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Take your notebook to the next level

Is your language notebook organized and useful?
Or is it a big mess of random notes on vocabulary and grammar?

Discover what features will turn a simple language notebook into an effective learning tool.

What should a good language notebook be like?

A good notebook should be

  • attractive
  • personalized
  • structured

➤ An attractive notebook will

  • make the book and its contents more valuable to you
  • make you want to use it outside class

➤ It needs to be personalized in order to

  • cater to your needs
  • give it personal value: its contents is customized to you as an individual

➤ By structuring your notebook you will make it useful because it will allow you to

  • retrieve entries you noted down in the past
  • consult your notebook for specific expressions or grammar topics
  • cross-reference your entries between different parts of the notebook

4 features that turn a simple notebook into a learning tool

1. Index

  • It will help you to navigate your notebook much faster – you won’t get lost in your notes anymore!
  • Not only can you look up your words or grammar faster,
  • you can also add new contents more effectively.

2. Page numbers

Page numbers will allow you to

  • build your index
  • search for specific entries much more effectively
  • cross-reference your entries between different sections
  • thread your sections if you should run out of space: next to the last page number of the section, make a note indicating where it continues.

3. Tracker

A tracker is made by adding a calendar to your notebook. It helps you monitor your language learning activity and motivates you to work with your notebook.

By marking the days on the calendar, you can track

  • your daily, weekly and monthly reviews
  • the completion of learning tasks
  • the achievement of language learning goals

4. Collections

Rather than containing grammar and vocabulary in random order, a good notebook should be organized and divided into sections in which you collect all the language that you need and want to use.

Don’t forget to write your sections down in the index so you will know where to find them.

The contents of these collections might deal with

  • everyday situations
  • work-related language
  • specific grammar topics

Watch out for my next post with advice and ideas on setting up your notebook as a learning tool.

Here is a post on how to grow your vocabulary, Part 1 and Part 2

And here is a post with 10 tips on how to review vocabulary.




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