Members of the UW Law Afghan Legal Educators Program celebrated the end of their eight-week week Academic Legal English training session in Herat, Afghanistan Feb. 22.
In addition to working with long-time UW partners Albironi, Balkh, Herat and Kabul universities, this was the first time that Khost, Kunduz and Takhar universities were included in this type of program. Thirty-one faculty members and 33 students from the seven Afghan universities participated.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement sponsored the program, which collaborated with participants from both the Shari’a and Law and Political Science faculties at Afghan universities.
In addition to improving their English skills, participants studied substantive law topics, competed in a moot court and enjoyed field trips to some of Afghanistan’s cultural highlights in Herat. Participants enjoyed the rare opportunity to work closely with colleagues from other faculties and universities. For many it was their first exposure to U.S. legal principles and Western teaching methods.
Director of the Asian Law Center & Manager of the Afghanistan Legal Educators Project, UW professor Jon Eddy said learning English is an important aspect of the program.
“Part of Afghanistan’s extreme isolation over the last few decades is linguistic,” Eddy said. “For educated Afghans, access to English pretty nearly equates to access to the outside world.”
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