Using Contrastive Rhetoric in Legal Writing Pedagogy
15 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 15, 2006
The paper focuses on the cross-cultural and cross-linguistic challenges for ESL students using contrastive rhetoric theory, a growing and evolving field of study, which focuses on the relationship of culture, language, logic, and rhetoric. The underlying assumption to contrastive rhetoric theory is that language and writing are cultural phenomena with culturally defined conventions and specific rhetorical expectations. Contrastive rhetoric focuses on making students aware of the different writing conventions, different roles of writers, and different audience expectations across language, culture, and even specific discourse communities, such as the legal discourse community in the U.S. Contrastive rhetoric today has taken on a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing the fields of applied linguistics, linguistic relativity, rhetoric, text linguistics, discourse type, literacy, and translation. It has expanded to many English for Specific Purposes (ESP) discourse communities, such as business and technical writing. Unfortunately, contrastive rhetoric has received little attention in the legal writing community despite concerns and observations by those within the legal writing community about the increasingly globalized legal writing classroom.
Keywords: contrastive rhetoric, legal writing, rhetoric, ESL, ESP, English for Specific Purposes, discourse, legal skills, LLM
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