Early Learning Languages Australia at Tillys Play and Development Centre Waratah 1

Late last year Tillys Waratah 1 applied to participate in the ELLA (Early Learning Languages Australia) preschool program funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. There were 7 languages to choose from: Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, Arabic, French, Indonesian, Japanese and Italian. The educators decided on Spanish and in January we were informed that we had been accepted in to the program.

What is ELLA? ELLA is a fun, digital, play-based language learning program for children in preschool. It helps children to become more comfortable with different languages early in life so that they can stay engaged with learning languages in later years.

Children in the ELLA program learn language through applications ('apps'), called The Polyglots. The apps are used on tablet devices and have been specifically designed for preschool children. ELLA has many benefits for preschool children. The Children:

  • are introduced to words, sentences and songs in a language other than English
  • have opportunities to recognise sounds and concepts of the language
  • gain language experience and practice appropriate for their age
  • gain ICT skills through using the tablet devices.

At Tillys the ELLA program is available to the Sunflower children who are graduating and going to school at the end of 2017.

Each week the children engage with an online Spanish app where they make their way through the playground and choose different activities that speak to the children in Spanish.

To follow on with this program the educators in the room welcome the children each morning with “Buenos Dias” (Good Morning) and farewell the children in the afternoon with “Adios” (Good Bye). Throughout the day educators interact with the whole group using Spanish during play and group time activities.