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English for Specific Purposes World

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Teaching English for human rights in France

Corina Veleanu 

Abstract 

As far as teaching legal English is concerned, one might say that training legal professionals should be easier than teaching the profane. The problem is that professionals often tend to argue points of law instead of focusing on the language matters. Whereas the profane often need you to explain legal terms and concepts in plain English, in order to understand and be able to learn. But then I guess every teacher of English for specific purposes meets with the same challenge on his/her way of reaching out to the students’ attention, motivation and needs. We talked about this during the 2nd GREJA (a symposium on legal languages held in Lyon, organized by the Universities Lyon 2 and 3 on November 17th and 18th 2011) with other teachers, researchers, translators, interpreters, lawyers. The shared opinion was that teaching the profane was as difficult as teaching the professionals. To conclude, teaching cannot be easy all the time, but my students taught me that they can be my best source of inspiration!

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