Language, migration and citizenship

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This chapter is organised into five sections. Section 1 deals with the notions of language, nation, and citizenship, also from a historical perspective, and with the European public and political discourse on immigrant minority groups in terms of ‘foreigners’ and ‘integration’. Taken from this European perspective, the Dutch discourse on ‘newcomers’ is addressed in Section 2. Newcomers to the Netherlands have to pass three stages of testing regimes, en route from admission to the country (toelating) through integration (inburgering) to citizenship (naturalisatie). These three successive testing regimes are outlined and evaluated in Section 3. In Section 4, a validity analysis of the Nationale Inburgeringstest is carried out in terms of its contents and in terms of an empirical analysis of what Dutch citizens actually know about what newcomers are expected to know about the Netherlands. Conclusions and discussion are offered in Section 5.


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