The Danish Reading Association

About Landsforeningen af Læsepædagoger
(The Danish Reading Association)

The Danish Reading Association (LL) was founded in 1950 and was initially comprised mainly of teachers from the municipality of Copenhagen who specialized in speech pathology, reading and writing. Gradually, the association grew to include members from all parts of Denmark, from both general and special education, and comprised K-12 and adult education.

The association has since the founding been driven by professional enthusiasts who want to share their knowledge with each other. The active members of the association work on a voluntary basis. This also applies to the association’s Board, which presently consists of six members with Thomas Ais Christensen as chairperson.

Today there are literacy advisors at almost all primary schools in Denmark. Their primary work area is counseling and guidance of teachers in literacy in all subjects, not only Danish. Many literacy advisors act as sparring partners and counselors for the school’s management in matters concerning pupils’ literacy development. Secondly, they counsel and guide students with special needs, including dyslexia.

There is not one way to read or one method that solves the problems for pupils, parents and teachers. Therefore, both Danish teachers in general as well as literacy advisors need to update their knowledge, benefit from the experiences of others and be inspired by the efforts of others. Therefore, the LL association is just as necessary today as it was 67 years ago.

Today the association has approximately 1,100 paying members, which includes individuals as well as schools and institutions. The membership fee is kept to a minimum and has remained the same for a number of years.

Members receive a printed copy of the magazine Læsepædagogen (The Reading Teacher) six times a year, as well as invitations to events held by the association. The journal Læsepædagogen has been the cornerstone of LL’s work since 1952 and is one of the world’s oldest reading journals. Each magazine typically contains four articles written by researchers, educators, consultants, supervisors or anyone else who has a stake in strengthening literacy skills for children, adolescents and adults in Denmark.

The journal, which is currently edited by Lis Pøhler, together with a small team of co-editors, rarely lacks articles. The articles received reflect a variation of opinions, attitudes and experiences. Another cornerstone of the association is the annual conference held at Hotel Munkebjerg in the western part of Denmark, therefore called the Munkebjerg Conference. The three-day conference offers a large number of presentations, as well as exhibitions from publishers, and is the biggest annual conference on literacy in Denmark. Most participants come from Denmark, as the conference language is primarily Danish, but there are always participants from other Nordic countries as well. One of the fundamental principles of the conference is that participants have the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas – and perhaps to establish new collaborations. The approximately 300 people who participate in the conference every year are both members and non-members of LL.

In connection with the conference, the Årets Læseintiativpris (the Annual Reading Initiative Award) of 15,000 DKK (2000 €) is awarded. With the award, LL wishes to encourage the launch of projects that can help improve literacy. Any project related to literacy can be nominated.

On the LL website both members and others interested in LL can get information about activities, offers and upcoming events in Denmark and elsewhere, e.g. conferences held by members of FELA/IDEC or ILA. Some of the historical booklets and articles published by LL are also available here.

In addition to the approximate 360 issues of the journal Læsepædagogen, the association has published a large number of books and journals over the years. For example 130 special printouts of Læsepædagogen, 60 lists of books and materials, 10 booklets, three issues of Skandinavisk Tidsskrift för Läspedagoger (Scandinavian Journal for Reading Teachers), 72 booklets in the Den gule serie (a professional literacy journal), 45 Reading Reports on Research, and 10 booklets about special education.

LL is a member of IDEC (International Development of Europe Committee), ILA (International Literacy Association) and of FELA (Federation of European Literacy Associations). Furthermore, Mogens Jansen, LL chairperson from 1962-2000, was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 1983.

Coming up
For the first time, LL will offer two mini conferences in the fall 2017 for literacy advisors in elementary and secondary schools. The association hopes that this will be the start of establishing a network to enable advisors to meet in an informal forum and to exchange experiences and discuss new legislation in this area.

In November 2017, the association will as usual host the annual Munkebjerg Conference.

In August 2019, the association will host the 18th Nordic Literacy Conference & the 21st European Conference on Literacy. The conference will be held at the same educational venue as the first Nordic Conference which was held in 1948, namely the HF-Centret Efterslægten – an upper secondary school for young people and adults.

Although the association is old and the Board of LL works to preserve the tradition and image of the association, they strive to keep up-to-date with new tendencies to remain relevant as a forum for knowledge sharing for teachers and others with a particular interest in literacy.

LL May 2017


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