Posted by: sekolahbahasainggris | May 26, 2008

Develop a mind-set geared toward listening.



Develop a mind-set geared toward listening

Skim relevant reading assignments to acquit yourself with main ideas, new technical terms, etc.

Anticipate the content of the lecture from the title, course outline, etc.

Do what you can to improve physical and mental alertness (fatigue, hunger, time of day, where you sit in the classroom may affect motivation)

Choose notebooks and pens that will enhance your systematic note-taking.



Listen for the structure and information in the lecture.

Resist distractions, emotional reactions, or boredom.

Pay attention to speaker for verbal, postural and visual clues to what’s important.

Be consistent in your note taking, eq. abbreviations, etc.

Label important points and organizational clues: main points, examples.

If you feel you don’t take enough notes, divide your pages into 5 sections and try to fill each part every 10 minutes (or work out your formula).

Ask questions if you don’t understand.

Listen carefully to information given toward the end of that highlight main points or hints on exam questions.



Nichols (1960) explains that we can think about 4 times faster than a lecturer can speak. While we’re listening, train our brain to:

Anticipate the next point

Identify supporting material

Recapitulate what you have heard so far

King (1992) gives a list of self-questions during listening in order to analyse the ideas and concepts in the lecture, determine how these ideas relate to each other, and relate the new information to prior knowledge.

Explain why…, Explain how …

(Analysis of process and concepts – explicit or implicit in the lecture. Translating terms into different vocabulary)

What is the main idea of …?

(Identification of central idea explicit or implicit in the lecture)

How would you use … to … ?

(Application of information in another context – perhaps involving relating to prior knowledge or experience)

What is a new example of …?

(Generation of new examples of a concept or procedure – perhaps involving relating to prior knowledge or experience)

What do you think would happen if …?

(Retrieval of background knowledge and integration with lecture material to make predictions)

What is the difference between … and …?

(Analysis of two concepts – comparison and contrast of concepts)

How are … and … similar?

(Analysis of two concept – comparison and contrast of concepts)

What conclusions can you draw about …?

(Drawing conclusions based on the content presented)

How does … affect …?

(Analysis of relationship among ideas)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of …?
(Analysis and integration of concepts)

What is the best … and why?

(Evaluation of ideas based upon criteria and evidence)

How is … related to … that we studied earlier?
(Activation of prior knowledge and integration with new information

Let’s practice:
Topic of talk: “Looking inside the brain in the real time”


Nichols, R. (1960). The supervisor’s notebook, Scoott, Foresman and Co. Spring 1960. Vol. 22, No.1

King, A. (1992) Comparison of self-questioning, summarising and note taking-review as strategies for learning from lecturers. American Educational Research Journal. Summer. 1992. Vol. 29. No.2. pp.303-323


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