BONJOUR: Franklin Early Learning School in Canberra was one of 41 centres across Australia taking part in the initial Early Learning Languages Australia trial back in 2015.
BONJOUR: Franklin Early Learning School in Canberra was one of 41 centres across Australia taking part in the initial Early Learning Languages Australia trial back in 2015. LUKAS COCH

Pre-schoolers learning new languages

THREE Murgon early education centres are preparing to offer pre-school aged children foreign language lessons in 2019.

The Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program uses a play-based digital application to teach preschool children a second language.

The Liberal Nationals Government initiative will be coming to three Murgon preschools including Like Home Early Learning Centre, Kandy Kids Child Care Centre and Murgon Child Care & Learning Centre.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the expansion of the ELLA program into more preschools and primary schools will give many more local kids an opportunity to learn a new language including Indonesian, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Hindi. 

The federal government is providing an additional $11.8 million to expand the ELLA program into more preschools and establish a trial in foundation to Year Two classrooms. 

"Learning foreign languages equips children with skills that will help them throughout their whole lives, with studies showing kids who learn a second language perform better in literacy and numeracy during their schooling,” Mr O'Brien said. 

"More than 20 pre-schools in Wide Bay are among the almost 2500 preschools currently participating in the program across Australia. 

"I encourage all preschools and primary schools across Wide Bay to find out more information about the ELLA program and take up this opportunity to add the program to their teaching plans.” 

The government has provided $27.5 million to the ELLA program since 2014.

In 2018, approximately 2,500 preschool services have chosen to implement ELLA, with a reach of over 80,000 children.

There are several languages available including Arabic, Mandarin, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Modern Greek and Hindi.

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