Call for Proposals: 2023 LLA Summer Institute - National Council of Teachers of English


Literacies and Languages for All Summer Institute

2023 Call for Program Proposals

Teaching Readers (Not Reading)

Virtual — July 14–15, 2023
(Please note the dates have been updated.)

Proposal submission deadline: 9:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The proposal database is now open.

Teaching children to read is an important goal of primary education. It is fundamental to children’s literacy development and later participation in a democratic society. Accomplishing this task is hard work and requires knowledgeable, skilled teachers who employ child-centered curricula. These highly skilled, knowledgeable teachers know that research provides evidence that different children need different instruction tailored to meet their individual needs. In the recently published book Teaching Readers (Not Reading): Moving Beyond Skills and Strategies to Reader-Focused Instruction (Guilford Press, 2022), Peter Afflerbach espouses the following: 

Teaching readers involves focusing on all of the factors that influence students’ reading growth and achievement beyond cognitive strategies and skills. We have vast knowledge about how children grow as enthusiastic, lifelong readers. However, reading instruction may not regularly reflect this understanding. Powerful influences on students’ reading—such as metacognition, motivation and engagement, self-efficacy, and attribution—do not receive appropriate attention in many classrooms. The result is a failure to address all that matters in students’ reading development. (p. 1) 

What are becoming more problematic these days are the legislations, policies, and prescriptive curricula that undermine teachers’ autonomy and limit their flexibility to go off script and make informed decisions that are in the best interests of their literacy learners. Several districts and states across our nation are making ill-informed decisions about what constitutes best practices. More and more, states are passing “literacy acts” that dictate how reading should be taught in schools. More and more, we are witnessing the deprofessionalization of educators, who are being mandated to use scripted programs that are not backed by research-proven best practices. An increasing number of schools transition from the literacy-rich ethos that works to honor the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic practices of learners to one-size-fits-all environments that devalue differences. These one-size-fits-all instructional practices make it difficult for children to get the literacy support they need.

As literacy educators, teacher educators, and researchers, we know that literacy education and research are complex yet essential work. As advocates for best practices in literacy instruction, we, the LLA Executive Board, call for a robust range of proposals and literacy learning opportunities in the context of real reading and writing. With this call in mind, we ask you to consider these important questions: 

For Inservice and Preservice Educators 

1. Who are your readers? What kinds of readers do you seek to develop? 

2. What research-proven best practices for literacy guide your teaching and research? 

3. How do you support the literacy efforts of your students? 

4. What are the pros and cons of different methods for teaching reading and writing? 

5. What are the pros and cons of different literacy assessment methods? 

6. How important is it that your learners find reading and writing engaging and meaningful? 

7. How important is it for your readers to read critically? 

8. How do we create literacy-rich classrooms that promote criticality? 

9. How should you differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of learners with differences, such as learners who are gifted, learners with reading disabilities, learners who speak different languages or dialects, and learners with ADHD?

For Teacher Educators and Researchers 

10. How do we educate inservice and preservice teachers, administrators, policymakers, community members, and families about best practices that inform our literacy practices? 

11. How do we educate inservice and preservice teachers, administrators, policymakers, community members, and families about rich literary texts? 

12. How do we educate inservice and preservice teachers, administrators, policymakers, community members, and families about critical race theory when it is being viewed as an evil? 

13. How do we advocate for teacher autonomy and child-centered literacy curricula that honor students’ rich cultural and linguistic practices? 

14. What is the responsibility of our professional organization, LLA, in leading this work?

Responses to all of these questions can be informed through deep conversations and from a wealth of different perspectives and research efforts that the field of literacy has to offer. 

For the 2023 Literacies and Languages for All Summer Institute, we invite you to consider these questions and many others related to our theme, Teaching Readers (Not Reading). We look forward to living with and learning from and with holistic educators who are experts. We invite proposals from teachers, teacher educators, and researchers who understand 

  • what it means to be literate across varied languages and cultures; 
  • the sociopolitical contexts of schooling and of work to promote justice by eliminating inequities; 
  • the importance of neurodiversity and of work to make room for all types of learners; 
  • he need to investigate global literacies and their impact; 
  • the need to build child-centered curricula by exploring the multiple identities that children bring to any learning episodes; 
  • the significance of humanizing, culturally sustaining pedagogies and critical literacy practices; and 
  • workshop best practices in literacy education that go beyond TPT downloads. 

In addition to these sessions, the NCTE Early Childhood Education Assembly sponsors an early childhood strand pertaining to the education of children from birth through age eight, as well as their families and teachers. Early literacy sessions also address diversities in early childhood and highlight practices and processes that are situated in social, historical, and cultural contexts. 

The Literacies for All Summer Institute is a peer-reviewed conference. All proposals addressing whole language beliefs will be considered. Look for more information about the conference on the LLA website. 

Though the criteria for excellence may vary to some extent, here are some common values: 

Clear and concise proposals: Reviewers value proposals that clearly detail what the presenters will do and what the attendees can expect. They also value proposals that provide concise details about the focus of the presentation and the rationale for how the proposal addresses the theme of the conference. 

Engaging presentation style: Reviewers value presentations that invite audience members to actively engage with each other as well as with the presenters. 

Relevance to the field of education: Reviewers want to know how a proposal aligns with theory, research, and/or practice in the field. They evaluate the significance and relevance of the presenter’s work to the field of education. 

Alignment with the LLA beliefs: Reviewers expect proposals to connect with beliefs of LLA. 

Michele Myers
2023 Program Chair and LLA President 

Important Dates

  • Proposal database is now open
  • Proposal submission deadline: 9:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, February 28, 2023
  • Proposal notifications: by May 8, 2023
  • Institute dates: July 14–15, 2023, Virtual

Submitting a Proposal

The proposal database is now open.

Questions can be sent to