Legal English Evening Course - ILEC Exam Preparation Course

Course Objectives:

  • To achieve desired ILEC exam grade
  • To familiarise students with exam format
  • To introduce and practice essential ILEC exam techniques
  • To learn legal English vocabulary specific to the ILEC exam
  • To practice all skill areas under timed, exam conditions
  • To assess students progress according to ILEC exam marking criteria
  • To improve Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing skills in Legal English

This 12 week evening course includes preparation for the Cambridge ILEC exam, an overview of the English legal system and a full range of English language writing, listening, reading, speaking & grammar activities – all of which specifically focus on the key aspects of UK law.

This course is suitable for all who have a specific interest in law and speak English as a second language; from overseas law students to experienced practicing lawyers.  Course tutors are qualified to a minimum of CELTA (English teaching) and law degree level.

Course prices



12 weeks, 4 lessons per week, Monday evenings 6.30pm to 8.30pm



This course consists of five sections:

  1. Induction programme/development of personal competencies.
  2. Introduction to law – Identification of Arguments, Issues and potential Remedies
  3. Preparation for successfully passing ILEC – Practical exercises in Reading General and Legal Texts
  4. Study Skills, Research Methods, Précis of Texts
  5. Practice testing

Your tutor will give you a Course Outline week by week. This will enable him/her to include specific language needs that you encounter during the development of this course.

1. Induction programme/development of personal competencies

This section is designed to allow you to develop your skills, in managing your own learning by becoming more aware of your existing skills, understanding the course you are taking and encouraging you to engage successfully in independent and interpersonal work.

Study, use and the importance of appropriate language and law related skills are integrated throughout the course. There will also be an audit of student’s skills, which will then form part of the course. This will enable you to asses with your tutor what you believe your skills levels are, and what areas need improvement and further work. Be realistic and recognise that your biggest challenge will be to manage your time. You will be able to spend two sessions of the course in individual and group tutorials consolidating and reflecting on the development of your studies. Part of this process will involve completing a PORTFOLIO for presentation for assessment at the end of the course. This will include your:

•  Assessed course work Self assessment sheets for course work
•  A Student Profile as a record of progression

2. Introduction to Law and the Language of Law

You will be introduced to concepts and debates concerning:
•    The power of language
•    The use of Language
•    Critical Thinking and Analysis

The nature and role of law – how it is expressed

The relationship between law and society -
Changes – Language and expression Law as a mechanism of social control
The structure of the English legal system – Does this affect us?
Classifications of English Iaw – Jurisdictions
Current issues in the language of law.  We will be asking questions such as who makes the law and who decides how it is implemented and why is it the case that some groups are under represented in the law making institutions and processes?

Why are there words used in Law that have special meaning that’s sometimes different from everyday meaning?

3. Preparation for Successfully Passing ILEC

Using a range of legal and non-legal texts, this section will involve reading, analyzing and discussing examples of each kind of text to enable you to:

•    Understand the nature and function of the texts and appreciate their limit and uses. e.g. tracing the written historical development of a topic or studying the style and approach of different judges or a particular judge.
•    Increase understanding and competence in reading, writing and basic fact management and evaluation of texts.

4. Study Skills, Research Methods, Précis of Texts

Teaching Methods

You will be encouraged to learn using a variety of methods including individual and group work, speaking, listening, observing and writing, use of visual materials, debates and discussions.
You must learn to scan read and paraphrase – précis case law and statute.
Everyone studies at different rates. However, you should aim to set aside at least seven to ten hours a week for the exercises and the course work you will be expected to complete in your own time.
We will therefore examine and build upon your current competencies. The ability to do independent research is an acquired skill and takes time and effort. Your tutor will assist you in obtaining and building the techniques required. Please be aware that good work is achieved by diligent application and practice.
Homework is set EVERY week and provides the core for each class, and MUST be completed if you are to progress successfully to taking the ILEC and higher educational qualifications.

5. Practice testing


To gain credit for the Certificate, you must successfully complete an exam that is set by Cambridge University. For your tutors to give accurate assessment of your skills you will be expected to submit four pieces of course work during the course of about 1,500 words each.
Your ultimate assessment will be the ILEC Exam. There are four parts to this exam with a total maximum award of 200 points. The paper is divided equally between Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. A candidate’s overall ILEC grade is based on their total score. This means failing to achieve a good pass in all four papers does not mean an automatic fail overall. Poor performance in one paper can be compensated for by good performance in the other papers.

Take time when you are reading texts, obtain a small notebook and write down verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, person identification. In addition you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of sentence structure, word formation and word families, (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). You can also take notes on correct verb endings, words that may have prefixes or suffixes.
To prepare you for the ILEC exam your tutor will set you a series of sample test paper questions covering all core areas. Exam dates are in May and November each year.
Caveat, To achieve this goal you must attend all classes and submit all work on time and to an appropriate standard. Any work submitted late will receive a 10% reduction in marks. Failure to submit work will result in your tutor recommending that you do not enter the next available ILEC exam.

Selected Reading

With the exception of a good Dictionary AND International Legal English course book, which are recommended, students are not expected to buy books but we do recommend that you join a library if you have not done so already. You will receive guidance for further reading from you tutor.
Texts useful for those wishing to familiarise themselves with the workings of the English legal system and the British political system:
The Law Machine, M. Berlins and C. Dyer, Penguin ISBN 0- 14-013387-9 Introduction to British Constitutional Law, D.C.M. Yardley, Butterworths: ISBN 0 406 690081

Course Information

Our courses for individual enrolments are for adults.  The minimum age is 16.  Junior courses are provided for 11 to 16 year-olds as part of group tuition packages. 

See more General information about our courses or read our Terms & Conditions of enrolment. 

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