• Presentation

"¿Podemos comenzar la entrevista ahora? May we begin the interview now?:" Conducting Survey Research With Bilingual Interviewers and Respondents


Tate, N. M., & Janson, N. (2010, May). #8220;¿Podemos comenzar la entrevista ahora? May we begin the interview now?:#8221; Conducting Survey Research With Bilingual Interviewers and Respondents. Presented at AAPOR 2010, .


Conducting surveys with Spanish-speaking populations can be challenging in terms of instrument design as well as data collection and interviewer training and support. For a 2009 large-scale longitudinal education study of approximately 17,000 recent bachelor’s degree recipients, an abbreviated Spanish interview was offered as an option to sample members. The study accommodated Spanish-speaking sample members by providing a Spanish language web interview, as well as telephone and field interviews.

This poster demonstrates the challenges involved in creating a methodologically-equivalent non-English language interview.
Questions include:
•Is the integrity of question concepts maintained post-translation?
•How will dialect differences be accounted for post-translation?
•How are non-translated interview items accounted for within the instrument design?

We also discuss challenges met in training and supporting bilingual interviewing staff. Questions include:
•What special recruiting techniques are necessary to hire competent bilingual staff?
•How much supervision is necessary to accommodate bilingual interviewers?
•Is it necessary to translate all study materials for bilingual interviewers?
•To what degree should interviewers be expected to translate “on the fly?”
•Are varied refusal conversion techniques necessary when contacting a bilingual population?
•What cultural factors must be taken into account?
•What special considerations are needed when supporting bilingual interviewers?

Based on successes and challenges with this Spanish interview, we also provide suggestions and topics for discussion for other multi-mode, multi-lingual interviews.