Under the new system, revealed Monday, the government will invest $28 million in English classes for women in isolated communities. Those who still can’t pass an English-language test after two and a half years in the country could face deportation.
However, the project has already proven embarrassing for the Britain’s Home Office – who misspelled the word “language” in a news release sent out to publicize the new effort.
Journalists quickly spotted the mistake.
A spokesperson for Cameron explained the error to the Telegraph: “All of us are open to mistakes at times. The Prime Minister is fully confident that his team speak English competently.”
While the misspelling has since been corrected, it is unlikely to end the controversy surrounding the language tests. While many in Britain were happy that the government was spending more money on English classes for immigrants, the British prime minister had justified it by saying that a lack of English language among “isolated” female Muslims in Britain left them “more susceptible to the extremist message.”
The policy could see parents deported, even if they have British-born children.
“Someone can move to here with very basic English and there’s no requirement to improve it over time,” the British prime minister had written in the Times of London newspaper. “We will change that. We will now say: If you don’t improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the U.K.”
In a statement, the Muslim Council of Britain had welcomed funding for English lessons, but added a note about the rhetoric linked to the plan: “The Prime Minister’s aim to have English more widely spoken and for better integration falls at the first hurdle if he is to link it to security and single out Muslim women to illustrate his point.”