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Germany: more immigrants fail to pass language tests from integration courses

Among the migrants coming to Germany, some find it relatively easy to learn the language, but others can't even write or read.

In the German tests for immigrants, participants from Somalia and Eritrea are having a particularly hard time, reports Die Welt. Only about one in four participants from the two poor West African countries achieved the level B1 necessary for independent communication in everyday life. This is based on information from the Federal Ministry of the Interior requested by AfD member of parliament René Springer, which is available to the German Press Agency. According to the participants from Iraq almost 29% approve the B1 test; In the case of the Afghans it is every third person, with the Syrians just over one in three.

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), anyone who completes the "German test for immigrants" with B1 proves that they can maintain a conversation and express themselves in everyday situations.

In general, the proportion of participants who do not reach the B1 level has risen over the past few years. The main reason for this is that the proportion of people who have to learn to read or write has increased, said the ministry.

In these literacy courses, A2 is a "realistic linguistic goal," writes the ministry. According to Bamf, at this level in the upper level of the elementary vocabulary, for example, one can understand sentences and frequently used expressions that are related to one's own life situations, for example in connection with family or with shopping.

According to the ministry, the federal government has spent around 3.39 billion euros on integration courses since 2013. The majority of the regular course is based on the language course. In the orientation course the participants should learn something about Germany, its culture and rights and duties.

"In the context of the immense expenditure for integration courses I consider the continuously increasing loss rates for the German tests are extremely alarming", said the AfD politician Springer. "I see the Federal Government in the duty to clarify the causes as quickly as possible, before creating impression of unwillingness to integrate a large part of the students."

The ministry lists in its answer to the request by Springer the possible reasons. In 2014, just under half of the new participants in the courses came from EU countries, so most of them had been attending school for a long time, were able to read and write well and have experience in learning foreign languages. That changed when many refugees came to Germany in 2015. "In 2016, around two-thirds of the new participants came from the five countries of origin Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Eritrea," writes the ministry. "This share has recently fallen back below 30%, while the proportion of EU citizens, in 2016 dropped to about 18%, now (first quarter of 2019) back to 27%"

Incidentally, Ukrainians score particularly well in the language course (78.7% at level B1). At least 70% are people from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Indians, Romanians, Poles, North Macedonians and Brazilians.

Source: "Diesen Migranten fällt Deutsch lernen leicht – und diesen schwer" (Die Welt, 31-08-2019)
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