Should You Learn French by Yourself or With a Tutor as an Adult?

Should You Learn French by Yourself or With a Tutor as an Adult?

If you’re wondering about whether or not to learn French by yourself or with a tutor, chances are, you’ve already made up your mind to learn French and can even point to your motivating source, such as travel, work, or an international move. Looking at these motivating sources can be a guide toward helping you decide the best approach to learning French. You can also examine your own study habits and study history to determine what will work best for you. This, combined with surrounding circumstances (schedules, resources, funds, location, etc., etc.) will all contribute to what works best for you at this time. Whether or not it is possible to learn French by yourself depends on these circumstances, your own study habits, and what your goals are.

Learning French as an adult might seem daunting, since on the surface it appears to be so much more difficult than learning language as a child. Children notoriously have fewer problems learning language, which is partly related to how their brains work and partly related to environmental factors. I haven’t specifically studied language acquisition in children – or adults, for that matter, but I can point out some tendencies among my adult students that are absent from learning patterns that I have observed in children. Children have neither the ego nor the self-consciousness that adults have when they learn language – it is natural for them to learn through error, which is exactly how language is learned. They also have more time to learn different patterns of speech, either in their early years when they are generally learning how to speak, or at school, where the pace of lessons is slower (compared to a college classroom or a course at the Alliance Française, for example). As adults, we may not have the time that children have to learn new languages, but we can let go of our ego and self-consciousness, and some of our linguistic habits along with that.

Although there are obvious disadvantages to learning language as an adult, there are in fact some advantages, which involve analytical skills and experience. Adults can reach into all of those skills they have developed and know what does and doesn’t work for them when it comes to learning language. Adults are also typically aware of the great motivating factor that drives them to study a particular language, such as work, travel, or personal relationships. Adult speakers of English have also have a fair amount of exposure to French loan words and cognates, such as abundance, extraordinary, bureau de change, and limousine.

The remaining question is whether autonomous study or regular tutoring will work best for you. On the one hand, language has the function of allowing people to communicate verbally, so it would make sense to learn it with other people. On the other hand, learning the written language does require autonomous work. One distinctive feature of the French language is that it is spoken very differently from the way it is written and this might affect your choice of how to approach learning it.

If your ultimate goal is to be able to converse with various French speakers, then it is a good idea to practice conversing with other people. A tutor could provide you with the opportunity to converse in real time at the level of frequency you wish, and could also slow down – or speed up! – if you ask. When working with a tutor, set out clear parameters for the sessions, such as having exchanges be exclusively in French, preparing for the session by reading an article, or being ready to describe daily activities that have occurred since the previous session. It is also important to clarify your goals when engaging in language study. Would you like to be able to make your way around a French-speaking country? enroll in school at a French university? do business with a company based in the francophone world?
The personal interaction with a tutor reflects in part the opportunity of a classroom environment, which allows students to practice conversation with a group of people. Even in this environment, though, certain students get accustomed to hearing only the instructor speak, or conversing with the same one or two students who sit near them in the classroom each session. I remember a student mentioning that when I, an unknown instructor, walked in to give an oral examination to a class, there was a student who was thrown by my use of the standard French r /ꞟ/, which she hadn’t been accustomed to hearing from her regular instructor. It’s always good to hear different people speak, and one way of doing this, with or without a tutor, is to supplement your one-on-one interactions with audio resources that are widely available via different software or online. These sources may include features that analyze your pronunciation and are able to give you feedback, and you can refer to these on days when you do not see a tutor.

A tutor can guide you toward resources that are useful for speaking and listening, which you should definitely be using regularly to reinforce your language skills. Listening materials can be found in the language tools mentioned above, as well as in podcasts and transcripts of radio segments that are available through websites such as franceculture.fr. This website – of the France Culture radio station, which is part of France’s national radio programming – provides online transcripts for certain five- or ten-minute segments that you can read while listening to the audio. Sometimes the transcripts differ from the audio and noticing what is included and what is left out can also sharpen your skills.

For more interactive online tools, there are various quizlets in French offered by different institutions, including some universities, on themes ranging from Impressionist painting to cinema. And on this note, films are a good source for practicing your listening skills, as they come from a variety of francophone regions, expose you to many accents and idioms, and have the added visual component, as well as an option for subtitles.

