Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening to Lectures

on October 22, 2014

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?

*Remember: readings and questions are due on November 11th so start looking for some interesting material!*


22 responses to “Listening to Lectures

  1. Minami Iwakiri(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 1.
    Whenever the lecture I attend is boring, I try to keep myself awake by fixing my eyes on the lecturer’s ones or mouth. Doing so somehow prevents me from nodding. Maybe hanging down my head is bad for me. But unfortunately, I am not able to take notes neatly and correctly because I must not take my eyes off them. So I usually dash off the content of the lecture on loose-leaves and review or tidily rewrite them by the next lecture.

  2. Hiroshi Yoshida(T4) says:

    I choose Q.1.
    Any lectures which I’ve ever attended gave me some resumes so I made note in them. Teacher usually talk according to the resume, but resume has less information than what teacher say, so if I heard important things I would write on resume. That makes me awake. Even if the lecture is boring, I told myself that it is boring because I don’t have knowledge of it so hearing it would make me smarter. This also makes me awake. I always try to do it but I rarely succeeded. I’m very honest to my feeling so I usually go to my dream world. This time I learnt ‘doodling’. I want to try to do this from now on.

  3. Nanami Ozaki (T4) says:

    I chose the question 1.
    I often get tired and want to sleep when I listening to a long lecture which I am not interested in. While listening to such lecture, I can’t take notes because of feeling sleepy. So I often scribble pictures of people, animals, foods on my notes to keep me awake. This approach is very effective for me. And I sometimes push pressure points of my hands or tweak my cheeks.

  4. Tao Ichino says:

    I answer the question No.2.
    For me, doodling needs bravery.
    Why people don’t “doodle”? Because they feel shame when doodling.
    We tend to judge if pictures are good or bad. Pictures are easy to judge.
    If you draw a not-good picture, people around you understand you are not good at drawing.
    People are animal that loves its own pride.
    So they don’t want to show their not having a talent of drawing.
    I think it prevents people from doodling.
    But doodling is an important tool. So we have to get the pride over. We need bravery.
    Maybe we feel shame when it turns out that we are not good at learning than when it turns out that we are not good at drawing.

  5. Mika Yamamori (T4) says:

    I chose the question No.1.
    I usually take notes with colorful pens during long, boring lectures because I like to make my notebook colorful. I think sleeping during lectures is bad so I don’t want to sleep even during long, boring lectures. Taking notes with colorful pens needs attention to notes because combination of colors is important for me. So, even though I’m sleepy and don’t listen to what professors say during long, boring lectures, at least I can keep my eyes open by using colorful pens. By doing so, my eyes gradually become clear and I come to concentrate on lectures.
    So, I recommend that you try doing this way when you are sleepy during long, boring lectures.

  6. Chinatsu Fukunaga(T4) says:

    I chose question 1. I usually take note as I can understand flow of the story when reading it again after the class. I’m trying not to write a long sentence but to catch a key word and connect it with arrow. This way makes me understand information simply.
    And the ways to keep myself awake are to think that however the lecture is boring, the day will come when it can be useful to me and to sleep for a while.

  7. Miho Hashimoto (T4) says:

    I will answer question 1.
    When I take lectures, I sometimes feel boring and sleepy.
    At that time, I try to take notes what I thought it interesting or what I can agree.Only coping the sentenses of Power point gives me nothing. So I always note important points of the lectures including what the professors said.
    In addition, I try to have questions all the times. By that skill, the boring lectures become much attractive for me, because it makes me think deeper.
    I think the most important point is searching meaning points of the lectures and focus on them for finding the hint of my own questions.

  8. Natsuko Nishida says:

    I answer no.1: How do you usually take notes and keep yourself awake during a long, boring lecture?
    I usually try to write what the teather says , but I cannot write everything he says ,so I try to wirte important thing (for exsample,what he says again and again ,the relation between cause and result ).but sometimes I cannot understand the note I take . I think the reason is that I don’t wirte really important things.
    During a long ,boring lecture I try not to sleep by taking note desperately ,by pinching my fingers ,by scrubing my eyes.and by drinking cold water….but sometimes I fall to sleep…

  9. Mayu Morimoto says:

    I will answer No.1; How do you usually take notes and keep yourself awake during a long, boring lecture?
    During a long, boring lecture, I try to write my note more carefully than usual. This is because I can somehow keep awake if I do like this, and what is more, I can understand the contents of the class clearly when I look my notebook again after the class. I found that by taking notes clearly, my brain unconsciously remember the detail of the lecture even if I felt bored in the lecture at that time.
    I do not like a lecture which is only spoken by a professor because I cannot use the technique I wrote above and so that it makes me sleepy. In that case, I draw some pictures on the edge of a paper. I often make my character say the feeling of me on that time, for example, “Boring!” I know that it is not a good way to listen a lecture, but I think it is better than sleeping in a lecture.

