The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

January, 2016

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • CLTA Annual Conference, March 17-20, Visalia Marriott
  • IEFLA WInter Workshop - Using CI-Based Reading Strategies to Facilitate Fluency
  • Land a Mini-Grant
  • Summer Teach and Travel in China
  • SWCOLT Conference will be held at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
  • Scholarships for French Students
  • ACTFL and EF's Teachers Crossing Borders Program
  • Tech Corner - Google Keep
  • Authentic Resources
  • Activities, Activities, Activities
  • Languages in the News
  • Job Openings
  • Free Workbooks - "C'est a Toi" and "Listos"

CLTA Annual Conference 2016

The annual CLTA Conference is coming to Visalia! It is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues, get new ideas and materials for your classroom, and visit with a variety of publishers and vendors.

Visalia is only a 4-hour drive north of San Bernardino. Get a group of your friends and/or colleagues together and plan your trip now!

Visalia Marriott - Convention Center
March 17-20, 2016, CLTA Annual Conference, including speakers, workshops, interest sessions, exhibitors, and more. For registration and additional information.

This is a fantastic opportunity for professional development when you need it most! The Conference is one of the premiere professional development opportunities every year for world language professionals in California and beyond. Expert and seasoned presenters, peer presentations, pre-Conference workshops, exhibitors , vendors, awards and grants, and more.

Register Now!
Early Bird Registration BY January 13
Click Here

Standard Registration AFTER January 13
Click Here


Using CI-Based Reading Strategies to
Facilitate Fluency

with Carol Gaab

IEFLA Winter Workshop, California State University,
San Bernardino
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Workshop is full. Registration is closed.


There is one common element found among all successful language learners: Comprehensible Input (CI)! In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to immediately provide CI in the Target Language (regardless of the level and age of the learner) using a variety of powerful strategies and activities. Discover how to use reading (short simple readings and graded readers) to accelerate the rate of acquisition, how to engage reluctant readers and how to naturally activate all modes of language (interpretational, interpersonal and presentational).

Experience simple techniques for inspiring HOT (higher order thinking) and see firsthand how natural and easy it is to meet and even exceed the National Standards and Common Core State Standards.  More importantly, discover techniques that will help students develop communicative competence and give them the skills necessary to make a lifetime of independent language learning not only possible but probable as well.

Registration:  $85   Space is limited.  Register early.  Registration closes when room limit is reached. 

Workshop is full. Registration is closed.


Three $200 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.

  1. Applicants must be teachers of world languages in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
  2. Previous awardees are not eligible to apply.

Proposals funded in the past included monies to attend a play in the target language, special classroom funding, TPRS readers, funding to buy children's books, readers in the target language, and others.  If your proposal is  accepted by the committee, you will purchase the proposal items, and IEFLA will reimburse you from the receipts.

Postmark deadline is February 20, 2015.

For additional information download application at


Teach and Travel in China this Summer

A non-profit intercultural experience! 

Teach English at an American English summer camp in China this summer for 12 days and get airfare, hotels, meals, transportation, and tours of five cities.

Tentative Program Schedule:  June 24 – July 22, 2016. For details go to

Application deadline is February 20, 2016.


SWCOLT / HALT 2016  Honolulu, Hawaii
Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, March 3-5, 2016

Next year's SWCOLT Conference will be held at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel in Honolulu. The Southwest Council on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) is teaming up with the Hawaiian Association of Language Teachers to present the 2016 conference.

Watch for information at

Phone: (405) 613-1481

Scholarships for French Students
American Society of the French Academic Palms Summer 2016 Scholarships

The American Society of the French Academic Palms (ASFAP) offers two four-week summer scholarships to students learning French at the high school or college level for study in a French-speaking region. Thanks to ASFAP members' generosity, each scholarship is $4000. The candidates must identify their program, which can be in Canada, as well as in Europe, Africa, or in overseas French regions.

The deadline for applications to be postmarked is January 15, 2016. Each French teacher may nominate one student. The criteria and application forms are found at

For additional information, please contact Joyce Beckwith:

ACTFL and EF’s Teachers Crossing Borders Program

ACTFL and EF’s Teachers Crossing Borders programs focus on strengthening your language proficiency and cultural competency, and inspiring you to foster your students’ curiosity to explore the world through language.
This year the program offers trips to Cuba and Spain, both June 20-28, 2016. Learn more about both programs at

Google Keep

Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:  Google Keep  Keep is relatively new to the Google Suite; it allows you to save your thoughts wherever you are.  Get rid of all of those sticky notes cluttering your desk.  Snap a picture of something and keep it for later.  Driving?  Take a voice meme and record your voice.  Are your students using Google?  Share notes between students.  Give students a personalized learning or to do list.  The possibilities are endless!

Authentic Resources


Explore art themes with this Documentary on Peruvian Street Artists.

Star Wars- Are you a fan of Darth Vader?  You might want to be according to this Le Monde article (link to Transparent Language Blog).

