In this section, you can find Q&As on how to motivate your child to speak a language.

One of the biggest challenges parents of bilingual children encounter is finding ways to motivate their children to speak the family’s minority language. Children are pragmatic, so they use the language they feel most comfortable with. When they realize that they can choose their language and still be understood, they often pick their strongest language if they know that the other person understands it. This is when parents should find ways to motivate children to use the family language, to make sure that the child maintains and develops his or her multilingual skills. For a child to choose to speak a language, the child must WANT and NEED to use it. The motivators differ depending on the age, personality, and fluency of the child. These motivators can and do occur naturally, but parents have the possibility to create or enhance these motivators for their children to encourage them to speak a family language

Q&A: How to reintroduce a minority language to a speech-delayed child and a younger sibling?

Q&A: How to reintroduce a minority language to a speech-delayed child and a younger sibling?

  Question Hello, I am German and, my now, ex-husband is English/Australian. The kids spend half of the week with him and the other half with me. I used to talk German to my son from birth onward, but when he was diagnosed with a speech delay which was luckily...

Q&A: Is it necessary to arrange additional tuition for a child’s minority language?

Q&A: Is it necessary to arrange additional tuition for a child’s minority language?

  Question Hi, My question is, do you need to set aside time for language lessons either by parents or professional for the minority language? My 3-year-old daughter speaks Spanish (we live in Spain) and English (minority language) and she is well on her way to...

Q&A: What to do when a bilingual school-aged child’s minority language is the stronger one?

Q&A: What to do when a bilingual school-aged child’s minority language is the stronger one?

  Question Hello, I wonder if you have any recommendations. My daughter is seven and has lived in Italy since she was 8 months old, however she didn’t start going to school till she was 5. At home I (mom) speak to her in English only and everyone else (including...

Q&A: How to get the minority languages of the family back on track?

Q&A: How to get the minority languages of the family back on track?

  Question Hi Rita and team, Could you help me with advice on an upcoming dilemma? We're a family with three languages in the house but every family member's ability and willingness to speak them vary greatly. Dad is Spanish, is fluent in English and understands...