TOLES Higher

The TOLES Foundation Exam is:

• a level-2 legal English exam;
• suitable for intermediate level;
• focused on intermediate grammar and vocabulary; and
• a realistic introduction to work.

As published in TOLES curriculum, the course information is as follows:

Building on a strong foundation
The Higher Exam builds on the language skills and knowledge of practical legal vocabulary acquired at Foundation level. The Higher Exam moves learners to the next stage and requires the ability to deal with more complex authentic legal documents and scenarios while also continuing to focus on a strict attention to detail and grammatical accuracy.

The exam has two papers: a reading and writing paper and a listening paper. The reading and writing paper requires a more active use of language than the Foundation Exam, and requires learners to deal confidently with complex and recent commercially relevant case studies, extracts from contracts, and a professional letter. It continues to test practical and useful legal vocabulary and requires the ability to provide precise definitions for very common words from commercial practice. It also demands a good knowledge of the register of language, and asks learners to improve their English and make it more appropriate and professional.

The listening paper consists of listening to conversations between two or more lawyers or a lawyer and a client, and then answering questions. The topics covered are current and deal with situations that working lawyers frequently experience or topics of international interest. This continues the idea of the TOLES exams encouraging commercial awareness rather than an academic or theoretical knowledge of law.

• Time allowed: 135 minutes approximately (depending on variations in the listening test)
• Skills tested: Legal reading and writing (90 minutes); legal listening (30-45 minutes)
• Focus: Practical reading, writing and listening skills in authentic legal situations
• Appropriate level of general English: Intermediate-Advanced
• Training materials: The Lawyer’s English Language Coursebook and other legal English books and materials available at an Intermediate level. Additional grammar study recommended
• Score: The maximum score possible at Higher level is 100
• Certificate: TOLES Higher with grade explanation

Higher Syllabus
The major aim of the Higher Exam is to build on the skills and knowledge that learners have acquired at Foundation level and take them on to the next level. In a series of challenging tasks, the Higher Exam tests legal vocabulary acquired at Foundation level. It asks learners to deal with extracts from documents based on the types of examples suggested by leading law firms.

The focus of all of the TOLES exams is accuracy, a strong legal vocabulary, and familiarization with modern legal style. All of these elements continue with this Stage 2 exam. Learners are challenged to deal with information concerning current and relevant legal topics and cases and to be accurate in areas such as collocation, prepositions, and legal terminology. They are also asked to deal with short yet complex extracts from contracts and to demonstrate a close understanding of them as well as providing their own definitions of specific legal terminology. Sensitivity to appropriate register is essential for the section dealing with a formal letter. In the listening section of the exam the focus is on an accurate understanding of conversations based on relevant legal topics.

The TOLES Higher Exam requires little or no knowledge of British or American law. It requires knowledge of useful international legal terminology; a strong, active use of authentic grammar; and a sensitivity to use of register in the following general areas:
• basic legal negotiations
• pre-contractual documents
• commercial contracts
• banking
• companies
• other forms of business
• bankruptcy and insolvency
• employment law and contracts
• the litigation process
• essential contract law
• the law of tort
• intellectual property
• real estate
• oral contracts
• an introduction to the common law
• letter writing skills

Download the course material list.

To register for TOLES Higher Exam, click here.

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