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Recognising lecture structure

Several studies (e.g. Chaudron & Richards, 1986; DeCarrico & Nattinger, 1988) have suggested that explicit signals of text structure are important in lecture comprehension. Listening for these signals can therefore help you understand the lecture.

Signals
The tables below show some of the most common signals used in lectures to indicate structure (Leech & Svartvik, 1975). Listen for them in your lectures. 1. Introducing 2. Giving background information 3. Defining 4. Enumerating/Listing 5. Giving examples 6. Showing importance/Emphasising 7. Clarifying/Explaining/Putting it in other words 8. Moving on/Changing direction 9. Giving further information 10. Giving contrasting information 11. Classifying 12. Digressing 13. Referring to visuals 14. Concluding

1. Introducing
At the beginning of a lecture, or a section of a lecture, the lecturer will give you some idea about the structure of the lecture. Listen for these signals as it will help you understand what the lecturer is saying.

What I intend to say is What I'd like to do is to discuss What I intend to do is to explain In my talk today, My topic today is Today, I'm going to talk about . I'm going to talk to you about My colleagues and I are going to give a short presentation on Today I want to consider In this talk, I would like to concentrate on The subject of this talk is The purpose of this talk is to This talk is designed to
Example:

^
2. Giving background information

Firstly Secondly Next Then Thirdly Lastly . is X.Before the new information is given. As we know As we have already seen As we have all read It's clear that . it is often necessary to define the terms that will be used. the term refers to A type of Y which . I mean This term is used generally to mean In the field of Y. Example: . ^ 4. This could refer back to a previous lecture or to some background reading you should have done. the lecturer will often summarise what you are expected to know about the subject to be covered. It goes without saying We all understand It is understood You'll remember Example: ^ 3. . is is called X is known as may be defined as is a type of Y that/which By X. To make the order clear we use various links and connectives. This is important as familiar words can have specific meanings in different subjects. Defining In a lecture. Enumerating/Listing The lecturer will often be explicit about the order in which new points will be mentioned.

A key experiment exemplifies illustrates .Finally First of all In the first place For one thing To begin with In the second place For another thing first second The point I'd like to make is next last Example: ^ 5. For example. Example: ^ 6. This is shown by the following examples: The following are examples of this: . You only have to think of Remember. This . shows this. shown is exemplified illustrated by . Giving examples In lectures. These signals can help you to understand which generalisations the examples refer to. for example for instance Take X . such as . Showing importance/Emphasising . For instance. These generalisations are often supported with examples. The following is a case in point: Let me give you a couple of examples: X is a case in point. it is common to make generalisations.

Basically To put it another way. Namely. You need to distinguish between important and less important information. In other words. We should bear in mind that Don't forget that The crucial point is The essential point is The fundamental point is Furthermore. therefore. you cannot write down every word. That means 'm suggesting 'm trying to say What I is meant to say should have said . The lecturer can use these signals to draw your attention to the important points. . I want to stress I want to highlight I'd like to emphasise I'd like to put emphasis on It's important to remember that .When you are taking notes. It follows. that What (in effect) we are saying is Example: ^ 7. i. That is to say. It is important for you to recognise that this is the same information expressed differently and not new information. What's more. This supports my argument that. That is. To do this he or she may repeat the information using different words. If we put that another way. Or rather.e. Clarifying/Explaining/Putting it in other words The lecturer will try to explain the meaning of difficult concepts. That is to say. By which I mean Or you could say The point I'm making is .

An additional point Another point A further point A similar point In addition . Giving further information These signals show that the lecturer is proceeding in the same direction and giving more information. That's all I want to say about X. It is important to notice when the lecturer moves from one point to the next. The next point is Another interesting point is The next aspect I'd like to consider is I'd now like to turn to Let's now look at If we could now move on to Example: ^ 9.Let me put it another way. OK Now All right Having looked at . Not only . I'd now like to consider I'd like now to move on to Turning now to So let's turn to Moving on now to I now want to turn to .. Furthermore. but We can add I could add that . Moreover Similarly Apart from. Listen for these signals. Example: ^ 8.. Moving on/Changing direction The lecture will be organised around several different points.

Y and Z are . categories classes kinds types varieties X consists of comprises N can be divided into classes kinds of X. . Classifying When we classify. The lecturer may use the following signals to show that a classification is being made. Example: ^ 10.Further As well as. These are Y and Z. These are Y and Z. Giving contrasting information These signals show that the lecturer is proceeding in a different direction and giving unexpected or contrasting information. There are N The types kinds classes categories sorts varieties : Y and Z. . Despite Nevertheless But Alternatively Example: ^ 11. : Y and Z. It is important to listen to this. of X are Y and Z. Although However On the other hand Whereas . also. as well. Besides . too. we arrange members of a group.

Let's have a look at this. The following signals will help you to identify this. If you look closely. Take a look at this. . Digressing Sometimes the lecturer may leave the main subject of the lecture for a while and then come back to it. The . Incidentally By the way . depending on Example: ^ 12. I'd like you to look at this. While I remember Before I forget Example: ^ 13. I'd like to draw your attention to Here we can see . shows The graph illustrates The horizontal axis represents The vertical axis represents As you can see. On this graph. you'll see Example: ^ 14. Referring to visuals The following signals can be used to refer to a handout or an OHT or PowerPoint slide. Concluding The lecture should end with a summary of the main points made.types categories varieties according to X may be classified on the basis of .

and we saw that Then we considered . I'd like to emphasise that That completes my lecture. In short. To sum up In conclusion.So. . and I argued that . We've seen that First we looked at .

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