The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

August, 2013


  • Common Core in World Languages Workshop
  • IEFLA Observation Day - What do you do on the first day of school?
  • Tech Corner: TED ED
  • Beginning of the Year Ideas
  • Plan an International Festival
  • Clip Art Sources
  • Classtools
  • Teacher needs Discovering French Rouge
  • YouTube Clip of the Month.
  • Dear Poly Answers your Questions:


Christine Lanphere

ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year

IEFLA Fall Workshop
California State University, San Bernardino
College of Education, Room CE-113
Saturday, September 28, 2013
8:00 am – 3:00 pm


Dynamic World Language Teaching in the Common Core Era

with Christine Lanphere

Where does world language instruction fit in the new world of 21st Century Skills and Common Core? In this hands-on workshop, the dynamic and inspiring Christine Lanphere, ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, will show you how to deliver powerful world language learning to your students.  Create opportunities in your classroom and beyond to acquire relevant lifelong learning skills and a passion for world language.  Be an integral part of your site’s move to Common Core.  Acquire engaging instructional strategies and activities that you can immediately put into practice.

For more information.

Space is limited!
Register online with credit card. or
Download and mail registration form with check.


Observation Day

On August 7, 40 teachersattended IEFLA's workshop, "What do you do on the first day of school?" They didn't see class rules. They didn't see a boring syllabus. They didn't sit and listen to the teacher going on and on. They saw the teachers engaging the students in learning a language they had never heard before. They observed 10 level 1 classes watching three amazing world language teachers on their first day of classes at Granite Hills High School in Apple Valley. Teachers from as far away asVentura, San Diego, Inglewood, Sylmar, Palm Desert, Riverside, Corona, and more were impressed and inspired, and went away with a truckload of ideas.

Unfortunately, the workshop registration had to be closed 7 days before the workshop at it reached its enrollment limit and teachers had to be turned away.

Here are a few of their comments, "Today's observation was an exceptional experience." "I can't think of a better more inspiring way to start my year." "I appreciated the variety of first day activities - all in the target language and the students were understanding and engaged!!!" "A rare opportunity to observe outstanding teaching techniques in action!" "Great to see the first day of school with teachers using only target language. It works!" "Now I know how to use the target language only from Day One."

IEFLA extends its appreciation and admiration to Rosallyn Celle (Spanish), Morena de la Roca (Spanish), and Toni Drewry (French) for sharing their expertise. And they did it with students they had never seen before.

If you weren't able to attend the workshop, you are welcome to come and see these teachers in action any time. Take advantage of your next furlough day and come to Apple Valley. To make sure that classes will be held as usual, send a message to Rosallyn Celle at


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month: TED  TED is devoted to “ideas worth spreading” and has brought together innovative thinkers from Technology, Entertainment and Design fields.  You can view short videos from the TED conferences online.  (On the home page, the bigger the video- the more people who have watched.

TED ED is TED’s education site.  If you’re interested in “flipping your classroom” TED ED is the place to start.  You can watch demonstrations and even create your own flipped lessons. 



Beginning of the Year Ideas

Even if you’ve started your school year it’s not too late to take advantage of these ideas:

“Go slow to go fast” This old saying still holds true.  Go slow in the beginning weeks to teach students classroom procedures and expectations and you’ll get that time back during the school year when your classroom runs like a well oiled clock. 

In the dollar section at Target, they often have number flashcards (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.)  For less $5 you can get enough flashcards for your entire class.  These flashcards can be used for quick and easy number review in all levels.  In French I they use them while they’re learning the numbers and in AP you could see who could go through a stack the quickest for a fast review. 

Looking for great ways to motivate your students?  Try these incentives:
Stickers, fun erasers, bonus points, badges, sugar free gum, small pieces of candy, pencils, pens, movie day (for the class with the most points.)  You can even use a “token economy” where students get fake money (either real fake money or a currency that you invent.)  Students can use them to “pay” for items from you (like all of the above motivators or even movie tickets, gift certificates, homework passes or 10 points extra credit on a quiz.

