Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening to Lectures

on October 16, 2013

Professors’ lectures are often long and sometimes really boring, but we need to gather, process, and retain the information. How? One way is by listening actively. Sunni Brown, owner of a visual design company, explains how and why “doodling” is a great way to do this. Watch her video HERE, fill in the worksheet, then answer ONE of the questions below in the comments.

1. How do you usually take notes and keep yourself awake during a long, boring lecture?

2. What do you think about Sunni Brown’s idea about doodling?

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13 responses to “Listening to Lectures

  1. Kaori Kubo (T4) says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Sunni Brown’s idea about doodling, for I myself am a self-professed doodler! I am a strong believer in the effects of visualizing information and how much more information we retain from it as opposed to just passively taking in information.

  2. Eri Fukui (T4) says:

    I was surprised with Sunni Brown’s idea at first since I am a firm believer in the you-shouldn’t-doodle-during-class way of thinking (or rather I was in a way ‘brainwashed’ by my former teachers and my mother to think so since I’m actually an expert at doodling!) but listening to her lecture convinced me that doodling is in fact a ‘preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus’! Well then, all the doodlings I’ve done in the past can be justified now!

  3. Ai Inoue(T4) says:

    When class is too boring to fully concentrate, I kind of half listen and half not-listen. I pretend that I’m studying the handout and disguise the fact that I am actually concentrating on drawing pictures that have nothing to do with the lecture itself. When I think I hear something that seems to be important, I write it down next to the part where it’s related. Although there’s the problem that I sometimes miss some important information, this method has never failed me in terms of keeping me awake.

  4. Natsumi Maruyama (T4) says:

    When I get bored during a class, I always think anout something totally non-related to the subject like TV or magazine. And to pretend that I’m in focus, I take notes. Actually, I’m not good at drawing, so I don’t doodle. But maybe I should.

  5. Fumina Watanabe (T4) says:

    I was very surprised at Sunni Brown’s idea, because I have been thinking that we shouldn’t doodle in class. However, I want to try doodling in class from now on. Maybe doodling makes taking notes a much fun thing to do.

  6. Hong soon hyuk(T4) says:

    Doodling is what I do in a class. When listening a lecture, I always write down everything the teacher says. In that way, I always can understand very much more than just listening to the lecture. It seems like that writing down only important part is a good method of learning, but I storngly believe that doodling is also a good method of learning by the fact that we have to contentrate on teacher to get information.

  7. Ryuji Furukido(T4) says:

    I want to say that every doodling is not effective. I think , while in universities lectures, when you try to draw a picture of something that is not related to the lecture, the amount of information you get while the lecture is not as large as when you constantly focus on the lecture and take notes. You can’t pay your attention adequately doing other things. I believe something that helps you understand lectures is not “doodling” anything, but taking notes or drawing something related to the lectures.

  8. Moeko Ota(T4) says:

    When I get bored during a long lecture I sometimes doodle. What I do is I write down some of the words that the professor repeatedly says. This leaves me more memory of that lecture. I dont always do this, but I think it is better that sleeping or thinking about other things.

  9. Arisa Kurihara(T4) says:

    I usually write what the professor has written on the board and add some notes to it. If the professor doesn’t write anything then I pick up some key words and join them using arrows and equal signs to make it look easier. Then again I add some notes to it to make sure I understand what’s going on when I read it afterwards. I keep myself awake by taking notes even if I’m not interested at all or draw pictures on the corner of my paper.

  10. Ayane Kawahara(T4) says:

    When I get bored during a lecture, I usually take of my glasses if I was wearing them and try to refresh myself. Also, there are times I am hearing what the teacher is saying but not actually “listening” to it, and when I happen to be like that, I try taking notes even if it sounded like something I don’t need to keep track of.

  11. Hiroko Takabatake (T4) says:

    I usually start doodling when I cannot keep myself concentrated during lectures, so Sunni Brown’s argument has justified what I’ve been doing in the past. Therefore, I strongly agree to her opinion. However, my advice is to only doodle something that relates to the topic. Otherwise you won’t be able to remember what the lecture was about. (This comes from my experience! My attention swept away because of unrelated doodling…)

  12. Maiko Imai (T4) says:

    I sometimes keep myself away by staring at the teacher. After staring for some time I realize the teachers habit. Like saying eh or uh before speaking, saying “~desune” oftenly, or clearing his/her throat. So I count how many times he/she does that habit. It has no meaning at all but keeps me awake. The bad thing about this is that I don`t remember what the class was aboout.

  13. Kyoko Nomura(T4) says:

    When I get bored in the class I always draw things on my notebook. It keeps me awake and I listen only the part which the teacher expresses strongly. I think doodling is good too.

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