The publication of Hugo Baetens Beardsmores book Bilingualism: Basic Principles by Multilingual Matters in 1982 coincided with an unprecedented upsurge of interest in bilingualism. A major reason for this was the acknowledgement that bilingualism is far more common than was previously thought, and perhaps even the norm. The number of bilinguals at the turn of the third millennium is probably greater than ever before and will continue to grow as a result of the combined forces of globalisation, automatisation, increased mobility and migration, and modernisation of foreign language teaching. The contributions in this book prove that, given the right conditions, bilingualism can confer distinct benefits like intellectual, psychological, social, cultural and economic improvement on the individual. The papers in this volume have been written by leading scholars in the field of bilingualism and deal with individual bilingualism, societal and educational phenomena, addressing issues such as bilingual usage, acquisition, teaching, and language planning and policy. The volumes major asset lies in its diversity, not only in depth of investigation and in topical variety but also in the range of languages and geographical regions covered. Another important feature of the volume is its multidisciplinary perspective. Among the contributors are linguists, sociologists, psychologists and sociolinguists.