Thursday, March 17, 2016

Save the Date! Webinar: Teaching Int'l Graduate Students at U.S. Law Schools

Looking forward to this latest webinar about teaching international law students on Monday, March 21! 

For more info and to register, click here.

Teaching Int'l Graduate Students at U.S. Law Schools Part 3

Monday, March 21, 2016 12:30-1:30 PM EST

The Legal Writing Institute’s Global Legal Writing Skills Committee is pleased to invite you to attend its third live webinar hosted by Michigan State University College of Law. The speakers will expand on their recorded presentations, available at, and respond to live questions and comments from attendees. This webinar is designed for those teaching or planning to teach international graduate students at U.S. law schools. The webinar is free. No special software is required for attendees to watch or ask questions, but attendees are strongly encouraged to register in advance. Attendees should also watch the presenters’ recorded videocasts in advance of the live webinar. Please contact Sammy Mansour at if you have any questions about the webinar, or call MSU College of Law’s Technical Support at 517-432-9292 if you are having technical difficulties on the day of the webinar.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What is Second Language Writing and Why Should I Care?

Second Language Writing

Those who teach legal writing generally, or to international students specifically, may not realize that second language writing is a discipline in itself. The Journal of Second Language Writing publishes "theoretically grounded reports of research and discussions that represent a contribution to current understandings of central issues in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction."

Teaching legal writing to international students fits nicely under the under the SLW umbrella, which focuses on "characteristics and attitudes of L2 writers, L2 writers' composing processes, features of L2 writers' texts, readers' responses to L2 writing, assessment/evaluation of L2 writing, and contexts (cultural, social, political, institutional) for L2 writing." 

Many of these areas of pedagogical concern -- such as the composing process, features of texts, assessment and feedback, and the writing context -- should be familiar to legal writing teachers generally. However, there are variables specific to L2 writers, including the transfer of writing strategies from L1 to L2, unfamiliarity with rhetorical norms and processes, and social and cognitive challenges, such as motivation, goals, and general learning strategies.

Here are just a few resources for further investigation of and practical advice for teaching second language (legal) writing: