ALEA News Archive

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  • 30th Nov 16 Registrations now open for the 2017 AATE and ALEA National Conference

    Registrations are now open for the AATE and ALEA National Conference to be held in Hobart from 6-9 July 2017. The program includes a mix of local, national and international speakers and authors who will share cutting edge ideas, research and proven best practice suitable for a variety of classroom contexts. Conference delegates span the full education continuum from early years to senior secondary and tertiary - with surprising learning experiences that see cross pollination between the various levels.

    Social events are, as usual, a highlight of the conference and there is also an opportunity to spend half a day with some of our international speakers during the pre-conference institutes.

    See all the details on the conference website

    'Read full story' to view a short video message from Ogilvie High School students Evelyn and Jasmine announcing that registrations are open.


  • 4th Nov 16 Celebrating 3 Years of Reading Australia

    Our friends at Reading Australia are celebrating 3 years of bringing Australia to life in the classroom.
    Visit Reading Australia today to discover 120 curriculum-linked teacher resources, 80 insightful essays and an expanded book list of 270 titles – featuring some of Australia’s most iconic authors.
    Learn more:

  • 6th Oct 16 ALEA celebrates International Literacy Day

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day and UNESCO is celebrating it under the banner “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”. International Literacy Day 2016 celebrates and honours the past five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world. It also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.

    Our ALEA local councils were involved in community outreach on and around ILD on 8 September. We are pleased to share with you a few of their stories in a special edition of ALEA Today.

    See the newsletter here.

    Catch up on past editions of ALEA Today here.


  • 24th Aug 16 Tell us how you celebrate NLNW and your school could win $500

    National Literacy and Numeracy Week commences on 29 August and this year we would like to hear about your celebrations during NLNW, particularly if you participate in the activities on the NLNW website. You must be an individual or institutional member of ALEA to be eligible.

    Ten schools will be selected based on your description of involvement in NLNW activities. Submissions selected may be published in an ALEA journal and extracts may be used on social media. The 10 schools selected will receive $500.00 each.

    Entries close 23 September and schools will be notified by 11 October after the ALEA National Council meeting.

    Download the terms and conditions and details on how to enter here.

  • 10th Aug 16 Nea Stewart Dore scholarship holders attend 2016 conference

    Throughout 2015, ALEA members and ALEA Local Councils across the nation donated to the Nea Stewart-Dore IDOC Scholarship. Sufficient funds were raised to bring two enthusiastic teachers from Niue to the ALEA National Conference in Adelaide in July 2016. Folia Tohovaka and Nicola Puheke were the invited teachers. Special thanks to all who contribute to this outreach activity. Thanks to Grant Webb for organising the travel arrangements and to two very special people, Chris and Andrew Payne, for acting as Aussie Mum and Dad to Folia and Nicola for the duration of their stay. It's such a generous undertaking to have two guests in your home for a week. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated by the ALEA membership and the people of Niue, Chris and Andrew!

  • 3rd May 16 Early Bird extended for National Conference - now closing 16 May

    Weaving worlds with words and wonder...

    The early bird closing date for the AATE/ALEA National Conference has been extended until 16 May 2016.

    Register now to secure $100 discount off the price of full conference registration. If you are a member of ALEA the cost is reduced by a further $100!

    This year the conference will be held in Adelaide from Thursday evening 7 July to Sunday 10 July.  There is an optional pre-conference symposium for English teachers K-12 and tertiary levels which re-vists Dartmouth 50 years on, asking 'What is English (now)?'.

    Jump straight to the registration form here (pay by credit card or select cheque or direct deposit for an invoice):

    Call the ALEA national office (contact details below) for assistance.

  • 6th Apr 16 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards Open

    The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards are the oldest and largest poetry competition for school aged children in Australia.

    The Awards aim to inspire students across Australia to express their thoughts creatively through poetry and, by doing so, support the legacy of Dorothea Mackellar and her legendary poem ‘My Country‘. Entries open on March 1st each year and close on the 30th June.  

    Optional theme is 'Waiting'.  Download a poster here.

    Go direct to the site for more information on how to enter:

    Videos and instructions of live poetry lessons with Lorraine Marwood are back by popular demand. Direct link here.

    As always the organisers are looking forward to wonderful poetry interpretations both on a theme or any variety of topics.

    Enquiries to:

  • 14th Mar 16 Teaching and Reading Australian Books in Australian Schools

    ALEA and Copyright Agency believe that every society needs to tell their own stories and the best way we can achieve this is to provide quality and insightful resources to support all teachers of English in bringing Australia’s rich and unique literature into classrooms.

    ALEA has been working with Copyright Agency to help produce resources for primary teachers. There are now over 100 units for primary and secondary teachers, all freely available on the Reading Australia website.

    Lights, camera, action: view the introductory videos (less than 2 mins each) to learn about the fantastic features of Reading Australia.

  • 3rd Feb 16 Close the Gap - Join the Campaign

    National Close the Gap Day is being held on Thursday 17 March 2016. It’s Australia’s largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health campaign, and a great way for schools to tackle the Australian Curriculum cross-cutting priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

    Register now at to receive a free resource pack with Australian Curriculum aligned resources from Oxfam Australia to help your students learn about the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians, and create and participate in events that are all about student-led action and community engagement.

