Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 132 – Study Skills – Effective Note-Taking

How do you usually make notes on audio programs you listen to? Videos on YouTube? Or even in classrooms? Do you review your notes after the lesson? If so, how do you do it? If not, why not?

Note-Taking Skills

Note-taking skills are essential, but not everyone knows how to do it. It’s not simply a case of writing down everything the teacher says. Good note-taking requires students to evaluate, organize and summarize information and is a key life skill for students to learn. Students who take notes are seven times more likely to remember information one week after a lesson than those who simply listen. There are different ways to record information, and it’s best to find the system that suits your learning style, but here are some suggestions to help.

Before the lesson

– Start by reviewing the notes from the previous lesson and look at the major ideas or specific facts that you were taught. Think of questions you would like to ask the teacher. This will help refresh your memory and get you ready for the lesson to come.

– Start a new page, and write the date.

– Organize your page in a way that suits you best. One way to do this is to draw a line down the center of the page, leaving about two thirds of the width to the right, and a third to the left. The right-hand section is where you will write your notes during the lesson, and the left-hand side is for reviewing and organizing later.

During the Lesson

– Don’t try to write down everything the teacher says. The average student writes only 1/3 of a word per second, while the average teacher says 2-3 words. Keep your notes brief. Write an outline of the key concepts, with supporting facts and examples using short phrases or sentences only.

– Develop your own system of abbreviations, such as w/for ‘with’ or use mathematical symbols, e.g. <, =, Aim to be consistent with these so that you recognize them easily when you re-read your notes.

– Listen for clues from the teacher about how to organize your notes. Often a lesson will begin with a summary of the points that will be covered. Then the teacher will use phrases to signal what’s important, e.g. ‘There are two points of view…, “The third reason is….’The lesson may then also end with a summary of what has been said.

– Organize the main point son the page in a way that suits you best, for example using bullet points, or a mind map.

After the Lesson

– As soon as the lesson finishes, take a moment to look over your notes. Use this time to highlight in color, or underline key concepts, or to write questions if anything isn’t clear.

– Within 24 hours, look at your notes again to help transfer information from your short – to long-term memory. If you’ve left a margin on the left of the page, write here key words that summarize the main ideas of the lesson. If the notes are clear, you won’t need to waste time writing everything up again.

– Regularly reviewing, reciting and practicing your notes is the best way to learn and remember them.

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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 19 – Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Travel

Here we go! Some phrasal verbs you can understand and use IMMEDIATELY! Traveling, especially for my Thais, is tough because of the language barriers.  To take that further, I remember when I met a Japanese girl on a bus in Hawaii and she couldn’t speak ANY ENGLISH! Imagine traveling the world without knowing English! Well, do not fear! I’ve got a pocket book for you today.

Task – Look at these sentences.  Match the phrasal verbs in bold with the letters down below.

  1. We got on the first flight but we got off due to a mechanical issue.
  2. When all the passengers were in their seats, the plane finally took off.
  3. She got into the car and drove down the street.  When she arrived at her location, she got out of the car, only to realize that she forgot some important documents back home.
  4. This bus is really old.  I think it’s going to break down any minute. *breaks down*
  5. Excuse me, sir.  Could you please tell me what time the flight from Paris gets in? I’m meeting someone on it.
  6. They checked in their bags at Changi airport before going through the very easy passport control lanes.
  7. I took a long journey last year.  I set off from Bangkok around 10pm and arrived in America about 30 hours later.
  8. Because I have such a flexible schedule, I love to get away every two months and travel to neighboring countries.

a. start a journey

b. enter/leave (a train, bus, boat, plane)

c. go somewhere different to have a rest or holiday.

d. arrive

e. show your ticket/give your bags to someone

f. stop working (any form of transportation)

g. enter/leave (a car)

h. start flying.

Answers in podcast down below.

Task 2 – Complete the text with these following words: away, down, in, into, off (x2), on, out of

Last week my sister and I decided to get ___________ for the weekend because of the long holidays.  We decided to go to Kanchanaburi.  We set __________ early, at around 8am.  We got _____________ my friend’s car, which is a Ford Focus because it’s the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the market today.  The only problem was that her car had a tendency of breaking _________. 10 minutes later, it did.  We got __________ the car, grabbed our belongings, and went to a nearby minivan station.  After 30 minutes, a van pulled up and we got ________ and sat down.  The van arrived at Kanchanaburi on time — we got ___________ around 5pm.  We took our luggage and got ________ the minivan. The only problem we had with everything that entire weekend was a broken Ford Focus!

Transcribed Season 3 – Episode 19

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