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ETHNIC and religious groups have expressed concern that a proposal for compulsory English and citizenship tests for new Australians will unfairly discriminate against some would-be immigrants.

Andrew Robb, parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, yesterday said he would consider introducing a compulsory citizenship test for prospective immigrants requiring them to demonstrate their English language skills and knowledge of Australia's values, customs, laws and history.

"From my point of view, successful integration is overwhelmingly in the interests of migrants and the broader community," he said in a speech to the Sydney Institute last night.

"For this reason, I am prepared to have a serious look, over the next couple of months, at the merits of introducing a compulsory citizenship test."

Currently, aspiring citizens must speak and understand basic English and attend an interview where they are asked about responsibilities and privileges of being Australian.

Labor has backed the proposal, subject to a discussion of what constitutes Australian values.

"We would need to look at who is going to decide what would be in the test, what consultation there would be and how the test would be assessed," Labor immigration spokeswoman Annette Hurley said today.

Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia chair Voula Messimeri said citizenship should not be a matter of passing or failing a test.

"Australia has a very long and very proud tradition of accepting people from all around the world and that, by necessity, means that there will be people that arrive, and arrive to the door now, that speak no English now," she told ABC radio.

In particular, many coming from Africa would be unable speak English, she said, adding that the government should put resources into language teaching.

"But to say that that will become the threshold for passing or failing a test is not really the way for us to embrace new arrivals," she said.

"My thinking is, and certainly the view of FECCA is, that citizenship is something that should be embraced willingly by people ... ."

Sikh Council of Australia secretary Bawa Singh Jagdev said the Sikh community would oppose a compulsory English test.

"What happens in their own countries where the English is not the first language? It would be difficult for them to pass the English test," he told ABC radio.

Dr Ameer Ali, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said he too had concerns.

"We have a peculiar democracy, a peculiar sense of equality, every body is like every body else. So that is the value that is appreciated, that is commendable, this typical unique Australia," he told ABC radio.
http://www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story/0,20281,18956185-5001028,00.html
 

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Sorry, but English test should be made compulsory. I would even support going further by stopping any permanant resident applicants to be elegible if they cannot speak proper English.

1. English is fundamental in this country. You learn English in school, the way you do buisness and interact with the rest of community. Living in an enclave getto is not the answer.

2. Putting efforts to speak English shows that they are meaningful and worthwhile to stay. Putting no efforts and running to Centrelink to get dole payments or child support are people who shouldn't be here in the first place. We need skilled migrants, not people who will end up as a bum.

3. Yes, Australia is a multicultural community but there is a fine difference between integrating with the general public, and not abiding the law due to your own ignorance and laziness.

4. We don't have the right to accept anyone nor be forced to accept. There are people who are more worthy and put more effort into integrating and accepting cultural values in which we have prospered for generations. Not knowing the civics and citizenship and the laws which are universal in this country shouldn't be tolerated.

5. Equality is not a one way stream. Don't stick your hand and say you deserve something when in fact, you put no effort to contribute to the country.
 

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Definitely support a BASIC english test. Enough to make a complaint to Coles and start up a bank account. Since the 1970s we have offered english education to all immigrants anyway, so there's no excuse not to learn and a basic test isn't going to kill them.

It's also important to educate migrants on how our political system works, especially to those who have come from undemocratic countries - it will show them how to participant and show that we welcome them and their opinions.

Cultural/values test - not needed. Once you get the basics in english, get into the workplace, watch tv, ect you will naturally learn the Australian way of life, but you should not be forced to live a particular way.

History test - I think most aussies will even fail that one.
 

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What about speech impediments and disorders? If someone doesn't speak at all are they allowed to forfeit these bullshit tests? Should we let in retards and cripples? What about those negros too, it's been proved over and over that they are more likely to commit crimes then people of other races.
 

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^^
I dont understand what youre trying to say Cee em.

Anyway. Failure to speak the langauge of the adopted country effects one's ability to integrate and leads to polarisation and isolation.

Even the most tolorent countries in the world who for decades placed no language requirement on immigrants are now demanding that new arrivals learn the langauge and culture.
 

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Anyway. Failure to speak the langauge of the adopted country effects one's ability to integrate and leads to polarisation and isolation.
Excuse me when I say bull****.

How many Italian and Greek(among others) migrants came here after the second world war, who knew a word of English? Now how many of them are amongst the biggest contributors to Australian society and what not?

