Learning English - Words in the News
21 May, 2007 - Published 13:18 GMT
Controversy over citizenship tests in Australia
Sport and the history of aboriginals are likely to be part of controversial citizenship tests in Australia. The government in Canberra believes they will enhance social integration. Critics fear they will discriminate against non-English speaking migrants. This report from Phil Mercer:
Migrants applying for Australian citizenship will have to know about the traditions of indigenous people and the colours of the nation's flag to pass these new tests. Sport is also likely to feature prominently, along with geography and politics.
Prospective citizens won't have to absorb long lists of facts and figures. The government does, however, want them to have a decent grasp of what customs and values make this country tick. The Prime Minister, John Howard, has said the tests will promote social harmony and integration. Those who fail will be able to re-sit the quiz. The pass mark will probably be around sixty percent.
Critics believe the measures will discriminate against migrants with low levels of literacy and for whom English is not their first language. A senior opposition politician said the tests were ideologically driven nonsense. They are due to be introduced later this year.
Phil Mercer, BBC News, Sydney
to feature prominently
to have a decent grasp
make this country tick
ideologically driven nonsense