English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 32.1
Volume 32 No 1 77 English Australia Journal It also provides an opportunity for learners to interact with the material through writing at least twice: once to record the original notes, and again to organise the content of those notes into their personal dictionary. Additionally, learners who take pictures in class, type notes or receive PDFs from interactive whiteboards, then may record by hand the content they have decided is relevant to their future revision. This additional writing likely increases their retention (see mueller and oppenheimer, 2014). Introducing learners to personal dictionaries I include a lesson on note management and personal dictionaries in every IELTS exam class of B1 or above. I also incorporate them into my longer-term Business English classes on an ad hoc basis. I find it beneficial to introduce the idea after the first week or two of class, as a separate classroom topic from note-taking. This helps break up skills teaching – too much in the beginning may cause learners to wonder when they are going to ‘start actually learning’. It also gives students the chance to begin organising with a notebook that already contains material, as we will have covered a few units from the syllabus already. This guides learners to a method of managing the notes they actually take, as opposed to the theoretical notes they may imagine taking. raising awareness The lesson begins by incorporating the aspect of learner autonomy concerned with learner reflection on current and desired learning habits, attitudes and preferences (Scharle & Szabó, 2000, pp . 7–9). A typical lesson with intermediate (CEFR B1) or higher learners starts with learners discussing four questions: 1. Do you organise your notes? Why/why not? 2. Have you talked about organising notes in past courses? If so, what did you learn? 3. Do you think it is important to organise your notes after class? Why/why not? 4. What do you think is the best way to organise your notes? Why? Exploring these ideas helps to give them the confidence to act independently and take charge of their own learning decisions in the future (Scharle & Szabó, 2000, p. 7). most learners answer affirmatively that they do think learning how to organise notes would be worthwhile, but most are not sure where to begin. This is not unique to my classroom: Khademi, mellati and Etela (2014) point out that learners may lack knowledge of learning strategies without explicit instruction.
English Australia Journal 31.2
English Australia Journal Volume 32.02