I apologise if I may sound a little extreme in the issue where Hokkien is dying away. I am indeed very concerned about the future of my beloved 1st language. It is great to know some great people in this forum who show great interest in Hokkien.
I do not fully agree that people in a bilingual environment can be excused from speaking a complete language. I am a Penangite, a Malaysian. The 1st impression I receive from PRC Chinese about Chinese-Malaysian, is our language ability. A bilingual person should be able to express himself in 2 languages, not 1.5 languages. I may have made some negative comments about Xiamenese not being able to hold a conversation in Hokkien. If we only pay our attention to neighbour gossip, daily greeting, wet market conversation, we're not going to notice the fact, that Hokkien, even in an authentic Hokkien-speaking region like Xiamen, is considered "immature" or "sub-standard" because when it comes to more serious topics, like politics, features of a mobile phone, going to see animals in a zoo...... Hokkien can very easily be replaced by Mandarin. It does not, however, happen to Cantonese.
If we switch on our TV, even programmes from Taiwan, people only remember names in Mandarin. None of the shows actually call someone's name in Hokkien. That does not happen to Cantonese.
Some local schools start teaching Hokkien in Xiamen. But if the language is not used within Xiamen families, Hokkien is going to end up like English, a foreign language. However, parents will spend money send their children to English tuition classes, apart from school subjects. But they will never do the same for Hokkien.
2 weeks ago, I heard a news when I travelled in a bus, in Xiamen. Every public service officer below 50 years old is restricted from speaking Hokkien. Mandarin must be the only language used at government departments.
Most of my married friends (30 to 31 years old) ONLY speak to their children in Mandarin. Their children do not even know how to respond when I speak to them in Hokkien. Some friends even stop me from talking to their children in Hokkien. My Hainanese cousin speaks fluent Hainanese and Hokkien, his Cantonese wife speaks fluent Cantonese and Hokkien. Mandarin is the only language their children can understand. They have every reason to raise their children multilingual but they do not. Our younger generations will not enjoy the pride of being a polyglot.