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Dogs to Test Foreigners’ English

Anger over “inhuman” plans to vet student visa applications to UK with canines

Cent, stray Welsh Border Collie. “Intelligent…but not necessarily best breed for pronunciation.”
Cent, stray Welsh Border Collie.
“Very intelligent…but not necessarily
best breed for pronunciation”

Following a report in the EL Gazette and the recent introduction of tougher rules designed to stop abuse of the student visa system, the UK Government has completed a feasibility study to determine whether dogs could usefully contribute to the English ability assessment – an essential part of the new visa procedure – thus freeing up valuable man-hours and saving the British taxpayer up to £23,000,000 per year.

The possibility of using dogs to test language fluency was given credence in an article in the March 2010 issue of the EL Gazette (print-edition) headlined “Dog masters ESOL” (English for Speakers of Other Languages). According to the report, members of the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) near Manchester, England had been “puzzled” [in September 2009] by a stray male border collie that would not respond to commands. After discovering that the dog had been brought to England from Poland, and did in fact understand Polish commands, the RSPCA staff started teaching it basic English commands, using a “reward-based” programme. Luke Johnson, one of the RSPCA animal care workers, described how the dog, known as Cent, became bilingual within 4 months.

UK Border Agency comes under the wing of the Home OfficeCoincidentally the story had already come to the attention of Ms Lin Homer, head of the UKBA (UK Border Agency) charged with implementing the Labour government’s tough new rules for student visas. Under the new rules, applicants will need to speak English to near-GCSE level. One of the problems that UKBA faces is that while it is relatively easy to automate the testing of input skills (listening and reading), the output skills (speaking and writing) require human intervention and can be extremely costly. Even allowing for the fact that testing costs will be paid for by the applicants, the infrastructure necessary to put in place such elaborate testing, especially for pronunciation – a major concern of Home Secretary Alan Johnson – will prove expensive and open an already weakened Labour government to charges of reckless spending from the Conservative and Liberal opposition parties. All this as a general election approaches. “The whole subject is extremely political,” commented Jane Larynx, a press officer at the Home Office newsdesk. This is a major reason why, according to sources, when Ms Homer put the possibility of using animals to the Home Secretary at a meeting on October 22nd last year he ordered immediate action.

UKBA officer with dog on pronunciation trials
Development stage.
UKBA officer with dog during
early pronunciation trials

In the initial stages, it is proposed, dogs will help to assess student applicants’ pronunciation by being trained to respond only to “correct” accent, with word stress and sentence stress being a major component of the testing algorithm. UKBA already has a large number of sniffer dogs of various breeds, and some of these have been retrained for the study as they are well used to obeying commands. “Welsh border collies like Cent are very intelligent dogs, but not necessarily the best breed to use for pronunciation testing,” explained Dr Ian Brown, Chief Veterinarian at UKBA.

If a dog successfully completes a pre-determined circuit by following commands issued by a student applicant, the applicant will be deemed to have passed the pronunciation test. “Of course,” said Ms Larynx, “at present we can only use dogs for a very limited part of the overall language test, but we are exploring the possibility of using dogs – and even other animals – more widely in language acquisition and guidance, though a lot of that information must remain classified as there are significant security issues at stake. We don’t want terrorists for example to know the full role that animals play in our language detection and verification programmes. Nevertheless, I think you can take it as read that within the next decade dogs will be at least as common as teachers in the language classroom.”

Not everyone agrees. Human rights activists are angry at what they call a “degrading and inhuman” procedure. “It is an outrage to human dignity to expect people wishing to visit Britain for perfectly legitimate study reasons to undergo what amounts to an examination by animals,” said BIHR (British Institute of Human Rights) spokesperson Brian Routedge. “We shall be taking this issue to the European Court of Human Rights if the government does not modify its plans in a responsible way.”

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, but complaints should be addressed to Ms Lin Homer: lin.homer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Govt. Health Warning: This article was published at 12:01 am GMT on April 1st, 2010. It is of course an April Fool’s Day hoax and should not be taken on an empty stomach.

