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We can do it - tips for migrants and locals

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Migration - The Great Debate

The Great Migration Debate: the role of language and culture

Before we look at the how, we need to look at the what. What is the attitude towards immigration, in particular immigration to the EU and to soon to be former EU members. Immigrants move in order to achieve better living conditions, safer environments and better jobs. Most people don’t necessarily want to move. They move from environments where their lives and livelihoods have become unsustainable due to economic and political conditions, environmental deterioration and persecution and war or they move in search of better economic opportunities and lifestyle.

The receiving countries also face problems, especially with the exponential increase in immigration in the last few years. Accustomed to managing a reasonable flow of immigration partly balanced by emigration, their social and civil services are ill-equipped both organisationally and financially to deal with the flood of immigration from South Eastern Europe and the Southern Mediterranean.

Although local receiving communities have often behaved heroically, national and international authorities have frequently failed to provide the accommodation and education facilities necessary to successfully absorb and integrate new citizens of different languages, cultures and religions.

As well as discussing how best to integrate new citizens through education and language and cultural training we need to ask the question are our immigrant policies, systems and facilities, including language and cultural training resources and methods, fit for purpose and if not how can they be improved? As part of that process, what should be the priority of education for new citizenship , how should it be funded and how should it be organised and assessed? Only in this framework can we really address the language and cultural strategies and education techniques to help migrants successfully integrate their new societies.


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