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Old 19.12.2010, 04:16
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Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Yet another interesting proposal about furriners forthcoming in the New Year ..

According to 20min,

Quote:
... immigrants must prove in the future with an exam at a Swiss embassy before entering that they have mastered one of the four national languages.

In order to remain in CH, a more difficult test will be proposed...
Source in DE ( crude translation into EN here )
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Old 19.12.2010, 05:05
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

What a xmas present..
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Old 19.12.2010, 05:23
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Clearly, this will help to keep illegal immigrants out and solve the problem with poorly integrated refugees.
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Old 19.12.2010, 05:32
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Clearly, this will help to keep illegal immigrants out and solve the problem with poorly integrated refugees.
Uhm, how will it help with keeping illegal immigrants out? Besides, poorly integrated refugees are usually poorly integrated for other than linguistic reasons (ours quite often actually grew up speaking French), one of them might be the discriminatory attitude towards them in general..
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Old 19.12.2010, 05:34
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Maybe I was being ironic.
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Old 19.12.2010, 05:37
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Maybe I was being ironic.
Right. One never knows with natives...
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Old 19.12.2010, 06:41
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

I think that foreigners should be required to learn the language. It is not a bad idea.
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Old 19.12.2010, 07:54
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I think that foreigners should be required to learn the language. It is not a bad idea.
100% agreed.

That said, however, requiring them to have mastery of the language before coming here is going to seriously deplete the available labor pool for Switzerland, and I don't think that will have a positive impact on the local economy.

I'd rather support a proposal along the lines of hardening the rules for long-term immigrants. If you're here for two years, you should have developed basic skills, within 5 years you should be able to converse easily, etc - not something unobtainable or even hard, but just to force integration.

Yes, you can get by with just English - but I think it's fair to expect long-term resident foreigners to learn the local languages.
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Old 19.12.2010, 08:00
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

As always, SVP, talks about a certain group of foreigners who can't speak the language, who don't want to integrate or are on the way to make a mess of lovely Switzerland.

But how about the highly educated English speaking scientist who comes to Basel to provide his intellectual capital to Novartis? Because N. can't find them within the Swiss Market? In addition some come with their kids. Are they to be discriminated as well at school ("you can't speak the language, you surely must be less smart than the German kids around you!")

If this group is affected with high or unrealistic barriers, than those will most likely not chose to come here for work.

To be honest who learns German for a stay of say 1-3 years? Ok yes, some will, but I doubt the majority will show this kind of ambition.

I also doubt that the "problem" can be solved by a language barrier.
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Old 19.12.2010, 08:11
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I think that foreigners should be required to learn the language. It is not a bad idea.
I agree too. But I think one should learn German, French or Italian within the first couple of years after arriving in the country. I drives me mad when I have to deal with people that have managed to live here for twenty years without knowing a word of the language.
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Old 19.12.2010, 08:22
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Refugees who enter CH and ask for protection, and when successful are granted either an F or B permit ( the latter, a fully recognised Refugee, the former as a temporary entrant ), are provided language lessons and other means for integration. Those who get to stay eventually become migrants but are not migrants at first instance.

Those who get rejected lose their temporary papers, called the N permit, and eventually become sans-papier ie without a legal right to stay.

Learning the language is an excellent idea, even for short term residents when they can - it can be easy to get an A1 or even A2 certificate within a year.

I do not think mastery of the language is required prior to coming here, perhaps at A1 / A2 would be my guess. Mastery would likely come in after arriving here and when the time comes for an upgrade from say L to B or to C or even naturalisation. Fair enough I'd say.

Some of the "reasons" provided may be acceptable by some stretch of the imagination, others probably not eg mastering the language lowers the crime rate.

