2018 conferences for LLN and foundation skills

Welcome to 2018!

A leisurely start to 2018 has given us an opportunity to do some thinking and planning.  We have started thinking about our professional development for the coming year.

In this post, we share a calendar of 2018 conferences that offer a focus on foundation and LLN skills.  Our ideas have come from members of our network – colleagues, clients, and social media contacts.

Their suggestions have helped us shape our thoughts about what we can do to learn more about building foundation skills, and to remain effective and current with our foundation skills practice.  We hope you find them helpful, also.

Important notes
It is not our intention to promote any particular conference over another – we have simply passed on details of those conferences that were recommended to us and will let you make your own decisions about the best conference choice/s for you.  We hope you will use the comments box to contribute to this discussion – comment on the conferences suggested here, and/or add more conference suggestions.

Numerous months in 2018

State adult literacy organisations

In addition to the Australian Council for Adult Literacy, each state has its own adult literacy organisation.  Most state adult literacy organisations offer:

  • at least one conference-style event each year, plus
  • numerous workshops and other professional development events to help us enhance our foundation skills expertise.

To manage the amount of information provided in this post, our calendar lists only the 2018 conferences that we are aware of.  We have not listed workshops or any other PD events.

Visit the website of the adult literacy organisation in your state to learn more about conferences and other PD events they will offer this year.  These events provide great opportunities to share ideas and build relationships with other foundation skills practitioners in your state.

Details of the adult literacy organisation in each state are below:

New South Wales Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council
NSWALNC has not yet published details of their 2018 conference – they usually hold their conference in December http://www.nswalnc.org.au/
Queensland Adult Literacy Council
QCAL has not yet published details of their 2018 conference http://www.qcal.org.au/
Northern Territory Adult Literacy and Numeracy Best Practice
NTALBP has not yet published details of their 2018 conference http://www.cdu.edu.au/centres/ntalnbp/contacts.htm
Western Australia Adult Literacy Council
WAALC will hold its conference in April 2018 – see the calendar below http://www.waalc.org.au/
South Australia Council of Adult Literacy
SACAL has not yet published details of their 2018 conference http://sacal.sa.edu.au/
Tasmania Council for Adult Literacy
TCAL has not yet published details of their 2018 conference http://tcal.org.au/
Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council
VALBEC will hold its conference in May 2018 – see calendar below http://valbec.org.au/

Tip: Visit your state literacy organisation’s website numerous times throughout 2018 – most will continuously list new PD opportunities as the year progresses.

ACOSS events

One respondent suggested events run by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and its state-based affiliates.  Their point was that often, the people we support with foundation skill needs, have other social needs, as well.  ACOSS events could offer useful professional development if we want to learn more about how to address an individual’s social needs.  Skills and knowledge we learn may supplement our existing expertise in foundation skills, and help us build the ‘whole person’ through the foundation skill support we provide.

We had a look at the ACOSS website.  At the time of writing this post, we could not find any information about ACOSS’s 2018 national conference, but information about their 2017 national conference (held in late October), remains on their site.

March 2018

RAPAL Conference

23 March 2018 │Bolton, UK

The theme of this year’s one-day Research and Practice in Adult Literacies (RaPAL)’s conference is Collaboration and Connections.  RaPAL’s 2018 conference page has comprehensive conference information.

COABE Conference 2018

25 – 28 March 2018 │Phoenix, Arizona, USA

With 350 breakout sessions available to its 2000+ delegates, the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE)’s 2018 conference looks like it’ll have something for every adult educator.  Early bird registration ends on 14 Feb 2018. After that, conference fees will go up.  Check out the COABE Conference 2018 site for more information.

April 2018

2018 WAALC Conference

16 April │Perth, Australia

The Western Australian Adult Literacy Council (WAALC) will host its 2018 conference in Perth, on 16 April.  The theme this year is Purely Practical – Sharing What works.

