The End

9 06 2013

So this is it, folks: I’m closing down the blog for the summer… and for good. After 3 years, 150 posts, nearly 7000 comments, and innumerable hits, visits, views, however you want to describe and count them, plus one e-book spin-off (but no sign of a second edition of An A-Z!), I think it’s time to call it a day.

But that’s not the end of blogging.  In the autumn (or in the spring, if that’s your orientation) I’ll be resuming with an altogether different theme and format, provisionally titled The (De-)Fossilization Diaries.  Watch this space!

At some point between now and then I’ll lock the comments on this blog, but it will hang around a little longer. If you think you might miss it if it suddenly disappeared, you could always buy the book! 😉

Meanwhile, thanks for following, commenting, subscribing, tweeting… I have so enjoyed hosting this blog, not least because of the active and widely-distributed online community that has grown up around it. Blogging is my favourite medium by far, and, despite claims to the contrary by some curmudgeons, it seems to be very much alive and well.

bunyolsNow, to give you something to chew on over breakfast, I’ve done a quick cut and paste of some of the one- (or two-) liners that capture many of the core themes of this blog. (You can hunt them down in context by using the Index link above).

1. If there are no languages, only language, what is it that we teach? … The short answer, perhaps, is that we would facilitate a kind of creative DIY approach – semiotic bricolage, perhaps – by means of which learners would become resourceful language users, cutting and pasting from the heteroglossic landscape to meet both their short-term and their long-term goals. (L is for Language)

2. The tension – and challenge – of successful communication is in negotiating the given and the new, of exploiting the predictable while coping with unpredictability. To this end, a phrasebook, a grammar or a dictionary can be of only limited use. They are a bit like the stopped clock, which is correct only two times a day. (M is for Mobility)

3. Creating the sense of ‘feeling at home’, i.e. creating a dynamic whereby students feel unthreatened and at ease with one another and with you, is one of the most important things that a teacher can do. (T is for Teacher Development)

4. A reliance on the coursebook IN the classroom does not really equip learners for self-directed learning OUTSIDE the classroom, since nothing in the outside world really reflects the way that language is packaged, rationed and sanitised in the coursebook.(T is for Teacher Development)

5. The language that teachers need in order to provide and scaffold learning opportunities is possibly of more importance than their overall language proficiency (T is for Teacher Knowledge)

6. A critical mass of connected chunks might be the definition of fluency. (Plus of course, the desire or need to BE fluent). (T is for Turning Point)

7. Education systems are predicated on the belief that learning is both linear and incremental. Syllabuses, coursebooks and tests conspire to perpetuate this view. To suggest otherwise is to undermine the foundations of civilization as we know it. (T is for Turning Point)

8. If I were learning a second language with a teacher, I would tell the teacher what I want to say, not wait to be told what someone who is not there thinks I might want to say. (W is for Wondering)

9. Irrespective of the degree to which we might teach grammar explicitly, or even base our curriculums on it, as teachers I think we need to know something about it ourselves. It’s part of our expertise, surely. Besides which, it’s endlessly fascinating (in a geeky kind of way). (P is for Pedagogic grammar)

10. Every language divides up the world slightly differently, and learning a second language is – to a large extent – learning these new divisions.(P is for Pedagogic grammar)

11. The meaning of the term student-centred has become too diffuse – that is to say, it means whatever you want it to mean, and – whatever it does mean – the concept needs to be problematized because it’s in danger of creating a false dichotomy. (S is for Student-centred)

12. There is a responsibility on the part of teachers to provide feedback on progress, but maybe the problem is in defining progress in terms of pre-selected outcomes, rather than negotiating the outcomes during the progress. (O is for Outcomes)

13. Language learning, whether classroom-based or naturalistic, whether in an EFL or an ESL context, is capricious, opportunistic, idiosyncratic and seldom amenable to external manipulation. (P is for Postmodern method)

14. I have no problem with the idea of classes – in fact for many learners and teachers these can be less threatening than one-to-one situations – but I do have a problem with the way that the group learning context is moulded to fit the somewhat artificial constraints of the absentee coursebook writer. (P is for Postmodern method)poached eggs nov 2012

15. The idea that there is a syllabus of items to be ‘covered’ sits uncomfortably with the view that language learning is an emergent process – a process of ‘UNcovering’, in fact. (P is for Postmodern method)

