Flash Anzan

One of my students prepared an activity for class last year where we made our own mini-abacus and learned how it’s used to make calculations in Asia, something that was far more interesting than it sounds! His son was learning the method – called “Aloha” here in Spain – but known as Soroban in Japan. So when the Guardian ran an article on Anzan (and you’ll have to read to find out!), I had to take advantage. The video of a Flash Anzan competition will blow your mind……

Flash Anzan Teacher’s Notes


TESOL France 2012

A big thank you to Beth Cagnol and all the TESOL France team for organizing a brilliant event.

Thanks to everyone whose talks I went to, and to everyone I hung out with in talks, between talks and after talks. I’ve come back inspired and full of ideas and exhausted.

Thanks to everyone who came to my talk – here’s the handout . I hope you enjoy using the activities.

The Tipping Point

Hello again everyone and we apologise for our prolonged absence! We hit the ground running in mid-September but we’re finally on top of things and are resuming normal service. In fact, our first post of the new academic year has shades of irony, given that the subject is tipping – something generally associated with good service! On introducing this topic in class, we discovered that not only is it quite contentious but that it’s also much misunderstood in terms of who actually gets the money and why. There are also huge variations between countries and cultures. Among other things, we’re using a video from the excellent Videojug site – a great source of inspiration for videos for class. We hope you enjoy it and that it gives you food for thought the next time you get the bill in a restaurant…..

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.