Improve English Proficiency by Improving Typing Skills

Guest post: by Chassie Lee

City life is fast paced and demanding. More and more people feel like they’re stuck in a rat race, and the marketplace is fiercer than ever. To compete with everyone else in today’s international marketplace you need many skills, freshly-honed talents, and constant improvement of your existing skills – and constant acquisition of new skills, too. This can be so stressful that it ends up incapacitating people who are unable to keep up with the demands of the 21st century.

Thankfully, there are some ways that you can get ahead without stress, such as improving two skills in a single practice session. In this article we’ll talk about how you can improve your typing skills while practicing your English skills — you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Improving your English proficiency and get a side benefit: improved typing skills

Say you want to become a better, faster typist. One way to do this is by copying text found online in a word editor. This way you can improve your typing skills while also solidifying your knowledge of and fluency in the English language.

When you touch type a ready-made text you familiarize yourself with all possible aspects of the English language, including syntax, vocabulary, grammar, and colloquialisms (like “killing two birds with one stone”).

The more you interact with English texts the more intuitive your awareness of language rules becomes. In other words, your knowledge of English is not confined to structured classroom teachings. You’ll learn how to communicate, not just how to get a good grade on an English exam.

For even more substantial results, you can work on your writing skills as well, by creating your own texts rather than copying existing ones. This way your language study is more thorough (and demanding), and the results will be outstanding!

Instead of using pen and paper to write a paragraph or longer piece of text to practice your English, you can do so with a word editor. This way you activate brain modules that allow you to integrate the act of typing along with those involved in gaining mastery of a second language. As a result, you become an efficient speaker of English while you also improve your typing speed and accuracy.

You’re probably already overwhelmed with the many things you need to learn at school, but typing doesn’t have to be one of them. Combining typing and language study is an easy trick you can practice at any time. The results will be amazing; your English fluency will improve and you will find yourself typing with more ease and speed and without those annoying, time-consuming typos!

Here are some quick ideas on how to improve your typing performance through studying English:

  • Type out essays you’ve written previously and which your professor has corrected. By re-typing the edited version you will get to focus on what mistakes you often make, and where you have knowledge gaps in terms of syntax and grammar. By using a corrected text you will become more familiar with the flow of language as used by a native speaker.
  • Type out a news article from an online newspaper or magazine. Choose a newspaper that provides content that’s written for an audience above your current English level. This will ensure you will get to learn new vocabulary, pick up new phrases and colloquialisms, and learn a new fact or two. As a bonus benefit, you get to practice your touch typing skills!
  • Type out a piece of print or online content that truly interests you. The idea is to find something you’re passionate about. This will ensure you are truly focus on the typing process and this means you are also more receptive and open to learning – a win-win situation.
  • Play online English language improvement games. There are hundreds of online educational games you can play. And since these games require a keyboard to play them, at the same you’re learning to touch type efficiently you’ll also be enriching your vocabulary, spelling, and overall English competency skills.

 

Studying doesn’t need to be hard or boring. There are smart hacks you can implement in any study routine to make learning more time-efficient and progress-oriented.

Learn to integrate technology in your learning to make it more efficient. The next time you want to study your vocabulary, do so on your with an online vocabulary game. And the next time you want to hone your typing skills, see if you can combine keyboarding with a spelling exercise online. You get the idea!

 

About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Vocabulary, Ultimate Typing and Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.

Guest Post: Why Should You Teach 7-Year-Olds To Touch Type?

Guest Post by: Chassie Lee

Your day is already full of things you’re required to teach to your second-grade students. They’re focused on learning how to print letters and spell words correctly, filling page after wide-ruled page with their newly-learned vocabulary. Some of your students are still having trouble with reading simple texts, much less writing them out – and you haven’t even started the lessons on cursive handwriting. So why would you want to take time away from these basic skills to teach your class how to use a computer keyboard to type their words instead? Because it’s a skill they’ll need in the future, and that future is as close as their next school year.

The new Common Core tests for English Language Arts and general writing skills are computer-based. Starting in the third grade, students will need to know how to use a mouse, how to navigate through computer screens, and how to type longer text passages. While the younger grades will still be able to get by with point-and-click selection and easier fill-in-the-blank test questions, third-graders need to be able to type in their own answers to questions. By the fourth grade, each student is expected to be able to type a full page without stopping; in the fifth grade, that’s increased to two pages, and by sixth grade every student must be able to type at least three pages in one session at the computer. The longer it takes for them to type out their texts and test answers, the less time they’ll have to think about the questions they’re trying to answer.