16. This, by the way, is one of [Dogme’s] characteristics that most irritates its detractors – that it seems to be a moving target, constantly slipping and sliding like some kind of methodological ectoplasm. (P is for Postmodern method)

17. The ‘mind is a computer’ metaphor has percolated down (or up?) and underpins many of our methodological practices and materials, including the idea that language learning is systematic, linear, incremental, enclosed, uniform, dependent on input and practice, independent of its social context, de-humanized, disembodied, … and so on. (M is for Mind)

18. Is there no getting away from the fact that classrooms are just not good places to learn languages in? And that, instead of flogging the present perfect continuous to death, it might not be better simply ‘to take a walk around the block’? (A is for Affordance)

19. If automaticity is simply the ability to retrieve memorised chunks, this may result in a repertoire that is fast and accurate, but functional only in situations of the utmost predictability. Fine, if you’re a tourist – just memorise a phrase-book. But for a more sophisticated command of language – one that is adaptable to a whole range of situations – you need to be able to customise your chunks. In short, you need to be creative. Hence, creative automaticity. (A is for Automaticity)

20. Technosceptics, like me, happily embrace technology in our daily lives, but are nevertheless a little suspicious of the claims made, by some enthusiasts, for its educational applications – claims that frequently border on the coercive. (T is for Technology)

21. As edtech proponents tirelessly point out, technology is only a tool. What they fail to acknowledge is that there are good tools and bad tools. (T is for Technology)

22. Another bonus, for me, of the struggle to dominate a second (and third, fourth etc) language has been an almost obsessive interest in SLA theory and research – as if, somewhere, amongst all this burgeoning literature, there lies the answer to the puzzle. (B is for Bad language learner)

23. ‘Fluency is in the ear of the beholder’ – which means that perhaps we need to teach our students tricks whereby they ‘fool’ their interlocutors into thinking they’re fluent. Having a few well rehearsed conversational openers might be a start…. (B is for Bad language learner)

24. I’ve always been a bit chary of the argument that we should use movement in class in order to satisfy the needs of so-called kinaesthetic learners. All learning surely has kinaesthetic elements, especially if we accept the notion of ‘embodied cognition’, and you don’t need a theory of multiple intelligences to argue the case for whole-person engagement in learning. (B is for Body)

25. I agree that learners’ perceptions of the goals of second language learning are often at odds with our own or with the researchers’. However, if we can show [the learners] that the communicative uptake on acquiring a ‘generative phraseology’ is worth the initial investment in memorisation, and, even, in old-fashioned pattern practice, we may be able to win them over. (C is for Construction)

26. How do we align the inherent variability of the learner’s emergent system with the inherent variability of the way that the language is being used by its speakers? (V is for Variability)

27. The problem is that, if there is a norm, it is constantly on the move, like a flock of starlings: a dense dark centre, a less dense margin, and a few lone outliers. (V is for Variability)

28. Think of the blackbird. Every iteration of its song embeds the echo, or trace, of the previous iteration, and of the one before that, and the one before that, and so on. And each iteration changes in subtle, sometimes barely perceptible, ways. But the net effect of these changes may be profound. (R is for Repetition [again])

29. Diversity is only a problem if you are trying to frog-march everyone towards a very narrowly-defined objective, such as “mastering the present perfect continuous.” If your goals are defined in terms of a collaborative task outcome … then everyone brings to the task their particular skills, and it is in the interests of those with many skills to induct those with fewer. (E is for Ecology)

30. Teaching […] is less about navigating the container-ship of the class through the narrow canal of the coursebook/syllabus than about shepherding a motley flotilla of little boats, in all weathers, across the open sea, in whatever direction and at whatever speed they have elected to go. (P is for Postmodern method)




79 responses

9 06 2013
Tony Gurr

Say is ain’t so…Scott! Say it ain’t so! T..

9 06 2013
Tony Gurr

BTW – “love” the provisional title 😉 T..

9 06 2013

Good god, I am totally dumbstruck Scott! I am sure that you have your reasons for closing down the store, but we (multitude of people and myself, of course) are going to miss your posts.
Wish you all the very best

9 06 2013
Andrea Wade (@worldteacher)

Thank you for all the inspiring, thought-provoking posts. I’ve learnt so much from you via this blog – I’m really going to miss it (and that’s despite owning the book!!). I look forward to your next incarnation!

