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Welcome to Learning Difficulties Australia

Learning Difficulties Australia is an association of teachers and other professionals dedicated to assisting students with learning difficulties through effective teaching practices based on scientific research, both in the classroom and through individualised instruction.
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The Science of Effective Reading Instruction: Theory and Practice

Perth | Saturday 31 July 2021   Not sure how a comprehensive reading approach taught explicitly looks like? Join Associate Professor Lorraine Hammond, Jared Bussell, Jordan O’Sullivan and Brooke Wardana for a day that focuses on both the Science of Reading and how to teach it.
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Join a community of professionals committed to effective teaching.

By becoming a member of LDA, you will have an opportunity to meet fellow teachers, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, researchers and other professionals working in the field of education who have a passion for improving student outcomes through effective instruction based on scientific research.

Members receive regular LDA publications via post, including the LDA Bulletin and the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties as well as member discounts for participation in workshops, seminars and conferences.

You will also have access to the ‘Members Only’ areas of our website where you can obtain past issues of our publications as well as conference and seminar notes.

Latest Publication

Bulletin | Volume 56 | No 1, April 2024

In the spotlight: Writing Instruction – From Transcription through to Critical Thinking. What works?
This issue of the Bulletin on Writing follows our recent "Think it, Say it, Write it: The Fundamentals of…
This issue of the Bulletin on Writing follows our recent "Think it, Say it, Write it: The Fundamentals of Written Expression" course. The issue covers topics around writing, including ideas presented in the books "The Not So Simple View…
This issue of the Bulletin on Writing follows our recent "Think it, Say it, Write it: The Fundamentals of Written Expression" course. The issue covers topics around writing, including ideas presented in the books "The Not So Simple View of Writing" (Berninger et all, 2022) and "The Writing Rope" (Sedita, 2019).
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Events

Maths Matters: Best Practice in Numeracy Teaching

Join us for our maths course which will feature a range of presenters such as Steve Chinn, Sarah Powell…
Join us for our maths course which will feature a range of presenters such as Steve Chinn, Sarah Powell and Liana McCurry over three sessions on the following dates:Session 1: Monday 5th August 2024, 6 pm – 9…
Join us for our maths course which will feature a range of presenters such as Steve Chinn, Sarah Powell and Liana McCurry over three sessions on the following dates:Session 1: Monday 5th August 2024, 6 pm – 9 pm AEST (Melbourne Time)Session 2: Monday 19th August 2024, 6 pm – 9 pm AEST (Melbourne Time)Session 3: Saturday 31st August 2024, 9:30 – 12:30 AEST (Melbourne Time)**This webinar will be recorded and available for one month after the event**Cost:LDA Member: $300LDA Student Member – $245Non-Member – $390SpeakersOur presenters include:Dr Steve ChinnLiana McCurryReid SmithBrydon O'Neill GuySarah PowellDr Ange Rogers
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Using Animation Clips to Enhance Literacy

A skilled writer conveys a message that can be accurately interpreted by a reader. Unfortunately, when students write about…
A skilled writer conveys a message that can be accurately interpreted by a reader. Unfortunately, when students write about what they did during their holidays or on the weekend, it is difficult to measure the accuracy of the written…
A skilled writer conveys a message that can be accurately interpreted by a reader. Unfortunately, when students write about what they did during their holidays or on the weekend, it is difficult to measure the accuracy of the written attempt as the context may not be known. Similarly, there are many students who, when asked to write, whether in the classroom or clinic, are reluctant to put pen to paper as they struggle to generate ideas. Fortunately, we know that a retell or recount can provide insight into a student’s language skills and when they write it down, it provides additional information about sentence structure, vocabulary and word meaning as well as their ability to sequence ideas into a cohesive text. Using video can be highly engaging, it can be paused and restarted to scaffold the writing task and the reader has a reference point against which they can compare the response to identify areas of strength and weakness. Furthermore, a written recount from an animated video is a task that can be administered with a whole class, providing an effective and efficient way to collect a piece of written text from a whole class during a single lesson. Join Kathryn to explore the classroom and clinic application of using animation clips to support comprehension and writing skills including practical easy to implement strategies to scaffold the success of students requiring additional support.**This webinar will be recorded and available for two weeks after the event**Date: Monday 14th October 2024Time: 7:00 pm – 8: 30 pm AEST (Melbourne Time)Cost:LDA Member: $40LDA Student Member – $30Non-Member – $60About Kathryn ThorburnKathryn is a dual qualified Speech Pathologist and Teacher with a Masters in Special Education. She has 25 years of experience as a Speech Pathologist and runs a small private practice, Language and Learning. Kathryn has 20 years experience in education, she is a NESA accredited teacher and has taught in mainstream classroom & school executive roles in NSW Department of Education, and AISNSW schools across K-12. She has worked as an Education Officer: Developmental Disabilities Role within Catholic education, piloted a Rehabilitation – Education Liaison Role for the Hunter New England Paediatric Brain Injury & Rehabilitation Teams and has more recently been involved in the curriculum reform process with NESA for K-2 & 3-6 English. Kathryn is providing expert mentor support for the Hunter NELI project as part of the AISNSW School-Based Research Project. Kathryn understands first-hand the demands placed on classroom teachers, she strives to make the complex practical and to support school in supporting learners in the most effective, time and resource efficient manner possible. For more info, see www.languageandlearning.com.au/
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LDA Blog

2024 AGM – Save the Date!

***Please note the date change.***This year's Annual General Meeting is open to all Standard and Consultant Members and will…
***Please note the date change.***This year's Annual General Meeting is open to all Standard and Consultant Members and will be held via zoom at 1:30pm on Saturday 19th October 2024. An email with details on how to register your…
***Please note the date change.***This year's Annual General Meeting is open to all Standard and Consultant Members and will be held via zoom at 1:30pm on Saturday 19th October 2024. An email with details on how to register your attendance will be sent out to eligible members soon.
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Insurance Info for Private Practitioners

It has been brought to our attention by a consultant member that LDA consultants and members operating a business…
It has been brought to our attention by a consultant member that LDA consultants and members operating a business from the home might not be aware of their disclosure obligations and coverage with regards to their home building and…
It has been brought to our attention by a consultant member that LDA consultants and members operating a business from the home might not be aware of their disclosure obligations and coverage with regards to their home building and contents insurance. We strongly encourage you to make your own enquiries of your broker or insurance provider. Please see additional information here.
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Effective Instruction

Teachers are a major force for improving society. To be successful, the teaching profession must base its instructional practices on the results of good quality empirical research, and this involves keeping abreast of scientific developments. One of LDA’s main goals is to keep bridging the gaps between evolving scientific knowledge and members of the teaching profession, including educational policy makers, teacher education faculties, and teachers at the chalkface. Visit the skill areas below to learn about initiatives, approaches and programs that are being used effectively in each area.

Reading
Reading is a complex skill and it is a relatively recent invention, as far as human timelines go. Unlike speaking and listening, humans aren’t predisposed to develop reading skills naturally.
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Spelling
Reading and spelling are closely linked, but also draw on different skills and processes. At the most basic level, spelling is a production task while reading is one of recognition.
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Writing
As with reading, writing is not a natural skill and therefore must be taught. Unfortunately, many teachers do not feel well prepared to teach writing.
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Numeracy
Numeracy is a concept that is referred to as the ability to make use of mathematical concepts adeptly in our daily lives.
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