French language program showcased in Brunswick West Ministerial visit
Children who have been participating in weekly French language sessions at Dunstan Reserve Child Care Centre since the beginning of the year had the opportunity to show off their skills yesterday, when visited by Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino.
Mr Merlino visited the centre to see its French language program in action, with the Dunstan Reserve educators working to embed French language in the kindergarten program through art, music, sport and other lessons.
The Dunstan Reserve centre is one of eleven in Victoria delivering a French language program in 2019, as part of the Victorian Labor Government’s $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program.
Approximately 160 kindergarten services across Victoria have received funding to deliver language programs in 2019, meaning children are receiving instruction in a language other than English at no additional cost to families.
Under the Early Childhood Language Program, weekly language sessions of up to three hours will be delivered in 150 centres running kindergarten programs, with a further ten sites running bilingual programs, where children benefit from an immersive language experience, with half of their daily program delivered in a language other than English.
The Victorian Government estimates that the program will reach more than 5,000 children, and provide exposure to a number of languages other than English, including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, French, Spanish, Auslan and Aboriginal languages.
Mr Merlino said that exposure to additional language learning would support Victoria’s children to “prepare for life in a more connected world” and that learning in a language other than English has “fantastic rewards for young children – improving brain function as well as helping them to read and write in English”.
More information about the Early Childhood Language Program is available here.