ACTA International Conference 2016

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Diversity: Exchanging Ways of Being

The next ACTA International Conference will be held in Perth, Western Australia from 7-11 April 2016.

Hosted by WATESOL, ACTA, WAALC and ACAL.

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We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

The WATESOL and WAALC conference organising committee have been working really hard to bring you this!  Members of ACTA-affiliated state/territory associations are eligible for the ACTA member discount.

Conference extended to 5 days - 2 days conference, 3 days optional symposia

The conference organising committee has pleasure in announcing that two symposia have been added on Monday 11th April. These extra symposia cater for those states where school holidays start the week following the conference. So while the main conference is two days (Friday and Saturday), delegates have the option of adding one, two or three one-day symposia on to the conference and enjoying the event for up to five days.

5 days at a glance


What’s different in 2016?

Four organisations are collaborating to host this International conference: WATESOL and their peak body ACTA, and WAALC and their peak body ACAL. We have planned a program that caters to both fields and the important intersections between the two.


More delegates…

We are planning for up to 500 delegates from both the adult literacy and numeracy and Teaching English as a Second Language and Dialect fields. This will make the event one of the largest of its kind.


More symposia…

There will be four symposia instead of the usual one. Everyone should be able to find one on a topic that particularly interests them if you are able to stay on a bit longer.

Symposia details


More choices…

There are 6 keynote speakers. On two occasions we have paired keynote presentations where you will need to choose which to attend. You also have the difficult task of selecting from 12 concurrent sessions.

Session details

The conference and allied events stretch right through the weekend so more people will be able attend without needing substantial leave from work. More delegates will be able to choose to attend in their own time, at least partially.

We are particularly excited about the range of choices focusing on Indigenous education, on numeracy teaching and digital teaching technologies and approaches.

More conference information

Registration information

More about the Conference...

Diversity: Exchanging Ways of Being

This is the theme which will be explored in Perth in April 2016 when two national professional organisations combine to pursue their common interests.  The Australian Council of TESOL Associations, or ACTA (concerned with teaching English to speakers of other languages or dialects) and the Australian Council for Adult Literacy , or ACAL (concerned with teaching adult literacy and numeracy) invite you to participate in this event.

In the past, too often, diversity among learners, and between learners and teachers, has been regarded as an obstacle to learning, leading to one-way approaches to education which fail to take into proper account the relevance of prior learning and experience on the part of learners. This is educationally invalid, as it ignores the diverse foundations on which learning is being built. It is also ethically invalid, as it fails to recognize the right of equal access of all learners to the learning which is being imparted.

This ground-breaking conference proposes to explore the concept of language and literacy/numeracy education as a process of exchanging ways of being It is concerned with how the learning experience can enable students and teachers of diverse backgrounds to learn from one another, and, in the process, to develop effective competencies in a common language.

The need to come to terms with diversity is apparent worldwide as competencies in world languages are being increasingly sought by groups to whom they have become relevant through population shifts, or through growing awareness of social inequities which have reduced their access to such competencies in the past.

Australia has accurately been described as a meeting place of languages and cultures. There has been a longstanding commitment to meeting the English language needs of immigrants and, in recent time, the need has grown through Australia (like many other countries) becoming a refugee destination. Australia has also increasingly recognized the diverse linguistic inheritance of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the need for specialized educational programmes to cater to their needs.  This conference provides a significant platform for making known the achievements – as well as the enduring struggles – in meeting the language and literacy needs of all Australians.

While the predominant focus of the conference will be the application and extension of the professional skills of members of the research and teaching communities engaged with language and literacy education, there will also be room for addressing questions of language policy, social justice and human rights and how inequity and disadvantage can be most effectively addressed in the political arena.

Conference themes:

  • Exchanging ways of  being in classroom practice
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language/s and learning
  • Language and learning of indigenous groups  from other countries
  • Migrant and refugee language learning and settlement
  • Numeracy and the language of mathematics
  • Transitions in life and education
  • Inclusive approaches to pedagogy and assessment
  • Language planning for social justice and equity

Visit the Conference website, register for updates, follow on Facebook or Twitter, or go straight to Conference registration

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