In 2017 the Butterflies, Caterpillars and Kinder children will be participating in the ELLA program. The ELLA program (Early Learning Languages Australia) is an enjoyable, digital, play-based language learning program for children in preschool. This year the children will be learning Chinese.
The key objectives of the program are to:
- Introduce children to words, sentences and songs in a language other than English
- Give children opportunities to recognise sounds and concepts of language
- Provide children with appropriate experience and practice in their chosen language
- Provide engaging and educational play based language learning experiences.
The program has been designed by the Australian Government in conjunction with Education services Australia, and links in with the Victorian Early Years Frameworks. Each task within the program is designed to meet and enhance the outcomes described within the Frameworks.
By integrating language learning through the use of technology into the program Educators are able to provide children opportunities to gain their own sense of identity (Outcome 1), encouraging them to gain an understanding and contribute to the world around them (Outcome 2). Children will also be able to be confident and involved learners (Outcome 4) and demonstrate an understanding of the culture and verbal and non-verbal ques (Outcome 5) that are associated with the Chinese heritage.
There are many benefits to children learning language in early childhood including strengthening literacy skills, enhancing communication and social skills, improving critical thinking and problem solving skills and developing an awareness and understanding of other cultures.
The children will work through the program using a series of 7 apps which are downloaded throughout the year, these apps offer opportunities for children to learn and excel at their own pace. The children will spend approximately 30-40 minutes a week accessing “The Polyglots” app which has been custom-developed for language learning. Each child will be allocated their own file enabling educators to track the progression of each individual child and time spent on the app over the week.
Families will have an opportunity to sample the app and see what the children will be learning and how the program will be delivered.
In this day and age, it is important for children to be equipped with the skills required to integrate technology into their education. This app encourages interaction with technology and offers experience ideas that children can explore within their environments. These experiences will give children the opportunity to extend and practice their new found knowledge.
Some fun facts about China.
- More people live in China than in any other Country in the world.
- There are many Chinese dialects, which are often mutually unintelligible.
- Mandarin is the official language in both China and Singapore.
- Chinese year new is the most important festival in China.