English classes aren’t a cure-all for racial inequality and division in Britain

Everyone speak, read, write which English? Londoner, Cockney, Scotch, Midlander, Dockside? Wanger English? What a toady idea.

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Maya Goodfellow discusses the idea of teaching English to migrants for the purposes of ‘integration’

Some myths refuse to die: austerity is a public necessity or the British Empire did a lot this country can be proud of. Periodically these ideas float to the surface of public discourse and produce the same, predictable flurry of conversation. This week, dressed up in one of its many different forms, it’s that immigrants, people of colour and specifically Muslims undermine ‘community cohesion’.

Cue the government’s former integration tsar, Louise Casey. This week she’s demanded the government set a target date for “everybody in the country” to speak English for the purposes of integration. In an effort to respond, Sajid Javid pledged to expand the teaching of English for immigrants after claiming 770,000 people in England can’t speak English.  This is a tired old tune – in 2011 David Cameron said immigrants who couldn’t speak English…

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