The Science of Language and Reading – The Secondary School Perspective

Upskill your language and literacy knowledge and classroom practices for secondary students across ability levels.

Gain the knowledge and practical approaches to support secondary students who don't have the reading, writing, and spelling skills needed to succeed. Improve your understanding the reading process, how reading and writing link to each other, and how to support students’ ongoing oral language skills across the curriculum.

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Location Online

Session 1: 6 September 2023

Session 2: 13 September 2023

Session 3: 20 September 2023

Session 4: 27 September 2023

Time/s All sessions 6.30 to 8.00pm AEST
Duration 6 hours (4 x 1.5-hour sessions)
Registrations close5.00 pm Sunday 20 August 2023
Prerequisites/s There are no prerequisites for this course.
Certification School of Education Certificate of Completion of the Science of Language and Reading – The Secondary School Perspective Short Course
Fee/sStandard price $330.00 inc. GST
Group bookings of 5 or more $297.00 inc. GST
Previous SOLAR student price $264.00 inc. GST
La Trobe student price $66.00 inc. GST
La Trobe staff price Free

La Trobe’s secondary school focused Science of Language and Reading short course is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills for classroom implementation.  The content is informed by current evidence from cognitive science, linguistics, and neuroscience, pertaining to adolescent language and literacy.

This program provides secondary teachers with knowledge and skills to support all students’ progress in reading, writing, and spelling. There will be a particular focus on supporting students experiencing difficulties in these aspects of everyday learning.

Students that have not sufficiently developed their reading, writing, and spelling skills before entering secondary school are at greater risk of early school departure and often develop behavioural and emotional problems as a response to their literacy difficulties.

Secondary school focused Initial Teacher Education programs often do not include training in identifying and working with students that have not sufficiently built their literacy skills before entering the secondary schooling system.

The course is provided over four 1.5-hour weekly online live webinars. These will also be made available as recordings.  Alongside each online session, you will be able to access learning resources, discussion forums, and self-assessment quizzes to track your learning.

This short course is delivered by La Trobe University SOLAR Lab Directors, Professor Pamela Snow and Associate Professor Tanya Serry. It is designed for secondary teachers and school leaders but is also suitable for allied health professionals and parents who want to understand more about the Science of Language and Reading as this pertains to secondary students.

La Trobe SOLAR Lab

The SOLAR Lab was established in the School of Education at La Trobe University in 2020 to promote the scientific study of the role of oral language skills in the emergence and consolidation of reading skills across the school years (pre-school to secondary). We use the term “reading” to specifically identify core skills in text decoding and language comprehension that also promote success in writing and spelling.

Research carried out in the SOLAR Lab emphasises interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers, teachers and allied health professionals such as speech-language pathologists and psychologists, with a view to promoting efficient translation of new knowledge into classroom practice and encouraging the cessation of practices for which the empirical evidence-base is weak or non-existent.

Course content

  • Session 1: What is reading? Unpacking what the reading process is and why it is challenging for some students.
  • Session 2: What is writing? Unpacking the writing process and why it is challenging for some students.
  • Session 3: Building vocabulary skills for success across the curriculum.
  • Session 4: Managing cognitive load and behavioural/emotional responses when working with struggling secondary students.

Extra requirements

  1. Broadband internet access and an active email address that can be accessed at home during study periods.
  2. Students must have basic computer literacy skills (e.g. Word or other word processing software).

Further information


T: 1300 135 045


This program is subject to minimum enrolment numbers. A refund will be provided if the program is cancelled.