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.


Professor Maryanne Wolf, 2016 AJLD Eminent Researcher Award recipient, to speak in Australia early September 2016 - Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

LDA is delighted to again be hosting a visit by a reading researcher of international standing. Professor Maryanne Wolf is the Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, has publishedhundreds of scientific articles onreading, reading difficulties and learning disabilities, is the recipient of many awards, the author of RAVE-O, an intervention program for struggling readers, and her popular book, Proust and the Squid: The story and science of the reading brain,which describes the way our reading brain has developed over many centuries and explores the implications for today’s children who need to function in a technology-driven society.

Maryanne Wolf is also recipient of the LDA 2016 AJLD Eminent Researcher Award, to be presented during her visit to Melbourne. LDA Members are invited to hear her acceptance at LDA’s AGM on Saturday 10 September.
Click here for further information on her background and publications
Click here to read How the Reading Brain Resolves the Reading Wars Maryanne Wolf A Literate Nation White Paper 2013

LDA 2015 50th Anniversary LDA and AJLD Awards – Click here to see the complete 2015 LDA Celebration Awards report

AJLD Eminent Researcher Award to Professor Max Coltheart
AJLD Early Career Researcher Award to Dr Tanya Serry.
AJLD Early Career Researcher Highly Recommended to Dr. Anne Bellert
LDA Mona Tobias Award to Professor Brian Byrne.
LDA Tertiary Student Award to Dr Danielle Colenbrander.

Other upcoming LDA Events

Click here for Conference & Seminar information.

Current Issues

FIVE from FIVE – Live

The Centre for Independent Studies’ FIVE from FIVE project aims to improve literacy levels by bridging the gap between evidence-based research on reading instruction, and 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 Centre for Independent Studies released their research report Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading by Kerry Hempenstall, edited by Jennifer Buckingham, here:

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.

Autumn 2016 issue of LDA Bulletin now FREE to download!

Take advantage of LDA’s special offer to non-members of LDA to download the Autumn 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 48,

No 1, Autumn 2016


Volume 20,

No 2, November 2015

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:

Creating a High Performing School: the place of explicit instruction, an evidence-based approach to improving school outcomes

Presented by Dr Lorraine Hammond- Edith Cowan University, LDA President, Greg Sullivan - Principal of Dianella Heights Primary School, WA, and Ray Boyd - Principal of West Beechboro Primary School, WA

Sydney, Friday 10 June 2016

Do not miss this opportunity to hear how Ray Boyd and Greg Sullivan turned their schools around through improving instructional practices.
This practical one-day seminar is designed to equip principals, deputy principals, curriculum leaders and teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to introduce an explicit approach to instruction in order to raise student outcomes. The seminar will outline typical challenges for schools, how to meet curriculum requirements and set targets, the role of coaching and the importance of an ongoing program of professional learning. 

To find out more click here
To download a registration form click here
To register online click here

Professor Maryanne Wolf to present in September 2016

LDA is honoured to host Professor Maryanne Wolf in Australia, a unique opportunity for teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists, researchers and policy makers 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.

Professor Wolf will present on the following dates:

Brisbane Friday 2 September - for session details click here and to register click here
Sydney Wednesday 7 September - for session details click here and to register click here
Melbourne Friday 9 September - for session details click here and to register click here

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

Online Professional Development

A Free Online Course, Supporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing to learn why some children have so much difficulty with reading and writing, and best practice in teaching literacy
Click here for details.

Online Phonics Training Course

A new online phonics teaching training course covering the essentials of teaching systematic synthetic phonics & its integration with wider reading, spelling and writing.
Click here for details.

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.

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.

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

DVDs of LDA Research Seminars

MOTIf: An assessment resource for researchers and professionals

Online LD Course Information

In the News