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English test for immigrants

London, Sept. 16 (PTI): His suggestion to immigrants to abandon their mother tongue at home and speak English with children has put the Britishhome secretary David Blunkett in a tight spot with several groups taking strong exception to his views.

“The parents should speak in English with their children to prevent schizophrenic rifts between generations,” the home secretary said.

Blunkett said children should be encouraged to talk with their mothers “in English as well as in their historic mother tongue.”

A home office spokeswoman, however, tried to lessen the force of the comments by saying that Blunkett would “never tell people what to do in their own homes” but community groups were furious and said that the home secretary should stay out of private lives.

Beverley Bernard, the acting chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality, said: “The commission has always supported the view that proficiency in English is a springboard for future independence.”

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