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Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN]

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termMain language other than English spoken at home
METeOR identifier:Help on this term659402
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 25/01/2018
Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018
Definition:Help on this term

The language reported by a person as the main language other than English spoken by that person in his/her home (or most recent private residential setting occupied by the person) to communicate with other residents of the home or setting and regular visitors, as represented by a code.

Data Element Concept:Person—main language other than English spoken at home

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Classification scheme:Australian Standard Classification of Languages 2016
Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN[NNN]
Maximum character length:Help on this term4

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

The ASCL has a three-level hierarchical structure. The most detailed level of the classification consists of languages which are represented by four-digit codes. The second level of the classification comprises narrow groups of languages (the Narrow group level), identified by two-digit and three-digit codes. The most general level of the classification consists of broad groups of languages (the Broad group level) and is identified by one-digit codes. The classification includes Australian Indigenous languages and sign languages.

For example, the Lithuanian language has a code of 3102. In this case 3 denotes that it is an Eastern European language, while 31 denotes that it is a Baltic language. The Pintupi Aboriginal language is coded as 8713. In this case 8 denotes that it is an Australian Indigenous language and 87 denotes that the language is a Western Desert language.

Language data may be output at the Broad group level, Narrow group level or the language level of the classification. Also, significant languages within a Narrow group can be presented separately with the remaining languages of the Narrow group aggregated. The same principle can be adopted to highlight significant Narrow groups within a Broad group.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Collection methods:Help on this term

Where extensive data on main language other than English spoken at home is needed, one of the two questions below may be used:

Alternative 1

Do you/Does the person/Does (name)/ Will (name of child under two years) speak a language other than English at home? (If more than one language, indicate the language that is spoken most often.)

No, (English only) []

Yes, Mandarin []

Yes, Italian []

Yes, Arabic []

Yes, Cantonese []

Yes, Greek []

Yes, Vietnamese  []

Yes, Spanish  []

Yes, Hindi  []

Yes, Tagalog  []

Yes, Other (please specify) ____________

The above list includes languages based on their statistical frequency in Australia, based on data from the Census of Population and Housing.

Alternative 2

Do you/Does the person/Does (name)/ Will (name of child under two years) speak a language other than English at home?

No, English only []

Yes, Other - please specify ____________

Where there is no requirement for detailed language data, the following question may be suitable:

Do you/Does the person/Does (name)/ Will (name of child under two years) speak a language other than English at home?

No, English only []

Yes, Other []

Comments:Help on this term

This metadata item is consistent with that used in the Australian Bureau of Statistics's (ABS) Census of Population and Housing and is recommended for use whenever there is a requirement for comparison with Census data.

This data element is important in identifying those people most likely to suffer disadvantage in terms of their ability to access services due to language and/or cultural difficulties. In conjunction with Indigenous status, Proficiency in spoken English and Country of birth this data element forms the minimum core set of cultural and language indicators recommended by the ABS.

Data on main language other than English spoken at home are regarded as an indicator of 'active' ethnicity and also as useful for the study of inter-generational language retention. The availability of such data may help providers of health and community services to effectively target the geographic areas or population groups that need those services. It may be used for the investigation and development of language services such as interpreter/ translation services.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Reference documents:Help on this term

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016a. Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) 2016. ABS cat. no.1267.0. Canberra: ABS.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016b. Language Standards 2016. ABS cat. no.1200.0.55.005. Canberra: ABS.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2011) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011, Health, Superseded 25/01/2018, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016, Community Services (retired), Standard 13/10/2011

See also Person—preferred language, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN] Health, Standard 25/01/2018, Tasmanian Health, Endorsed 27/06/2017, ACT Health, Final 08/08/2018

See also Person—proficiency in spoken English, code N Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program NBEDS 2018–19 Health, Superseded 12/12/2018

DSS specific attributes +

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program NBEDS 2019–20 Health, Standard 12/12/2018

DSS specific attributes +

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program NBEDS 2020–21 Health, Standardisation pending 15/11/2019

DSS specific attributes +

Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS 2019- Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018

DSS specific attributes +

Your Experience of Service National Best Endeavours Data Set Health, Standard 25/01/2018

DSS specific attributes +
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