Scott Thornbury at British Council Armenia

In November 2016, British Council Armenia hosted their fourth teacher development event with Scott Thornbury as a guest speaker.

During this annual event, English language teachers are given the opportunity to attend a series of talks delivered by a distinguished ELT expert and develop professionally.

During his visit, Scott Thornbury, delivered five sessions over three days to English language teachers from all educational sectors in Armenia as well as international participants from Iran, Georgia, Singapore, and Russia. All the sessions were live-streamed to participants from all over the globe. Presentations were mapped to the British Council’s Teaching for Success professional practices to raise awareness of our CPD framework.

You can watch four of the talks given by Scott by clicking on the links below:

Seven Things beginning with M

A truism that no single method is going to meet the needs of all teachers and all learners, either locally or globally. Hence, we now operate in what is called the post-method era. Yet methods formerly provided teachers with a certain sense of security, a role which perhaps coursebooks now fulfil. This security is illusory, though, if it is not grounded in some basic principles of learning and education, principles that I will attempt to identify, and which (I will argue) constitute a blueprint for a coherent approach to language teaching.

Link to the recording of this talk:

Teaching Unplugged

Teachers, I will argue, could learn a lesson from the Dogme 95 group of film makers, who have pledged to rid film-making of an obsessive concern for technique and to rehabilitate a cinema which foregrounds the story, and the inner life of the characters. In a similar spirit, I will be putting the case for what is called "a pedagogy of bare essentials": one in which dependence on imported materials is reduced, and in which the learners’ texts and meanings are foregrounded. I will be looking at practical ways of achieving these goals.

Link to the recording of this talk:

The Secret History of Methods

I’m regularly asked “What’s the latest method?”, suggesting that the concept of method persists, despite recent attempts to bury it (“The method concept is dead!”). I will review the history of methods, both to critique it, and to draw some lessons from past methods, arguing (a) there is nothing new under the sun and (b) dogme is not a method!

Link to the recording of this talk:

Ed tech: the mouse that roared

Despite a paucity of evidence to show that digital technology enhances language learning, the fever for new tools and apps continues unabated. Moreover, each innovation arrives garlanded with promises that are seldom if ever fulfilled, such that the history of educational technology in the 20th century has been characterised as a continuous cycle of ‘hype, hope, and disappointment’ (Selwyn 2011, p. 59). To guard against the hype and to avoid disappointment, the vigilant teacher needs to ask: What is the problem for which this technology is the solution? In this talk I reduce language learning to six ‘problems’ and evaluate the solutions that technology offers.

Link to the recording of this talk:



Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Sat, 03/25/2017 - 01:36


Scot Thornbury’s Alphabetical Coherent vehicle seems to me a beacon for clearing all the stumbling blocks on the international highway of universalising English language teaching across the globe. I believe that the greatest and smartest driver is Scot. Luckily, Scot was kind enough to let me sit (metaphorically) in the vehicle besides him. He has been explaining to me how the vehicle will eventually reach its destination. He told me that sitting on the seats ABCD etc , we can safely reach the place without asking anybody where the destination point is. Because all the seats are so special and unique that we are delighted to sit on them. Now I am sitting on the seat C which means character, capability, capacity, cooperation care , cleverness and so on. A clever teacher must have character, capability and take care of the well being of all his students in the world because now he is a teacher online. Then he becomes capable enough help learners to get to to the destination of certified international intelligibility in English. The certificate will take care of every learner in the 21st century and the centuries to come. I am clever enough to sit near Scot watching the beauty and grandeur in the world of English. I would like to sit on the seat D tomorrow which means daring, duty, durability, dependability, durability and destination. I will explain the greatness of D in a future posting.

Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Sun, 04/23/2017 - 01:12


D means dependability.A good teacher needs to be dependable for the learners.Then they express their doubts freely.d means dedication.A good teacher must be dedicated to his profession.If he/she is dedicated, they will acquire the qualities of becoming an out standing teachers

Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:10


The teachers should have empathy for the taught or he/she can not know the root cause of the child if he/she has got some problem.I always look the problem from the side of the student.If a child does not come to school regularly, there might be many reasons including the inefficiency of the teacher.A teacher should be energetic till he/she retires and inspire the students.Only then can we say that he/she knows the true value of education

Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Sat, 04/29/2017 - 17:20


A great teacher must have fortitude to call a spade a spade.The great philosophers like Aristotle were basically teachers who had great courage to speak the truth .A teacher may not be teaching in the four walls of the class rooms.For a great teacher the world becomes a school and he/she becomes a great force to reckon with as he always speaks the truth

Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 14:29


A good teacher should have generosity of mind and treat all children like his own children and protect them like his/her pupils .These days we are talking so much about inclusive education which should take care of each and every child in the class irrespective of his strengths or weaknesses All children are not equally talented or capable.Some of them may differently abled children.So the teacher must be gentle and generous to cater to the needs of all the children

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletter for teaching ideas and free resources

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.