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Linguistic integration abroad: a contradictio in terminis?. Suzanne Hafidi-Gevers Ministry of Housing, Communities and Integration Netherlands. Outline. A preview on the Civic Integration in the Netherlands 2. The Civic Integration Abroad Act: goals, target groups and content

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linguistic integration abroad a contradictio in terminis
Linguistic integration abroad: a contradictio in terminis?

Suzanne Hafidi-Gevers

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Integration

Netherlands

outline
Outline
  • A preview on the Civic Integration in the Netherlands
  • 2. The Civic Integration Abroad Act: goals, target groups and content
  • 3. Evaluation: first results and effects
a preview on civic integration in the netherlands
A preview on Civic Integration in the Netherlands

15 years of Civic Integration Policy

Civic Integration Projects 1993 – 1998

Civic Integration Newcomers Act 1998 –2007

Civic Integration Regulations for Oldcomers 2001 – 2006

Civic Integration Abroad Act (2006 – present)

Civic Integration Act (2007 – present)

Delta plan Civic Integration (2007 – present)

revision of the civic integration regulations
Revision of the Civic Integration regulations

Large scale revision of the Civic Integration regulations

2003-2007

Incentives

Limited output of integration programs

Participation of limited number of migrants

Limited language progress

Dropouts before end of program

Integration issues

Publication report Committee Blok

Migration patterns (family migration) and integration

revision of the civic integration regulations1
Revision of the Civic Integration regulations

Two Acts

Civic Integration Abroad Act (2006)

Civic Integration Act (2007)

Policy scheme

3. Since 2007: The Delta plan Civic integration

revision of the civic integration regulations2
Revision of the Civic Integration regulations

Goals:

Quicker and better integration of migrants in the Netherlands

by developing an effective and coherent approach on

integration

Improvement of the quality of civic integration in order to have more migrants who finish their program with a higher level of language and who are participating economically, socially and culturally in Dutch society.

A common interest and responsibility of the national and local governments, social institutions, private market, migrants and all other citizens (to unite and to connect)

Integration through participation

the civic integration abroad act 15 march 2006
The Civic Integration Abroad Act (15 March 2006)

Goals:

Quicker and better integration in the Netherlands by

Starting the integration progress abroad

Enhancing individual awareness of ‘what it takes to migrate’

Demanding a basic knowledge on Dutch language, society and values

Selecting immigrants that are motivated to succeed for the exam abroad

Non-goal:

Restriction of immigration

Expected as side-effect

the civic integration abroad act 15 march 20061
The Civic Integration Abroad Act (15 March 2006)

Main features

Preparation in the country of origin

Examination at the Dutch embassy

Basic exam as an additional condition for obtaining a visa for regular temporary residence permit (MVV)

Content of the exam: Knowledge of Dutch Society and Knowledge of Dutch Language at level A1 – minus of CEF

Target group: people in the age of 18-65 years who are obliged to pass the civic integration exam in The Netherlands

Exempted amongst others: (family) of refugees, temporary migrants, migrants with non-temporary medical constraints

the civic integration abroad exam
The Civic Integration Abroad Exam

Test Knowledge of Dutch Society

Geography and housing

History

Politics and Constitution

Dutch language

Parental and Professional Education

Health care

Work and income

Examined by photos / passed with 70% (21/30)

Correct answers

the civic integration abroad exam1
The Civic Integration Abroad Exam

Test Dutch Language

Level: A1-min CEF:

The candidate is able to communicate matters of

direct personal interest in single words (no conversation)

Only oral communication:

Repetition of sentences (2x)

Answering questions

Naming opposites

Repeating two stories

Examanition by innovative speechtechnology computer

preparation for the exam
Preparation for the exam
  • Preparationpackagewith
  • DVD ‘Coming to the Netherlands’,
  • Book of pictures and examinationquestions
  • 3 trial exams
  • Studymaterialsdevelopedby the free market
  • Courses (free market) in country of origin
the evaluation of the civic integration abroad act
The Evaluation of the Civic Integration Abroad Act

Before and after introduction the Act raised a lot of discussion on the political, scientifical and social level in relation to:

in relation to the international legal order (ECHR art.8, directive 2003/86/EG on family reunification)

the used technology (speechtechnology)

the film ‘Coming to the Netherlands’

etc.

