Hunt and Peck typing method versus touch-typing. Which method is preferred when learning how to type?

Touch Typing

Touch-typing is a skill that grows from training your fingers to automatically hit the correct characters on a keyboard in order to type the words and sentences you wish to compose. The method is called touch-typing because, over time, your fingers are trained to find the relevant letters by touch – so that you no longer need to look at the keyboard. This frees you up to look directly ahead at the screen and concentrate on what you are typing and how you want to present it.

Hunt and Peck typing, on the other hand, refers to typing through looking at the keyboard, hunting around for the character key you wish to press – and then pecking it! The Hunt and Peck method is less efficient as it forces your attention onto the keyboard in order to find characters, instead of onto the screen, where you need to look to monitor your work. Also, because Hunt and Peck typing is not a method as such, it is not fixed, therefore there is no rhyme or reason to it. Consequently, any finger can hit any key at any time, which leaves little room for developing proficiency or typing speed.

How touch-typing works:

The QWERTY keyboard – so-called from the word QWERTY – which can be made up from the letters on the top row of the keyboard – is specifically designed to work for touch-typing. The layout of the entire keyboard complete with all letters of the alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers and symbols, is fashioned in a manner that optimises correct finger movement for touch-typing.

In essence, the method entails teaching individual fingers specific letters and characters to press on the keyboard – and then memorising these movements. Each finger types a fixed selection of letters and nothing else. Once all fingers know where they must go – so to speak – they can work in combination to efficiently and effectively cover the entire alphabet and keyboard.

With practice, touch typing becomes much easier and once the system ‘clicks’, the learner can go on to achieve higher typing speeds and build up their words-per-minute rate.

Touch-typing in practice
On a practical basis, the system can be explained as follows:

Left hand:

Little finger (pinkie): types the letters A, Q and Z only. No other letters.
Ring finger: types the letters S, W and X. No other letters.
Middle finger: types the letters D, E and C. No other letters.

Already you can see from looking at the keyboard that just learning these three finger movements will help you cover nine letters in the alphabet and a good left-hand portion of the keyboard. Complete touch-typing will show you where all eight fingers go on the keyboard (the thumbs are only used to press the Space Bar) so that, when working together, your fingers can fly around the keyboard as you touch-type and build up your typing speed.

At Searsol we are dedicated to teaching correct touch-typing to our students at an individual pace to suit all learners. Touch-type lessons and practice take place during our after school courses so there is no need to practice at home. We teach the correct method, so it takes the pain out of trying to learn to type at home. We have qualified tutors that deliver our touch typing courses. Combined with positive praise and recognition of students achievements, thus ensuring success on our touch typing courses.

For information on your nearest after-school Searsol course centre, please feel free to get in contact on 01-630 3384 or visit our page searsol.com/typingcourses to book a free first session free trial.

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