Literacy Association of Ireland

Cumann Litearthachta na hÉireann

44th Annual Conference on Literacy  

LAI Connect 2020

Contemporary Issues: Future Directions 

Online @ Dublin City University, Institute of Education

A series of three online events

Registration is open!

Tuesday, 20th October 2020 at 7 pm (IST)
Distinguished Professor Emeritus  Timothy Shanahan,
University of Illinois, Chicago.

Teaching Reading in the Primary School: Learning from the Science of Reading 

This presentation will explore what it is that students must learn if they are to excel in reading. Often what is taught is a matter of tradition and taste; and this is not entirely unreasonable in the content subjects. However, reading is a skilled activity and learners must master particular parts of the process if they are to be successful readers. For this reason, it is essential to develop a curriculum based upon what scientific research reveals about reading and learning to read. Professor Shanahan has spent more than 50 years studying and teaching reading (including work in Ballymun and Belfast) and this presentation will be based on both the latest science and his years of experience.


Why We're Great >

Tuesday, 3rd  November 2020 at 7 pm (IST)
Dr. Emer Delaney
Educational Research Centre 

PIRLS in context(s): International assessment of reading in a changing world


The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which takes place every five years, assesses the reading comprehension skills of primary school children in countries around the world, and influences literacy education frameworks and policies at national and transnational levels. This presentation explores some challenges associated with assessing reading across countries and over time, with specific reference to Ireland’s experiences. Issues for discussion include the conceptualisation of reading literacy in PIRLS and in national curricula; the extent to which the assessment can be rendered comparable across contexts (cultural, linguistic, temporal, technological); and the uses and limitations of PIRLS data. While reflecting on what the most recent cycle (2016) can tell us, particularly about the reading experiences and attitudes of children in Ireland, the presentation also looks toward the forthcoming 2021 cycle, in which both collection and interpretation of data must take account of an altered educational and societal landscape.


LAI's 8th biennial award for outstanding Master's Thesis

Listen to three finalists present their research

followed by...

Tuesday, 13th October 2020 at 7 pm (IST)

Contemporary issues: Future directions

A panel discussion hosted by Dr Gene Mehigan (Marino Institute of Education)

Rory Collins 

Rory is a primary school teacher on secondment with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) since 2016.   As a literacy advisor he supported teachers' professional development in a variety of areas across the language curriculum.  He is currently the team leader for the Primary Literacy Team. 

Regina Dunne 

Regina Dunne is an executive committee member of the Literacy Association of Ireland. She is Deputy Principal of St Catherine’s National School, Rush, Co Dublin. Regina was previously Team Leader for Literacy at the PDST and Academic Coordinator for English Language Teaching and Learning at the Applied Language Centre, UCD.


Pádraig Ó Duibhir

Pádraig Ó Duibhir is Deputy Dean of the DCU Institute of Education and Director of SEALBHÚ, the DCU Research Centre for the Learning and Teaching of Irish. His interest in literacy lies in the teaching and learning of reading in immersion and second language contexts. 

Dr Patrick Sullivan 

Patrick Sullivan is a Director in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). In his role he oversees a range of projects, one of which has been the development of the recently published Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile. He is a former principal of Ard Rí Community National School, which he founded in 2010, and has also taught in a range of contexts, from small schools in Ireland to large multi-cultural schools in the United Kingdom.

Hosted by

Dr Gene Mehigan 

Gene Mehigan is Vice President for Education and Strategic Development at Marino Institute of Education, Dublin. In his professional career to date he has been a primary school teacher, a literacy specialist, an educational consultant and a teacher educator. He is past President of both the Literacy Association of Ireland (LAI) and the Irish Learning Support Association.

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22nd European Conference on Literacy 2021 /  An 22ú Comhdháil Eorpach ar Litearthacht 2021


July 5th- 7th Dublin City University, St.Patrick's Campus

Theme: Literacy and Diversity: New Directions 

Téama: Litearthacht agus Ilchineálacht: Treoanna Nua





LAI will co-host the 2021 European Conference on Literacy, along with the Federation of European Literacy Associations.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal to present a paper or a workshop at the conference, click here to visit the conference website The deadline for proposals is January, 31st 2021.

LAI plans to organise a summer course for teachers that includes participation in the Conference. Details will be forwarded to members in spring 2021. 

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Literacy Association of Ireland


DCU St.Patrick's Campus


Dublin 9