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bilbo
23rd Sep 2007, 01:43
Citizenship: legislation for disaster
The legislation that has been passed by our shortsighted government would appear to be backfiring.
The idea that such reforms would bring immigrants closer into our society is just not going to work. Many people just cannot get to grips with the amount of study it will take to pass the test or taking the other route attending ESOL courses.
The idea of the test was I think aimed at the Muslim immigrants after 9/11 it may drive many people underground.

I am concerned for people I know, and have spoken of, on this site before who are having difficulty. They will not have a current visa so will I believe disappear.
I don’t mean that they will return to Thailand or Pakistan India ECT.
We will have a very angry set of individuals living in our black economy and may be tempted into wrongdoing. Especially as they see people from the EU coming in free as birds and having full recourse to public funds from day one without having to jump through hoops.
I feel that there is a great injustice being done here and no good will come of it.

bilbo
23rd Sep 2007, 01:43
Citizenship: legislation for disaster
The legislation that has been passed by our shortsighted government would appear to be backfiring.
The idea that such reforms would bring immigrants closer into our society is just not going to work. Many people just cannot get to grips with the amount of study it will take to pass the test or taking the other route attending ESOL courses.
The idea of the test was I think aimed at the Muslim immigrants after 9/11 it may drive many people underground.

I am concerned for people I know, and have spoken of, on this site before who are having difficulty. They will not have a current visa so will I believe disappear.
I don’t mean that they will return to Thailand or Pakistan India ECT.
We will have a very angry set of individuals living in our black economy and may be tempted into wrongdoing. Especially as they see people from the EU coming in free as birds and having full recourse to public funds from day one without having to jump through hoops.
I feel that there is a great injustice being done here and no good will come of it.

Noi & Nick
23rd Sep 2007, 02:28
In principal I think the language/life in the UK requirements, firstly for citizenship and now for ILR, are a good idea.

Living in an area with a high ethnic Pakistani population I see many spouses, usually women, who have been brought over from Pakistan and are virtual prisoners of their spouse's family simply because they cannot communicate in English.

I also see many immigrants who are stuck in low paid jobs because they lack the language skills to progress.

I really have only two areas where I disagree with this legislation; one minor one major.

The minor one is that some of the questions in the Life in the UK test seem irrelevant.

The major one is the timing of the introduction of this requirement for ILR. Those who were due to apply this year were given very little notice of this, so little that they have not had time to prepare before their visa expired and so have had to bear the additional cost of FLR. One could, justifiably, say that they have had two years to learn some English and surely should have been doing so. But I am sure that even those who had been attending some form of English course had not included the required citizenship element in that course; because they were unaware that they would need it.

The fair way of dealing with such people would be to grant them free FLR to allow them to prepare, but that isn't going to happen when you have a government determined to squeeze as much money from legitimate immigrants as it can.

Those who have arrived since this requirement was introduced have 2 years in which to prepare. This should be plenty of time as, frankly, the required standard is not that high.

Those who choose to ignore this and disappear underground would probably have done so anyway. I have no sympathy for such people.

I agree that immigrants from the EU should be treated the same as those from outside. Unfortunately we joined the club and have to abide by it's rules. The fact that we were conned by successive governments, both Labour and Conservative, and were never given the chance to vote on whether we wanted to be part of a European super state is a topic for a different discussion.

bilbo
23rd Sep 2007, 02:48
Nick.
Put your self in the situation that you were almost illiterate
and you had to study a book the size of life in the uk with questions that a native speaker could hardly understand then perhaps you will get some idea of the mountain some immigrants have to climb.
We are very fortunate in this country that we have a very good education system which is free.
Its very easy to say that all immigrants should learn our language within 2 years of arrival but easier said than done.
because just to attend an ESOL course one would need a good base of English.
It's like saying everyone on this site should by now be able to hold a conversation in Thai. Well come on you have all had time.

Roberrrt
23rd Sep 2007, 03:18
Nick,
How do you manage to see these Pakistani women who are 'imprisoned' by their spouses family ?
Do you go round for tea ?

Rob

Noi & Nick
23rd Sep 2007, 03:51
Bilbo, perhaps before passing judgement you should acquaint yourself with the actual requirements (http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/applying/nationality/knowledgeoflifeintheuk)!

No one who cannot read or speak English will be forced to "study a book the size of life in the uk with questions that a native speaker could hardly understand."

Firstly, for anyone with a reasonable command of English the study materials and questions are quite simple. They require work, of course, but are not that difficult to comprehend with a bit of work.

