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
Date Written: August 8, 2012
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: Suggested Citation