Teeline Resources

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"You cannot dilly-dally with shorthand and make a success of it. The mastery of any calling means work, energy, enthusiasm...from start to finish. There are, and always have been, too many persons fooling and playing with shorthand. This will not do. Put your whole heart and soul and all the energy you can muster in the study and you may then expect results; otherwise, failure." - Frank Harrison

Teeline Books

Although Teeline has evolved over the years, often resulting in the streamlining of its theory and the simplification of certain outlines, a list of known historical published works is presented here in descending order, most recent first. The vast majority of the books are available for purchase through eBay, Amazon or AbeBooks.com, among other sites. You may also wish to try BookFinder.com, which is a particularly good site for finding used books, rare books, textbooks, new and/or out-of-print books.

Keep in mind the more recent books will have incorporated most of the theory and outline changes the Teeline system has gone through since inception. That said, this is not to suggest there is no merit in reading older material. Many things have not changed, and there is much "gold dust" sprinkled throughout the literature that may prove valuable to you in your studies.

Teeline for Journalists; Johnston, Dawn; Published by Pearson Longman, 2012

Aimed at journalism students, this work concentrates on the key terms and phrases they are likely to encounter in their careers. From the back cover: "Theory principles are covered in logical progression to help build your skills and confidence. Examples of words are given in each unit in order to illustrate a particular new theory principle and give you the opportunity to revise previously learned principles. Revision points and lots of tasks reinforce learning and give you plenty of opportunity to practise your skills. Appendices contain a comprehensive list of special outlines, distinguishing outlines and word groupings.  All of the passages in the book are contained on the accompanying MP3 audio CD giving you the opportunity to practise dictation exercises and improve your shorthand speed for exam success."
Teeline Gold Wordlist; Smith, Mavis; Tilly, Anne; Published by Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, 2012

Originally published in 1981, this Teeline Gold edition of the Word List has doubled in size and contains recommended Teeline outlines for over 12,000 words which might be expected to occur frequently in non-technical material. Appendices of legal and medical words are included. As the introduction states: "This wordlist gives you a comprehensive - if not exhaustive - list of common words. You will see that you should be able to write any word not included by using the outline of a similar word as a guide and applying Teeline principles to the longhand."
Teeline Gold Standard for Journalists; Cartwright, Marie; Published by Pearson Education, Oxford, 2009

The NCTJ currently recommends this book for shorthand study, which takes the learner up to 100 wpm and provides both speed building and exam practice. This comes bundled with an audio CD.
Teeline Gold Shorthand Dictation Pack: Stages I, II and III; Oxford : Heinemann Educational, 2000

This pack contains shorthand dictation material at speeds ranging from 40wpm to 120wpm. The pack is photocopiable and also includes two audio cassettes with exam material.
Teeline Gold Speed Ladder; Hall, Stephanie; Published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1992

Following on from the "Teeline Gold Course Book," this is intended to develop students' speed. The book should enable teachers to structure their classes, once they have introduced the basic Teeline theory, by reviewing and extending the theory. It also develops the theory of word groupings.
Teeline Gold Coursebook; Clarkson, Jean; Hall, Stephanie; Osborne, Celia, Parkinson, Ulli; Published by Heinemann, 1991

This is the core book in the series. It is the textbook which contains the Teeline theory and longhand transcription, offering a complete course for students and lecturers. All the exercises are presented in Teeline and the business-related content helps prepare students for the world of work.
Teeline Gold Workbook; Butler, Harry; Published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1991

This is the companion to the "Teeline Gold Course Book." Linked chapter-by-chapter, it provides additional Teeline practice material and longhand transcription to reinforce classroom learning, improve outline and develop speed.
Teeline Fast; Dix, Ann; Published by Pearson Education Limited, 1990

Although older, this is a good "roadmap" or overview to the Teeline system. At 76 pages, it is a small but still valuable resource for revision work, although one does need to keep in mind it is over 30 years old.
Medical Teeline: Garner, Pat; Clare, Pat; Published by Heinemann Educational Books - Secondary Division, 1987

A guide book for students and teachers on adapting Teeline to medical vocabulary. It includes sections on medical prefixes and suffixes, medical words and abbreviations as well as case study correspondence set in many different medical specialties.
Teeline Word Groupings; Bowers, Meriel; Hill, George; Published by Heinemann, 1987

A useful book that explains the nature, function and value of word groupings in building up speed. Chapter 4, "Guide to Alternative Strategies and Outlines," is particularly good.
Teeline Shorthand Passages: L.C.C.1 Examination Papers, 1979-83; Bowyer, Dorothy; Published by Pearson Education Limited, 1984

