Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Language proficiency required to immigrate to #Canada

There are some things many of us take for granted

For example I did not know that a language proficiency is now mandatory to immigrate to Canada or to get an international student visa.

It also came as a shock to me.  It used to be that if you did all your school in English or French, you knew that language.  Canada has 2 official languages (English and French).

Now apparently even if you spent 20yrs in an English or French speaking country you must prove that you know one or the other or both.

I had never thought about Canada taking advantage of immigrants but it is happening now.

And those tests are grade 3 (P3) level proficiency.  So we are reducing university applicants, graduates, PhD candidates to prove Grade 3 language skills.

These tests determine your immigration acceptance. I found out that the tests are expensive to the tune of $250 in some places.  But the tests kill off you for timing.  So if you take time to read and understand the question, you might end up answering only half the questions.

I helped a friend in Toronto to prepare for such a test. I knew this guy very well but he was taking so much time ticking off answers I had to take time out and ask him why he was taking so long to answer the bloody questions.

Imagine my shock when he told me they were trick questions.  So out of 40 questions, I asked him to tell me which ones he found tricky.

The first 5 were tricky. I had told him to give the nswer that comes to mind. After the first 5 questions, "Martha, I cannot answer them as you told me with the first answer in my head. There must be a trick. So I was thinking of which answer they are looking for".

Problem is the questions were not tricky but the questions assumed near zero comprehension of English and this buddy was from a previous British colony.

Why is Canada testing for English and French from people who grew up in these languages?  If you are gonna test them, then make it individual because their application usually says plenty. Then pick out the ones you are not sure of and interview them or request a test from them.

How can an international student get accepted for an Executive MBA by a university and then you demand that they prove proficiency in English? Have you even seen the paperwork these kids go through to get accepted into a University in Canada?

Martha Leah Nangalama

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