Your Polyglot - January, 2015 - Lots of Ideas


The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

January, 2015

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • Winter Workshop - Common Core Learning Experiences for 21st Century World Language Learners
  • Teach and Travel in China FREE
  • Three Job Openings in the Inland Empire
  • Land a Mini-Grant for your students
  • CLTA Conference 2015 in Sacramento
  • Tech Corner -
  • YouTube Clip of the Month
  • Opportunities for Teachers of Italian
  • La Civilisation Française
  • Renewed Ideas for Speaking


IEFLA Winter Workshop
California State University, San Bernardino
Saturday, February 7, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Beginning to End/ Top to Bottom
Common Core Learning Experiences for 21st Century World Language Learners

Yo Azama, 2012 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year

How can we engage learners from the beginning to the end of each unit of study in the target language?

Classroom activities are only productive when they are meaningful, directly related to the lesson goals, address multiple learning styles, and appropriately sequenced. Expand your repertoire of powerful teaching strategies to yield maximum results. Experience and explore the array of essential elements for creating an effective instructional sequence that supports students’ language development in the era of Common Core.  Take away an easy road map of engaging activities that you can use immediately with your students.

For additional information and registration go to



This summer teach and travel in China for FREE !


Applications are now available line for summer 2015, Summer Teach and Travel in China Program, a non-profit organization to provide American teachers with educational opportunities and travel in China. You teach English for 12 days, and they give you airfare, hotels, meals, transportation, and tours of 5 cities. Tentative travel dates are June 27 - July 25, 2015. For additional information and an application form, visit their website at


Job Openings in the Inland Empire

There are currently three job openings for Spanish teachers in the Inland Empire.

1. Adelanto High School, Victor Valley High School District
2. Adelanto Elementary School District
3. Palm Springs Unified School District

You can find these positions listed on and apply there also. Although the schools prefer fully credentialed teachers, these schools may be able to accept intern teachers where a person with a BA in Spanish begins working as a teacher while completing the credentialing coursework. Please share this with anyone who might be interested.




Postmark Deadline February 20, 2015

Four $300 mini-grants will be awarded by IEFLA.  These mini-grants are intended to help teachers and/or world language departments to enhance instruction for students learning world languages. Applicants must be current (2015) IEFLA members.  If you’re not sure if you are a 2015 IEFLA member, you can check the membership roster online at

Download proposal form, fill out and mail in.

The CLTA Website is now open to REGISTER for the 2015 CONFERENCE in Sacramento

Common Core & More: Big Ideas Start Here

  • Find out about the conference at
  • Access the Registration Materials and read about the great workshops available for implementing Common Core as well as new technologies in your classroom
  • Register on line at with a credit card or download the paper registration form and mail in a check
  • Register at the Doubletree Hotel Sacramento, the official CLTA Conference hotel at or call 916-929-8855 or 800-686-3775. If you register on line, be sure to reference 3- letter code CLT or Ca Language Teachers Association
  • Register online until February 28, 2015 with a credit card. If you want to pay with a check, it must be postmarked by February 21, 2015.

Tech Corner 


Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month: is a cornucopia of educator tools including a website to make fake text messages.  You can also find timers and game generators. 

YouTube Clips of the Month

YouTube Clip of the Month
This month’s YouTube clip is a catchy tune to help students learn the verb aller.

Je Suis Charlie
Not sure how to talk to your students about the attacks in Paris? TV5 Monde has put together a site with video, teacher’s guides and student worksheets.  Access the page #jesuischarlie.


Behavior Cards
Looking for a way to praise good behavior at the same time as discouraging bad behavior?  Check out these “Like” and “Dislike” cards from Staffroom Swap Shop.

Opportunities for Teachers of Italian

Chapman University, Orange

January 31, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Current Trends in Communicative Language Teaching, a professional development workshop for teachers in Italian in Southern California.

Keynote speaker: Renowned language education specialist, Dr. Elissa Tognizzi, University of California, Los Angeles. Argyros Forum, Room 201. For additional information download flyer or contact Federico Pacchioni at


La Civilisation Française

Help Bob and Marie Ponterio make their French Civilization Site Better (via FL Teach)

Over the past couple of weeks they have updated the format for Marie Ponterio's French Civilization site to make it work better on tablets and cell phones. Because there are so many different platforms out there, they can't test them all, so they hope to get feedback about any problems people might see.
For the moment, they have only changed the "Cuisine" page. They want to finish testing before applying the changes to the rest of the pages.

  • The site should essentially be the same for desktop users (though we have fixed a few minor problems).
  • iPad, iPhone display should look much better. Images and text should adjust for correct display on smaller screens. Sound and Video should now work properly. Answer feedback buttons are more responsive to touch.
  • Android devices should also now adjust for proper display.
  • We are now using a better display option for interactive feedback to students.

If you are using the site in class, please be sure to check this out first to make sure you don't have any technical issues problems. Please let them know if you see any problems or if you like the changes.

If you are interested in seeing the old & new formats, comparing the Cuisine page with the old page on a smartphone or tablet will show the changes.
For those interested in the technical details, the biggest changes are the use of responsive design, conditional use of the html5 audio tag as a fallback for sound on certain devices that don't handle Flash, use of a DIV for feedback display rather than using a new window.

What is #langchat?  Every week language teachers across the globe get together to discuss best practices and strategies using Twitter.  Want to know why it’s awesome?  Here are just a few reasons.  Not on Twitter?  You can search the archives for different strategies organized by topic.

Languages in the News

Spanish literature helps students expand language skills 
Students in a California dual language middle school are learning about Spanish literature in an elective class taught by a visiting teacher from Spain. The students are sampling works from Spain's Romanticism movement, plus those from modern South American writers, and are experiencing the language as presented by a native speaker. Hollister Free Lance (California) (11/13) – via ACTFL Smart Brief

Classical Languages Return to Schools-  Latin makes a return in some schools.

New Year- Renewed Ideas for Speaking
Has the new year inspired you to encourage your students to speak even more in the target language?  Here are some tips and ideas to keep students talking in the target language.

Nicole Naditz (ACTFL Teach of the Year) posted these three ideas to help novice speakers. 

Check out these great strategies from a #Langchat

Try this “Mystery Student” system to motivate students to stay in the target language.

Create an “English Box” where both you and your students can go to speak English.

Go from “I can’t” to “I can!”
Do you often hear students saying negative thoughts that are affecting their ability to learn?  Here are some suggestions to get students to take a negative thought and turn it into a motivating statement (in English, Spanish and French!)

Job Openings
Need a job? Need a teacher? Go to

Do you have a question for Poly?  Submit your question by filling in the form here.