Australian Government invests in trial to support First Nations children with English

Australian Government invests in trial to support First Nations children with English

by Freya Lucas

October 16, 2020

The Australian Government is investing in the English Language Learning for Indigenous Children (ELLIC) trial with the aim of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preschool children who have English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) to learn English in “a fun and engaging way.” 


Building on the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, the ELLIC trial is targeted at preschool children in their final year before formal schooling, and is aligned with both the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Australian Curriculum


As with ELLA, the trial will be underpinned by a series of digital learning play-based apps, which preschool educators will be able to use with children to support English literacy development. 


The implementation of the program in preschools will be supported through: 

  • educator training, 
  • an educator app, 
  • the provision of technical assistance, 
  • the development of a range of resources to complement the app based activities, and; 
  • an online educator community of practice


In addition to the support measures outlined above, a family app and public website will support engagement with families, and will facilitate the flow of information about the trial and associated resources to interested stakeholders. 


The ELLIC apps will be co-designed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education stakeholders, and will be trialled with 20 First Nations communities with high representation of EAL/D preschool children in 2021-2022.


Participating children will access the ELLIC app on tablet devices, and educators will be provided with extensive training and off-app support to assist implementation. An independent evaluation will report on the implementation and outcomes of the trial.