This book consists of 134 examination papers set from 1979-83 by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Recommended Teeline outlines for selected words in each passage are offered for guidance. The book is intended to assist speed and vocabulary development and could form a valuable course of preparation for students taking public examinations.
Second Teeline Workbook Revised Edition; Hill, I.C.; Bowers, Meriel; Published London : Heinemann Educational, 1984
First Teeline Workbook Revised Edition; Hill, I.C.; Bowers, Meriel; Published by Heinemann Educational Books - Secondary Division; 2nd edition (September 5, 1983), 1983
Handbook for Teeline Teachers; Butler, Harry; Published by Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1983

Although the focus of this book is on shorthand pedagogy, there are many chapters that will be imminently useful to the solo learner as well. Be sure to check out Chapter 17: An Examiner's View by George Hill for a look at some of the mistakes that occur repeatedly in examination scenarios.
Teeline Revised Edition; Hill, I.C.; Bowers, Meriel; Published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1982

An alternative course book containing all the Teeline theory offering a complete course for students and teachers. It is divided into small learning units with a wide range of examples and exercises at each stage.
Teeline Shorthand Made Simple; Butler, Harry; Published by Made Simple, 1982

Dated, but well-organized. Further, it provides a lot of useful commentary for beginning and advanced students alike.
Teeline Dictation and Drill Book: Hill, I.C. and Hill, G.S.; Published by Heinemann Educational Books, 1980

This book contains many examples of Graded Dictation, as well as Secretarial, Commercial, General and Journalistic material. The final section also contains a good sampling of Examination material. Throughout the book, there are many fine hints which are worth reading. There is also a brief two-page spread on Teewords, an interesting topic in its own right.
Advanced Teeline with a Special Supplement "Building Up Speed" by E. H. Butler, Shorthand Consultant, National Council for the Training of Journalists; Hill, James; Hill, I.C.; Butler, Harry; Published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, First 1972

This is an older book that
should be approached cautiously as it represents, in several ways, a significant departure from how Teeline is taught today. Note: A PDF version of Harry's "Building Up Speed" can be found at this link.
Basic Teeline: A Textbook of Fast Writing; Hill, James; Hill, I.C.; Published by Heinemann Educ., 1971

This is the first instructional book on Teeline that was produced subsequent to a 32-page handbook that was published on 15 July 1968. Much has changed since this book was introduced, but this is still a very interesting book from a historical perspective.

From the back cover: "James Hill's revolutionary new system of fast writing is completely covered in this full Teeline textbook. This course provides the means of fast, accurate writing in about one quarter of the time required to learn to achieve the same results in a conventional shorthand system. With Teeline there is no need to spend hours of preparation on theoretical work or to memorise long lists of symbols. Because Teeline is a modification of ordinary writing for use at high speeds, two or three hours study will enable the student to use the system in its simplest form. Thereafter, skill and speed increase with use. The secretary and the journalist, the executive and the student can each develop it to suit their particular needs. The system has been successfully demonstrated at 200 words per minute, and for all practical purposes there seems to be no upper limit."

New General Service List (NGSL) Resources

If you're not familiar with the New General Service List, start with this worthy TED talk entitled "Power of Words." In this talk, Charles Browne, a professor of Applied Linguistics in Japan, addresses the perennial problem of how English vocabulary is taught and introduces a concrete solution in the form of a corpus-derived list of high frequency words called the New General Service List (the NGSL was published by Browne, Culligan and Phillips in 2013 - for more information please refer to the New General Service List Project). The 2,801 words on this list represent less than 0.4% of the English language yet cover 92% of the words students will likely meet in their daily lives.

Attached here, in descending order of the most common first, is a PDF of the Top 500 words on the NGSL list. "The" is literally the most common word, followed by "Be," "And" and so forth. Shorthand students may wish to take note that while technically any word may show up on an exam, or in your everyday life, the reality is, these high frequency words are (statistically) more likely to show up, ergo, it makes sense to know them before spending time on other random words.

Wikipedia's entry for the New General Service List is worth looking at as well.

As an aside, if you're interested in learning the NGSL list in 50 block increments, you can find these sets on Quizlet. While the flashcards present the English word with the corresponding definition on the reverse side, there is nothing preventing you from starting with the Top 50 cards and as you "flip" through them, mentally envision the Teeline outline for each. This "mental play" is actually very good practice.

