Australia Expands Early Language Program

The Department of Education and Training is to expand its Early Learning Languages Australia program (ELLA) to allow an extra 30,000 children across Australia’s schools learn a second language.

Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham said last month that an additional $11.8 million would enable the number of preschools participating in the program to double to 5,000 and would extend it into 300 primary schools.

He said exposure to another language and culture could also have significant developmental benefits to children.

The program that currently offers Modern Greek, Arabic, Spanish, French, and Mandarin will see additional languages added, including Korean, Vietnamese, Turkish and German.

“These new languages mean preschools and schools can pick from 13 of the world’s most common languages to give children a taste of the world and set them up with skills that will set them up for the future,” Birmingham said.