Qualities of a Great Legal English Teacher
The best Legal English teachers regard teaching as a vocation and not a job. While a love of teaching is essential, Legal English teachers must always be learning. We must maintain our teaching skills and keep up-to-date with legal news and cases. Teaching is not a passive role: a professional teacher must always be active and observant, even when they are not teaching.
The team at Legal English Courses decided to look at what makes a great teacher of Legal English. We compiled this list and would welcome your comments.
1. Be a Coach
The days of students sitting in a room listening passively to a teacher explaining language and the law are long gone. Learners now quite rightly demand active and direct learning with structured practice and a coherent language training programme. Teacher must now act as leaders providing direct and relevant feedback rather than generalisations.
2. Be a Great Communicator
Communication is key to the teaching process and a great teacher needs to be able to speak clearly and confidently to their students and listen to them as well. Listening is just as important because you need to understand the needs of the student and be able to pinpoint any weaknesses that need to be worked on.
3. Keep Learning
A great Legal English teacher needs to always be learning as law is constantly evolving (particularly in the UK). We need to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of statutes and case law and their effect on current law.
4. Original Thought
A Legal English teacher needs to quickly think on their feet and to respond with new and original ideas present ideas. Being capable of original thought will help you to simplify complex grammar and difficult statutes. Every learner is different and responds to different stimuli while learning. You have to be able to explain the same thing differently to each learner using diverse examples and activities. A highly competent Legal English teacher must think out of the box to keep learners engaged and to achieve goals.
5. Take Constructive Criticism
At The Legal English School, we ask our tutors to participate in several training sessions each month. We also provide our team with constructive feedback on their teaching skills in order to improve. We would hope that other language schools will do this also as a more competent teaching profession is a credit to us all.