Kinder language program to offer more

Karen Sweeney
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham is set to announce funds for a kinder language program

Move over finger painting, kindergarten kids will soon add Korean or Turkish lessons to their day.

Already 2500 Australian preschools offer language programs, teaching everything from Modern Greek to Arabic, Spanish, French and Mandarin.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham says an extra $11.8 million funding will expand the program to 5000 preschools.

The language program, designed for children aged three and up, will also be extended into 300 primary schools, Senator Birmingham will announce on a visit to a Sydney kindergarten on Friday.

He says exposure to another language and culture can significantly benefit children's development, including improving English and problem-solving skills.

As well as existing languages, offered through play-based apps, the Early Learning Languages Australia program will add Korean, Vietnamese, Turkish and German to their languages list.

"These new languages mean preschools and schools can pick from 13 of the world's most common languages to give children a taste of the world and set them up with kills that will set them up for the future," Senator Birmingham said.

He hopes children will continue with the language after the program.

Workplace Minister Craig Laundy says languages like Hindi could open a world of opportunities.

"We need more young children to develop language skills early in life so they can carry through to primary school and beyond," he said.