9 06 2013
Tim Harrell

Crikey, I almost choked on my Sunday morning cornflakes when I read this! It feels like this blog has been around forever somehow, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone. Hopefully it will remain accessible for reference and not disappear into the ether altogether.
Anyway, looking forward to the ‘Defossilisation Diaries’ or whatever it is and good luck!

9 06 2013

but you haven’t done letter U or Y!

9 06 2013

Thanks Scott and all the contributors for all the inspiration!

9 06 2013

Great site. Thanks for all your posts and good luck.

9 06 2013

I like number 30 a lot: “Teaching […] is less about navigating the container-ship of the class through the narrow canal of the coursebook/syllabus than about shepherding a motley flotilla of little boats, in all weathers, across the open sea, in whatever direction and at whatever speed they have elected to go.”

9 06 2013

A bientot, mon ami. I suppose we will never now see ”W is for Why Do Things Generally Sound Better in French?”

A fantastic idea for a blog. I can only imagine the scale of the hits. Tyson-esque, I’m sure. Asl always whenever you have your summer break, your efforts will be missed. Nevertheless, the promise of a new blog will help ease the passing of the summer and the impending sense of doom that winter is coming.

I hope your summer is fantastique!

T is for tata!

9 06 2013
Natalia González Brandi @natibrandi

1. THE END? For those of us who still stick our necks out for a belief in a post method era, in which there isn´t a single way of doing things right and those who still believe in the fact that learning is not linear. Complexity theory advocates, and loads and loads of teachers in maany maaany places, this reflection space will certainly be missed. Of course, we can always re read previous posts, and continue doing research on some of the most relevant questions that have been raised. But to wake up and find posts that challenge ´recipe-based´ views on teaching, and to discuss things that we´ve taken for granted, is something of great value. Valueable indeed in an era in which people might understand ´complexity´´dogme ELT´ ´post-method´ ´post-modern´as do as you please, When, in fact, it means we need to reflect more, do more research, uncover learners´responses and beliefs, etc. Thanks for contributing to our reflection and PLE. And like learning, time can also be non-linear or even irrelevant, so I´m sure that if we exploit it well, this blog will remain as relevant. I know you´ve stated that you´re a bad language learner but there´s a song called “el tiempo está después¨ (literaly it´d be soemthing like time is afterwards) and it´s exactely about that, things that have happened before, and become even more relevant later. DEFINTELY NOT THE END! 🙂

9 06 2013

Will miss your regular Sunday morning posts and many thanks for all the insights and food for thought (including today’s breakfast) over the last few years. Great to know you’ll be returning with a new blog in the autumn.

9 06 2013

Have a great summer. I know you’ll be back!

9 06 2013
Daljit Kaur

Wishing you a great summer. I look forward to the new blog as we say goodbye to this one. Thank you, as always, for providing us with many interesting topics for discussion.

9 06 2013
David Weller

Great list of themes!

I’m very sad that the end is nigh… many thanks for the all the thought-provoking reads, and looking forward to the new blog already (good title!).

9 06 2013
Mark in Gifu

Scott, thanks so much!
I have gotten so much out of this blog. Great reading and a lot of practical teaching ideas. This blog inspired me to do my own blog. I’m looking forward to your next adventure.
Mark in Gifu

9 06 2013
Sue Lyon-Jones (@esolcourses)

Have a great summer, Scott! Sad that the end is nigh too, but looking forward to the next chapter 🙂

9 06 2013

It is this very blog that inspired me get to involved with professional development. As a new teacher it made me think about my teaching and treat it as a serious career. I’ve met and been inspired by so many people. Thank you for starting my wonderful journey. Looking forward to everything you do in the future.

9 06 2013
Sarah Emsden-Bonfanti

Thanks for sharing your nuggets of wisdom Scott. You’re a true inspiration!
Look forward to reading your new blog in September when the nights start rolling in earlier and your thoughts help bring some much needed light…
But for now, in the words of Paul Kelly, roll on summer!

9 06 2013
Avi Darkbloom

Thank you SO much, Scott.

Look forward immensely to all your future blogs/books/talks…

Take care, A

PS: Great final post today with that summary!

