TeachingEnglish
Exercise: Note-taking skills for ESP and ESOL

This is something I tried recently in all my tertiary-level classes. The aim is to improve students' (Ss) note-taking skills, as well as to give them some insight into the fact that the very act of note-taking is a type of study. Like listening, it is a build-up skill, and needs to be done regularly for the Ss to see improvement. After the first section, I gave my Ss some YouTube links on different note-taking methodology. I also fed back on their first attempts with comments like "bullet-points needed for easy access to information", " more white space would make it easier on the eye" or "don't write full sentences verbatim".What To Do: Take an authentic article, and add comments from 'Review' section of Window '07 defining vocabulary that may cause the Ss problems. Give the Ss the text, under an allotted time, and tell them to take notes on it. Then, Ss must return the original text to the teacher, and use their notes to answer some comprehension questions.I have yet to repeat the exercise, and will feed back further comments when I do. My guess is that if this type of exercise is implemented once a month, the Ss' notetaking skills may improve.I teach English for Specific Purposes in Computer Science, Math (at the University of Crete), and a research paper and study skills course at Minoan International College (for Tourism and Hotel Management). If anyone is interested in seeing a sample of any of these, e-mail me at:frans@iacm.forth.grI also have a blog for the Ss that is starting to come together. Let's call it a work in progress. You can visit and borrow stuff if you'd like for the price of giving the source credit. It's called Language Matters, and it is aimed at my University of Crete students:promitheas.iacm.forth.gr/lm

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