Teachers Certificate Course 20162018 Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Learning Difficulties (L.D) can include Reading issues / Dyslexia, Writing issues / Dysgraphia, Maths issues / Dyscalculia, Attention issues / ADHD and many more..

This SPELD NSW course will provide up-to-date, research-based information concerning the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills. 

It has been designed for:

  • Teachers of students who have learning difficulties
  • Mainstream classroom teachers who wish to update their teaching skills
  • Anyone wishing to become a SPELD NSW tutor

This course will be run on 6 weekends between May and September, 2018.

Go to Teachers Certificate Course 2019



The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities for participants to learn how to:

  1. Select assessment and diagnostic methods and tools which are consistent with their purpose(s);
  2. Search for, and evaluate, research on spelling, early reading, comprehension, written expression and numeracy acquisition and instruction;
  3. Identify instructional programs whose effectiveness has been empirically demonstrated; derive principles from these to guide the evaluation and, where necessary, the supplementation, of commonly used instructional programs and materials;
  4. Construct instructional programs for learners with special needs, based on the findings of the literature search;
  5. Measure the effectiveness of instructional procedures in reading and spelling used with learners with special needs.

Learning Experiences

Participants will experience learning in this course through the following methods: lecture, small group activities, quizzes, class discussions, individual readings.

tutors needed
Target Audience  

  • Literacy tutors
  • Support teachers
  • K-6 primary school teachers
  • Secondary School literacy teachers

Topics each weekend (and 2018 dates)

  • Introduction – 5th & 6th May
  • Spelling – 26th & 27th May
  • Reading – 23rd & 24th June
  • EAL/D, Grammar, Written Expression – 28th &29th July
  • Numeracy – 25th & 26th August
  • Comprehension, Graduation – 15th & 16th September


  • 9.00 am – 4.00 pm Saturdays
  • 9.00 am – 3.00 pm Sundays


Mantra Parramatta, Cnr. Parkes Street and Valentine Avenue, Parramatta


$2850.00 (incl. GST) plus membership.

Costs have been kept as low as possible in line with SPELD NSW’s commitment to support teachers in their professional development.

Participants will receive

Handouts each weekend
Booklet of research papers for prescribed readings
A wide range of teaching materials/samples
Morning tea and a light lunch each day


Participants will be required to read supplied research papers each fortnight in preparation for the upcoming weekend, and complete two major assignments; A case study, including a teaching journal and a 1000 word research paper on early literacy reading.



NESA Endorsed Provider

Completing The Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties will contribute 66 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3.2, 1.5.2, 2.1.2, 2.5.2, 3.2.2, 4.1.2, 5.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.




tutors needed

Register Your interest ONLINE

Teachers Certificate Course 2017 Info. and App. Form (PDF)


“It was my privilege to attend the six weekend course at Sydney last semester.

Over many years I’ve completed many hours of Professional Development and I can without hesitation say that the recent SPELD NSW course I completed was by the far the best I’ve ever attended. I looked forward to each weekend and always came away with new ideas, resources, contacts and an excitement to implement change.  The speakers were all highly experienced and credentialed, always providing practical and essential training to further successful intervention. 

It was great to form friendships with other teachers from various sectors all whom shared a passion to assist the struggling student.

The assignments tasks were relevant and enabled clarification of learning needs and additionally, in depth evaluation of teaching methodologies and process.

It is my pleasure to highly recommend this course.”

Lyn Maxwell, 2014 T.C.C. Graduate
Trinity Anglican College, Albury/Wodonga.

“Certificate Course for Teachers of Children with Specific Learning Difficulties was without doubt the most practical and inspiring professional development program I have undertaken.  Experts in their various fields shared the latest research and best practice models to enhance the learning outcomes of our students. Meeting over six weekends with a group of highly motivated people was also a plus.  Everyone benefited from each other’s skills and experiences. 

I would highly recommend this course for new and ‘old’ teachers alike.”

Nadine Cooke, 2015 T.C.C. Graduate
Danebank Anglican School for Girls, Hurstville.

“I recently completed the SPELD NSW Certificate course for teachers of students with specific learning difficulties. The course was wonderful it included hands on activities, resources, recommended readings and research, highly skilled and passionate teachers/instructors.

I added many ideas and strategies to my classroom in 2016 and noticed a dramatic improvement in all my students not just those with specific learning needs. If you are passionate about helping every student in your class I highly recommend this course..”

