Little Grove preschool sets the tone for language trials

10/11/2014

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson has confirmed Little Grove preschool is one of 40 sites across Australia selected to take part in the Abbott Government’s trial of a second language in the year before school.

Mr Wilson said the $9.8 million Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) trial aims to help generate an interest in language studies which can be built on in later years.

“Given there were more than 1000 applicants for the forty locations, let me congratulate the centre and their educators for taking on this really important early learning initiative,” he said.

Research suggests the optimal time for learning a second language is when children are less than 8 years of age.  Being involved with this pilot program will give the Little Grove pre-schoolers a head-start over children not starting language studies until later in their primary school education.

“The enormous interest in this trial clearly backs our government’s desire to promote language studies from the early years through to year 12,” Mr Wilson said.

Little Grove Primary School Principal Darryn Martin said they had elected Japanese for the pre-schoolers as it has been taught at Little Grove for a number of years.

"This allows for continuity for our students as their Japanese teacher in pre-school will be the same in primary school. We’re also in the catchment for North Albany Senior High School which teaches Japanese to TEE level.

“Most of our kids are not exposed to a second language so this is a great opportunity for kids from primarily English speaking families to be exposed to Japanese from an early age,” Mr Martin said.

The 2015 ELLA trial will run across five sites in WA including a mix of metropolitan, regional and remote centres across various preschool models, including government-run, standalone community-based and long day care.

The ELLA software is still in development phase with the first series of apps rolled out in time for the trials beginning early next year.

ENDS

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