If someone cannot cope with the study materials then they can instead attend an appropriate course. They do not have to reach a very high standard, merely progress from their current level (which could be zero) to the next stage. Surely even if someone has absolutely no English to begin with this should be achievable within two years.

You seem to be confusing illiterate with stupid! The two are completely different.
It's like saying everyone on this site should by now be able to hold a conversation in Thai. For those of us who intend at some time to live in Thailand I would say being able to communicate in Thai is essential.

Rob, I did not say 'imprisoned' I said that they are virtual prisoners of their spouse's family simply because they cannot communicate in English.

This means that they cannot go anywhere outside their community, even the doctors, without a member of their spouses family or a friend to translate for them. They cannot go anywhere or do anything outside this circle without the help of, and therefore the permission of, their spouse's family. They have virtually no independence. Maybe not a big problem, unless they are the victim of domestic violence for example!

I have visited the homes of some, yes. I have also attempted to teach some of them to drive.

siamsteve
23rd Sep 2007, 04:57
My wife speaks relatively good english but her reading and writing needs work on. The ESOL courses are prohibitivly expensive especially for people who have to take it and are probably the worst paid. We live in north Hampshire and there just no ESOL or Citizenship classes near by so I have decided to go the private tutor route but guess what, I cannot find any tutors that are local. I for one due to work do not have the time to coach my wife and with a new baby we are limited as to what we can do

bilbo
23rd Sep 2007, 05:02
Bilbo, perhaps before passing judgement you should acquaint yourself with the actual requirements!

I am well acquainted as you put it with the rules and requirements as my wife is having to to apply for her ILR soon.

The point I was trying to make is that some people being illiterate or too stupid if I must use that word cannot pass the required level are then left in a situation of forever applying for 2 year visas if their sponsor is able to apply because he or she maybe too illiterate or stupid or poor as the case maybe.

God only knows what life is like for other ethnic groups I have no idea as I do not live in such an area where there are many Indian or Pakistani Iraq Muslim families or or do I get invited to tea.

quote:
I have visited the homes of some, yes. I have also attempted to teach some of them to drive.So Nick as suspected you do speak in foreign tongue. :lol:

Tobias
23rd Sep 2007, 05:13
I think it is an excellent idea and, without wanting to sound controversial, I don't think the standard is high enough.

In effect what has happened is a 'lowering' of the level of language ability required. Until the advent of the Citizenship Test, the language requirement was a pass at ESOL Entry Level 3 or above. Now it can be at a level below that.

I would like to see the language requirement brought back to a standard of English at least equivalent to ESOL Entry Level 3, preferably ESOL Level 1.

As for the test itself, I would like to see more 'appropriate' content. At the moment there is some pretty useless content, but I'm sure all that will change in the fullness of time.

There is absolutely no reason why anyone will have to go underground because of the new requirements. Why criminalise themselves for the sake of applying for FLR or instead of attending a combined course?

As for the EU argument - completely irrelevant. And it certainly has nothing to do with Muslims or 9-11.

Progress, that's all this is, with integration at the core.

It's not perfect, but with time I'm sure it will achieve its goals. The timing of it in the context of ILR I agree is a bit off, and indeed unfair. More time should clearly have been given to enable those close to qualifying for ILR more time to prepare.

BigRed
23rd Sep 2007, 05:18
I have to agree with Nick that the language requirements are a good idea, but what a pigs ear they have made of introducing it as usual.

We have gone from a situation where you were tested on spoken English for citizenship and got free education, but only after you had been here for 12 months to requiring either a written English test on spurious aspects of citizenship or progression through an ESOL with Citizenship class which the Government removed funding for, so virtually all courses cost money. At the same time the general publics focus has shifted towards the influx of EU citizens, who have no entry requirements.

The course providers themselves don't seem prepared for the new regulations and are only just coming to terms with them. See the thread on ESOL for comments on the widely varying costs and uncertainty over Citizenship content.

They could at least have offered a relaxation of the time requirements for people already in the UK under the old rules. I don't agree with Nick that two years is long enough. It is difficult to get on courses in some areas currently and most courses only accept starters in September. On top of that they have little inconveniences like trying to find work, fitting into a new lifestyle, maybe having a child.

EDIT:

A few more words because of cross posts, Siam Steve is a perfect example of what I am saying.

I have to disagree with Tobias, someone with low personal confidence being faced with paying through the nose for a course they don't think they can handle or continually paying a fortune for FLR's every two years and having seen rules changing all the time are quite likely to drop out of the system. If they get cought some years down the line they will appeal against deportation and have droves coming to defend them and saying what a shame to deport someone from the country they have lived in for the last 10 years.
BigRed

Noi & Nick
23rd Sep 2007, 05:27
Originally posted by bilbo:

Bilbo, perhaps before passing judgement you should acquaint yourself with the actual requirements!