Admin | Posted 12:01 am GMT Thursday, April 1st, 2010 | Filed under Humour

125 Responses to “Dogs to Test Foreigners’ English”

  1. Ian Player says:

    What has happened to the British people? Have they gone into self-destruct mode? Before you can go to England to learn English you have to be able to speak English!!! Well, to GCSE level anyway, which is pretty high. And then to treat foreigners like dogs. No wonder Britannia no longer rules the waves. And good riddance to them! Stuck-up pommies.

  2. Florence Lohnes says:

    There is an April Fool’s joke. It has to be.

  3. Peggy says:

    Brilliant idea!! All dogs of all breeds should be and could be utilized for more than just breeding purposes. Although those paraded around in the most prestigious dog shows around the world should be trained first…I mean, really…just think of the gains!!! Personally, I still think you should eradicate all languages (as suggested from last year’s story) except English. In this sense, you wouldn’t have to contend with the likes of PETA and RSPCA fanatics!!! LOL

  4. Angela Humley says:

    This is treating people like terrorists. And it’s stupid too. Students are already going to countries like Audtralia to learn English where they feel more welcome.

  5. Felicity says:

    Haha … good one! Almost as believable as last year’s!

  6. Silvia Ruth says:

    Can’t them find smart and intelligent ways to show that they are also human beings?And as the world grows by leaps and bounds, the humans get each time as high as they want to do it!
    When someone wants to have sucess; he/she doesn’t need that bad way to be tested.
    Have they asked the dogs how would they feel making that kind of work? of course not, because animals are animals and humans are humans. And remember the best friend that a person could find is a dog!
    But if something good comes from this let us know inmediately, don’t wait that someone will die to show us if it is a great mistake or maybe a great decision!
    Sorry for my writing mistakes! easy to make; doesn’t it?
    I respect you! Do you respect us?…
    Regards!

  7. Peggy says:

    Felicity…I agree with you! I saved last year’s story and still read it every now and again for a good laugh!

  8. Your Mom says:

    Haha! Good one!

  9. Ralph McGreevy says:

    What day of the year is it?

  10. agt says:

    There are many palces in the world to learn English, people who want to learn ENGLISH, should not humble of this way, the students must have dignity and looking for a different country where they fell good and be respected.

  11. Brian says:

    The RSPCA should not be involved in things like this. The RSPCA Is the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, and this is treating animals like teachers.

  12. Lek Patarapisespong says:

    i leave in thailand and want going to england to improve my speking but now i will not go there. even America may better than there.

  13. Quynh Le Ngoc says:

    I still have doubt about what I have just read.
    It could not be because today is the first of April.
    It is April fool. :-)

  14. Jodie says:

    Do I get a prize for being the first person to guess that this is an April Fools Day joke???

  15. Michael says:

    After reading this I stopped for a moment and then realized that it’s April 1st. So is this an April Fools joke?

  16. Gao says:

    British people think they are too stupid than dogs

  17. Carl Georg Konow says:

    Brilliant idea! Except for… What’s the date again today???

  18. Cathy Varney says:

    When I talks to my widdle poochie woochies I always talks to them in our special baby dog language. Dose cutesie wootsies wouldn’t understand the Prime Minister. Lots of doggies only know that kind of speech.

  19. David Nightingale says:

    Today is the first of April.

  20. Weird says:

    Why don’t they train Asses (Donkeys) instead? An ass understands English pronunciations better than dogs.. lol!

  21. Mary says:

    This is the most hare-brained scheme I ever heard of. There are more different accents and dialects inside the UK than outside it. How are dogs supposed to recognize what qualifies as a “correct” accent. Is Jordie English “correct”? What about Scottish and Welsh accents? Someone at the Home Office wants their head testing, not their accent.

  22. michele says:

    great! So I need to prove my right way of speaking before learning to … speak.

  23. Dana-Maria Onica says:

    Oh! I love British dark humor. A hat tip for this story’s author. Have an excellent April fool’s day!

    Dana-Maria Onica

  24. Alan says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I live in the Philippines where April Fools Day is not celebrated. Those who have sent angry responses, you probably would find it too hard to live with English humour.

  25. Aree Thailand says:

    Last two years , I’ve visited England and found that English people are very kind and nice. After I came back, I always tell my students about these. It makes them like to visit and study English there. When I’ve heard this kind of news, I think it’s hurt my feeling because next academic year, my 2 students will be the exchange students in England for 6 months.Now, they try hard to prepare themselves but they can not use English like you:native speakers. Are they welcomed warmly or not?

