Teaching Presentation Skills

An Example of Good Practice

Thanks to teaching legal English I heard about plain language once and have become its great proponent. At first I only investigated plain English which was a great solution for teaching legal English to pre-experienced students by a non-lawyer legal English teacher (me). I started to present about plain English at conferences and publish articles. In the meantime I learnt that there existed Plain Polish Section at the University of Wrocław, Poland with its founder Tomasz Piekot.

Tomasz Piekot has participated in the educational campaign Just plain (end of story) (Pol. Prosto i kropka) which aims at the simplification of written communication of public administration. The campain shows the reasons and benefits (for offices and citizens) of using a plain language. It explains what a simple language is and dispels fears related to the introduction of a simple language in public offices. Episode 6 of the tutorials explains how to prepare good presentations. In this episode Tomasz Piekot provides guidelines on how to draw up good presentation slides. He speaks Polish and the viewers can read Polish subtitles on the screen.

I thought that the guidelines in Tomasz Piekot’s tutorial were so practical and up to date that I decided to use the episode in my business English class for BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration) students who come from various countries, including Poland.


  1. I have divided students into pairs in which one student was Polish and the other did not speak Polish.
  2. I played the tutorial and paused it when the new screen appeared and asked Polish students to translate Tomasz Piekot’s instructions into English for students who did not understand Polish.
  3. During the task non-Polish students were asked to take notes and then to prepare a summary in a form of one or two presentation slides drawn up in accordance with the guidelines.

The class was very dynamic with a lot of speaking, writing and slide designing. Polish students faced some translation challenges, e.g. how to translate mięsny jeż into English – a name which was used to describe an unattractive slide overloaded with information, colours and animations.

After the class I felt that the students really had enjoyed it and understood what a well designed presentation was.

If your students’ first language is Polish you can use the tutorial I recommend. If their L1 is different, find a good quality tutorial in their language and use in the classroom. They will not only learn how to design slides and present but practise translation skills at the same time.

The slide at the beginning of this post shows my summary of the tutorial in Polish and in English.

Peer Tutoring in My Legal English Classroom

Peer tutoring and peer evaluation activities increase the students’ engagement in the learning process. Student tutors require deeper knowledge and understanding of the task which may lead to better preparation for the classes, raising awareness, learning to share with others and performing additional out-of-class activities, e.g. reading, watching tutorials, etc.

Peer tutoring activities generate significant benefits for the students. They develop reasoning and critical thinking skills, improve self-esteem and interpersonal skills, motivate students to communicate by various means, not only face to face but also using latest ICT tools, so students’ digital competence may also increase.

Collaboration and teamwork are key competences for students. The syllabi academic teachers draw up for their legal English and business English courses always include the element of cooperation, group work, pair work as social competences that graduates require.

The project which I introduced into my legal English classes in spring semester 2019 was aimed at deeper engagement of students in the learning and teaching process. Students were delegated a number of peer tutoring tasks which were supposed to give them more responsibility, empower them to provide feedback and keep them accountable for the quality of the assignments carried out.

The activities which I introduced into my classes were modelled so that they developed the productive language skills of:

  1. writing/drafting (legal opinions, correspondence, blog posts, contract clauses paraphrases in plain English, translations), and
  2. speaking (presentations, job interviews).

An important element of each activity was the preparation stage during which students familiarized themselves with the rules, language, layouts and standards of modern writing/correspondence or presentations.

Before they made any attempts of writing legal opinions or paraphrasing contract clauses, they were introduced to plain language rules, they studied model answers, analysed layout, etc. Only then they were asked to write a document/text on their own. Peer tutoring involved in writing activities consisted in peer correction at the first stage before the assignment was handed in for the teacher’s grading. For writing tasks students were also familiarized with the correction code, so that they used the same code and the comments were understood by the authors of the texts evaluated.