I am well acquainted as you put it with the rules and requirements as my wife is having to to apply for her ILR soon. Then you and she are in the group who had this sprung on them with little or no warning. You have my sympathy for that, and best wishes for her endeavours.
some people being illiterate or too stupid if I must use that word cannot pass the required level Illiterate is not the same as stupid! The first is a result of simply not having a good enough education, the second means lacking in intelligence. Someone who is merely uneducated should have no difficulty in progressing from one stage of the course to the next within two years. Granted, someone lacking in intelligence may have difficulty, but unless they have some form of mental disability should, with the right help, make it. If they do have a mental disability then there are provisions within the rules to cover that situation.

Unfortunately, I only speak English. My fault, too lazy to learn. That will have to change before we retire to Thailand, though. My non-English speaking pupils were accompanied by an interpreter.

Those in Siam Steve's position do have my sympathy. This is another example of the system's imperfection. Having brought this legislation in the government should have ensured that there were sufficient affordable places available.

However, if her only problem is lack of reading English and her spoken English is good enough, then
24. What if I am visually impaired or cannot read?
The Life in the UK handbook is available in large print for people with visual impairment. The computer can read out each question if required, and in some cases it will be possible for someone to help you enter your answers on the computer. Test centres can also provide support for people with special needs. Check this with your chosen test centre. (source (http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/applying/nationality/knowledgeoflifeintheuk)) So, she will obviously need your help to study, but can effectively take the test itself orally.

However, this does not change my view that, in principle, this is a good idea which in the long run can only be of benefit to immigrants to this country.

fish
23rd Sep 2007, 05:31
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Noi & Nick:

_________________________________________________________
Firstly, for anyone with a reasonable command of English the study materials and questions are quite simple.
_________________________________________________________



The questions are only simple if you know the answers.
As an English person who has lived here all my life I am unable to answer many of the practice questions in the book and have to look up the answers in the study guide.Most of the questions are totaly irrelevant to the every day life to most people living in this country,the ones on satistics
and many of the political ones spring to mind.

In my opinion all passing the test proves that is a person can read English and digest,remember and recall what they have read.

Knowing the answer to something like " In the 2001 general election,what proportion of first time voters actually cast their vote?" . Has no relevance to every day life in this country, Or does it?

P S anyone Know the answer with out looking in the study guide

siamsteve
23rd Sep 2007, 05:31
Has anyone actually read live in the UK, I have flicked though it and I had my parents have a look and I doubt many english people could pass it if they had to take the test today. As for the requirements for ESOL to get your ILR, how would you all feel if you had to take a written Thai test to get a Visa to stay in Thailand, If that was the case I doubt there would be many of us going to stay in Thailand

Noi & Nick
23rd Sep 2007, 05:41
Of course one has to study the materials first! :rolleyes:

But remember that if one lacks the English skills to do so there is an alternative.

I have already stated that I think some of the questions are irrelevent.

As for Thailand, I have already said that if going to live in Thailand one should be able to communicate in Thai, so if the Thai government introduced a similar requirement for residency I would simply knuckle down and learn, which I intend to do anyway (honest :angel:)

Siam Steve, before reading your last post I edited my previous post to include a piece on those who can speak English but not read it. You and your wife may find this helpful.

I simply cannot understand why anyone who cares about their partner would object to the principle of this. Surely you all must want your partners to be able to communicate properly in their new home and not be totally dependant on you?

bilbo
23rd Sep 2007, 06:09
As Our honorable and learned friend at the bar has said it is indeed a good idea for immigrants to learn our language but there will always be people who cannot get through the program
for one reason or another.
Nick: sorry it did appear I was having a pop at you personally but was not is not the case LOVE Bilbo xxxx :)

Noi & Nick
23rd Sep 2007, 06:28
No offence taken, Bilbo, and I hope none given.

packpao
23rd Sep 2007, 10:43
Mue recently took and passed the test.

Judging by the questions she asked me during revision, it made her really think about and understnad the culture she lives in. (I can't say I was always able to explain the rationale for things though!)

It's not just about language. I recall seeing a number of Aussies and South Africans at the test centre - not all of them passed. Presumably they thought they could just whing it.

