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What makes someone bilingual? There’s no easy answer

By Xavier Aparicio, Maître de conférences en psychologie cognitive, Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC)
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It’s estimated that half the world’s population is bilingual, and two-thirds of the world’s children grow up in an environment where several languages intersect. But while bilingualism is common, its definitions are varied. They are often based on people’s experiences or feelings about language – what they convey and what they represent.

The question also divides linguists. While some emphasise cultural integration as the most important factor, others say that only an individual…


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