Learning Difficulties Australia

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LDA is an association of teachers and other professionals dedicated to assisting students with learning difficulties through effective teaching practices based on scientific research.


Dr Lorraine Hammond and Brooke Wardana to present May in-school PD in Sydney

Leaving Nothing to Chance: How Explicit Learning can prevent early literacy difficulties
click here for details
click here to register online
click here to download a registration form

LDA & SPELD Vic present:

Navigating VCE with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD)

With Kristin Anthian, 31 May Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Vic

Provide students with SLD, including dyslexia, how best to manage their journey through VCE

Click here for details and to register


New LDA Consultant Member functionality

LDA Consultant Members can now renew their annual Consultant Membership and OTS registration online. Log in to the members only page and select Consultant Renew.

For a step-by-step HELP Guide through the process Click here   


2016 National University Teaching Excellence Award to Dr Lorraine Hammond, President LDA

Canberra, December 1 2016: Dr Lorraine Hammond, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education Edith Cowan University and President of LDA, was presented with a National University Teaching Excellence Award by the Hon Simon Birmingham, Federal Minister for Education. This prestigious award acknowledges Lorraine’s commitment to producing the highest quality graduates who understand the impact of educational decisions they make on the learning outcomes of young people. Lorraine teaches undergraduate and post graduate units in Learning Difficulties/Learning Disabilities and Direct Instruction, while actively remaining connected with schools through her research and representation on the Boards of three high performing Independent Public schools in Perth.

Professor Maryanne Wolf, 2016 AJLD Eminent Researcher Award recipient, presented in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbournein September 2016

LDA was delighted to host a visit by another reading researcher of international standing, Professor Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, who has published hundreds of scientific articles on reading, reading difficulties and learning disabilities, is the recipient of many awards, the author of RAVE-O (an intervention program for struggling readers), her popular book Proust and the Squid: The story and science of the reading brain, and her 2016 book publications Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century, and Letters to the Good Reader: The Future of the Deep Reading Brain.

Click here for further Maryanne Wolf biographical information, publications and interview.
Click here to read How the Reading Brain Resolves the Reading Wars Maryanne Wolf A Literate Nation White Paper 2013.
Click here to read In Conversation with Maryanne Wolf, with Wendy Moore, Editor of the LDA Bulletin.

LDA and AJLD Awards for 2016

2016 LDA Eminent Researcher Award to Professor Maryanne Wolf
2016 LDA Mona Tobias Award to Dr Roslyn Neilson
2016 LDA Bruce Wicking Award - Lynne Ivicevic

Maryanne Wolf was presented with of the LDA 2016 AJLD Eminent Researcher Award in September at the LDA AGM following her Speaking Tour visit to Melbourne, when LDA Members were privileged to hear her acceptance. Dr Neilsen and Lynne Ivicevic also spoke at the 2016 LDA Award event.
Click here for full 2016 LDA abd AJLD Award details.

Other upcoming LDA Events

Click here for Conference & Seminar information.

Current Issues

National Year 1 Phonics Screen

The Federal Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, has announced a "Phonics Screen" check for Year 1 students. Research supports evidence-based reading instruction and specifically, the explicit teaching of phonics in the early years of school which focuses on teaching the connections between the sounds within words and the letters that represent them.

LDA strongly supports this federal initiative as an opportunity for early identification and lifting the performance of struggling beginner readers. Click here to see DDOLL network letter of endoresement.

Click here to read more about the Phonics Screen and phonics research resources.

Effective Teaching

The Centre for Independent Studies published Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading by Kerry Hempenstall, edited by Jennifer Buckingham, focusing on the large and rigorous body of scientific evidence from the 1960’s to 2015, identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction and demonstrating that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching reading, especially for novice readers and children at-risk of reading failure. Available at: https://www.cis.org.au/publications/research-reports/read-about-it-scientific-evidence-for-effective-teaching-of-reading 

Click here to Productivity Commission Report National Education Evidence Base, and a research article on

High Performing Primary Schools: what do they have in Common?

Dyslexia Awareness

Recently there is increased momentum to raise dyslexia awareness in Australia. There are many support groups nationwide committed to change. Their common vision is the implementation of the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005) and the National Dyslexia Working Party Report (2010) in every school.

Click here to read about national campaigns: Light it Red for Dyslexia, My Red Letter, and Dyslexia Empowerment Week award.

LDA Position Statement - Approaches to Reading Instruction

LDA Supports approaches to reading instruction that adopt an explicit structured approach to the teaching of reading and are consistent with the scientific evidence as to how children learn to read and how best to teach them.
Click here to read LDA's Position Statement as published in the LDA Bulletin.
Click here for an extended version of LDA's Position Statement with substantiating references.