the evaluation of the civic integration abroad act1
The Evaluation of the Civic Integration Abroad Act

The results and effects of the Act are monitored and evaluated by:

Research on the quality of the examination computer

Half-yearly monitors on implementation and results

Evaluation in 2008-2009 on the following aspects:

Effects on linguistic integration in the Netherlands (Regioplan)

Judicial aspects of the act (University of Leiden)

Costs and individual expenses (Ernst & Young)

the evaluation of the act
The evaluation of the Act

Research 1 Effects and implementation (Regioplan)

Subjects

results WIB (pass rates and profiles)

effect on the linguistic performance after coming to the Netherlands

implementation at the Dutch embassies

preparation by and experiences of candidates of the exam

Research methods

quantative comparison of language levels before and after the Act

survey with employees at the Dutch embassies abroad

survey candidates

expertmeetings

evaluation of the act
Evaluation of the Act

Research 2 Judicial aspects (University of Leiden)

Subjects

effect on the influx of family migrants

how does the praxis of the Act relate to

EU directive 2003/86/EG the right on family reunification

The European Convention on Human Rights, art. 8 / 14

The UN Convenant on civil and political rights

Research methods

Evaluation of influx figures and pass rates for varying profiles

Desk study of existing judicial literature

Comparison with Germany, France and England

Study of relevant legal cases

facts figures
Facts & Figures

Number of exams

2006: 3.163 exams (3.007 candidates)

2007: 8.297 exams (7.708 candidates)

2008: 7.658 exams (7.277 candidates)

2009: 9.341 exams (8.641 candidates)

Percentages passed and failed (first exam)

Passed: 89% (constant over the years)

Failed: 9%

Under correction: 2%

Nationalities:

Turkish 21%

Moroccan 14%

Thai 7 %

Chinese 6%

Brasilian 4 %

Others 56%

facts figures profile candidates
Facts & Figures: profile candidates

Nationalities:

Turkish 21%

Moroccan 14%

Thai 7 %

Chinese 6%

Brasilian 4 %

Others 56%

Gender:

Female: 70%

Male: 30%

Educational background:

Low (incl. illiterate) 24%

Middle 43%

High 28%

Age

18-25 31%

26-35 48%

36-45 17%

46-65 5%

the evaluation main outcomes and effects
The Evaluation: main outcomes and effects

The Civic Integration (Preparation Abroad) Act was implemented without major problems. Candidates

- were satisfied with process on the embassy

- had little complaints about the examination by computer

- used different ways to prepare for the exam (package, other books, courses, MSN with partner)

- but lacked specific preparation materials for the language test

-found the Spoken Dutch test more difficult than the KDS

- the information provision for migrants abroad can be improved

Candidates were generally well motivated and prepared. Candidates

- prepared well

- found the exam useful for their integration perspectives in Nl

- were dissatisfied with their level of Dutch proficiency

the evaluation main outcomes and effects1
The Evaluation: main outcomes and effects

Mission staff assessed

- the level of Dutch proficiency as very minimal

- the examination’s main benefit was that it improved awareness of Dutch society

Experts working with newcomers found that

- newcomers are more conscious about integration needs

- newcomers had become more assertive

- partner were more involved in the integration process

- the gap between examination abroad and start of integration program in the Nl is too big

the evaluation main outcomes and effects2
The Evaluation: main outcomes and effects

A modest improvement in proficiency in Dutch among new immigrants

- positive correlation between the score attained in the Spoken Dutch test and the score noted at the intake interview in Nl

- slightly better results with ‘Wibbers’ compared to ‘pre-Wibbers’ in level of comprehension, writing and reading

- almost 80% had a score of A1 or higher on the test

Impact on integration not yet discernible

In relation to the international legal order

- no strong or unacceptable selective impact of the Act

- number of MVV applicants dropped immediately after implementation, but rised again after two months

- As yet, no discernible conflict with the international legal order

- Advice to expand the exemption for unforeseen individual circumstances.

the evaluation policy changes
The Evaluation: policy changes

The level of proficiency will be raised to the level of A1

A literacy test will be added

The possibilities for individual exemption will be better arranged in the Act

The preparation package will be expanded, as well as the infrastructure of Dutch classes abroad

The information structure will be improved for migrants abroad

The gap between integration abroad and in the Nl will be lessened