David Lisgo



David is originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, though he left there in 1969 to become a member of the Royal Air Force and after nine years in the services he emigrated to South Africa where lived and worked, as an aircraft technician, for eight years, during which time he married his wife Yasuko and witnessed the birth of their two eldest children, then in 1986 his family moved to Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, where he continues to live.



He has been developing teaching resources and teaching at his own school (where he is assisted by his wife) since 1986. He has experienced many teaching situations from preschool through to adults, but is presently focused on material development, his university classes and his own school, West Side English School. David has been involved with ETJ and Language Teaching Professionals since their inception, he is prolific creator of teaching materials and presently has six workbooks, four digital data CDs and over 100 card games in print. Aside from creating teaching materials, David enjoys gardening and DIY, the DIY includes producing most of his teaching materials by hand.


His materials include:
Concept Worksheets workbooks 1 & 2
Writing Concepts workbooks 1 & 2
Writing Worksheets workbook


Blending a Hand CDs 1-4


The Switchit series of card games
Read! Spell! Do!
And much more.”


How did Blending a Hand come about?

It really started when I first came to live in Japan, with my wife Yasuko and our then two children, in 1986. Having come from an engineering background I had no idea how to teach English but was determined to teach my own children how to read and write in English. This was a great and extended period of experimentation and research into producing teaching materials where ‘cut and paste’, using scissors and glue, would be my main tools and my own children, followed by the children of others, would be my guinea pigs. I also attended numerous teachers meetings throughout Kyushu, where I was able to share with other teachers and learn from them. In 2001, at the behest of David Paul, I finally overcame my fears and bought my first computer, which, happily for me and many others, came with the software PrintMaster 7 and it is with this software that I have created most of my materials.


Who manufactures your materials?

I burn and print the BAH CDs myself. I started off with two discs because there was too much data to fit onto one disk and then I just kept designing more and soon ended up with three discs. After that I began designing materials which would help students make the transition from a phonics-based content to a whole language and so BAH 4 CD was published. Of course I would love to be able to go on publishing CDs but I think BAH 4 is my last one.


I started publishing workbooks because a number of teachers, including myself, were getting tired of so much printing and record-keeping. All the worksheets were designed by myself, though ideas often came from other teachers, workbooks and thin air. I’ve never had the opportunity to work with a professional editor so I’ve had to rely on common sense and feedback from other teachers, my students and my wife. The layout and the editing is done by myself and all the printer has to do is number the pages, print and bind.


Switchit was originally published on BAH disc 3 but I knew from experience how much time it took to make a full set of these cards. Busy teachers began asking me for ready-made packs and so I looked into the possibility of manufacturing them myself. In the beginning we, Yasuko and I, made the boxes by hand, then we rediscovered Tupperware. Some of these first sets, originally produced about eight years ago, are still in use today. Switchit has continued to develop and is now used by children as young as three years of age all the way through to pensioners and everyone loves the game. As to its manufacture, I print, Yasuko inserts the printed pages into laminating sheets, I laminate, she trims and does the first cut, then labels the boxes, I’d do the final cut (with Yasuko’s help) and I do the corner rounding.


Switchit, with the vocabulary of about 2500 words, has made it easy to teach multiple nouns and I wanted to produce a game that would make the teaching of verbs just as easy, hence the development of Read! Spell! Do! and my other verb related games, which have more than 1000 verb cards in total. InTense! is another highly versatile game in which an infinite variety of sentences are produced, allowing students to combine pronouns and verbs to create their own unique sentences. Lots of other games on disc and ready-made for teaching phonics, animals, occupations, countries, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and much more.


How do I make an order?

Click on the e-mail link and make a list of your order, giving me your full name, postal address (including postcode) and telephone number.


How is payment to be made?

The preferred method of payment is directly into my post office account, if you are using this method then you can pay after receipt of your order. Payments can be made through PayPal but these payments must be made in advance. All overseas orders need to use PayPal. 


Do you have plans for the future?

Well, I have been able to cut back slightly on my teaching, which has enabled me to spend more time on designing and producing materials and worksheets. All card games I produce will continue to be available directly from myself, but gradually I hope to see more of these games sold directly online. I did not envision publishing any more workbooks though I am continuing to design worksheets which students find interesting and teachers useful and these will become available, as time goes by, for direct download through selected booksellers.







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  MOUcover BAH3CD 17switchitL2P2  
  Workbooks Blending a Hand Discs Switchit  
  RSDboard 4readL1P2  


 Recommendations by Users


“I’m one of David Lisgo’s number one fans. When I look at what several other people are doing with early phonics, they are all doing more of the same. Your stuff is always so inspired.”

Janina Tubby – Owner/Teacher…
Kobe Bilingual School, Kobe


“Great work, all very professional looking.”

Will Percy – Owner 
William’s English Conversation Class Mito


“I’ve been using your materials for four years now and I just want to tell you how good I think they are. They’ve helped me agreat deal and my students really enjoy all the activities.”

John Carle – Owner/Teacher


“Wow! I will definitely recommend your CDs to my friends!!! This is exactly what children’s teachers need!”

Mari Nakamura – Owner
English Square
Author of English Land