  26. Jamine says:

    STUDENTS MUST BE RESPECTED WHERE EVER THEY GO.IN FACT THEY ARE SAVING TAX OF MOST OF THE COUNTRIES WHICH IS USEFUL FOR THE COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT PURPOSE.

  27. Andrew Morries says:

    What the British people think of themselves? In fact they are just stupid people. Don’t they find other way of testing English?? They can hire teachers form third world countries and trained them so that the teachers can help them in their testing system. But using the dogs to test students is just insulting the speaker of other language. You should be shameful for such kind of meanness.

    The British we hate you all.

  28. Dogs to Test Foreigners says:

    […] described how the dog, known as Cent, became bilingual within 4 months. Full story/source: ESL Blogs Blog Archive Dogs to Test Foreigners? English __________________ " . . . he recognised in himself a secret wish to step off into some […]

  29. soraya says:

    today is April fool day, i really couldn’t get the whole picture of this article. England is not the only country to master english language.besides, there are many countries we still can go to learn the language. There are many ways, techniques, and methods to cultivate the language.Language is a tool to communicate so we can pick up wherever you are.It depends on your determination and attitude.

  30. monika says:

    I think it’s a stuff and nonsense,ridiculous!Man is going to feel more and more superfluous to learn a forein language,in the end is being replaced by translating machines/automats and animals.
    I’d rather ask how muh does it cost the program to train all those dogs,and who will pay for it?

  31. Dave says:

    April Fools! I’m surprised only one of the above people noticed the date!

  32. Iceland says:

    Even if it’s an April 1st joke, it sounds rather offensive I think.

  33. Jane says:

    April Fool

  34. lisa says:

    April Fools!! Woof Woof!! (translation)

  35. Sharon says:

    April Fools!!!!

  36. Paul says:

    Nice one!
    What amazes me most is that even though several posters have pointed out the date - there are still those out there who believe this story and are willing to post comments which only confirm they are fools!
    Keep it up, I’m looking forward to the BBC effort this year - and the annual BMW advert - so are my students who love the April Fool tradition.

  37. Abdurahman says:

    I am taking care today to avoid being a victim of April Fool

  38. Umar says:

    I too think its a April Fool joke…. Any how i am not coming to uk as these nonsense and foolish strategies are used……lolz

  39. sumit srivastava says:

    hello! sir/madam
    I WANNA MAKE MY CAREER OUT SIDE INDIA SO PLZ GUIDE ME.

    THANKS
    SUMIT SRIVASTAVA
    INDIAN

  40. MILAND says:

    Human race
    Certain behavior show that Man is simply an animal like any other. I believe the intelligency makes the difference between Men and animals but being undercontrol of animals is simply none sensical.
    Where is the human dignity to be controlled by dogs.

  41. Adolf Williams says:

    OK Sumit ,
    Go on the internet and find a “college” which has no supervision over attending English lessons.Enrol ,get student visa .After the first couple of weeks in “college” preferably London,find a job and simply disappear.

  42. Maud says:

    Happy April Fools Day!!
    I love the idea.

  43. GrassEh says:

    Good one ;) have a nice april month and year

  44. samira says:

    I’m sure that dogs are very inelligent and clever,but not to be teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ha ha
    nice joke

  45. Infinity says:

    Well, I had a good laugh. And what an excellent piece of creative writing. May I get permission to use it in my essay class please - will be a bit lost on the lower-level Korean students but I’m sure the afterschool writing class can learn a thing or two from it… great stuff!!

  46. Paul says:

    If you plan to live and work in the UK you will need a sense of humour - believe me!

  47. Rosi Steckel says:

    Fools’ Day!! ha ha

  48. Magsi Tariq says:

    It is a realy april fool joke imagine when dog refuse any application how will dog react and when accept application how will dog react in both cases applicant must become fear.

  49. Lorraine says:

    You nearly had me as an April fool on this one, well done!

  50. Mary says:

    Some reactions are really harsh!! Simply that’s great April 1st joke.

