I think that we use the word bilingual incorrectly. What we consider to be bilingual, I think should be biliterate. People being able to read and write and somewhat understand a language should be considered biliterate. Everyone who learns languages through school and learns all of the proper grammar, sentence structure, and day-to-day lingo is biliterate. The understand the language, but they don’t “get” it. You can learn how to say certain things and what the mean, but that doesn’t necesarily mean you understand why you are saying what you are saying, if that makes any sense.
Being bilingual is a whole new game. I understand being bilingual as being able to fully speak and understand verbal communication in two languages. It means speaking a language and understanding the jokes, the dialect, and fitting yourself within the discourse in which a language is being spoken. In being bilingual you somehow become the language you are speaking. The only way to truly become bilingual, in my opinion is to fully immerse yourself in the language whether it’s living in a place where the language you’re learning is being spoken or whether it is a second language that is spoken by everyone in your household.