UK unveils 'migrant' language tests, misspells language

UK unveils 'migrant' language tests, misspells language
The British Home Office announces new English tests for 'migrants' – but spells the word 'language' incorrectly.
2 min read
22 Jan, 2016
Cameron came under criticism following his measures to help Muslim women 'integrate' into society [Getty]

Britain's Home Office was left red-faced on Friday after unveiling new English tests for 'migrants' - misspelling the word 'language' in its announcement.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday launched a £20 million ($28.5 million, 26 million euro) language fund to help women, particularly Muslims, who arrive in Britain after getting married but struggle to speak English.

A Home Office press release giving details of the move on Thursday spoke of a "new English langauge test" and had to be corrected.

Asked if Cameron was disappointed by the mistake, his official spokeswoman told reporters: "All of us are open to mistakes at times.

"The prime minister is pretty confident that his team speak English competently."

The error drew ridicule on Twitter - broadcaster Anita Anand wrote it was "beyond parody", while user @DaveGoddard1971 joked: "Makes you proud to be British".

Cameron argued that the lack of English language skills hindered integration, which could make extremist Islamist groups more alluring.

His new measures were aimed at overcoming "backward attitudes" with the hope that learning English could foster integration and stop Muslim women from being "seduced" by extremism.

"This is about building a more integrated, cohesive, one nation country where there is genuine opportunity for people," Cameron said.

He also said women from non-EU countries who fail to pass an English language test after two and a half years in the country could face deportation, drawing criticism.

Politicians, journalists and Muslim community activists lined up to pour scorn on the tone and subject of Cameron's announcements.

Ex-Conservative government minister and House of Lord Peer Baroness Warsi wasted little time to denounce parts of the speech, calling it "lazy and misguided."

Warsi, who famously resigned after describing the Cameron government's policy on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict as "morally indefensible," said while the announcement of language training funding was useful, the focus on Muslim women was unclear.