    Resources are easy to use and inspire creative ways to generate action and discussion – from sport to art and photography, music to debate. Supporting materials, videos, animations and stories balance the issues of health inequality with solutions.

    Health equality is everyone’s business, and as educators we must continue to work together to ensure Indigenous health equality becomes a reality by 2030 ― our students’ generation. Therefore, the support of schools like yours is vital. Join the 230,000 students and teachers from more than 1000 schools nationally who have participated in this national day over past four years. 

  • 13th Nov 15 Registrations now open for the 2016 AATE/ALEA Conference

    Registrations are now open for the 2016 AATE/ALEA Conference to be held in Adelaide from 7-10 July. Generous discounts apply for ALEA members and those who register before the early bird cut off on 30 April.

    The theme 'Weaving Worlds with Words and Wonder...' will feature three strands: Narrative, Creativity, and Language & Enquiry.

    The conference also features a pre-conference symposium 'Re-Reading Dartmouth: What is English (now)?'

    Conference speakers announced so far include Melanie Shoffner (US), Robyn Ewing AM (NSW), Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey (NZ), Barbara Comber (Qld)...see more speakers at this link. 

    Click on 'read full story' to view an introductory video.  We hope to see you there! 

  • 8th Oct 15 2015 Donald Graves Address: Children Writing with New Technologies

    Associate Professor Lisa Kervin delivered the 2015 Donald Graves address at the AATE & ALEA national conference in Canberra in July.  Entitled: Children Writing with New Technologies, Lisa's presentation can now be viewed in full online.

    The address was sponsored by ALEA and PETAA, with an introduction by Jan Turbill (right of photo) and vote of thanks by PETAA President Robyn Cox (left) who expressed how well Lisa had paid tribute to Donald Graves and his work, highlighting its relevance into the future.

    Read full story to see the link to Lisa's presentation.

  • 26th Sep 15 Nea Stewart Dore ALEA Conference Scholarship

    ALEA Outreach for Oceania - IDOC Nea Stewart-Dore ALEA Conference Scholarship 2016

    Nea Stewart Dore was a long standing ALEA member who contributed to the Association in a number of ways.She played a major role in establishing and strengthening ties between the International Reading Association (now ILA), the New Zealand Reading Association (now NZLA) and ALEA through her work with the International Development Oceania Committee (IDOC).

    In memory of Nea’s steadfast commitment to  ALEA and IDOC, the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association National Council would like to embark on a fund raising campaign to provide two scholarships to the 2016 ALEA National Conference in Adelaide.

    Read full story for more details

  • 1st Sep 15 International Literacy Day - 8 September is fast approaching

    The theme of International Literacy Day 2015 is Literacy and Sustainable Societies. Literacy is a key driver for sustainable development. Literacy skills are the prerequisite for the learning of a broader set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, required for creating sustainable societies. At the same time, progress in areas of sustainable development, such as health and agriculture, serves as an enabling factor in the promotion of literacy and literate environments.  

    All of the ALEA local councils are involved in community outreach on and around ILD.

    Contact your ALEA Local Council to participate in ILD activities. 

    Read full story for more information and to download the ILD 2015 poster.

  • 28th Aug 15 Teachers' conceptions of graduate teachers' literacy capabilities

    ALEA Survey

    In response to the Federal Government's proposed introduction of a literacy test for pre-service teachers, ​ALEA National President Grant Webb has announced the commissioning of a major research study that will canvass the profession’s opinion  about the literacy skills that a graduate needs to be a teacher in the 21st century.

    Current or previous primary school teachers are cordially invited to log onto the survey site. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Further details on the study and how to participate can be found by clicking on the following link:

    Read full story for more details.

  • 21st Aug 15 Congratulations to ALEA Award Recipients

    Congratulations to ALEA members Jo Padgham, Carolie Wilson, Jennifer Rennie and Robyn Henderson who were awarded for their outstanding service to ALEA at the national conference in Canberra in July. Jo received Life Membership, Carolie the ALEA Special Services Award and Jennifer and Robyn the ALEA Medal. Thank you all for your past, present and ongoing contribution to ALEA.  Read their citations here. 2014 ALEA Medal recipients Wendy Bean and Bette Triglone were also presented with their awards in Canberra. Pictured: Jo Padgham and Carolie Wilson

  • 11th Aug 15 Grant Webb Elected New President of ALEA

    ALEA welcomes Grant Webb on board as the association's new President, elected at the AGM in July.  Grant is a Director within Education Queensland and over the past 30 years he has undertaken a number of teaching and leadership roles across a variety of educational contexts, within Queensland, nationally and internationally.  He has extensive experience working in primary and secondary schools as well as in the tertiary sector, and has been a classroom teacher and school principal. 

    A member of ALEA since 1986 and a former Vice President, Grant has represented ALEA in a number of international forums, previously chairing the International Development in Oceania Committee (IDOC) and currently working as the External Evaluator of the Active Teaching and Learning Approaches in Sri Lanka. 

  • 17th Jun 15 Canberra Conference - registrations close 19 June

    Debbie Martens and Michelle Morthorpe, co-convenors of the AATE/ALEA national conference for English teachers and literacy educators, are looking forward to welcoming you to Canberra in July.

