Language & literacy is core to our curriculum and embedded activities and guided play to help children develop their English language skills. The Early Years Learning Framework Outcome 5 – ‘Children are effective communicators’ guides our practice to ensure that children successfully develop their ability to:
- interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
- engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts
- express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
- begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
- use information & communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.
At Wantirna South ELC, we believe that in addition to supporting children to develop communication and English language skills, children can also benefit from the acquisition of languages other than English.
Australia is made up of people from many cultures who speak over 200 different languages. The most common spoken languages other than English are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Mandarin & Vietnamese.
Cultural diversity is a big part of Australian life and we believe that exposing children to languages other than English from an early age helps to educate children about cultural diversity and the importance of understanding and appreciating the value of the differences between us all to promote tolerance and respectful relationships regardless of race, culture, values and beliefs.
The Educator at Wantirna South ELC that delivers the Mandarin language classes is an experienced Mandarin teacher and uses guided play, songs, activities and intentional teaching to help familiarise children with Chinese Mandarin Language and help them to learn the basics of the language. Our Chinese language classes are held on Mondays and Fridays and we’re looking at potentially increasing the frequency of these over more days of the week.