Early Language Learning Program Broadens Minds

18:43' 20-06-2018
The State Government is giving thousands of children the opportunity to learn another language while attending kindergarten. The Early Childhood Language Program is the first state-funded language program ever to be rolled out in preschools.

    Photo: app.croneri.co.uk

    From next year, three-hour weekly language sessions will be delivered in 120 kinders, giving about 3,000 children each year over the next four years the opportunity to learn a language other than English. A further 10 services will become bilingual. Children will benefit from having up to half their education program being offered in another language.

    Information sessions have been run across a number of locations in Victoria, covering how the program will work, funding eligibility, and the expression of interest process for those kindergartens wanting to apply.

    At the same time, the Federal Government will expand its successful Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program into schools. The number of preschools participating will double to 5000, and the program will be extended into 300 primary schools, reaching 30,000 school-age students across Australia.

    “Language is life changing, and learning another language is one of those skills that is best achieved in the early years and really does then create new opportunities throughout a child’s development and life,” said Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training.

    Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) uses fun and play-based digital applications to engage children in language learning and is currently available in Hindi, Modern Greek, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. The expansion of the program will add German, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Korean.

    For more information on the nationwide ELLA program, visit www.ella.edu.au.

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Keywords: early childhood language programfederal governmentstate government

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