Teaching preschoolers second languages

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie at Wingham and District Preschool with Mackenzie Wilmen, Mya Burke and Ivy Dick. Photo: supplied
Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie at Wingham and District Preschool with Mackenzie Wilmen, Mya Burke and Ivy Dick. Photo: supplied

During a visit to Wingham and District Preschool on Tuesday, July 3 Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie encouraged local preschools and schools to give their students the opportunity to learn a second language.

“The Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program has already been very successful in getting local students engaged and interested in learning a language,” Dr Gillespie said.

“There are already 13 preschools in our electorate engaging hundreds of young children through a series of interactive applications to introduce them to the basics of learning a second language like Mandarin, French and Spanish,” Dr Gillespie said.

Preschools in the Lyne electorate currently taking part in the program include:

  • Wingham and District Preschool
  • Earth Angels Child Care Centre Tinonee
  • Old Bar Early Learning Centre
  • Jabiru Teaching and Learning Centre Harrington
  • Kiddies Hut at Diamond Beach
  • Little Pioneers Childcare and Education Centre Forster
  • Dolphins Child Care Centre Tuncurry
  • Blossoms Children Services Tuncurry
  • St Joseph's Early Childhood Services Laurieton
  • Wauchope Preschool Kindergarten
  • Joeys Pre-School and Early Learning Centre Dungog
  • Kindy Patch Largs 

The Federal government will expand its successful Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program into more preschools and schools throughout the region.

“I encourage local parents to talk to their preschools and schools about getting involved in the expansion of the ELLA program,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Learning a second language opens up a whole new world of opportunities in this increasingly global economy and we need more of our local students to develop language skills early in life and then carry that through their later school years and beyond.

“ELLA is about getting kids engaged and interested in learning a language from an early age, expanding their horizons and hopefully getting them to follow through this study as they progress throughout their education.

“Exposure to another language and culture can also have significant developmental benefits on children – for example it has been linked to better English and problem solving skills,” Dr Gillespie said.

Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) uses fun and play-based digital applications to engage children in language learning and is currently available in Hindi, Modern Greek, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. The program is being expanded to also include Korean, Vietnamese, Turkish and German.

For more information on ELLA visit www.ella.edu.au.