There are various instruments (for example from the Reading and Writing Foundation ) to estimate someone’s language level. But often these instruments confirm that something is not working. This does not promote the self-confidence of the participant.

That’s whyI usually ask questions with examples of situations in which people may or may not recognize themselves. That turns out to be less confrontational, and it helps me as a researcher to estimate the skill level.

Estimate of the reading

  • Many people find it difficult to read and understand the letters from the municipality about, for example, benefits or work in the street. How’s that for you?
  • Many people find it difficult to make the right choice when they receive a menu on the phone when they call an organization or company. How’s that for you?
  • Does someone ever help you CFO Email List with filling out (online) questionnaires or forms?
  • Does anyone ever help you look up information on the computer/on the Internet?
  • Several people sometimes find making online purchases complicated. How’s that for you?
  • Do you arrange your banking online yourself, or is there someone who is watching/helping you?

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Everyone understands B1 level: make your text understandable [3 tips]

In addition, you can also use the request-back method or the narration method to check whether what people have read are also understood. You have participants tell in their own words what they have read or done.

It is important that you emphasize that there are no wrong answers, but that you would like to check whether you have described it clearly enough. So you keep it to yourself. You can apply the request-back method by saying, for example: I want to make sure we wrote it down correctly. Can you tell me in your own words what you have just read or done?”

Before you start questioning people, it is important that you test to what extent the questionnaire of the survey, the test script, the instructions or the interview guide is clear.

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