Accelerated literacy on the agenda 


A number of CDU academics presented papers at the AATE/ALEA National Conference 2006 held in Darwin from 8 -11July.

The conference, entitled ‘Voices, Vibes, Visions’, was jointly hosted by the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA), and provided a forum for those involved in English and literacy education.

Academics from the National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP), a joint program between NT Department of Employment, Education and Training, Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Department of Education, Science and Training, and CDU’s School for Social and Policy Research (SSPR) presented papers on different elements of the program.

Dr Brian Gray, NALP academic leader, presented his paper, ‘The roles of intentionality, audience and voice as basics in the teaching of literacy’, which described some key concepts of NALP’s teaching program.

Co-developer and resource manager, Wendy Cowey, took a different perspective outlining her experiences of the ‘Challenges of accelerated literacy’.

Associate Professor Ibtisam Abu-Duhou, research fellow in education and economics, presented a paper with Rosa McKenna: ‘Voices in teaching English literacy to Indigenous students in remote Australia’.

Dr Kay Lowe, senior research fellow in education and research design presented a paper on her recent experience as principal investigator of the ‘Reading First’ program in Kentucky, USA.

Dr Helen Harper, also a research fellow at SSPR, and teacher of the Graduate Certificate in Accelerated Literacy, co-presented a paper with Anja Tait on ‘Learning to play, playing to read’, examining the relationship between learning to read music and learning to read printed language beyond obvious literate behaviours.

The National Accelerated Literacy Program forms an integral part of the Educational System Reform research theme activities at SSPR and is designed to accelerate the literacy levels of marginalised students to age appropriate levels or higher.

Details of the AATE/ALEA National Conference can be found at: