decline could be ( 3 ). She claims that without
immigration, a lack of people could result in a ( 4 ) shortage. Then, they
both agree that Japanese people would find ( 5 ) hard to accept such a
policy because of beliefs about foreigners and the desire to ( 6 ) traditional
Japanese culture. Alison then suggests that Japan needs a leader who can
persuade the public that the matter is ( 7 ); however. Bill believes this to
be ( 8 ). Instead, he claims that social conditions may become so
inconvenient that people will then ( 9 ) the need for increased immigration.
Alison then claims that in fact, a start has been made with regard to ( 10 )
citizen care. Foreign nurses are now being allowed to work in Japan. Bill likes
this idea and says that it seems much better than trying to get robots to
( 11 ) after them. Alison seems to agree with this but adds that creative
solutions are ( 12 ) for.
the relaxed approach to life in his community of friends in Australia.
Whenever be returns to Japan, he struggles with issues of social etiquette. I-Ie
also does not know what his Japanese cousins are talking about when they
discuss their favorite television programs. While using grammatically identical
Japanese, it is as if they are speaking a different language in terms of cultural
values and knowledge.
Describing someone as `fluent" in a second language generates even more
problems than calling the person "bilingual" does. If fluency means using a
language "easily and well", how can it be measured? Is it being able to
conduct everyday conversations without using a dictionary, understanding 70
per cent of a television documentary, having almost perfect grammar. . . ?
Sachiko has been living in the UK for 25 years and is married to a British
man. She has a few Japanese friends, but most of her professional and
personal life is conducted in English. In most situations she is happy to use
English, though she has never lost her Japanese accent and still cannot
understand some of the subtleties of English grammar, such as when to use
"the" instead of "a", or the present perfect.
Sachiko is not bilingual, although her friends describe her as "fluent" in
English. By her own admission she still finds aspects of English difficult. So,
does this mean that she is not fluent (remember that the dictionary definition
for fluency is using a language "easily and well")? Clearly, fluency is a
In conclusion, the terms "bilingual" and "fluent" are not clearly defined at
all. In fact, nobody ever completely masters their mother tongue. Even an
educated monolingual person may be utterly confused by complicated legal
terminology in their one and only language. Given the diversity of dialects,
slang and cultural norms within a linguistic group (particularly English, which
is an official language in many countries), there cannot be a comprehensive set
of criteria to determine "fluency", "native speaker" status or "bilingualism".
3 - OM 1(595-3) Everybody who has learned a
foreign language will have probably wished
that they could put away their dictionary or grammar book and communicate
effortlessly in the language. Many people want to speak a second language
fluently, and bilingual people arc often admired or even envied. But have you
ever thought about what being bilingual or fluent in a second language actually
The words "bilingual" and "fluent" are clearly defined in the dictionary.
The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, for example, defines bilingual as
being "able to speak two languages equally well because you have used themn
since you were very young", and fluent as using a foreign language "easily and
well However, these definit