Motivation of immigrants for training

A survey has been conducted in 2011, in Marseille by the group of actors involved in training French as a foreign language to evaluate the situation of migrants related to the training offer. 

According to this survey, persons wishing to participate to a training or having done so are more numerous. Their motivations to learn French and get in training are:

  • Employability: fluency in French to find a job, to gain social independence, to improve knowledge of administration.
  • Political consciousness: desire to be integrated into society, to participate to "normal life", to be a citizen.
  • Facilitate mobility, movement, freedom of movement within the territory, for example to get the driving license. 
Mostly people who want to do some training are active. Retirees are less present in this category.
Not wishing to be trained doesn't mean that the person doesn't want to be integrated, language factors and some external constraints can be the cause. 
Seniors are often in this category. At least three reasons explain their position: 
  • Ageing. They have their own representation and their relationship to ageing, they consider that they are too old to start a learning path that would require extra effort for lack of basic academic skills. 
  • The roles and projects. Some have restricted their investment on the intimate space (to look after their grandchildren). They have abandoned the long-term projects that would create changes in the organization of life: it is "too late." 
  • The social place. They think they are not concerned by training and training organizations (that they do not know).
Among active people, there are two categories of people not participating to training courses: the "resourceful" and the people who cannnot. 
Often, the first category consider their level of French is sufficient for their daily lives and they compensate their difficulties with written language by some adaptations: they use public writer services, they delegate writing work to family members of friends, or they use professional colleagues or relatives often in collective housing centers to learn French on the job. 
Other people are forced to postpone their training project due to family obligations (child at school). They can still use the same external resources when needed in their everyday life.

To read the full report: online or for dowloading (in French).