Day 1 – EULETA Conference 2018

Split, Croatia (28th September 2018)

EULETA Conference 2018
EULETA Conference 2018 Split
University of Split

Introduction

The European Legal English Teacher’s Association’s (EULETA) biennial conference took place 27th-29th September 2018, co-organised by the University of Split, the University of Osijek and EULETA, and was held at the Law Faculty of the University of Split. A pre-conference meet and greet took place in an ancient wine cellar – ‘La Bodega’ in the heart of the labyrinth that is Diocletian’s Palace, giving participants the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones in an informal setting. The next day, the conference kicked off with an opening speech by EULETA’s President David Best, whose devotion to the organisation was clear from his reference to EULETA as a ‘big family’ – and by this time, any newcomers already felt warmly welcomed into the clan. The conference was organised so that a few presentations were given simultaneously, and participants chose their preferred option. Below I detail the talks I went to on day 1, read about day 2 here

Anthony Leone: Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach Legal English

Anthony Leone EULETA ConferenceAnthony has a background in Legal English consulting, and he worked in Egypt at the American University in Cairo for many years. He came all the way from Boston, U.S.A, which shows true dedication to EULETA! In this session he stressed the need for authentic materials in Legal English teaching. He discussed an approach to teaching Legal English which is detailed in this article by Craig Hoffman, “Using Discourse Analysis Methodology to Teach “Legal English”“.  Anthony spoke about some of the materials used by Craig Hoffman in the LL.M. with Certificate in Legal English for Foreign-Trained Lawyers at Georgetown University and in the Q&A participants highlighted the necessity of using materials which are appropriate to all language learning levels, as well as the dilemma Legal English teachers face in that we must teach the language of the law but not necessarily the law itself.

Other talks in this session:

  • Tania Blazevic: Academic Discourse in abstracts from a Croatian perspective
  • Željko Rišner: The Future of Legal English of judges and justice in post-Brexit Britain
  • Tinatin Kbilashvili: Legal English & 21st Century Skills

Alison Wiebalck: Testing of legal English for professional purposes

Alison Wiebalk EULETA conference 2018You may well have heard Alison’s name before, either from legalenglishskills.com or her book The Legal English Manual. I had and was looking forward to her talk!

Focusing on the Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES) Advanced, Alison stated that a well-made test can reveal, from a minimal amount of questions, the underlying knowledge of the testee and predict their future performance in the workplace. In her analysis of whether TOLES lives up to its claims of using authentic materials, testing grammatical accuracy and testing the appropriate register Alison found TOLES to be a valid, but not perfect, test. Whilst the materials are largely authentic, the legal writing tested is limited in scope and with regards to grammar, certain elements which are important for lawyers to know, including linking words, were omitted. With that said, a number of problems stand in the way of test producers –

  1. Law is not a universal discipline, each country has its own system;
  2. There is a lack of a centralised testing body; and
  3. There is little research in this area.

It was an absolute joy to hear her talk, not just for the content but also because of her ability to condense and present vast amounts of information simply, clearly and concisely. Evidently, her research is much needed and this is certainly an area for further development.

Other talks in this session:

  • Oksana Babiy & Yuliya Yulinetskaya: “English-Ukrainian international case-law dictionary”, gLAWssary in the process of Ukraine and EU legislation harmonisation
  • Anton Osminkin: Obligation in legal discourse: SHALL, MUST and the Present Simple
  • Anna Wasilewska: Mastering Legal English vocabulary –power of collocations, synonyms and fixed phrases

László Szabó: Coming to terms with terminology in practice areas

László Szabó Eueleta Conference 2018 Having already heard about László’s book ‘A Practical Guide to English for Law’ I was looking forward to his talk in order to meet him and find out more. In this talk, László, who works as a certified legal translator in English-Hungarian languages, presented his book which he spent the last five years compiling. The 1000+ page book is truly impressive, each one of the 50 chapters providing detailed explanations of legal English vocabulary, collocations, and sentence patterns which would be helpful for a Legal English speaker at any level.  Unlike a dictionary, the vocabulary is given in context which aids the learner in understanding how to really apply the language. The examples László showed us were related to civil procedure and it was clear from this that the book is highly detailed. Unfortunately, being a super light traveller, I was unable to pick up a copy of the book but apparently in the future there may well be an online version…. Watch this space!