9 06 2013
Fernando Guarany

Thanks so much, Scott, and have a great summer. Although I hardly ever commented on the blog, I enjoyed reading your posts and generally excellent conversations that emerged from them in the comments. Fernando

9 06 2013

You have been, and will continue to be, a help and inspiration to many. Thanks to you I am able to maintain a keen interest in my teaching in the most adverse of circumstances.
Mil gracias.

9 06 2013
Nick Bedford

Scott sorry to see it go ! Thanks for being such an inspiration for 150 posts and forcing me to think, rethink and most importantly to think again . What will Sundays be with no early morning ping on my phone announcing a new post!

9 06 2013

Nooooo! Will miss this blog but am sure it will continue to inspire and provoke debate…and am very much enjoying the e-book version 🙂 Looking forward to your next project, sounds fascinating!

9 06 2013
Gabriella Hirthe

Thanks so much for your insight and expertise. I read your blog all the time. Have a super duper summer!

9 06 2013
Maria Eugenia Aguilar


9 06 2013
Hana Tichá

What a pity!! This blog has been a great source of inspiration for my teaching and also for my academic writing. But they say there is some life in death. I’m sure something even greater will be born soon :-)) Good luck with your new enterprise, Scott!

9 06 2013
J.J. Almagro

Thanks, Scott, for your insighful ‘Flotilla Diaries’.

9 06 2013
Derick Bonewitz

Scott, thank you so much for giving us such stimulating, thought-provoking and thoroughly satisfying blog posts to ponder each week. Your blog has been a real source of inspiration and learning for me as a teacher. It’s particularly poignant that as I read your final post, I am here in France being reminded how it feels to be student of a new language, not back home in Chicago being the teacher. I think one of your great contributions has been to help us reflect on language learning through the senses, minds and hearts of our students and then prod us to think deeply of the implications for our teaching. I eagerly await your next appearance in the blogosphere. 

9 06 2013
Eduardo Santos

Scott, thank you for your Sunday morning posts, they will surely be missed. Look forward to reading your new project. Hope you enjoy a well-deserved ‘blog’ break and see you soon!

9 06 2013
Carol Goodey

Thank you, Scott, for all the work you have put in to this blog – both the posts and the discussions that follow each one. I have learned so much from them and have really enjoyed thinking about and grappling with concepts and ideas and hearing what others think. This blog is already a great reference and it’s good to hear that it will continue to be available to us. I’ve enjoyed the one- (or two-) lines that you’ve selected to give a flavour of the blog.

Have a good summer and I’ll look forward to your new blog in the autumn!


9 06 2013
Higor Cavalcante

Thank you very much, Scott. I look forward to the new… format! 🙂 Have a good summer!

9 06 2013
Jane Purrier

Oh well, all good things… Thank you very much for all the food for thought and moments of recognition. Consider yourself well hugged

9 06 2013

Sad to see this go – this is the best ELT blog because it combines authoritativeness and engagement so well – the comments and responses are as valuable as the posts themselves… Hope what’s here stays around and is as fascinating for other people as it is for me….

Looking forward to what’s next…

9 06 2013

A huge thanks for all that you and your commenters have done here – it’s been the TEFL must-read from the off. I will miss this, but look forward to your new project.

9 06 2013

Thank you, I’ll miss this blog. Will you leave it in place after it’s locked? The posts AND the comments are a valuable resource! Looking forward to the next blogging venture …

9 06 2013

The END? Blimey, shame to see such a useful blog come to a stop. Thanks for all the info and tips over the years. Good luck in your next adventure…

9 06 2013
Petra Holtkamp

Dear Scott,

Thank you for sharing so many views on teaching and learning.
Looking forward to your lecture at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam next week!
Best wishes,

9 06 2013
Paraskevi Andreopoul (@pandreop)

Thank you for all the insightful posts all these years and looking forward to seeing you again in your new blog!!!

9 06 2013

Dear Scott,
Thank you so much for all the inspiring and entertaining posts. I feel that you’ve been with me (in your writing) at some of the most impressionable moments of my development as a teacher, and it was lovely to have been influenced by your writing as I explored and struggled through some of the most confusing and challenging phases of becoming the teacher that I am today. I’ve referred so many people to this blog to seek out a deeper focus in their own teaching practices in hopes that they would find the same sense of wonder and discovery that I have found here. And the magic in it all was and has always been your willingness to step out from behind pages (whether paper or digital) to respond to all of us personally. So, most of all I would like to thank you for your presence.

