What English for Visa Purposes.

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The UK Home Office recently brought forward, the date for the commencement of compulsory requirement for immigrants to pass some test in English, in order to qualify to enter UK. This is just one of the stringent measures being adopted to ward off most non EU citizens seeking to enter UK. It is not in doubt UK’s immigration vocabulary has completely changed. It has changed from humanism to robust, hospitality to deportation, legal to retrospective effect. The situation is very worrying.
The UK government is fast forgetting that the British colonized more than half of this planet. The so called non EU citizens are simply Commonwealth citizens, and most citizens of the commonwealth speak and write English. Most of them have English either as first or second language. But what English does the Home Office refer to as requirement for visa purposes?
The points are these: The essence of the Home Office actions is to ensure smooth communication between people resident in UK thereby facilitating social interaction and cohesion. The keyword is communication. If I am correct then there is a problem and hypocrisy here.
Most well educated people living outside UK and who have listened to the good English emanating from BBC world service do not and cannot understand a single sentence spoken by UK citizens when they arrive in UK. A good chunk of UK citizens mumble different accents and dialects very alien to even the most educated non- EU citizens. Moreover most UK citizens living inside UK would not pick a single word spoken by Glasgowians in Scotland. There have been cases of interpreters being employed to interpret some Scottish English to people supposedly knowledgeable in English.
British people are one if not the worst learners of a second language. One of the major disadvantages of being English is ability to speak only English Language. So if countries like Spain and Nigeria have to reciprocate the UK gesture- would British people be able to study and pass Spanish, Yoruba, and Ibo languages in order to secure Spanish and Nigerian visas respectively. How about German and Portuguese for German and Portuguese visas respectively? If I may add- are the people of Glasgow to be made to take accent exams in order to work in England? Moreover most British people born and bred in UK may be able to speak English, but cannot pass the most basic of written test. So if British born citizens cannot pass these tests, why are foreign visa applicants being asked to take the tests? If some section of British society cannot utter a single word that anyone would understand- why are foreign visa applicants being asked to take such (oral) tests? Is this not clear discrimination?
So exactly what English is UKBA talking about?
By
Austin Aneke

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