Other talks in this session:

  • Alena Hradilová: Peer review your negotiating skills
  • Gary Potter: Simplifying the new U.S. Tax Reform Implications for U.S. Businesses and Foreign Investments
  • Olga Voytsekhovskaya: Legal English for Legal Students: improper use of legal terms (The most challenging cases)

Federico Pio Gentile: Legal Discourse and On-screen Transposition – The “How to Get away with Murder” Case Study

Federico Pio Gentile EULETA Conference 2018 Federico, a PhD student at the Department of Literary, Linguistic and Comparative Studies of the University of Napoli “L’Orientale” presented a condensed version of an in-depth analysis of the vocabulary used in the TV series “How to Get away with Murder” an American legal drama produced by Peter Nowalk, which can be used by Legal English teachers in their classes. He described the series, in addition to playing us examples from the show and highlighting the vocabulary used.  In particular, the examples he gave focused on litigation, criminal law and everyday legal talk and this material can be used in exercises such as role plays with students.

Other talks in this session:

  • Aleksandra Łuczak: The Pustulka Project. Developing Online Testing Software for English for Specific Purposes
  • Barbora Chovancova: Mediation and Motivation in Legal English Classes

Prof. Dr. Lelija Socanac: Law and Multilingualism in 19th-century Habsburg Monarchy – Voices from the Past, Lessons for the Future?

Prof. Dr. Lelija Socanac EULETA Conference 2018 The first keynote speaker Professor Dr. Lelija Socanac, the head of both the Foreign Language Department and the Centre for Language and Law at the University of Zagreb, gave a very detailed presentation on the development of language during the 19th century drawing from a vast corpus including normative legal documents, records of court proceedings, and newspaper articles, which were published between 1830-1914. Dr. Socanac’s extensive experience and interest in the field is clear and certainly it could be interesting to draw on this research to make a comparison with the modern situation in Europe and the quickly developing ‘EU Legal English’ as mentioned on day 2 by the second keynote speaker Dalibor Ruzic.

 

Louise Kulbicki EULETA Conference 2018Louise Kulbicki: The Study Legal English Podcast in Blended Learning

Obviously, I was unable to attend a session here as I was presenting!

My talk focused on introducing the Study Legal English Podcast and a number of exercises which teachers can use in their classes with the podcast. You can watch the presentation here and find the free PDF download of exercises here.

All of the exercises are free to use, so please use them, edit them, share them! Please cite the Study Legal English Podcast when you do so. 

Other talks in this session:

  • Neda Radosavlevikj: Enhancing Learning Autonomy in an ESP class by using LMS Google classroom
  • Štěpánka Bilová: Using Technology to Facilitate Students’ Learning

Natasha Costello: Teaching legal English: practical activities for the classroom

Natasha Costello EULETA Conference 2018 When I met Natasha she introduced herself ‘Natasha Costello… Costello… yes like Elvis’ to which I responded by trying to hum the tune of ‘(I don’t want to got to) Chelsea’. I did however, want to go to Natasha’s session and now, for sure, I’ll never forget her name!

Natasha’s response to having the most difficult speaker slot of the day (the last one after a full-conference day) was perfect – she managed to get all the worn-out participants talking and laughing, which showed that she is a highly skilled teacher. In this session she talked us through some practical activities she does to make Legal English contract drafting courses fun and then we actually tried them out. This included:

Role Play

  1. Teacher splits students into pairs and gives a slip of paper to each – one is ‘client’ one is ‘lawyer’;
  2. Students work in pairs to role play scenario.

Cut and Paste

  1. Teacher prepares cut up pieces paper which state either headings of contract sections (e.g. Boilerplate, Termination, Recitals) or content of clauses (e.g. Parties may terminate this contract ……);
  2. Students must match the headings to the correct clauses.

Hot seat

  1. 1 student comes to front of class and sits in the ‘hot seat’;
  2. Teacher writes a legal word on board;
  3. Other students have to explain the word to the ‘hot seat’ student, ‘hot seat’ student has to guess the word.

Other talks in this session:

  • Ljubica Kordić & Dubravka Papa: Cooperation Between LE and Content Teachers at Croatian Law Faculties: a Comparative Study
  • Anila R. Scott-Monkhouse: Lawyers in the age of social media: LinkedIn as an educational and a professional tool

Conclusion

Day 1 ended with the EULETA AGM, where I’m happy to announce that I was elected to the board as ‘communications officer’. Following this there was a gala dinner in a beautiful restaurant ‘Bajamonti‘ in the historical centre, where we sampled some ‘authentic materials’ of Croatian cuisine and music!

EULETA board (from left): Franz Heidinger, myself (Louise Kulbicki), David Best, Sofi Parastatidou, Sophia Barinova, Mark Brophy.

EULETA board (from left): Franz Heidinger, myself (Louise Kulbicki), David Best, Sofi Parastatidou, Sophia Barinova, Mark Brophy.

Ancient architecture

Ancient architecture

EULETA Gala Dinner 2018

EULETA Gala Dinner 2018