Interventions to Remediate Learning Disorders

Efficacy research review of current LD brain changing interventions by Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research and School of Psychology, provides an objective overview of a number of popular brain-training interventions.
Click here to read this 2015 report.

Is Reading Recovery failing the New Zealand Literacy Strategy - what is the evidence?

Click here for the recently published NSW evaluation of Reading Recovery and relevant Reading Recovery resources.
Click here for an excellent 08/02/16 interview on Radio National with Professor James Chapman: "Is Reading Recovery Working?"
To hear LDA’s President Dr Lorraine Hammond’s 15/02/16 interview on Radio National in relation to teaching reading systematically and effectively, Click here

The National Curriculum

Click here to see LDA's submission or click here to see the Review.

Spring 2016 issue of LDA Bulletin now FREE to download!

Take advantage of LDA’s special offer to non-members of LDA to download the Spring 2016 issue of the LDA Bulletin. Click here to download.
Members of LDA can access back issues of the Bulletin from the Members Only section of this website. To join LDA, click here.


Recent Publications

 The Bulletin

 The Journal


Bulletin Autumn 2016

Volume 49,

No 1, Autumn 2017


Volume 21,

No 1, May 2016

Subscribe to our monthly LDA e-News   

Current & past issues  Past issues   

NOTE: LDA Members can access complete back issues of these publications and pre-publication Journal articles when logged into the LDA Members Only section, via the latest articles item in the Taylor & Francis main menu.

 Members Only Section


Professional Learning

Conferences & Seminars:

Dr Lorraine Hammond and Brooke Wardana - 16 May 2017 The Hills Grammar School, Sydney

Leaving Nothing to Chance: How Explicit Learning can prevent early literacy difficulties

This practical seminar for Prep-Year 2 teachers, literacy co-ordinators and administrators, will present and demonstrate how Explicit Instruction gives struggling students an academic advantage by not making assumptions about which skills and knowledge children may acquire on their own, the planning of instructional sequences, the challenges for schools, and how to deliver Explicit Instruction in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling.

click here for details
click here to register on line
click here to download a registration form

September 2016 - LDA National Tour with Professor Maryanne Wolf

LDA was honoured to host Professor Maryanne Wolf in Australia, a unique opportunity to hear such an acclaimed researcher who has significantly contributed to our understanding of the neurological underpinning of the reading brain, and whose theoretical perspective has led to practical interventions which have assisted thousands of students who struggle with reading.

Click here to read In Conversation with Maryanne Wolf, with Wendy Moore, Editor of the LDA Bulletin

Click here to read Professor Wolf's article How the Reading Brain Resolves the Reading Wars (2013)


FIVE from FIVE - The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), FIVE from FIVE project aims to improve literacy levels by bridging the gap between evidence-based research on reading instruction, policy, and practice. LDA has joined the FIVE from FIVE Alliance to help every child receive the most effective reading instruction from their first day at school.

The FIVE from FIVE website is http://www.fivefromfive.org.au/ – is a resource for teachers, principals, parents and policy makers with up-to-date credible evidence-based information.

Professional Learning Courses

A Free Online Course, Supporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing Click here for details.

A new online course in teaching systematic synthetic phonics & its integration with wider reading, spelling and writing.
Click here for details.

Post Graduate Course Information. Click here for information

March 2015 – LDA National Tour with Dr Louisa Moats

Dr Louisa Moats, recipient of LDA’s AJLD Eminent Researcher Award, visited Australia in March 2015. Dr Moats has contributed widely to the body of reading and spelling instruction knowledge, and written extensively on the importance of code-based literacy instruction and better teacher preparation.

Click here to read Lousia Moats article Systematic, not "balanced" instruction in the October 2014 LDA Bulletin.

Click here for Louisa Moats significant paper Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science and more Louisa Moats Resources.

August 2015 - Professor Julian Elliott and the “dyslexia debate” in Australia

Julian (Joe) Elliott, Professor of Educational Psychology at Durham University in the UK and co-author of the book The Dyslexia Debate, delivered a series of presentations focusing on issues raised to clarify the key arguments in this debate and to consider its relevance to the way in which students with reading difficulties are identified and supported.
Click here for relevant Dyslexia Debate research and resources, and to hear Professor Elliott speak.

Post Graduate Course Information

MOTIf: An assessment resource for researchers and professionals

Book Shop - essential Explicit Teaching & Response to Intervention Numeracy & other resources

DVDs of LDA Research Seminars

In the News