Current Event 6/16/12

Five years ago, German legislation was passed that required foreign spouses of Germans to take a language test before they could move with their family. Many people find this difficult, especially if they are older and the language is harder to learn. The A1 test, the most basic test level and the standard required for entrance into Germany, deals with numbers and forms, things essential to living in German society.
However, German lessons are in even higher demand because of the new standards of testing. About 40,000 people are enrolling annually, and because of their different backgrounds different kinds of testing have been arranged for those who are barely literate or simply are not interested in attending a German "class."
The controversy over the language testing is that it prevents families from being together and is "restrictive." However, others argue that since the EU Commission allows countries to make laws regarding language learning for immigrants, language testing is good. It is still a violation of human rights to refuse a visa to someone who cannot pass the language test.
The final answer of the German government is that language testing is still mandatory, but there are "exceptions," such as the case of a woman with cancer who needed to be in Germany with her husband. Immigrants are advised, though, to learn the language as quickly as possible.
Germany's emphasis on language learning is a good thing because it encourages Germany to be a German-speaking country, but can have some complications because it discourages immigration.


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