Offering 0pen and Honest Professional Advice
It could be argued that bilinguals speak two native languages. Most people's perception of bilingualism is bilinguals will have equal capability in each language. In practice, very few people are balanced bilinguals. Everything we do on planet Earth is a process of cognitive growth. Bilingualism reflects the extent to which each language is applied from birth and how extensively speaker and apply a language in their subsequent everyday lives.
Many learners, when they choose to learn a new language, believe that they will become able to use the new language as extensively and accurately as their native language, but this is not the case. Languages cannot be learnt in classrooms. It is only a preparation for future learning.
Students who take university modern second language learning courses normally go on residency for a term or even a year, so they experience living through that language. The brain is plastic. Language capabilities are very plastic. Native speakers' vocabularies are constantly changing.
New languages cannot be learnt naturally like children. Older learners of a new cannot jump into a pram to learn a second language. Technically, children brought up from birth with more than one language are technically are native speakers of two or more languages, but their capability may not be equal in each language.
The problem of learning a minority language, such as Welsh or a European language like French, is that they are a minority language and that even for native Welsh speakers in Wales, the opportunity to use Welsh will and will remain limited. The problem that exists in modern society is that even the majority of languages in English-speaking countries are being used less.
There is evidence of a 'feed the duck' view of second language learning in society. Learners are not inanimate objects that languages or anything else can be poured into the brain like petrol in the tank, and it will remain there forever. The brain is very plastic. Native monolingual speakers' vocabularies are constantly changing.
The tipping point of a living language is 67% speakers of it. There is a need for rich Welsh-speaking environments to enable learners to be able to use Welsh in society and for speakers to keep the language fluent. Sadly, when speakers of Welsh drops below 50% in communities, village, towns, cities, heritage minority languages are in crisis. Politic rhetoric, especially claiming Welsh is easy to learn, will not save them.
These issue will be addressed in detail in Howards research book