Reading is part of language study that is mainly completed autonomously. Choosing to read French on your own makes sense, as long as you have the discipline to make this a daily practice. Again, it is important to state your goals when setting out to improve your reading skills. Also, are you an absolute beginner or more advanced? Is your goal to be able to read signs in the Paris subway or scholarly articles that will help you complete research?

If you are an absolute beginner, I would recommend incorporating some speaking and listening into your daily practice, and I would definitely recommend an interactive method that will attune your ear to the way in which French words and sentences fall together. For more advanced learners, focus on readings that use enough vocabulary and grammar with which you are familiar, with some new words and sentence structures introduced into the texts you focus on. If there is a topic that interests you, such as the environment, familiarize yourself with certain vocabulary that is specific to this topic, and then read an article on this topic. If there is a particular author you like – great! This is a wonderful opportunity to become familiar with the author’s works and with the vocabulary and speech patterns that are characteristic of this author’s writing.

Grammar books are also helpful as a supplement to your reading, since these will explain some of the more complicated and literary phrasing that you encounter. I would recommend grammar books that are written in French, but targeted toward people of your linguistic group. This way the books can anticipate the differences between your language and French and address common issues that speakers in your group might encounter when reading French. At the same time, you will be practicing reading in French. In addition, there are books that the French themselves use, such as Maurice Grevisse’s Le Bon Usage, which is an authoritative reference work on French grammar and style. This can be useful when you begin to write.

While autonomous practice works well for reading, you may want to get a tutor to help you if you are planning on writing, since there are certain elements of style that are particular to French that appear in the written language much more than the spoken language. There are a lot of structures that you need to follow when writing and it is important to go over these with someone else. If you have certain syntactical difficulties, you can discuss these with a tutor and the tutor will be able to assist in figuring out exactly where the issue lies. Complex sentences that require relative clauses, for example, can be parsed out so that you will know when to use certain relative pronouns and why. French has very specific relative pronouns that have preserved case inflection from Latin, meaning that they will reflect their function within relative clauses and may also reflect gender.

Luckily, if you read a lot, these become more familiar to you and you can use what you read as models. This will help you understand and eventually produce phrases such as this one from Muriel Barbery’s L’élégance du hérisson: “C’est le socle anthropologique à partir duquel se bâtiront toutes les exhortations à un monde nouveau et sur lequel est vissée une certitude maîtresse : les hommes, qui se perdent de désirer, feraient bien de s’en tenir à leurs besoins”. What will be built? To what is a major certainty fastened? Who is losing touch with what? Both the language and the ideas expressed in this phrase may be complex, but fortunately as an adult learner, you will be able to approach each of these with method, insight, and the spirit of inquiry that led you to study French in the first place.


Whether you decide to learn French on your own or look for a tutor, Glossika is an excellent tool to have. If you are learning French by yourself, use Glossika as your primary language training resource and mimic the way a child acquires a language while getting optimal results by immersing yourself in French on a daily basis.

If you choose to work with a tutor, Glossika comes in handy on the days when you don’t meet with your tutor. Our spaced repetition training gets your mouth muscles more familiar with speaking French. And learn to perfect your French pronunciation with Glossika’s French coursea as recorded by native speakers.

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This content was originally published here.

Learn French at KidooLand this Summer

KidooLand is very much the English experts here on the Côte d’Azur and so in order to be able to propose a summer camp to children learning and improving their French that met our own fun standards the level was set high!
We have chosen to work with Veronique the Director and French teacher from French Access as they are able to combine fun with professionalism. She is particularly specialised in teaching French to non natives.
A variety of activities will take place and their will be an opportunity to hang out with all the French children, here learning English that week. It should be a fun atmosphere!
Below you will find an example of the kind of activities we will be doing. We need to know your child’s level to be able to adapt the French to meet their requirements.
They will be running a class from 9-13th July 2018.
9-12h every morning. Bring a bottle of water and a snack.
The cost will be 170 euros paid directly to French Access.
To reserve we need all the essential details for your child’s comfort and security. COMPLETE A FORM
Obviously we ask questions on the form about English level so in the free text box, please add in here the level and requirements for the French language.
Kidooland is growing too and so for this summer we should have doubled our space with a lovely big airy and light room for sports and leisure.
Should you be looking for an all day formula then of course you could combine this with the Kidooland afternoon programme in English where we will be doing all things African .. the language, food, culture and music as part of our Madagasgar theme! All day-ers should bring a picnic or book the lunch.

This content was originally published here.

