The Turnbull government is considering a basic conversational English test as a requirement for migrants to becoming Australian citizens.
Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge is expected to announce the plans, after consultation with migrant and business groups, in a speech to the Sydney Institute on Thursday.
"This would become a stronger incentive to learn the language as permanent residency is the most important objective for many," he's expected to say.
A conversational English test would replace the International English Language Testing System used to assess skilled migrants, The Australian reports.
Australia is approaching a million non-English speakers and the increase is concerning, Mr Tudge believes.
"This is particularly so, given the concentration of non-English speakers in particular pockets, largely in Melbourne and Sydney," he's expected to say.
It's not the first time Mr Tudge has flagged the importance of English for migrants.
In March he suggested migrants must demonstrate they've made an effort to integrate before becoming citizens, steps which could include joining a Rotary Club or a soccer team.
The government has been in talks with crossbench MPs to garner support for changes to citizenship laws that were shot down in the Senate last year.