In the case of presentations students studied the structure and the language of a presentation first and they were sent an evaluation sheet with checklist questions to know what their peer evaluators will be paying attention to while listening to and collecting feedback for the presenters. During presentations the audience was asked to make notes on the evaluation sheets under four headings: delivery, content/structure, body language, and visual aids. After each presentation audience commented on the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation and asked questions, they had been asked to prepare to rehearse a question and answer session after each presentation.

To help students prepare for job interviews a speed interviewing session was organized. Interviewers were given the grid to evaluate the interviewees and had five minutes to talk to each candidate after which time the interviewees moved to another interviewer.

As a follow up activity the interviewers group together to discuss their marks for each candidate and choose the student with the best score to get the job. The interviewees, on the other hand, may discuss the questions they had to answer, which were the most challenging, what surprised them, etc. or decide which interviewer was the most professional, asked the most interesting questions, etc. When the students announce their choices, they discuss the strengths and weaknesses of individual candidates and the teacher may also give the class some feedback.

During the semester the students also prepared their CVs. The CVs were supposed to be authentic but anonymized. I photocopied the CVs and distributed them among students who worked in groups and were asked to provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the documents they got and choose the best one from the collection provided. On the basis of the peer feedback and the teacher’s feedback, students had an opportunity to polish their CVs and resubmit them.

At the end of the semester students filled in a short questionnaire in which they shared their opinion about peer tutoring activities performed during their classes. Most students (73%) admitted they improved their letter writing skills, job interviewing skills, presentation skills. The students felt the comments they received from their peers after the presentations were most useful (82%). More than a half of students (60%) found the feedback concerning their letters of advice useful, while in the case of CVs only less then one third of students (27%) valued the feed and most students (55%) were not sure whether the feedback they received helped. Eight students out of ten enjoyed taking the role of an evaluator and reported that they had improved their confidence. They also confessed that positive comments were easier to give and for most of them (78%) their peers assessment was important.

Quite interestingly, my students considered writing letters of advice as the most enjoyable of all tasks and speed interviewing as the least. The same order is reflected in the question about usefulness of the activities.

If you would like to see a detailed presentation of the results of my survey, please download the presentation.

What Makes a Good Academic Teacher

Here is some food for thought on what makes a good academic teacher. Surely, this requires a a combination of characteristics. Below you will find a list of qualities Kozminski University students mention when asked the above question.

To sum up, a good academic teacher is:

  • Close to students
  • Experienced
  • Open-minded
  • Passionate, involved in their discipline
  • Charismatic
  • Communicative
  • Knowledgeable
  • Enthusiastic
  • Motivating
  • Engaging everybody
  • Understanding, empathic
  • Positive, happy
  • With practical experience
  • Responding to emails
  • Flexible
  • Admitting to mistakes
  • Good presenter.

Moreover, a good academic teacher:

  • Does the preparation for their classes
  • Runs engaging classes
  • Not only transmits knowledge but makes students think, come up with solutions (develops critical thinking skills in students)
  • Has knowledge
  • Is enthusiastic
  • Provides feedback to students
  • Can adapt to changing conditions
  • Is flexible
  • Teaches employability skills (i.e. prepares students for the challenges of the real world)
  • Teaches students to be innovative and creative
  • Develops analytical skills, problem-solving skills, socio-cultural skills and moral skills
  • Build partnership between the teachers and the students.

Use the above list as a check list  for auto evaluation. Identify your weaknesses and the new academic year which is about to begin might be a good starting point for change and improvement.

My Way to Boost Creativity

New ideas sometimes emerge when you are asleep and dream. Then, unfortunately, when you wake up they are gone. That’s why some people have a pen and paper on their bed tables to note them down. I don’t.

Sometimes you come up with a great idea by accident, doing something that is not thought provoking at the very first sight.

In my case it does not work this way. Usually it does not.

Because when I sleep, I sleep. When I swim, I swim. When I dance, I dance. When I am on holiday, I reset my mind, switch to relaxation mood, don’t turn on my computer and set an autoresponder message in my email box.

