Language testing for citizenship

Language testing for citizenship

Australian flag flying on Sydney Harbour Bridge

Inside Story has a must-read article about language testing for citizenship in Australia today

Citizenship for beginners
The Howard government made it harder for some nationalities to become citizens, and Labor has made it worse, writes Kerry Ryan

16 April 2012

THE 27th of January each year is a no-brainer for a newspaper editor with a little space to fill. Much like the proud snap of a loving mother with her newborn baby, captured a tick or so into the New Year, the late-January photo of a flag-waving new citizen outside a town hall somewhere on Australia Day is part of every Australian summer.

This year, the Age went with a Sudanese family: Dad, Mum and four kids. The accompanying article told a story of more than two decades spent on the run from appalling violence, first in wars and then in refugee camps. Now, after Abraham Biar Koul Biar collected his Australian citizenship certificate with a bullet still in his arm, everyone in the family can proudly and happily call themselves Australian. All except his wife Achol, that is. She had failed the citizenship test. “I don’t know computers well,” she told the Age. Continue reading on Inside Story

Author Ingrid Piller

Dr Ingrid Piller is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Ingrid’s research expertise is in the fields of intercultural communication, bilingual education and the sociolinguistics of language learning and multilingualism in the contexts of migration and globalization.

More posts by Ingrid Piller