To overcome bad reading habits, we need to attend classes regularly and punctually, listen attentively in class while the lecturer is lecturing and take down good notes during classes. Listening is a skill, which can be hindered through:
- Day dreaming – this is when the mind wanders from one place to another. When the mind is occupied with one thought you cannot concentrate on any other thing at the same time. That is why many students after a lecture section cannot recall a word of all the lecturer has said;
- Lack of interest in the subject makes it difficult for one to pay much attention to what is said;
- Noisy environment
- Distraction from other students; and
- Poor teaching method.
Although these problems may be there, you must be determined to always listen attentively. The following tips would help you to be a good listener in the class:
- Read ahead of the lecturer;
- Listen carefully to lecturers to support the points made;
- Do not hesitate to ask questions in class when you are not clear;
- Avoid day-dreaming and wandering thoughts; and
- Create interest in the subject and the teacher.
Note taking is one of the memory aids that help mental rehearsal, retention and consequently comprehension of the subject. The combination of thinking and writing, results in more effective processing of information. It helps careful listening in classes and aids comprehension. Note-taking in your own handwriting will help you to understand and remember. Class notes combined with notes from textbooks are excellent sources of review. A good note should include all main ideas and enough subordinate points to enhance understanding; all formulae, rules, and definitions; all teacher’s illustration and examples used to clarify important ideas should be noted down.
To take down good notes:
- Take all needed materials with you to class
- Arrive in each class early, stay actively engaged and take part in class
- Keep your attention focused on what your teacher is saying
- Shut out all wandering thoughts
- Be thorough. Write down the date and topic of each class
- Emphasize key words, main points, examples. Etc. with capital letters or red ink
- Note down unfamiliar vocabulary and terms for further studies and clarifications
- Improve on your handwriting if need be
- Draw legible diagrams and illustrations that can aid your understanding
- Compare your notes with a serious-minded friend for any omission and corrections.
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