Speak to your child in the language you know best

​​​​​​​​​​​​You are your child’s first and most important teacher.​

It's very important that you speak, read and write with your child in your home language: the language you know best.

Doing this will help them:

  • learn at school
  • build their identity and culture
  • learn English.

It can take your child some time to learn English after their first language. Your child will not be disadvantaged if they don't speak English at home.

How to use the language you know best

Here are some ways you can speak, read and write with your child in your home language:

  1. Sing, talk, play number games and read to your child in your home language.
  2. Speak your home language during family trips and celebrations.
  3. Speak to your child in your home la​​​​nguage even if your child replies in English. This is so they can hear the differences between the two languages.
  4. Help your child with their homework in your home language. This will help them build skills at school. For example, if they learn maths in your language, they will understand how to do this in English.

The benefits of being bilingual

If you speak, read and write with your child in your home language, you are helping them become bilingual. Bilingual means they can speak more than one language.

Being bilingual has many benefits. It:

  • promotes growth in the brain. This helps your child think more creatively and solve problems more easily.
  • builds English literacy. This helps your child become a better reader, listener and speaker.
  • improves memory, concentration and numeracy
  • builds your child's sense of identity and their connection to family, community and culture.

Bilingual children tend to have higher scores in maths, reading and vocabulary tests.

Being bilingual also creates many opportunities for your child later in life when they start a career.

It's important to keep speaking, reading and writing with your child in your home language

Translated information

Speak to your child in the language you know best flyers and posters
Available in different languages


Use these posters to encourage speaking in your home language (English version):

This poster has been translated into the ten languages above:

Speaking your home language is the best way to help your child succeed