Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews is encouraging local preschools to introduce southern Gold Coast 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 thatare aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework.
Mrs Andrews said the program is part of the Turnbull Government’s efforts to boost language learning backed by $15.7 million in funding.
“I urge eligible services on the southern Gold Coast to get their application in as soon as possible to give our local preschoolers a head start in language learning and spark their interest in other cultures,” Mrs Andrews said.
“Next year, preschools in McPherson will be able to select from languages including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish as well as new additions to ELLA in 2018, Hindi and Modern Greek.
“The Turnbull Government is also providing 1000 grants of $500 to assist with the purchase of tablet devices and accessories to help preschools take part in the program.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said several recent independent reports had shown the ELLA program was successfully engaging children with language learning and raising awareness of other cultures.
“We had an incredible response in the first year of the nationwide roll-out of the program, with over 1800 preschool services and more than 60,000 children across Australia participating in learning different languages,” Minister Birmingham said.
“By providing the opportunity for preschoolers to undertake language learning, they're not only getting exposure to a second language, but 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.