Nina Loback is Richmond Brazil’s Academic Coordinator for Language Schools. (You can read her complete biodata at the end of this post.)
The average typing speed is 41 words per minute, according to the database of an online game called 10 Fast Fingers. So, are you fast or slow? Better than Jim Carrey?
10fastfingers was created by Christian Strang in 2007. It lets you test and improve your typing speed with games that can be played alone or in multiplayer mode. There can be more than a 1000 people playing simultaneously and the number of players in English for a 24h period (the maximum time scores are kept) can easily reach more than 200k.
The test counts “Words Per Minute” (WPM): 5 keystrokes equal 1 WPM. Every time you hit the keyboard means one keystroke. That means “I run” counts as one word, but “rhinoceros” and “let’s talk” would both count as two.
The words that are used in this game are the most common words in English and several other languages. There are games with the 200 most common words, well suited to A1 students and games with more than 1000 common words, for any student A2 onwards.
You can play without registering, but if you decide to do so, you can create your own tests. As all it takes is literally typing your email and inventing a password, it is well worth it as you can then apply a personalized test to your students.
It has endless uses for students of any age and level of English. You can have students revisit any text from an original listening or reading activity, vocabulary topics, grammar structures and so on. It can be used as a warmer, midclass practice or as a follow up activity, in class or at home.
Here is an idea of how it can be used for grammar practice:
Activity type: web-based game.
Target language: sports (football) and grammar (past perfect vs past simple).
Classroom Time: 5-10 minutes.
Preparation: almost none. But you need internet access and a computer or smartphone (via browser) to play it.
1 Explain that the goal of the game is to type as fast as possible. You can set up a competition and even give any prize chosen by you or the group to the student that types more WPM.
2 Ask students how many players there are in a football team. Ask them how many there are in this photo:
3 Ask students to either open this blog post and do the activity embedded below or to follow the link to the activity on the original site.
4 Compare students’ results (you can ask them to save a print screen as evidence).
This activity can be used as practice to any lesson covering the grammar topic. FYI, just as reference, it is based on activity 8, from lesson 10A, PERSONAL BEST (book B1 – unit 10), the new Richmond series for adults, young adults and teens. Not that the coursebook needs complementing, as each grammar topic is covered and practized in so many ways:
3 End of book grammar reference and practice
4 End of unit Review and Practice
Type to Learn: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/english/esl-typing-practice/
Jim Carrey’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br4tnE425y0
Learn more about Personal Best: http://www.richmondelt.com/personalbest
Richmond’s Learning Platform: https://richmondlp.com/
Personal Best samples
Student’s book unit: http://cms.supadu.com/images/ckfinder/252/images/personal-best/pdfs/sb-u10.pdf
App from Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/personal-best-language-app/id1220345062?mt=8
App for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.santillana.personalbest&hl=en
Teacher’s resource book: http://cms.supadu.com/images/ckfinder/252/images/personal-best/854279_P102_111_PCM10.pdf
Nina Loback is Richmond Brazil’s Academic Coordinator for Language Schools. She has a degree in Languages (UEPG/PR/BR), holds CPE, TKT and is an ICELT holder. She has taught adults, teenagers and children for 10 years and is a frequent speaker at conferences. She is an advisory council member of BRAZ-TESOL Curitiba Regional Chapter and co-founder of Voices Sig for Women.