This study investigated the effects of note-taking on the listening comprehension of Japanese sentences by advanced-level Chinese students learning Japanese as a foreign language. The working memory span and languages used in note-taking were manipulated as independent variables. The participants were divided into three groups according to the language used for note-taking: Japanese, Chinese, and a neutral condition with no note taking. A listening comprehension test was drafted to examine the effects. The main results were as follows. (a) Participants with long working memory span had higher scores in the true‒false questions. (b) The non-note-taking group had higher scores than the two other groups for the meaning inference questions. (c) Participants with long working memory spans were found to take longer notes in Chinese, while those with short working memory spans took longer notes in Japanese. This suggests that taking notes in a second language causes a smaller cognitive load than taking notes in one’s first language and that Chinese learners who learnt Japanese as a foreign language have lower language automaticity.