PRESCHOOL children in the Camden Haven will have an exciting opportunity to learn another language this year using play-based mobile tablet apps.
"I'm delighted that St Joseph's Early Childhood Services (SJECS) in Laurieton has been successful in obtaining a place in the Coalition Government's Early Learning Languages Australia programme," Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said recently.
"This means local children will have the opportunity to experience Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French or Arabic languages through apps which are being delivered in selected pre-schools across Australia.
"Following the successful trial among 41 preschools last year, the Coalition Government is significantly expanding the programme this year meaning more than 300 services will be taking part, including St Joseph's Early Childhood Services.
"The ELLA programme is a great opportunity for our pre-schoolers to make an early start on becoming familiar with another language and I commend Karen McKay and her team at St Joseph's Early Childhood Services for committing to the programme and giving our children this opportunity to learn Chinese languages."
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Federal Coalition Government has invested $9.8 million in the languages app to help to revive language study in Australia's early education centres, schools and universities.
"Seeing and hearing young children counting, following recipes and singing in a language that isn't their native tongue, you understand how engaging this app is and why it has had such positive feedback from kids, educators and families," Minister Birmingham said.
"Following the success of the ELLA programme and Polyglots apps, the Coalition Government has committed $6 million through the National Science and Innovation Agenda to the development of a similar app focused on inspiring students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
SJECS director Karen McKay said the preschool students are currently using the program to learn Mandarin.
"We have several families of Chinese heritage and this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their culture and provide our children with the opportunity to learn a second language," Mrs McKay said.
"The children have been quick to pick up the nuances of Mandarin, and the staff are working to keep up with them.
"It is a great program and I would love to see it continue as a roll-out to Kindergarten classes."
For more information about the ELLA programme visit: www.education.gov.au/early-learning-languages-australia