Packpao

duster
23rd Sep 2007, 12:31
Could someone clarify what level is required for exemption from the citizenship exam. Is there an exemption and is it entry level one, two, or three, level one and level two. That makes it five levels in all is that right? Can anyone explain the system because I cant understand why the are three levels of entry and then two level above that.

Confused of suburbia.

duster
23rd Sep 2007, 12:34
To whit, here is exhibit a.

The national standards for adult literacy and numeracy are specified at three levels: Entry level, Level 1 and Level 2. Levels 1 and 2 are aligned to the key skills of communication and application of number (this alignment is signposted on the left-hand page of the curriculum document at these levels). Entry level is further divided into three sub-levels: Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3. Entry level has been set out in this way to describe in detail the small steps required for adults to make progress. This sub-division also signals a clear alignment of the skill levels with levels 1, 2 and 3 of the National Curriculum.

The three levels of the national standards for adult literacy and numeracy correspond to the levels of demand of qualifications in the national qualifications framework

duster
23rd Sep 2007, 12:39
On a slightly different tack, but one related to the subject matter I recall coming out of two hours on the importance of grammer and correct punctuation in the english language class....I was a student .... into the english literature class where we were told posibly the finest writer of all time was Franz Kafka, we proceeded to study his masterpiece, the dog, which has no punctuation whatsoever... Take from that what you will. And I have no doubt you will....oops started a sentence with And, do I fail the Esol exam.

Roberrrt
23rd Sep 2007, 13:25
I think the standards are about right. Most immigrants coming here will be doing lowly paid jobs that dont need a level of understanding that includes an ability to critique literature. I accept that doctors etc should have the correct level for them to safely do their job.
Nids english has come on in leaps and bounds as it is, without much study, but she does get out and about and watches the english tv - yes, you have a point Nick.
Higher standards will mean more costs to us.

Rob

Graeme
23rd Sep 2007, 13:34
One of the questions in the test was : Why did the Heugenots come to Britain ?. How Many British people would know this ? . The test in my opinion was written by a sociology student on high money. I agree with the principle of having a test, but the ridiculous questions undermine any credibilty.

Cliff
23rd Sep 2007, 14:30
Originally posted by Noi & Nick:
Unfortunately, I only speak English. My fault, too lazy to learn. Tut tut, Nick. You really should make an effort to learn Punjabi and Sindhi and Pashtu and Urdu to further integrate into your local community. ;)

Marcus
23rd Sep 2007, 20:38
Originally posted by bilbo:
We will have a very angry set of individuals living in our black economy and may be tempted into wrongdoing. Especially as they see people from the EU coming in free as birds and having full recourse to public funds from day one without having to jump through hoops.
I feel that there is a great injustice being done here and no good will come of it.
I agree that this is an awful injustice.

The Thai wife of a British citizen has to apply for multiple visas at great cost and pass ridiculous tests about British history while a Polish bus driver can work in the UK and have full residency rights without a single word of English or the need to spend a single penny on visas or anything. It is totally unfair.

Marcus
23rd Sep 2007, 20:46
Originally posted by Noi & Nick:
For those of us who intend at some time to live in Thailand I would say being able to communicate in Thai is essential.

Not at all.

I lived in Thailand from January 2000 to October 2002 and again from January 2007 to the present.

I have a Thai wife and son (in the UK) and support my Thai step-son (in Thailand). I have a visa to live here and a work permit.

And yet I can't form a single sentence in Thai.

I can say 'hello', 'thank you', count to 1000 and have a smattering of a few more words - but I speak a lot less Thai than the average tourist.

So in what way is it essential?

And if you are saying that it ought to be essential, that it ought to be a requirement for my visa, then I have to disagree.

Perhaps the Thai authorities could insist on me learning Thai as a condition for permanent residency but - as you know - the chances of any of us gaining that is very very slim indeed!

No, the most I'm likely to get from the Thai government is a one-year visa. Making language ability a condition for gaining a one-year visa would be massively unfair.

ash
23rd Sep 2007, 22:04
Not understanding a language is a pain and can make living somewhere a bit more challenging but in our situation where my job generally means we live somewhere for a few years and then move on learning the language is very hard.

Also with young children and not being able to drive etc it makes attending college courses very difficult. So although in principle I agree with the concept of the test , when I read as part of the guidance that the 2 chapters of useful information are not tested I wonder why the remaining useless information is needed.

Marcus if I retired to the boonies in Thailand I would expect to have to speak Thai but in Bangkok I agree its not necessary.
ash

Casey Jones
24th Sep 2007, 01:42
Learning a language does not mean folk will intergrate. Speaking English is all well & good but if you have no intention of mixing & taking on some of our culture then there will be no intergration. Maybe permanent residency shouldn't be handed out untill proof of a certain level of cultural intergration can be achieved...& if you haven't managed it in 2/3 years go back home & re-apply to start all over again, should you wish to. With a rule like that you now have an incentive to learn & mix.
Just to pre-empt some. This is not racism or any other sort of 'ism' or 'ist'. It's what you'll have to do in the future if our current easy immigration policies stay put. Either that or we'll have over crowding & severe ethnic tensions on our small islands & that will benefit nobody, including those immigrants who have successfully settled here to date. We need a complete review of our current immigration policy where pc does not dominate common sense. There are many deserving & hard working folk who can be allowed to live here...& just as many free loaders who shouldn't.

ash
24th Sep 2007, 02:44
Maybe permanent residency shouldn't be handed out untill proof of a certain level of cultural intergration can be achieved...& if you haven't managed it in 2/3 years go back home & re-apply to start all over again, should you wish to. With a rule like that you now have an incentive to learn & mix.

Just how much integration do you want ?? I lived in Germany for several years but resisted the temptation to wear leder hosen and drink fizzy beer. I also resisted the temptation to become Swiss and eat fondue etc. I lived in both of those countries because of my job and I basically abided by the laws of both and concentrated on raising my kids etc.

If we return to the UK I expect we will pretty much live a normal life but just because Daengs Thai I don't think we will suddenly do the integration thing whatever that is.

My issue with all this is that when your married with kids then why should you jump through hoops, we don't get handouts we (except for my death threats to Beech martins) don't break too many laws and as a family unit we cope adequately with living in France despite limited command of the language.
ash

Casey Jones
24th Sep 2007, 04:26
Intergration in terms of common sense. I've been to Germany many times & seen very few folk wearing leder hosen. But having met you Ash I do happen to think you would look great in a pair of them with a little Bavarian hat & long white socks :thumb:
If folk don't want to intergrate then don't grant permanent residency & British citizenship. They can stay temporary residents & miss out on state benefits etc etc. If they don't think that's fair they have the option of joining in or going home. There will always be however exceptions to the rule.
As for judging how much someone has to intergrate...I don't know. That's the million dollar question I guess. Someone would have to define what actually constitutes as intergration & to what degree.
Like others have mentioned, not everyone is apt at learning languages & there are more ways to fit in than just speaking the lingo...though it will obviously help you more if you can.
There's many ways to improve the system but being as we all have different views on it I doubt we'll find much common ground. Makes for an interesting debate at times though.

ash
24th Sep 2007, 04:41
If folk don't want to intergrate


Casey what exactly is integration then ? Becoming a church goer , joining the WI etc. I fail to see how someone can integrate as British culture seems to already have gone.

I certainly refuse to integrate as a British born citizen if it means acceptance of all the PC bovine going on , accepting all the Global warming garbage and the need to love the criminals etc.

If however you mean being British first and supporting the England cricket team etc then maybe.

I'm an ex northerner and was brought up in a village where we used to visit neighbours and everyone knew everyone's business but when I moved to London everyone lived separate lives and hardly anyone integrated at all.

In France I vote for changes in the local school because Wesley goes there and also I have started fishing in a local pond but other than that we only have our small circle of friends etc and don't talk politics very often.

So again please what is integration ???

How can it be measured ?

ash

The Swiss currently vote in the village where you live if you can have a Swiss Passport, the current status is that the central government are under pressure to change this as the skin colour and social status seem to be more important than any other factor depending on where you live (The Swiss are racist :help: )

iancanton
24th Sep 2007, 05:27
i was born in the uk, but am not british first, nor do i necessarily support the england cricket team. the same can perhaps be said for most people of my country, scotland.

ian. :)

Casey Jones
24th Sep 2007, 07:39
"So again please what is integration ???

How can it be measured ?" Ash

"As for judging how much someone has to intergrate...I don't know. That's the million dollar question I guess. Someone would have to define what actually constitutes as intergration & to what degree." CJ

:shrug:

"I fail to see how someone can integrate as British culture seems to already have gone." Ash

:confused:

It was there when I went to the shops a few hours ago Ash.

Noi & Nick
24th Sep 2007, 08:06
When I say that learning Thai is essential if one is going to live in Thailand I don't mean that I think it should be a requirement laid down by the Thai government. What I do mean is that if one is going to mix freely with the local community then being able to speak with them is a distinct advantage.

When we go to Bangkok we stay with Noi's son in Bangsu. It is well away from the main tourist areas and although there are a few locals with some English, most have none.

