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2018 WLU Summer Institute

WLU Literacies for All Summer Institute


Sustaining Joy in Our Learning Communities during Challenging Times

July 12-14, 2018  •  Baltimore, Maryland

All Summer Institute activities will take place at the Lord Baltimore Hotel


Click Here to Submit A Proposal

Proposal Deadline: EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2018


We are living in unprecedented times in world history. Between the hacking of information influencing elections, fake news, and the escalated attacks on immigrants and human rights, democracy is under attack worldwide. How do we educate our students in these uncertain times? There has never been a greater need for informed citizens who practice critical literacy and can advocate for justice, fairness, and equity. Whole language classrooms have always been safe spaces where students are encouraged to question, look at all sides of an issue, and advocate for change. As whole language educators, we encourage critical literacy practices that promote lifelong learning and encourage students to become active citizens in democratic nations.

This year’s conference theme, “Sustaining Joy in Our Learning Communities during Challenging Times,” invites us to give voice to the languages, literacies, and cultures of the diverse students in our classrooms and among ourselves as professionals, and to focus on the joy we find in this important work. As an international organization with a lengthy history of progressive education, democratic schools, and critical literacy, our creative work involves constantly affirming the potential of whole language learning communities to examine the world we live in through multiple languages and literacies. This conference invites educators to come together to learn and explore these issues through a variety of forums including workshops, symposia, panels, poster presentations, conversations, and social/political action.  

We invite proposals focusing on sustaining joy in literacy learning and teaching within diverse, holistic classrooms in the 21st century, including sessions focusing on

  • collaborations between learners, teachers, parents, and community members, including community study, service-learning, critical pedagogy, and social action;
  • collaborative projects that cross boundaries within and across classrooms, communities, states, and countries;
  • the use of technology, and digital, visual, and critical literacies to bring us together across time and space, across political, social, economic, and geographic boundaries;
  • how literacy and access to it positions us socially, economically, and politically;
  • what it means to be literate in varied languages and cultures;
  • how the meaning of literacy has changed and continues to change;
  • including and nurturing diverse languages and literacies in bilingual, multilingual, and monolingual English settings; 
  • reading literature that reflects the lives of our students and opens windows onto the lives of others nearby and far away;
  • how meaningful teaching and authentic learning engagements support individuals’ social and emotional well-being.

ECEAIn addition to other sessions, the NCTE Early Childhood Education Assembly sponsors an early childhood strand pertaining to the education of children from birth to age eight, their families, and their teachers. Early literacy is a key concept in these sessions that also address diversities in early childhood and highlight practices and processes that are situated in social, historical, and cultural contexts.

Important Notes: Because WLU is a not-for-profit organization, the financial viability of its Annual Convention depends upon the support of everyone who attends.  Invited participants are required to register for the conference when they accept their invitation. NCTE/WLU is unable to reimburse program participants for travel or living expenses. Session proposers should advise all involved in their proposal that submission of a proposal does not constitute an invitation to appear on the program. 


Registration Rates

WLU/NCTE Member $225
NCTE Member only $250
Nonmember $300
Student Member $100

Classroom Teacher Discount--$45 off registration rates


Why Attend the Summer Institute?
The WLU Summer Institute is a place where leaders in the field and classroom practitioners have the chance to work and talk side-by-side at sessions, in the halls, and over meals. This opportunity to come together, keeping children at the center of our own learning, makes the WLU Summer Institute a very special learning event for one and all!
---Jane Baskwill, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Read more comments from Summer Institute participants.


The Literacies for All Summer Institute is a forum in which teachers and learners in this increasingly complex world can share their creative work. In whole language classrooms, curriculum builds from the experiences, inquiries, challenges, and problems in learners’ daily lives. Learners develop as readers and writers as they address important issues, solve problems, and explore themes that cross subject-area boundaries. Our small conference provides opportunities for in-depth discussions, the sharing of rough-draft thinking around critical issues, and first-hand, multimodal learning experiences.

The Literacies for All Summer Institute is a peer-reviewed conference. All proposals addressing whole language themes are considered.


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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts