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Calls to make English lessons compulsory for Australian immigrants

The daughter of an Italian immigrant says those moving to Australia should be obliged to learn English, as 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott pushes for it to become ‘compulsory.’

It follows a crackdown in Britain, with Prime Minister David Cameron revealing those moving to England had two-and-a-half years to learn the language or face deportation.

Rosalba Fogliani is the founder and director of studies at Melbourne’s Lyceum English Language Australia and told Tom Elliott her mother lived here for two decades before learning the language.

‘It caused all sorts of difficulties,’ she explained on 3AW Drive.

‘I do think people need to be pushed.

‘I think to be obliged, but also encouraged.’

Tom Elliott dismissed suggestions it was racist or unfair and said it was simply common sense to learn a country’s native language.

‘English is a very useful language,’ he said.

‘I think we should make English lessons free, as they already are for migrants – but here’s the kicker – they should also be compulsory.

‘It shouldn’t be ‘if you feel like’ learning English if you come to this country.

‘The expectation should be you have to learn it.’

Click PLAY below to hear Rosalba Fogliani on 3AW Drive.