The learning of a language when an individual migrates to a new nation is critically important in initiating the process of integration. I was raised in an immigrant family in which neither of my parents could speak English on arrival, but they took night classes and learned English in the course of daily life. Canada’s citizenship minister is concerned because “only a quarter of newcomers are enrolling in the programs that are offered by organizations…Common sense just tells me that 25 percent is too low and we’d like to see more people enrolling.” He fears children will grow up in neighborhoods in which old ways dominate over Canadian ones. jason Kenney wants to ensure immigrants understand Canadian history and values.
The good news is that most immigrant children absorb their new country’s past as well as its language. The bad news is that parents will always lag behind children in becoming emotionally and intellectually part of their new society. Perhaps, it is time for Canada to explore alternative strategies that lead to learning language as well as to becoming part of the Canadian experience. But, history suggests in most societies the process is never 100% successful.