Vol. 2. No. 4 A-1 June 1997
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Listening to Lectures in L2; Taking Notes in L1

Shira Koren
Department of English
Bar Ilan University, Israel


Auditing a course given in English by the law faculty of an Israeli university enabled the author to observe students listening to lectures in FL while taking notes in L1. The major questions which were raised were: a) Why did the students translate the lecture into Hebrew while taking their notes? b) What did they gain and lose by doing this? c) How good was their translation? d) Does their translation reflect comprehension of the lecture? A sample of their notes was collected, and three 'micro-level' difficulties were checked. It was found that a) the students translated because it was easier for them to remember the lecture that way; b) they probably gained improvement in listening comprehension and focus on main points but "lost" practice in reading comprehension and in writing; c) their translation was satisfactory; d) it reflected comprehension. Implications for EFL learning, particularly note-taking and translation, are discussed.

Keywords: EFL, note-taking, lectures, translation

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