14/10/2017

Wide Bay preschools encouraged to offer language learning in 2018

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien, is encouraging local preschools to introduce their preschoolers to a new language in 2018.

Applications are now open for participation in the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program which engages preschoolers with languages other than English through a series of fun, play-based apps, which are aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework.

Mr O’Brien said the ELLA program is part of the Coalition Government’s efforts to boost language learning backed by $15.7 million in funding.

“I encourage eligible services in Wide Bay to apply as soon as possible to give our local preschoolers a head start in language learning and spark their interest in other cultures,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Next year preschools in Wide Bay will be able to select from languages including Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish as well as new additions to ELLA in 2018, Hindi and Modern Greek.

“The Coalition Government is also providing 1,000 grants of $500 to assist with the purchase of tablet devices and accessories to help preschools take part in the program.”

Recent independent reports had shown the ELLA program was successfully engaging children with language learning and raising awareness of other cultures.

“There was an incredible response in the first year of the roll-out of the program, with over 1,800 preschool services and more than 60,000 children across Australia participating in learning different languages,” Mr O’Brien said.

“By providing the opportunity for preschoolers to learn a new language, they’re not only getting exposure to another language, they’re also improving their developmental and cognitive capabilities as well.”

ELLA is designed for use by educators who do not have formal language training, with extensive support provided through a suite of resources, including training support and apps for educators and families to assist in the effective delivery of the program.

Applications close on 15 December 2017.

For more information and to submit an application, visit www.ella.edu.au.