Notes for students and instructors

Study questions
1 Of the names and labels of bilingual speakers listed in the Introduction and in Chapter 1, which describes yourself and your bilingual friends most appropriately, and why?
2 In your view, how useful are the terms balanced 'bilingual' and 'semilingual'? Can you see any problems when you apply them to anyone you know?
3 Why is it important to distinguish language 'proficiency' and language 'use' in defining a bilingual? How important is it to consider bilingual ability across the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing?

Study activities
1 Select five individuals each of whom you would describe as bilingual. Ask each of them whether he or she would consider himself or herself to be bilingual and why. Compare your definition with theirs, and make a table or diagram to illustrate the important factors that need to be taken into account in defining bilingual speakers.
2 Investigate the history of language contact and attitudes towards bilingualism in a community or region of your choice. You may need to consult historical documents and design a short questionnaire on language attitudes. Pay particular attention to how politico-economic changes have affected peopled attitudes towards bilingualism.

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