I dont think knowing English should be a requirement, before being allowed in. Learning English definately should be a requirement of being allowed in however.

If this is the crap this government is going to bring in, they may as well bring back the White Australia policy.

As for the cultural values testing, excuse me while I go and throw up.


By the way, what about certain Aboriginal tribes who dont speak a word of English?


I would even support going further by stopping any permanant resident applicants to be elegible if they cannot speak proper English.
Thank god for people like you, that Australia has never faced any major conflicts on our own soil where people have had to flee as refugees to other countries. Because if that day ever comes, I hope that you face the same conditions you want to impose on people now and get thrown back out on your ass.

But hey, we are the lucky country, some people seem to forget that others arent as lucky as we are here in Australia.

Putting no efforts and running to Centrelink to get dole payments or child support are people who shouldn't be here in the first place.
Theres plenty of Australian dole bludgers, why should they continue to live in this country when they are contributing nothing and living off our taxes?
What makes them worthy of living in this country?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rev said:
Excuse me when I say bull****.

How many Italian and Greek(among others) migrants came here after the second world war, who knew a word of English? Now how many of them are amongst the biggest contributors to Australian society and what not?

I dont think knowing English should be a requirement, before being allowed in. Learning English definately should be a requirement of being allowed in however.

If this is the crap this government is going to bring in, they may as well bring back the White Australia policy.

As for the cultural values testing, excuse me while I go and throw up.


By the way, what about certain Aboriginal tribes who dont speak a word of English?




Thank god for people like you, that Australia has never faced any major conflicts on our own soil where people have had to flee as refugees to other countries. Because if that day ever comes, I hope that you face the same conditions you want to impose on people now and get thrown back out on your ass.

But hey, we are the lucky country, some people seem to forget that others arent as lucky as we are here in Australia.



Theres plenty of Australian dole bludgers, why should they continue to live in this country when they are contributing nothing and living off our taxes?
What makes them worthy of living in this country?
Firstly, you're talking about the period especially after WWII where Australia was in urge to 'populate' and for humaniterian reasons. It was only since Keeting years that the government now sees the importance of screening immigrants on the basis of skills ability. There is no question that skills oriented immigrants are much more prefered than people for family reunion.

The purpose of immigration has changed since 1988, the year when the nation reflected on common purposes as they celebrate the bicentennial years.

Secondly, around Granville, Lidcombe, Auburn area there are a lot of African population who came from war torn states. Why do they put much more effort into learning English compared to other immigrants especially in Asia who can't be fucked at all? I do believe that there is an element of the willingness of certain people to co-operate and to attempt to naturalise into this country, instead of living in their enclave comfort-zone.

Thirdly, you do not get permanant residency instantly these days. You have to live in certain number of years and meet 120 merit points in order to be elegible. I do believe that learning English and civics should make up more points in the system. Learning English is not an option, it should be mandatory as it is the fundamental to be part of Australia's cultural, civic and community values. There are espectations as you live here over the years, and it certainly is learning English and not being ignorant on laws.

Forthly, in the last Federal budget the government has initiated programs which involves moving people from social welfare to work. It is much easier for people to be employed if they know the language of this country and have some knowledge of laws and civic duty. Not knowing English is the major barrier to any future prospects especially in this climate where emplyers are able to pick and choose their candidate. It is pretty obvious that government initivatives do not work on people who doesn't fit the workforce category. I see way too many dole bludgers in Granville, Lidcombe area. You'll be surprised what you see when you deal with these situation everyday.

Finally, don't bother painting a picture as if this is a White Australia Policy. That ringtone is really getting old and almost becoming annoying. Not all European countries know English, not all North American countries, African, Latin American countries know English. They gotta learn them. And i'm pretty certain they didn't grasp the concept of Australian civic relationship on the minute they got out of the plane in our Airports. Every new immigrants who wants to persue life in this country must learn certain parts.

Even not all foreign students know English. Last year university as reduced set requirements on the level of proficiency. Even they have to bother learning it properly. A lot of countries in Asia does teach English as their second language.
 

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I think the language test and "Australian values" (whatever that bs is meant to mean) tests should also be applied to new born infants. Babies should not be allowed to leave the maternity ward and enter the community until they can speak the language and know how to to the Australian line.

I'm sick of babies who cannot communicate and don't pull their weight.
 

