Scott Thornbury has worked as a teacher, director of studies, and teacher trainer in Spain, Egypt, the UK, and New Zealand. Teacher education is his specialism, and was the subject of his MA dissertation at the University of Reading. Working alongside practising teachers, he has been involved in Cambridge ESOL accredited teacher training schemes, both pre-service and in-service.

Through many organisations including IATEFL, TESOL, APAC (Catalonia), FAAPI (Argentina), LAURELS, and APPI (Portugal) as well as through International House schools, he has personally met and talked to hundreds of teachers worldwide. More recently he has taken an active interest in on-line learning, having overseen the writing of a five-level internet-delivered course in general English.

His writing includes Natural Grammar for Oxford University Press, course-book projects, books on language teaching, and dozens of articles and reviews.