2024 DSF Language, Literacy
and Learning Conference


Thursday 21st March 2024 to
Saturday 23rd March,2024


Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Perth, Western Australia

Three days, six keynote speakers and
more than 60 concurrent sessions!

2024 sees the return of the DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference and it is not to be missed! The DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference provides a unique opportunity for educators and practitioners to hear about current research and evidence-informed approaches to teaching and intervention in the field of language, literacy and numeracy acquisition.

It will be particularly relevant to classroom teachers, school principals and administrators, school psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, tutors, and other key stakeholders concerned with the effective education and support of school-aged children – including those with learning difficulties.

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Exceptional speakers

DSF has put together an incredible line-up of keynote speakers as well as session and workshop presenters. Additional speakers will be invited following a selection process. In the meantime, we are delighted to introduce the following keynote speakers:

Prof. Kate Cain (UK)

Kate Cain is Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, UK. Her research focuses on language and literacy development and breakdown from preschool through to adolescence, with a particular focus on understanding the development and role of the skills that support reading for meaning. Her books include an overview of the field for teachers: Understanding and teaching reading comprehension: A handbook (co-authored with Jane Oakhill and Carsten Elbro).

Dr. Jim Heal (USA)

Jim Heal works at Deans for Impact, a national non-profit working to ensure that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher. Prior to that, he was Director of Practice at Harvard’s ‘Research Schools International’ initiative, and was a high school English teacher and principal. He is co-author of How Teaching Happens and received his doctorate in Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Prof. Nicole Patton Terry (USA)

Nicole Patton Terry is Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education, Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR), and Director of the Regional Education Lab—Southeast at Florida State University (FSU).

Nicole’s research, innovation, and engagement activities concern young learners who are vulnerable to experiencing poor language and literacy achievement in school, in particular, African American children, children growing up in poverty, and children with disabilities.  


Assoc. Prof. Sarah Powell (USA)

Sarah R. Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and Associate Director of the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk.

Her research interests include developing and testing interventions for students with mathematics difficulties, with a special emphasis on peer tutoring, word-problem solving, mathematics writing, and the symbols and vocabulary within mathematics.


Dr. Carl Hendrick (NL)

Carl Hendrick is a professor of teaching and learning at Academica University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam where he will explore the application of research on classroom practice. He is the co-author of several books including What Does This Look Like in the Classroom: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice and How Teaching Happens – Seminal Works in Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness and What They Mean in Practice.

Prof. Jessie Ricketts (UK)

Jessie Ricketts is based in the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London and directs the Language and Reading Acquisition (LARA) research group. Jessie researches language and literacy in children, young people and adults. She is particularly interested in how reading benefits children’s learning and language. Jessie works closely with teachers, educational charities and policy makers to conduct research and consider its implications for education.

Conference schedule

The daily schedule will include a variety of plenary sessions, eight concurrent breakout sessions (including workshops, symposia, and presentations), and break times which will allow delegates to network with their colleagues and to explore the curated exhibition hall.

The final conference schedule will be released closer to the conference date.

Why is this conference for you?

The DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference will provide valuable information, current research evidence and successful strategies to teachers, practitioners and individuals concerned with the provision of effective literacy and numeracy acquisition to all students. It will be particularly relevant for:
  • Primary school teachers keen to improve the reading, spelling, written expression and mathematics results in their classroom;
  • Learning support teachers keen to assist with the improvement of both the initial literacy instruction and the intervention strategies delivered in the classes they support;
  • Principals keen to improve whole-school literacy outcomes;
  • School Psychologists keen to better support the schools they work with – particularly in the areas of first-wave high-quality literacy instruction, individual assessment, and with second and third wave intervention and accommodation;
  • Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists working with students with literacy difficulties keen to improve the assessments they conduct, the therapy they provide and the recommendations they make to schools in relation to literacy difficulties;
  • All practitioners and parents keen to learn more about specific learning disorders in both reading and written expression – and the most effective intervention and support currently available.


The DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference is a not-to-be-missed event with access to exceptional speakers, resources and networking. One, two and three-day conference registrations will be available. Members of DSF, all state SPELD organisations and LDA will be offered discounted rates on their registration.

Discounts are also available for a limited number of full-time students.

Registrations will open closer to the conference date. Please join the conference mailing list to be notified when registration is open.

Call for Papers


Practitioners and researchers keen to participate in the DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference are encouraged to submit an expression of interest.


The DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference provides a unique platform to showcase evidence-informed brands, products and services. There will be multiple opportunities to connect with delegates throughout the conference.

To find out more, please download the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus or email conference@dsf.net.au


Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
21 Mounts Bay Road Perth WA 6000

Spend three inspiring days in the cultural and cosmopolitan city of Perth. The area is full of great hotels, restaurants and galleries.

Nearby Accommodation

Special discounted rates on rooms are available to delegates at select hotels. More information coming soon!

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10 Broome St South Perth WA
+61 8 9217 2500