English Language Department

Mission

“To instil general English language communication skills, legal terms, analytical thinking and occupational habits that will contribute to the success of learners throughout their academic and professional careers in law.”

The ELD mission guides the ELD faculty in their individual teaching responsibilities as well as in their continuous review and development of the ELD program, individual courses, course books, supplementary materials and assessments.

The English Language Department (ELD) in the Kuwait International Law School (KILAW) was established in 2011 at the same time that KILAW accepted its first cohort of students. The ELD is part of KILAW’s administrative and organizational structure. As such, all its programmes are subject to the Deanship’s approval and are under the oversight of the School Council. The ELD offers an undergraduate English language program to newly admitted KILAW students for the purpose of improving their English language level and knowledge of legal terms. The objective is to equip all students with the language skills that they will need to succeed in both the law courses taught in English and in their future careers.

The ELD has designed its program based on two main objectives: first, to improve students’ general English language skills. Secondly, to improve students’ knowledge of legal English and legal terminology. The ELD achieves its program objectives through implementing a variety of teaching methodologies that are based on student-centred learning, critical thinking and academic research.

To be accepted as a student at KILAW, all students must sit an entry test. The entry test consists of 4 sections. Reading comprehension is worth 40%, grammar is worth 15%, logical reasoning is worth 10% and a written essay is worth 25%. In addition, a separate interview serves as a speaking test and is worth 10%. The reading, grammar and logical reasoning sections are multiple choice questions. The essay and interview are graded using a rubric. The results of the entry test will determine whether a student is accepted into KILAW, and if they are successful, it determines in which English course they will enrol. If a student achieves 0-49%, they will not be permitted entry but they will have two further chances to sit the test. If a student achieves 50-69% they will enrol in 101iE. If they achieve 70-79% they will enrol in 101E. If they achieve 80-100% they will enrol in 102E. Students’ progression after entry to those courses is governed by KILAW’s overall rules and regulations. Generally speaking, students must gain a grade of at least 60% (a D) to pass any course.

In determining a student’s English language ability, and matching them with the appropriate course for their level, the ELD program uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR).

The ELD Program for prospective LLB students consists of the following four courses:

  • Course 101iE is an intensive non-credit course serving students who possess a communicative range similar to that described in the CEFR “Basic user” A1 level. It addresses the comprehension and production of less able non-native speakers of English and aims to improve their reading, vocabulary, grammar, and oral self-expression as well as organise their writing. The course reviews basic sentence structure and simple verb forms. It focuses to some extent on reported speech and using passive forms. Readings bear mainly general English themes, but several passages contain basic legal English, such as those on the history of law, the legal concept of marriage, and business law. The latter touches upon financial and commercial legal English. Although this is a non-credit course, if a student achieves a final grade of 80% or higher, they will gain a “pass” and will be entitled to skip 101E and proceed directly to 102E.
  • Course 101E This is essentially a “low intermediate” level courses. It is the first credit-bearing course of the ELD program. Student capabilities lie between CEFR levels “Basic user” A2 and “Independent user” B1. The 101E textbook has general English subject matter although the majority of it is of an “English for Specific Purposes” (ESP) legal nature. Law topics such as leasing law, planning, company law and family law are taught in this course to improve both general English communication skills and knowledge of legal terms. This course seeks to enhance academic reading skills as well as reading rate and comprehension, vocabulary, and study skills. The emphasis in this course is on writing through exposure to more complex and formal English grammar, sentence structure and paragraph organization.
  • Course 102E is the second credit-bearing course of the ELD program. This course is aimed at students of an intermediate to high-intermediate level. Students entering this course are able to communicate along the span of CEFR’s “Independent user” B2 to “Proficient user” C1 levels. Legal ESP topics include: company law, criminology, family law and rent law. The legal topics dominate the course book’s contents given that a core objective is to broaden knowledge, understanding, analysis, and the application of legal ideas via sustained reading of a single written piece. Students explore the fundamentals of academic writing by way of essay tasks that pose questions requiring synthesis of newly and previously learned information. Course 102E additionally endeavours to prepare students for academic discussions, presentations, and debates by having them occasionally consult secondary resources, extract main ideas, and integrate them into one or more unified individual or group projects.
  • Course 103 is an elective course and it is appropriate for students who meet the CEFR’s C2 criteria. This course examines multiple readings in at least four units on contract, criminal, company, and real property law from Cambridge University Press’ Introduction to International Legal English by Amy Krois-Lindner, Matt Firth, and TransLegal.® This is the only externally published, rather than in-house course book, of the ELD program. The goals of course 103E are to augment legal vocabulary, deepen contemplation of legal concerns,invite greater scrutiny of cases and the implications of their outcomes, expand discussion, and fortify presentation skills. Unit writing assignments include e-mails and letters of advice. Class activities introduce students to the execution of simple legal research and the citing of references. Recordings aid with practicing both listening comprehension and note taking. Attention to good oral communication is an integral part of every activity.

All students must pass two English courses before they are permitted to enrol in English law courses

 Faculty

The ELD has an international teaching faculty. All of the faculty members have specialist TESOL qualifications, several have Masters and PhD degrees, and all have at least four years teaching experience at an accredited university. The ELD faculty prides itself on delivering a professional, student-centred teaching and learning experience. Students are the focus of the ELD Program. Teaching and course appraisals are conducted at the end of each course and the feedback provided by the students is used to continuously improve the ELD Program.