Katherine Bilsborough

Creating ELT materials

Helping teachers make excellent classroom resources

Hi! I’m Katherine, co-owner of Creating ELT Materials.

I’m excited because after 30+ years in the world of English Language Teaching, I’ve recently discovered my perfect role and it’s something I feel truly passionate about.

As someone who loves teaching, materials writing and teacher training, what could make more sense than focusing my work on training teachers how to create their own first-rate classroom resources? For the past ten years I’ve developed and delivered online and face-to-face courses on the subject, given webinars and written ‘articles, blog posts and a ‘How to’ book. I’ve mentored teacher-writers and taken part in collaborations with other writers to help teachers become better materials writers.

Now it’s time to focus more fully on this aspect of my work by launching a range of courses, publications, a consultation service and a new blog, Creating ELT materials.

All teachers create materials for their classes, to supplement or replace existing materials. But most have had little or no training. I’ve seen a lot of teachers’ materials. Sometimes they are very good, but more often than not, they are flawed in some way. They may be inaccessible to certain learners, inappropriate for a number of reasons, infringe copyright laws, contain errors in grammar or spelling or be lacking in one of the fundamental principles which language learning materials should follow. I mean no disrespect when I say this. When I started making materials for my classes, I made every mistake in the book.

So what about you? 

  • Are you a teacher who would you like to make your materials the best they can possibly be? 
  • Are you thinking of becoming a professional materials writer
  • Do you work as a teacher trainer or teacher educator who would like to focus on materials development? 
  • Are you a school owner who would like to develop a resource library of context-specific materials?
  •  Do you work for a Ministry or an institution in a low resource area where training teachers to create their own materials would solve a problem of scarcity or unsuitability? 
  • Are you a publisher thinking of training in-house or freelance authors?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’, you’ve come to the right place.

Why me? That’s an easy question to answer but first I should point out that it isn’t just ‘me’, it’s ‘us’. My co-author and partner Steve Bilsborough is joining me on this adventure too. He’s shy but I’m hoping to replace the photo of me with one of both of us soon. Since 1987 we’ve collaborated on hundreds, maybe thousands of projects and we’re delighted to share what we’ve learnt through our experience and expertise in teaching, training and writing.

We’ve written course books, workbooks and Teacher Guides – a small sample featured above, developed online and face-to-face courses for schools and ministries, written scope & sequence documents, curricula, lesson plans, blog posts and articles for many of the top publishers and institutions in our profession. We’ve trained thousands of teachers and mentored materials writers and other teacher educators. And we’ve only just got started.

If you are interested in hearing more or you’d like to ask us a question, please get in touch here and we’ll help in any way we can.

Kath & Steve