Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

RaPAL Conference 2017

conference2017RaPAL represents practitioners, learners and researchers in the field of adult literacies in the UK and around the world. Our next conference will be held from 09:30 to 16:30 in Liverpool.

Venue: The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Ln, Liverpool L1 3BT

less than half a mile from Liverpool Lime Street station

Conference Themes

The theme for this year’s RaPAL conference is superdiversity in adult literacies (including maths, English and digital literacies). We address the spectrum of resources and challenges presented by superdiversity in global literacies and in a UK context.  Liverpool is a rich source of superdiversity and has indeed been a cosmopolitan city for hundreds of years with a long tradition of supporting adult learning and literacies development for all. Liverpool’s industrial past and vibrant new opportunities, such as the new super-port connecting the city to the rest of the world, make this truly an educational powerhouse.

‘Superdiversity’ acknowledges the acceleration and intensification of processes of cross-cultural social integration as well as fragmentation nationally and internationally.  These have occurred because of dramatic changes in migration flows, and the advent and spread of the Internet and mobile technologies. The resulting extreme diversity in language and literacy resources have opened exciting and innovative research paths as well as potential directions for literacy in practice.


Early bird tickets are £45 including hot refreshments through the day. Limited accommodation is available nearby at £45 per person per night en suite. Limited bursaries are available for budget travel with tickets at £22.50.

Conference Fees *
  • £45 Members Early Bird (to 30th April)
  • £60 Non-members Early Bird (to 30th April)
  • £60 Members (after 30th April)
  • £80 Non-members (after 30th April)

We have limited spaces for university accommodation in the city centre at the following prices: £45.00 per person for one night and £90.00 per person for two nights. Payment for room bookings will be added to your booking fee. Rooms can also be booked for non-conference members too if you will be joined by family/friends during the weekend. All rooms are single rooms in flats of 5-7 people.

We are now able to take card payments!


Over the course of the day, you will have the opportunity to:

  • share innovative research, resources and teaching and learning practices across sub-sectors such as workplace and community literacies, family and offender learning
  • reflect on the rapid rate of change in the sector and the curricular and policy implications
  • network with other practitioners in the field of adult literacies


Refreshments and networking will be from 09:30 to 10:00 and we will have activities on Friday evening for those arriving early.

09:30 Arrival and Registration
10:00 Introduction and Welcome
10:15 Keynote speeches
10:45 Setting the Scene
11:00 Workshops
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Marketplace Carousels
13:45 Workshops
14:45 Break
15:00 Reflection and Peer Collaboration
15:45 Q&A Panel
16:15 Endnote… and the rest of the weekend for those staying

Keynote Speeches

Dr Vicky Duckworth, Reader in Education, Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University ‘Transforming Lives
Genevieve Clarke, The Reading Agency ‘Engaging communities through reading’


The following workshops have been confirmed to date:

  1. Learning together across the generations (Katy Newell-Jones, Chair, and Juliet McCaffery, Secretary, BALID (British Association for Literacy in Development))
  2. Superdiversity of literacies in the Northern Territory, Australia (Isabel Osuna-Gatty, Australian Aboriginal Educational Institute)
  3. Reading for pleasure in our workplace (Merseytravel and The Reading Agency)
  4. The Use of Storytelling and Anecdotal Stories as Pedagogic tool in the Literacy and Language Classroom (Sarah Telfer, University of Bolton)
  5. Turning Pages, Changing Lives  a.m. (Prof. Alex Kendall, Birmingham City University and Susie O’Hagan, Shannon Trust)
  6. Taking a ‘literacies’ approach to grammar (Sarah Freeman, RaPAL)
  7. Reimagining assessment and progression monitoring in maths and English: building on learners’ literacy practices (Claire Collins, RaPAL and Ian Grayling, CETTa).
  8. Action Learning in Adult Numeracy: What Really Counts? p.m. (Tina Byrne, NALA and Daniel Sellars, Education Consultant)
  9. Embedding numeracy activities in vocational further education courses (Graham Hall, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Dolgellau, Wales)

‘Short n sharp’ Marketplace Carousel

The following post-lunch 8min marketplace carousel spots have been confirmed to date:

  1. What does it mean to be literate? (Gwyneth Allatt, University of Huddersfield)
  2. Theory and Practice in Literacy and Development: BALID Informal Literacy Discussions (Juliet McCaffery, Secretary, and Katy Newell-Jones, Chair, BALID (British Association for Literacy in Development))
  3. Superdiversity of literacies in the Northern Territory, Australia (Isabel Osuna-Gatty, Australian Aboriginal Educational Institute)
  4. The Use of Storytelling and Anecdotal Stories as Pedagogic tool in the Literacy and Language Classroom (Sarah Telfer, University of Bolton)
  5. PD North (Sue Lownsbrough, Coordinator for the NW/ Y&H Professional Exchange).

In addition to the conference activities listed above, you may wish to explore some of Liverpool’s cultural activities. The following events are taking place during the same weekend:

23rd to 25th June International Mersey River Festival

24th June Armed Forces Day

Many more events here in addition to the standing cultural offer.

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