Speaking more than one language was once an exception in the Western world, documented mostly for the more educated population, but the last few decades have seen large waves of immigration and refugees, leading to a sharp increase in the number of people from all walks of life who need to use more than one language daily. Among less educated populations and in other parts of the world, bilingualism often went unnoticed. Beginning with a section on definitions in bilingualism, this entry goes on to discuss bilingualism in children, biculturalism, bilingualism in adults, and code switching, or alternating between languages.

According to OECD statistics, 10% of adolescents are first- or second-generation migrants, with per-country figures ranging from 40% in Luxemburg to 20% in Canada, Switzerland, and ...

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