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Learn Teeline Shorthand

Updated on November 6, 2016
Learn Teeline Shorthand
Learn Teeline Shorthand | Source

You can learn Teeline shorthand in classes or at home, in your own time. For many, the structure of a regular, delivered, class is ideal - but it can make much more sense to teach yourself shorthand at home. Learning shorthand in a class means that you are constrained by the speed of the slowest learner, teaching yourself means you can fly through the easy parts and revisit those trickier forms, when you choose.

Learn Teeline Shorthand Anywhere

Because all you need is a book, a notepad and pencil, you can literally learn Teeline shorthand anywhere at all - perhaps on your daily commute, or sitting in the garden or on the beach. It's very portable.

Teeline Shorthand was invented by James Hill - he originally learnt Pitman shorthand, but felt it was too complicated to pick up quickly. People who want to learn shorthand want to learn it and start using it ASAP and often don't have the time to "master" it over a long time.

Teeline Shorthand was first created in 1966, specifically to be taught to journalists - and the system proved to be so much easier and faster than other methods that it was an instant success. It simply makes sense to learn the easiest shorthand system because it's the end result that matters, not the method. Nobody will mind which shorthand system you know, they're simply interested in whether you can do shorthand.

Shorthand = What it Sounds Like

All forms of shorthand are simply a way of writing down what you hear. They are based on sound, not spelling. Each sound has a shape, which they call an outline.

Shorthand is invaluable in its own right - I formally trained in shorthand, then later went on to teach it - and over the years it's proven itself time and time again as I effortlessly take down meeting Minutes, notes, telephone messages and instructions! I don't have to worry that I missed out something important, I know my shorthand contains everything that was said. Additionally, it can be a great way to keep note of private notes in diaries, on your desk or anywhere that you don't want others to see what you wrote. In fact, even in a new job, as I am introduced to people I'll scribble down in shorthand something about their appearance, helping me to remember who is who without them knowing I think of them as "the short one at the back", or "pink hair, sits in corner"!

There is virtually nobody that cannot gain from learning shorthand. It is such a useful and flexible skill everybody who ever needs to make notes should learn it at some point.

Shorthand for Journalists

If you are considering a career in journalism, then learning shorthand is one of the skills you'll be expected to learn - and, like all new skills, you might find it takes you a little more time than you expected, so if you can learn shorthand before you need it on your journalism course then you can be ahead of the game and concentrate on other aspects of your course instead.
Most journalism courses will recommend Teeline shorthand - that is because it is fairly quick to learn and use.

It really doesn't matter which shorthand system you learn. Nobody will ask you for a specific shorthand to secure a job. Shorthand is a means to an end - a way to capture what is said in order to transcribe it later.

The two important things about shorthand are: the speed at which you can write shorthand, the accuracy with which you transcribe it.

It is also not important to take shorthand exams. Of course, if you are learning shorthand to get a job as a shorthand transcriptionist, then an employer might wish to see certificates, but in the main

When learning Teeline, the books have changed over the years. The original books, from the 1980s-1990s have now been updated and replaced by more modern books. The content hasn't changed, just the way it's presented to you.

Book: Teeline for Journalists

If you are learning shorthand to become a journalist, then this is probably the right book for you. The book is accompanied by a CD and MP3, giving you lots of opportunity to practice the skill of shorthand up to 60wpm whenever you want. Practice is KEY to learning shorthand. The more you practice, the faster you become - it's that simple.

This book and the passages were compiled especially for journalists; previously learning Teeline was targetted at secretaries, which is annoying if your dream is to become a journalist.

The book is easy to follow and you will have no trouble at all in learning shorthand using this book and CD - so long as you put in the time to practice the outlines. The book is broken down into the equivalent of 20 minute lessons, meaning you can fit in a lesson a day (or more)! quite easily and master shorthand in no time at all.

Teeline for Journalists

Book: Teeline Shorthand Made Simple

This, more modern, system of learning Teeline is suitable if you are teaching yourself, as well as being found in some shorthand classes. If you are learning shorthand for a particular purpose, then you'll notice that this book covers the requirements of all shorthand courses as well as being accepted by most of the relevant examining bodies, including the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

If you are learning shorthand to become a journalist, then this version is accepted by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Book: Teeline Course (1990s)

This is the main set of books that people have used to learn Teeline since the 1990s. They are the core course books. Simply work through these, page by page and you will cover everything you need to know and learn.

Shorthand is simply a matter of learning the sounds/outlines and then repeating them again and again to build speed.

As the core book in the series, this is the textbook containing the Teeline theory and longhand transcription, offering a complete course for students and lecturers. All the Teeline exercises are presented in Teeline with some business-related content helping to prepare you for using Teeline in the real world.

You are taken alone a set route through the sounds, slowly building upon and adding to the previous sounds you learnt. First you will be introduced to the new sound and will practice it in shorthand. Next you'll practice some words that use the sound. Finally you'll practice longer sentences that incorporate the new sound with your previous learning, in common sentences.

Because shorthand doesn't change much over the years - and because these books have been around for a long time, the cheapest place to pick these up tends to be ebay.

Book: Teeline Gold - Word List

When you're learning shorthand, it's important to know as many words as possible. To supplement and support the original Teeline Course, a second book was produced, which is effectively a Teeline Dictionary.

The Teeline Word List is laid out like a Teeline dictionary, giving you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and build a large vocabulary., or to simply dip into to look up a Teeline outline for a word you're unsure about.

Shorthand is based on sound, which means you hear the word and you make the outline - learning and practising common words or phrases is the key to becoming really fast. Learning words and phrases means the shorthand becomes automatic and with that the speed you can achieve shoots up.

There are over 12,000 words and their Teeline outlines in the Teeline Gold Word List book. These are all words which you might expect to encounter frequently in non-technical material. There were new appendices added in the Gold Word List, to include Legal and Medical words.
This Teeline book is essential if you want to learn Teeline fast.

Shorthand: Learn a Skill for Life

Shorthand is one of those great skills that you can learn once and have forever. Once you have learnt shorthand, that's it - you can then use it in every aspect of your life, forever. A skill you can use for your own benefit in any future job or situation. And - it's a great conversation starter when people see you writing it!

Buying up a couple of Teeline shorthand books and some shorthand notepads and pencils is cheaper than attending a course - and you've got everything you need to learn this really handy skill.


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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from USA

      I took shorthand in college. But, it was Pitman. Shorthand came in very handy when I was attending college, because it allowed me to take excellent notes during class. To this day, I still write some words in shorthand when I'm on the phone and want to jot something down quickly. I have forgotten a lot, but some words stuck with me. I have never heard of Teeline shorthand, but after reading your hub, I'm now interested in learning it. Thank you for your very informative hub.