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Sunday, 19 November, 2000, 04:01 GMT
Comic teaching delights Japanese
Beano comic favourites The Bash Street Kids
Japanese schoolchildren are proving more attentive than these youngsters
Characters from the Beano comic are proving to be a hit with schoolchildren in Japan, it has emerged.

The trend started almost by accident when Beano-mad Scottish teacher Matthew Brawley left a copy of the comic on his desk at Kokubunji Junior High School on the island of Shikoku.

Mr Brawley, 23, from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, said: "Some of the children spotted it and took an immediate interest."

The Beano was launched in July 1938 by DC Thomson, who started the world's longest running comic-book, the Dandy, featuring Desperate Dan, seven months earlier.

Mr Brawle said: "My colleagues and I thought this was probably as good a way as any - and better than most - of teaching them English. It has certainly proved to be more fun and more interesting than learning from a dry-as-dust textbook."


The children are learning quickly and the Beano makes it enjoyable for them

Matthew Brawley
He added: "The children are learning quickly and the Beano makes it enjoyable for them to learn new words, new colloquialisms and something about British social situations as well."

The Numbskulls and Dennis the Menace are emerging as the children's favourites.

Other characters include Rodger the Dodger, the Bash Street Kids, Lord Snooty and Minnie the Minx.

Mr Brawley's parents, Paul and Helen Brawley, of Park Gate Place, Bellshill, keep their son supplied with fresh issues of the Beano as they come out.

His mother said: "Matthew has been Beano-mad since he was a small boy. He still is."

He has been teaching in Japan for a year, and expects to remain there for a further two years before returning to the UK to teach in a primary school.

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Dandy is king of the comics
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