sexta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2011

So you think you know everything about Canada, eh?

Salut pessoas!

Sei que essa matéria foi publicada em dezembro pelo The Star de Toronto, mas jpa fazia um tempão que estava com ela separada para colocar aqui no blog e acabei esquecendo.... anyway...

Bom, muito tem se falado no Canadá sobre a prova que os imigrantes tem que fazer quando fazem o pedido de cidadania (que poderemos fazer após 3 anos lá). Por um lado a maioria dos imigrantes diz que é muito dificil e a nova versão desta prova tem reprovado muita gente, e por outro os canadenses que dizem que tem que ser dificil mesmo e que os imigrantes tem que saber tudo sobre o país que escolheram para viver.

Para colocar um pouco mais de lenha nesta fogueira, o jornal The Star resolveu selecionar alguns leitores para fazerem um simulado do teste aplicado aos imigrantes, e apesar de várias aprovações, as reprovações também surpreenderam!!!

Bom, eu fiz o teste que eles dão no final da materia e não achei tão dificil assim (otimo, mais um passo rumo à cidadania) e acertei 17 de 20 (fiquei tão feliz :oD). Sei que ainda é cedo para pensarmos nisso, mas conhecimento nunca é demais e quem sabe um dia a gente não resolva pedir a cidadania mesmo, não é!?

Enfim, a materia é bem interessante, e o teste também, vale a pena a leitura! E depois nos contem o que acharam do teste também!!!!


So you think you know everything about Canada, eh?

Canadians love Canada — despite the dreadful winter, high taxes and loser Leafs.

So when it was reported earlier this week that immigrants are flunking the new, tougher citizenship test in record numbers, outraged Canadians took over news websites, flooded radio shows and even blogged about it.

“Send them home,” said one. “Make it harder . . . no free rides,” said another reader. “There is just no excuse to fail the test,” was another comment.

Because Canadians know everything about Canada, eh?

Think again.

On a rain-soaked morning this week, the Toronto Star conducted this admittedly unscientific experiment asking six Canadian-born to take the citizenship test. Three men and three women had 20 multiple-choice questions — samples from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website — and 15 minutes. To pass, they needed 15 right answers.

The exercise yielded surprising results: three flunked, one squeaked by and two passed with flying colours.

“Obviously a small sample but it’s a very interesting experiment,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a professor in immigration settlement studies at Ryerson University.

“You would expect Canadian-born to do better because it is in their language and they have lived here all their lives,” he said. “But this sample tells that Canadians have a job ahead of them for understanding their own country.”

The new test, introduced March 15, is based on a bulked-up guide released a year ago to give newcomers a richer picture of Canada’s history, culture and politics. It was introduced partially because critics said the old test was too straightforward and there were allegations that people were simply memorizing answers.

Discover Canada, a 63-page guide, replaced the slimmer volume from 1995 that had less information. The failure rate for the old citizenship test ranged between 4 and 8 per cent. But the rate rocketed to about 30 per cent when the new one was introduced.

Officials then revised the rules and made it a little easier, and now the failure rate stands at 20 per cent — still way higher than a year ago.

The old and new tests are in English and French, and include 20 multiple-choice questions and a 30-minute time limit. But while wannabe-Canadians needed to get 12 questions correct in the old exam, the pass mark for the new test was set at 15.

In the Star’s experiment, one woman got 15 questions right, while two men each got 18 correct.

No one got 20 out of 20.

To be fair, the six Canadians had no advance notice, no time to prepare and only 15 minutes to complete the test.

About 10 Star journalists also took the test and on average got 18 questions correct.

Surprisingly, the one question that tripped up almost everyone was on who can vote in federal elections. (Note to everyone: Only Canadian citizens can vote in any election. Not permanent residents, foreign workers, diplomats or international students.)

Matthew Consky, a 35-year-old insurance lawyer and self-confessed trivia buff, did the test in less than eight minutes. “It wasn’t very hard, though there are some trick questions,” he admitted.

He isn’t outraged that some immigrants are flunking it. “It’s good to know about Canada’s history, but honestly I’d be more concerned with language issues.”

Peter Hall, an assistant retail manager in downtown Toronto, also took about eight minutes to complete the test and got 18 questions right. “I think a lot of Canadians would also fail this test . . . I don’t know why people are making such a big deal out of it for immigrants.”

Not everyone feels that way.

Ildiko Drabik, who works for Initiative Media, an advertising agency, said she was disappointed new immigrants couldn’t pass the test. “It’s not so hard,” she said after getting 15 questions right in less than 10 minutes.

A first-generation Canadian whose parents emigrated from Hungary and Spain in the 1950s, she said newcomers should feel proud to be Canadian “and part of that includes knowing the basic history of your adopted country.”

“I know most of this stuff . . . reminds me of Grade 10,” said Chloe Tse, a 25-year-old freelance writer as she struggled to complete the test on a recent early morning.

She, like everyone else who tested their knowledge of Canada, was stumped when she got to the 13th question: Who was Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine?
No one had heard of the first person to head a responsible government in Canada, in 1849, although some examinees made a good guess.

“That was a tough one,” said Tse.

Julie LaFortune, a spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said the test comes from a pool of more than 100 questions. Questions are shuffled regularly and several different tests are used at each testing session to reduce any risk of memorization, she added.

Those who fail can show they meet the knowledge requirement, either by writing another citizenship test or through an interview with a citizenship judge. The judge rules whether the applicant meets all the requirements for citizenship, including adequate knowledge of English or French.

Applicants can reapply.

About 150,000 people take the citizenship test every year. The required 75 per cent to pass is the same as in Australia and the United Kingdom, but higher than the 60 per cent required south of the border.

How they fared

Matthew Consky:
35, lawyer
18 correct, completed in 8 minutes
Surprisingly, he got this question wrong: Name four fundamental freedoms that Canadians enjoy.

Chloe Tse:
25, freelance writer
13 correct, completed in 15 minutes
Definitely not a morning person or she would have known that serving in the military is not one of the three responsibilities of citizenship.

Kym Tate:
36, salesperson
12 correct, completed in 15 minutes.
Did the test as customers milled around and asked about different sizes and style of clothing. Was likely distracted when she got the question about who can vote in Canadian federal elections wrong.

Ildiko Drabik:
53, Initiative Media
15 correct, completed in 12 minutes
A proud first-generation Canadian, got most questions about history right but tripped up on political ones.

Peter Hall:
49, assistant retail manager
18 correct, completed in 8 minutes
Got all questions right until he got to No. 14, then made wrong choice for the three branches of government.

Brock Burch
32, landscaper
14 correct, completed in 10 minutes.
He didn’t find the test very hard but said if he’d had some time, even 15 minutes to prepare, he would have got every question right.

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