Language no more a barrier for Australian students

Hindi has come to the fore with Australia making an extra effort to promote other languages in the world. A national rollout of an online programme for pre-schoolers was announced where an opportunity would be provided to learn foreign languages which would have included in it too. An application, ELLA (Early Learning Language Australia) polyglots is there to help students and teachers so that they get to learn new language. This has been confirmed by the Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, who said that the government has extended this programme in such a way that pre-schoolers would learn Italian and Spanish in 2017 and Hindi and Modern Greek in 2018.

An estimate of almost 10,000 children is made, who are a part of the $9.9 million programme. The ratio as per the study made is that almost two in three students are either studying Chinese or Japanese. Moreover, the government of Australia has committed an additional $5.9 million for the national rollout.

“We know 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,” Birmingham said.

“The ELLA programme has been extremely popular with children, parents and educators and it’s exciting to see it not only expanded to a national rollout but to also include an additional four languages,” he said.

“We live in a globalised world and initiatives like the languages app are vital to supporting our children to take full advantage of the new opportunities our economic transition presents. It is particularly encouraging to see in what many describe as the ‘Asian Century’ that almost two in three students are studying the vital languages Chinese and Japanese,” he added.

This initiative has been met with enthusiasm by lots of students who have developed an inclination to languages that are not their native tongue. Not just the students but their parents are also developing interest and what is interesting is that this inclination is not just limited to the language chosen but the culture to which the language belongs.

“As the Asia Education Foundation’s Senior Secondary Languages report has shown, the proportion of year 12 students studying another language has dropped from 40 per cent in the 1960s to just 12 per cent today, which is why it’s encouraging that Australian children – and parents alike – have taken to the Polyglotsapps with such enthusiasm,” Birmingham added.

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