Language, Migration, and Citizenship in France

Durkis, Andrea

As countries are confronted with the complexities of integrating new immigrants within their national borders, the ability of new arrivals to use the language or languages of their adopted country has increasingly become viewed as essential to the process of their integration and assimilation. The use of language assessments as a requirement for citizenship has become commonplace, and the importance of these tools as devices for gate keeping or door opening (Bachman & Purpura, 2008) is substantial. The assessments fulfilling the language proficiency requirement for naturalization in France have changed and evolved substantially over the past two decades. They have progressed from unstructured and unsystematic interviews with no construct and no scoring criteria to pedagogical assessments and standardized tests with defined constructs and alignment to specific levels of proficiency on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This paper will explore the language assessments used as part of the citizenship process over the past twenty years in France through the validity framework proposed by Kane (1992, 2006, 2013). Special attention will be given to issues of fairness, values, and social consequences.

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Working Papers in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
January 26, 2018