Skills boost for early childhood language teachers in Vic with 2020 program now open

Skills boost for early childhood language teachers in Vic with 2020 program now open

by Freya Lucas

August 18, 2020

Early childhood language teachers will get the opportunity to boost their language teaching skills with Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education, Sonya Kilkenny, announcing on Friday that the 2020 training program for language teachers – which is part of the Government’s $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program, is now open.


The Early Childhood Language Program is being rolled out to about 160 services in up to 15 languages including Aboriginal languages, Arabic, Auslan, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian, and Spanish and will see more than 5,000 children learn a new language each year.


“Providing this important professional development opportunity to our early childhood language teachers will help ensure a high-quality language program can be delivered at kindergartens across the state,” Ms Kilkenny said.


As a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, the two courses being offered to language teachers will be delivered remotely in 2020, via a combination of both live webinars and self-paced offline tasks, including online collaborative activities by the University of Melbourne.


The Early Childhood Language Program has led to the development of a new subject within the Master of Early Childhood course at the University of Melbourne, Languages for Young Learners. In an Australian-first, teaching graduates will have a unique opportunity to learn how children develop language skills in a quality, play-based learning environment.


Children at kinders participating in the program will enjoy long-term benefits of learning in another language – including increased literacy, improved cognitive flexibility, and deeper connections with different cultures, Ms Kilkenny noted. 


More information about the program is available here