LESLLA Annual Meetings

LESLLA is an international organization that holds annual meetings around the world thanks to the generous hosting by researchers and practitioners who are dedicated to the work of the organization. Below is a list of the past and upcoming symposia, including useful links to hosting organizations/institutions and information about published proceedings.

 Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Italy


Palermo, Italy - 14th annual LESLLA Symposium, 2018

The University of Palermo will host LESLLA's 14th annual symposium October 4-6, 2018. 

Please use these links to learn more about the call for proposals in English and Italian

Pre-LESLLA Conference, October 3rd, 2018 "Alfabetizzazione e italiano L2. Ricerca, pratiche e politiche dalla scuola al volontariato" CALL FOR PAPERS

 Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA


Portland, ORegon, USA - 13th annual LESLLA Symposium, 2017 

In 2017, LESLLA was held at Portland State University. The hosts were the Applied Linguistics Department at Portland State University, ORTESOL, and Portland Literacy Council.  Portland was an excellent venue. Attendees enjoyed mountain views, amazing food trucks, and walks in nature above the university. Sessions were varied and well attended. Stay tuned for the published proceedings. 

Resources: Program

 Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

 St. Augustine, Florida, USA

St. Augustine, Florida, USA

 Nijmegen, Netherlands

Nijmegen, Netherlands

 San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

 Jyväskylä, Finland

Jyväskylä, Finland

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany

 Banff, Canada

Banff, Canada

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Granada, Spain - 12th annual LESLLA Symposium, 2016

LESLLA's 12th annual symposium was hosted by the Universidad de Granada in Granada, Spain, September 8-10, 2016. The proceedings are now available. For information contact Dr. Marcin Sosinski at leslla2016@ugr.es.

Resources: Book of Abstracts/Libro de Resúmenes


St. Augustine, Florida, USA - 11th annual LESLLA Symposium, 2015

LESLLA's 11th annual conference was held at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, November 11-13, 2015. Researchers and practitioners from North America and Europe presented on topics related to LESLLA learners, including cognitive and sociocultural views on the process of learning a second language for adult learners with limited first language literacy.

Presentations and proceedings from the conference will be available soon.


Nijmegen, Netherlands - 10th Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2014

The 10th annual symposium was held at Radboud University in Nijmegen, August 28-30, 2014.


San Francisco, CAlifornia - 9th Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2013

City College of San Francisco, Mission Campus, hosted LESLLA on Aug 7-9, 2013. The theme of the symposium Expanding Emergent Literacy Practices was to embrace multiple but complementary perspectives on the learning experiences and needs of LESLLA learners, including well-established psycholinguistic views and less-established socio-cultural views on the enterprise of learning to read, write, and speak a second language for beginning-level learners, and those with limited schooling.

Resources: Website, Proceedings, Proceedings Cover


 Jyväskylä, Finland - 8th Annual leslla symposium, 2012

The eighth annual LESLLA Symposium was held in Jyväskylä, Finland from 29 August to 1 September 2012. Participants enjoyed three days of speakers and presentations from Europe, US and Canada focusing on these topics.

  1. Learner placement and progression assessment:

    • The need for levels below the A1 Common European Framework;

    • A focus on the whole learner in terms of their potential rate of learning, their full background (using activity theory or guidance counseling);

  2. Instructional methods and techniques:

    • increasing use of a range of socially-situated, authentic, extra-classroom activities;

    • using simple, computer-based techniques to increase speed of reading words;

  3. Teacher professionalization:

    • the percentage of low and hourly-paid teachers and unpaid teachers (volunteers) is increasing in some

    • efforts to improve teacher effectiveness through development of teacher competencies

For more information, please contact Taina Tammelin-Laine at: leslla-info@jyu.fi

Resources: Proceedings


Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - 7th annual leslla symposium, 2011


On September 29 - October 1, 2011 the University of Minnesota hosted the 7th Annual LESLLA Symposium.  For more information, please contact Patsy Egan: pegan02@hamline.edu 

Resources: Proceedings


Cologne, Germany - 6th Annual leslla symposium, 2010

On August 26-28th, 2010 the Universität zu Köln / University of Cologne in Germany, hosted the 6th Annual LESLLA Symposium.

Resources: Schedule, Presentations and Handouts 


Banff, Alberta, Canada - 5th annual leslla symposium, 2009

Sept 28-30, 2009 Bow Valley College hosted LESLLA 2009 in Banff, Alberta, Canada on September 28-30, 2009. Keynote speakers included Drs. Heide Wrigley, Steve Reder and John Archibald. The schedule and selected presentations can be accessed through the links below. Proceedings for the Symposium are also available here

Resources: Proceedings, Schedule, and Presentations


Antwerp, Belgium - 4th Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2008

The Karel de Grotehogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium hosted the fourth symposium of LESLLA on 23-25 October 2008, which was sponsored by the Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie) The focus was on research on instruction, demographics trends, second language literacy development, second language acquisition by low-educated adults, the interaction of language and literacy with each other and/or with factors such as cognition and type of orthography. 

Resources: ProgramPresentations, Proceedings, and Session Abstracts


Newcastle upon Tyne, England - 3rd Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2007

The third annual LESLLA conference was held in Newcastle upon Tyne, England 13-15 September 2007. This meeting involved the discussion of research on second language acquisition and/or second language literacy development by low-educated adults and the interaction of language and literacy with each other and with additional factors. The colloquium constituted a single strand of talks, posters, screenings, demonstrations and a site visit that occurred in parallel to the 17th annual EuroSLA conference on 13-14 September; then continued with a series of panels on international perspectives of LESLLA practice and policy. Panels of classroom researchers and professionals involved in issues regarding low-educated adults' L2 acquisition/literacy development focused on research or practice issues in their country or region (e.g. Australia, the European Low Countries, the UK and the USA). 

The agenda included plenary speakers on research practice and policy, concurrent sessions, moderated panel discussions and screening of the film "Newcomers in Turkey."

Resources: Schedule, Presentations, and Proceedings


Richmond, Virginia, USA - 2nd Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2006

The second annual LESLLA conference was held in Richmond, Virginia on 2-3 November, 2006, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University and the American Institutes for Research. Over eighty renowned researchers, practitioners, and policy makers convened at LESLLA to share the latest research and to develop and gain consensus on an international agenda in these three areas vis-à-vis the issues pertaining to the adult, low-educated, second language literacy learner.

The agenda included plenary speakers on research practice and policy, concurrent sessions, moderated panel discussions and the U.S. premiere of the European award-winning film, Newcomers in Morocco. Conference participants also developed an international research agenda (pdf) to promote LESLLA research and improved practice.

Resources: Proceedings


Tilburg, Netherlands - 1st Annual LESLLA Symposium, 2005

LESLLA held its inaugural symposium on 25–27 August 2005 at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. Researchers from the Netherlands, England, USA, Belgium and Sweden presented their research on L2 language and literacy development of low educated adults. Topics included cognitive factors, working memory, phonological awareness and instructional interventions. Conference participants also visited the Midden-Brabant Regional Education Center (ROC), where they heard presentations about Dutch national and municipal immigration policy and the ROC’s educational programs. The conference agenda, presentations and proceedings are available for downloading.

Resources: Schedule, AbstractsProceedings, and Presentations