Samuel Baird
Games and Learning Portfolio

ELLA - Early Learning Languages Australia

Client Education Services Australia
Role Lead development, game design
Technology C#, OpenGL, PHP, MySQL, Flash animation pipeline

Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA), funded by the Australian Government, is a highly successful digital, play-based language learning program for preschool and early years students, with content aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum. This project brought together play based learning, language learning, and early years education practitioners and specialists to create a new and unique program, with an approach informed by latest research, where immersive and playful apps played a crucial role.

The program consists of a series of 11 apps, with each app available in 13 languages on both Android and iOS. Designing, building, producing and delivering this many high-quality bespoke apps to tight timeframes required an exacting combination of creativity, discipline, and ingenuity, sustained across a long term development process.

Each app is designed as a unique play-based experience, with the learning design immersing children in fun, themed play worlds, where they hear and speak the target language as they play activities, engage in role play, sing songs, and interact with a cast of friendly animated characters, known as The Polyglots. An online system tracked students participation and outcomes against relevant standards and curriculum, to support teachers and aid evaluation of the program.