“The presentations will focus on practical ideas for teaching that have been tried and tested in classrooms, and less formal settings, and proven to be successful and enjoyed by learners.”

Presentations may cover writing, pronunciation, reading, maths, engagement in learning – yet to be finalised. Go to the WAALC 2018 Conference page for more information.

May 2018


May 2018 │Melbourne, Australia

The Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council (VALBEC) will hold its conference in May.  The exact date has not yet been announced.  Stay tuned to the VALBEC website for details.

June 2018

EBSN General Assembly and Annual Conference

06 – 08 June 2018 │Berlin, Germany

European Basic Skills Network (EBSN)’s annual conference will take place in Berlin. The conference program is not yet available, but information on the EBSN conference page suggests that it will be posted soon.

Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy Conference 

16 June 2018 │glenorchy linc, tasmania

The Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy (TCAL) annual conference will take place in Glenorchy. The conference program is not yet available, information will be posted in due course.

July 2018


09 – 12 July 2018 │London, UK

If you have a particular interest in numeracy and maths, Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM)’s 2018 conference may be your ideal choice.  London will be beautiful in July!  The conference theme is Boundaries and Bridges: adults learning mathematics in a fractured world. See the ALM25 conference site for more information.

August 2018

NCVER “No Frills” conference

15 – 17 August 2018 │Sydney, Australia

The NCVER ‘No Frills’ is traditionally a July calendar event. However, this year, ‘No Frills’ will be co-hosted with New Zealand partners, the Industry Training Federation and Ako Aotearoa.

‘No Frills’ offers researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector opportunities to present, discuss and share information about sector key issues. Exchanging research and knowledge with NZ partners broadens and highlights best practice considerations.

The 2018 conference program will focus on Skills for a global future: working and learning together. Click here for more information.

September 2018

In September two terrific professional development events for foundation skills will take place on the same days, but in different cities.  We’ll need to choose which we will attend, or clone ourselves so we can attend both!  Both look fabulous.  Here’s more:

ACAL Conference

12 – 14 September 2018 │ Melbourne, Australia

The Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) will hold its annual conference for 2018 in September.  This year’s conference theme is, Learning in Diverse Communities: strengths, reflections, questions

ACAL’s conference will offer something for anyone wanting to network with other foundation skill practitioners and extend your expertise.  This includes:

  • vocational practitioners, corporate trainers or adult educators of any kind, who want to immerse themselves in professional development that focuses on foundation skills
  • foundation skill specialists who want to network with peers and share ideas.

Visit the ACAL 2018 Conference page for more information.

Velg Training National VET Conference

13 – 14 September 2018 │ Adelaide, SA, Australia

Always well attended and well run, Velg Training‘s National VET Conference (NVC) is the major event for VET practitioners in Australia.  NVC2018 will be in Adelaide.

The 2018 conference them is Skilling Australia’s VET Future. NVC 2018 will feature breakout sessions that fall into a range of themes, including a foundation skills theme.

If you’re a vocational practitioner wanting to update or extend your expertise in building learners’ foundation skills through vocational training, NVC2018 may be just for you. The Velg Training NVC site has details.

October 2018

ACTA International conference

2-5 October 2018 │Adelaide, Australia

The Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) will hold its annual conference this month.  Its theme is to Establish language learning in a mobile world.

This conference will feature six strands (focus areas) for sessions, including mobile learning, teaching and assessment.  For more information, visit the ACTA 2018 conference page.

December 2018

In December we will again look back to look forward.  We will look back on all things learned in 2018 and look forward to another 12 months of learning.

Summary and acknowledgements

Our thanks to those who contributed to this post.  Happy 2018, happy learning!

One thought on “2018 conferences for LLN and foundation skills

  1. basdenleco January 15, 2018 / 11:43 pm

    What a plethora of choice and reservoir of pertinent LLN Foundations Skills information.
    Thank you Anne and Chemene for a great blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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