Teaching and learning in transnational education contexts: Teaching English communication skills in law courses in Singapore

Sam Yeo, Anne Chapman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores issues in transnational higher education in the context of law courses in Singapore, where rapidly increasing numbers of transnational students are coming to pursue legal studies. It draws on the findings of an empirical study of the teaching of English communication skills in legal education courses in Singapore from the perspectives of teachers of law. Currently, there is an absence of a core curriculum on written and oral communication skills for tertiary law students in Singapore. Indeed, there exists a general assumption that these students are able to write and speak well. However, embracing legal language in the initial stages has already been deemed to be a daunting task. This is particularly so for international/transnational scholars whose native tongue is not English. To address this concern, institutions have facilitated workshops and training seminars for undergraduates who study law. However, these typically are ad-hoc attempts that are limited as regards linguistic depth and analysis, as lawyers are progressively more exposed to a greater cross section of society. The findings reported in this chapter include teachers’ perspectives on a number of issues and challenges for teachers and learners in transnational higher education contexts, including: learners’ differing English language proficiency levels; the teaching of English communication skills to a diverse body of international students; the relationship between English language and globalisation; the use of technical jargon; assessment modes; blended-learning techniques; and the teaching methodologies employed by the academics. The implications of the findings for teaching and learning in transnational higher education more broadly are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransnational Education and Curriculum Studies
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
EditorsJohn Chi-Kin Lee, Noel Gough
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-48088-9, 978-1-351-06162-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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