How to learn shorthand

Learn teeline shorthand with a book, a college course, online or with a private tutor

Learn teeline shorthand with a book, a college course, online or with a private tutor

Learn shorthand online, at a class, with a private tutor or even at home with a book.These are the four main ways that people will learn shorthand.

With the right system in place, it’s possible to be writing very fast shorthand within a few months. All it takes is a good set of lessons and lots of practice. So lets take a look at the different ways of learning shorthand – whether it be Teeline (our recommended system) Pitman or Gregg.

Shorthand book

By far the cheapest way to begin learning shorthand is by buying a text book study course from Amazon. These are great introductions to learning shorthand, and also great reference manuals for experienced professionals who can write 100 words a minute.

By far the most popular book is produced by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and it’s called Teeline Gold. NCTJ Teeline Gold Standard for Journalists: from Beginner to 100 Wpm with Essential Speed Building and Exam Practice


College classes

There are various evening and part time classes available at different colleges. These are generally quite successful and have a good reputation, but will generally cost quite a lot. They are convenient because they are available at different venues throughout the UK. The biggest and perhaps the best provider of these kinds of shorthand courses is Pitman Training. Many journalism students will also have a shorthand course as part of the university degree, or as part of their training course. These are also reputable, and have a very high success rate.

Online courses

There are a few courses available online that teach people how to write in shorthand. They cost anything from £50 for the basic level right up to £1,5000. Now, that’s quite a lot of money so unless have a lot of spare cash and you’re desperate to learn shorthand then they might not be the best option.


Private tutor

People wanting to learn shorthand who don’t want to go to college or take an online course can hire a private tutor. There are many of these available throughout the UK and they tend to be quite experienced. Having a private tutor will cost around £20 per lesson, and you’ll need a minimum of one or two a week for at least a few months to learn shorthand from the beginning. So this will cost a minimum of 300 and could go up to £1,000 or more depending on how quickly the student learns and how regularly they have lessons.

As can be seen from the price, it is probably cheaper to subscribe to an online course or college class. However, private shorthand tutors are useful for people who already know Teeline or Pitman and want to have a refresher to brush up their skills.

The NCTJ has a comprehensive list of approved shorthand tutors around the UK . Or you can also check out our recommended shorthand tutors and courses.


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