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Scott Thornbury & Penny Ur

Fluency or Accuracy?

"You can teach both"

What two of the world's best teacher-trainers can teach us about how to get the balance right when teaching fluency, grammar, and vocabulary.

"One of the main challenges in teaching is to know which to concentrate on: fluency or accuracy of grammar.If we concentrate on one will the other suffer?"

Drawing on their ample experience , Penny Ur and Scott Thornbury say no, and in a series of four one-hour lectures, lead you through the most up to date theory to give you practical tools you can use in your classroom to inspire you and energise your students.

It’s generally accepted that the Communicative Approach was instrumental in shifting the emphasis away from accuracy and onto fluency. But many teachers (and learners) still feel that we haven’t yet found the balance we’re looking for between teaching for fluency and teaching for accuracy.

In this course we will address the following questions...

  • What do we mean by the terms "fluency" and "accuracy?" 1
  • Which is more important?
  • Which should come first?
  • What is "accurate" language use and who decides?
  • What are some practical steps you can take to increase both fluency and accuracy in the teaching of grammar?

"You have brought presenters to your iTDi courses who clearly have great expertise and many ideas to share that are extremely helpful to the teachers who register for the courses. Your iTDI staff/team has also provided all the support and information that is needed to make it easy for teachers to learn online together, even if it's their first time doing so. I highly recommend your courses to any person looking for more professional development opportunities!"

Karen Frazier Tsai, USA

Studying with iTDi couldn't be easier..

"Delivered in 4, one-hour lectures so you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home"

Edmilson Chagas, Brazil             

Scott and Penny are amazing professionals, who always have something important to share.

Your Instructors

Penny Ur has thirty-five years’ experience as an English teacher in elementary, middle and high schools in Israel. Now retired, she has taught B.A. and M.A. courses at Oranim Academic College of Education and Haifa University. She has presented papers at TESOL, IATEFL and other English teachers’ conferences worldwide. She was for ten years the editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series. Her books include Discussions that work (1981), Five minute activities (co authored with Andrew Wright) (1992), Grammar practice activities (2nd Edition) (2009), Vocabulary activities (2012), and A course in English language teaching (2012), all published by Cambridge University Press. 

Penny Ur

Scott Thornbury

Scott Thornbury is a teacher and teacher educator, with over 30 years' experience in English language teaching. He is currently Associate Professor of English Language Studies at the New School in New York, teaching on an on-line MATESOL program. His previous experience includes teaching and teacher training in Egypt, UK, Spain, and his native New Zealand. Scott's writing credits include several award-winning books for teachers on language and methodology including The A-Z of ELT, How to Teach Grammar and Teaching Unplugged. He is series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers (CUP) and was also the co-founder of the dogme ELT group. Scott’s thought-provoking blog An A-Z of ELT is a popular blog for many teachers

Books by Scott & Penny

Laura Adele Soracco, USA

The course was insightful and engaging, and the pre and post tasks assigned were great because I could learn from other people's views on the matter. This course gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore theory and practice in a supportive environment. Would highly recommend iTDi to any ELT professional!

By the end of this course you will..

  • Be sure of how to increase both fluency and accuracy in the teaching of grammar
  • Confidently know what "accuracy" is and who decides the standards
  • Be assured of knowing what to prioritise in your teaching
  • Be inspired to put what you have learned into practice

Marcia Lima, Brazil

I do think everything was perfect: the instructors, iTDi team and colleagues. I'm grateful to iTDi for having made OUR dream come true. Who would have imagined a course with BOTH Penny Ur and Scott Thornbury? This has been the most inspiring and enriching learning journey EVER.

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