  51. Jess Brand says:

    It is April Fools’ Day! Do we want everyone in England to sound like Barbara Woodhouse?

  52. Cindy says:

    Just a funny way ,not an useful one!

  53. Janet says:

    My dogs speak English, French and are now learning Spanish!

  54. samar says:

    the students that they wants to learn english must looking for and find another country ,i do not understand what happend ?

  55. Sinda says:

    Even if it is a nice joke but it is so offensive too

  56. Daniel says:

    I can’t believe with this article. How can they treat a foreigner or even a student who a non-native speaker that want to getting study over in UK, like that? It totally disrupted my dream to study there because I’ll undergo a test with a dog. Oh! No. It is totally ridiculous.

  57. Rover says:

    Why are people so disrespectful of us? You call us “Man’s best friend” and then just laugh at us.

  58. khamis afendi says:

    i want learning english now

  59. Memo says:

    hi
    I think we need more to learn English , and I think it will be wonderful to help us go and live for just two weeks in UK to succeed in learning English , and I’m ready to depend on myself what it costs .

  60. Mery says:

    April fool!!! ha, ha, ha!!!!

  61. loman-michael says:

    april fools , actually it has back fired on u guys cos u posted at after 12 noon so as they say april fools is dead and gone and you’re the fool to carry it on?

  62. Wol says:

    Does it mean that there are no people in UK can do the english test to the foreigners? I will not accept to be interview by dog. These whites people are running crazy, very soon they will marred dogs.

  63. Kara says:

    Okay, you got me last year….but NOT this year! I’m on to you!!!

  64. Ria says:

    I don’t want to involve in April fool,because i’m not fool.

  65. Mike Hoffman says:

    Dogs are very discerning creatures and while they may not be infallible, their judgment can certainly be trusted. However, I don’t believe it would be fair to use someone from - Liverpool, for example - to train them. But then, keeping students out is always a good idea, especially those pesky Americans!

  66. Giacomo Corleone says:

    The government always knows best. I think people who complain about the dogs are dog haters. Who are these dog haters. They need to be investigated for being terrorists.

  67. kevin says:

    Everybody knows that dogs are the experts for finding things by sniffing and that is an ability that only dogs have. Now speaking of language abilities the humans are the experts, you can´t prove by using a dog that a person isn´t able to communicate, because dogs can´t think as humans when talking about language. Language includes various ways of communication, it is more than just sounds or commands, body language as well this is something a dog can´t regonize, besides this is just ridiculous having a dog respond to a perfect accent, they would be ignoring the fact that english has different ways to speak considering the region that the languange is been spoken, even if you are talking about only one country you will probably find different accents. Unfortunately it seems that people aren´t thinking the way they were suppost to.

  68. StewartinOZ says:

    It’s a wonder the Unions have not been up in arms about the concept of animals replacing humans (Union Members) for what should be their jobs.
    Sounds a great idea. Which particular dialect and pronunciation are they going to use. For example I usually speak with relatively unadulterated North East Scotland accent from Montrose which most of my Australian contacts take a while to get used to. On occasions of stress I frequently lapse back into Doric.
    Would I be allowed to visit back home? Fortunately I still have a UK Passport.

  69. Natasha Yankovskaya says:

    I have always respected the British for their love for dogs. I think it is necessary for them-to be precise for their authorities-to esteem also the human dignity.

  70. Chris Krom says:

    April Fool’s

  71. StewartinOZ says:

    Actually the time for me is 22:46 so anybody that tries the April’s Fool gag after mid-day, the joke rebounds on him, or her.

  72. Luis says:

    Sorry people but I’m going to try to be serious.
    I was born in Portugal with a Spanish father, a good starting point to handle two languages since a very young age.
    However the amount of time I spent in my own country was minimal compared with the time spent all over Europe, Africa and Americas (South & North) and my conclusion is simple:
    You can not go to live, work or study without having a working knowledge of the language of that country.
    It is unfair to force them to print translations of important documents in your own language or even to supply translators.
    I’ve been in and out of the UK since the late 60’s and I know people who have been here since earlier and still do not speak English, that’s obviously wrong.
    And it is not the language de per se it’s the culture, the soul of the country that you can not get if you can’t speak. The only result is to create ghettos where the mutual respect of different cultures becomes almost impossible.
    So go wherever you wish to go but first get acquainted with the culture, life and language of the place.