Australia, if used as an example, provides AMEP ( Adult Migrants English Program ) to those who qualify to migrate first but do not meet the threshold for English. The human capital, skills, wealth and other potential contributions are much sought after by Australia and New Zealand.
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Old 19.12.2010, 08:33
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

I wonder if this is going to work, integration as MusicChick points out is not only about language...what if someone just comes for studying at an English program? The idea might sound good in principle but I believe it is unattainable...
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Old 19.12.2010, 08:38
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I do not think mastery of the language is required prior to coming here, perhaps at A1 / A2 would be my guess. Mastery would likely come in after arriving here and when the time comes for an upgrade from say L to B or to C or even naturalisation. Fair enough I'd say.
Admittedly, I made my comment based on your translation above, but if I look at the source article, I see:

Quote:
Wenn es nach Blocher geht, müssen Zuwanderer künftig mit einem Sprachtest auf einer Schweizer Botschaft schon vor der Einreise nachweisen, dass sie eine der vier Landessprachen beherrschen.
My German's good but not perfect, so step in if I'm wrong - but beherrschen has got a pretty strong feel to it, no? In this context, I'd translate it to being proficient in one of the languages, which I would say is at least B1...

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I wonder if this is going to work, integration as MusicChick points out is not only about language...what if someone just comes for studying at an English program? The idea might sound good in principle but I believe it is unattainable...
True, integration is about more than that; but languages skills help. Every time I chitchat with a local in German (with an admittedly American accent) I score a lot of points. They don't care how good I am, they just love that I try.

Oh, and for the record, I came here just to study in an all-English program, with no intent to stay (I even went back to the States afterwards with the intention of staying there, though things worked out differently). I started learning German regardless that year. If anything, students have it easier; it's just one more topic to add to the list of homework.
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Old 19.12.2010, 09:53
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

I think it is great that a country has four official languages, recognising that people have different languages and cultures....sort of. Or is it that Switzerland can't actually get its' act together enough to be totally united in this, and other things ( eg: no National education curriculum.)

But, if I was to become fluent in German ( dream on) get the stamp of permanency, then go and live in a French speaking part of the country, how integrated am I really? Would the next step be to say that one cannot move into a canton where one does not speak the local language?

Personally, back in NZ, I have always had the greatest of respect for the eldery Chinese women I have come across - decades in the country, children ( and grandchildren) with tertiary education, but these wise looking elders have held on to their own language and not learnt English at all. I like the differentnesses of people and love to hear a multitude of languages around me.
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Old 19.12.2010, 10:27
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Maybe I was being ironic.
No, you were being sarcastic. Please learn the language properly before visiting the uK. Thanks .
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Old 19.12.2010, 10:32
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Yet again we have to realise that this is an initiative aimed at 3rd country nationals - it would not be possible to introduce this into the bilateral agreements with the EU. And, of course, it would probably be applied selectively to 3rd country nationals with the usual states being excluded or having exceptions provided.

I see more chance of English being adopted as an official language before this nonsense becomes law.
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:03
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

This one could solve a number of problems, according to Blocher: 'We would have fewer school problems, fewer criminals, fewer sans-paiers, less integration problems and the social system would be under less stress. "

And fewer highly skilled immigrants keeping the economy running.
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:35
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

I also think that foreigners should learn the language here, but demand it before they enter it's total idiocy (ofc expected by SVP)...good luck of getting qualified people and good luck of getting people for the jobs that swiss does not want...

...and it would also help if swiss would actually speak in german...the dialect is totally confusing for people coming here...

you come to switzerland, you attend GERMAN classes, you go to work and still do not understand a thing, what a scam!!!

Last edited by vwild1; 19.12.2010 at 11:42. Reason: merged 2 successive posts into 1
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:45
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

There are many highly skilled scientists who go to the UK and the US to share their very specialised skills- and guess what?

For ONCE, and I never thought I'd ever say that, I agree with Blocher. We are not talking here about being fluent, but about being able to communicate on a basic level. What is wrong with that - even if it is for 1 or 2 years - or for life.
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:50
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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And fewer highly skilled immigrants keeping the economy running.
There would ust be fewer high skilled mother tongue English speakers, but more German, French and Italian speaking skilled immigrants.
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