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MILIUX said:
Firstly, you're talking about the period especially after WWII where Australia was in urge to 'populate' and for humaniterian reasons. It was only since Keeting years that the government now sees the importance of screening immigrants on the basis of skills ability. There is no question that skills oriented immigrants are much more prefered than people for family reunion.

The purpose of immigration has changed since 1988, the year when the nation reflected on common purposes as they celebrate the bicentennial years.

Secondly, around Granville, Lidcombe, Auburn area there are a lot of African population who came from war torn states. Why do they put much more effort into learning English compared to other immigrants especially in Asia who can't be fucked at all? I do believe that there is an element of the willingness of certain people to co-operate and to attempt to naturalise into this country, instead of living in their enclave comfort-zone.

Thirdly, you do not get permanant residency instantly these days. You have to live in certain number of years and meet 120 merit points in order to be elegible. I do believe that learning English and civics should make up more points in the system. Learning English is not an option, it should be mandatory as it is the fundamental to be part of Australia's cultural, civic and community values. There are espectations as you live here over the years, and it certainly is learning English and not being ignorant on laws.

Forthly, in the last Federal budget the government has initiated programs which involves moving people from social welfare to work. It is much easier for people to be employed if they know the language of this country and have some knowledge of laws and civic duty. Not knowing English is the major barrier to any future prospects especially in this climate where emplyers are able to pick and choose their candidate. It is pretty obvious that government initivatives do not work on people who doesn't fit the workforce category. I see way too many dole bludgers in Granville, Lidcombe area. You'll be surprised what you see when you deal with these situation everyday.

Finally, don't bother painting a picture as if this is a White Australia Policy. That ringtone is really getting old and almost becoming annoying. Not all European countries know English, not all North American countries, African, Latin American countries know English. They gotta learn them. And i'm pretty certain they didn't grasp the concept of Australian civic relationship on the minute they got out of the plane in our Airports. Every new immigrants who wants to persue life in this country must learn certain parts.

Even not all foreign students know English. Last year university as reduced set requirements on the level of proficiency. Even they have to bother learning it properly. A lot of countries in Asia does teach English as their second language.
Chill out miliux :) (and others).

Can't you see it's just a cheap political scoring exercise pandering to prejudices about "bloody" immigrants? The best way to learn a language is in the country itself and the vast majority of people do. So why stop people coming because they don't come from an english speaking country? That's just illogical.

And sure, there are pockets in the community who don't have good language skills. But firstly, the scale of the problem is insignificant (so why make his damaging over-reacting campaign in response?), and secondly if anything it's only really the problem of that individual concerned. I suspect the motivation of all those whingeing about those who "cannot speak english" is they just don't like difference.

Also, who is going to define Australian values? Which Australian values? There are so many different values between "aussies", so why start highlighting differences based just on ethnic groups? Ie, are the differences in "values" between ethnic groups really that much different to values that are within a single ethnic group? They are not.

And where in the rare rare instances where the differences are incompatible, they are really so insignificant in number that it doesn't warrant another damaging over reaction.

If anything, i thought Australia was a country that fostered free-choice as long as didn't harm anyone else. And this has been largely successful. I can't see a problem - except maybe small isolated ones.

Actually, pushing "AUstralian Values" (bs term that it is) sounds a lot like another kind bullshit term: ie, "political correctness". Oh the irony! :laugh:
 

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KIWIKAAS said:
cmb said:
What about speech impediments and disorders? If someone doesn't speak at all are they allowed to forfeit these bullshit tests? Should we let in retards and cripples? What about those negros too, it's been proved over and over that they are more likely to commit crimes then people of other races.
^^
I dont understand what youre trying to say Cee em.
Really? I thought it was perfectly clear. I'm not saying what he says makes sense or that i necessarily agree with it, but what he is saying is clear.

lol - which one of you has the english language problem??? ;)

KIWIKAAS said:
Anyway. Failure to speak the langauge of the adopted country effects one's ability to integrate and leads to polarisation and isolation.
Maybe but the best way to learn a language is by being in that country. Ie, immersion is how most migrants have learnt a new language. It is the main way i 2 other languages other than english (german and indonesian) and immersion is the way (presumably) that YOU and all other native English speakers have learnt English as a young child (hence my post above about new born infants).

kiwikass said:
Even the most tolorent countries in the world who for decades placed no language requirement on immigrants are now demanding that new arrivals learn the langauge and culture.
Which countries exactly? In what ways exactly?