My creativity is encouraged best when I:

  1. Make a plan, set a deadline, make a resolution – they can be very motivating.
  2. Read. I read everything: articles in newspapers and magazines, blog posts, Facebook, LinkedIn posts, books, presentation slides, presentation abstracts. What I read does not necessarily come from my “industry”. I like to cross borders of disciplines and transfer into my professional area.
  3. Attend conferences (but when you do, take down notes and write down the ideas which come up with in the meantime). Even if the presentation if not exactly your cup of tea, try to think up ways you could transfer the ideas you hear into your field.
  4. Sit down and start writing. And this works best. My thoughts become well-organised, one idea generates another. When they appear on the screen or a sheet of paper in black and white, they start to make sense and develop almost freely. They can be always modified or deleted but they come to being. As long as they are not put on paper, they can easily vanish forever.

Before holiday I wrote a topic for a potential presentation or a blog post on a sheet of paper: How to Use Machine Translation for Teaching. I have past the sheet many times this summer but never conceived a word. I had used machine translation a few times before I went for holiday, though. Today I have opened my notebook and described three different tasks machine translation can be used in. As I was describing them, another idea evolved to extend the topic into a whole chapter in the book I am working on.

The conclusion is therefore one and only and as old as hills – only work can generate fruits.


W dniach 9-10 maja 2019 wzięłam udział w konferencji pt. Kompetencje dla XXI wieku: certyfikacja biegłości językowej na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.

Tematem, który często pojawiał się w wystąpieniach konferencyjnych były nowe deskryptory poziomów znajomości języków obcych (z uwzględnieniem poziomu pre-A1), które uwzględniono w nowej wersji skali ESOKJ opublikowanej w 2018 roku. Z tym dokumentem w wersji angielskiej mozna zapoznać się tu: bit.ly/2JhIuWW

Nową tendencją w certyfikacji i testowaniu jest odchodzenie od sprawności językowych na rzecz działań językowych. Zamiast czterech tradycyjnych sprawności pojawiły się zintegrowane działania:

·      Odbiór tekstu, recepcja (słuchanie + mówienie)

·      Tworzenie tekstu, produkcja (mówienie + pisanie)

·      Reagowanie językowe (interakcja)

·      Mediacja językowa (przetwarzanie tekstu).

Działania mediacyjne umożliwiają komunikację pomiędzy osobami, które z różnych względów nie mogą się ze sobą porozumieć. W sytuacji mediacyjnej użytkownik występuje w roli pośrednika (mediatora, tłumacza), który przetwarza tekst. Dla mnie to działanie jest szczególnie interesujące, gdyż jako lektor języka prawniczego na co dzień na moich zajęciach angażuję studentów w tłumaczenia, parafrazy, definiowania terminów prawniczych. W 2016 roku pisała o tym Barbora Chovancova, którą znam z konferencji Legal English w Białymstoku i Supraślu tu: bit.ly/2W20ACq

Myślę, że warto, aby nowe deskryptory i działania językowe znalazły odbicie w naszych sylabusach i na naszych zajęciach. Można o nich więcej przeczytać w Językach Obcych w Szkole 1/2018 na str. 94 bit.ly/2vXt7dM.

Zachęcam do dzielenia się Waszą wiedzą w tym temacie.





Czy studenci chcą się uczyć języka angielskiego na lektoratach? Wyniki ankiety.

Celem ankiety było poznanie opinii studentów studiów stacjonarnych na temat wymiaru godzin lektoratu języka angielskiego na uczelni wyższej.

Ankieta została przeprowadzona we wszystkich grupach lektoratowych I roku studiów (63%) i II roku studiów (36%) na kilku kierunkach studiów stacjonarnych (zarządzanie 43%, prawo 21%, finanse 20%, ekonomia 12%, administracja 4%) w dniach 25 i 26 lutego 2019. Ankietę wypełniło ponad 600 respondentów.

Dla większości studentów (57%) czas trwania i liczba godzin lektoratu języka angielskiego ma znaczenie przy wyborze uczelni.

Zdecydowana większość studentów (81%) nie uczestniczy w innym kursie języka angielskiego równolegle z lektoratem języka angielskiego.