9 06 2013
Niicolás Dantaz

Dear Scott

It fills me with sadness to read you are shutting down this blog. I have always loved reading your posts. I have used them in my classes with my students and it has always served as a source of tremendous help to my students and I. I have even just used your recent post E is for Eliciting as part of an assignment for my students in which they had to write a letter to you with regard to your post. Oh well,… I guess I will now just have to do with the printed edition of An A to Z. At least try to republish it updated with all the new terms!

Looking forward to reading your new blog

Nicolás Dantaz

9 06 2013

I’m commenting at the end of your blog to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading it and to thank you for working on such a wonderful project for so long. At least you aren’t giving up blogging – that would be dreadful!

9 06 2013

Id say you’ve timed this just right. And as much as I have enjoyed the interaction through this blog, I look forward to our meeting in person next spring. Enjoy a well deserved summer blogging-siesta.

9 06 2013

I’ve only recently got into blogs and blogging, and it’s sad to learn that the source of so many thought-provoking ideas and discussions will no longer be operating. Still, it’s good to know you’ll be back, and I look forward to the next incarnation.
Have a great summer.

9 06 2013

Hi Scott,
It’s really sad that you’re closing the blog. It has been inspiring to me and my students. Thank you so much and wish you all the best

10 06 2013
Karenne /Sylvester

Am sorry to read this and like all who have commented and will comment, am happily anticipating the next venture in the fall.
Thanks so much for sharing all your great wisdom throughout the years.

10 06 2013

I was sorry to hear you are closing this blog, I am going to miss it and will be looking forward to your new project.
Oh, and no. 8 from the list is so true, and I think it should be presented to all the HR directors of the client companies who want to outline “the standard program” for everyone in their organisation, not really caring if it’s of any interest to particular people…

10 06 2013
Scott Thornbury

Thanks hugely, everyone, for your comments and support. Your comments are a real incentive to get back to blogging again in the fall. (Incidentally, when I said I was taking time off blogging because it’s summer, don’t get the idea I’ll be lying on some beach somewhere reading John Grisham novels: summer is my busiest period with two back-to-back, and face-to-face, Masters courses to contend with. Hence no time for the luxury of blogging!).

Apropos blogging, I thought it would be interesting to share the top ten most viewed posts since this blog started in late 2009. I would never really have imagined, say, that Lockstep would figure, or Gist. Not sure what this tells me, but I offer it anyway! (The list doesn’t include the Homepage or the Index).

1. P is for Phonemic Chart
2. O is for Othering
3. T is for Technology
4. P is for PPP
5. C is four Coursebooks (by Lindsay Clandfield)
6. K is for Krashen
7. V is for Vocabulary Size
8. G is for Gist
9. B is for Bad language learner
10. L is for Lockstep

(Well done, Lindsay!)

And the ten most popular search terms were:

1. scott thornbury
2. scott thornbury blog
3. cuisenaire rods
4. parsnip
5. mark twain
6. an a-z of elt
7. a-z of elt
8. cuisenaire
9. scott thornbury a-z
10. a-z elt

(Numbers 4 and 5 suggest that bloggers should take care how they tag the graphics they include in their posts! I’m sorry for all those thousands of 6th graders who were duped into thinking they could find cheat-sheets for Huckleberry Finn on my blog, or for those eager cooks looking for parsnip recipes!)

Once again, thanks for your massive support, and have a great summer/winter. See you in the autumn/spring!

10 06 2013
Janey Futerill

Damn it. As soon as I start following something it decides to go to ground.
And now I’ll have to go back and read everything before it gets removed and published.

10 06 2013

Thanks for such an enjoyable and informative series of posts, Scott.

Like so many others, I await the start of Diaries. Enjoy the summer!

10 06 2013
Jessica Mackay

Just wanted to add my heartfelt thanks to the long list already posted.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading and sharing this experience with you and your many followers over the last couple of years.
Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

Fins molt aviat!

