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touch typing programs for children & adults

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Special Needs - Dyslexia

Dyslexia

For Dyslexic children, touch typing is an invaluable skill. Learning early benefits reading, comprehension, spelling & vocabulary. It greatly reduces the need for handwriting, which is commonly a disliked or a challenging area for many. Errors can be corrected easily without original mistakes being apparent (producing neat written work) and Spell Checkers are an invaluable help!

Typing also offers a different and powerful way to learn to spell; spelling becomes a series of patterns & finger movements, more than a simple visual or verbal skill - this can be a much more effective way of learning to spell for dyslexics.

Touch typing often increases the amount of written work produced, and language is typically more adventurous, as experimentation with words and spellings is possible without producing messy crossing-out of mistakes. It can improve physical dexterity and actually help handwriting! A recent study showed that there is no difference between Dyslexic and non-Dyslexic children when work is typed, but a significant difference when it is hand-written (TES 30/3/07). For more information, read Freed from the Pen, by Louise Green.

Producing work on a computer also frees the writer from attempting to process thoughts in a linear fashion; Dyslexic individuals in particular, benefit from being able to capture thoughts and then structure later on.

The British Dyslexia Association says... "ICT is an effective communication tool for dyslexic users. It saves hours of time, especially when planning, writing and editing information. To make the most of word processing it is important to ensure all users have good keyboard awareness and efficient typing skills. Efficient keyboard skills can be hugely beneficial in education, recording in exams (where permitted) and at work. Correct fingering of keys and the using of both hands should be encouraged at the earliest opportunity. This will discourage the learner from developing the habit of typing with only one hand or slow key pecking with one finger. Such habits can be difficult to break."

Other comments/feedback...

"We have used English Type very successfully with young children and teenagers here at Egham Centre, both as part of our multi-sensory lessons and for specific touch typing courses. The format is easy to operate and the children find the characters likeable. Touch typing is an important skill for children with specific learning difficulties and the product is easily accessible for learners and is priced competitively."

Dyslexia Action Head Office



"We ordered just about every typing tutor we could find on approval. We were not impressed with what we found and we had almost given up the idea of the purchase until we came across Englishtype Junior. Our initial positive reaction was based mainly on the interface - it had the right balance of information on screen for the task, explaining clearly and succinctly to the children the nature and purpose of the software. The interface is colourful, the keyboard and on-screen 'hands' provide supportive feedback to the user and make a clear link between the computer and the keyboard as interface. Moreover, it defined touch typing in an appropriate way. As teachers, we loved these factors enough to take the plunge and for me, as network administrator, I was pleased with the way in which it comfortably worked with a client server network.

We have a significant number of dyslexic pupils and others with difficulties who benefit from having good keyboard skills. Englishtype Junior has been phenomenally supportive for these children who, despite a great deal of initial difficulty with the keyboard, have found that they still want to stick at it because they are using Englishtype. The software has helped improve their spelling, sentence writing and general confidence with a keyboard. It is supporting all our children in this area. 'Listen and Type', the feature which came to us with Version 3 of Englishtype Junior, has proved incredibly popular with all the children. Used alongside the games, this feature truly extends the skills learnt within the typing lessons and reinforces the children's learning. As teachers we couldn't be happier. We see the progress the children are making, we notice the difference it makes to their written work, both on screen and on paper. On top of this, we see the remarkable difference it makes to the children's ICT skills, the confidence gained because they truly know the keyboard, the keyboard layout and how the interface works. Having started by looking for support to help the children to get to know the keyboard, we now find that we have acquired a great deal more.

Dallington School



"I (teach) a group of 15 children with a mixed age range (mostly from Year 6) and with various needs, Specific Learning Difficulties, handwriting difficulties, low self esteem. I chose Englishtype because it is well structured, attractive, clear and age appropriate. The multi-sensory approach of Englishtype encourages reading and aims to improve spelling using age relevant useful vocabulary - this seemed to be especially appropriate for those children with Sp.L.D. These children do not feel threatened by the program which gives immediate feedback. The program has helped with self esteem. It has also been a valuable part of the preparation for secondary transfer."

SENCo, Martin Junior School



"I have used this program in 2 schools with amazing results. The programme enabled children with a variety of Special Needs to type fast enough to take notes and complete written work. This raised their self esteem and made them feel that they could cope within school. With the use of computers and the need for good keyboard skills as an essential part of the work market, I would like to see all children learning to touch type as early as possible. The careful use of games within the programme makes it fun and rewards the children's progress, excellent. It helps teachers too!"

Special Needs Unit, Islington



"My two children, Jackson aged 11 and Lexington aged 9 have both been diagnosed with dyslexia and have as a consequence have struggled with their schooling since going to school. Last October, through a mutual friend I was recommended to teach the children to touch type using the English Type system. The children took around 3 months to learn to touch type using the computer programme. The instructions were clear, the method of teaching easy to understand and the games were fun. The children had no problem following the programme and were motivated to move up levels as their confidence and ability grew.

My daughter now types at 22 words a minute and my son at 27 words a minute. Both children touch type most of their homework which has liberated them. Lexy's teacher told me her written homework was now of a different standard. She uses a much wider breadth of words, where as before she was limiting herself to using simple words she felt confident to spell. Jackson's confidence has grown beyond measure. He recently took a school entrance exam and score 68% in his English against an average of 58%. I am sure this confidence has come about because he feels he now has a method of writing which is not hampered by his poor spelling ability.

I have seen first hand the difference leaning to touch type with the Englishtype has made to both of my children. The results have been astounding and I would recommend it to any child with learning difficulties."

A Mum... see Lexy & Jackson's comments below.

"I learnt to touch type using Englishtype and now I do not have to worry coming home because now I can finish off my homework easily. It helps me with the quickness of my work and the spelling as when I right click it shows me the right spelling. I think typing like this will help me with my job when I get older. The program is fun as the way it is planned out is not boring. The games encourage you and it is good that you can change your own levels. I am the only girl in my class who can touch type and my friends are jealous of me."

Lexy aged 9yrs

"My name is Jackson and I am 11 years old. I have learning difficulties and my mum has made me learn to touch type using the Englishtype program. I can now type at 24 words per minute. This program was very good because it went step by step and colour coded all the different letter with your fingers. It took in around 8 weeks to learn. Being able to type my homework has made it easier and quicker. I am the only person in my class who can touch type and I think it will help me to pass my exams. Although I am not allowed to use a lap top at school, I type a lot at home"

Jackson, aged 11yrs


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