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.


LDA AGM and Award Presentations – 22 September 2018

LDA Members and guests are invited to attend LDA’s AGM and the conferring of Awards, Saturday, 22 September.
Time: 1.00 pm -3.30pm, AGM and Award Winners’ acceptance addresses
Place: Treacy Centre – 126 The Avenue, Parkville, Melbourne

LDA is delighted to confer:
The LDA AJLD Eminent Researcher Award to Professor Kate Nation
The first annual Rosemary Carter Award
The Mona Tobias Award and 
The Bruce Wicking Award

This year LDA will confer the first annual Rosemary Carter Award to a Consultant Member, in recognition of Rosemary Carter’s enormous contribution to LDA, to the education of young struggling students, and to the wise and valuable support she provided to parents and colleagues over many decades.

Afternoon tea will be provided – please RSVP to Kerrie McMahon, LDA Administration Officer by email:  ldaquery@bigpond.net.au. Please reply by Monday 17 September 2018.

Publications Announcement:

LDA Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties

Dr Tanya Serry, senior lecturer at La Trobe University, is the new Editor of LDA’s Journal of Learning Difficulties. Tanya’s research and teaching focuses on the literacy, language and learning difficulties among students from the early years through to tertiary students, and her expertise in the area of learning difficulties is well aligned with the vision of LDA and the Journal. Members of LDA have free access to previous, current and upcoming issues and articles of the Journal, as well as receiving a print copy of each issue in the mail.

Click here to learn more about Tanya Serry.

September 2018 – LDA National Tour with Dr Kate Nation
Reading and Comprehension Difficulties: research-practice links and applications for the classroom

LDA is honoured to present Kate Nation - Professor in Experimental Psychology and Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford, Director of ReadOxford, Partner Investigator ARC Centre for Excellence, and LDA’s 2018 Eminent Researcher Award winner - in Melbourne (21 September), Adelaide (24 September), and in Sydney. (28 September). Kate will consider the complexity of reading by constructing meaning from print, highlighting why children may struggle to understand what they read, and discuss evidence-based interventions for children with poor reading comprehension, considering implications for the classroom.

Click here for further information.

October in Perth/November  – LDA presents:
Sarah Asome
Spelling: Beyond the Alphabetic Principle

Sarah Asome is a dyslexia specialist and the Learning Support Leader at Bentleigh West Primary School in Victoria. She has been instrumental in leading change at BWPS, which has led to a signifi cant increase in their students’ literacy levels, with the 2018 NAPLAN results now placing BWPS as a high performing school. Sarah also continues to support many colleagues state and nationwide in implementing evidence-based literacy instruction in their schools. In 2015, Sarah Asome was awarded ‘Outstanding Primary Teacher in the VEEA awards. Sarah is featured in “Outside the Square “, a DVD resource for teachers, and in 2017 appeared on Insight – ‘A teacher Who Changed My Life’. Sarah regularly presents at state and national conferences in relation to literacy and dyslexia. She is an inspirational ball of energy and passion. 

Click here for further information.

LDA and AJLD Awards 

New LDA Award 2018:
Rosemary Carter Award

This year LDA will confer the first annual Rosemary Carter Award, in recognition of Rosemary Carter’s enormous contribution to LDA, to the education of young struggling students, and to the wise and valuable support she provided to parents and colleagues over many decades. LDA Members are invited to nominate a current LDA Consultant Member for this Award.  Nominations are now closed for 2018. 

Award winners for 2018 have now been announced. Click here for details.


The LDA and AJLD Awards are designed to recognise outstanding work in the field of learning difficulties. 

Award Recipients are presented at the LDA Annual General Meeting thereafter. Winners’ travel and accommodation expenses to attend the ceremony will be met by LDA. Submissions can be forwarded by email to ldaquery@bigpond.net.au with the name of the award nomination category in the subject line. For more information about the awards, how to apply, and previous winners, visit  https://www.ldaustralia.org/ldaajld-awards.html

LDA and AJLD Awards for 2017

LDA and AJLD Awards were announced at the LDA AGM held on Saturday 21 October 2017 at the Treacy Centre.

