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December 2021 - Year 23 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

Remembering Cuisenaire Rods

Hanna Kryszewska is a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer of trainers. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, Poland. She is co-author of resource books: Learner Based Teaching, OUP, Towards Teaching, Heinemann,  The Standby Book, CUP,  Language Activities for Teenagers, CUP, The Company Words Keep, DELTA Publishing,  and a course book series for secondary schools: ForMat, Macmillan. She is also co-author of a video based teacher training course: Observing English Lessons. Hania is a Pilgrims trainer and editor of HLT Magazine. E-mail:  


Cuisenaire rods were originally intended as  mathematics learning aids for students. They provide an interactive, hands-on way to explore mathematics and learn mathematical concepts, such as the four basic arithmetical operations, working with fractions and finding divisors, e.g.

In language teaching rods have been adopted for the Silent Way to introduce and activate language, to make learners think. In my old files I found an old handout which shows the various ways in which rods were used or can be used  in language teaching in the past. Memories… We used them at Pilgrims a lot.

In HLT you can read about using rods in business teaching at

and more at

There are new ideas for using rods at

Since there are  now virtual manipulative ways of using rods online, e.g. at  I wonder how much the new tool can make rods more popular in the language class, and bring them back into class.

If you have any ideas please get in touch and write about it for HLT.


Please check the Pilgrims f2f courses at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Pilgrims online courses at Pilgrims website.

Tagged  golden classics 
  • Remembering Cuisenaire Rods
    Hanna Kryszewska, Poland