No subtitles, TL subtitles, L1 subtitles…?

Both teachers and learners recognize the potential of target-language film and TV for boosting proficiency–witness this vast collection of teacher resources for El Internado or lists of Spanish language dramas recommended for learners. But many wonder what role, if any, subtitles should play. Rather than declare one option golden, I want to share some possible reasons for and […]

I’m gonna watch TV anyway

I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’m gonna watch TV anyway. My to-do list includes creating two conference presentation proposals, making the final edits on an article, tutoring a doctoral student in our final session before she takes her comprehensive reading exams tomorrow, preparing for tonight’s session of a course I teach about language teaching, […]

Tricks and Triggers for Opportunistic Language Learning

If you’ve seen the Savvy Language Learner infographic or read many posts on this site, you know that I find a system of routines and triggers indispensable for living in your target language when you’re not living in an immersion setting. In 2016, frequent travel and closely bunched projects have convinced me of the need for even more vigilance […]

The Bummer about ‘Acquisition’ (Part 2)

In the last post, I lamented that the distinction between acquisition and learning that developed in 20th-century academia is prone not only to misunderstanding, but also to misrepresentation. In this post, I point out some deficiencies in the term acquisition itself and suggest another way of picturing the process. Bummer 2: ‘(Second) language acquisition’ suggests the transfer of a commodity […]

The Savvy Language Learner (infographic)

There are lots of savvy language learners with different interests, different personalities, and different opportunities, but there are two things they pretty much all have in common: Savvy language learners consume large amounts of well-chosen content. Savvy language learners engage in both scheduled and opportunistic habits. Check out this infographic–or indwellfographic–for a handy overview of wise principles pertaining to […]

After the Honeymoon (#DEVOLSON)

We’ve all learned what you get if you multiply any number by zero. What’s not in the 3rd grade math curriculum, though, is that you also get the exact number of minutes I slept last night. I’ve never slept well, or much, despite having received medical and other professional attention, but this month sleep has been to me as a snow leopard […]

Indwelling Language at MIWLA 2015 (session descriptions)

Happy 1st of October, the month of the Michigan World Language Association‘s (MIWLA) annual conference! I’m excited to meet colleagues there and honored to present three sessions, all of which I’ve presented before in some form or another, but never in Michigan. In case you’re interested, the titles and official descriptions are below. Feel free to follow up if you’d […]

Why Your Reading Habit Works

It’s my honor this week to have written a guest post commissioned by Jason Slanga, an expert language learner and teacher and one of the most thoughtful people I know when it comes to personal habits and disciplines. Jason recently organized the Latin Reading Challenge (#LatinReadingChallenge) to support people trying to boost their Latin reading ability. […]

The Inescapable Case For Extensive Reading (Video)

Here at Indwelling Language, I’m always talking about the power of reading and rereading for teaching and learning languages. So I’m especially excited to share my second contribution to the Musicuentos Black Box Podcast, the sixth episode in the series, which considers the role of what is called Extensive Reading and Listening through the lens of an article by Rob […]

What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do?

If you could spend your time doing whatever you wanted, how would you spend it? What if doing that activity somehow also helped you learn a language? Many of our favorite activities can be adjusted or can be incorporated into our schedules in such a way as to enhance language learning. This doesn’t mean they always […]