    The conference will run from 3-6 July, with options to attend pre-conference tours of Canberra attractions and a post conference workshop with 'The 2 Sisters' Joan Moser and Gail Boushey.

    Book now to join 1,000 other delegates at this excellent professional learning event.

  • 22nd Apr 15 Invitation to contribute to an ALEA title on teaching poetry

    ALEA individual and institutional members are invited to contribute to a special ALEA occasional publication in 2016 about the teaching of poetry. The publication will include an exciting anthology of poems for children from some very playful and skillful Australian poets as well as a set of 300 word vignettes from those who work with poetry in the classroom.  To help get you started, Sue Hamilton-Smith (ALEA Qld State Director) has already penned a 300 word vignette about the ‘Poetry Treasure Hunt’. We’re not after lesson plans per se; we’re after 300 word vignettes that *inspire* teachers about a wide variety of approaches to teaching poetry.

    'Read more' to download the details.

  • 21st Apr 15 Children benefit from books at home

    An interesting article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April 2015:  Private vs Public Schooling.

    The article reports on research undertaken by the University of Queensland's Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences.It is the largest longitudinal study of 4000 private primary and public school students in Australian history.  The data tracked children from the age of four to ten and included metrics on Naplan results, variations on IQ tests and non-cognitive outcomes such how they interact with peers.  Professor Luke Connelly who authored the research report says: "Children in families with more books at home have consistently higher test scores".  

    View the full article at this link.

    ALEA actively promotes the importance of providing books to children, and reading with them from an early age. On International Literacy Day (8 September) each year members of ALEA Local Councils around Australia visit mothers of newborn babies and present them with books, pamphlets, magnets and 'Read to Me' t-shirts to encourage them.

  • 1st Apr 15 Primary Teachers' input on film invited

    ACER is inviting ALEA members’ input into a national research project investigating the role of film in primary English sessions in Australia.  Film literacy terminology (such as 'Viewing’ and ‘Creating/Making’) has been introduced into state and national English curriculums in recent years. This survey is intended to find out the extent to which these skills have been incorporated into primary teaching practice around Australia.

    The survey will be open for all primary teachers until the end of the Easter break and will only take 5 minutes to complete. All responses are useful, so don’t be shy!

    The survey is open now and will remain open until 13 April.

  • 11th Mar 15 Misrepresentation of ALEA's hot topic on phonics in the Australian

    ALEA National Council is concerned about the misrepresentation of comments that were part of an ALEA Hot Topic, Phonics: its place in the Literacy Story  published in October 2014.  Natasha Bita's article in the Weekend Australian on 7 March 2015 about Christopher Pyne’s views on spelling and phonics included quotes that were taken completely out of context. 

    The journalist did not talk to the authors and to take isolated quotes about the role of phonics in developing literacy out of their context in this way is misleading. This misrepresentation of ALEA's position on phonics led to uninformed online responses and this is very unfortunate.  

    The paper released by ALEA on Thursday 5 March (not Friday 6 March as reported) was written by Eileen Honan, Preparing Australian teachers to teach literacy. 

    ALEA will continue to support a research based approach to the teaching of literacy and advocate that teachers use a wide repertoire of literacy strategies to respond to the needs of all learners.

  • 6th Mar 15 ASFLA Conference 2015 - Call for Presenters

    The 2015 conference of the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association (ASFLA) will be held in Brisbane, Queensland on the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland over the three days Tuesday 29 September, Wednesday 30 September and Thursday 1 October, preceded by a day of pre-conference institutes on Monday 28 September.  The conference theme is Linguistics, Literature & Verbal Art: Inheritances and Developments.  

    The Call for Presenters has now been issued and details can be accessed on the conference website Call for presenters closes on 2 April 2015.  Read full story for more information.

  • 28th Jan 15 ALEA President receives Australia Day Honour

    Congratulations to ALEA President Robyn Ewing who was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her significant service to tertiary education through academic and administrative roles, to professional organisations, and to the arts. A highly deserved honour recognising Robyn's contribution to literacy, education and the creative arts and her leadership of a number of professional and community organisations, including ALEA.

  • 15th Dec 14 VALE Dr Maurice Saxby AM (1924-2014)

    ALEA members will be saddened to learn of the passing of our much loved, highly esteemed colleague Dr Maurice Saxby AM recently, just a few weeks before his 90th birthday. Maurie's contribution to the field of children’s literature, both in Australia’s and internationally was renowned. He was a generous friend and mentor to many teachers, teacher educators, authors and illustrators and will be sadly missed. A life well lived. 

    A celebration of Maurie's life will be held in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney on Monday 19 January 2015 from 5-7pm. Organisers have asked that you book via the link on the flier here.

    Read full story for more about Dr Saxby's contribution.

  • 17th Oct 14 Invitation to submit an article for Practically Primary

    Have you thought of sharing your classroom practice with other educators? Practically Primary editor Louise Phillips would welcome submissions from ALEA members, especially articles that are in line with each issue's proposed theme.

    Articles can be as brief as 500 words or as long as 1,500 words and must be appealing and useful to classroom teachers. The aim of Practically Primary is to enhance classroom practice in literacy teaching.

