Originally Posted by mambera
I agree with that also, although the constraints that define whether a child 'has to' use a language will differ. One child may perceive that he 'has to' use a language simply by being spoken to exclusively in that language by one parent (as in EclipsePearl's experience). Another child (eg your child) may not perceive that situation as sufficient pressure and may need stronger inducements (eg interactions with other relatives who do not speak the majority language, or visits to the minority-language country).
As far as I understand from Eclipsepearl's post, she was saying that you need to speak to a child in the minority language, and the child will acquire it if you give him/her no other option. Her child wasn't simply "spoken to exclusively" in that language, but actually asked to use it to respond. I'm going to quote from her post, because she explains it so much better than me:
"Mine tried that with French. If your child can get all of his needs met by just using English, he wont use Lithuanian. It's that simple. Since there are no other speakers and you don't have a lot of resources, 99% of his Lithuanian has to come from YOU. Your relationship will have to be conducted entirely in Lithuanian to get the maximum exposure you can in your home. If you slide into English, it simply wont happen. You said "He doesn't NEED to speak it". Well, make him "need" to speak it to communicate with him. You, the mother are the most important person in his life. Don't be afraid to set the rules!
Don't be intimidated by his level of English or the fact that English is all around you. Let him progress in English. Let him play and do everything else in English. But if he wants a glass of orange juice or for you to tie his shoes, he needs to ask you in Lithuanian. I didn't ignore my son but any requests made in French got "forgotten", took ages or were just plain wrong (i.e. apple juice instead of orange). I also asked him to repeat all requests in French, not necessarily in English, but he had to say everything twice. So I made the "easier" language more difficult. Guess who started just repeating in English?!?
Once you get into the habit, there's no looking back. It'll be easy and natural. Now, my son laughs at this story and can't believe he ever spoke to me in French. Using French together, even though I spoke it and lived in France before meeting my husband, would be weird and unnatural.
So just get talking with him. Don't let English be a part of your relationship. Talk to him in your own language and don't be afraid to set the standard. Don't look for him to be "inspired" or "motivated". Just make it necessary for him to speak to you in it. "
...all bolding mine. Eclipsepearl, I hope you don't mind.