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Test for new citizens

Foreign nationals could soon have to take a test on British history before they are granted a UK passport after David Cameron set out moves to toughen up requirements for citizenship.

The British prime minister appealed to the public to "shop" illegal immigrants and announced a drive against bogus marriages as he promised to "reclaim our borders".

In a major speech on immigration, he said the government would overhaul the structure of citizenship tests to give them a more traditional flavour.

"There's a whole chapter in the citizenship handbook on British history. But incredibly, there are no questions on British history in the test," he said."

Mr Cameron has set his government the target of reducing net migration to Britain from "hundreds of thousands" to "tens of thousands" by the next general election.


Citizen: A UK citizen is someone who is legally recognised as a member of this country.

Citizenship: Is about giving people the knowledge and the skills that they need to be active and responsible members of their local and national communities.

[2] Quiz: Could you be an American?
Can students answer the following questions taken from the test for would be American Citizens;

  • What are the colours of the American flag?
  • How many stars are on the American flag?
  • Who is the American president?
  • Who is the American vice president?
  • How many amendments are there to the American constitution?
  • Do you speak fluent English?
  • Are you over eighteen?
  • Have you lived in America for five years without getting into trouble?

If you failed the test does that mean you could not fit into American society?

If you revised for the test, and you passed it how might that help you fit in with American society?

Main activity

Students devise their own test with twenty questions about British society. The questions can include anything they think is an important part of being British. Subjects might include; politics, entertainment, sport etc. They can try the test out on each other.

Was it easy to think of twenty questions?

How did they feel about other people telling them what it was to be British?

Could we ever agree on what should be in the test?

[4] Extension activity
Come up with a script or storyboard for what they think the citizenship ceremony should involve.


Using an A3 sheet turn their quiz into a board game decorated with images from British life.

Being a good citizen is something that we should all work towards, why?

Giving immigrants a test may help them to learn some facts about British society, but they might think we are saying we are better than them. How would they feel if they were not let in even though they were a good hardworking person?

Possible points for Britishness test

  • Able to speak English, Welsh or Gaelic
  • Know how to acquire necessities like electricity
  • Understand how democracy and Parliament works
  • Have knowledge of etiquette and sexual equality
  • Understand British institutions like the monarchy and elections
  • British history since 1945
  • Applicants must have lived in the UK for five years or three years if married to a Briton.
  • Habib Rahman of the Council for the Welfare of Immigrants says: "If you don't speak English fluently you can still be an upstanding member of the community."
  • He added: "This debate will give credence to the racists and all the racial prejudice in this country."
  • Ted Cantle, who chaired the inquiry into the Bradford riots says: "Details of a new oath of allegiance should be the subject of a national debate."

Turn this into an assembly

  • Devise a true/false quiz on what it is to be British, but add questions that reflect our diverse population. The result will be a quiz that no individual can answer on their own, but the whole group acting as a team could answer.
  • Test the group with a show of hands for true or false.
  • Reflect on what it is to be British. Introduce the idea of multiple identities. Some people may have got answers wrong because they are British tennis fans, not British football fans.
  • With differing backgrounds and interests our knowledge is as diverse as our skin colour, but we are all British.


Almost every nation has a reputation of some kind. The English are reputed to be cold, reserved, rather haughty people. They are steady, easy-going and fond of sports. There are certain kinds of behavior, manners and customs which are peculiar to England.

The English are naturally polite and are never tired of saying < Thank you > and < I am sorry >. They are generally disciplined; you never hear loud talk in the street. They don't rush for seats in buses and trains, but they take their seats in queues at bus stops. English people do not shake hands when meeting one another; they do not show their emotions even in tragic situations. They seem to remain good-tempered and cheerful under difficulties.

The English are a nation of stay-at-homes. There is no place like home. The Englishman says < My house is my castle > because he doesn't wish his doings to be overlooked by his neighbours. It is true that English people prefer small houses, built for one family. The fire is the focus of the English Home. Other nations go out to cafes or cocktail bars. The fireplace is the natural centre of interest in the room. They like to sit round the fire and watch the dancing flames, exchanging the day's experience. In many houses you will still see fireplaces, sometimes with columns on each side and a shelf above it on which there is often a clock or a mirror or photos.

The love of gardens is deep-rooted in the British people. Most men's conversations are about gardens. It may be a discussion of the best methods of growing cucumbers, a talk about the plot which differs from all the others.

The British like growing plants in a window-box outside the kitchen or in the garden near the house. They love flowers very much.

Britain is a nation of animal lovers. They have about five million dogs, almost as many cats, 3 million parrots and other cage birds, aquarium fish - and 1 million exotic pets such as reptiles. In Britain they have special dog shops selling food, clothes and other things for dogs. There are dog hair-dressing saloons and dog cemeteries. In Britain pets can send Christmas cards to their friends, birthday cards. Owners can buy for their pets jeweled nylon collars, lambs wool coat for a dog, lace-trimmed panties, nightgowns, pajamas, and so on. There are special animal hotels at the airports. The English people believe that they are the only nation on the earth that is really kind to its animals. How do they spend their week-ends?

Those who live in cities and towns like to go out of town. They may go to stay in the country. Every Englishman is fond of the countryside in a nice thatched cottage with roses round the porch and in the garden, the fresh air and bright sun. No crowds of people, silence and leisure.

Those who stay at home try to do all the jobs they, were too busy to do during the week. Some go shopping on Saturday mornings, some do the house - washing, cleaning. Some men do and watch sporting events.

Saturday evening is the best time for parties, dances, going to the cinema or theatre.

On Sunday after breakfast they may go to work in the garden take a dog for a walk, play a visit to a pub. Sunday is a day for inviting friends and relatives to afternoon tea.

There are some traditions concerning food. English cooking is heavy, substantial and plain. The Englishman likes a good breakfast. To him a good breakfast means porridge with, fish, bacon and eggs, toast and marmalade, tea or coffee. It is the same day to day. The English like their toast cold.

Tea is part of the prose of British life, as necessary as potatoes and bread. Seven cups of it wake you up in the morning, 9 cups will put you to sleep at night.

The midday meal is called lunch. This meal consists on week- days of stew, fried fish, chops, liver or sausages, vegetables. Rice and macaroni are seldom served. Then does an apple tart, or hot milk pudding. Sunday dinner is a special occasion, it is a joint of beef or lamb with vegetables. Then goes a large heavy pudding with custard. From 4 to 6 there is a very light meal called 5 o'clock tea. It is a snack of thin bread and butter and cups of tea with small cakes. This became a kind ritual. At this time everything stops for tea.

Dinner (usually at 6 p.m.) is much like lunch and is in many families the last meal of the day. Supper is a snack of bread and cheese and cocoa.

The English have a popular speciality known as fish and chips. They are bought at special fish and chips shops.

Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1452

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