Language Background Questionnaires

Language Background Questionaires
una strada Romana in Italia
Over the years I have received quite a few requests for copies of the language
background questionnaires (LBQs) we administered to the participants in various studies.
In the hope of being helpful, I am creating links to three such LBQs.

It should go without saying that the questions we asked changed over time, mostly due to
changes in our research focus but also, at times, because we thought we had discovered
a slightly better way to obtain certain information.

Administering an LBQ is an art form. In my opinion, the experimenter should verbally ask
all questions, filling in the Ss' responses him or herself, rather than simply handing a
written form to the participants for compilation. If the experimenter serves as a "filter", the
various misunderstandings that are likely to arise, no matter how clear is the language of
the LBQ, can be avoided.

Even more specifically: I recommend that the experimenter sit side by side with the
participant so that the participant can "read along", and make whatever corrections they
deem fit. It often happened with regard to the "percent use" items, that Ss would
reconsider their first answer. Such corrections were always accepted, and for this reason
the experimenter always used a pencil rather than a pen.
This is the LBQ used in the foreign accent study carried out with
Italian immigrants in Ottawa. It was published by Flege et al. in
JASA in 1995.
This is the LBQ used in the foreign accent study carried out with
Korean immigrants in Washington, DC. The research was
published by Flege et al. in 1999.
This is a two-page LBQ used with Italian immigrants who were
recruited in Ottawa in 1997. Several articles using this information
was published in subsequent years.