Border agent demands ID from woman in Montana after hearing her speak Spanish

MONTANA — A US citizen who was stopped and asked for identification after a US Border Patrol agent in Montana heard her speaking Spanish says she wants the American Civil Liberties Union’s help over the incident so her 7-year-old daughter can be proud to be bilingual.

Ana Suda, who was born in Texas, recorded the encounter last week on her cell phone after the agent asked her and her friend, Mimi Hernandez, who is from California, for their IDs while they waited in line to pay for groceries at a gas station.

The video shows Suda asking why the agent questioned them.

“Ma’am, the reason I asked for your IDs is because I came in here and saw that you guys were speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” he says of the area about 35 miles south of the US-Canada border.

Suda then asks the agent whether she and her friend are being racially profiled.

“It has nothing to do with that,” the agent replies. “It has to do with the fact that you were speaking Spanish in the store in a state that is predominantly English-speaking.”

The incident, which Suda said lasted about 40 minutes, took place in the town of Havre, where Suda has lived for several years, CNN affiliate KTVQ reported.

Border agency reviewing incident
US Customs and Border Protection is now reviewing the encounter, the agency told CNN Monday.

“US Customs and Border Protection agents and officers are committed to treating everyone with professionalism, dignity and respect while enforcing the laws of the United States,” the agency said in a statement. “Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, agents have broad law enforcement authorities and are not limited to a specific geography within the United States.”

“They have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence. Decisions to question individuals are based on a variety of factors for which Border Patrol agents are well-trained. This incident is being reviewed to ensure that all appropriate policies were followed.”

Asked about the incident on Tuesday, Acting Deputy Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Ronald D. Vitiello said he was aware of the video.

“There is a policy in the federal government and law enforcement against racial profiling,” he said.

“We’ve asked our office of professional responsibility to review the matter, so I don’t want to pre-judge it,” he added. “Bottom line, we expect our people to act with professionalism and when they don’t, we’re going to hold them to account for that.”

The ACLU on Monday tweeted in reference to Suda’s story that racial profiling is against the law.

“Speaking Spanish is not a valid reason for Border Patrol to question or detain you,” the civil rights organization stated. “The Constitution prohibits all law enforcement agencies, including @CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) from racial profiling and arbitrary searches and detentions.”

Spanish-speaking congressman wants answers
US Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, on Monday sent a letter to the Customs and Border Protection chief demanding answers about agency policies.

“What exactly are the agency’s policies regarding probable cause?” he wrote, citing news reports of Suda’s experience. “How are the actions of agents reviewed, evaluated, recorded, and held accountable for abusing their authority, for both minor and major violations?

“Furthermore, I ask that CBP review its current policies and training procedures to ensure the civil liberties of law-abiding American citizens are respected and upheld.”

Curbelo noted that he speaks Spanish regularly to his family, including two young daughters. “Young people who are attempting to learn a second language as part of their education often times practice outside of the classroom,” he wrote. “The language someone speaks, regardless of geographic area, is not enough to suspect that an immigration violation has occurred.”

The United States has no official language. And though English is spoken in most homes — and used for government documents, court proceedings and business contracts — at least 350 languages are spoken in the country, according to the US Census Bureau.

About 4% of Montana residents speak a language other than English at home, according to the US Census.

‘He asked me where I was born’
Suda had gone to the store with her friend to buy milk and eggs, she told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday. She was next in line to pay when she encountered the Border Patrol agent.

“He looked at me, and he asked me where I was born,” she said. “So, I look at him, and I say, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘I am very serious.’

“I said, ‘I was born in El Paso, Texas.’ And he look at my friend, and my friend said, ‘I was born in El Centro, California.’ So, he said, ‘I need to see your ID,’” Suda said.

She said the agent told her to show her ID before she paid for the goods. While he was looking at it, she began recording the encounter on her cell phone, asking him to say on video why he’d asked for her identification card.

“I believe they have to have a reason to stop you, not just because you speak Spanish,” Suda told Lemon. “I don’t believe that is a reason. I don’t believe that’s a crime.”

Suda said her daughter, 7, saw the video, then asked her mom whether they couldn’t speak Spanish anymore. It was that response, Suda told CNN in a separate interview, that prompted her to seek help from the ACLU.

“This broke my heart,” she said, adding that she told her daughter, “‘You need to be proud. You need to speak English, speak Spanish, whatever you want. You are so smart. You speak two languages!’

“This is very important,” Suda said. “The community needs to know speaking Spanish is not a crime.”

