Identifying Students Likely to Benefit from Language Support in First Year Law

Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2008

15 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2012

See all articles by Wendy Larcombe

Wendy Larcombe

University of Melbourne - Law School

Ian Malkin

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: August 8, 2012

Abstract

As writing skills have a significant impact on a Law student’s ability to successfully complete assessment tasks, it is important to identify early and refer to appropriate programs students likely to benefit from language and writing skills support. This article describes in-class exercises developed in the Law School at the University of Melbourne to identify students with writing ‘difficulties’. Analysis of students’ first semester results confirmed that the exercises were effective in identifying a group of students who may underachieve. Importantly, in both 2005 and 2006 almost half the first year Law students referred to support through the exercises were domestic students. We thus caution that English language testing of international students is not sufficient to identify all students likely to need or benefit from support programs. We recommend measures such as the exercises described in this paper as a quick and effective means of screening the entire commencing cohort.

Keywords: international students, language testing, legal education, writing skills

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Larcombe, Wendy and Malkin, Ian, Identifying Students Likely to Benefit from Language Support in First Year Law (August 8, 2012). Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2126905

Wendy Larcombe (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Ian Malkin

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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