  73. StewartinOz says:

    And I have passed the link for this site to Immigrants I help with English as a Second language. Judging by some of the previous comments they would not be amused. I thought this WAS a useful site but it seems I could have been mistaken.
    Please remove my name from the distribution list.
    Thanks.

  74. Bracken says:

    Reading the comments below it is clear that posting this fake story has caused considerable damage to the reputation of Britain and its government. Not very funny.

  75. D.G. says:

    I teach English, and I´m a native speaker but not from the U.K. I often have run ins with people from England, they have this way of acting superior and even admitting it –don´t know if it´s conscious or not…? They say their English is proper English… but what about their attitude…? They´re still running around “with we are the best and superior –colonial attitude or what?

    In teaching English I´ve learned that respect is very important for the students to learn and it´s now about their accent –it is about –if there is an emergency and it´s a matter of life and death –and they can communicate clear enough to help someone out –then that is what matters –that they can communicate in English and it does not have to be with an English accent. It´s about communication and respect in the end. Obviously the English don´t care about what others think, and it´s about time that people see the English for who they really are… go figure..

  76. Ernestine says:

    If this is not a joke, then the British people just gave away their value for human dignity.

  77. Kate T says:

    Waken up everyone! It’s April 1st, and this is an April Fool’s joke.

    It’s a good one!

  78. Jan says:

    To Lek and other English learners. Relax and come to the USA. American dogs are accustomed to many different accents and will welcome you with open woofs.

  79. agnes says:

    I think first they must give the anty rabies to the dogs and the teachers…..thats not a jock

  80. Tara Benwell says:

    EnglishClub’s Facebook fans have a few things to say about this article. Perhaps teachers might want to print this story and share it in class. :)

  81. Iara says:

    I do love the British.I’ve lived in London for two years and this was the best period of my life ,but,I’m not sure I understood it. Are they really serious?It seems to me there are more important issues to be taken care of.The most important thing is to be able to communicate.This is a very arrogant attitude.

  82. Zaids says:

    Nice one!!!
    I realised the day(1st April), but read the aricle and for a second was surprised,how can they do this?
    Being an animal lover i enjoyed the importance given to the dog, but at he same time wandered ,what a way to judge the pronunciation. Where have the technical savys gone, can’t they invent a friendly intelligent instrument to test the pronuncition of the foreigners.

  83. midou says:

    I think that the world of human being is turning upside down. Nothing can reach our intelligence whatsoever,,, training dogs, rats,pigs…….!!!!
    is it really important to insult the teacher by subtituting a dog in its place?
    or a tourist{certain kind of tourist} by being interviewed by a dog to get a visa?
    I think that if the dog doesn’t like you, it will bite you or bark at you?
    That’s really great,isn’t it?

  84. Elisa says:

    What a great idea!
    We could do the same in Latin America. When British people come here on holiday we just teach a couple of dogs to deal with them. That would be good enough for them, isn’t?

    ( 1st April,of course, I’m also joking…)

  85. luet says:

    I’d always thought lots of students consider non mother tongue English teachers dog-teachers (I myself used to when I was on the other side of the teacher’s desk). Now at last for once in my life I find out I was right. My advice is that teachers learn barking and wagging their tails…… on next 1st April I guess. ‘t was great. I really enjoyed it

  86. radhia says:

    A good idea?
    can not be believed because today is the first April,
    Thanks for the humor

  87. monika says:

    Yeah,it is a good April Fools’ Day joke!…lol…
    (I’d rather suggest to make dogs trained,in order to replace politicians in the Parliament.They’d do the same job as effectively as them….for less money,leastways.

  88. Salim says:

    Can’t believe it……because it’s April 1st

  89. Piroska Varga says:

    After 1st.April I would like to invite your super clever dog
    Cent to control my English pronunciation and to teach me
    how to became bilangual within 4 month.
    Perhaps Cent will be the next Nobel prize-winner and member
    of the English Academy of Science.

  90. Woof Woof Woof says:

    We dogs will have NOTHING to do with this scheme. . . . it will interfere with more interesting things like napping and chasing cats and fetching balls . . . . but I’ll think it over after April 1!!

