Action Research on Note-taking Instruction


The importance of note-taking skills for English for academic purposes (EAP) students and teachers is growing due to a rapid increase of English-medium instruction (EMI) courses offered in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. Note-taking is a complex process that involves comprehending aural input, identifying important information, and recording information. All of which is undertaken under real-time constraints. This difficult task is amplified for those doing so in a foreign language and therefore the explicit teaching of the skills required to take notes should be beneficial to these learners in order to help them prepare to participate successfully in EMI courses. There is, therefore, a legitimate argument that students in EMI courses need to learn how to take notes and a clear need for pedagogic support for EAP and EMI teachers. Currently, however, few descriptions of instructional practices exist in the literature, and guidance from teacher training programs is lacking. This presentation reports findings from an action research study done in Japan. In the study, explicit note-taking instruction based on Siegel’s (2018) four-step process was given to 30 Japanese university EAP learners who were preparing for EMI classes. The notes taken before and after the pedagogic intervention were collected and analyzed in terms of information units (IU). Analysis of the notes provided qualitative evidence of changes in amounts of IU recorded. The presentation describes the notetaking instruction, discusses research findings, and uses examples of student work to illustrate changes in note-taking behavior stimulated by the instruction.

Author Information
Yoko Kusumoto, Tokyo University of Technology, Japan
James Broadbridge, Bunkyo Gakuin University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon