Integrated Topic One

5 Ways to Listen Better

In this lesson you will listen to a lecture, take notes on the lecture, and then write a short essay.

Note Taking

It is helpful if we think of note taking as a way of gathering and organizing information from a lecture. In order to do this we must know what is important and what is not important. Most lecturers organize their presentations much similar to the way someone writes a paragraph. A lecturer will usually introduce a topic, and then he or she will support the topic with evidence, examples, or explanations. Then he or she will draw some conclusion.
Not everything a speaker says, however, may be important to note. Often speakers will digress from their main topic to talk about something else. It is important to listen carefully to key words that help the listeners determine what is relevant and what is not relevant.

Listening Task

Topic Question: Using the reasons from the presentation, explain how we are losing the ability to listen.
In Julian Treasure’s presentation, 5 Ways to Listen Better he takes the position that we are losing our listening. He first provides background information, and then he gives some reasons why he believes we are losing our listening. Then he concludes by giving five ways we can improve our listening.
As you listen to the presentation, view the notes of the presentation that are provided for you. Remember when you write your essay, you will use the speaker’s reasons why we are losing our listening.
  1. First, read the Topic Question Carefully
  2. Download the Samples Notes
  3. Then listen to the lecture
  4. Take notes of the lecture


Write a 300-400 word essay on the topic above.
Tips on Effective Note Taking
  • Predict what the speaker will say about the topic
  • Listen carefully to the introduction
  • Listen for main points
  • Listen for supporting points
  • Make your notes brief
  • Look for signal words, such as, “There are three reasons why….” “First…Second… Third….” and “And most important …”
  • Pay attention to summaries

Sample Notes from “5 Ways to Listen Better”

  • We are losing our listening
    • 60% communication is listening
    • 25% is retained
  • Listening is making meaning from sounds
    • We extract these meanings by,
    • Pattern recognition – noise from signals
    • “Differcing” – between sounds
    • Filters
      • Culture
      • Language
      • Values
      • Beliefs
      • Attitudes
      • Expectations
      • Intentions
      • Create reality
  • Sounds places us in space and time
    • Listening is main way to experience flow of life
  • Reasons for losing our listening
    • Invented ways of recording
      • Premium on listening has disappeared
    • World is so noisy
      • Hard to listen
    • Art of conversation is replaced by personal broadcasting
    • Desensitized
      • Harder for us to pay attention
  • Listening is our access to understanding
    • Conscience listening creates understanding
    • A world that does not listen is a scary place
  • 5 Ways to improve listening
    • Silence – recalibrate
    • Mixer – channels of sounds can hear
    • Savor – enjoy mundane sounds
    • Listeningposition
      • active | passive
      • reduction | expensive
      • critical | empathetic
    • RASA
      • Receive / Appreciate / Summarize / Ask


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