    Due due by Friday 31 October, the theme for the February 2015 issue is: Language and Literacy learning through Engagement with Families and Communities.

    Submissions for the June 2015 issues are due by Friday 27 February 2015 and the theme is: Language and Literacy Learning Environments.

    'Read Full Story' for links to Practically Primary on the ALEA website, and to download author guidelines.

  • 29th Sep 14 ALEA President Robyn Ewing's book wins Educational Publishing Award

    ALEA congratulates President Robyn Ewing whose book ‘Curriculum and Assessment’ won the 2014 Educational Publishing Award for Best Secondary Teaching Resource.  The Award was announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on 17 September.

    The judges said:  

    "This resource is a handy and practical handbook for teachers and pre-service teachers, discussing key ideas in accessible and practical ways. The judges particular liked the design feature of highlighting experts in the field through biographies and felt that the theoretical perspectives encouraged deeper thinking through case studies."

    The Awards are run by the Australian Publishers Association and celebrate excellence in educational publishing  in Australia. See more information here:

  • 21st Aug 14 Call for Papers Extended for the 2015 AATE/ALEA Conference - Canberra

    Please note new closing date: 19 January 2015

    AATE and ALEA invite you to submit an application to present a 45 or 60 minute Workshop, Research Paper, Publisher Presentation or Poster Session at the 2015 Canberra Conference, to assist literacy educators to explore the Conference Strands:

    • Nurturing curiosity in practice
    • Nurturing inquiry through research
    • Nurturing creativity in curriculum

    Read Full Story for more information or go direct to the conference website.

  • 30th Jul 14 VALE Nea Stewart-Dore

    The ALEA family is mourning the passing our a dear friend and professional colleague, Nea Stewart Dore who died on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Beloved wife of Colin.  Nea leaves behind numerous friends and colleagues in the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association, the International Reading Association and Rotary International communities.

    A significant aspect of Nea’s major contribution to literacy education in Australia and beyond was based in her deep and passionate belief in the role of literacy in all learning, and in teachers' interest in improving learning. 

    We will miss you Nea, but we are all the richer for your friendship and for what you has given to our association over almost 40 years.

    'Read full story' for more and to download the full tribute presented at the Darwin Conference.

  • 25th Jun 14 Free National Poetry Writing Competition - Years 3-10

    Red Room Poetry Object is a free national poetry-writing competition for Australian students in Years 3-10. Created by The Red Room Company and supported by ABC Radio National, the project invites young writers and their teachers to submit poems about objects that are special to them. In 2013 Red Room Poetry Object linked over 70 school communities and published 1200 student and teacher poems.

    Applications close 19 September.

    'Read Full Story' to access the registration link.

  • 24th May 14 Asylum Seekers and Refugees - a resource for educators


    The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education is involved in a range of human rights projects and initiatives which encourage greater awareness, understanding and action for positive change.

    For many years the Edmund Rice Centre has been working to raise awareness of, and advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

    The Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource is ERC’s latest publication, which converts years of  research and experience into curriculum support material that addresses the learning needs of students.

    The free 52 page Education Resource offers 35 cross-curricular activities which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy. The activities are adaptable to all year levels in secondary school and some can also be used with primary classes, students with special needs and could also be used in community group discussions.

    Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.

    'Read full story' to download the free resource.

  • 20th May 14 New AITSL Website

    AITSL advises that they have launched their new website: The new website is easily searchable, simple to use and is dedicated to meeting the needs of Australian teachers and school leaders.

    The site includes the Classroom Practice Continuum that was also launched recently.

    AITSL says "the Classroom Practice Continuum brings the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers to life by building out the Professional Practice Domain and articulating what teachers at increasing levels of expertise do in the classroom. It provides a basis for observing and providing feedback on classroom practice." 

    To access AITSL's resources, existing bookmarks and links will require updating. Contact AITSL direct if you have any queries or issues:

  • 20th May 14 Darwin National Conference - Early Bird extended to 23 May

    Registrations for the AATE/ALEA National Conference are filling fast.  If you have been meaning to book, the good news is that the Early Bird rate has been extended - now closing on Friday 23 May 2014.  Get in now to secure your early bird discount.  Members of ALEA and state/territory English Teaching Associations linked to the AATE receive an extra discount.  And it's not too late to join.

    'Read Full Story' for all the relevant links.

    It is recommended you book soon, so that you can secure flights and accommodation as July is peak tourist season in Darwin.  Which is another good reason to join us at the conference and stay awhile - taking advantage of the special deals that Territory Discoveries is offering conference delegates.

  • 2nd May 14 National survey for English teachers of their knowledge about language

    Mary Macken-Horarik of the University of New England, in collaboration with Kristina Love, Len Unsworth and Carmel Sandiford of the Australian Catholic University, have developed a short online survey designed to help appreciate what understandings teachers have about language (including grammar). It is part of a large-scale project investigating grammar and praxis in 21st century school English and has been funded by the Australian Research Council from 2011-2014 (DP110104309).

    The online survey is open from Monday March 17 until Friday 16 May 2014.

    Read full story for more information and a link to the survey which should take no more than 20 minutes of your time.

