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MEDIA RELEASE - Kareeta Peeneeyt Mara pre-schoolers get head start in early learning languages program

5 February 2018

Karreeta Peeneeyt Mara Portland Child and Family Complex will be proudly teaching Indonesian to pre-schoolers from February 2018 with the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program.

The Early Learning Languages Australia program engages pre-schoolers with languages other than English through a series of fun, play-based apps, which are aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework.

Glenelg Shire Council children services manager Janine Johnstone said the ELLA program is a child-centred program specifically aimed at children in Kindergarten.

“It includes a suite of materials, including apps, resource material and educator support networks, developed through the ELLA trial to support the effective delivery of early language learning in preschool services,” Mrs Johnstone said.

“The apps have been designed to consider the needs, interests and capabilities of four-year-olds. The apps encourage collaboration, between peers and with educators as co-learners.”

Mrs Johnstone said preschool children would be studying Indonesian as it is the language being offered by Local Government to primary schools throughout the shire.

“Providing the opportunity for pre-schoolers to undertake language learning exposes them to not only a second language, but they’re also improving their development and cognitive capabilities,” she said.

“The complex was the successful recipient of a $500 grant from the Australian Government to assist with the purchase of a tablet device and accessories to use in the program.”

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the new program would be extremely beneficial to the future of the lucky pre-schoolers.

“Many children have to wait until they reach their primary school years to begin learning a second language, and with Indonesian being taught throughout primary schools in the shire, this is the perfect head start for our pre-schoolers,” Cr Rank said.

“Indonesia is one of Australia’s closest neighbours and to be able to speak a second language at the age of four is a tremendous effort and the children will value this program well into their future both professional and social.”

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