Deborah Peters, 2016 T.C.C. Graduate
Teacher at NSW Department of Education and Communities.

Course Educators

Lin Meeks M.A. (Spec. Ed), B.A., Grad. Dip. Ed.

Lin is the convenor of the Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties and presents the introduction, spelling, comprehension and numeracy units. Currently, Lin is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, researching the preparation of primary and early childhood pre-service teachers to teach evidence-based early literacy skills. Lin will be the Convenor and presenting the Comprehension day.

Alison Clarke B App Sci (Sp Path), MA (App Ling), CTEFLA

Alison has been a Speech Pathologist since 1988, and also has a Masters in Applied Linguistics and an ESL teaching certificate. She has worked mainly with school-aged children, both in Australia and the UK. She has a website,, which seeks to promote the use of explicit systematic synthetic phonics with literacy beginners and strugglers. Alison is based at the Clifton Hill Child and Adolescent Therapy Group in Melbourne, and was 2015-16 Vice President of Learning Difficulties Australia. Alison will be presenting the spelling weekend.

Criss Moore PhD

Criss is a teacher with specialist knowledge in teaching reading and numeracy. She works in a Regional Role providing assistance to schools requesting support for students experiencing difficulties in learning. Her doctorate concerned pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills required for teaching reading. Her passion is to see all students with a love of reading and life-long reading. Criss will be presenting the Reading weekend.

Sally Robinson-Kooi B.Ed. (TESOL), Diploma of Teaching (Primary)

Sally is currently a Doctoral candidate at Edith Cowan University where she is conducting research on explicit instruction in components of literacy. She is an independent literacy and TESOL consultant providing NESA accredited professional development to teachers in primary schools. She has worked with diverse socio-economic groups and NESB cultures in Australia and overseas and is trained in working with indigenous communities. In Victoria and NSW she taught both mainstream and EAL/D students in primary schools. At Macquarie University, she taught units on professional development, early literacy and ESL on the program for undergraduate primary teachers. Sally has published in Practically Primary on Grammar and Text Types. Sally will be presenting a half day on EAL/D, LDS or both and a half day on Grammar in Texts.

Samantha Hornery PhD

Samantha is a primary and special education teacher who has worked in school and community settings teaching, developing, and managing educational programs for students with learning difficulties for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in the development and implementation of professional learning opportunities for teachers and health professionals. Samantha completed her PhD evaluating Learning Links’ Reading for Life Program and won the NSW Institute for Educational Research Outstanding Thesis in 2012. She appeared as an educational advisor in the ABC documentary, Kids on Speed? supporting children with ADHD and their families. Recent professional learning presentations include “Maths and Learning Difficulties” (June 2016, Learning Difficulties Coalition NSW Inc), “Working as part of a team to meet the needs of students with learning difficulties” (October 2016, The Professional Association for Learning Support Inc), in addition to ongoing teaching professional learning at Learning Links. Samantha will be presenting Written Expression and Numeracy days.

Guest Speakers

Wendy Coggins B. App. SC (Sp Path), MSPAA, CPSP

Wendy is a Certified Practising Speech Language Pathologist with over 30 years’ experience specialising in communication and literacy problems of primary school students. Wendy has worked in over 20 schools and has presented a range of in-service programmes to state and independent schools.

Walter Howe, Educational Psychologist and Director, Psychological Assessments Australia Pty Ltd

(Disclaimer: Walter Howe and his company, PAA, derive income from the sale of various standardised assessment instruments.)

Walter Howe is a Sydney-based Educational and Developmental Psychologist. He has managed Australian standardisation studies for the WISC III, the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement (WJ III) and the York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC). He is the Director of Psychological Assessments Australia (PAA), which distributes a wide variety of assessment products, including the WJ III and the YARC. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists (USA). He is a regular presenter at professional conferences on topics ranging from dyslexia to emotional intelligence.

Rose Cantali PhD

Rose is a clinical psychologist. Currently Rose is the Chair of the Sydney Branch of the Australian Psychological Society, Executive Member of SPELD NSW, Executive Member of the NSW Parent Council, and past member of the NSW Board of Studies. Rose has completed her PhD at Sydney University on Boys School Connectedness and has written several journal articles related to Educational Psychology.

Register Your interest ONLINE

Teachers Certificate Course 2017 Info. and App. Form (PDF)