10 06 2013
Scott Thornbury

Another factoid to share – perhaps fairly predictable, this one. The top 10 countries which account for the most views of my blog in the last year are:

1. United Kingdom
2. United States
3. Spain
4. Turkey
5. Brazil
6. Japan
7. Germany
8. Canada
9. Australia
10. Russian Federation

Hats off especially to Turkey, in these troubled times.

11 06 2013
Tony Gurr

Thx Scott 😉 BTW – I used your last post a wee bit (as my hook for one of my recent Sunday posts)…by way of a TY for all your süper thunks 😉

Take care…and do try to catch a day or two on the beach 😉


10 06 2013
Bruno Leys (@BrunoLeys)

Dear Scott

Thank you so much for this inspiring blog. It has become so much more than a blog over the years, thanks to your thought-provoking entries and the many valuable comments. Not to be missed!
I was glad to be part of all this and am looking forward to the newly announced project!

Have a great summer!


10 06 2013

Wow, talk about going out with a bang! Thank you so much for turning each Sunday into a thought-provoking one over the years, and for providing inspiration for my own research and talks.

Hope to see you talk in Brazil some time in the not-too-distant future.

10 06 2013
sophie isidoro

Many thanks!

10 06 2013
Judith Hudson

Thanks Scotty – you’re inspirational to say the least. Hope to see you at TBLT 2013 in Banff.

10 06 2013

Noooooooooooo!!! I just started reading your blog! I bought the book, but I like coming here to the blog! Please leave it here forever… The book links to the posts and I like reading the comments too. =)

Sorry, I started out with my begging. =( Let me thank you for such a magnificent blog, for everything that has been written here and re-written. I’m amazed at all the knowledge and insight you have shared with everyone and I’m very sorry I did not find this blog before. =(

Thank you once again. =)

10 06 2013
Graeme Hodgson

I was inspired by your blog post ‘The End’ to myself blog about one of the quotes you chose to include. If you’re interested you can read it on, but this is really just to say a BIG THANK YOU for the past three amazing and enlightening years of existence of this great blog… surely an all-time favourite amongst all ELT professionals, or rather all those who are even remotely aware of the blogosphere. Long may it remain here! Just for the record… I do have the book too! Happy holidays!

11 06 2013
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Graeme – and nice post. This also reminds me that another great thing about blogging is the cross-fertilization – the way that blog ‘memes’ propagate, and adapt to new blogging eco-systems.

Just to clarify, too, the 30 extracts from previous topics that I posted above came either from my original posts or my responses to others’ comments. Issues of attribution, mainly, meant that I didn’t quote from anyone else. (But this is not to say that there’s not a wealth of great ‘comment’ out there that could usefully be tapped).

11 06 2013
Kerri Rizzotto

Congratulations and cheers to new beginnings! Thank you for always sharing your wonderful ideas, Scott! Looking forward to many more….

11 06 2013
Peter Neville

Reblogged this on Eltscelta's Blog and commented:
An A-Z of ELT – The End.
I am not usually in favour of a lot of re-blogging. It’s always seemed the easy option to simply repost someone else’s thoughts or work. But in the case of Scott Thornbury’s last A – Z of ELT blog post, I’ll make an exception.
Always interesting, sometimes fascinating and very often striking a chord with current teaching, this blog has kept us company for three years. I am sure this is not the last we hear on such topics from Scott.
Meanwhile, on the topic of coursebooks, one nugget of a Scott one-liner particularly caught my eye:
“8. If I were learning a second language with a teacher, I would tell the teacher what I want to say, not wait to be told what someone who is not there thinks I might want to say. (W is for Wondering)”

11 06 2013
Nick Bilbrough

Scott this blog has achieved something really special in that it explores ideas
in a way which works for both inexperienced pre-service trainee teachers (I cannot count the number of times I have referred trainees on our BEd TESOL to one of its entries) and also to the most hardened ‘seen it all before’ language teaching professionals. I salute you!

11 06 2013

Dear Scott,

I must let you know of my great intellectual pleasure while browsing such a variety of topics on your blog, though I have not made regular comments. We all recognize your creativity, hard work, language sophistication, and great patience! In a nutshell, your wisdom.
You may not remember… I am a retired teacher, yet very regularly engaged with my PLNs, also collaborating with colleagues around the world within the ELT contexts.
Dear Scott, thanks very much indeed for your enlightening posts. Look forward to following still more closely the announced blog: “The (De-) Fossilization of Diaries”. 🙂
Have an enjoyable, relaxing Summer (as much as possible)!


