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Bilingualism refers to the individual's ability to be fluent in two distinct languages. Bilingualism is becoming increasingly relevant to the work of clinical professionals, given the rapidly changing demographic makeup of the United States. The 1996 U.S. Census attributed much of this change to increased birthrates among Latino and American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut populations, as well as a substantial increase in immigration rates. Consider, for example, that in the year 2000, ethnic minority youth constituted approximately 30% of the entire U.S. population. Some demographers estimate that almost 3,000 immigrants arrive in the United States each day, contributing approximately 1 million individuals to annual population figures. Because large numbers of immigrants in the United States speak their language of origin and subsequently acquire the ability ...

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