Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and Literacy Learning: Reading, Writing and Spelling

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and Literacy Learning: Reading, Writing and Spelling

Location: Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington
Scarsdale Place 
W8 5SY Kensington
United Kingdom

This conference will focus on literacy learning and encouraging access to the curriculum, and will give an overview of key issues and challenges around Reading, Writing, Spelling and Speech, Language and Communication issues for those with dyslexia and other Co-occurring learning differences. The conference will also provide insights into good teaching practice.

Confirmed speakers for this event are:

Neil Mackay

SpLDs and Literacy Learning

Neil Mackay is a consultant and trainer who created the concept of Dyslexia Friendly Schools. He is an experienced teacher who has taught for 26 years, working with children with a wide range of ages, needs and ability. He is known for his ability to bring the classroom into his training and for providing lively, entertaining and thought provoking opportunities for teachers and teaching assistants to reflect on, and develop, their practice. His audiences particularly appreciate his ability to offer workable responses to a range of learning needs, including AD(H)D, Asperger's Syndrome and Dyspraxia in ways which meet diverse learning needs without affecting the work of the rest of the class.

Professor Vince Connelly

Oxford Brookes University

How might spelling and handwriting constrain the development of written composition skills?

Vince is a Professor in Psychology and Programme Lead for Psychology. He teaches primarily in the areas of developmental and cognitive psychology. Professor Connelly’s general research interests revolve around the development of writing, spelling and reading. He is currently investigating why some children struggle to write. He is known internationally for this work and has given keynote lectures and invited talks across Europe on this topic. He was recently appointed to be the European Co-ordinator of the Special Interest Group on Writing (http://www.sig-writing.org) as part of the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction.

Professor Julia Carroll

Coventry University

Hearing, Speech and Dyslexia

Julia Carroll joined Coventry University in September 2014 as a Reader in Child Development and Education. Prior to that she had been an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, having joined there in 2004. She completed her DPhil in York in 2001 and stayed on to do a postdoctoral fellowship before leaving for Warwick. She has held several large research grants from the ESRC, Nuffield Foundation and British Academy. Communicating research findings has always been a top priority for Professor Carroll. She is currently Editor in Chief for the Journal of Research in Reading, and in March 2014 she chaired the British Dyslexia Association International Conference; an event with over 500 delegates. Professor Carroll, is also Deputy Chair of BDA’s International Conference 2018.

Professor Kate Cain

Lancaster University


Professor Cain is Head of Psychology department at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on the development of language comprehension in children and she has a particular interest in the cognitive and language-related skill deficits that lead to comprehension problems. To date, she has published widely on language and reading development in journals such as Journal of Educational Psychology. An eminent keynote speaker, Professor Cain’s recent work has identified several higher-level skill weaknesses that may be causally linked to poor comprehension, including the ability to generate inferences, knowledge and use of reading strategies, and the ability to construct coherent and integrated narratives. Recent work has confirmed that these skills predict reading comprehension development between 8 to 11 years.

Lois Addy

Do children still need to learn to write?

Lois Addy is an independent SEND advisor, teaching both nationally and internationally.  She was previously the Lead for Cognition and Learning for North Yorkshire County Council, and formerly lectured at York St John University and York University. She has qualifications in occupational therapy, psychology and education, and has over 34 years’ experience in working with children with SEN. She has a particular interest in children with developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia) and her research in this area has included: developing social skills, dyscalculia, handwriting, sensory regulation, learning styles, reasons for children and young people’s emotional and behavioural difficulties, and access to physical education.

Conference Timetable

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Booking Form

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