A key part of the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting language study is the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) Program. ELLA is a series of interactive applications (apps), aimed at making language learning engaging and interesting to children in preschool. Applications are now open for all eligible preschool services in Australia to join the ELLA Program in 2017.
The Australian Government has announced that $5.9 million will be provided to make the ELLA program nationally available to all preschools from 2017. In addition, Spanish and Italian will be added to the suite of ELLA apps available in 2017. In 2018, Modern Greek and Hindi will be added to the list of languages available.
From 2017, the program will be delivered on an opt-in “bring your own device” basis, and will include funding support to assist 1,000 preschools from disadvantaged areas throughout Australia purchase devices ($500 per service) so they can participate in the program.
The Government provided $9.8 million to trial ELLA in 41 preschool services in 2015 to determine the effectiveness of children learning a language through apps without a proficient language teacher. A total of 35 apps, consisting of seven unique apps for each of the five languages, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Indonesian, French and Japanese, were developed.