  • 17th Apr 14 NLNW Dates Announced - Monday 25 to Sunday 31 August

    ALEA is pleased to once again be working with AATE and the Australian Government in 2014 on the Literacy activities to be held during National Literacy and Numeracy Week.  The Minister has announced the dates for NLNW which will be held from 25 August to 31 August.  

    The Department of Education is managing the website and there will be a range of activities that we hope will engage students of all ages. The main event will be the mass simultaneous book read, Read for Australia.  It is hoped that at 2.00 pm on 29 August, students in schools across Australia will come together to read Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey.

    Plan for your school to be involved and check the site periodically to catch up on what is happening:

  • 21st Mar 14 Membership Offer for New Teacher Graduates and Students

    ALEA is pleased to offer new Teacher Graduates membership at the Student Rate for the first 12 months of their teaching career.  One of the things ALEA is committed to is supporting new teachers, connecting them with experienced educators and providing them with professional growth opportunities.  If you are currently a Student Member and you will shortly be graduating, we invite you to renew your membership at the Student rate for a further year. The offer also applies to new Graduates who are not yet members.  Students/new Graduates who join by the end of March will receive a free copy of 'Playing with Grammar'.


  • 18th Mar 14 Call for papers for NZLA Conference close 21 March

    ALEA Members are invited to attend the 2014 New Zealand Literacy Association Conference to be held in beautiful Tauranga on the North Island of NZ.  ALEA is always pleased when NZLA members attend our national conference, and it would be terrific if ALEA members could reciprocate.  Those that do find it extremely worthwhile.

    NZLA are currently taking submissions for workshops - but they close at the end of this week (21 March) so be quick!  Submit online at

    Read full story for NZLA's invitation and to download a flier. 

  • 16th Mar 14 APTA Meritorious Award presented to ALEA Vice President

    ALEA Vice President Christine Topfer has been presented with the Meritorious Contribution to the Profession Award by the Australian Professional Teachers Association.  In conferring the award, Susan Gazis AM, President of APTA, said "the Board noted the outstanding contribution you have made to literacy education in Australia,  particularly in the areas of supporting teachers through high quality professional development, publications, website development and resources."

    ALEA congratulates Christine on her achievement and concurs with APTA's description of her as 'an inspiring, influential educator'.  Christine is an example of the highly professional and conscientious literacy educators that serve on ALEA National Council, working across state and territories for the benefit of members.

    Pictured - Margery Evans, CEO of the Australian Institute for School Leadership (AITSL) presents Christine with her Award.

    Read full story for a copy of Christine's citation, and to see more photos of her presentation.

  • 13th Jan 14 Playing with Grammar

    ALEA is pleased to launch its new title Playing with Grammar in the Early Years: learning about grammar in the Australian Curriculum: English.  Individual members received their complimentary copy 'hot off the press' prior to Christmas.  Institutional members had their title delivered to them in first term this year. Make sure your membership is up to date to ensure you don't miss out.  Recommended retail will be around $30 (plus postage) so this is a terrific benefit to members.

    New members who join by the end of February will receive a complimentary copy in their membership package. See membership information here.

    For more about the book, 'read full story'.

  • 20th Dec 13 AJLL 'Preliminary Reviews Editor' - 2 positions

    The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy (AJLL) is proudly published by the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) three (3) times per annum and is recognised as the nation’s premier research journal devoted to Language and Literacy Teaching and Learning. Its popularity and high quality is measured by its 20% acceptance rate, an editorial board made up of internationally acclaimed scholars and a review board made up of nationally recognised Language and Literacy researchers.

    In 2014, ALEA will publish Volume 37 of AJLL as well as move to an online submission platform. As submissions are expected to increase, two new editorial positions have been created. Successful applicants will be invited to undertake a twelve (12) month probation with the possibility of extension for a further two (2) year term. Expressions of interests are being sought from accomplished researchers with a signification publication record and extensive review experience.

    Read full story to download the full 'Call for Expressions of Interest' document for details of the role and how to apply.

  • 2nd Dec 13 Last Call for 2014 Conference Presenters

    aNTicipating new territories: strong minds, places and futures

    It only seems like yesterday that we enjoyed a stimulating 'Brave New World' conference in Brisbane.  Now we look forward with anticipation to the 2014 AATE/ALEA National Conference to be held in Darwin from 9-12 July next year.  

    The Call for Presenters closes soon, and we invite you to consider submitting to present on the theme aNTicipating new territories: strong minds, places and futures.

    'Read full story' for more details.

  • 1st Dec 13 'Reading Gives Kids an Edge'

    ALEA Vice President Jo Padgham was quoted in an article by Brooke Lumsden in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 11 October 2013 in response to research which has suggested that a strong reading ability will enable children to absorb and understand new information and affect their attainment in all subjects

    Read full story for an extract from the SMH article and the link to the full article.

  • 1st Dec 13 ALEA (Mackay) and Rio Tinto Literacy Partnership

    Last year the ALEA Mackay Local Council received a grant from the Rio Tinto Hail Creek Mine Community Development Fund. The ‘National Year of Reading 2012 Learning Community Project’ centred on bringing Hobart-based literacy educationalist and ALEA National Vice-President, Christine Topfer, to Mackay  to facilitate several professional learning opportunities with a reading comprehension focus. During her May visit, Christine shared the results of a major action research project undertaken in 2011 by ALEA Tasmania. Rio Tinto funding covered the presenter fees and also allowed teachers at each of the workshops to receive a copy of the ALEA text, ‘Reading Comprehension: taking the learning deeper’, to add to their professional libraries.

