Language Quiz

Language and identity are closely interlinked, but we rarely question what this means. The questions below will help you gain a better understanding of the role of language in your life – from emotional attachment to practical needs.

The quiz, and the advice and information given, is based on previous research. Your results will give you an idea of how you might talk about language with other people in your life, for example family members. You might want to ask them to complete the quiz, too, and compare and discuss results. It is absolutely expected that most people will have some sort of connection with all four quadrants (just because you have a strong emotional connection to the language doesn’t mean that it isn’t also good for future job prospects), and it is also expected that attitudes will fluctuate over time, in accordance with big family events, recent experiences, etc.

The questionnaire is completely anonymous, and no personal data will be asked for or shared. At the end, you will be given the option to volunteer for a follow-up questionnaire one month after you take the quiz. For this, we need your email address – this will only be used to send you the link to the follow-up questionnaire, and will then be destroyed.

This quiz and accompanying materials have been funded by the British Academy. By filling in the questionnaire, you agree that The University of Sheffield may publish the results anonymously for a number of purposes, including research, reports, or training materials, on the internet or in print. If you have any queries or comments, please contact Dr Sabine Little (, telephone 0114 222 8089.

All questions followed by a red asterisk (*) are required.

How old are you? *

Do you identify as male / female / prefer not to say? *

Which country do you currently live in? *

What would you class as your own “first” language? *

If you have more than one 'first language', please provide details:

Please tick which of these most closely describes the adults in your household (NB: we use the 'society language' as a term to describe the main language in your country around you – the language of school, the law, main media, etc. We realise that there are many multilingual countries, and it is almost impossible to create a questionnaire which covers all eventualities. If you feel misrepresented, please choose 'Other', and enter manually): *

Do you have children? *

If you have selected 'other', please enter details of your household below:

The quiz will ask about parenting ideas, to understand your link to language in an intergenerational context. If you do not have children, please answer these questions hypothetically, i.e. “If I had children, I think I would feel like this”. This will give us important data about thoughts from people before and after they have children.
How many children are in your family, and how old are they?

Which language/s are you seeking to pass on to your children? *

If you have selected 'more than one', please provide details:

Which language/s is your partner seeking to pass on to your children (if appropriate) *

If you have selected 'more than one', please provide details:

I enjoy reading books or watching TV/films in my family language in my own time. *

The family language is important to me to express and connect with my emotions. *

Fluency in the family language is important for me to live my daily life. *

I could get by without knowing the family language. *

Knowing the family language helps me access more opportunities. *

I think my partner does not understand how important my language is to me. *

I feel guilty when I don't use the heritage language in the family. *

Fluency in the family language is important for me to connect emotionally with my identity. *

My language is important as an inseparable part of me. *

My family language is necessary for me to work/go to school. *

I am not confident in my language skills when talking to teachers, doctors, etc. *

I enjoy speaking in my family language. *

I don't particularly mind whether my child learns my language or not. *

It's nice to see my child communicate in the family language (with other family members) when we visit the country. *

When we go on holiday, it's nice for the child to speak the language, so they can find children to play with. *

If my child is happy without the family language, that is okay with me. *

It is a cultural expectation that our children will learn the family language. *

Studying/working in the country where our family language is spoken is a future possbility for my children. *

My child could get by without knowing the family language. *

My child has formal instruction in the family language (eg. Saturday school, etc.). *

I sometimes refuse to answer my child if they don't speak the family language. *

I don't mind if my child does not answer me in my language. *

It is necessary for my children to speak the family language, to support social family cohesion. *

I feel an emotional responsibility to pass on my language to my children. *

In future, my child will be expected to marry/choose a partner from our language background. *

I cannot imagine my child not speaking my language. *

I often worry about my child not being or becoming 'good enough' in the family language. *

My child sometimes translates for me (from family language to society language). *

When we travel to the country where our family language is spoken, we have many friends and family members to connect with. *

Speaking the family language makes life easier for us. *

Speaking the family language makes travelling easier. *

Speaking the family language will enhance future employment prospects. *

Having another language is like a 'free gift' - you might as well make use of the opportunity to learn it. *

Me and my partner argue about how/which languages should be used in our family. *

Shared reading in the family language is/was important in family time. *

Access to culture (music, books, etc) in the family language is important to understand our family culture. *

The family language is vital for us to connect to our cultural roots. *

We are planning to return (to live) to a country where the family language is spoken. *

As a family, we regularly use online technology to communicate in the family language with other family members. *

We have family members living with us/near us who do not speak the society language well enough to communicate freely. *

Knowing the family language helps making friends. *

The family language is necessary to be part of our local community. *

We have a strong community in the family language around us. *

My child's school/nursery/kindergarten engage with my child's multilingual background. *

In our community, you fit in better when you speak our family language. *

We encounter the family language daily outside our home. *

We use our family language to pray/access religious services. *

If you'd like us to follow up, please enter your e-mail address.