Can I teach Legal English?
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 sublime 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. Would you like to work with us? Contact us
About three months ago, a law tutor was being interviewed for a role at Legal English UK. She had a great CV and lots of experience but at the end of the recruitment process she failed to get the role. She asked for feedback and we told her our thoughts. It takes a lot to become a Legal English or Business English teacher with us and we thought we would explain why.
The team at Legal English Courses assembled a list of the qualities that make a great teacher. Take a look and let us know what you think.
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. We ask our tutors to keep an eye on The Times Law section and The Law Society Gazette to enhance their commercial awareness.
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.
6. Provide Leadership
We ask students what they are expecting from their Legal English course. Some will provide a clear direction as to what they want to achieve while others prefer us to provide that guidance. Either is fine but when you enter the classrom, it is important that the teacher provides leadership and direction and ensures that the student is learning with consistency and retaining information.