Friday, 01 March 2013

Speaking one language doesn’t make us one country

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When The Challenge Network talks about the need to built a united country where people from different backgrounds come together, some assume we’re just talking about ensuring immigrants speak English.

We’re not.

A narrow focus on non-english speaking immigrants would be to ignore the lack of connection across generations and income that weaken our country.  

You can see this lack of connection across the UK. In our school system where 50% of the poorest young people are in 20% of the schools. In our benefits and house building policy that encourages poor families to move out of central urban areas. In our social care system that corrals our eldest citizens in homes or isolates them at home.

It’s easy to pretend that building a united country is just about language learning for immigrants.  Easy, but wrong.

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