February 12, 2018

LHQ 3.0

The language history questionnaire (LHQ) is an important tool for assessing the linguistic background of bilinguals or second language learners and for generating self-reported proficiency in multiple languages. Previously we developed a generic LHQ based on the most commonly asked questions in published studies (Li, Sepanski & Zhao, 2006) and provided researchers with a web-based interface (LHQ 2.0) that has flexibility in functionality, accuracy in data recording, and privacy for users and data(Li, Zhang, Tsai, & Puls, 2013). Since the publication of LHQ, hundreds of researchers have used it for their studies. These researchers have also provided many comments/requests/inquires for potentially new functions of the LHQ. The current version (LHQ 3.0) reflects our efforts to address some of the needs by the researchers. Among the many improvements we made to the web-based tool, the most important one is the addition of an aggregate score function, which can automatically calculate aggregated scores for a participants’ second language proficiency level based on their inputs to several relevant LHQ questions. Such a score will help the researchers get a rough estimation/classification of different types of bilingual speakers. Furthermore, different researchers may be focused on different aspects and dimensions of a second language learner’s language background. Therefore, LHQ 3.0 also provides researchers with the flexibility to assign different weights to different modules when calculating the aggregated score.

Step 1:
The investigator or experimenter completes the sign-up process (by clicking on Sign in/Sign up LHQ 3.0 at the top of the Home page), and then create a new Questionnaire by receiving a unique Experiment ID (with an individualized URL) associated with his or her experiment. Investigator will also receive an email contains the participant ID number roster in CSV.

Step 2:
The investigator can send this Questionnaire URL and participant ID number (from the roster) to the experiment’s participants and ask them to complete the experiment. The participants complete the LHQ online through the individualized URL, and data(along with participant numbers) are automatically and cumulatively saved.

Step 3:
The investigator accesses the account management page (by clicking on Sign in/Sign up LHQ 3.0) to download or delete experiment data. The investigator can also temporally disable the access for the participant to access to the questionnaire by clicking the “Disable” button, and re-enable the experiment by click “Enable” button.

Step 4:
At any time point, the investigator can download a composite score as well as an aggregate score sheet. The composite score function include overall proficiency scoring, dominance scoring, as well as immersion scoring of each participant, and allows investigators to designate the weighting they wish to attribute to the different aspects of language usage (speaking, writing, reading, and listening) to customize the aggregate scoring. The overall aggregate score compiles the average, range, and standard deviation for each of the scores across participants. To access such functions, select the composite scores of interest, enter the weighting distribution, and click on download button to download the scoring sheets.


Please cite the reference “Li, P., Zhang, F., Tsai, E., Puls, B. (2014). Language history questionnaire (LHQ 2.0): A new dynamic web-based research tool. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(3), 673-680. DOI: 10.1017/S1366728913000606.” in any publications that report data based on LHQ 2.0.


If you have any questions or need further information about the questionnaire, please contact Ping Li or Fan Zhang. We welcome your feedback, comments, and suggestions.