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Person—proficiency in spoken English, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termProficiency in spoken English
METeOR identifier:Help on this term695981
Registration status:Help on this termHomelessness, Standard 10/08/2018
Definition:Help on this term

A person's self-assessed level of ability to speak English, as represented by a code.

Data Element Concept:Person—proficiency in spoken English

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
1Very well
2Well
3Not well
4Not at all
Supplementary values:Help on this term
7Not applicable
9Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

CODE 7     Not applicable

This code is used for respondents who do not speak a language other than English for their first language spoken and/or do not speak a language other than English at home.

CODE 9     Not stated/inadequately described

This code is not to be used on primary collection forms. It is primarily for use in administrative collections when transferring data from data sets where the item has not been collected.

Collection methods:Help on this term

A question on proficiency in spoken English is asked of respondents whose first language spoken is a language other than English, or those who speak a language other than English at home.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Origin:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) Standards for statistics on cultural and language diversity 1999. ABS cat. no. 1289.0. Canberra: ABS.Viewed 27 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1289.0.

Reference documents:Help on this term

ABS 2016. Language standards, 2016. ABS cat. no. 1200.0.55.005. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 27 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1200.0.55.005.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Collection methods:Help on this term

This data element is only intended to be collected for people whose first language spoken is a language other than English, or who speak a language other than English at home.

There are 2 standard question modules for collecting proficiency in spoken English: self-enumerated surveys and surveys conducted by interview.

Self-enumerated survey:

Question: How well [do you] [does the person] speak English?

  • Very well
  • Well
  • Not well
  • Not at all

Interview-based survey:

Question: Do you consider [you speak] [(name)] speaks] English very well, well, not well or not at all?

  • Very well
  • Well
  • Not well
  • Not at all

Generally this would be a self-reported question, but in some circumstances (particularly where a person does not speak English well) assistance may be required in answering this question. It is important that the person's self-assessed proficiency in spoken English be recorded wherever possible.

The standard question modules for proficiency in spoken English should be asked after a language question which identifies people who speak a language other than English. This can be done using the following variables:

  • First language spoken
  • Languages spoken at home
  • Main language other than English spoken at home
  • Main language spoken at home.
Comments:Help on this term

For people living in Australia a lack of proficiency in spoken English may impact a person's access to employment, education and other government and non-government services. This data element is used primarily to identify people who may experience disadvantage as a result of a lack of competence in spoken English. This information can be used to assess, measure and monitor service needs.

In conjunction with the data elements Person—Indigenous status, code N, Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN] and Person—country of birth, code (SACC 2016) NNNN; this data element forms the minimum core set of cultural and language variables recommended by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for collection.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Origin:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) Standards for statistics on cultural and language diversity 1999. ABS cat. no. 1289.0. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 27 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1289.0.

Reference documents:Help on this term

ABS 2016. Language standards, 2016. ABS cat. no. 1200.0.55.005. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 27 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1200.0.55.005.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Person—country of birth, code (SACC 2016) NNNN Health, Standard 06/12/2016, Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018, Tasmanian Health, Endorsed 27/06/2017, Disability, Standard 15/12/2017, ACT Health, Final 19/07/2018, Commonwealth Department of Social Services (retired), Standard 20/06/2018

See also Person—first language spoken, code (ASCL 2011) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011, Health, Standard 13/10/2011, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 13/10/2011

See also Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN] Health, Standard 25/01/2018, Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018, Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

Supersedes Person—proficiency in spoken English, code N Housing assistance, Standard 10/02/2006, Health, Standard 01/03/2005, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 01/03/2005

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

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

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