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Should Polish immigrants learn English to work in the UK?


Sunflower 10 | 76  
9 Sep 2007 /  #1
Not sure I'm posting in the right section but here goes.. what do you all reckon to this?

Gordon Brown is set to announce tighter controls on would-be migrants coming to work in the UK, in a move which could cut arrivals by 35,000 a year.

The Prime Minister will say that tens of thousands more migrant workers must pass English language tests before coming to the UK.

news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=6074512
hello 22 | 891  
9 Sep 2007 /  #2
I agree it will be a positive step for both immigrants and British people. People from the UK will have at least one less reason to complain (currently they complain Polish workers cannot understand them enough to do a good job).
osiol 55 | 3,922  
9 Sep 2007 /  #3
As the article states (I haven't read all of it), it can only affect people from outside the EU.

Very few people mention Welsh. Alright, that's not the issue.

It costs a lot of money to run translation services.
There are people who do not feel any need to learn English,
despite living here for years and years.
Most people who come here, speak English, would like to speak English, or do not have plans to stay for years and years.
However, it is not always easy for immigrants to find courses in the UK that they can afford / attend.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
9 Sep 2007 /  #4
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask people who want to live here to have a good command of the language but I don't think they should be required to wire into our traditions, I think that should be optional. The language is the main thing.
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #5
I agree :)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
9 Sep 2007 /  #6
Seeing as Britain is a country of four (or more) nations, adopting our traditions
(many of which have been borrowed from other countries anyway)
does not seem like such a good idea.

To start with, do I follow British traditions enough?
Or should it be one rule for the British and another for anyone else?

To quote one of the peasants in 'Monty Python & the Holy Grail'
when King Arthur says he is King of the Britons:
'Who are they?'
cubic 2 | 63  
9 Sep 2007 /  #7
The language is the main thing.

I'd say a willingness to learn the language is the main thing. But of course that's tricky to measure.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
9 Sep 2007 /  #8
I believe in equality.
If there are people who can't speak the official language,
how can they have the same opportunities,
how can they be equal?
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
9 Sep 2007 /  #9
I'd say a willingness to learn the language is the main thing. But of course that's tricky to measure

Well, not if they introduce compulsory tests. If you pass, fine, if you fail, try again in say - 3 months. Sounds harsh but speaking for me, I wouldn't attempt to live in another country without a good command of the language. For a start, how can not knowing the native language benefit you? What is there was some kind of emergency?

Like the new av Cubic :)
cubic 2 | 63  
9 Sep 2007 /  #10
how can they have the same opportunities,
how can they be equal?

Hopefully they will have the same opportunities once they've learned the language. Until then, at least they're here of their own free will. So no problem re equality?
tornado2007 11 | 2,274  
9 Sep 2007 /  #11
Personally i feel that if you are coming to live or work in this country for a sustained amount of time then surely you should have a grasp of the basic language. It is a must, i have suffered many times because people i am talking to in shops etc cannot understand the queens english and their in customer services, what is going wrong.

I agree with you dolly that they don't particularly have to know all our traditions but if they are going to live here on a permanent basis then they must learn about our culture and lifestyle.
cubic 2 | 63  
9 Sep 2007 /  #12
I wouldn't attempt to live in another country without a good command of the language.

Me neither. Although I did live in the States for a while!

Like the new av Cubic

Thanks! I'm getting a headache, though.
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #13
Well, I see what you mean PD, but on the other hand, a Latvian woman at work was telling me when she came to Scotland she knew two words of English - please, and thank you. She now speaks almost like she was born here (I exaggerate quite wildly here..) after two years of being here. I think a good way to learn a language (or help learn -- really it must help to have a basic/decent knowledge) is to be amongst so many who speak it all day, every day - as she has done. I don't know if all foreign languages teachers do this - but my Spanish teacher was living in Spain for a year to grasp it properly.

I don't think it should be required - but I think it should be highly encouraged as :

it will be a positive step for both immigrants and British people

PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
9 Sep 2007 /  #14
permanent basis then they must learn about our culture and lifestyle

Yes learn about but not conform to.