Review numbers with this infographic about PSG’s players’ salaries.

Rap contra el racism- Spanish rappers with a rap against racism.

New Year Organization
Does the new year have you itching to organize your classroom?  Check out IEFLA’s Classroom Organization board on Pinterest.

Original Writing Revisited

From CASLS Newsletter (Center for Applied Second Language Studies)
Dr. Edward M. Zarrow,

Title: Original Writing Revisited
Format: Individual
Target Audience: This activity is designed to be used in a second / foreign language classroom with minimal facilitation by the second / foreign language teacher. 
Purpose: In order for students to move through the ACTFL foreign language proficiency continuum more efficiently, they must be cognizant of their linguistic development and have ownership of their improvement and ability to use more advanced linguistic structures throughout the process.  The following activity allows students to work on their creative writing skills – something that they are being asked to do less and less of outside of the foreign language classroom, especially at the high school level.  Students will build a story over time, adding newer grammatical structures as they go to the same material.  For me, this is an ideal activity to use before and after a vacation, a prolonged break, or an extended unit.
Time: Variable
Materials: Any image of the teacher’s choosing which will prompt students to tell an original story in the target language.  The image may be projected and / or provided to students with space to source new vocabulary and write out a story.  At a later time, the same image must be provided again with additional space to write.


    1. Present students with an image.  Ask them to source all of the familiar vocabulary as a class and keep track of student input.  Ask them what they see!  Have the students write down as many nouns, adjectives, and verbs that describe the action taking place.  At the teacher’s discretion, add / share with students new and unfamiliar vocabulary.
    2. Give the students 5-10 minutes (although longer is possible for advanced or particularly motivated students) to write an original story using as many of the vocabulary words they have just sourced as they can.  Depending upon the level, they may write in the present or past.  The teacher should circulate to assist with specific student questions about grammar and especially to see what kinds of common mistakes are being made by the group so that these can be addressed immediately and not become systemic.  At the teacher’s discretion, student papers may be collected for review and returned to the students for correction.  It is important that the student writing not be evaluated formally at this time.  In any case, students should hold onto their writing.
    3. After a new grammatical / linguistic concept has been introduced to the students, students should be instructed to rewrite their original paragraph; however, they must now use the new concept in their writing – whatever it may be.  In my Latin classes, this is a particularly strong exercise when we learn the imperfect tense (students have to change all the verbs from present to imperfect) or relative clauses (students must use relative clauses rather than adjectives to describe nouns).  Several positive things happen as a result.  First, the writing is theirs, so the material is comprehensible to them, and they continue to catch and correct mistakes, often on their own.  Second, students can immediately compare their two writings and take direct ownership of their improvement.  And third, students are often buoyed by what they can express, and this moves from their writing into their interpretive reading, interpersonal speaking, etc. 
    4. (Optional) Teachers may again collect student writing for review.  The teacher will often know quickly what needs to be retaught and what new linguistic structures have been mastered. 
    5. (Optional) Samples of student writing from the original and later writing exercises may be kept and filed by the teacher in order to provide subsequent evidence of student linguistic improvement.

Activities, Activities, Activities

Grudgeball- A review game that engages everyone.

Infinitive charades – Another review game

7 more review games- Because sometimes you get tired of doing the same thing over and over and over.

Wits and Wagers for Language Class- Have you played the board game Wits and Wagers?  Here’s an updated version for the classroom.

Online Arabic Games for students and children.

Useful expressions in French and Spanish- Posters and Powerpoints- free downloads!

An alternate way to use corrections in writing in class- Here’s how one teacher uses her students’ corrected work in class

Ideas and thoughts on giving feedback to students that matters from the Creative Language Class.

Interpersonal Bootcamp Using TALK Rubric- Another strategy for providing effective feedback for students. 

More ideas for effective feedback from Teachers Effectiveness for Language Learning

Art Quest- Using art as a means to get students talking.  Excellent example for how to incorporate art and culture into novice levels.

Webtutorial on using the target language in class.

Languages in the News

“Lack of Russian experts has some in US worried”

“Five Key Trends in Language Learning”

“How to put some Romansh in your life.”

Job Openings

Looking for a job? Go to
Wanted:  Spanish teacher at Silver Valley USD, Yermo.  See for details.

Follow IEFLA on Pinterest
Check out CLTA on Facebook and on Twitter @cltatweets

Free Workbooks for "C'est a Toi" and "Listos"

Elsinore High has new class sets of level 1 and level 2 and level 3 C'est a Toi French workbooks (the old versions) available that they won't be using.  They also have some 2002 level 2 Listos workbooks (maybe one class set) that they can pass on.  Just arrange for pick up or shipping. For information contact Kathy Foxen at

The Polyglot is a publication of the Inland Empire Foreign Language Association. For questions or comments, contact Bethany Thompson, editor, or Trini Rios, Would you like to help with the Polyglot? Contact Bethany Thompson, editor, at