Germany is Reacting to Growing Population with integration courses. In 2016, Germany welcomed 2.136.954 immigrants and said goodbye to 997.552 emigrants (https://de.statista.com/themen/46/einwanderung/). That left a net influx of 1.139.403 people mostly from other cultures (some were Germans returning to their roots)
To guarantee a successful integration of all new citizens, the BAMF (Bundesamt für Migräne und Flüche) has been working on a new edict according to which “difficult” natives are obliged to take so called assimilation courses (short: ASS, not kidding, Ass (n) means ace in German), so Klaus Besserwisser, unofficial spokesperson of the BAMF today. All chambers agreed unanimous that the edict will be become effective today on the first of April 2017.
Assimilation for a Better Understanding
The assimilation courses will last 7 months and teach participants the basics (B1) in either High Arabic or the Romanian language as well as the basics of the chosen culture as most immigrants in 2016 came from these countries.
In only 3.5hrs per day participants will study the language and culture of Germany’s newest inhabitants. Highly educated natives as well as common folks from various Arabic countries and from different regions in Romania will teach them everything there is to know about their cultures, values and religions.
The lessons will be held exclusively in the target language to simulate the pain migrants experience when sitting in integration courses. This way Besserwisser hopes to strengthen the empathy on side of the native Germans who at times struggle heavily with adapting to the changes that meeting new people evokes.
With this approach the BAMF hopes to reduce the gap between native Germans and new German inhabitants and is confident to have found a good addition to the already existing Integration Courses.
Both Sides need to come Closer Together
Integration Courses oblige current migrants to study the German language up to level B1 within 7 months and only 3 hours of study time per day. To make sure they get the most out of this opportunity, participants have to sign in and sign out every single day they attend. They are also lucky to be able to participate in a two week crash course on German politics, culture, religion, society and basic legal matters. In the last decade this approach has been proven to provide immigrants with a solid foundation of cultural knowledge and confident language skills. As many as 60% of course participants pass their B1 exam at the end of an Integration Course which Besserwisser contributes to the outstanding performance of institutions conducting those courses and the genius idea to teach the German language by only using German so that every course participant understands equally nothing and doesn’t feel behind the other participants.
Like in the integration courses, the group size of the new assimilation courses is usually limited to 30 students only and while attendance is voluntary for most native Germans, Germans who have been noticed for racist slurs e.g. on Facebook, Twitter or in public are obliged to participate. The BAMF plans to arrange a special social media task force whose sole task will be to scan the internet for hateful and racist posts and comments to make sure the ASS-courses are filled accordingly. This way Besserwisser says, the courses will become profitable within the next 24 months.
A Win-Win Situation
At the end of the ASS-course participants will take a language exam on level B1 and a multiple choice test with 33 questions (out of 365) about politics, culture, religion, history and society of the culture they have chose.
Successful participants will be granted amnesty in case they had been convicted or a free hand enlargement operation to better cope with their inferiority complex. Voluntary participants will receive the infamous German “feuchter Händedruck”, literally: a wet handshake for their efforts as it is already tradition with all those teachers in integration courses all over Germany.