LDA Eminent Researcher Award to Professor Anne Castles
Mona Tobias Award to Professor Pamela Snow
LDA Bruce Wicking Award to Mr Chris Eveans

Click here to read about Previous LDA Award Winners
Click here to read about Previous AJLD Award Winners
Click here for general information about the LDA and AJLD Awards 


Other upcoming LDA Events

Click here for Conference & Seminar information.

Current Issues

Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquistion From Novice to Expert

Continuing public interest questioning how children learn to read and a
review of reading science research, and a look at how the research makes its
way into classrooms is the topic of the recently published and acclaimed
article written by LDA President Anne Castles, Kathleen Rastle and Kate
Nation; 'Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to
Expert'.  There remains a wide gap between the state of research knowledge
about learning to read and the state of public understanding, which has
resulted in decades of the “reading wars”. The aim of this article is to
fill this gap.

This is a must read for all. Free download here. Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquistion from Novice to Expert

Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John's College Oxford and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oxford, recently visited Australia and spoke at the Australian National University on ‘Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read’ on 25th July, 2017, to a sold out crowd.

Additional information on Professor Snowling’s esteemed career and research, and details of her Australian ANU presentation can be viewed here

LDA is very grateful to Professor Snowling, and the ANU, for granting permission to provide an audio of this event for LDA.

National Year 1 Phonics Screen

The Federal Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, 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.

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 endorsement.

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 

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.

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.

Summer 2017 issue of LDA Bulletin now FREE to download!

Take advantage of LDA’s special offer to non-members of LDA to download the Summer 2017 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 Winter 2017

Volume 50,

No 1, Autumn 2018


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:

Professional Learning Courses

September 2018 – LDA National Tour with Dr Kate Nation

Reading and Comprehension Difficulties:research-practice links and applications for the classroom

LDA is delighted to present Dr Kate Nation, LDA’s 2018 Eminent Researcher winner, in Melbourne, Adelaide, and in Sydney. Kate Nation is Professor in Experimental Psychology and Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford, Director of ReadOxford, and Partner Investigator, Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. Kate’s research studies language processing, especially reading and its development – typically how children learn to read, write and comprehend text, the relationship between spoken language and written language, and why some children with language impairment, autism and dyslexia struggle and what can be done to help them.

Click here to learn more about Kate and ReadOxford, their research, and what is For Schools, For Parents and For Kids.       ReadOxford at: http://readoxford.org/ 

For full details and registration for Kate’s LDA half-day presentations:

The Melbourne Event (21 September 2018) is now fully booked - no further registratons can be accepted.
Click here for Adelaide – Monday 24 September 2018
Click here for Sydney – Friday 28 September

LDA is presenting Spelling: Beyond the Alphabetic Principle in Perth, Saturday 20 October 2018, with Sarah Asome.

LDA is exceptionally pleased Sarah Asome, who is highly qualified to present this session and can do so, as Charlotte Andrist has had to cancel her Australian visit owing to poor health.

Spelling: Beyond the Alphabetic Principle
This session will present a systematic explicit evidence-based approach to teaching spelling, focusing on teaching spelling as a ‘process’, based on the structure of the English Language including phonology, syllabication (structural analysis) and morphology. Explanatory session notes and hands-on practice will be provided.
Click here for full details and to register

August 2017 - From the Lab to the Classroom: New Directions in Dyslexia Research

Professor Maryanne Wolf, internationally acclaimed reading researcher, Director of the Center for Reading and Language and Associate Professor Child Development at Tufts University presented some of the most transformative studies in neuroscience-based research on dyslexia in the past two years, highlighting the translation of findings into insights for the classroom.

Click here for further Maryanne Wolf biographical information, publications

Click here to read Maryanne Wolf’s 2013 A Literate Nation White Paper

March 2015 – LDA National Tour with Dr Louisa Moats

Dr Louisa Moats, LDA Eminent Researcher, has contributed widely to reading and spelling instruction knowledge, writing 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.


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

A Free Online CourseSupporting 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

MOTIf: An assessment resource for researchers and professionals