13 06 2013

Dear Scott,
Thank you so much for having kept this blog for such a long time! It’s been such a luxury, really, to feel a member of the international teaching community! Teachers of all countries, unite  to fight the boredom, possible oppression, segregation, humiliation, and all kinds of discrimination in the classroom so that pupils wouldn’t say, “Teacher, leave us kids alone!” but would come back again and again for a piece of advice and a word of wisdom. That’s what this blog has been personally for me.
Looking forward to reading and discussing (!) “The (De-)Fossilization diaries” in the presence of the author!
Have a relaxing and inspiring summer!
All the very best,

13 06 2013
Laura Adele

Whether sneaking through the Chinese firewall or from my after lunch coffee in Seattle… I will miss the weekly ritual of reading your A-Z posts, Scott. Excited about a new blog coming out in the fall though. Thanks for inspiring me to begin blogging and connecting with other teachers online.

13 06 2013

Thank you so much for this inspiring blog that I have followed since my first visit. I have learned so much from your posts and am so sad to know that it is the end… I hope the posts and the comments wouldn’t be removed. They are valuable resources.
I am looking forward to your next blogging adventure.

17 06 2013
Chris Ożóg

Cheers, Scott, for all the posts and thought-provoking discussion. It really has been a pleasure to read over the years; Sunday morning coffee won’t be the same for a while. Looking forward to the new blog! The only thing I’m seriously disappointed by is that Costa Rica didn’t make the top 10 viewing countries, given the number of times I forwarded your posts to people… Pura vida!

17 06 2013
Sara Hannam

All good things must come to an end. Good luck in your new ventures. The archive of this blog will be something that people can visit in many years to come! Bravo Scott for a job well done 🙂

20 06 2013
David Warr

Hi Scott, I’ve posted the language plant I made a while back, one of my favourite quotes of yours. Yours was a really inspirational blog, thank you indeed.

21 06 2013
Tyson Seburn

I am gutted that you’re ending this blog as it has been my favourite for so long. Fortunately, I jumped on the boat late and have more of your posts to read through that I missed. You’re an inspiration and I look forward to your next project.

24 06 2013

Dear Scott, thank you for this blog, which has been a huge pleasure to read. Next to your posts as such, I love how you have hosted the ensuing discussions. Wishing you a great break and all the best for your new ventures.

29 06 2013
Marisa Constantinides

Reblogged this on DELTA Course Blog and commented:
Scott Thornbury closes down his A-Z Blog with an insighful last post

Make sure you visit this blog often – not clear from lat post if it will be taken down or not

29 06 2013
Marisa Constantinides

Your posts will be missed and read and re-read

Do please consider not taking it down

I hope that it will remain ‘open for visits’ and not taken off the web.

Already looking forward to your next blogging venture!!!

Thank you so much for all the food for thought you have shared with all of us.


1 07 2013

Thank you Mr. Thornbury for a fantastic blog and an inspiration for those on the front line of English teaching. I have enjoyed the blog and your very conscientious and well-referenced posts. I also own your A to Z, so you’ve hit your target audience. I realize that blogging is a lot of work, and it’s a labour of love. Bravo!

Cheers, Michael

4 08 2013
Isabela Villas Boas

Dear Scott,
Though rather late, I didn’t want to fail to thank you for your invaluable contribution to our profession by way of this blog. I have tweeted and cited it many, many times, as well as assigned your posts for complementary reading in my Methodology classes at Casa Thomas Jefferson in Brazil. Your blog, to me, is the best methodology resource there is nowadays and I hope it continues freely available to us all around the world.
Thank you for your engaging us in deeper levels of critical thinking, and for providing updated and meaningful references to all your discussions.
I look forward to your next blog!
Best wishes,
Isabela Villas Boas

1 01 2014


12 05 2014

Glad to see your blog is still up! I somehow missed the ending having seen so many of you blogs reposted by others. You are a main part of my pearsonal learning network. Thank you!

10 08 2014
Patrick Julian Huwyler

Excellent blog! You expose coursebooks for what they really are. I didn’t think I’d laugh so much reading an EFL blog!!!

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