This content was originally published here.

US professor steps down after asking students not to speak Chinese | SBS News

A Duke University professor has stepped down after she sent an email requesting students not speak Chinese, implying it was “impolite”.

In an email sent to medical students, Megan Neely, director of graduate studies, told said that two faculty members had heard people speaking Chinese in the common areas, according to Duke’s student newspaper.

The faculty members told Ms Neely that they had observed students “speaking Chinese (in their words, VERY LOUDLY), in the student lounge/study areas”.

She continued: “They wanted to write down the names so they could remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a masters project.”

Ms Neely warned of “unintended consequences”. 

“They were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand.”

In a letter to the students, Dean Mary Klotman apologised for the email and said there were no restrictions on whatever language students chose to speak on campus.

Many on Twitter and Chinese social media were outraged a professor could suggest a language should not be spoken in public areas.

This is a clear double standard. I was on the Duke university study abroad program in Beijing/ Nanging China. The native English speakers on the program spoke English to each other at least 95% of their down time… at best, peppering their English with a few Chinese words…

— Stefanie Trice Gill (@stefanietg)

My email to Dr Megan Neely of @DukeU.#MeganNeely #racist #DukeUniversity pic.twitter.com/xzVxgYH0IY

— Zen Chang (@ZenChangLaw)

So Duke University doesn’t want its international grad students to speak in their language… while they’re chatting in the hallways of the buildings. “This might bring unintended consequences such as not being hired as TA or RA…” Outraging

— Ángela Castillo Ardila (@castilloangela_)

The dean said the university would conduct a review of the program in response to the emails that surfaced on the weekend.

The Duke Chronicle reported Ms Neely had been stood down from the director of graduate studies role, but remained as an assistant professor.

This content was originally published here.

Duke University Director Sends Mass Email Warning Chinese Students to Only Speak English on Campus — Or Else

The director of graduate studies for the Duke University’s Master of Biostatistics program, Megan Neely, has stepped down from her position after severe backlash over an email in which she warned Chinese students to speak only English on university campus.

In the original email, Neely urged Chinese students to speak English at all times on campus and in other professional settings and consider the possible consequences of their actions. According to the former director of graduate studies, two unnamed staff members allegedly approached her to complain about a group of first year students who were speaking Chinese loudly in public.

Using a collection of headshots taken of first and second year students during orientation, the faculty members were able to identify these students. According to Neely the staff members requested this information to, “write down the names so they could remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master’s project.”

The email states, “They were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand.”

Neely concluded her email with a warning for other students exhibiting similar behaviors:

“To international students, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building.”

And while she acknowledged the struggles of these international students who are living away from their country of origin and having to learn in a foreign language, she continued, “I encourage you to commit to using English 100% of the time when you are in Hock or any other professional setting.”

Neely’s words sparked outrage among students with some doubting the events between faculty ever took place and others accusing her of making similar racist remarks in the past.

In a different email sent by Neely back in February 2018, she issued similar warnings to students speaking foreign languages in public spaces:

“Bottom line: Continuing this practice may make it harder for you and future international students to get research opportunities while in the program. Please keep these potential downstream effects in mind when you choose to or choose not to speak in English outside of the classroom.”

In this email, she once again cited unnamed staff members “the Chair of the Department” and “many faculty” as the source of the complaints.

Students quickly responded with a petition calling for an independent, full-scale investigation into the incident concerning Professor Neely’s emails. They wrote, “we are disheartened… when Duke’s faculty members implied that students of diverse national origin would be punished in academic and employment opportunities for speaking in their native language outside of classroom settings.”

Following these accusations, Mary E. Klotman, the Dean of Duke’s School of Medicine has issued the following statement:

“To be clear: there is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other. Your career opportunities and recommendations will not in any way be influenced by the language you use outside the classroom. And your privacy will always be protected.”

Klotman has requested the university’s Office of Institutional Equity to investigate the matter and notified the students that Professor Neely has stepped down from her position as the director of graduate studies. She concluded her statement with this promise:

“We take this challenge seriously and you have my personal pledge that it will be addressed quickly and sensitively.”

According to The Chronicle, Neely still remains as an assistant professor at Duke University.

This content was originally published here.