    The goals of the project were to provide opportunities for the sharing of best practice around the teaching and learning of reading,  to strengthen learning communities that promote the skills, capabilities and attributes of local teachers and to ensure sustainability of outcomes by generating interest with teachers across the district in conducting their own action research projects that best meet the needs of their students. This project has had far-reaching positive effects.

    Read full story for more details...

  • 1st Dec 13 Over 250 Teachers at ALEA (SA) Writing Workshop

    Over 250 teachers devoted Saturday 9 November 2013 to professional learning about writing. ALEA (SA) hosted Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey, authors of The Writing Book, to run a workshop at The Fogolar Fulan Centre, Felixstow, SA. Teachers came from as far away as Kangaroo Island, the Murray Lands and Yorke Peninsula to acquire knowledge about Developing an Effective Writing Program. Participants gained an understanding of the key principles of a balanced, effective writing program whilst exploring the features of both long and short writing lessons. They had the opportunity to try out several strategies such as think-pair-share and quick writes.

    Read full story for more...

  • 8th Nov 13 Principals Leading Literacy - Movie now online

    ALEA believes that principals play a vital role in leading literacy in their schools. Drawing on the experience of ALEA members who are principals, ALEA published a number of principal's stories in the February 2013 edition of the ALEA Today newsletter. Every story demonstrates a school leader with a clear focus on improving the literacy outcomes and opportunities for each and every student in their school through developing the capacity of each and every teacher.

    ALEA has now also produced a video in partnership with Class Movies, reinforcing the vital role played by principals in leading literacy.  Read more to see the link to the movie.

  • 6th Nov 13 ALEA Award Recipients feature in IRA Reading Today

    The International Reading Association's magazine Reading Today recently featured an article on ALEA and the Citation of Merit Awards for Research awarded to Allan Luke and Peter Freebody at the AATE/ALEA National Conference in Brisbane in July 2013.  Read the article here.

    See citations for Allan Luke and Peter Freebody here.

    See video of Peter Freebody accepting his Award here.

  • 6th Nov 13 Call for Papers - Excellence in Professional Practice

    The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has issued a call for papers by school teachers and leaders to be presented at the Excellence in Professional Practice Conference in Melbourne from 16 to 17 May 2014.

    The Excellence in Professional Practice Conference (EPPC) is presented by practitioners, for practitioners.   The conference theme is Teachers driving school improvement, as ACER recognises that, every day, teachers and school leaders are responsible for improving learning among students. Organisers would love to hear from ALEA members. 

  • 6th Nov 13 The Earth Wins

    THE EARTH WINS is a new IMAX film that addresses sustainability, conservation, climate science, philosophy, critical thinking and ethics.  It has been shot entirely from the air, using poetry and text onscreen to communicate the messages of the film.  The film is the first Australian-produced IMAX film to be released in over 10 years.  Read more for a link to the trailer.

  • 24th Oct 13 ALEA Class Movie Now Online

    ALEA has undertaken to produce a series of videos in partnership with Class Movies.  We are very pleased to to announce that the first video is now available.

    Reading Comprehension: taking the learning deeper was a major professional learning project conducted by ALEA Tasmania. The project provided teachers with opportunities to design, monitor and implement research based on powerful, accessible ideas about reading comprehension in their own classrooms.

    Click on 'read full story' to be directed to the movie links on the ALEA website.

  • 30th Jul 13 Support for Teacher Librarians Needed

    The Australian Education Bill 2013 and the National Plan for School Improvement  still do not highlight the vital role of teacher librarians and school libraries in improving literacy and learning....even after the year long federal Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. 

  • 11th Jun 13 Senate Inquiry into NAPLAN - ALEA Submission

    ALEA has made a submission to the Senate Committee on Education and Employment Inquiry into the effectiveness of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).

    Here are some extracts from the Executive Summary of ALEA's submission.  A copy of the full submission can be downloaded here.

    One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you’re not learning about the world, you’re not learning about different cultures, you’re not learning about science, you’re not learning about math…All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test.

    (Obama, 2011)

    The Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) contends that continuing to emphasise and privilege such tests will diminish equity, access, participation and therefore social justice for the most vulnerable Australian children. Recent research and writing from similar educational initiatives in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America supports these assertions.

  • 31st May 13 *FREE* New Online Resources for the Australian Curriculum: English

    ALEA is delighted to present a new Foundation to Year 10 online resource, produced by English teachers for English teachers, to support the teaching and learning of English in the Australian Curriculum

    English for the Australian Curriculum supports primary and secondary educators with:

    • full mapping to the Australian Curriculum, providing 850 new elaborations of curriculum content across the strands of language, literature and literacy
    •  links to Curriculum content descriptions, cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities
    • 96 classroom learning sequences for primary, 12 sequences in each unit of work, ready for classroom use
    • a dynamic collection of digital and multi-modal resources, interactive worksheets, rich assessment tasks and links to other website resources.

