Learning how to touch type, CAN help you improve your English!
English is one of the most difficult languages to learn, especially for adults. In spite of this fact, many people find that learning how to type in English, alongside learning to speak, makes both tasks much easier.
Here are some tips to help you use touch typing skills to improve your English.
1.LEARN THE KEYBOARD LAYOUT
Most English-speakers use the classic QWERTY style keyboard, where the typist’s fingers rest on the ASDF keys for the left hand, and JKL, for the right hand. This can be very different from the keyboard styles that other countries and languages use. The first step of learning how to type, if you’re learning English as a second language, is to switch to a QWERTY keyboard and use it as much as possible.
2. FIND OUR YOUR LEARNING STYLE
1. Some people learn best by seeing. These are known as ‘visual learners’, and usually do their best work while reading or observing. For this type of learner, online text-based programs can be the best.
2. Others, known as ‘auditory learners’, learn best by listening. For these, programs like Rosetta Stone, which offer audio tracks in addition to the text-based lessons, are ideal.
3. The third type of learner, known as ‘kinesthetic learners’, only learn by doing. Studying online or through computer programs don’t normally work well for this type of learner, as they learn new languages best while immersed in an environment populated with native speakers. Find out what type of learner you are here.
3. FIND AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING PARTNER
There are a number of sites online where native English speakers can offer their services as coaches to help new speakers learn. This can be as simple as becoming a pen-pal, or could even include voice or video chats through programs such as Skype. These can be very helpful, as you can ask questions about the English language that confuse you, and they also help new speakers learn colloquialisms such as slang and regional expressions, that you would not normally be able to learn from ESL lesson plans.
4. PRACTICE (RATATYPE AND TYPINGWEB ARE THE BEST WEBSITES)
Learning a new language and learning to touch type are very similar, in that both require repetition, and constant use in order for users to become proficient. Learning a new language can be as easy as traveling to a country where the language is primarily spoken, but it’s not going to happen overnight. The same goes for proper touch typing techniques.
Spend some time every day practicing speed or accuracy drills online on sites like Ratatype and TypingWeb, as little as 20-30 minutes per day. In addition, though, you should use these techniques as much as possible in your everyday computer usage. Don’t ‘hunt and peck’ with two fingers, even to type an email. Employing proper touch typing techniques every time you lay your fingers on a keyboard, will help to increase your speed and accuracy in less time than you would imagine.
5. BEST APPS TO IMPROVE TYPING SPEED
FOR IPHONE AND IPAD
6. DON’T GET FRUSTRATED
Learning a new skill can be intimidating, no matter what it is. Learning to speak a new language and to properly touch type can both take weeks or months to learn properly, and a lifetime to master.
Don’t get frustrated if you’re used to a different dialect, or a different keyboard layout. Take a breath, walk away for a few minutes, and then start again. English, as has been stated, is one of the most difficult languages to learn.
It’s full of strange rules, words that are spelled the same but mean totally different things, and words that sound the same but are spelled entirely different! Even native English speakers get confused every now and then!
This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is more important than you think. Do you have a favorite book in your native language? One that you’ve read over and over, and know almost by heart? Pick up a copy of the book in the language that you are trying to learn!
You’ll be enjoying a favorite book, while increasing your vocabulary and grammar skills! Pick up newspapers or magazines in English as well, and join discussions online about current events. Learning English as a second language may seem intimidating, especially if you’ve already spent your entire life speaking another language.
By combining learning English with learning proper touch typing skills, you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Being bilingual and being a high speed touch typist are two of the most important skills that potential employers look for.
About the author: Adam Fort is an education advisor and touch typing enthusiast. His goal is to help kids around the globe to learn 21st century skills like programming, touch typing, money management and ESL.