An analysis of note-taking strategies: The effect of translanguaging on content comprehension and knowledge retention


  • Xinyi Wang The University of Oxford



translanguaging, note-taking strategies, knowledge retention, cognitive load theory, bilingualism


Purpose This study investigates the effectiveness of using translanguaging for note-taking on students’ lecture comprehension and retention by measuring their scores on two tests administered two weeks apart. Methods The participants were English L2 Chinese graduate students (n = 101) studying in English-language programs in various English-speaking countries at the time of the study. The study used a quasi-experimental three-arm parallel groups design to compare the relative effects of three alternative approaches to note-taking (Chinese, English, and translanguaging). All participants watched a five-minute English-language video without subtitles and took notes using their assigned strategies. Then participants immediately took a comprehension test. After two weeks, participants took a retention test. Results The results showed that those taking notes in English only outperformed those taking notes using Chinese only on low-level, fact-based questions in the comprehension test. There was no significant difference found among the three language groups (Chinese, English, and translanguaging) in other types of questions (main topic questions and numerical questions) and the overall score. In the retention test, those taking notes in English outperformed those taking notes in Chinese in the overall score and all question types except for number-based questions, with the translanguaging groups also outperforming the Chinese group in fact-based questions. In addition, students’ previous study abroad experience was not found to impact students’ comprehension and retention of the video lecture content. Conclusion It seems that translanguaging does not aid advanced L2 learners in immersion contexts; instead, translanguaging may be more helpful for lower proficiency L2 learners.


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Wang (2021)





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Wang, X. (2021). An analysis of note-taking strategies: The effect of translanguaging on content comprehension and knowledge retention. Journal of Language Teaching, 1(1), 18-37.

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