Every pre-schooler across the country will have the opportunity to learn a foreign language thanks to the rollout of a popular early language program.
Northern based based Government Senator Ian Macdonald is encouraging local preschools to apply for the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, a play-based app for devices like iPads.
“The Polyglots app is an innovative program that has already seen around 10,000 children across the country, including a number in regional areas such as Innisfail, Atherton, Ingham and Mount Isa learn new languages and better understand other cultures,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald said trials of the program at local preschools including the Innisfail Community Preschool and Kindy, where the children have been learning Chinese, had proven popular with children, parents and educators and it was exciting to see it not only expanded nationally, but also to include an additional four languages.
In addition to Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian and Arabic, from next year pre-schoolers will be able to also learn Spanish and Italian, and Modern Greek and Hindi from 2018.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the app was an important part of the Turnbull Government’s efforts to encourage young Australians, regardless of where they live, to learn a second language.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to backing evidence-based programs, to backing programs that inspire students, that involve families in learning and that are useful for educators, and ELLA ticks all of those boxes,” Minister Birmingham said.
The Turnbull Government has committed further funding of $5.9million to make ELLA available nationally in 2017. This includes up to 1000 grants of $500 for preschools in disadvantaged areas to purchase devices so they can access The Polygots.
Applications for the program opened this week. For more information and to apply, visit www.ella.edu.au.