How to Use Lectures to Improve your English

EC New York Lecture

This month’s lecture at EC New York has come and gone. We hope you enjoyed learning about Hurricanes with our Lead Teacher, Tatiana.

Attending a lecture is not only a great way to develop your listening skills, but it can also be used to build vocabulary and even practice writing and speaking. How? Read on!

First things first, you can’t attend a lecture and hope that you will remember everything; our monthly lectures at EC New York English school are designed to be an hour to an hour and a half long, that’s a lot of information to retain. It is important that you try to take notes. So, here are some note-taking tips:

  • Don’t write everything you hear! You will eventually be unable to keep up and get lost.
  • Only write the main ideas. Speakers often present their lecture overview at the beginning of the talk, make sure you write it down, it will help organize your notes; outlines and overviews are built with the speaker’s main points.
  • Use headings and sub-headings
  • Use points and keep your sentences short.
  • Use abbreviations and symbols to replace words in your sentences, it will help you write faster. (For example: main character = MC or, using an arrow pointing up to replace words like ‘more’ or ‘increase’)
  • Underline or highlight keywords. These are the words that the speaker explains and repeats a lot during the talk.

For vocabulary building, draw a line to dividing your paper to create a ‘Vocabulary List’ section. In it, you can write new words introduced by the speaker or expressions that you heard and liked. You can always use an English-English dictionary to look up any new words that might not have been explained by the speaker.

There are two ways you can practice speaking during and after a lecture. During the lecture, speakers will usually have a moment at the end for questions, ask one! After the lecture, you can tell a friend that didn’t attend what you learned.

Finally, to practice writing, you can summarize the lecture, write an essay with your thoughts on the topics presented or, write an email to a friend inviting them to attend a lecture with you based on what you liked and learned in the last one.

These are just a few tips and tricks to make the best out of attending a lecture while you study English in New York. We hope to see you for our September lecture!

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