How to teach "Writing notes from oral texts" in Form One


Welcome to UNIT 21.3

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 21.2, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic "Writing friendly letters"  in Form One.
IN THIS UNIT 21.3, we will cover the sub topic “"Writing notes from oral texts" in Form One.
TOPIC’S INFORMATION
Main Topic: TAKING NOTES
Sub Topic: Writing notes from oral texts
Periods per sub topic: 7
Class: Form One
DESCRIPTION OF THE SUB TOPIC
Listening is one of the four language skills, the others are speaking, reading and writing. This listening skill requires a student to be able to listen to what someone says and note down what is said or spoken. In this regard, students have to write notes in the class as they listen from the teacher. A teacher will not give them everything he/she teaches. Hence, they should be taught how to take notes from oral texts.
The core intention of this topic is to give students ability to prepare any subject notes on their own. They should build the habit of effective/careful listening and taking notes.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE OF THE LESSON
In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to write notes from oral texts or write down important points from oral texts.
  1. TEACHER’S PREPARATION STAGE
This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:
  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.
In this sub topic/lesson; the teacher uses his/her prepared materials to discuss and brainstorm with students on various key concepts like meaning of oral, and oral texts as well as the media.
  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.
In this sub topic/lesson, a teacher will have to prepare a variety of various simple oral texts. The teacher can also prepare simple audios or simple speeches. These oral texts read by the teacher and audio news or speeches can be applied in a number of ways for students to listen and take notes. A teacher can invite any guest, like another teacher, and allow students to listen and take notes.
The media like radio set, TV set, projector and other media playing devices should also be available for teaching this particular topic.
  1. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.
In this sub topic/lesson, the target grammar practice here is to guide students to use particular expressions when writing down notes from oral texts. Therefore, a teacher will guide students to practice how to write down important points from oral texts by using appropriate expressions like:
The text is about....
The summary of the text.....
Main idea of the text is....
Important points from the passage include.....
The important aspects in the text are....
Also, the teacher should share with students other techniques used in taking down notes from oral texts. These are special letters and abbreviations that help students to take notes quickly from oral texts.
Note: These symbols, special letters, and abbreviations are only used in note taking. They are not strictly applied in official writings such as examinations and other official forms of writing.
  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will apply the context of the class, and school as he/she practices with students how to write down important points/notes from oral texts. The school environment is the common context for students to practice taking down notes from oral texts because most class lessons should be recorded in written forms. At homes, students can participate in other occasions like public meetings, family meetings/conversation and later they can apply their skills in more formal ways like conferences, seminars and other national platforms.
  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.
In this sub topic/lesson, the most commonly applied vocabularies are: on the level of the class.
  1. TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCEDURES, ACTIVITIES AND GAMES
Guide the students to the full sub topic/lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:
ACTIVITY ONE: Brainstorming. The teacher has to brainstorm with the students on the sub topic/lesson's aspects through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.

In this activity, the teacher has to brainstorm with students on how to orally take notes from the speaker. The teacher should ask students what they know about taking notes, taking notes from oral texts, and taking notes from audiovisual texts. The teacher also guides students to discuss together the requirements for taking good notes from oral texts.
Some of these requirements are:
1)    Silence
2)    To be familiar with the language used
3)    To pay attention
4)    To take important points only
5)    To use abbreviations
ACTIVITY TWO: Teacher’s Demonstration. Teacher applies his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.
In this activity, the teacher has to read simple texts to the students. In this context, the teacher can ask any student to read a text for him. The teacher should then take down notes from oral text read by a selected student. The teacher can also demonstrate this skill by taking notes from a played audio speech or simple music song and take down important points.
After these simple demonstrations, the teacher can emphasize students on the requirements for taking down notes from oral texts or media. The teacher should encourage them that he also applied the same techniques when taking down notes from the selected student and the music song. (Recommended songs for students are mostly reggae songs and other slow music songs)
ACTIVITY THREE: Students’ Demonstration. Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.
In this activity, teacher guide students to do the following:
First, the teacher will guide students to take notes from simple texts read. The teacher reads a simple oral text and allows the students to take notes. At the end of this activity, the teacher can ask students to see if they followed the requirements or ask them to exchange their exercise books and check if each of them followed the requirements for taking down notes from oral texts.
Second, the teacher reads another simple oral text to students. Then the teacher should arrange students to work in groups and discuss and correct any mistakes noted. In their respective groups, students will be able to discuss with others and as a group they will find out the mistakes done when taking down notes and discuss how to correct them.
ACTIVITY FOUR: More Students’ Practice. Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.
In this activity, the teacher will have to ask students to practice writing notes from oral texts or media. The teacher will prepare a radio set; TV set or even a projector to conduct this activity. The teacher should select as simple audio speech or song as possible so as students can easily practice taking down notes. (Example of audio speech or song)

ACTIVITY FIVE: Winding up the topic/lesson. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of ‘O’ Level English Blog! (OLE).
REFLECTION
Effective listening is an important life and professional skill. An active or effective listener is always in a good position to comprehend what is said by correctly taking it down for memory or for taking action immediately or in the future. An effective listener, therefore, can perfectly execute the instructions and other plans without committing unnecessary errors. That is an effective listener. In this case, if someone is not actively listening and taking down notes, he/she more likely to misinterpret the instructions. Thus, listening and taking down notes from oral texts is the necessary skill everyone should possess in life.
ASSESSMENT
A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to write down important notes from an oral text.
ASSESSMENTS
Assessment #01: Group work
Read any oral texts or play audio text/speech, and in groups, allow students to take down notes from these oral texts. Let each group present and compare with other groups.
Assessment #02: Pair works
In this assessment, there can be two aspects:
First, each pair can listen to oral text read or played and write down notes.
Second, within the pair, each member of the pair can speak about any topic while another member of the pair is taking down notes from him/her. This can be effective because it's student to student.
Assessment #03: Individual work
Individually, each student should take down notes from oral texts read or played by the teacher then submit to the teacher or compare his/her notes with the friend/neighbour.

Note: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.
SUMMARY/CONCLUSION
Effective listening is a skill for anyone. We can't conduct further learning if there is no listening at the first place. All four language skills during teaching and learning processes cannot take place if there wasn't listening to instructions from the teacher. This is not a judgement that listening skill is more important than other language skills. What is important here is that listening skill is like another piece of chain that if it is missing then the whole chain of language skills can be affected. We expect that students should listen to the speaker (teacher), should read the materials from the board and books, and should write. Thus, in this entirely dependent-on-each other chain, no piece should be missing.

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
This article is about how to study and teach "Writing notes from oral texts" in Form One. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.
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