Australia’s Minister for Citizenship Alan Tudge has been slammed over recent comments, in which he voiced concerns over ethnic clustering occurring in Australian communities as a result of poor English language proficiency within many migrant communities. Tudge’s comments were made in response to the recent release of concerning figures, which reveal how of the 28 percent of Australians that were born overseas, more than a quarter of these immigrants “cannot speak English well or at all.”
Tudge, who is reportedly planning on introducing compulsory English language and Australian values tests for new immigrants, told the Weekend TODAY program that these low rates of English language proficiency from recent arrivals seeking citizenship are “a concern”. “They (migrants) need to integrate into the community and adopt Australian values”, Tudge explained.
With mass migration to Australia increasingly transforming the nation’s existing social demographics, particularly in major cities, the question of cultural homogeneity and societal norms must be highlighted. An inability to communicate in the national language not only makes it difficult for immigrants to acquire gainful employment, but also prevents the establishment of a meaningful sense of community. In order for Australia to remain the successful society that it is, English language proficiency must be prioritised as a skillset which is possessed by all those who wish to call this country home. The English language is, after all, at the forefront of the Australian national identity.