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Hello everybody,


At the end of this month I will be back in Indonesia for workshops for Young Learners teachers. I am very much looking forward to this.


One of the things we 'workshopped' in my last trip was the concept of the "21st century flipped classroom" where the teacher is no longer simply a conveyor of information as a "sage on the stage", but has a dual role as a "guide on the side" helping students navigate through their own self-learning path. With the advent of course materials using technology in the language classroom and the students' homes, it has never been easier for the teacher to serve as a guide or coach, encouraging and monitoring progress rather than simply "teaching" the students the language, and giving tests to make sure the students 'got it'.


In the video attached from the Our Discovery Island pilot program, we see Ron in the online world interacting with a virtual teacher and completing a vocabulary task during his level 1 adventure. Normally this would be homework, but in this case a computer lab was used to observe the students at "work and play." In a typical 'guide on the side' activity I would use the main computer in the class and ask students to 'teach' other students how they completed certain parts of the online world/game and what language they met there. 


How much technology is in your classroom, and your students' homes? How much teaching do you do on the "stage" and how much do you do on the "side"?


Happy teaching,

Aaron Jolly.

Our Discovery Island Author.



Hi everybody,


It's a rainy chilly day in seoul today. Hope the weather is better where you are?


I am about to set off for Jeju Island off the south coast of Korea, to visit some amazing teachers - and the thought of amazing teachers brings memories of my recent visit to Indonesia flooding back. I was simply stunned by the energy and enthusiasm of Indonesian teachers and administrators. I offer evidence with the pictures below this post.


To teachers who attended - I'd love to know what things from the sessions affected, challenged or entertained you the most. Please do share!


Here are a few key points to trigger your memory:



I talked about and demonstrated a number of activities with timed pair-work, group-work and mingling stages to create 80%-20% classrooms where the teacher becomes the "guide on the side" rather than always being the "Sage on the stage". Think-Pair-Share = Think time for an individual + timed pairwork + sharing with new partners + mingling.


The 4 C's - Communication, collaboration, creativity & critical thinking

We had heaps of fun doing an activity where teachers in large groups had to create a song, dance or chant about one of the Our Discovery Islands... the performances were awesome... You can use these principles/strategies to create activities, to analyse and choose good materials and to motivate learners.


Read more about the 4C's and 21st century learning here: (Pearson is a partner in the project)


21st century learning with blended solutions:

Offline and online, digital and paper... what's your mix? I demonstrated an amazing new course-book and blended learning solution for young learners from Pearson called Our Discovery Island. Samples of two of the components are in my previous post on this blog and you can see more here too:


Love to hear your feedback, reflections,comments and questions... and scroll for cool pictures below


Enjoy your teaching and let your students shine on!



Aaron D. Jolly

Author, ELT consultant and Korea TESOL trainer.

Our Discovery Island



Jakarta Pearson Day - post event energy





Jakarta Pearson Day - teachers becoming island songs on stage





Surabaya Pearson Day - teachers together





Surabaya Pearson Day - prize winners for active audience participation





Jogjakarta Pearson Day - Group work and mingling with author standing on a chair





Jogjakarta Pearson Day - Prize winners for active audience participation





Jogjakarta Pearson Day - Photo winner





Jogjakarta Pearson Day - Inspiration from rock and roll




Jogjakarta Pearson Day - Inspiration from winning tennis shots




hey hey.jpg


Hi teachers, friends and ELT gurus the world over!


Welcome to my Our Discovery Island author blog! To get things started I would like to point you towards some very cool pedagody articles on the Our Discovery Island website. Today's post is focused on my own article there, called:


Why Isn’t Jinny Learning (Remembering) Words?: Motivation, Affective Filters and Vocabulary Learning


You can find the full article here below or attached to this post:


Here is a section of the article for your consideration and comment:


Fluency in language production occurs where ‘procedural knowledge’ through ‘automotization’ becomes ‘fast and without deliberation’ (DeKeyser, 1997). To achieve this automaticity, students need time on the practice court of language learning. This will go a long way towards guaranteeing their success in the L2. But what if they don’t enjoy certain key aspects of the practice? It’s obvious that if we are going to ‘remember’ things we need to practice remembering them, but what kind of practice will lead to students committing to more practice with the foundational aspects of language learning such as vocabulary? With children, this is surely where the traditional classroom ends and the ‘personal adventure’ which David Paul  refers to in "How to Teach English to Children in Asia" (2003)  begins.


This notion of 'personal adventure' is key for David Paul and also underpins the philosophy behind the Our Discovery Island.


Our Discovery Island uses an approach called W.A.R.M as our practical application of 21st Century Learning approaches:

  • Whole Learner
  • Authenticity
  • Repetition
  • Motivation


The W.A.R.M approach was developed by Dr. David Nunan, the senior pedagogy advisor to Our Discovery Island - we'll hear more about that in future blog-posts.


Take a look at this clip from the O.D.I. online world and think about these concepts of how "personal adventure" and "W.A.R.M" fits into the design of these materials...





This is the opening to the Level 3 coursebook for Our Discovery Island. Again consider the importance of learning as an adventure.


Learners crash onto Space Island!

More posts in the next few weeks about parts of this article and connected to methods and materials to come. Love to hear your comments, feedback and questions - and then will follow up with a post with my own comments on these two examples of exemplary materials design for Young Learners.


Much love and respect to all the teachers out there.


Aaron Jolly.



ODI pilot - online world orientation.jpg


The adventure begins

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