HUNDREDS of Riverina and Central West pre-schoolers are being introduced to a second language thanks to the Liberal and Nationals’ Government’s successful Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, Riverina MP and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack says.

Mr McCormack said 741 pre-schoolers at 21 centres throughout the region are engaged in ELLA and being introduced to the basics of learning another language.

Mr McCormack said languages being taught include Arabic, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Italian and Hindi.

“For example, 45 students at the Victoria Street Children’s Centre at Parkes are being introduced to Arabic and 30 students at the Goodstart Early Learning at Kooringal are being introduced to Hindi,” Mr McCormack said.

“There was a time years ago in the Riverina and Central West when languages were taught only in high schools, and the variety of languages offered was nowhere near as wide as today, but in this increasingly global economy we need students to develop language skills early in life and we need a wider range of languages to be taught.

“The Early Learning Languages Australia program has already been very successful in getting young children engaged and interested in learning a language.

“It gives them a taste of the world and provides the skills which can set them up for the future.”

ELLA uses fun and play-based digital applications to engage children in language learning.

Mr McCormack said he would encourage parents to talk to their preschools and schools about getting involved in the expansion of the ELLA program.

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, said the Liberal and Nationals’ Government’s commitment of an additional $11.8 million to ELLA would see the number of preschools across Australia participating in the program double to 5,000 and extend the program into 300 primary schools, reaching 30,000 school-aged students across Australia.

“We’ve already seen some great results from the ELLA program, with more than 80,000 children in about 2,500 pre-schools across Australia being introduced to a second language through the use of our digital apps,” Minister Birmingham said.

For more information on ELLA visit:


Details of the Riverina and Central West ELLA participants are:

·         Victoria Street Children’s Centre, Parkes: Arabic

·         Gumnut Childcare Centre, Gundagai: Indonesian

·         Bright Beginnings, Forbes: French

·         Peak Hill Preschool Kindergarten: Spanish

·         Ganmain Pied Piper Preschool Inc: Indonesian

·         Uranquinty Preschool: Indonesian

·         Wagga Wagga Christian College Long Day Care: Indonesian

·         Forbes Learning Ladder: Chinese (Mandarin)

·         Junee Preschool: Chinese (Mandarin)

·         Grenfell Preschool: Japanese

·         Community Kids Lake Albert: Italian

·         North Cowra Children’s Centre: Spanish

·         Parkes Bluebird Early Education Centre: French

·         Ariah Park Preschool: Italian

·         Forbes Preschool: Italian

·         Goodstart Early Learning, Young: Italian

·         Wagga Wagga TAFE Children’s Centre: Chinese (Mandarin)

·         Annette’s Place, Young: Hindi

·         Goodstart Early Learning, Ashmont: French

·         Goodstart Early Learning, Kooringal: Hindi

·         Carinya Early Childhood Centre, Cowra: Japanese

Ken Grimson