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1200.0.55.005 - Language Standards, 2012, Version 1.1  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/09/2012  First Issue
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Contents >> First Language Spoken >> Collection Methods - FLS

First Language Spoken - Collection Methods





Standard Question Modules

There are two standard question modules for First Language Spoken:

  • The Question Module for Detailed Data elicits more comprehensive responses and data on First Language Spoken.
There are two alternatives for the Question Module for Detailed Data which may be used, depending on space and cost considerations:
  • Alternative one: a set of 'most likely' languages with tick boxes and an 'Other -please specify' response category for writing a language not specified in the tick box list
  • Alternative two: a tick box for 'English' and an 'Other - please specify' write-in category
Alternative two is more compact but will incur additional coding costs.
  • The Question Module for Minimum Data contains only the tick box options 'English' and 'Other' and therefore does not collect details as to which language other than English is spoken.
Question module for detailed data

Alternative one

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.

The standard question module for obtaining detailed data for First Language Spoken follows:

    Q1. Which language [did you ] [did the person] [did (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] first speak as a child?


    Englishq
    Mandarinq
    Italian q
    Arabicq
    Cantonese q
    Greek q
    Vietnameseq
    Spanishq
    Hindiq
    Tagalogq
    Other - Please Specify...................

    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.

    Alternative two

    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).

    Q1. Which language [did you ] [did the person] [did (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] first speak as a child?

    Englishq
    Other - Please Specify...................

    Question module for minimum data

    The standard question module for minimum data for the variable First Language Spoken follows:


    Q1. Which language [did you ] [did the person] [did (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] first speak as a child?

    Englishq
    Otherq

    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.


    Input categories for minimum data

    The standard input categories for the Question Module for Minimum Data are:

        • English
        • Other language.



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