Osoby, które decydują się na dodatkowe zajęcia wybierają lekcje prywatne lub kursy w szkołach językowych, a powoduje nimi za mała liczba godzin na uczelni i chęć rozwinięcia sprawności mówienia.

Zdecydowana większość studentów (88%) chce zdawać certyfikowane egzaminy z języka angielskiego. Tylko 10% studentów chciałoby zakończyć lektorat egzaminem wewnętrznym. W przypadku studentów prawa większość jest zainteresowana uzyskaniem certyfikatu na poziomie zaawansowanym, co przy aktualnym wymiarze godzin lektoratu jest możliwe w przypadku około 10 osób rocznie.

Tylko 5% studentów uważa, że godzin lektoratu języka angielskiego jest za dużo. Według 95% studentów liczba godzin lektoratu jest odpowiednia (61%) lub jest ich za mało (33%).

Prawie połowa studentów chciałaby, aby lektorat trwał dłużej, bo 3 lata. Dla 27% wymiar dwóch lat jest odpowiedni, ale prawie 20% studentów chciałoby się uczyć języka angielskiego przez 5 lat.

Zdecydowana większość (80%) planuje kontynuowanie nauki języka angielskiego po zakończeniu lektoratu.

Do students want to learn English at university?

If you have ever been wondering whether university students want to learn languages, here is some food for thought.

Recently I have conducted a survey among a private university students and collected their opinions about the number of hours of English language instruction. The students who participated in the research attend English classes for two years, during which they have two classes of 90 minutes per week. All in all, they are offered 240 hours of instruction and they complete the course with a certificate examination, either LCCI (2 level or 3 level) or TOLES (Higher or Advanced)

The survey was conducted among the full time first year students (63%) and second year students (36%) studying management (43%), law (21%), finance (20%), economics (12%), administration (4%) on 25 and 26 February 2019. The survey was completed by over 600 respondents.

For the majority of students (57%), the duration and number of hours of English language instruction is important when choosing a university.

The vast majority of students (81%) do not participate in any other English courses apart from the university course.

Those who decide to take additional classes choose private lessons or courses in language schools, and this results in too few hours at university and a willingness to develop speaking skills.

The vast majority of students (88%) want to take certified exams in English. Only 10% of students would like to finish the university English language course with an internal exam. In the case of law students, most are interested in obtaining an advanced level certificate, which is possible in the case of about 10 people per year with the current number of hours of classes.

Only 5% of students think that there are too many hours of English lessons. According to 95% of students, the number of teaching hours is adequate (61%) or not enough (33%).

Nearly half of the students would like the course to last longer, i.e. 3 years. For 27%, the length of two years is appropriate, but almost 20% of students would like to study English for 5 years.

The vast majority (80%) plan to continue learning English after the end of the university course.

The conclusion is that the students are satisfied with the status quo, some of them might be interested in following an extended programme of English. Decreasing the number of hours of English instruction might negatively affect the level of students’ satisfaction with their studies curriculum.

How to Exploit a Sample Clause in Class

The clause is, for example, a standard indemnity clause like this one below:

Licensee shall indemnify and hold harmless the Licensor, its affiliates and their respective officers, directors and employees from and against all costs, expenses, damages, claims, obligations and liabilities whatsoever from facts or circumstances not attributable to the Licensor including, but not limited to, all costs arising out of the acts or defaults, whether negligent or not, of the Licensee, Licensee’s agents, sub-contractors and employees.

A sample of an authentic clause can be exploited to practise various skills. The first stage may be the selection the terms of art and other legalese words for paraphrasing. This can be done by the teacher or by the students themselves to raise their awareness of the essential features of legal texts. I have bolded the terms of art, examples of legalese and words typical of the language of contracts which I consider significant in the clause above.

Next, the students can be asked to translate the text into their native language to make sure they understand what the clause deals with and really means.

Afterwards, the students write a paraphrase or a summary of the clause using plain English and their own words. Here attention is drawn to the features of plain language, i.e. word order, the length of the sentences, the use of tabulation, linking words, correct punctuation, eliminating nominalisations and the abuse of the passive voice, accuracy, etc.

