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How Much Language is Enough? Some Immigrant Language Lessons from Canada and Germany

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Author Info

  • DeVoretz, Don J.

    ()
    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Hinte, Holger

    ()
    (IZA)

  • Werner, Christiane

    (Simon Fraser University)

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    Abstract

    Germany and Canada stand at polar ends of the scientific debate over language integration and ascension to citizenship. German naturalization, as of January 2000, contains an explicit language criterion for naturalization. The first German immigration act that will presumably come into effect on January 1, 2003, does not only concentrate on control aspects but also aims at language as a criterion for legal immigration. Canada, in effect, does not base entry or citizenship on knowledge of either of its official languages. Acquisition of a second language in Canada is voluntary and largely dependent on labour market incentives. Which system of second language acquisition – the statist German system or the laissez faire Canadian model – provides the best milieu for immigrant second language acquisition? This paper undertakes a comparative review of Canadian and German legal and educational programs in order to answer this question.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 555.

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    Length: 90 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp555

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    Keywords: immigration; integration; language skills; migration politics; citizenship;

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    References

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    1. Bauer, Thomas K., 2002. "Migration, Sozialstaat und Zuwanderungspolitik," IZA Discussion Papers 505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
    3. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Immigrants' Language Skills: The Australian Experience in a Longitudinal Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 502, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2002. "Immigrants' Language Skills and Visa Category," Economics Discussion / Working Papers, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics 02-05, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    5. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Eckstein, Zvi, 2002. "Labour Mobility of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language and Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3412, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Joachim R. Frick & Gert G. Wagner, 2001. "Deutsche Sprachfähigkeit und Umgangssprache von Zuwanderern," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 68(24), pages 365-367.
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    Cited by:
    1. Euwals, Rob & Dagevos, Jaco & Gijsberts, Mérove & Roodenburg, Hans, 2007. "The Labour Market Position of Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands: Reason for Migration, Naturalisation and Language Proficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 2683, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Rob Euwals & Hans Roodenburg & J. Dagevos & M. Gijsberts, 2007. "The labour market position of Turkish immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands; reason for migration, naturalisation and language proficiency," CPB Discussion Paper 79, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Wolter, Stefan C., 2003. "Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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