Currently when we are there if I want to talk to anyone then I have to get Noi, Pick or Poy to translate. Oh, when buying food, ciggies or some beer I can get by with my very limmited Thai (e.g. Beer chang saam quart krap) and pointing and smiling. But when we are in the local bar of an evening I want to be able to talk to these people, who despite the language difficulties have become my friends, not just smile and nod at them!

Especially as this is where Noi and I intend to end our days.

I guess if one is only in a country temporarily then one can get by with little or no knowledge of the local tongue. Making do with gestures when shopping and socialising only with other English speaking expats. But if you want to settle there permamently then a reasonable ability in the local language is, I think, essential.

This is as true for Brits moving abroad as it is for those coming to live in the UK.

BigRed
24th Sep 2007, 08:07
It could be tea and cucumber sandwiches watching cricket on the village green, queueing, self depreciation; or perhaps cheap cider by the flickering light of the burned out car you've been joyriding in, baseball caps, ecstasy.

I think the international view is of a people who resolutely refuse to learn another language, insist on English food, tea, and always set up their own little community to celebrate all things british wherever they may be.

No wonder we don't like foreigners in our country, we barely tolerate them in their own country.

BigRed

ash
24th Sep 2007, 08:30
I think integration will mean getting the obligatory ASBO and learning at least 2 east European languages plus a few indian and Pakistani dialects.

Then you need the curry song (Vindalloo Vindalloo) plus of course learning to queue.

Personally I maintain that if you live somewhere and fit in i.e. don't bother anyone and don't insist on making it into somewhere else that you should be left alone.

Its far easier to define what integration is not e.g. Insisting on your own schools (Today they published that there is to be a black only school in the UK :D no whites allowed :argue: ) yet the schools attended by my kids in Poole have to bus in the blacks because its not fair that there are none who live in the catchment :argue: :confused:

Insisting I become a Muslim Hindu or whatever ?

Insisting they can leave work early on Friday because its the Sabbath etc etc.

Making kids learn Urdu because there are more Indian kids than white.



French Integration

We don't mow the grass on Sundays because our community don't do that.

We sort our garbage because they do.

I send Wesley to school with slippers as its the French way.

I drive in the middle of the road its the French prerogative.

I dip my bread in wine and now we eat more cheese.

ash

bilbo
24th Sep 2007, 09:09
I believe immigrants especially Muslims don’t integrate into our society well is because of our attitude. They say that the English are the most tolerant, well-mannered people on the planet. What I think the truth is that we tend not to protest we don’t like to make waves. Really we are a wee bit two faced have double standards and a little racist. Arrogant too.

Yet off we go to Thailand and marry dark foreign girls and expect them to totally adapt to our way within a very short period of time ( some. tongue in cheek. :angel: )on top of all that the poor things have to jump through hoops to gain a visa to live here.

Should integration mean that the immigrant totally forgets his own countries customs and values and adapt ours?
Is that what this piece of legislation is all about?

If as Ash has indicated every expat had to pass the same sort of test would we think it fair?

ash
24th Sep 2007, 09:57
Just experienced a practical integration issue as I just got home after 12 hours in the office to discover theres a school meeting tonight at 20:00 which I am expected to attend. We arrived home last night gone midnight and I was really looking forward to a large scotch and my bed.

Now I have to put on a smile and try to face a few hours of French :cry: :cry:

When I was at university there were lots of Muslims and I do not recall any major integration issues , in fact when the Shah of Iran got the chop we ended up feeding and housing a lot of Iranian students who's families were executed etc.

I guess no one should be made to forget there own customs except where there is a direct clash with UK law e.g. Headhunting is not really the thing in Slough etc and please don't eat the neighbors dog.

ash

Casey Jones
24th Sep 2007, 10:11
I believe immigrants especially Muslims don’t integrate into our society well is because of our attitude.

How does that work exactley? :confused:


Really we are a wee bit two faced have double standards and a little racist. Arrogant too

As above... :confused:

Noi & Nick
24th Sep 2007, 11:08
Originally posted by bilbo:
Should integration mean that the immigrant totally forgets his own countries customs and values and adapt ours? Of course not. Except where they conflict with our laws (stoning adulteresses as an extreme example).
Is that what this piece of legislation is all about? Of course not.
If as Ash has indicated every expat had to pass the same sort of test would we think it fair? As already indicated, yes I would think it fair if I had to pass a similar test, especially the language requirement, in order to live in Thailand.

bilbo
24th Sep 2007, 12:10
[QUOTE]quote:
I believe immigrants especially Muslims don’t integrate into our society well is because of our attitude.



