Call for presentations

For over 40 years, ACAL has actively promoted language literacy and numeracy policy and practice and advocated for equitable provision for all Australians. As an organisation entering its next decade, ACAL is committed to working with other state oganisations to build strong communities and links between stakeholders in the adult literacy and numeracy field. The 2018 ACAL conference will provide delegates with a wide range of opportunities to engage in dialogue around research and practice. Practical sessions will enhance our understanding of how learners’ personal histories can help or hinder their engagement with language, literacy and numeracy. The conference title ‘Learning in diverse communities – Strengths, Reflections, Questions’ sets the process by which every educator can pause to consider their practice in the light of theories and understandings of learners from diverse backgrounds. These are some of the questions we hope to address in the course of the program: How can we recognise the sound pedagogical practices within these diverse learning communities? How can we respond to the changing needs of these diverse communities? How do we continue to build the professional capabilities of LLN practitioners? You are invited to

  • Illuminate methodologies within practice
  • Sift out the method within the espoused theory or research results
  • Share knowledge and experience

In your presentation help the delegates capture the ideas that excite them to explore how they can reconfigure their assumptions and practices. Celebrating your discoveries, successes and learnings can lead to teachers and learners reimagining their interactions.


Four strands are available for presentation:

WHERE ARE WE? – space for current research, policy and methodology; future developments in areas such as digital literacy, indigenous education, learner ownership of course design and delivery. In this space presenters will provide a guided exploration of where current researched thought is going in light of developing policy and social environments. The highly speculative to the detailed ethnographic discussion may well fit here.

WHAT ARE WE? – space to look at the profiles of our learners and the impact of social issues, such as experiences of trauma and poverty on learners’ ability to engage in education and how teachers can support them. Presenters may approach their work from their or their learners’ experience of education and its impact on their lives. In this strand, the lived experience with its epiphanies and brick walls becomes a place where delegates can recognise themselves and spend time with the presenter to incorporate that learning into their schema for teaching. Presentations in this strand should incorporate discussion, questions, statements and drafting with delegates.

WHAT WE DO – space for practical demonstrations of classroom/learning activities – a link to research may also be useful but not necessary. Often, a teacher will have provided their class with an activity that they hope will address a student need or a request, only to find they have created something that goes beyond expectations. It may be a result of student engagement or very much the teacher’s own creative inspiration. Sometimes this happens when we update or adjust some of our tried and true resources, bringing them into the 21st Century. There is great fun and joy for presenters and delegates alike when we can share these, and take them back to our communities. In this space you should expect to be highly interactive with the delegates.

THE NEW – space to demonstrate new resources, practices or collaborate with colleagues. Perhaps there is nothing new under the sun, however, each conference manages to bring to light ideas and practices that excite, startle and intrigue. If you have the inkling of something new, no matter how small, this is the space to get down and creative with delegates whose fresh eyes may well inspire and develop your work further. It can be the beginnings of research or in-class delivery. We encourage you to use the time as creatively as you like – speak then engage; get them doing before you tell them what they are doing; pose a direct question and let the discussion take you to an undisclosed destination. If delegates leave with stimulating ideas and connections to people with new and exciting ideas, your session will have been successful, no matter how close you get to a hoped for ending.


This conference offers four presentation modes as well as a space for delegates to reflect and plan on how they can utilise the ideas and activities they have encountered over the two days.

1.     Workshops

(60 minutes) These sessions provide delegates with exposure to practice experiences based upon research and theory, teaching and assessment activities developed in response to particular student needs, reflection on how policy developments impact on course design and provision. The goal of a workshop is to enable delegates to note a new skill they will be able to use in their own contexts. A workshop can be delivered by a team – anyone who delegates in the presentation should be listed as a presenter.

2.     Practice application

(30 or 60 minutes including 5 or 10 min for reflections) In contrast to the workshops, these sessions enable delegates to get ‘hands on’ immediately. Demonstrations of new materials, learning apps and course plans are all suitable for these sessions. In the practice application, the presenter will demonstrate and give practice time to the delegates. For the final 10 minutes delegates can work individually to apply the information to their own setting, calling on the presenter for advice or followup.

3.     Individual papers

(60 minutes including time for discussion) Individual papers may be co-authored – all contributing authors should be listed for presentation details. Options: Presenters will have the opportunity to have their paper peer reviewed. This must be indicated at the time of submission. All peer reviewed papers must demonstrate a contribution to original research findings – or original research in progress. Papers will be reviewed and selected on the basis of relevance to the conference theme, degree of originality, potential to add to existing scholarship, clarity of conceptual, methodological and theoretical contributions and reference to an appropriate body of literature (at least 8 scholarly and/or policy references.)

4.     Work in progress

(30 or 60 minutes) Presenters may bring a piece of work – program design, research in development, materials in draft – to share with delegates and to receive feedback. In these sessions the floor is flat – the presenter becomes one of a team brainstorming and showing development of an idea. This enables delegates to widen their resource base beyond their state and territory borders to gain the benefit of experiences from a multitude of different perspectives formed in different environments. In this environment a presenter may acquire a new partner in the development of their work and learning.


Abstracts and proposals are due by March 18, 2018 and acceptances will be notified by March 30, 2018. PowerPoints and presentations that have not been peer reviewed will be added to the website as they are made available. Peer-review option Abstracts are due by March 18, 2018 acceptances will be notified by March 30, 2018. The full paper is to be submitted by June 30, 2018, full peer review paper feedback provided to authors by July 9 – 20, 2018. Revised peer reviewed papers due August 3, 2018.


All presenters (excluding invited keynotes) will be required to pay a discounted registration fee. ACAL reserves the right to limit the number of presenters per session entitled to a discounted fee.