Bilingualism is a major fact of life in the world today. One in three of the world's population routinely uses two or more languages for work, family life, and leisure. Many more make irregular use of languages other than their native one(s), including those who have learned an additional language at school and use it occasionally for specific purposes (e.g., travel). It seems likely that this trend will continue given the current processes of globalization and the growing need to communicate across political and linguistic borders.

The term bilingualism can be used to describe an individual phenomenon, as in a person's ability to speak two or more languages. It is also possible to talk about bilingualism as a characteristic of a group or community of people, ...

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