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In this video Paul shows you how to construct the Sparkfun ROB-14391 pan/tilt bracket. The kit, which is widely available, is an affordable and relatively easy introduction to building something with servo motors. We particually like that all the parts needed are included in the kit, including the actual servos! All you need is to after assembling it is to hook it up to an Arduino and you have a functioning pan/tilt mechanism.

This forms part of a new course coming soon from englishpool.


In this video Paul tears down, or takes apart, a barcode reader (also known as a barcode scanner.)

He also explains a little of the history of the barcode, and how the barcode reader works by identifying the four main components inside, which are;

a light source
a lens
an image capture device (CCD)
a decoder

This formed a topic for some of our Junior High School classes. The students were invited to take a screw-driver and dismantle the barcode reader, while Paul pointed out, questioned and explained, items of interest. (Paul will do anything to get his students talking!)


日, 20 2月 2022 14:42

Whiteboard Marker Pen Magic

  Want to impress your friends? Teacher? students or classmates?

  Well look no further, I've been using this in classes for the past few months, so thought it was time I shared it with you.

  Watch this short video to see how to create a dancing stickman using only a whiteboard marker pen, a plate and some water.

  Be amazed!



土, 12 2月 2022 14:07

Queen Celebrates Platinum Jubilee

  This week's topic in some of our adult classes  has been the platinum jubilee of Elizabeth II. A platinum jubliee means we are celebrating a 70 year anniversay. In this case 70 years since she became queen.

  Her 25th anniversary was known as a silver jubilee, her 50th anniversary as a golden jubliee and her 60th as a diamond jubilee.

  Thank to Breaking News English for the topic and there's a short news video below reporting on the occassion.



火, 08 2月 2022 18:46

How to Make a Paper Clip Motor

  In this video Paul shows you how to make the worlds simplest, and easiest, electric motor using only two paperclips, a magnet, a battery and some enamelled wire. And while it doesn't have any practical use, it does demonstrate the principle of how electric motors work.

 We've built these simple paper clip motors in class before and it's always exciting to see them start spinning....admittedly after quite a bit of adjusting!









土, 25 12月 2021 12:20

Merry Christmas 2021

Over the years The 12 Days of Christmas song (クリスマスの12日間) has become a bit of a tradition here at englishpool. Every year we would split the children into groups and get them to sing it at the end of our Christmas Party, in front of their parents.
Well that didn't happen last year, and it looked like we'd have to pass again this year...until I had the idea of recording each class sperately and then stitching it all together.

So here it is. Enjoy!

A big thank you to all the children at englishpool for making this possible.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


水, 15 12月 2021 00:13

Christmas Adventure

  It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas, so, follow along as Paul reads Christmas Adventure from the Oxford Reading Tree series. Where will the magic key take them this time?


土, 20 11月 2021 13:53

What Animal am I?

 With all the other elementary students busy with school activities today, we had a private class today.

Taking the opportunity of only one student turning up, becaue the others were busy with school events, I helped him create this quiz using the Scratch programming interface.

How many can you answer?  Click the green flag to start  (answers in lowercase only please)



Naturally the Scratch interface was set to English, and all instruction was done in English.

I very proud of his work, and the fact that we got it completed, and working, within the lesson!

(If you can't see above the link is:


If you are interested in learning more about programming in English check our 英語でプログラミングコース for 小学生.

土, 13 11月 2021 12:09

At the Restaurant

  In our Saturday kinder class, we are currently learning all about foods and drinks with Kinka and Pinka at the restaurant.

  Today I used this rather excellent video, from the folks at Happy Valley, to great effect in the class.

  Join Kinka and Pinka as they order their meals in the restaurant. What does Pinka want to eat and drink?


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