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Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension

Macquarie University Reading Clinic Professional Development Workshops

Guest presenter: Dr Danielle Colenbrander (University of Bristol, UK)
Dr Danielle Colenbrander will present a one-day workshop on evidence-based methods for teaching vocabulary knowledge to primary school aged children, where the ultimate aim is improving reading comprehension.

Time, Date and Location:
9:00am – 4pm
May 2019, exact date TBC
MGSM Macquarie Park Executive Centre

About the speaker:
Dr Danielle Colenbrander is a researcher at the University of Bristol, UK. She trained as a speech language pathologist at Macquarie University before completing her PhD exploring the role of oral vocabulary in reading comprehension difficulties. She has worked with diverse populations of children in a variety of settings. She is currently running a randomised controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of two training programmes for children with reading and spelling difficulties. She is interested in relationships between vocabulary knowledge, reading aloud and reading comprehension. In particular, she is interested in how difficulties in these areas can be remediated.

About the workshop:
Session 1 will focus on why and how vocabulary instruction might lead to reading comprehension improvements, and when vocabulary instruction is appropriate.

Session 2 will focus on current evidence for effective vocabulary intervention, including a discussion of which instructional elements are crucial for effectiveness.

Sessions 3 and 4 will be practical sessions focussing on how to successfully deliver vocabulary intervention, and how to adapt intervention methods to different settings.

Workshop Outcomes:
By the end of this workshop, attendees should have a clear understanding of:

  • current research on vocabulary instruction
  • how vocabulary knowledge relates to reading comprehension
  • how to teach vocabulary knowledge to children in one-on-one, small group or whole class settings

Who should attend?
This workshop will be useful for primary school teachers, special education teachers, speech language pathologists, and anyone working with children who have reading or language difficulties.

Course Materials:
A course workbook including all materials will be provided on the day.

Preparation before the workshop:
Ideally, each participant should bring their own tablet or laptop with wireless internet access.

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. Please email with any dietary requirements

Getting There:
MGSM’s Macquarie Park Executive Centre is just 15kms from Sydney’s CBD and is easily accessible by car and public transport. Secure on-site parking available free of charge for attendees.

By car:
The Macquarie Park Executive Centre is an easy, 20 minute drive from Sydney’s CBD and approximately a 35-minute drive from Sydney’s Domestic and International Airport. On-site parking is free of charge for MGSM Executive Accommodation and conference centre guests (conditions apply).

By train:
From 30 September this year, trains into and out of Macquarie University, Macquarie Park and North Ryde stations will be replaced by Station Link bus services.
You can now plan your trip at for when the Epping to Chatswood train line will be unavailable due to upgrade works, before Sydney Metro Northwest opens in the second quarter of 2019.

By bus:
Buses arrive and depart just a few minutes' walk from the Macquarie Park Executive Centre and travel to and from many Sydney Metropolitan areas, including the City, Hills District, North Shore, Chatswood, Manly, the Ryde and Carlingford areas, and the Western Suburbs.

For more details on how to get there click here

Enrol in two different Reading Clinic workshops and receive 10% off the total price! For more information and to enrol in multiple workshops contact Natalie Dunn

Current MQ staff and MQ full time students are eligible for discount. Please contact Natalie Dunn to enrol. The MQ staff and student discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount
(e:; p: +61 2 9805 3103)

DISCLAIMER: We have the right to cancel a workshop due to lack of numbers up to 2 weeks prior to workshop date. If minimum numbers are not met, all enrolled students will be informed via email and will recieve a full refund.

Cancellation Policy and Rules:
1. In the event of course cancellation due to inability to fill the minimum number of participants, Access Macquarie Ltd will fully refund the course fee. No additional losses will be covered.
2. If a registrant cancels before the registration deadline of 1 week before the workshop, 80% of the fee will be refunded. The remaining 20% will be kept as an administration fee.
3. No refund is available after the registration deadline. However, another person may attend in your absence. At the discretion of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic, an 80% refund may be offered on production of a medical certificate.

Registration deadline: 1 week before workshop.

For further information about this workshop, please email

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list