The Project: Integration or assimilation?

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Integration and education for adult immigrants in Iceland

by Helga Ólafsdóttir

With the ongoing changes in the composition of Icelandic society a debate has started on the topic of multiculturalism and integration of immigrants. If immigrants are to integrate and become active members of society, they need access to information about this society. Until recently, Icelanders translated legal documents and regulations applying to immigrants into the immigrants' national languages, in addition translations of important articles from the Icelandic press were to be found on the Internet. Presently the language policy has changed, and not only as a result of the crisis. It was decided that translations delay the process of integration and cannot be a substitute for learning the language. In addition, the pressure to learn the Icelandic language is to serve to protect the language itself, an aspect which has long been valued by the hosts. The present chapter discusses issues concerning the education of adult immigrants, and in particular those that have to do with language courses for adult immigrants.

Download full text (.pdf) - Chapter 10 - Integration and education for adult immigrants in Iceland