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Get your professional development certified with iTDi

For certificate of completion: Take your contributions to the forums and copy-paste them into a 'word' document. Change or edit as you wish, add any further reflections or critical comments you feel appropriate, and present them as a four-section final paper (about 500 words).

For certificate of accomplishment: Select up to five topics that were discussed on the course and that were new to you and you feel gave you interesting and useful insights. Write a 500-800 word paper summarizing the topics in your own words and explaining how they can contribute to your own professional knowledge and skill.

Penny Ur course
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iTDi Advanced Course

Course materials: design, selection and use
with Penny Ur

Some teachers use coursebooks. Some teachers design their own materials. Most teachers do both! Penny Ur's course will help us to choose good coursebooks, make better use of the coursebooks we have, and adapt or create teaching materials. Whether you are a teacher who wants to feel more confident using and supplementing coursebooks, or an ELT materials writer who wants insights into the ways coursebooks are, or can be, used by teachers, you will want to be in this course.

Live sessions:

  • Sunday January 10th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday January 17th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday January 24th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday January 31st – course participants only (60 minutes)

Time: 13:00 - 14:00 GMT

Enroll in the entire course for only US $59

Course + Evaluation + Certificate of Accomplishment US $89

Questions? Contact support@itdi.pro

If you are unable to join the class without scholarship support from iTDi, please apply using the form here



Coursebooks are a useful resource, but they need to be used selectively, critically and creatively. This course provides some practical tools for teachers to help them use their materials effectively. It begins with a definition of the term 'teaching materials', followed by an exploration of background issues. These include advantages and disadvantages of using a coursebook in general; paper versus digital materials; criteria for design, evaluation and selection of a coursebook. The main focus then shifts to coursebook use; some reasons why we might want to adapt its material by omitting, changing or supplementing, and some useful guidelines on such adaptation, illustrated by a number of practical examples.


Week 1:

•   Teaching materials and what they include
•   Advantages and disadvantages of using a set coursebook
•   Advantages and disadvantages of using digital versus print materials

Follow-up assignment: Forum. Participants voice their opinions on a) the advantages and disadvantages of using a coursebook in their own situation, and/or their experiences of using digital materials.


Week 2. Some criteria for design, evaluation and selection of good materials:

•   Who are the stakeholders, and what are their interests?
•   What are the main criteria from the teacher’s point of view?
•   What can we learn from the research?
•   Underlying cultural and social messages

Follow-up assignment: Forum. Participants describe and criticize course materials they have first-hand knowledge of using, whether as teachers or as learners.


Week 3:

•   Reasons for adapting course materials
•   Guidelines for adapting texts, whether spoken or written
•   Practical examples

Follow-up assignment: Forum. Participants choose a text they know from course materials, and suggest how they might adapt it for a particular class they know (are teaching now, or have taught, or have participated in themselves as learners).


Week 4:

•   Guidelines for adapting tasks (language exercises or communciative tasks)
•   Practical examples

Follow-up assignment: Forum. Participants choose an exercise or communicative task from course materials they are familiar with, and suggest how they might adapt it for a particular class they know (are teaching now, or have taught, or have participated in themselves as learners).




Penny ur

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. A new book, Discussions and more, was published in 2015.