The Danish Reading Association (LL)
Although the association is old and the Board of LL works to preserve the tradition and image of the association, we strive to keep up-to-date with new tendencies and to remain relevant as a forum for knowledge sharing for teachers and others with a particular interest in literacy.
Network of literacy advisors
Today there are literacy advisors at almost all primary schools and lower secondary 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. This makes the LL association is just as necessary today as it was 67 years ago: One of the associations latest initiatives is to host and support networks, both through physical meetings and courses, and via Facebook.
Since it was founded in 1950 the association has 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.
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 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.
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 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 wide range of opinions, attitudes and experiences.
Exsamples of the journal Læsepædagogen:
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 this award, LL wishes – in cooperation with the publisher Gyldendal – to encourage the launch of projects that can help improve literacy. Any project related to literacy can be nominated.
On the LL website – www.laesepaed.dk – 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 or ILA. Some of the historical booklets and articles published by LL are also available here.