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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 >> Main Language Spoken at Home (MLSH) >> Collection Methods - MLSH

Main Language Spoken at Home - Collection Methods




Standard question modules


There are two standard question modules for Main Language Spoken at Home:
    • The question module for Detailed Data elicits the most detailed responses and data on Main Language Spoken at Home.

      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


The standard question module for Main Language Spoken at Home was designed for self enumerated and interview based surveys. It may also be used in administrative collections. Respondents should be instructed to mark one box only (the language spoken most often) when respondents speak multiple languages at home.

The standard question module for obtaining Detailed Data for the variable Main Language Spoken at Home follows:


Q1. Which language [do you] [does the person] [does (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] mainly speak at home?

(If more than one language, indicate the one that is spoken most often.)


Englishq
Mandarinq
Italianq
Arabicq
Cantonese q
Greek q
Vietnameseq
Spanishq
Hindi q
Tagalog q
Other - please specify. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


For self enumerated questionnaires, respondents should be instructed to mark one box only or to write in one response where tick boxes don't apply.

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 and surveys.

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 main language spoken at home is not listed, to write their language in the space provided.

Alternative two


This alternative question module may be used when detailed language data is required from a survey instrument which has space constraints. The question module 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).

The second alternative standard question module for obtaining Detailed Data for the variable Main Language Spoken at Home follows:


Q1. Which language [do you] [does the person] [does (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] mainly speak at home?



Englishq
Other - please specify. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Question module for Minimum Data


The standard question module for Minimum Data for the variable Main Language Spoken at Home follows:


Q1. Which language [do you] [does the person] [does (name)] [will (name of child under two years)] mainly speak at home?

Mark one box only.


Englishq
Otherq


This Minimum Data question module is suitable for collections where there is no requirement for detailed language data. It can be used to identify whether assistance in accessing services and information, due to inadequate English language skills, is required.

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


Input categories for Detailed Data


The standard input categories for Detailed Data for Main Language Spoken at Home 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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