Sweden: Immigrant language-learning bonus flops

A program to give bonuses to immigrants who work harder at their Swedish learning was deemed a failure according to a recent newspaper report. The article points out that only 20% of those eligible for the bonuses actually put in the effort necessary to cash in.

Why is this a failure? The fact that 20% of learners were motivated to work harder is a great success. The fact that the government saved 80% of their budget is a great success. The normal pattern in immigrant language learning is for governments to pay for an ineffective language teaching infrastructure, focused on classrooms, where a much smaller percentage than 20% achieve any meaningful improvement in their language skills.

I have always said that we should eliminate government sponsored language classes for immigrants. This should be replaced with healthy bonuses for those who learn. The immigrants should be allowed to find their own ways to learn. I believe we would see better results with a much lower expenditure of government money. The same can be said for most adult language learning programs, including language learning for corporate or government employees.

Edit: Note that I just changed the link to the original article. Check out all the comments.

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