It’s easy to assume that children already know how to use a keyboard to type, because many children own and use tablets and smartphones on a daily basis. A recent study by The NPD Group confirms that the majority of US families own at least one smartphone, and as NPD states in their report titled “Kids and CE: 2014,” a third of those families said that their children use smartphones. However, while devices like tables and smartphones will help children get familiar with using the internet and computer hardware and software in general, it doesn’t help them learn how to type on a keyboard. Even if they see the standard QWERTY layout on a smartphone screen, they’re using their thumbs to select the letters, and the auto-complete feature eliminates the need to type complete words. This isn’t going to help when these children are put in front of a computer to take an online exam using a full keyboard.

Fortunately, there are time-efficient and cost-effective ways to introduce keyboarding in your classroom. When you use professionally-designed typing tutor software that combines kid-friendly games with touch typing instruction, you won’t have to develop your own course outlines or typing tests. Depending on the software, you may even be able to let most of the class work on their own, while you focus on helping the students who are having the most trouble.

Look for touch typing software that is suitable for children of any age, so that your students will want to continue to improve their typing skills over the next few years. Since they’ll have to use the computer for online research and writing assignments all the way through high school, their typing skills need to keep up with their class requirements. If your school is looking for a way to teach keyboarding at all grade levels, pick a software product that can be scaled to the size of the student population each year, and one that allows each teacher to manage their own students by grade, by class grouping, and one on one.

By teaching your students to master touch typing early on, you’ll help them get the skills they need to master the tests and exams they’ll be facing in the future, and you’ll prepare them to enter a job market where nearly everyone is required to use touch typing to communicate and collaborate.

 

About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.

 

Guest Post: What Grade Level Is The Best To Start Teaching Keyboarding Skills?

Guest Post by: Chassie Lee

How old were you when you first started to touch type? Today 3-year-olds are fully familiar with touch-based sensory stimuli. They know that their fingers can make a screen change color, start playing music, or launch their favorite app game.

Keyboarding skills are an essential technological skill children must master early in life. Just how early, though? As education becomes decidedly more technology-driven, from accessing educational software on the cloud to delivering MOOCs where thousands of students attend lectures, education is currently undergoing a massive facelift.

Keyboarding skills are essential mainly because they’re now an indispensable part of education. Students are required to take tests on computers or online, and they need to complete assignments and carry out research on the web, all of which needs basic to advanced touch typing skills. The more competent a typist is, the more time they save and the more accurate the result.

Therefore, if we are looking for the response to the question “at what age should formal keyboarding skills be taught?” it’s obvious that the answer is “as soon as possible.” In terms of resources and student cognitive capacity, that would roughly translate to students in 1st or 2nd grade. During Common Core tests in Sioux Falls, it was revealed that third graders lack the keyboarding skills necessary to efficiently complete their tests.

The essay questions the third graders were expected to answer by typing them out caused difficulties for the students, not because of lack of knowledge, but because of their lack of the necessary typing efficiency. If schools are to expect students to touch type exam answers they need to offer them the tools and skills to do so.

1st and 2nd grade students can familiarize themselves with touch typing basics so that they can have an acceptably efficient typing record that will allow them to participate in Common Core tests. Some schools do favor touch typing skills and have already phased out cursive learning in order for children to learn keyboarding.

Damaging presumptions

Even though technological literacy is now part and parcel of primary school curriculum, there are still many teachers who assume that students already know how to touch type, and so devote their IT class time on other modules.

However, keyboarding requires practice and guidance to fully master. When it comes to typing accuracy and technique, without a formal tutor or the help of touch typing software the student cannot achieve their full typing potential.

Touch typing has several different components that must be mastered before a student can call themselves a proficient typist. Children need to be taught the art and science of keyboarding early on, ideally around the 1st or 2nd grade, to ensure they can easily complete assignments and tests on computers

Even if your child’s school overlooks touch typing in favor of other IT skills, you can always make use of online free touch typing resources to help your child become a better typist. From typing games and apps to online videos and ebooks, there are quality resources online to help students master the art of keyboarding.

About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.