A French parliamentary report presented to the National Assembly last month found that significant progress has been made since 2018 in helping refugees and asylum seekers to learn French and thus integrate into French society. However, refugees are slightly better off than asylum seekers, who are still struggling to access employment and language training.
“A real effort has been made but progress remains to be made,” French parliamentarians Stella Dupont of the ruling LREM (La République En Marche) party and Jean-Noël Barrot of the centrist MoDem (Mouvement Démocrate) claimed in the report, which recommends making it easier for asylum seekers to obtain work permits and to access French language courses as soon as asylum applications are filed.
Stella Dupont told InfoMigrants: “When it comes to statutory refugees, data from the OFII [Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration] shows real progress in learning French. Official measures to double or triple the number of hours of French classes proved particularly beneficial for foreigners who had the lowest level of language skills upon arrival, some of whom could neither read nor write. Thanks to the increase in the number of class hours, the number of people who completed the basic French A-1 level increased by 16%. It’s therefore necessary to continue and even strengthen the system. Germany is going up to 900 hours of language training.”
“The most effective measure has indeed been doubling or tripling the number of hours of French language lessons. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that those who had a basic French level and who went from 50 to 100 class hours saw no progress at all. Efforts should therefore be concentrated on those with a low level, especially those who went from 200 hours to 600 hours,” added Barrot.