The Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL) was formed in November 2005, to provide an organisational body for the growing community of professionals around Australia who work with university students to enhance their learning and academic English. Academic Language and Learning staff work with students, both local and international, at every level from first year through postgraduate. They recognise that the challenges of moving through higher education are not remedial, but ones that every student faces: understanding the cultures of enquiry in academic disciplines, and developing control of their discourses. As encapsulated in its mission statement, "AALL is committed to promoting and providing academic language and learning development through policies, practices and research that build, enhance and extend teaching and learning opportunities for all students and staff in tertiary education settings."
With several hundred people now working in this field, engaged in research as well as teaching, the need has grown for an organisation to facilitate strategic discussions, to foster collaborations across institutions, and to house and publish the work that Academic Language and Learning professionals produce. The association publishes a refereed journal and has established a website where information of interest to ALL educators, materials for teaching and learning, and opportunities for professional development and collaborative projects are readily accessible, and through which ALL educators can communicate their work to the wider academic community. In 2007 the AALL Discussion Forum was introduced to enable Academic Language and Learning professionals to communicate with each other across Australia and internationally. The discussion forum also serves as an archive for a whole range of topics relevant to ALL educators, ranging from employment opportunities to issues (eg. plagiarism, international students, diagnostic assessment, etc.) concerning the provision of academic language and learning in universities. This forum runs in parallel to Unilearn, an electronic list server established in 1994, which currently has the main purpose of informing members of events (conferences, meetings, etc.) and alerting members of topics being posted on the AALL discussion forum. The ALL community in our region has built itself through these electronic lists - - and a biennial international conference which, since its inception at La Trobe University, has been held at Monash, Wollongong, Flinders, the ANU, Queensland and South Australia. At the same time, more frequent meetings of regional colleagues have coalesced into state-based organisations.
A revised and updated Association for Academic Language and Learning Position Statement was endorsed by the AALL Executive Committee in 2010, after consultation with the AALL membership. This document is based on a key ALL milestone statement about us, emerged from the 1995 Bendigo Working Conference: 'Position Statement: academic language and learning skills advisers/lecturers in Australian universities'.