The paraphrase or the summary can be prepared in a form of an email/letter sent to a client, who needs the clarification of the said clause.

In order to improve speaking the clause can be paraphrased orally in a form of a simulated lawyer-client interview.

Additionally, students can think of potential problems the clause may give rise to when the obligations it contains are or are not carried out.

There are many websites where sample contract clauses may be found, e.g. http://agreementforms.org/.

Life Skills. What Do Employers Want from Graduates?

Growing popularity of the law studies, overproduction of law graduates, and the new demands of the labour market require the legal English teachers to reformulate their believes and workshop. The role of LSP (Languages for Specific Purposes) teachers is constantly evolving towards the one of the language coaches, who are able to equip their students with the skills that will help the them increase employability at the outset of their careers.

Nowadays employers look for people who communicate well both verbally and in writing. The ability to use a foreign language verbally, to write clearly and succinctly, to demonstrate a wide range of profession related vocabulary, to prove the skill of critical thinking, analyse and research information in order to perform a task, may guarantee the competitive advantage over other candidates. Recruiters often mention drafting as the most striking lack among the job seekers. Therefore, applicants need to demonstrate very good, if not excellent, foreign language skills as early as at the stage of a job interview.

With 20 years of experience as an academic ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teacher I try to model my courses so that my students complete them not only with TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills) certificates, which is the requirement of my University, but also the extensive knowledge of legal and business English skills that they will transfer to respond to the expectations on the labour market when the need arises.

If I were to conduct a traditional needs analysis recommended by the ESP authors, I would have to investigate my students’ prior experience in English learning, identify their strengths and weaknesses, collect information about their lacks, wants and wishes, establish what knowledge and skills they already possess, what learning strategies they apply, what motivates them to learn, and on that basis specify what skills and knowledge they should develop during the course.

TOLES examination syllabus and its requirements, as well as my long experience, may simplify the whole task without the need of conducting the needs analysis sensu stricto. With more advanced students the completion of the task within two academic years is not a very challenging job. However, during that time the freshers start to grow up and mature, sometimes they apply for their first job and start to think about their future seriously. Thanks to them I have started to realise that their target needs, apart from the examination preparation, will also comprise the ability to deal with the tasks assessing their knowledge of English during the recruitment processes. Therefore, developing the so called life skills in the legal English classroom has recently become my secondary objective. Life skills are the skills necessary for active and successful participation in life, in this case in professional life which will help law students and law graduates face the demands of the labour market and prepare them for the challenges of the real, professional world. These may comprise among others: translation, mediation (of meaning), register transfer, public/court speaking, client interviewing, and drafting.

As a linguist and an academic I am not involved in corporate business dealings, so I have decided to track early careers of my prior students with the help of a business oriented social networking service LinkedIn in order to obtain a more detailed feedback. From my past experience and contacts with practising lawyers I knew that law graduates are expected to be professional and independent, have strong drafting, legal research and analytical skills. They have to work hard, be dedicated, enthusiastic and driven to achieve excellent results, take initiative, be brave to make judgments or prepare a memo with an objective analysis, work well with others and communicate well with clients, be flexible and able to adapt to the needs of the supervising lawyers. However, I wanted to know how ideal job candidates are recruited in practice.

A group of fifteen students was contacted and asked to participate in an email interview providing me with the descriptive answers to the questions concerning the particular tasks they had had to perform in English during the job interviews they had attended and the use of English later on the job.

My respondents often stressed that the knowledge of English was usually tested during the recruitment processes in big, multinational corporations and quite rarely in small, Polish companies and law offices. They mentioned that most often they participated in a casual conversation about general topic, e.g. their interests within the area of law or the topic of their Master theses. The objective of the conversation was to check their ability to express themselves verbally, their vocabulary including job-related vocabulary. Some respondents mentioned that such conversations had had sometimes been conducted by native speakers.

