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    Almost 800,000 People in UK Unable to Speak English - Communities Secretary

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Almost 800,000 people of the United Kingdom's 66-million population do not speak English, UK Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid said in an interview.

    "We estimate that there [are] 770,000 people that live in [England] that speak hardly any or no English. That figure will be in the report. And most of those people – we estimate 60 to 70% – are women. And most of those women, in turn, are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin," Javid said.

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    The official said the figures were taken from census data and called them critical, because "if you don’t speak English then there is no way you can take full advantage of the opportunities that modern Britain has to offer you."

    Javid's interview with The Guardian newspaper was prepared ahead of the publication of the UK government's green paper that will pledge 50 million pounds ($69.8 million) for integration programs in the country.

    The document will include a review of language teaching in the United Kingdom to focus it on hard-to-reach communities, the secretary noted.

    Javid, one of five sons of parents of Pakistani descent, also shared his mother's experience. She decided to learn English after 15 years in the country, and it transformed her life, as she started to work for the family clothing business and managed to build a new network of friends, he said.


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    English language, integration, migrants, United Kingdom
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