Many Americans are overloaded with student debt. They often are questioning the value of having a college degree. Consider the alternative that’s described in this post, and study for a top-paying profession that’s crying out for employees and comes with relatively little costs. For example New York students who prepare for their Regent have a chance to learn shorthand code and get familiar with court reporting job.
What about becoming a Court Reporter. There are ‘stenographic court reporters’ and ‘voice-writing court reporters’ and these specialists are highly skilled people that often usually work in courtrooms and are the persons who produce court reports. They may also be employed at deposition suites that are found across America or at some places.
Court reporters (especially steno writers) need some four years of education and a lot of training-on-the-job. They require certification and there are three bodies in the US that are responsible for that, the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA), and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). There are states that use their own certification system, but by and large, certification is granted by these three bodies.
Well, that thing is called a stenographic machine, or ‘stenograph’. This type of machines is also used to produce captions for TV broadcasts, live streaming transcripts at meetings and at schools, and for office stenography in general. Stenographs are working a bit like portable word processors, but they have a modified keyboard with 22 buttons instead of a standard keyboard. Modern stenographs include two rows of consonant keys on each side, placed underneath a ‘number bar’, and in front are four keys for the vowels A, O, E, and U.
Now how do stenographers work? Court stenographers may be typing entire words if they strike more keys at the same time. The left keys are for spelling the beginning letter of a syllable, and the right hand keys are for the last letter. The stenographer presses all relevant keys at the same time, and the stenographic machine will come up with an alphabet soup that is unintelligible for persons who are not trained to read machine shorthand.
Generally, shorthand systems are using phonetic representations of words, not the way we are used to spell them. English spelling is represented by 26 letters, and 50 speech sounds. Take a look at the hurdles you need to overcome and the problems you may come across if you want to learn shorthand writing that is symbol-based. First of all, all shorthand writing systems that are based on assigning a unique symbol to a specific word, require a lot of your precious time. You must memorize several thousands of these outlines or symbols. Secondly, due to the large number of outlines or symbols, you must constantly practice to remember all symbols, and do this on a daily basis. You probably won’t have used all symbols but you must be able to memorize them in case you need them in future situations. Another possible issue is that, depending on the thickness and form of a symbol, it may translate to a different meaning, causing problems to the accuracy of a transcription, and a last problem is that it is not possible to use symbol-based shorthand writing systems with a computer.
Teeline is a relatively new way for shorthand writing mainly used in the UK and other parts of British Commonwealth. There are also Teeline applications for some Germanic languages like German and Swedish. The Teeline Shorthand System is recognized by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. Teeline was created and introduced in 1968 by James Hill, a shorthand writing teacher. With Teeline, a rate of 150 words a minute is feasible, and usually journalists who use the system have created their own groups of word to increase their writing speed.
Teeline is speed writing system that is using all letters of the English alphabet that we are already familiar with, and streamlines the text. Just think of what nowadays is known as ‘text language’, used by teenagers when they’re writing their text messages. They have removed the ‘silent’ letters from a word, usually vowels, as in hello (abbreviated to ‘hlo’) and in (shortened to ‘bi’). Which letters are written depends on how the words sound when spoken. Teeline uses a similar system.
Before students will visit and explore a court, it is crucial that they understand a little about the ‘etiquette; that;s required in court. Before setting out on a tour through one our nation’s court rooms, educators should discuss and explain a lot of the Courthouse Do’s & Don’ts to their students.
DO speak in a soft and decent manner and keep up a professional demeanor in stairwells and hallways of the Courthouse you visit.
DO NOT speak in courtrooms while court proceedings are going on.
DO remember where the bathrooms are located (here: on the 2nd floor near to the elevators).
DO NOT bring your totes or heavy backpacks into the Courthouse. This will delay the security proceedings.
Stenography is a shorthand typing form that’s done on special machines that allow for the simultaneous production of a verbatim transcript that can be used, for example, in courts. Stenographers are working alongside speakers when they, for instance, produce live subtitles for television purposes.
What Do Stenographers Do?
Well-trained QWERTY typists usually are typing at a rate of 80 words a minute, and to give you an idea how fast that is: Fiona Bruce, a famous British television newsreader, is talking at approximately 180 words per minute, and Jon Stewart (no explanation needed, I guess) even more. Well, stenographers are writing at a rate of at least 200 words a minute on a tiny machine, and they are able to come up with an exact transcript in that same time. Now that’s a lot, and fast!
Court reporting is as old as our civilization and we’ve seen it professionally being practiced for thousands of years. We can trace back the roots of court reports all the way back to 63 BC, when Cicero’s secretary, Marcus Tullius Tiro, was already practicing shorthand court reporting. The profession requires well-developed skills, a broad range of learning and training, and accuracy.
Stenographers are among the highest advanced people in the courtroom and they are the ones that make court reports. They can also be found working in deposition suites all across the nation. Producers of digital recording devices and transcription companies can often be overheard bragging about the ‘evolution’ of court coverage and how their products are better, cheaper, faster, or more reliable than the work produced by stenographers, but the truth of the matter is that, though digital audio recording may generate sufficient records, these recording devices do not necessarily produce accurate documents.
Many studies have indicated that if college and high school students learn to properly take notes during their lecture, their academic performance will be far better. They’ll be more successful, as Stahl, King, and Henk have demonstrated in 1991. Spires and Stone also found in a 1989 study that students will have to ‘increasingly depend on their skill to properly take notes in the classroom if they want to become successful’
In 1994, Ornstein published his findings that indicate that students will benefit if all teachers deliberately train their students in good note-taking techniques. Lower-achieving students will even benefit more. A Bakunas & Holley essay from 2001 is even suggesting that instructors should teach their students note-taking skills just like they’re taught reading, writing, or keyboarding skills.
Court reporters (also named certified shorthand reporters) need to record every word that is spoken at an official court proceeding. The court proceeding could be a hearing or a trial. Instead of using pencil to put it all to paper or making use of a regular word processor (with a full keyboard), court reporters use a stenographic machine (the ‘stenograph’) that includes only 22 keys.
By using these 22 keys, court reporters are able to produce symbols on a very tiny and narrow paper strip in the machine and record all the things that are said in court. The stenograph is hooked up to a computer to convert the records into English that we can understand. Court reporters are also required, if instructed by the judge to do so, to read out loud portions of what they have transcribed on their stenograph. Court reporters are also required to prepare official written transcripts of the court proceedings.