How to prescreen for participants who are fluent in multiple languages

If you would like to recruit participants who are fluent in two or more specific languages, you can do this using our prescreening filters.

Our "Fluent languages" filter allows participants to choose exactly which languages they are fluent in (multiple languages can be selected).

However, when you select more than one language in the "Fluent languages" screener, you are screening participants who are fluent in one language OR the other, not participants who are fluent in both/all.

For example, if you select Arabic, Spanish and English, the study will recruit participants who are fluent in Arabic OR Spanish OR English, not participants who are fluent in all three.

Note: the majority of participants on Prolific are proficient in English, but we cannot guarantee this unless you explicitly screen for English-fluency.

So, how can I target participants who are fluent in multiple languages?

  • You will need to use both the "First language" and "Fluent languages" filters to set this up.
  • This allows you to target participants who are native speakers of one language AND fluent in another.
  • To target participants who are fluent in more than two specific languages, you can use these filters to narrow your sample to a group of potentially eligible participants, then use the Recruiting a Custom Sample approach to identify those who meet your exact requirements.
  • We also provide other prescreening filters to help you assess participants' language proficiency in more depth; e.g. "Bilingual", "Were you raised monolingual?"

Example 1: recruiting participants fluent in English AND Spanish (two specific languages)

  • In the Audience section of study creation, select the option "I want to apply custom prescreening."
  • Apply the "First language" filter, and select the language which you would like participants to be more proficient in (e.g. Spanish if recruiting native Spanish-speakers).
  • Then, apply the "Fluent languages" filter and select the other language you require fluency in (e.g. English).
  • This will target participants who have reported they are fluent in both of these languages.

Example 2: recruiting participants fluent in French AND Spanish AND Arabic (3+ specific languages)

  • In the Audience section of study creation, select the option "I want to apply custom prescreening."
  • Apply the "First language" filter, and select the language which you would like participants to be most proficient in. If you don't have a preference, we'd recommend choosing the language which yields the highest number of eligible participants (e.g. Spanish in this case).
  • Apply the "Fluent languages" filter, and select the remaining languages you require fluency in (e.g. French and Arabic).
  • Apply the "Bilingual" filter, and select the two options "native language + two other languages" and "native language + three or more other languages".
  • This set up will target participants who native speakers of Spanish, fluent in either French or Arabic, and speak at least three languages.
  • Once you've narrowed down your sample to those individuals, you can run a short survey to identify participants who are fluent in all three languages. Read more about this process here.
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