The language is the main thing and at the end of the day, if you learn the language you become bilingual which is something in itself.
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #15
they must learn about our culture and lifestyle.

why that - so long as they abide by our laws I don't find that makes a difference, other than it would perhaps help them integrate. But that would be their choice.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
9 Sep 2007 /  #16
This is about non-EU immigrants...
tornado2007 11 | 2,274  
9 Sep 2007 /  #17
other than it would perhaps help them integrate.

isn't that the point, the country is separated enough we don't need to separate it even more with people coming into the country who don't understand what Britain is about, its ignorant and in excusable

This is about non-EU immigrants...

to me its about all Immigrants
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
9 Sep 2007 /  #18
Me neither. Although I did live in the States for a while!

lol

Thanks! I'm getting a headache, though.

lol, well you'd think you'd learn after the first 22 times :)

she knew two words of English - please, and thank you.

Not enough, not acceptable.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask people who wish to make their lives in this country, to have spent one year (school year maybe) learning English on a recognised English teaching course within their country.

I know I sound against people coming to this country but I am quite the opposite, I love learning about new cultures etc but I have known too many foreigners who wish to live here but have no interest in even the language.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
9 Sep 2007 /  #19
to me its about all Immigrants

No, It isn't...
hello 22 | 891  
9 Sep 2007 /  #20
But you don't suggest that just because Poles (for example) are part of the EU, they should not care about learning the language of the country they look for a job, do you. It will be a positive step overall, I think, regardless of the immigrant's nationality.
tornado2007 11 | 2,274  
9 Sep 2007 /  #21
No, It isn't...

why not?? all immigrants should have to be able to speak some english and have a little knowledge of our culture if they are living here over a sustained period of time
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
9 Sep 2007 /  #22
do you.

No, I don't...

why not??

If British living in other EU countries had to pass native language tests, most of them would be kicked out back home.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
9 Sep 2007 /  #23
This is about non-EU immigrants...

Actually, Grzegorz has a point, the original article is about non-EU immigrants.
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #24
isn't that the point, the country is separated enough we don't need to separate it even more with people coming into the country who don't understand what Britain is about, its ignorant and in excusable

The woman at work I mention is now very capable of integration, she is no more separated now than those who came with knowledge of the language already. You might understand what a country 'is about' (to do that there would be many generalisations which would have to be drawn) but not wish to participate in it anyway. I'm sure people from the UK don't all follow set customs anyway.

Not enough, not acceptable.

I don't see why not - she has done well enough, where is the problem?

I have known too many foreigners who wish to live here but have no interest in even the language

I don't really see the harm in this. There are some Scottish people know of who don't wish to speak to anybody else - so why should a foreigner feel the need to have an interest. I think it is unwise, sure, for it could surely only benefit them. But we cannot know the cicumstances of their coming here without having learned the most spoken language of a country - I imagine it was not a choice easily made for surely it would be daunting to go somewhere you would be usure of being understood! And those who are here and just not wanting to learn - if they are living happily enough what is the problem for you or I?

I know I sound against people coming to this country

Not at all - I think you have proven already this is not your view! :)
tornado2007 11 | 2,274  
9 Sep 2007 /  #25
If British living in other EU countries had to pass native language tests, most of them would be kicked out back home.

thats true, but that dosen't really mean that people coming to this country should not take the same type of test or speak english. So why does the fact that being able or not being able to speak english not apply to all immigrants coming into the country, you've done everything but answer the question :)

non-EU immigrants

i never said it wasn't i just said to me, it should apply to all immigrants :)
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #26
This is about non-EU immigrants...

at least the thread title is not? Just perhaps an inappropriate article, but an interesting topic all the same.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
9 Sep 2007 /  #27
they must learn about our culture and lifestyle.

Whose lifestyle?

Yours? Mine? The permenantly unemployed family down the road? My public school educated boss?
Northern Irish? Welsh? Cornish? Geordie?
tornado2007 11 | 2,274  
9 Sep 2007 /  #28
The woman at work I mention is now very capable of integration, she is no more separated now than those who came with knowledge of the language already. You might understand what a country 'is about' (to do that there would be many generalisations which would have to be drawn) but not wish to participate in it anyway. I'm sure people from the UK don't all follow set customs anyway.

i don't mean things like celebrating the queens birthday etc, i'm talking about UK mannerisms, everyday things and the type
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
9 Sep 2007 /  #29
So why does the fact that being able or not being able to speak english not apply to all immigrants coming into the country

Because that would be a violation of very basic EU rules...
_Sofi_  
9 Sep 2007 /  #30
i'm talking about UK mannerisms, everyday things and the type

these things can be easily picked up - if they wish to. How can our culture be enriched by other cultures though if those moving here follow our ways of life? Really, there are too many styles of living to actually collate us all together anyway in that way, as Osiol points out.

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