Could your ESL neighbour read, comprehend and answer this question;
What is the name given to the party or coalition of parties with the second highest number of members in the House of Representatives?
By law people should not be discriminated against in their quest to become Australian citizens because they do not have high English literacy skills. According to Linguist Tim McNamara those with basic English skills would not pass the test because it requires high English proficiency. Numbers of applicants have more than halved in the last quarter out of fear of failure and deportation. Moreover, the test examines computer skills, high literacy levels and the inner workings of all levels of government rather than values and desires to contribute to Australian life.
The above question is at year 9 literacy standard - not basic level. We call for a change in tactic. One that stops disadvantaging certain ethnic groups. Replace the written test with a face-to-face test to ascertain true English communication skills through questions regarding value systems and life in Australia. As Australians we should demand all people are given a fair go - something applicants are made to study but not experience until they become citizens.
A written, multiple-choice, high-level literacy test does not inform immigration of intent or motives in becoming an Australian citizen. Each applicant should be afforded the opportunity to verbalise their ideas and plans for their future in this country and each Australian should be provided the peace of mind that each new Australian citizen has been assessed fairly and thoroughly.
It has always been in Australia’s best interests to invite migrants to become citizens. With figures dropping from 30,000 to just 9,000 in 3 months it shows a threat of serious disengagement - pushing ethnic communities deeper into enclaves. Separation is not in the country’s best interests. Australia has been held as a model for multiculturalism to the rest of the world because of its success in social and economic inclusion of everyone. These new numbers threaten separation, higher unemployment and frustration as seen in some European countries recently.
Politicians have lobbied in the past to scrap the test because they know how disadvantageous it is to applicants and the economy of Australia. Scrap what is a loop-hole akin to the White Australia policy. Replace the Australian Citizenship test with a face-to-face interview now!
See if you can answer the following question:
Which arm of the government has the power to interpret and apply laws?
Is it Judicial, Executive or Parliamentary?
Now answer it in ‘basic’ Spanish.
¿La parte del Gobierno tiene el poder de interpretar y aplicar las leyes?