    The resources are freely available online at

  • 1st May 13 New Dates for National Literacy and Numeracy Week

    National Literacy and Numeracy Week (NLNW) is a week long celebration of literacy and numeracy in schools, organised by the Australian Government. ALEA and AATE are once again working with DEEWR on Australia-wide literacy activities for schools, which will include Read for Australia.

    NLNW is usually held in late August, however, this year the dates have been brought forward and the event will be held on Monday 29 July to Sunday 4 August. Please put these new dates in your diary now.

  • 15th Apr 13 Early Bird closing soon for 2013 ALEA/AATE National Conference

    Book before 30 April 2013 to secure generous early bird discounts

    A Brave New World! English and literacy teaching for the 21st Century.
    4-7 July 2013, Brisbane

    Is this indeed a brave, new world filled with 'goodly creatures' and 'beauteous mankind', or are these creatures distracted by trivia, amusing themselves to death and not interested in the 'proper uses of language'?

    How do our responses to this question impact on our teaching of English and literacy in the second decade of the 21st century?

    You are invited to join us in Brisbane in July to explore this theme. Early Bird registrations close end April, after which registration prices will increase:

  • 6th Apr 13 ALEA President: "You cannot legislate to find good teachers"

    "A capacity to teach is something you either have in your heart or you don't". 

    ALEA President Robyn Ewing comments on national teaching standards in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald.  She says that a good teacher must be more than a high school graduate who achieves a high Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank.  It's not just about attracting high-quality people to the profession, it's also about retaining them and finding a way to mentor and support them in our most challenging contexts.​

    See the link to the full SMH article here:

  • 1st Apr 13 Survey on Relevance and Effectiveness of Teacher Education

    Deakin University is inviting graduate teachers who completed their teacher education program in 2010/2011 to participate in the third round of an online survey designed to provide feedback on the relevance and effectiveness of teacher education for teaching employment and readiness for teaching in diverse settings.

    The survey closes on 5 April 2013.  Teachers who participate go into the draw to win one of six iPad Minis.  The survey is at this link: 

  • 22nd Jan 13 Bell Shakespeare in Primary Schools 2013


    “It has definitely opened their eyes to Shakespeare in the best possible way.”
    - Meg Manson, Canobolas Public School, NSW

    Bell Shakespeare has spent over 23 years taking Shakespeare to millions of Australians, and in 2013 they will bring his works to our youngest audiences of all. The Company will tour two primary productions of their renowned in-school performances, Actors At Work, to metropolitan and regional NSW, VIC and ACT, suitable for Years 1-3 and 4-6. In collaboration with Sydney Opera House they will present digital workshops to support the productions, as well as teacher Professional Learning sessions in Sydney and Melbourne and offer specialised classroom resources for teachers wanting to introduce Shakespeare into their curriculum.

    Read full story to find out how you can attend the launch of the 2013 program to be held on 28 February.

  • 21st Jan 13 Language in Education Conference 1-3 October 2013

    The Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association (ASFLA) is hosting a conference on language in education at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne 1-3 October, 2013. A full day preconference institute is being held on 30 September and a Teachers' Day is organised for the 2nd October, 2013. A number of nationally and internationally recognised academics who have been deeply involved in the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum: English will be speaking and offering workshops.

  • 29th Dec 12 ALEA President Robyn Ewing 'The teacher's teacher'

    ALEA is pleased to share a link to a lovely article about our President Robyn Ewing which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 17 November 2012.  We are very fortunate indeed to have someone as passionate about literacy teaching, literature and the arts at the helm of the Association.

  • 20th Dec 12 Mem Fox Delivers Donald Graves Address

    "Only writers should be allowed to teach writing". Mem Fox recalls the life and influence of Donald Graves and the impact that he had on her as a teacher and author in the Inaugural Donald Graves Address presented at the ALEA National Conference in Sydney in July 2012. "Which meant, he said, that all of us who thought we were teaching writing had better become writers ourselves: not published writers necessarily, just writers."

  • 6th Dec 12 Call for Presentations closing 21 December for AATE/ALEA Conference

    A Brave New World! English and literacy teaching for the 21st Century.
    4-7 July 2013, Brisbane


    If you have been contemplating submitting an application to present at the AATE/ALEA National Conference in July 2013, you are encouraged to forward your submission asap.  Organisers would welcome presentations on the theme of 'Brave New World':   Is this indeed a brave, new world filled with 'goodly creatures' and 'beauteous mankind', or are these creatures distracted by trivia, amusing themselves to death and not interested in the 'proper uses of language'?

  • 20th Oct 12 Rewarding Professional Opportunity - Middle Years Focus

    A vacancy exists for the editorship of Literacy Learning: the Middle Years, ALEA's popular journal for upper primary and early secondary educators.  The editors of the three ALEA journals make a major contribution to the association.  As editors, they are able to interact professionally with a wide network of teachers and teacher educators across Australia.  The new editor would be in place in time to finalise the June 2013 issue, which is already in preparation.

  • 1st Sep 12 Celebrate International Literacy Day - 8 Sept

    Since 1984 the Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) has presented the gift of a book to as many new babies as possible, born in Australia on International Literacy Day, September 8.

