ELLA, an abbreviation for Early Learning Languages Australia is a digital language program targeted for preschool children. It is developed in Australia for Australians by Australians. Currently, over 60,000 children are using this program. During a staff meeting at Piptree Sunnybank Hills, teachers decided after discussions to choose French to broaden the children’s perception and understanding of the world and cultures. Eight tablets were purchased to facilitate this incentive with the children.
All of the learning experiences with the seven apps (languages) is linked to the Early Years Learning Framework learning outcomes. ELLA apps have been carefully designed to provide opportunities for children to successfully engage with languages and cultures. The apps are child-led and self-paced, allowing repetition as needed/wanted. It is also play-based, enabling individual and small group involvement. The program caters for and values children’s different capacities and abilities. ELLA sets children up for success. The apps are easy to navigate, engage and fun. Children have opportunities for a range of learning, including visual and verbal language development, cultural provocations and engaging with technology.
The benefits experienced at preschool will:
- Instill an interest in language learning that might be extended by families or other means if no language program is offered at school
- Encourage families to request that schools offer language programs to ensure the ELLA experiences are extended
- Build language learning skills that can be applied to the learning of a new language at school
- Provide a foundation for continued learning in the same language at school long term.
Why learn other languages earlier in life?
- Denser grey matter in the brain
- More confidence in a second language
- Academic benefits
- Career benefits in life
Some benefits of being bilingual:
- Higher IQ
- Improved language skills
- Larger vocabulary
- Cognitive flexibility
- Cognitive boost
- Better language learning
- More university opportunities
- More job opportunities
- Improved travel experiences