App pro­gram to help young­sters learn lan­guages

The Chronicle - - LIFE DIVA -

IN­DE­PEN­DENT anal­y­sis of an early learn­ing lan­guages app has found chil­dren are grasp­ing for­eign lan­guages at light­ning speed by us­ing the play-based pro­gram rather than con­ven­tional mea­sures like flash cards.

Swin­burne Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy re­search found chil­dren us­ing the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Early Learn­ing Lan­guages Aus­tralia apps were 26% more en­gaged than those us­ing flash cards, and were twice as likely to learn the sounds of many for­eign words us­ing the soft­ware.

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Si­mon Birm­ing­ham said he ex­pected more than 55,000 chil­dren in al­most 2000 child care cen­tres and pre-schools would learn Ara­bic, Chi­nese (Man­darin), French, In­done­sian, Ital­ian, Ja­panese or Span­ish as part of the lan­guage pro­gram the gov­ern­ment is rolling out this year.

“Learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage doesn’t just give chil­dren the gift of the gab, it can boost other vi­tal skills like prob­lem solv­ing and their lit­er­acy in English that ul­ti­mately carry through to their per­for­mance at school,” he said.

Visit www.ed­u­ca­tion.gov.au/early-learn­ing-lan­guages-aus­tralia.

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