What’s with the name?

"Indwelling Language" combines two core concepts:

1. You living in the language: making a particular language part of your everyday life -- here "Indwelling Language" = "inhabiting a language"

2. The language living in you: a particular language becoming a new way for you to experience, interpret, and enjoy the world -- here "Indwelling Language" = "language that inhabits"

See the Indwelling Language Manifesto for more about what this all means and why anyone might care.

In the Indwelling Language logo, the outlined LING at the end of Indwelling evokes the ling of the Latin word lingua ("tongue"/"language"), from which we get the English words linguistics and bilingual, as well as the Romance terms for language.

What’s the difference between indwelling and immersion?

Language immersion is putting yourself in a situation where you receive only unfiltered input in a target language—input which you may or may not understand—and where you often cannot make yourself understood except by using the target language.

Language indwelling is creating an environment or lifestyle that includes frequent, regular, extended instances of the target language that you can understand and enjoy. (In a classroom, this involves, among other things, ACTFL's 90+ principle.)

Why are only “some” upcoming events listed on the homepage?

All events taking place in the near future and open to the public are listed. Much of Indwelling Language's work is privately contracted with schools, districts, and companies; these projects and events are not listed.


Do you endorse any official language-teaching methods?

We endorse any teaching method that has proven to be successful in helping learners’ proficiency advance at a rate realistic for the time spent.  When evaluating a particular method or program, we don’t have the luxury of seeing the final outcome for every student, past and future, so we look for features of language programs that have been shown to lead to joy and success.  For example, does the method (program, course, unit, lesson, activity) involve lots of compelling content, such as stories and information about learners’ lives, that learners can understand and enjoy?  Does it create an atmosphere of safety and camaraderie?  Does it give learners ownership of what and how they learn?  Does it help learners reflect on what has and hasn’t worked for them, and do teachers take such reflections seriously?

None of these are frivolous questions about things we simply prefer to see because they seem nice. Rather, they get at issues proven to play crucial roles in whether a language-learning attempt is successful or not.

There are many methodologies that support advancing proficiency when plied by well-trained, thoughtful practitioners.  Two with which we have achieved and observed especially high rates of success are Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS®) and Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK).  An important advantage of both of these is that they are constantly evolving to align with emerging research and day-to-day experience.  Also, both have a central organizing group as well as a crowd-sourcing element, allowing them to adapt to a vast range of situations without becoming diluted.

Please feel free to contact us to consider what methods might work best in your setting!

Do you endorse any commercial language-learning products?

We don’t provide blanket endorsements of any particular products, as there is no product that works for all learners in all situations. We prefer to consult individually with a learner who is looking for a suitable language-learning product, so that we can take into account a learner’s temperament, background, schedule, and interests. That said, no single product is going to help you live in the language and the language live in you the way that your lifestyle and habits can, supported by a well-chosen range of materials. Contact us if you would like to chat about what might work best for you!

What is your relationship to Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK)?

Indwelling Language and Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) collaborate to develop and implement programs for language teachers and learners. Indwelling Language's Justin Slocum Bailey is a pioneer in applying techniques of WAYK, which was originally developed for endangered language communities, to classroom settings, and in incorporating WAYK techniques into other language-teaching-and-learning methods.

What is your relationship to TPRS® (Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling)?

There is no formal relationship between Indwelling Language and TPRS, although Indwelling Language’s Justin Slocum Bailey is a trained and experienced practitioner of TPRS and often incorporates its techniques into his teaching and coaching.

What is your relationship to SALVI (Septentrionale Americanum Latinitatis Vivae Institutum)?

SALVI, a.k.a NAILLS (North American Institute for Living Latin Studies), is a long-term client of Indwelling Language. We also collaborate to develop and implement programs for Latin teachers and learners.

What if I have a question not answered here?

You can ask it using the Contact Form and we'll answer it as quickly as possible!