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Use of Authentic Materials in Law School

  • Jason Tien ChouEmail author
Chapter
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 8)

Abstract

For Taiwanese law students in pursuit of international legal practice, there is a strong need to both learn the content knowledge in the US laws and to improve their language proficiency in English. EMI law courses can meet their needs (Chou JT, The concepts and practice of teaching legal English in Taiwan. In: Various purposes, varied approaches: ESP and its teaching in the 21st century, 2009 international symposium on ESP and its teaching, October 24–25, 2009, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan City, China, 2009).

In addition to textbooks written or compiled by writers, legal documents published by government branches are often used as teaching materials in EMI courses in law. The official documents used by EMI professors in teaching legal subjects include the US Constitution, laws passed by legislatures, regulations promulgated by executive agencies, case decisions issued by the courts of law in the USA, and other legal documents written in English, which are hereinafter referred to as “authentic materials” in this chapter (Chen F, Authenticity in materials development and task design. In: Tsou W, Shin-Mei K (eds) Resources for teaching English for specific purposes, Bookman, Taipei, pp 113–130, 2014).

This chapter will first discuss the reasons why using authentic legal materials in English is crucial in teaching EMI law courses. The kinds of English authentic legal materials available for EMI teaching and where these materials can be found will be presented. For the purpose of this case study, among kinds of authentic legal materials, case decisions issued by the US courts of law are the main focus of this chapter.

EMI law courses are currently at the experimental stage in Taiwan. Three EMI law courses will be studied to examine the way that US court decisions are used as teaching materials at law schools in Taiwan. Highlights and challenges for both the professors and the students found in the case studies will be elaborated. Possible solutions to the issues will also be recommended.

Keywords

Content Knowledge English Proficiency Court Decision Criminal Procedure Present Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Science & Technology LawNational Kaohsiung First University of Science and TechnologyKaohsiungTaiwan

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