  91. raul coba says:

    life is a bitch.

  92. joseph says:

    This is really funny, if it is a joke, if not, it is the most stupid thing I have ever heard. I don`t wanna think of English people as animals.

  93. latifa says:

    ok, I’m disappointed by this kind of human behaviour , it’s time for the English to consider humans like humans , and not like animals .

  94. nadira says:

    ahaha april fool

  95. Alan Moroney says:

    Wonderful article, dspite being April 1st, maybe the Government does not need any more ideas!
    Did anyone see expense fiddiling Imigration Minister Phil Woolas on Channel 4 laughing at people who ahd complained about the new student visas being too tough!

    On the subject of dogs, maybe he could spend a day in a cage with a few confiscated unmuzzled pitbul terriers - it would improve the immigration agency no end!

  96. Jacob says:

    Hope it is a joke. Fool April, hahahahahah.

  97. Minerva says:

    Woof woofne! (That is good one in “canine language”).
    Even thought it is difficult to believe, some governments might find these ideas appealling. So, please…don’t give them ideas!!!
    Happy April’s Fool!

  98. Arif says:

    nice april’s fool story. i want to reward if as 1 st prize.

  99. Chris says:

    12.01 on 1st April means the writer is the April Fool!!!! (Remember ‘tread on your toe for being so slow!?)
    Really nice try though!!
    :):):)

  100. Margaret says:

    @Chris: its says “12.01 am”, not 12.01 pm. “AM” stands for “ante-meridiem” or “before noon”. So “12.01 am” means 1 minute after midnight on the MORNING of April Fool’s Day, not the afternoon.

  101. G Shivsankarn says:

    It is not a good idea to test a human being with Dog. Nodoubt Dog can be well utilised to find out terrorists activities rampant, at the time of accident as a rescue team members, earth quake etc. Different countries the languages are taught different way but the pronounciation will definately slightly difficult those mother tone is not English. Then whether the Dog is going to anaylise still further, instead send the students to different schools and college wherein they canbe tested by different teachers and find out the ability , proficiency and understanding etc.

  102. DAOUDI says:

    Sorry, I could not read all of the text..It’s too much.

  103. Aziz Ramezani says:

    “you can fool some people for sometim but not all of them for all the time.”April fool
    best regards

  104. svetlana says:

    The joke is really witty!

  105. Jennifer Smith says:

    So if you want to study and learn English in the U.K. you have to know the language first? How can intelligent people explain that?
    Or is it a joke?

  106. nair R P says:

    It is really funny. What is happening in UK? Sometime ago, they introduced the point-based system for students to go there and study. May be because the UK economy was reeling under recession. Students were most welcome.All the riff-raff went to UK. Then came the problem- English. Several students, without any idea of English could get in.UKBA realised only then that English has to be strictly enforced. But, IELTS is out of question. Not even 25 percent will be able to get a reasonable score. Now dogs are entering the field!Fantastic idea to check human language!

  107. Narendran says:

    I feel the Britain has gone to the dogs! The Labour has perpetrated errror upon error making a neat mountain of them! This is perhaps the funniest folly!

    And who do they test this preposterous theory on? On unfortunate expatriate students aspiring to get a UK qualification to boost their chances at ensuring a respectful professional career.

    What will be the next step? To appoint some other animal/s to teach the students spending their parent’s hard earned money in some skill they hope to master.

    I would rather have my wards going to more sensible destination to have their higher studies done.

  108. THIBEAUX Georges says:

    A graduate, I find it hard to imagine taking an exam with a dog as my examiner… Why not a donkey or a parrot?
    G.T.

  109. Rusudan says:

    To tell the truth if it is told seriously, it is very silly idea but as I do not wish to think awfully of the British people, about people whom I very much love, and I love your English Language also. So, I would like to think that it is the April Fools’ joke. People study various languages. They study not only one, but some languages. My daughter was 2 years old when she has become interested in English language, and she speaks now smoothly. She has studied German language, the Spanish language, and recently she has begun Turkish language. If someone wishes to study language, I think that he/she does not require dogs, cats, monkeys or any animal. But who does not have desire to study if you bring even the ZOO he/she will not be study.