In big corporations linguistic tests are a part of the recruitment procedure. The tests may consist in correcting mistakes in an English text, completing a grammatical test, multiple choice test or lexical test checking the knowledge of specialist vocabulary which resembles certificate examinations such as TOLES or ILEC (International Legal English Certificate organized by Cambridge English). The tests are sometimes short essays or summaries of the texts on the topics related to the branch of business which the company operates in. The topics are often designed so that they also check the so called commercial awareness, i.e. the general knowledge of up-to-date economic, political or social affairs. The tests may be conducted in a traditional paper form during the job interview or online.

Another kind of assignment which is quite common are translation tasks. My respondents mentioned the following kinds of texts which they had had been asked to translate into English: sample contract clauses, extracts from the codes (e.g. the Civil Code or the Penal Code) or other specialist and legal texts, e.g. from the area of property law, company documentation, e.g. shareholders’ meetings resolutions, agendas, or power of attorneys.

Other written tasks applied during the recruitment processes were quite varied and consisted in drafting a note, pleadings, a balance sheet, an e-mail to a client/customer, editing a text written in an informal register to the typical lawyerlike style. Sometimes candidates were asked to solve case studies within a set time limit, draft a legal opinion or give legal advice to a client verbally, e.g. on establishing a business in Poland and optimizing taxes. The biggest and most prestigious employers (the Big Four or the Magic Circle) use various online tests which are in English but not necessarily check the knowledge of the language as such but other skills, e.g. numerical, verbal or reasoning ones. Candidates solving these tests have to read a lot of text and understand the instructions in English, usually under the time pressure, but the tests eventually provide the recruiters with the non-linguistic feedback about the candidates.

The range of tasks which law graduates may be faced with is vast. Therefore, it is advisable to enrich  university language courses syllabi with the activities aimed at the development of the written skill. Following our students careers may help us gain practical information what kind of tasks these might be. Unfortunately, written tasks are usually not favourably welcomed by the students, since they are usually very demanding, time consuming and more difficult as compared with the tasks developing other skills. Incorporating them into the syllabi will definitely pay off in the long run.

Jakich umiejętności językowych szukają pracodawcy wśród absolwentów?

„Będąc” doświadczonym nauczycielem akademickim i lektorem prawniczego języka angielskiego, moje zajęcia staram się prowadzić tak, aby studenci wyszli z nich przygotowani nie tylko do certyfikatowego, brytyjskiego egzaminu TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills), czego wymaga od nich i ode mnie uczelnia, ale również by przekazywana przeze mnie wiedza dała im przewagę konkurencyjną na rynku pracy.

Gdybym chciała przeprowadzić książkową analizę potrzeb moich słuchaczy, taką jaka zalecana jest na początku każdego kursu języka obcego dla celów specjalistycznych, powinnam zapytać ich o ich  wcześniejsze doświadczenia w nauce języka angielskiego, zidentyfikować ich mocne i słabe strony, zgromadzić informacje o ich brakach, potrzebach lub życzeniach, określić jaką wiedzę i umiejętności już posiadają, jakie strategie uczenia się stosują, co kieruje ich motywacją, i … wskazać jakie umiejętności powinni nabyć w trakcie kursu.

Jeżeli te docelowe umiejętności wynikają z wymagań egzaminu certyfikatowego, to nasze (moje i studentów) zadanie jest dość proste. Dzięki mojemu doświadczeniu wiem jak to zrobić bez przeprowadzania zalecanej analizy potrzeb. Mam na realizację tego celu dwa lata; dwa lata w ciągu których moi młodzi i niedoświadczeni pierwszoroczniacy zaczynają dojrzewać i dorośleć, czasami szukać pierwszej pracy, poważnie myśleć o swojej przyszłości. Dzięki nim ja zaczynam rozumieć, że ich sytuacja docelowa to również radzenie sobie z zadaniami sprawdzającymi znajomość języka angielskiego w procesie rekrutacji. Moim celem staje się umożliwienie moim słuchaczom rozwinięcie tzw. sprawności życiowych (ang. life skills), czyli umiejętności, które pozwolą młodym studentom i absolwentom prawa zmierzyć się z wymaganiami rynku pracy.

