Preparing for Interviews – Guide for Qualitative Research

There are many different types of question that can be asked and in many different ways. What is common to all questions, though, is that they must be worded in a way that is understood by the respondents and to which respondents can relate. This means ensuring that there are minority-language versions of the questionnaire if the sample is likely to include people who speak a language is unlikely to be sufficiently good to be able to complete an interview in it. By denying sections of the survey population the opportunity to participate in the study, the questionnaire writer is effectively disenfranchising them from influencing the findings. For many studies commissioned by the public sector in countries, it is important that the interview is capable of being conducted in any language that is spoken by a significant number of people in the any language that is the spoken by a significant number of people in the survey population to avoid the danger of disenfranchisement. In the UK Many government studies require questionnaire versions in Welsh, Urdu, Hindi and other languages, and in USA a Spanish-language version will often be required.

 The relevance of Minority-language speakers will naturally vary by the subject of the study and degree of accuracy required by the data. For a study of housing conditions it is likely to be important that recently arrived immigrant communities are represented in a sample in correct proportions. If the questionnaire is not available in a language that they understand, they will be effectively excluded and hence under-represented.

 For many commercial studies , the issues of minorities can be mostly ignored in many countries, although Spanish versions of questionnaires are frequently necessary in the USA. This is because the most commercial studies the difference that a minority or non- majority language speaking speakers is likely to make the finding small , particularly in comparison to the variation caused by sampling error, non response rates and even interviewer error.

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