  110. Rusudan says:

    To tell the truth if it is told seriously, it is very silly idea but as I do not wish to think awfully of the British people, about people whom I very much love, and I love your English Language also. So, I would like to think that it is the April Fools’ joke. People study various languages. They study not only one, but some languages. My daughter was 2 years old when she has become interested in English language, and she speaks now smoothly. She has studied German language, the Spanish language, and recently she has begun Turkish language. If someone wishes to study language, I think that he/she does not require dogs, cats, monkeys or any animal. But who does not have desire to study if you bring even the ZOO he/she will not study.

  111. Mark W. says:

    Hilarious. The story was obviously an April Fool joke but what amused me more was wondering, “Didn’t some of the respondents even bother to check replies/postings to date, before “jumping in with both feet” (-replying without thinking) - including mis-spellings and bad grammar?!”

  112. Christine Pirkey says:

    Interesting. The big problem, as I see it, is that within every group of young people on visas from other countries, there are innumerable local dialets that each of them will bring along in their pronunciations. How are these unfortunate dogs expected to understand all of these nuances coming at them? It’s sometimes almost impossible for even humans to understand their next door neighbor’s pronunciations!

  113. david pierre says:

    That’s unbelievable!if it weren’t april 1st, i would say that there not on earth.

  114. tiar says:

    it’s very stupid idea i think….

  115. Imala says:

    Nice Try, expecting another in next year.

  116. Miti says:

    That’s a stupid way!

  117. Delilah says:

    To be tested by dogs???? Yayks! That’s an insult to the human race!….. And dogs replacing humans as evaluators?? A much greater insult!

  118. Rusudan says:

    In my comment I have forgotten to say that dogs study Russian language very well. It is said that RUSSIAN IS DOGS’ language. There is a great deal of truth in these words and I agree them according their /Russian/ behavior. Let them /Russian/ try to study with dogs, and let us try to study with PEOPLE.

    With respect

    Rusudan from Tbilisi, Georgia

  119. Sanon, Michel says:

    What is so wrong about the idea of keeping human beings at work, allowing them to earn their living, and to support their families?
    How can society expect human beings to be good consumers and tax payers while jobs they were supposed to do are given to technology and dogs?

    This policy really stinks.

    Michel Sanon (Montreal Qc, Canada)

  120. Luzeros says:

    I consider this is a big issue to analyze, and mainly to correct. People that wrote this news are putting UK like enemies of the international students. As user of internet searching information about English topics was a surprise to read a news like this. I verified the information and my complaint is that not all the people around the world know about “jokes”. I consider that many people around the world, have been considered that this is true. In any page says that this is a joke. I would like that you, the person in charge of this person, as a serious and professional person, clarifies it for the benefit of everybody. You might be in trouble for saying such news knowing the big issue about immigration in UK.

  121. mike says:

    won’t people have to take the time to train the dogs? or will there be Chinese squirrels doing that for the nominal pay of a few acorns a day? i don’t see this as a way to save money. it sounds less accurate, AND more expensive. this must be a joke.

  122. selma says:

    Ohh My Goodness,
    Is this a joke for first April.?!!!
    I believed in because I have a golden retriever to get a reason. They’re really very very smart. Almost he will be speaking.:),

    Anyway, this issue whatever is, correct or not,, in fact that, subject

  123. Adrian Dangle, Personal Spokesperson for Lin Homer says:

    Ms Homer has asked me to say that we at UKBA take a dim view of this particular April Fool’s Day prank. It is one thing to make a joke about spaghetti, quite another to joke about dogs and human beings. You are inflaming an already difficult situation. Dogs are intelligent animals that assist us in many ways, including counter-espionage and security. By insulting dogs in this way you lend weight to the growing demand to ban April Fool’s Day hoaxes altogether, something that we as a government have been loath to do in the interests of civil liberties.

  124. Reknor says:

    Wolf! Wooff!

    Whether Jackals, Coyotes, Beagles, or the Mutt next to you

    All hounds are good hounds, even Anubis, who stands on two

    You’ll not meet a hound that’s true, a willing fool

  125. Edna says:

    I hope this is a joke because It’s awful. Out of this world!

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