ERIC Number: ED271995
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May
Reference Count: 0
ESL and the MCL: A Study of "Language"-Based Problems Faced by Candidates for the Degree of Master of Comparative Law in American Law Schools.
Funston, Janet; Funston, Richard
A survey was made of graduate programs for foreign students at three law schools with different missions and characteristics. The survey focused on the following points: (1) students' backgrounds (cultural, linguistic, geographic, educational, and professional); (2) student reasons for attending a graduate law program in the United States; (3) student preconceptions and expectations about the United States in general and the law program in particular; (4) any language or cultural problems encountered by the students; and (5) the steps taken by the law schools to anticipate or remediate such problems. In each school, student perceptions of the program differed from faculty and administrator perceptions. Faculty and program directors reported no identifiable pattern of problems, but students reported experience of language-based problems. Students' perceptions of their own English skills followed no general pattern, although all of the foreign students took longer than native students to complete reading assignments. The most commonly reported problems were with speaking skills, despite program reliance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language as an indicator of skill level. All of the foreign student graduate programs are recently implemented, but all anticipate expansion. It is recommended that institutions establishing similar programs engage specialists in English as a second language for program development and/or provide for individual consultation with students. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages for Business and the Professions (4th, Dearborn, MI, May 2-4, 1985); see FL 015 835.