Wednesday 21 November 2018

Immigrants urged to learn language by the Taoiseach

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila during a press conference at the Prime Minister's official residence Kesaranta in Helsinki, Finland. AP photo
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila during a press conference at the Prime Minister's official residence Kesaranta in Helsinki, Finland. AP photo
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Immigrants will not be able to "integrate fully" unless they learn English, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

While stopping short of saying lessons should be compulsory, the Taoiseach raised the idea of the State providing classes in order to "nudge" immigrants to do so.

Mr Varadkar was giving a talk entitled 'United in Diversity' to around 50 people on the fringes of the European People's Party conference in Helsinki.

Responding to a question on whether forcing immigrants to learn the main language in their new country was a good idea, Mr Varadkar said the man made "a very valid point".

"If people don't speak the native language of a country, if they don't learn that language, it's really impossible for them to integrate fully," he said.

Mr Varadkar said that without the language it was "very hard to get jobs in the labour market, very hard to access education fully".

Irish Independent

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