On the Web

The Internet Archive houses many of the Teeline-related books noted above. Most are available to borrow electronically for up to one hour at a time, but some are community "texts," meaning, a PDF is available to download.

Reddit: The Shorthand subreddit is a good place to meet people from around the world who share a love for shorthand. Many different types of shorthand enthusiasts engage in useful discussions every day.

MoreWords is a free yet powerful service that allows you to do many things related to words. For the shorthand writer, it can be particularly useful to find word and word patterns using advanced filters. For example, if you have struggled with outlines with a certain word ending, say, "arity," using the site with a wildcard search pattern of *arity will show you 62 words with that ending that you could incorporate into your practice routine.

You may wish to check out the website at wordhippo.com (they also have iPhone and Android apps). It's handy for finding similar words, opposite words, definitions and translations. You can even search for full sentences that contain a specific word, which is useful for drilling purposes.

There is a TED ED talk that's less than five minutes entitled, "How to practice effectively...for just about anything" that is worth your time.

Although a steno book is standard equipment, if you have need, check out the Printable Paper site for PDF versions of popular paper types you can download and print for free.


Good dictation resources can be somewhat hard to come by. In addition to the Audio Dictation page here on our site, be sure to check out Let’s Love Teeline Together on Soundcloud. We are always in the process of adding material, most of which is organized into graded playlists (60, 80, 100 wpm, etc.).

There are a number of dictation-related materials at the Internet Archive. Most are at high speed (above 120 wpm), however, since these are publicly available files you can freely download (usually as MP3s), it is a relatively simple matter to use the (freely available) audio program, Audacity to adjust the tempo. Load the audio file into Audacity, go to the menu item "Effect," then "Pitch and Tempo," and then "Change Tempo."

Here are ten dictations from the Internet Archive consisting of actual business letters recorded at 90-100 wpm.

Here are over 100 dictation files available for listening (or download). While the material is "dated," these are still good practise and range from 40 wpm up to 130 wpm. Most are available in MP3 format, but there are a few WMA files as well.

There is a YouTube video of approximately 45 minutes of dictation entitled "Teeline Practice- Dawn Johnston" on Araminta Hartley's channel. Dawn wrote the book "Teeline for Journalists," however, it's unclear who is actually doing the reading. The passages are read at 100 wpm and above, and so are geared toward more experienced writers. However, even if you are not yet at that speed, you can still listen to acclimate yourself to that speed or perhaps try to take down every other sentence.

And, of course, if you have run out of dictation material, you can make your own. If you don't know how, ask your teacher or tutor to show you how to read at various speeds. With technology today, it's fairly straightforward to create your own materials. Nee some ideas? Check out our blog post on Tech Tools  For Teeline.

As we pointed out in our blog post on "A Power Tool for Shorthand Practice," there are a number of  apps that can be very useful in your revision efforts. Beyond AudioStretch, there are two similar apps that each provide different functionality when it comes to slowing down (or speeding up) an audio file. The first is AudioTweak, a free iPhone app that also allows you to easily speed up or slow down a track to your liking. AudioTweak also has a built-in equalizer as well as a "Recents" menu to easily access a specific track. The second app, Transcribe+, is a free/paid app that has some really interesting features, including something they call "Loop View." This feature allows you to easily see all of the loops you have created within an audio file. For example, here we have isolated each sentence in the dictation and in the Loop View, you can easily click each one to drill which is very, very useful. While the paid version is somewhat expensive (+/- 16 GBP), you should be able to decide if it's something you would find helpful in your studies. Please note LLTT has no financial interest in anything we recommend. This is something that we have tried, found useful and are passing it along to you.

The Transcribe+ Loop View

General Articles Worth Your Time

The Ultimate Guide to Deliberate Practice

As this excellent article states: "Deliberate practice is the best technique for achieving expert performance in every field—including writing, teaching, sports, programming, music, medicine, therapy, chess, and business. But there’s much more to deliberate practice than 10,000 hours. Read this to learn how to accelerate your learning, overcome the “OK” plateau, turn experience into expertise, and enhance your focus."


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Teeline Folding Booklet Template

As we discussed in the LLTT Newsletter #2, the idea of folding booklets is not new. What you do with them once you create one, however, is totally up to you as the possibilities are endless. First, you need the basics. This very short YouTube video shows you how to make a standard eight-page mini-book from one piece of paper.

With twelve lines per page and eight pages, there’s room for +/- 96 outlines (and/or word groupings), depending on the size of your handwriting.

You can find our template here: Folding Booklet Template - v.LLTT