Preschoolers given access to Modern Greek education

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram With just 12 per cent of all year 12 students studying a foreign language today, the Australian government is seeking to reverse the trend by upping its funding commitment and giving all preschoolers the opportunity to learn a foreign language, one of which is Modern Greek. The news was revealed on Monday, announcing open applications for the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, which uses an effective application called Polyglots.So far, 10,000 children have been part of the $9.8 million initiative, and given its popularity with students, parents and educators, the program is receiving an additional $5.9 million to see it rolled out nationally with the inclusion of four new languages: Italian and Spanish in 2017, and Hindi and Modern Greek in 2018.“We know that life-long learning begins from the youngest years, and our $15.7 million investment in the languages app highlights the Turnbull government’s commitment to reviving the study of languages throughout Australia’s early education centres, schools and universities,” Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said.“It’s exciting to see it not only expanded to a national rollout but to also include an additional four languages,” he added.Living in a globalised world, the minister said such initiatives are vital to support children to take full advantage of the new opportunities Australia’s economic transition presents.As it stands, of the 8,540 students currently taking part, 32 per cent study Chinese, 29 per cent Japanese, 24 per cent French, 13 per cent Indonesian and two per cent Arabic.“Seeing and hearing young children counting, following recipes and singing in a language that isn’t their native tongue, you understand how engaging this app is and why it has had such positive feedback from kids, educators and families,” Minister Birmingham said.But the app is also seeing results outside of the classroom. According to an evaluation by Deloitte into the ELLA program and use of the app, 78 per cent of parents had seen their child using words from the language outside of preschool, and around 49 per cent said their children were showing interest in the culture of the language they were learning − both of which are key to maintaining language skills long-term.Applications are now open for all Australian child care centres and pre-schools at www.ella.edu.au For more information about the ELLA program and the Polyglots apps, visit www.education.gov.au/early-learning-languages-australialast_img

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