Public University Suspends Prof. for Advising Foreign Student to Learn English – Judicial Watch

In a bothersome case of political correctness gone amok, a professor at a highly ranked public university in the United States has been suspended for suggesting a foreign student “learn English.” The egregious incident occurred this month at the University of Kansas (UK), a taxpayer-funded institution with an enrollment of 28,500 that ranks among the nation’s top public universities. Situated in the northeast Kansas town of Lawrence, the school is the state’s flagship university and a premier research institution.

The “offending” professor, Gary Minden, teaches electrical engineering and computer science in the highly regarded school of engineering. Minden, an acclaimed academic, is a UK alum who received undergraduate and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering at the school. In the 1990s he served as information technology program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a Pentagon agency with a $3 billion budget dedicated to developing technologies for the military. “DARPA goes to great lengths to identify, recruit and support excellent program managers—extraordinary individuals who are at the top of their fields and are hungry for the opportunity to push the limits of their disciplines,” according to the agency’s website. “These leaders, who are at the very heart of DARPA’s history of success, come from academia, industry and government agencies for limited stints, generally three to five years.”

During a recent class, Minden told a foreign student who was using an online translation system on a cell phone that the student should “learn English,” according to a local newspaper report. The unidentified student evidently was not bothered over the suggestion, but others in the class were offended and an “hourlong discussion” ensued in the engineering class which focuses on embedded systems. During the discussion things apparently got heated and many students in the class became very upset. The professor told the local newspaper that he’s “frustrated” over the incident but refused to comment further for obvious reasons. In the article a university spokeswoman said “a number of students have raised concerns about events that occurred in their engineering class. In response to these concerns, the university has assigned a different instructor to teach the course while the matter is reviewed.”

This is hardly an isolated case of political correctness at taxpayer-funded schools in the United States. Public elementary, middle and high schools as well as colleges have taken an extreme leftist turn on several issues over the years and Judicial Watch has reported or taken legal action in several of the cases. This includes exposing a  that pushes Marxism and Anti-Americanism in Los Angeles,  in Chicago public schools and an  in Washington State that received speedy tax-exempt approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Judicial Watch is currently embroiled in a  with the Berkeley Unified School District in California to obtain the records of a middle school teacher who is a national organizer for a radical leftist group. The teacher, Yvette Felarca, works at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and is a prominent figure in  (BAMN), an organized militant group founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League that uses raucous militant tactics to protest conservative speaking engagements. Felarca has been charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento.

A few years ago, Judicial Watch wrote about professors at a 54,000-student public university in south Florida that demanded the school  by creating a “sanctuary campus.” The professors compared immigration enforcement to “fugitive slave laws.” At the time students at colleges around the nation requested their undocumented classmates be protected, but the Florida professors blazed the trail as the first faculty members of an American taxpayer-funded establishment to officially call for campus-wide sanctuary in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential election.

This content was originally published here.

Flashback: Obama Said Illegals Should Learn English, Go to ‘Back of the Line’

In their never-ending attacks on President Donald Trump, liberals have, among other things, been quick to label him a “racist” for his talk of building a wall along the southern border of the United States.

Trump’s goal is exactly the kind of border security former President Barack Obama talked about during his years in office, though Obama talked doing it with more “boots on the ground” and by “using technology more effectively.”

The Border Patrol under Obama also took many of the same measures it’s taking under Trump.

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In 2013, RealClearPolitics posted a summary and transcript of then-President Obama’s weekly address. In it, he spoke about immigration in a way that echoes what Trump now says.

It is also a very different pitch from the one the Democrats claim to want or support today — only five years later.

In fact, it is the kind of pitch people get called a “racist” for making now that a Republican named Trump is in the White House:

From the transcript, the relevant portions of Obama’s address regarding immigration reform are as follows:

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“This bill would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally, a pathway that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, and then going to the back of the line behind everyone who’s playing by the rules and trying to come here legally.”

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Now look at how he then attacked the naysayers for “playing politics.”

“We know the opponents of reform are going to do everything they can to prevent that. They’ll try to stoke fear and create division.

“They’ll try to play politics with an issue that the vast majority of Americans want addressed. And if they succeed, we will lose this chance to finally fix an immigration system that is badly broken.”

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So, in his message, Obama speaks of illegal aliens given a chance to be here anyway needing to learn English. He also says they need to go to the back of the line, behind those who came here legally.

Now compare that to how Trump is hit for wanting to build a wall or put legal immigrants ahead of illegal aliens. The left now pushes for illegal aliens to be given rights, and aid, and to get bumped to the front of the line.

