I am so tired of seeing my ELLs slowly peck away at the keyboard one or two keys at a time.  They have no funds to buy typing software (or a computer for that matter).  Due to the dismal state of the economy, there is no money to buy such software.  I have to believe that there is some free material out there.  Can anyone help me here?




Tags: ELD, ELLs, ESL, Wordprocessing

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I don't know how old your students are but possibly Typing Chef, Keyboard Climber or Dance Mat Typing or these Keyboarding games. Gamequarium has course and games you could check out.
Thank you. I will check all of them out. Even though my students are high school age, they are ELLs and therefore open to anything:)


Hi Denise,

Like learning to ride a bicycle, learning the mechanics (the letters on the keyboard and correct finger use) should be fast and, then, this new learning should be put into practice immediately and continually (use it or lose it!). Typing software doesn’t do this. Learning takes too long and achieves too little.

I would like to invite you and your ELLs to pilot the innovative Nail It Now keyboarding method that uses mnemonics to learn the letters on the keyboard and correct finger use and is fast and fun. If you and your students like the method, I could give you a 50% discount on a Multi-User Licence in return for some kind of feedback publicity, say, you write a review in your blog (total honesty is what we are looking for). You would also save heaps of money and time because students can practice using their real computer work in class and at home.

There's a PowerPoint slide presentation classroom version and a PDF version for teachers, parents and older students to learn on their own (www.nailitnow.com.au/typingtutorlicence/everyone/how.html)

Students learn the letters on the LEFT side of the keyboard and correct finger use in around 35 minutes. They, then, do the LEFT side exercises. They learn the RIGHT side of the keyboard the same way. After that, they are ready to use their real computer work in class and at home to practice (much better than being locked in a software program in sporadic sessions for many months)

Georgina Farmer
Nail It Now
There are LOADS online. My favorite is Dance Mat Typing. More are here. Just google free typing games and you will find dozens...
Thank you:) I had no idea so much was out there.


I had my fourth-graders use Dance Mat Typing for an hour a week for a month. You'd be amazed at how well it worked. Plus, the kids LOVED it. (I even had a teacher request the URL, so he could learn to type.)
Here is a really basic keyboarding practice site. This may be what you are looking for if you just want students to practice. There are 17 different lessons and it begins with home row.

Thank you, Donna! I can't wait to share everything that everyone has given me so far. I will let students try out different programs and let them find the one they feel most comfortable with. Some of my students have very little literacy in their home language while others have had private education. Quite a range. Yours should work with the highly literate ones:)


Have you ever heard of Dance Mat Typing? Depending on the age of your students, this web site can be very engaging. Also, the main character has a very strong English accent which may be difficult for ELL students. At least it is the right price, FREE! Best of luck!

These typing programs look like fun! My experiences in learning to type a zillion years ago were NOTHING this exciting:)

Thank you very much!


You can set up a school account and it is free.
Thank you:) I have much to share with my colleagues tomorrow!





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