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Typing English on the keyboard
Learning How to Type English
If you are transitioning to English from a language that does not use a keyboard similar to the Standard English QWERTY keyboard, it is likely that you will need to become better at typing as part of your studying of the English Language. Not convinced that learning how to type in English is really necessary? In this digital age, the vast majority of jobs now require some interaction with a computer. It is incredibly important that you be able to interact with the digital world effectively and efficiently. In fact, I would go so far as to say that having a fast typing speed is almost like having another form of literacy.

General tips:

  • It will probably take about three months of constant, daily practice to be able to type at an efficient speed. This means that you have to be patient. Do not worry if you feel that you are not making progress in leaps in strides. Despite what some websites claim, it is the type of skill that can only be gradually acquired through hard work and dedication.

  • Use good posture- Many of the fastest English typists swear that sitting up straight at the keyboard radically increases their typing speed. Position your computer in such a way to not keep your feet flat on the floor. Do not rest your hands on the keyboard. Check out sites such as http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Up-an-Ergonomically-Correct-Workstation for more specific information on this subject.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice- This tip doesn’t need any extended explanation. Daily repetition, daily training, is the only way that you will improve your typing speed.

  • Do not use the “hunt-and-peck” strategy. The only way to increase your typing speed is to use every finger on your hands and not just your index finger.

  • If you are going into a job where you will be typing for a living, it is recommended that you be able to type around 50-80 WPM (words per minute). For certain jobs, such as being a paralegal, having a fast typing speed can really set you apart from the pack.

  • It is very important that you get to a point where you do not need to look at the keys to be able to type. Only subpar speeds can be achieved while looking at a keyboard (around 20 WPM)

  • As an additional way to practice, consider just sending as many casual/friendly emails as possible. It will allow you to practice your typing while being entertained.


Free resources

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/03/16-free-resources-to-develop-typing.html - provides a wealth of different free applications to choose from. I personally recommend Clockwords. It is a very fun web application with entertaining animations and a storyline to keep you entertained while you are practicing typing.

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/03/7-resources-for-developing-typing.html - I haven’t played it myself, but I have heard that Typing Adventure is a great way to practice; it is another game with a little storyline.

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/09/five-free-resources-for-developing.html#.U8gNNfldWQM- Typing Tutor, which is one of this websites recommendations, is excellent in that it constantly provides accurate, clear feedback.

Paid Resources

http://typing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ - provides a good overview of some of the best products to help you learn how to type.

http://typing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ultimate-typing-review.html

http://www.typinglounge.com/best-typing-software - I would definitely recommend typing Instructor premium, which is one of this websites recommendations. In addition to providing personalized feedback after every exercise, it also has a great variety of games for kids.


Photo Credit: Steven Lilley
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