How to learn teeline shorthand

Updated March 24, 2017

Developed by James Hill in 1970, Teeline shorthand incorporates a self-study approach so that people can learn it on their own. Learning to write Teeline shorthand is an ideal way to increase your writing speed so you can take more accurate notes, whether you are in class or attending a meeting. Another bonus of using Teeline is that it is like a secret language, so you don't have to be worried about people knowing what you are writing unless they, too, understand the symbols. To learn Teeline shorthand, you need to start with the basics and increase your speed as you improve your skills.

Enrol in a Teeline shorthand course at your local community college, go to the library and check out a teach-yourself book or download an online program. Start with the free online lesson and see how well you do.

Set up a study routine. Bad Language, a website devoted to writing, advises that you are better off practicing Teeline 30 minutes a day rather than doing three hours in one sitting.

Learn the Teeline alphabet where the letters are all written as one stroke of the pen. The "a," for example, is written as "^" without lifting the pen and the "d" is just a dash. Just like longhand, Teeline includes capital and smaller letters. Consonants, however, are larger than vowels.

Do the Teeline worksheets. Copy the printed Teeline script onto the worksheets. As you do this, say the letters -- either mentally or aloud -- as you do it to reinforce the concepts.

Test yourself to see how well you know the alphabet. Just as you had to learn the ABCs when you first started school, the same is true when you are learning Teeline. Keep practicing the alphabet until you know it perfectly as there is no point in going further until you do.

Omit vowels. Like text messages, Teeline doesn't bother with vowels, so long as the script can be understood from context. If you already "speak" text you are well on your way to learning Teeline.

Practice dictation. Start with CDs or online dictation which gives you the option of slowing down the speed of the speech. Keep practicing by increasing the speed. Work at it until you can take shorthand of people talking around you.

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About the Author

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.