Language Background Questionnaires

Research Materials
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 test can be used to assess the comprehension of Standard Italian. The
downloadable text provides a listing of the 45 items, each accompanied by three
responses (one of which is correct). An entirely aural version of the test - without
the display of text - was administered in Ottawa to 316 Italian who were long-time
residents of Canada. The scores that were obtained ranged from a chance level to
perfect.(100% correct) depending on a number of factors.
These are the  LBQs used in our 1997 project with
Italian immigrants carried out in Ottawa in 1997.