    The distribution of new books for new babies on International Literacy Day is a practical demonstration of a commitment by the Australian Literacy Educators' Association, to help raise the standard of literacy in Australia. It heralds the importance of encouraging parents to share the joy of books, spoken language and literacy as early as possible with their baby.

  • 16th May 12 Read for Australia - Literacy Activity for NLNW

    Put the date in your school calendar and get ready to join teachers and students from all over Australia for the NLNW 2012 simultaneous mass read - Read for Australia.

    On Wednesday 29th August at 2pm AEST students and teachers across the country are invited to read Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey

  • 30th Apr 12 Quick! Early Bird closing 15 May!

    Good News.  The early bird rate for the ALEA National Conference has been extended!  Have you registered yet? Make sure you register before 15 May to secure generous discounts. Go straight to the conference registration page. The conference will feature some outstanding national and international speakers, including Professor Don Leu, University of Connecticut (USA), Professor Steve Layne, Judson University (USA), Jack Manning Bancroft, Founder and CEO of AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) and 2010 Young Person of the Year, Authors Mem Fox, Jackie French and Libby Gleeson...

  • 4th Apr 12 ALEA President to deliver Maurice Saxby Lecture

    ALEA President Robyn Ewing will present The Maurice Saxby Lecture at the State Library of NSW on 1 May 2012. The Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch invites ALEA members and others to attend this event which recognises the contribution made by Maurice Saxby AM to children's literature in Australia. Please see this link for more information and to download a flier and registration form.

  • 10th Feb 12 Seeking Editors for ALEA's Middle Years Journal


    ALEA members interested in being part of the editorial team for Literacy Learning: the Middle Years are invited to forward an expression of interest to the Publications Director, Marion Meiers.

    The appointment of the editorial team will be confirmed by the end of March 2012. The initial two year term will begin in April 2012. 

  • 15th Jan 12 ALEA Research Grants

    Applications for the 2012-13 ALEA Research Grants are now open. 
    The Australian Literacy Educators’ Association provides small grants for schools and teachers who wish to conduct research inquiries with a focus on literacy education. Each research project must have the support of an academic partner. Contingent upon available funding, grants of up to $6,000 may be awarded each year.

  • 17th Aug 16 Join ALEA on Social Media

    Are you on social media? Are you connected with ALEA? ALEA has a profile on a number of online platforms and we would love all of our members to connect by liking, following, joining, sharing, posting - and participating in the conversation.



    LinkedIn: ALEA Australia Members


    You may also like to keep tabs on the AATE/ALEA National Conference via:



    And don't forget, if your ALEA Local Council or State has a Facebook profile, we encourage you to link in and share local news and events with your own connections.

  • 1st Dec 12 A Christmas Message from ALEA President Robyn Ewing

    Greetings ALEA colleagues

    I can't quite believe that Christmas is almost upon us once again!

    Thank you all for your hard work and commitment to the language and literacy education of our children and young people over the year. And your efforts on behalf of ALEA over the year are always appreciated.

    I truly believe that one of ALEA's great strengths is the important professional and personal friendships that are forged through local council meetings, professional development sessions and reflective conversations.

  • 20th Dec 12 ALEA Meanjin Celebrates NLNW

    To celebrate NLNW 2012, Meanjin (Brisbane) Local Council of ALEA held a school showcase at Waterford West State School in Logan City. After the school's Deadly Jarjums opened proceedings with Acknowledgement of Country in the local language of Yugumbeh, school principal, Di Carter, welcomed the 219 delegates in attendance. Professor Allan Luke (QUT) delivered a keynote on 'Moving a whole school forwards', drawing attention to the need to connect with the students' cultural identity whilst maintaining a focus on knowledge and skills.

  • 20th Dec 12 ALEA Mackay Celebrates NLNW

    ALEA Mackay held a 'Read to Me' Event during National Literacy and Numeracy Week.


  • 1st Jan 12 ALEA ACT Celebrates International Literacy Day

    ALEA ACT local council members Libby Baker and Mary Gallagher presented a book and a tiny T-shirt to Benjamin Wright, who was born on International Literacy Day, 8 September 2012. Also pictured are his grandmother, Linda Wright and mother Sharon Wright.

  • 20th Dec 12 Fancy Yourself as a Reviewer?

    Practically Primary has a number of new books provided by publishers for teachers to review. If you would like to try your hand as a reviewer (500-1,000 words), have your review published in the journal (in 2013), get a new book (hot off the presses) to keep for your own library, and write a review, contact Margaret Zeegers as soon as possible.

  • 1st Feb 12 Reading Comprehension

    Reading Comprehension is the latest publication from ALEA.  It presents some outcomes of a major professional learning project undertaken by ALEA Tasmania.  The project was organised to provide teachers with opportunities to design, monitor and implement research based on powerful, accessible ideas about reading comprehension in their own classrooms.

  • 17th Jul 11 Reading and Responding

    Reading and Responding, published by ALEA in 2010, is a guidebook for teachers about finding, choosing and using literature in the primary classroom. Many kinds of texts are introduced, including picture books, novels, poetry, visual and multimodal texts and texts from a range of cultural contexts. The book offers a rich collection of practical and challenging classroom activities for all year levels.


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