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It is Sunday evening already, and I am hastily writing this blog post because I am adamant about sticking to a regular blogging schedule, even if the quality of the writing really drops.

The big thing that I have been paying attention to this week is… note taking! It is such a popular strategy to help you feel as if you are making progress with a task such as watching tv or listening to a podcast in your target language.

I’ve been reading several articles about the benefits of note taking and specifically the benefits of hand written notes, and I think that it is time and energy well spent as long as you make sure that you also set aside time to review and digest them.

I had an experience recently where I was watching a documentary on the Danish tv channel DR1, and to my horror the documentary was in English! I wanted to expose myself to natural authentic Danish language and there I was, watching a rebranded BBC show. But I was dedicated to get some language learning benefits from my experience, so I took down notes of the Danish subtitles while I was watching the show.

By the end of the one hour documentary I had almost two pages of A4 notes. I’ve never looked at them again, and now I honestly don’t know where they are now. But you know what? I felt good at the time I was writing them. Actually, I felt super productive! And I think this is the danger of note taking in this way. It’s a crutch.

I’m becoming a lot more mindful about what my future plans are when I take notes. If it is something that I don’t feel I’ll want to review at a later date, then I don’t write it down. I personally find it difficult to write notes and listen / watch what is going on at the same time. The new thing that I’m trying to do now, is that if I take notes I set aside a specific time when I will review them.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, see you next time!