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Public Attitudes Towards the Scots Language




The Scottish Government's Culture, External Affairs and Tourism Analytical Unit and the Schools Directorate

Conducted by



The overall research objectives are to:

  • 1) Explore what people understand the Scots language to be;
  • 2) Investigate public perceptions of and attitudes to the Scots language by adults living in Scotland; and
  • 3) Examine behaviours and expectations in relation to the use of the Scots language in Scotland.

Sampling method

The Scottish Omnibus Survey ( SOS) was the vehicle of data collection. The SOS is designed to be representative of the adult population of Scotland aged 16+.

This is achieved, firstly, by stratifying by the 8 Scottish Parliament electoral regions in order to provide geographic representation. Population data is then used to determine the correct number of sample points required in each region.

At this wave, interviews conducted across 72 sample points.

Interviewers are provided with block of addresses to ensure that all interviews are conducted within the correct sample point.

A quota-sampling methodology is used, with quotas set on gender and household shopping status, working status and presence of children as shown below. Only one interview is permitted per household.


Adult population (aged 16+) across Scotland

Sample size

1020 interviews conducted in total across Scotland

Fieldwork period

From 23 September to 2 October 2009

Data collection

Interviewing was conducted face-to-face in respondents' homes using multi-media CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)




64 interviewers

Interviewer validation

Face to face validation: A minimum of 10% of interviews are checked on every survey. Verification is carried out at TNS' head office, mainly on the telephone, by trained validators. Interviewer assignments are systematically selected.


The questionnaire used can be provided by TNS- BMRB on request.


Data weighted according to gender, age, working status and SEG. Weights derived from National Readership Survey 2006. Unweighted and Weighted sample profile can be found in section 2 of this report.