Last updated
22 Nov 2021

How well can you understand, speak, read and write English?

How do I answer this question?

Select one option for each skill.

It is up to you to decide how well you can understand, speak, read or write English.

My child uses English very well for their age, but not as well as an adult might. How do I answer?

Select the option that describes how well this person can use each English skill for someone their age.

Why is this question asked? 

The answers to this question help with providing services for people who cannot speak English very well or at all.  For example, health services and local government use this information to provide services for those with varying abilities of English.

Why are you not asking about other languages?

There are other questions in the census that ask about:

  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Scots language
  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • main language

Who should answer this question?

This question should be answered for everybody who is aged 3 or over.

How do I answer this question on the paper questionnaire?

On paper this question is in a grid with a column for each skill. Select one option in every column.

I am answering on paper for a child who is too young to speak, read or write. How do I answer?

You do not need to answer this question for children aged 2 or under.

We will be able to tell that this person’s language skills are age related from their date of birth.

Is this page useful?

Do not include personal information or contact information. Please note that we will not respond directly to any feedback sent from this page. We will use this information to improve our service.