Immigrants are always being told by politicians to learn the language. But how long does it take to speak good English?
There are plenty of people in the UK for whom even basic English is a problem. According to the Census, 726,000 people in England and Wales said they could not speak English well, and another 138,000 said they did not speak it at all.
Ling, 40, who arrived five years ago from China, found it difficult to learn English. “When I came here I was pregnant and so I was at home for the next three years. It took me longer to learn as I was very busy with the children.”
Eventually she was able to begin taking classes and now speaks good conversational English.
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