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The 8th Annual Conference for the Association for Reading and Writing in Asia (ARWA 2024)

29 February - 1 March, 2024, Held from Jeju, Korea

Conference Coordinators: Jeung Ryeul Cho, Hongoak Yun, Sung Jun Joo, Soon-gil Park

Kyungnam University, Jeju National University, Pusan National University, Nambu University

The Association for Reading and Writing in Asia (ARWA) 8th Annual Conference will take place on February 29 and March 1, 2024, at Jeju National University in the beautiful Jeju Island, South Korea. The Conference will provide an interactive platform for academics, researchers, and students to share their insights and experience on research related to reading and writing. You are cordially invited to deliver presentations across the spectrum of literacy development, literacy impairment, and expert linguistic processing in Asia from related fields such as psychology, education, linguistics and neuroscience.

You are cordially invited to submit your abstract here:


If you encounter issues opening up the link above, you are also welcome to submit through the Microsoft Forms link here:

There are many reasons to participate in the conference:

  •  Share your research findings with researchers in reading and writing across different languages.

  •  Connect with researchers and future collaborators from around the world.

  •   Publish your potential research in the top journal – Special issue in reading and writing: an interdisciplinary journal

  •  Meet the ARWA scholarship and career awards, winners.

  •  Gain professional experience.


  •  Abstract submission deadline: October 20, 2023 Extended to November 10, 2023

  •  Acceptance notification: by November 24, 2023 Extended to December 1, 2023

  •  Registration deadline: January 30, 2024 (for presenters) 23:59 (GMT+8); February 10, 2024 (for attendees) 23:59 (GMT+8)

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (by last name)

Young Grace Kim Scaled.jpg

Dr. Young (Young-Suk) Grace Kim Senior Associate Dean, Professor, School of Education, University of California, Irvine


Simplicity and Complexity of Reading: Unraveling the Layers



Reading skills are essential in today's information-centric society. Reading proficiency requires various complex language and cognitive skills and knowledge as it involves complex information processing. Not surprisingly many theories have been proposed to explain the reading process and the skills and knowledge that contribute to the process. To promote reading development and prevent reading difficulties, a systematic understanding of the factors related to reading development is necessary. In this presentation, we will examine the language and cognitive skills and knowledge related to reading development, focusing on the Direct and Indirect Effect model of Reading (DIER) and extant body of research. The Direct and Indirect Effect model not only integrates various existing reading theories but also specifies the structural relations of language and cognitive skills and knowledge. I will explore the factors and theories related to reading development, and three hypotheses about structural relations: hierarchical, interactive, and dynamic relations. Finally, I will discuss the implications of this Direct and Indirect Effect model for teaching and assessing reading.


Young-Suk Kim is a professor and the Senior Associate Dean at the School of Education, University of California at Irvine. She was a former classroom teacher in San Francisco. Her scholarship focuses on understanding language and reading, and writing development and effective instruction for racially, ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse children. Her research has been supported by over $60 million in federal grants and her work was recognized by several awards, including the 2012 PECASE by President Barack Obama. She currently serves as the Editor-In-Chief for the journal Scientific Studies of Reading and the Chair of the Vocabulary SIG for the American Educational Research Association. She serves on the Board of Directors for several prominent national and international organizations.

Dr. Ioulia Kovelman Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan


The Bilingual Brain: Understanding Child Literacy Through Bilingual & Cross-Linguistic Perspectives



Learning to read changes mind and brain development. These changes can vary across orthographies. Young bilingual learners of different languages offer a unique lens for uncovering the role of cross-linguistic differences in learning to read. In my talk, I will discuss our group’s research with young Chinese-English and Spanish-English bilinguals educated in the US. Comparisons between bilingual learners of structurally distinct languages, Spanish vs Chinese, have revealed global and language-specific effects of bilingualism on children’s literacy and neural organization for learning to read. The findings will be discussed through the cross-linguistic lens on the role of sounds (phonology) and meanings (lexical morphemes) in learning to read in children with and without dyslexia. In conclusion, I will discuss our findings in relation to literacy theory, aiming to explain literacy and brain development across languages and learners.


Ioulia Kovelman is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. As a developmental cognitive neuroscientist, Kovelman uses behavioral and neuroimaging methods, especially optical fNIRS neuroimaging, to understand the effects of bilingualism on children’s language, literacy, and brain development. Her research focuses on bilinguals learning typologically distinct languages such as Spanish, English, and Chinese. Through this work, Kovelman addresses questions about the universal, language-specific, and bilingual influences on child language and reading development in neurotypical and at-risk learners.


Dr. Portia Padilla Professor, College of Education, University of the Philippines


Bilingual and Multilingual Reading: A Glimpse at Underrepresented Languages and Challenging Contexts



Reading acquisition and development are complex processes which vary across learners, languages, and contexts. However, little research has been conducted on reading among bilingual and multilingual speakers in developing countries. The presentation will focus on bilingual and multilingual reading in the Philippines, a geographically (7,600+ islands) and linguistically (180+ languages) diverse country which is underrepresented in the reading literature. Results of local studies and high-stakes international assessments will be examined in the light of the following: 1) interactive framework of cross-language transfer in reading and 2) socio-cognitive interactive model of reading as a motivated meaning-construction process in the instructional context of the classroom. The challenges in and recommendations for implementing pedagogically sound policies that are meant to facilitate reading acquisition and development will also be explained vis-à-vis said findings, framework, and model.


Portia P. Padilla is a professor at the College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman, where she currently serves as the Reading/Literacy Education Area Coordinator. She also serves as Language and Literacy Education Program Chair at the Faculty of Education, University of the Philippines Open University (where she is an affiliate professor). She has taught different levels and kinds of students in various settings -- urban and rural, preschool to tertiary, school-based and non-formal. Her research interests include bi/multilingual reading, reading comprehension and difficulties, teacher knowledge, and children’s literature.


Conference scholarships are available for top student researchers in Asia who deliver a presentation at the ARWA conference. For details, please visit:  Please submit application documents to the panel chair, Prof. Taeko Wydell (  The deadline of application is Dec. 8, 2023.

The journal Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal is accepting submissions to the ARWA 2024 special issue.

  • Deadline for submission: 1 May 2024 Extended to 20 May 2024

  • Link:

  • After login, click “submit a new manuscript”

  • Select the appropriate article type, then in Additional Information, select Yes to 'Are you submitting this manuscript to a Topical Collection?'

  • Select “SI: ARWA 2024’ in the dropdown list for “Which Topical Collection?”

  • Then follow the instructions to submit the manuscript

  • You may also refer to the link for the submission guidelines before submitting.


For any questions about the ARWA 2024 conference, please contact Prof. JR Cho at

For any questions regarding the account sign-up, registration and payment processes on this website, please contact the webmaster, Dr. Vince Ngan, at

Click here for more information on trip and accommodation for ARWA 2024.

We look forward to seeing you in Jeju!

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