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First Language Spoken - Collection Methods
This standard question module for detailed data for First Language Spoken is recommended for all collections designed to collect extensive data on first language spoken.
For self enumerated questionnaires, respondents should be instructed to mark one box only.
The tick box list for this question module includes languages based on their statistical significance in the Australian context. The list is designed for efficiency when coding responses. The list is reviewed when data indicate that different languages have been more or less frequently reported in the ABS Census.
The tick box list can be extended where circumstances enable longer lists, consistent with the ASCL, to be displayed, such as in electronic collection drop down lists. Similarly, if there are space constraints on paper forms, the tick box list can be truncated.
The 'Other - please specify' category is included to enable respondents, whose first language spoken is not listed, to write their first language in the a space provided.
This alternative question may be used when detailed language data is required from a survey instrument which has space constraints. The question uses only the tick box for 'English' and the 'Other - please specify' option for respondents to write in their language. Additional coding costs will be incurred since each response will need to be matched to an entry in the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2011 (ABS cat. no. 1267.0).
Question module for minimum data
The standard question module for minimum data for the variable First Language Spoken follows:
This minimum data question is suitable for administrative collections or surveys where there is no requirement for detailed language data. It can be used to identify respondents who may require assistance to access services and information, due to inadequate English language skills.
Each alternative to the question module may be accompanied by a brief explanatory note about why Language data is collected and detailed instructions about how to answer the question. The explanatory note can be included with the chosen question module or in supplementary documentation. The recommended text for the explanatory note is in Appendix A.
Standard input categories
The standard input categories for First Language Spoken are the same as the categories of the ASCL plus the supplementary codes.