How does that work exactley?


Because I think we are becoming less tolerant especially of those ethnic groups who don't conform to our dress codes.
We are becoming suspicious after recent events Glasgow for example.

Casey Jones
24th Sep 2007, 12:25
Because I think we are becoming less tolerant especially of those ethnic groups who don't conform to our dress codes.

So being born here, growing up here, living here...& I am the one who has to change?
You go & buy a two up two down in the centre of Karachi & see how many of your new neighbours suddenly start to walk around in track suit bottoms, wear argos gold soverign rings & sit in the back yard reading a copy of Fiesta whilst drinking lager all day! Not many I'm sure!! And God forbid you apply for planning permission to turn the local sari shop into a church!!!
Yeah...tolerance. Should be a two way thing that. :thumb:

caller
24th Sep 2007, 12:26
I think Bilbo is right, we are becoming less tolerant. But I think the question has to be asked, why? I'm extremely conscious that my views have changed over the last few years. I guess I'm not alone? Even some of my beloved chattering classes writing in the Guardian are saying the same - somethings afoot!

caller
24th Sep 2007, 12:28
Originally posted by ian canton:
i was born in the uk, but am not british first, nor do i necessarily support the england cricket team. the same can perhaps be said for most people of my country, scotland.

ian. :)

Orpington eh? Bloody immigrant! :D

Marcus
24th Sep 2007, 19:24
Originally posted by ash:
Personally I maintain that if you live somewhere and fit in i.e. don't bother anyone and don't insist on making it into somewhere else that you should be left alone.
Yes, I totally agree. Well put Ash. :thumb:

ash
24th Sep 2007, 21:28
As already indicated, yes I would think it fair if I had to pass a similar test, especially the language requirement, in order to live in Thailand.


One assumes then that should your job take you to Thailand for say 5 years that you would be happy to have to pass some sort of test or leave as indicated by Casey in an earlier post. I speak reasonable French and German through choice but as I get older it gets harder and if god forbid I ever have to retire to Thailand I suspect passing a Thai exam will be very very hard (plus as Daengs family all speak Lao absolutely pointless from the socialising point of view)

Also given that my son is British it seems reasonable that his mother should be able to live in the same country as her offspring and her husband providing she abides by the law of the land without being hassled by irrelevant damn fool questions in a pointless academic test.

That is the whole point of the EU directive which recognises the right to a family life.
ash

Marcus
25th Sep 2007, 01:31
Originally posted by Noi & Nick:
I would think it fair if I had to pass a similar test, especially the language requirement, in order to live in Thailand.
Really? Regardless of the length of stay? A language test for a one-year visa?

Or perhaps you mean a language test for permanent residency? I don't know of a single person to have gained such a thing (does it exist?) but do you think a language test ought to be a requirement?

Who would judge the appropriate level? Would you have to answer obscure questions on Thai history too? Would you agree to being forced out of the country and away from your family and children if your grasp of Thai verbs and ancient dates wasn't up to the set standard?

But - like I say - all speculation in any case as permanent residency in Thailand for falangs is not about to happen!

Tobias
25th Sep 2007, 01:56
Originally posted by Marcus:
... Would you agree to being forced out of the country and away from your family and children if your grasp of Thai verbs and ancient dates wasn't up to the set standard? That is not what can happen here in the UK. For those who choose not to take the Citizenship Test or attend the combined course, then FLR is always available.

ash
25th Sep 2007, 02:15
That is not what can happen here in the UK. For those who choose not to take the Citizenship Test or attend the combined course, then FLR is always available.


For the moment the above is true (at a price) but there are moves afoot to not even give visas until a certain level of English is achieved.

Plus of course yesterday there was a suggestion that those on FLR pay more for medical treatment etc
ash

Tobias
25th Sep 2007, 02:42
The only reference/suggestion/proposal I've heard of in recent times regarding a pre-visa language requirement is in respect of those seeking a student visa or work permit.

As the law stands today, no one on a spousal visa will be 'sent packing' if they choose not to take 'the Test' or attend and complete the combined course.

bilbo
25th Sep 2007, 08:24
I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court? As it’s aimed at a minority group of immigrants. I don’t think it was ever really intended to bring the few Thai immigrants into the net but obviously there was no alternative.
At least it would show how inadequate or unsuitable some of the material used in the study book is.

Tobias
25th Sep 2007, 10:50
Originally posted by bilbo:
I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court? As it’s aimed at a minority group of immigrants.... I don't see any basis in law for a challenge to the ILR/citizenship requirements.

