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CensusAtSchool: Languages Spoken by Students
How can I find this data? This data can be found using either the Random Sampler or the National Time Series Tables. These resources can be found on the CensusAtSchool home page.
Idea for the classroom: Is your class a typical Australian class?
Since 2008, CensusAtSchool data indicates the number of children speaking only one language has declined, while the number of children speaking two or more languages has increased.
1. Make a prediction: will the number of languages spoken by members in your class be similar to a random sample, or the Australian population? What percentage of students do you expect in your class to speak one language. What percentage of students in your class do you expect will speak more than one language?
2. Conduct a survey: conduct a survey of your class asking the question 'In how many languages can you hold an everyday conversation?' Record your results in a frequency table with a separate column for girls and boys. For an example see the frequency table of the CensusAtSchool National Time Series Table 5: Number of spoken languages by sex (%). Compare your prediction to your results from your class survey. Was your prediction correct? Why/Why not?
3. Take a Random Sample: use the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler to get data of number of languages. Make sure you get a random sample of the same number of students as your survey. Record your results in a frequency table with a separate column for girls and boys.
4. Compare samples: Compare your class survey results with the results from the random sampler. Are they similar? Why/why not?
5. Compare your samples to the population: compare your results from your class survey and the results from the random sampler to the CensusAtSchool population using CensusAtSchool National Time Series Table 5: Number of spoken languages by sex (%). Compare your survey results, and the random sample results, with the National Time Series table. Describe any differences and similarities between your two samples compared to the National Time Series table.
6. What would happen next? If you took more random samples, do you think you would get different or similar results to what you already have? Explain why.
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