Integration or else/Integrationskurse für Ausländer

Promoting Germany’s Language Melting Pot – Deutsche Welle article

The courses on German language and life don’t sound bad, of course. But what if you don’t play along?

bq. It’s up to the state immigration authorities to decide whether a person’s German isn’t up to scratch. If officials notice that applicants for residence permits or renewals cannot communicate in simple German, they send them to language classes. Officials at unemployment offices can also recommend foreign jobseekers and social welfare recipients for the courses, and if they refuse to take the classes their benefits will be cut.

I think SPD, CDU/CSU and FDP all believe foreigners should be integrated by hook or by crook.

An American translator visiting was expressing surprise a few weeks ago: in the USA, she said, people gradually integrate over a couple of generations, but not by force.

The local paper reports today that two-language classes for Greek children are about to stop. They survived longer than others, which ended in the early 1990s.

Thanks to Trevor, the creator of langwich sandwich.

4 thoughts on “Integration or else/Integrationskurse für Ausländer

  1. “An American translator visiting was expressing surprise a few weeks ago: in the USA, she said, people gradually integrate over a couple of generations, but not by force.”

    Or they don’t. When in Southern California for the first time, I was surprised by the ubiquitous use of Spanish, signs, informational leaflets, TV commercials, everything seemed to be available in Spanish also.

    I don’t think forcing immigrants to adapt to European Leitkultur is the right way. I do believe, however, that speaking the language of one’s chosen country of residence is a necessity, and an incentive (rather than obligation) to do so is not necessarily a bad thing.

  2. Yes, I realized I was leaving myself wide open on that one. But I don’t like what I have been hearing here in Germany in the last couple of years and wonder what is coming in the election campaign. Leitkultur for one, and in this case cutting benefits of those who don’t learn. The article makes it sound like incentives, but I think it’s the carrot *and* the stick.

    Thanks for the correction. I must have been thinking too much of not giving three full stops to the FDP.

  3. The Spanishophones are integrating according to precedent, but new generations are arriving.

    There used to be Polish schools in Chicago, after all, and there have been as many waves of moral panic about immigrants to the FDRUSA as there have been waves of mass immigration.

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