  10. Tamako(T4) says:

    I will answer question No.2, but actually I will be also answering question No.1. That is because her idea,doodling, is the very way I often do to take notes of lectures.
    I totally agree with her in that doodling is an effective way to make ourselves think more. When taking notes, we tend to try to write down all words the lecturer says, not being sure of the meaning the each word has. Some difficult lectures often has abstract words in explanation, and we often can’t catch the meaning very well to the extent you can also explain it well. But in doodling, you think how to visualize the words the lecturer says, even if it is an abstract word. So it helps you think and understand more of the contents. you can imagine any example around you, or any imaginations accompanied with what you hear in the lecture.
    I would often doodle in foreign language classes, because it helps me to catch the feeling the native speakers, through imaging the situation, similar meanings, or visualized word- for example, what if you write many people gathering beside the word crowd.

  11. Wataru Kaneto(T4) says:

    I’ll answer No.2.
    The first time I listened to her lecture, her idea struck me as interesting but unbelievable because doodling seems far from a good way to process information. So I tried doodling during one boring class; it made me less sleepy than usual, but less focused. That’s because I doodled pictures with no relation to the class, and doodling drew my attention instead of the lecture.
    What Sunni Brown really means is perhaps doodling things related to the content of a lecture, such as the line of logic, and some kinds of charts. The next time I’ll try in that way.

  12. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    I answer the question no.1.
    When I take boring lectures, I try to connect the thing the teacher says to the thing I am interested in.For instance, the teacher explains about diplomacy, I try to image what current Japanese diplomacy is like.
    Also, I take notes and draw picture to make the thing he teacher says simple.
    However , it has limits , therefore doodling may be useful.

  13. Ryohei Kamiya (T4) says:

    I answer question No.2.
    Honestly, some lectures are boring for me. But others are interesting and they don’t make me sleepy. In such lectures, my emotion is moved by what teachers say or what I find from the lecture. I agree with Sunni Brown’s idea.
    To carry out her idea, you need background knowledge. When your background knowledge is connected to what teachers say, your emotion is moved. This means that you need to prepare for your class. I usually don’t prepare for my class very well… I have to do it.

  14. Kentaro Ando says:

    I chose number2.
    I write down notes something about it to keep myself awake during a long, boring lecture. To write something makes our brain awake. Especially, RAS (which is the part of brain) is stimulated by writing. RAS is related to our concentration. If our RAS is stimulated, our concentration become high. Therefore, I write down something to concentrate on a lecture.

  15. Akira Katagata says:

    I chose question1.
    In such a situation, I try to make a diagram about that lecture on my notebook. Thanks to this kind of diagram, I can easily understand a whole content of that long and boring lecture at a glance. In addition, when I write this, I need to make my brain work as well as possible. It is also good for me.

  16. Emi Enomoto(T4) says:

    I chose question1.
    It is hard to keep awake in a boring class. I usually listen to the words carefully and try to make question about the lecture. Even if it was not so interesting, theres houd be some difficult points. Sometimes teacher do only telling facts and don’t tell his opinion, so asking what he thinks about his own lecture is also good. Thinking something makes us awake in the boring situatiion.

  17. KOTARO TANAKA(T4) says:

    I’ll answer Q1.
    I often take notes with drowing pictures. Drawing pictures is funny, so I can stand boring, long class. Of course, the pictures are connecting the class. They make my notes comprehensible after looking notebook. But when class is too too difficult, I can’t express the class by picture. Then I don’t draw. Instead I try to write all of teacher’s word. Such classes are usually too fast. So normal student can’t understand. I don’t try to understand the class then, but to move my right hand. If there are all of teacher’s word and content of such classes in my notebook, I may understand them. I can think thoroughly. By this way, I make me wakeup.

  18. Akane Okumura says:

    I choose question 1.
    During a long boring lecure, I don’t do special things to take notes and I persist the boring situation. If the lecture is boring, I don’t try to feel interesting it and imagine how wonderful when the lecture is over. Or sometimes I use a fluorescence pen to make my brain and eyes wake.

  19. Shota Nihi(T4) says:

    I choose 1st question.
    When I feel the class is boring and very sleepy, I try to move my hands and make my brain working. And I try to notes words teacher said, and follow the class. If I do nothing, I will get sleep and lose time. Usually I try to continue to write something and hearing the lecture.
    But I hope I can understand every lectures and get interests in everything.

  20. Ayano sato (T4) says:

    I choose question 1.
    When I become sleepy during a lecture, I take a deep breath in order to reflesh my mind and wake up. If I can’t wake up, I move my head and arms a little. However, I often fall asleep even though I do those things. I’d like to try speaker’s way.

  21. Kana Suzuki(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 1.
    When I get bored during a lecture, I draw some pictures that are related to the content of the lecture. By doing so, I came to awake and be interested in the boring lecture because I like drawing.

  22. Ayaka Sakuma(T4) says:

    When I feel that this lecture is boring, I usually try to use many color on notes during the lecture. I like thinking which pens I use to keep notes and it’s happy for me to make my notes beautiful and colorful. However, when I was a high school student, I learned that using many color on notes prevents me from studying and memorizing effectively, so I can’t take good notes when I feel sleepy!!

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