Scott Thornbury

Scott Thornbury

Has broad experience in what is perhaps a narrow field, having worked in the private EFL sector all my working life, as teacher, director of studies, school director and teacher-trainer, now in Spain (where I live), but previously in Egypt and with short stints in the UK and my native New Zealand. All this time I have been working alongside practising teachers, and have never been far from the classroom, although more often as spectator than as protagonist. Teacher education has always been my special interest and was the subject of my MA dissertation at the University of Reading.

Teacher education has also been the focus of my writing, which includes several books for teachers, among which Uncovering Grammar  and Beyond the Sentence: Discourse Analysis for Teachers are both published by Macmillan. And, for the last five years, I have been moderating a busy internet discussion group. To give you a flavour of that group, here is recent posting of mine:

Let me put it on record, though, that I really don't believe 'there is only one way to teach'. Even ignoring the truism that there are of course as many ways to teach as there are teachers, the variables of context, learner, teacher, and language (i.e. what role is language playing in the immediate teaching-learning moment) suggest that any notion of effectiveness is going to be elusive, slippery, ephemeral, and problematic. But better, I suggest, an approach that embraces the elusive, slippery, ephemeral and problematic than one that attempts to pre-empt it or circumvent it, as in the traditional coursebook and its one-mcnugget-a-day, faux-scientific, text-as-pretext, learner-as-consumer, kind of methodology.

I am currently working on a new project for Macmillan which - suffice to say - is allowing me to explore all the farthest nooks and crannies of this endlessly intriguing profession we are involved in.

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