So, just because others do it we should too? :dunno:

What you are saying may or may not be true, but i question whether this is borne out of a genuine policy need or just cheap political point scoring. It's a sad fact that people will vote for those pandering to their prejudices. Governemnts on both side of politics rose above this for many decades after the war, and the result was a massively diverse and successful Australian society. So there a few eldery chinese woman pushing trolleys in the Cabramatta region who cannot speak ENglish (even though their fluent grandchildren were born here) and there was a riot in Cronulla - this doens't mean that we have failed and now must re-examine everything.

Perspective & proportion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anton said:
Actually, pushing "AUstralian Values" (bs term that it is) sounds a lot like another kind bullshit term: ie, "political correctness". Oh the irony! :laugh:
I'm not talking about Australian values. I'm talking about civic rights. Civic rights includes learning the language and being part of demoractic mechanism. Ignorance is the biggest enemy.

I have not even raised the concept of Australian Values, but rather put forward the fundamentals no matter where you decided to migrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Anton said:
I think the language test and "Australian values" (whatever that bs is meant to mean) tests should also be applied to new born infants. Babies should not be allowed to leave the maternity ward and enter the community until they can speak the language and know how to to the Australian line.

I'm sick of babies who cannot communicate and don't pull their weight.
Then don't have babies, Anton. No babies for you!
 

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MILIUX said:
I'm not talking about Australian values.
OK, but i was talking about "values" because it was raised along with language.
MILIUX said:
I'm talking about civic rights. Civic rights includes learning the language and being part of demoractic mechanism. Ignorance is the biggest enemy.
Maybe - but i think this would then apply to immigrants and the rest of us. Civic knowledge is shocking right around australia. I don't agree with "values" education, but would certainly support "civics education" FOR ALL - not just immigrants - as long as it can be objective and not political.

miliux said:
I have not even raised the concept of Australian Values, but rather put forward the fundamentals no matter where you decided to migrate.
Well, others did. :D
 

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I am 100% in favour of an English test.
I live in a suburb where most people are born in China/Hong Kong. As an anglo, I've found it quite difficult to understand what some people at local shops have said when giving change etc, and I feel like an idiot asking them to repeat it. They then get shitty about it.
Everyone should have a decent level of English to get into this country - it's how we communicate. If you cant speak the lingo, you're isolated and become lost, for lack of a better word.
 

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MelbourneCity said:
I am 100% in favour of an English test.
I live in a suburb where most people are born in China/Hong Kong. As an anglo, I've found it quite difficult to understand what some people at local shops have said when giving change etc, and I feel like an idiot asking them to repeat it. They then get shitty about it.
Everyone should have a decent level of English to get into this country - it's how we communicate. If you cant speak the lingo, you're isolated and become lost, for lack of a better word.
But what about the undeniable fact that the best way to learn a language (whether a new born baby or new immigrant) is to be immersed in that language?

We would be severly limiting our choice of immigrants if a certain level of Englsih is required. and learning a language out of that country is bloody hard (as anyone who did high school foreign language would know).

Basic English is already an immigration requirement except for refugees.
 

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What's in a few basic facts? Well, it's like this. People coming to Australia should be expected to know some basic facts and perhaps it would alleviate some of the problems that we are experiencing now with immigrants who are ignorant of our culture and customs and choose to remain that way.

Some basic level of understanding of our Parliamentary system, our religious culture, our basic customs would be a simple place to start.

I also agree that a basic level of English is essential. Otherwise how can people seek jobs and sign workplace contracts? How can they get licences and understand the road rules. How can they fill out a tax return and maintain tax records? How can they be expected to obey the laws of the land and state and federal laws if they cannot read them? What happens when a migrant with no English speaking skills get's sick and needs to call 000?
 

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Most people who come here are bound to be a little xenophobic at first but the english classes also provide a chance for a bunch of people from all ethnic backgrounds to meet each other. It's their first chance to see that we are a multicultural nation.
 

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cowface said:
Most people who come here are bound to be a little xenophobic at first but the english classes also provide a chance for a bunch of people from all ethnic backgrounds to meet each other. It's their first chance to see that we are a multicultural nation.
Are you old enough to remember a 70's British Sitcom called 'Mind Your Language' :) Full of the funniest lines ever, one was when a hindu Indian calls one of his Muslim classmates a "Pakistani FOOF" and when a French girl threatens to kick another lady in her "Big Sweedish Arse". :)
 
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