And learning English to be here? Well, you must be a “racist” to call for that.

And in their attacks, liberals are doing exactly what Obama said then the naysayers would do, despite the majority of Americans wanting something addressed: Stoke fear, play politics, and create division.

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Polling reveals something the majority of Americans want addressed, which is the wall being built. In August 2015, Newsmax reported that the majority of Americans wanted a wall built to keep out illegal aliens. That was based on a Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters.

Fifty-one percent wanted the wall, versus 37 percent against building it. Perhaps you’ve heard the opposite. There is a reason for that.

In September 2017, journalist Sharyl Attkission wrote an opinion piece for The Hill that explained how more “Americans support the border wall than the media wants to believe.”

She explained that: “Polls have been consistently unrepresentative of the electorate since Trump entered the political stage.” She added that such a thing is accomplished with word games played in the polling questions.

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One example is by asking opinions about things never proposed. Another tactic is to lean heavily in one political direction, such as polling far more Democrats than Republicans.

This is how, despite actual American sentiment, so many polls are published claiming the opposite. You have to dig into what they asked and who they asked to start getting to the truth.

Then we have the CBS News Battleground Tracker poll from June of this year.

A whopping 48 percent didn’t want families entering illegally into the United States to stay here, but to be released back to their home country together. Only 21 percent said they should be released temporarily into the U.S. pending a hearing.

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This sentiment matches what Trump is pushing for with detain and deport. It does not match the free-for-all, everyone-can-come-in approach pushed by the left.

And while 48 percent of those surveyed said a wall was a bad idea, 51 percent called it a good idea. Of those, 32 percent believed it could be completed and 19 percent thought even if it couldn’t be completed it should still be attempted.

So, if Trump is racist for wanting a wall built, so is the majority of America. If Trump is racist for wanting immigrants to speak English, so is Barack Obama. And if Trump is racist for wanting legal immigrants to come ahead of illegal aliens, Obama is, too.

But the aims of open borders and unrestricted immigration spoken of by the left these days don’t match actual common sense or American majority sentiment. What they do match is a basic, Trump-bashing fest, disagreeing with everything he says and being divisive every step of the way.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

This content was originally published here.

Malta to study French-German proposal to tax digital advertising sales

Malta will “objectively” evaluate a Franco-German proposal to tax digital advertising, after the two countries ditched EU plans to impose a wide-ranging digital tax on tech companies. 

Instead they will propose a narrow levy on advertising sales that would be likely to exclude giants like Amazon and Apple.  

Malta has not been a supporter of harmonised taxation measures on multinationals. “While we contend that the OECD is the appropriate institution where global tax matters should be discussed and agreed, we will still evaluate objectively the latest tax proposal by Germany and France on digital advertising by big international companies,” Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna said. 

Finance Minister Scicluna with IMF Director of the European Department, Poul Thomsen

Scicluna met European counterparts in Brussels, where he underlined his country’s steadfast belief on unanimity in tax matters, a principle enshrined in the Treaties of the Union. 

The French and Germans have now presented a plan to now impose a 3% on revenues generated by ad sales in the digital economy, which is a compromise that abandons wider plans to target some tech giants on data sales. 

Under the new plan, Facebook and Google would be targeted through their sales of advertising but other retailers like Amazon, AirBnB and Spotify were likely to be excluded – diplomats told the Financial Times the focus on just advertising was “designed to alleviate German concerns that its car companies could be hit by the tax.” 

Nordic economies opposed Europe’s attempts to go it alone with new tax rules for digital companies, in favour of broader international rules. 

Tax matters need unanimous agreement from all EU governments but a Brussels blueprint on wider digital tax has run into fierce opposition from countries including Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg.    

ECOFIN also discussed the proposalunder the Banking Union Package, the proposals of which are aimed at reducing risks for banks such as the prevailing issue of non-performing loans. 

Scicluna said that reaching an agreement on the Banking Package was a key deliverable agreed upon in 2016, and should therefore unblock the path for further measures to strengthen the Banking Union. He thanked the Austrian Presidency for addressing a specific issue which Malta had as a result of its limited and illiquid market for subordinated liabilities. “The proposed solution in that respect gives the necessary consideration to the realties of smaller member states.” 

Scicluna also participated in the marathon Eurogroup meeting which approved draft budgetary plans of Eurogroup members, including the Maltese draft budget, which was deemed fully compliant with the rules of the Growth and Stability Pact. 

This content was originally published here.