The language policies which member states put in place for adult migrants must first of all fit in with the aims of the reception arrangements they are subject to. These principles can only be interpreted here as the general principles of the Council of Europe: promotion of human rights, democratic pluralism, the rule of law and measures to support social cohesion measures.
These guiding principles need to be viewed in relation to the specific context of language training for adult migrants. However, first member states need to recognise their specific responsibilities in relation to the provision of language training for these individuals, bearing in mind that for a long time s migrants themselves were seen as solely responsible for learning the language of the host society. This language support must have objectives such as ensuring a level of competence in oral communication, a crucial element of social life, in particular in the workplace. However, it should also seek to generate a sense of belonging to the migrants’ new social environment, in addition to their existing loyalties, while bearing in mind that this sense of belonging depends on the migrants’own plans (for instance, permanent or temporary settlement). Lastly, a successful integration policy also involves states equipping themselves properly to contain the fears and remove the ambiguities which the visible presence of newcomers can trigger in the host societies. Intercultural education initiatives for all (for instance, as part of compulsory education) to raise awareness about these issues. In this sense integration is clearly a two-way process.
The practical implementation of these principles depends on the design of language training, ie the general approach to developing language courses for migrants. It involves:
Apart from the technical characteristics designed to ensure that the training on offer meets the adult migrants’ training needs, it is essential regularly to assess the overall quality of the training in terms, for instance, of the qualifications required of trainers or the relevance of training resources, external auditing of the training programmes, seeking the opinions of students and other stakeholders (employers, for instance) and overall assessment of the outcomes of training. These monitoring and quality assurance mechanisms are an essential part of managing training of this kind and assessing its impact.
The training provision should also include, as vital, cross-cutting elements:
In this sense language policies for integration can be a worthwhile collective “investment”, as they contribute to social cohesion. However,explicit principles like those mentioned above may be undermined either because of technical shortcomings (which the resources on this website seek to remedy) or because they mask a policy of exclusuon in which knowledge of the language(s) of the host society is used to restrict access to it. In cases,where the design of language training is applied without social principles,it is insufficient to stem the long term.adverse effects.