Bilbo, do bear in mind that this citizenship test applies to virtually everyone who applies for British citizenship and ILR - including EUROPEANS of the EU variety!!

Noi & Nick
25th Sep 2007, 12:40
Originally posted by Noi & Nick:
I would think it fair if I had to pass a similar test, especially the language requirement, in order to live in Thailand.
Originally posted by Ash:
One assumes then that should your job take you to Thailand for say 5 years that you would be happy to have to pass some sort of test or leave
Originally posted by Marcus:
Really? Regardless of the length of stay? A language test for a one-year visa?

Or perhaps you mean a language test for permanent residency? As this thread is about language tests for ILR in the UK, not work permits or other non-settlement visas, then I thought it was obvious that I was referring to permanent residency. Sorry for the confusion.
Would you have to answer obscure questions on Thai history too? I have already stated that I think some of the questions in the Life in the UK test are irrelevant.

However, if that is what it took to retire to Thailand, as I intend to, then I would knuckle down and learn whatever I had to.
Would you agree to being forced out of the country and away from your family and children if your grasp of Thai verbs and ancient dates wasn't up to the set standard? As already said by Tobias, no one will be forced to leave the UK if they fail.

We're not talking about degree standard English, for God's sake! Merely progressing from one level (which could be the lowest) to the next or, if you're English is already at ESOL level 3 or better, passing a simple test. You don't even have to be able to read, as I quoted earlier!

Marcus, or anyone, maybe you can answer a question for me. What sort of standard is ESOL level 3? Would you say that it is equivalent to, lower than or higher than GCSE English language?
Originally posted by Bilbo:
I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court? As it’s aimed at a minority group of immigrants. Is it? I thought it was aimed at all immigrants wishing to settle permanently, including those whose native tongue is English. They still need to pass the test, I thought :confused:.

BigRed
25th Sep 2007, 13:01
What sort of standard is ESOL level 3? Would you say that it is equivalent to, lower than or higher than GCSE English language?

I'd have thought it made more sense to compare it to GCSE French, not someones native language, I know standards have lowered since I was a lad, but not that much.

BigRed

Marcus
25th Sep 2007, 19:10
Originally posted by Noi & Nick:
Marcus, or anyone, maybe you can answer a question for me. What sort of standard is ESOL level 3? Would you say that it is equivalent to, lower than or higher than GCSE English language?
Lower. I'm not up on these ESoL categories (I'm a EFL teacher, not an ESL teacher) but for sure it'd be lower. When I took my English O level (over 25 years ago mind) we studied Shakespeare and Chaucer.

John
26th Sep 2007, 01:10
Bilbo, do bear in mind that this citizenship test applies to virtually everyone who applies for British citizenship and ILR - including EUROPEANS of the EU variety!!

True, but EU Citizens don't apply for ILR .... they get PR .... Permanent Residence ... after 5 years in the UK. But yes, they still need to pass the Test, or complete the course, in order to apply for Naturalisation as British.

Bilbo posted :-


I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court?

Why? Surely it is a very good idea to ensure that those living in the UK can actually understand the language spoken here? Here in Birmingham there are people who have lived in the UK for 20, 30, 40 or more years who have never bothered to learn English. OK the recent change will not assist such people, but this cycle surely needs to be broken, and introducing the test or course is surely a very good idea, to ensure that new arrivals do actually bother to learn the language.

Casey Jones
26th Sep 2007, 01:29
Here in Birmingham there are people who have lived in the UK for 20, 30, 40 or more years who have never bothered to learn English.


They have...it's just known as a 'Brummie' accent. Hard to understand but not impossible if you cock your head to one side & turn your back to the traffic whilst listening. Best learnt at a railway station because the lessons are free & over a loud speaker but the down side is you might learn it with an Asian accent.

Not to be confused with Geordie which is a foreign language.

Glaswegian, another foreign language similar to Geordie, has recently been deciphered with some previously unknown etchings found on the underside of the 'Stone of Scone'. Roughly translated they read "I Edward 1st, King of England, Wales & now Scotland, sat here". Obviously the king understood how important it was to learn the language of the newly conquered.

It just goes to show how advantages learning the local language can turn out to be because Edward went a long long way in life!

rolyshark
26th Sep 2007, 05:33
I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court?
Send me £25000,as the initial retainer and I'll instruct Tobias to do the application for you. :)

bilbo
29th Sep 2007, 10:50
quote:
I wonder if the life in the UK law could be challenged in court?

Thats what happens when brain gets disconnected one tends to make silly posts Sorry folks :wai: Bilbo