Note-taking Tips: Identifying Important Info



As they commence their faculty life, my students currently studying English at the Foundations Development Year (FDY) at Sabanci University, Istanbul will attend countless lectures delivered in English. For this reason, my colleagues and I at FDY train and assess our students on lecture note-taking skills as a preparation for their faculty life. The lectures they listen to are usually around 20 minute long at CEFR C1. They contain typical lecture features such as setting the scene, outlining the lecture, repeating important information, emphasizing significant ideas, using signposting language, giving examples, and drawing the lecture to a close, etc.

One of my observations in class is that most of the students are not really aware of how to take notes efficiently. To me, taking notes efficiently means identifying the important ideas. How can we show them what is important to take notes? I prepared this infographic below as visuals can better attract the learners attention, and it can be saved and stored for future reference. Feel free to embed or send it to your learners, especially in EAP context and in higher education.

There can be more tips of course, but these are the main ones I have frequently encountered so far. One could also add tips such as “taking notes where there is a definition of a concept, especially at the beginning of a lecture”. Please, make a comment of those you have, thank you 🙂

notetaking tips

notetaking tips


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