on the research objectives, the respondents of similar age, same education level, and similar background were chosen. The results clearly show that male and female students tend to prefer different learning styles and that is contrary to the findings of previous research done in this area. The study helps to understand how gender can affect our way of studying and how to help individuals learn more effectively.

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Digital vs in-Person Learning Environment in ESP Classrooms: Let the Students Decide

. - 4. Dashtestani, R., Stojkovic, N. (2015). The Use of Technology in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Instruction: A Literature Review, The Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, Vol. 3, N. 3, Special issue, 435-456. - 5. Dickinson, M., Eom, S., Kang, Y., Lee, C. H., & Sachs, R. (2008). A balancing act: how can intelligent computer-generated feedback be provided in learner-to-learner interactions? Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21 (4), 369-382. - 6. Kennedy, G.E, Judd, T.S, Churchward, A., Gray, K., Krause, K. (2008

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Assessment preferences and learning styles in ESP

Abstract

The article deals with the research on assessment preferences reflected in learning styles within English for Specific Purposes (ESP) instruction on the higher education level. The sample group consisted of 287 respondents of the Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. The main objective of the research was to discover expected correlations between respondents’ learning styles and relating preferences in selected assessment formats. Two questionnaires were applied to reach the objective; however, the expectations did not prove. The discovered findings were discussed within the world context.

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Overview of English for Specific Purposes in a Technical High School “Lutfi Musiqi” in Vushtrri

Abstract

This research outlines the challenges and obstacles of introducing English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in a Technical High School “Lutfi Musiqi” in Vushtrri, and most importantly, the benefits for the students, who can use this acquired knowledge in their future professions as well. In spite of the fact that most of the students are likely to get employed after they graduate from this school, there will always be some of them, who might continue their studies at a Technical University. Having a sound base of English, ESP will equip students with the relevant professional vocabulary and language skills needed for their further professional studies. The students were 17 up to 18 years old; they’re attending the 12th grade in the secondary Technical High school. The total number was 56. Because of the nature of this school there were more male students than female. This research was realized by the quantitative and qualitative methods through questionnaires I used with my students.

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Developing Communicative Competence in Students of Higher Medical Schools

Abstract

Communicative competence has been the central point of a great number of English for specific purposes (ESP) studies. However, its relevance to second language acquisition by medical students and attainability are still to be established as the critical evaluation of the present findings may help to create a valuable inventory for practical use in a classroom. The review set out to explore the present-day concept of communicative competence with regard to ESP teaching and ways of its development in students of medical universities. It analyzed the structure of the concept of communicative competence generally viewed as comprising both linguistic and extralinguistic constituents. Special emphasis was placed on the aspect of enhancing competitive competence through students’ involvement in oral communication. One of the most effective ways of developing communication skills in ESP classes in medical schools is exposure to authentic communication using Internet facilities. The videos should be thematically adjusted to the students’ professional needs and correlate with their level of linguistic and professional expertise. This approach helps to accomplish a number of teaching goals such as providing students with the information about the framework of speech events iterative in medical and academic spheres, communication patterns used in them, and raising their professional and socio-cultural awareness. It also aims to develop their ability to perform speech activities within a wide range of professional and academic contexts. The review made it possible to identify efficient reproductive and productive teaching methods to be employed.

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