Pracodawcy cenią u absolwentów umiejętność komunikacji zarówno w mowie jak i na piśmie. Szczególna waga przypisywana jest umiejętności pisania w języku obcym w sposób zwięzły i jasny, z wykorzystaniem branżowego słownictwa, odzwierciedlająca zdolność wyszukiwania informacji oraz myślenia krytycznego i analitycznego. Jej brak często jest podkreślany przez pracodawców, a ci coraz częściej za pomocą zadań pisemnych sprawdzają poziom znajomości języka angielskiego wśród kandydatów.

Wykorzystując sieć LinkedIn nawiązałam kontakt z moimi studentami, którzy rozpoczęli już pracę zawodową i poprosiłam ich, aby podzielili się swoim doświadczeniem nabytym w procesach rekrutacji, które już przeszli.

Moi respondenci często podkreślali, że znajomość języka angielskiego była sprawdzana zazwyczaj w czasie rekrutacji do dużych, międzynarodowych firm, a rzadziej w małych, polskich firmach i kancelariach prawniczych. Najczęściej wymieniali oni luźną rozmowę na tematy ogólne np. zainteresowania z dziedziny prawa, temat pracy magisterskiej. Celem takiej rozmowy było sprawdzenie zdolności formułowania wypowiedzi i zasobu słownictwa, często słownictwa branżowego. Zdarzało się, że rozmowy te były przeprowadzane przez native speakerów.

W dużych firmach kandydaci poddawani są testom językowym, które mogą polegać na: poprawieniu błędów językowych w tekście angielskim, rozwiązaniu testu gramatycznego, testu wyboru lub testu sprawdzającego znajomość słownictwa specjalistycznego, który przypomina egzaminy certyfikatowe TOLES lub ILEC (International Legal English Certificate organizowany przez Cambridge English). Testy językowe mogą mieć też przybierać formę wypracowania lub streszczenia tekstu na tematy związane z branżą, w której działa firma lub sprawdzające wiedzę związaną z aktualnymi tematami gospodarczymi, politycznymi, społecznymi, czyli tzw. commercial awareness. Testy językowe mogą być przeprowadzane w wersji papierowej w czasie rozmowy kwalifikacyjnej lub online.

Znajomość języka angielskiego bywa też sprawdzana za pomocą zadań, w których należy wykonać tłumaczenie tekstu. W doświadczeniach moich studentów najczęściej pojawiały się tłumaczenia zapisów umowy handlowej, fragmentów kodeksów (Kodeksu cywilnego, Kodeksu karnego) lub innych tekstów specjalistycznych i prawniczych, np. z obszaru prawa rzeczowego, dokumentów spółek, np. uchwał z posiedzeń, pełnomocnictw.

Inne zadania pisemne zadawane w procesach rekrutacji polegały na sporządzeniu notki, pisma procesowego, bilansu, napisaniu maila do klienta, przeredagowaniu tekstu napisanego w stylu nieformalnym na tekst napisany językiem prawniczym. Ponadto kandydaci mogą być poproszeni o rozwiązanie case studies w określonym czasie, napisanie opinii prawnej lub ustne doradzenie zagranicznemu klientowi jak otworzyć firmę w Polsce i jak zoptymalizować podatki. Największe i najbardziej prestiżowe firmy wykorzystują również testy w języku angielskim, które niekoniecznie sprawdzają znajomość języka obcego, ale inne umiejętności, np. matematyczne.

Wachlarz zadań jest bogaty i uważam, że warto wzbogacać treści kursu języka angielskiego dla celów specjalistycznych o zadania pisemne. Niestety zazwyczaj nie należą one do ulubionych, co zapewne wynika z faktu, że są bardziej wymagające, czasochłonne i trudniejsze w porównaniu ćwiczeniami rozwijającymi inne sprawności.

Ciekawa jestem, jakie doświadczenia mają czytelnicy bloga. Zachęcam do dzielenia się nimi w komentarzach.