Joy and Success for Teachers



All Indwelling Language workshops are customizable and combinable based on your goals and needs. Some of the most popular workshops are described below; the bottom of this page has more information on customizing or booking a workshop.


***I am available to provide inservices, courses, mentoring, consulting, and other services ONLINE, and have lots of experience doing so! Sheltering in order to fight the spread of Covid-19 doesn't have to mean putting professional development on hold. Whether you want training in any of the areas outlined on this page or would like an online version of any of my other Services, please don't hesitate to get in touch!


I also encourage you to check out my many online training courses and materials at TeachHuman.


The First Ten Days
Laying rock-solid foundations for proficiency and community


In a well-executed language course, students will find themselves engaging in interactions and tasks that can be quite different from those in other classes. Trust, comfort, and interest are of the essence. Participants in this workshop will experience the tasks, tools, texts, and techniques that Justin uses in the first ten days of a course to maximize early proficiency and classroom community.

No Prep? No Problem!
Techniques, tasks, and tools for stress-free success


Experience an array of techniques and low-prep activities that maximize target-language input and interaction while building buy-in and classroom community. These will include tasks and tools for boosting interpersonal communicative proficiency as well as target-language literacy at all levels. Sprinkled in along the way will be several routines and habits that improve the flow and freshness of classroom interactions, keeping both learners and teachers alert and at ease.

Making the Textbook Work for You
It exists for you, not the other way around


Because textbooks rarely align with fundamental findings in Second Language Acquisition research, helping learners efficiently grow in proficiency with a textbook as the central element of a course is difficult—but not impossible. This workshop showcases ways of honoring learners’ brains even in a textbook-tied curriculum: participants will learn how to take both the long-range trajectory and individual units of a textbook and create compelling tasks and interactions that support proficiency.

What Hard Grammar?
Getting students comfortable with advanced language early


The piecemeal presentation of language and the delay of “advanced grammar” in many language programs has the unintended effect of making advanced language—the very thing we want our students to use and enjoy—the language with which students have the least time to get comfortable. This session demonstrates a wide range of routines and principles for working in “advanced” language from day one without requiring significant extra time or effort from teachers or students.

Mileage from the Mundane
How to make boring stuff work for you


With strategic questioning and a little imagination, daily routines and topics such as attendance, the weather, and the day's date can become intriguing sources of target language interactions. They can also create natural bridges to many topics of cultural relevance.

What You Can Do, We Can Talk About
Using students’ non-linguistic skills to build linguistic ones


The skills in which students have invested large amounts of time and care--including artistic, athletic, and intellectual pursuits--are fruitful sources of target-language interactions that simultaneously boost community and linguistic proficiency. This session demonstrates several ways to discover and leverage such non-linguistic skills for linguistic growth.

Poised for Proficiency
Using mind, body, and voice to maximize learning


How teachers move, speak, and think has a strong effect on students’ mood and learning, but many teachers aren’t sure how to get the most out of their bodies, voices, and minds. This hands-on workshop offers a pressure-free setting for teachers to see and practice specific physical, vocal, and mental skills that promote calmness, attention, comprehension, memory, enjoyment, and community among students, as well as teachers’ own poise, peace, health, and longevity.

Language in the Brain and in the Wild
A creative crash course in instructed second language acquisition


Why do some longstanding language tasks and lessons yield so little fruit, while some deceptively simple habits and interactions generate so much proficiency? This session provides a clear, even-handed, memorable presentation of the most pertinent findings in linguistics and psychology, along with concrete applications for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Mindfulness in the Target Language
Fostering peace and proficiency at the same time


Teachers know that stress can have serious effects on learning and on teachers' and students' well-being, but we already have so little contact time that taking some to address stress in class seems unthinkable. This session offers a powerful solution: practices for cultivating mindful calm while increasing target-language proficiency at the same time. The focus is on comprehensible-input-rich mindful listening tasks with a variety of topics at a variety of language levels. Participants will also come away with mindfulness techniques to increase their own attention and peace in every phase of the teaching process.

Learning to Read, Reading to Learn
Second language reading skills for academic and personal growth


How to choose and use texts to help students move through Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) language and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) and develop their own joyful reading habits in a second language.

A Picture Prompts a Thousand Words
Using images to foster observation, inquiry, and imagination


A picture can speak a thousand words, but it can also give us scads to speak about. In this session, we will enjoy several ways of using pictures to prompt compelling target-language conversations, with any type or level of language, about everything from our students themselves to global and timeless issues. We will also consider pictures as prompts for writing, as well as special types of pictures, such as optical illusions and moving pictures.

Next-Level Text Talk
Six questions to start, sustain, and elevate conversation about a text


We all want our students to engage in higher-order thinking and conversation, but how students with limited linguistic proficiency might do so in another language can be mystifying. These questions and associated discussion techniques for before, during, and after the reading of a text are designed to develop higher-order processing in language learners from the very beginning of their studies.

Inquire or Book

Custom Workshops

Hands-on workshops are an energizing way to experience, understand, and practice new techniques and tasks. Departmental workshops also create a shared learning experience that colleagues can draw on long after the workshop. They are typically designed based on correspondence with a representative of the department or district, and tend to include a combination of the following:

♦  Low-prep tasks that maximize target language input and interaction.
These . . .

◊  allow students to get comfortable with advanced language much earlier than usual ◊  build buy-in and classroom community ◊  are scalable for any level of language ◊  can be implemented without severely disrupting teachers' current practices ◊  can be repeated with the same group of students without getting old ◊  are effective for learners of any language, including English ◊  inspire and motivate students to further target-language interactions

♦  Tasks and tools for building students' literacy in the target language.
These . . .

◊  boost students' overall reading comprehension ◊  raise students' interest in target-language literature and other media ◊  enhance students' target-language writing skills ◊  include activities for before, during, and after use of a text or other media

♦  Routines and tools that maximize the flow of classroom interactions,
including . . .

◊  question-asking techniques to sustain compelling conversations ◊  techniques for beginning and ending a class or task ◊  student jobs—their value and how to use them ◊  gestures that enhance comprehension and participation ◊  body and voice techniques that heighten interest, attention, and memorability

What is a typical workshop format?

Workshops balance demonstration, during which teachers experience as students the activities and techniques that I model, with guided practice, during which teachers apply the techniques themselves with coaching from me. At the end of a workshop, I lead participants through a series of questions that help them reflect on the workshop in relation to their own situations and set goals for implementation. On-site workshops are sometimes split into multiple sessions with other meetings and services in between, based on the wishes and schedule of the school/district.

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  The best professional development workshop I have ever attended.

Justin is an amazing presenter. His demos were so much fun and very compelling!

The best thing about this workshop was the safe environment. I didn’t feel intimidated or pressured to convert my entire classroom. We learned very reasonable strategies and activities to use immediately.

JSB is my new hero. I mean, I really enjoyed watching him work and hearing him speak. He's authentic, intelligent, sincere. The real deal.

The kind of teacher/presenter I'd like to have a beer with.

I learned by experience that I really can do this!