Designing and Evaluating Digital Multimedia Resources for Legal English: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Innovation

Hafner, C, Lynch, K, Scully-Hill, A, Burke, J and Sharma, R 2018, 'Designing and Evaluating Digital Multimedia Resources for Legal English: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Innovation', International Journal of Language & Law, vol. 7, pp. 142-166.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Designing and Evaluating Digital Multimedia Resources for Legal English: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Innovation
Author(s) Hafner, C
Lynch, K
Scully-Hill, A
Burke, J
Sharma, R
Year 2018
Journal name International Journal of Language & Law
Volume number 7
Start page 142
End page 166
Total pages 25
Publisher International Journal of Language & Law
Abstract Learning "legal English", the specialized language that students encounter in law school, is particularly challenging as law students must learn to use English forms and structures to meet the expectations of the legal academic and professional community. Learning legal English is thus a process that involves elements of both legal and language expertise. Collaboration between legal and applied linguistic scholars can contribute to this learning process. By integrating both legal and linguistic expertise in the collaborative evidence-based research initiative "Digital Multimedia Resources for Legal English: An Interdisciplinary Project", digital multimedia legal resources were specifically designed, developed and assessed to enhance the legal English language skills of law students. The development and use of digital multimedia teaching resources has the potential to help students improve their legal writing, as well as their analysis and evaluation of a broad range of legal genres, particularly those that draw upon conventional forms of legal reasoning. Qualitative thematic analysis of student feedback on the digital multimedia resources indicates that the resources help students learn to manipulate legal language strategically to achieve various desired linguistic and legal reasoning effects. The students also note the value of learning these written analytical skills and techniques for their future professional careers, whether it is giving advice to lay clients in opinion letters or writing for legal professionals.
Subject Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
Access to Justice
Litigation, Adjudication and Dispute Resolution
Keyword(s) Law
language and law
legal skills
legal English
applied linguistics
language learning and technology
digital multimedia
digital video
DOI - identifier 10.14762/jll.2018.142
Copyright notice Copyright © 2018 Christoph A. Hafner, Katherine Lynch, Anne Scully-Hill, John Burke and Rajesh Sharma, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
ISSN 2194-7414
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