About 60,000 preschool children in the year before school will use tablet devices to access ELLA to learn one of nine languages next year using a series of seven interactive apps per language. Each app focuses around a familiar experience; for example, a playground, the beach, a birthday party or park.
The beauty is that a language teacher doesn’t need to be available at their preschool for the kids to learn. Up to 3000 Australian preschools and kindergartens are expected to be delivering the ELLA program in 2018 covering Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek and Spanish.
Susan Edwards, Professor of Early Childhood at Australian Catholic University said, “What is very exciting about the learning – from the integration of technology and play-based learning – is a form of language learning that speaks to what the experts about language are telling us is one of the best ways for very young children to learn language – that it’s authentic, that they’re using the target language, and that it’s happening for a reason.”
The ELLA program is funded by the Australian Government and managed by Education Services Australia.
Andrew Smith, CEO of Education Services Australia, says: “Skills in language, communication and collaboration, genuine cultural understanding – these are things now widely acknowledged as being of vital importance at the local and international level. The evidence tells us that ELLA’s impact on these skills is positive.”
Independent reviews have confirmed the program’s popularity and effectiveness. Reports published this year of research undertaken by Swinburne University of Technology Babylab and Deloitte Access Economics indicate that ELLA is effective in introducing new languages to preschool children, in raising their awareness of other cultures, and in engaging their interest in learning different languages.
For more information on the ELLA program visit www.ella.edu.au.
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