Great question! Your child is not alone. Many children are shy about speaking their parents’ language. Keep encouraging your child to speak as best they can. This may mean being patient with mistakes they make. If a child makes mistakes with grammar or has a strong accent, they may become shy and resist speaking if they are embarrassed by it. At first, consider letting mistakes happen and once they feel more confident, work with them on perfecting it, always encouraging them.

Remember: your child does not need to speak the language fluently in order to receive some world credits. Even speaking and writing somewhat in the language may earn them credits toward graduation.

Some students do not know they can receive school credit toward graduation for speaking their parents’ language. Make sure your student knows and speaks with their teachers or guidance counselor about this great opportunity. If they know there is an academic reward for speaking their home language, they may be more excited to do so.

You will find a wealth of information on about raising bilingual children, encouraging them to speak, and supporting their biliteracy.