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Australia: How to Become a Citizen in One Easy Test February 8, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 11 English 2007, CSC Year 11 English Issues 2007.
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The Howard Government is wanting to introduce a citizenship test that all new immigrants to Australia will have to pass before they are allowed to call themselves Australian. Some of the details can be found below:

Some people are a bit worried about this:

(Be aware the second link is on the website for The Greens Political Party, so will have an obvious left-wing bias.)

Other people think it’s a great idea:


  1. What is the cartoon at the top of this post suggesting about the citizenship test?
  2. What are some of the reasons given for the introduction of the citizenship test?
  3. What are some reasons given for people who are against the idea of the citizenship?
  4. Which arguments do you find more convincing? Explain why.
  5. What was the White Australia Policy? Research.
  6. What do you think the writer of this piece thinks of the citizenship test:

Explain your conclusion. Consider and address the following:

  • What is the purpose of the piece? (Article/Feature/Opinion Piece etc.)
  • What is the writer’s tone? If you are a reader who disagrees with the writer, how would the tone make you feel?
  • What are some of the words the writer uses to describe people who disagrees with?
  • What effect does using words such as these have on the reader’s perception of these people?
  • The article criticises people who overreact to cultural issues – people who worry that people from different backgrounds cannot comfortably co-exist – but is the writer guilty of stirring up such feelings himself?
  • When he describes Muslim areas, what are some of the words he uses?
  • What emotions do you think the writer is appealing to when he says things like’We’re seeing ethnic gangs, too, capable of pack raping women picked out for being “skips”.’ What language tools does he use to emphasise his points?
  • Do you think the writer likes Australian society as it is today? Explain your thinking.
  • The writer says immigrants who are ‘picked’ through the new test won’t need to ‘assimilate.’ Why not?

Some helpful Linguistic tools can be found in the section starting on p183 of your textbook.