JSB headshot 08-2016 About page cropI'm Justin. I love languages and I love people. I help people have joy and success in learning and teaching languages. The painful absence of joy and success from most language learning attempts is a big part of what motivates me as a teacher and trainer.

I learn languages myself, too. Some of my earliest memories from growing up in Vienna, Austria, include deciphering the Cyrillic alphabet to study Bulgarian maps, learning the Yugoslavian word for peanut butter, and making friends in pickup soccer games where every one of us had a different first language.

I've gotten to help people of all ages learn languages in schools, summer programs, and communities, both online and in person. These days, a lot of my work involves mentoring and training teachers and consulting for schools, districts, publishers, software developers, travel companies, and non-profit organizations. I’ve also taught guitar and literature and coached soccer, and I study and teach a style of Japanese jujutsu called Hakko Denshin Ryu.

After ten good years in Los Angeles, I now live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with my wife, who is much smarter and much chiller than I am, and our two children, who are also growing up bilingual. When I’m not scouring the planet for new content in other languages, I like to be cheering on the Detroit Tigers or lolling lakeside with my family.

You can get a lot of my ideas about language learning and teaching by reading the blog. You'll see that, on the teaching side, I especially like repeatable activities and interactions that provide a lot of language-learning payoff with little or no prep. On the learning side, I'm really into habits and hacks that make it easier for normal people with normal schedules to live in a language. I’d love for you to leave a comment on a post or drop me a note!


If everyone taught language like Justin Slocum Bailey, we would have a world of self-directed polyglots.

~Evan Gardner, language revitalization innovator and activist; inventor of Where Are Your Keys

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