The Canadian government has announced changes regarding language assessment for new citizens.
Formerly, new citizens of Canada were able to prove their language skills through taking the Discover Canada citizenship knowledge test, which would also assess their understanding of Canadian culture and history.
The new rules will require that immigrants also provide evidence of their language skills in the form of a standardized test, a diploma from either an English or a French school, or successful completion of government language classes.
The government argues that the new rules will allow for a more standardized and objective assessment of immigrants’ language skills, whereas the prior tests only examined reading comprehension skills, and were very subjectively judged.
However, critics are expressing concern over the $110-million price tag, skeptical that the changes will be worth the cost in the end.
The changes will likely go into effect as of fall, 2012. Skilled workers will likely not be affected, as they have to prove their language skills as part of their application for permanent residency. Sponsored immigrants and refugees will be most affected.
Source: National Post