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Thursday, January 26, 2006

"German school bans foreign languages"

United Press International is reporting that the The Herbert Hoover School in Berlin, Germany "has decided to ban foreign language classes in order to improve pupils German language skills." The article continues:
Ninety percent of the school's students have foreign-born parents... and each class features between eight and ten different languages.

Since last September, however, 370 pupils have not been allowed to speak in their native tongue at school. The rule has entered the school's code of conduct, agreed to by parents' representatives and school authorities.

School headmaster Jutta Steinkamp told Deutsche Welle her pupils' command of German has improved substantially over the past few months.

"We have introduced this ban to enable our students to take part in German society through speaking and understanding the language properly," Steinkamp said, adding it was necessary to speak German well in order to get a job later in life.
Relatedly, Syed Atiq ul Hassan offers this interesting essay regarding the assimiation of minority communities, with particular emphasis on Muslims in Australia. He argues:
the minority cannot be assimilated according to the wishes of the majority. It is a natural and long-term process where minority people gradually adopt the habits, traditions and other social elements of majority on the basis of societal and communal needs and where the minority people find no harm their heritage, culture and faith. However, in this process of integration and assimilation, the minority always and systematically loose the derivations of culture and in some cases the faith.

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