Looking to start the year out with a comparison of school menus in France and the US?  Check out this video from CBS on France’s Gourmet School Lunches and use actual menus des restaurant scolaires for students to compare. 

Check out this short list of “Planning for Success” in the school year from Edutopia.  Simple tips to make your school year a success.


Plan an International Festival

An International Festival is a great way to bring greater awareness of the importance of language and cultures of the world to your community.  Here are some of the first steps to make your own International Festival. 

1.  Reserve the necessary rooms.
2.  Get speakers and presenters
3.  Make a schedule of events with Diversity Club
4.  Make a student passport
5.  Make posters to create awareness of world and languages, Advertising
6.  e-mail school wide with announcement of activities
7.  Get language students involved in the planning
8.  Decorating and set up Committee
9.  Clean up committee
10. Contact Development, for parents to donate food items
11.  Arrange for kitchen use
12. Have a person in-charge of food
13. Get speakers and Interdisciplinary connection:  Talk to Social studies teachers to see how they can support
15. Get stamps
16. Have a student work film festival.

For even more ideas- look to the Central Valley Foreign Language Association’s Language Fair Packet.  It’s full of tried and true ideas to get your school started.


Looking for Clip Art and Images?

Download different icons for use in your projects for free at The Noun Project. allows you to create free games, quizzes and activities that you can use on your blog or with a Smart board.

Help a Teacher in Need:
Needed:  any and all ancillary materials for the 1998 through 2003 editions of Discovering French Rouge, level 3 textbook.  We need workbooks, one-stop planners, CD-ROMs, and DVDs for anything from 2003 or older.  Please contact Melisa Salvato, French Teacher @ Downey High School or phone (562) 644-7178

YouTube Clip of the Month

Norman Thavaud “Les fautes d’orthographes”  (some minor swearing in French, but appropriate for students.)   “Maintenent J’ai Google.”  (not necessarily appropriate for students, but well worth watching as long as you’re visiting Norman’s YouTube Channel)


Dear Poly

Every month Poly responds to your questions.

Help! Mixed classes!!!

Dear Poly,

This year I got my schedule and I am teaching two levels in one class.  I’ve got a section of level II in with level III.  How am I supposed to teach two different subjects at once?  How can I keep students engaged and on task? Help!

Perplexed in Phelan

Dear Perplexed in Phelan-
Unfortunately this is a common problem in some schools, but don’t worry you can do it and keep your sanity at the same time!  There are several factors you’ll want to take into account as you decide how you want to proceed.  How far apart are the levels actually (do you have a low group of upper students)?  Is this a group of students that is capable of working independently at least some of the time?  Do you have room in your classroom to separate the different levels?  What materials are you required to use?  Are they adaptable for multiple levels?  There are two different ways teachers approach this problem.  Some teachers choose to teach the different levels on different days.  For example on Monday level 2 would get instruction while level 3 would be working independently and then on Tuesday- swap.  This works great if you have the upper level students work together.  Other teachers prefer to treat the class as one hybrid class and teach the same concepts to both groups and differentiating the learning by requiring the upper level students to do more and use more complex language.  In schools where this is the norm some teachers choose to make a course based on a two year cycle so students in level 2 could take level 3 and not repeat the same concepts.  You may need to experiment with both approaches to find the one that works best for you!  Good luck!



Common Core in Language Classes?

Dear Poly,
YIKES! My principal announced at our faculty meeting that all departments must align their curriculum to the Common Core Standards. I don't know anything about Common Core let alone Common Core for World Languages. Can you give me some help?
Confused in Corona

Dear Confused,
Never fear! IEFLA is offering a workshop "Dynamic World Language Teaching in the Common Core Era" with Christine Lanphere, ACTFL National World Language Teacher of 2007. Be sure to register early. Our last two workshops have filled up and we had to turn away teachers.Space is limited!
Register online with credit card. or
Download and mail registration form with check.


New AP Spanish Language Exam?

Dear Poly,

I teach AP Spanish Language and there will be a new test at the end of this school year. I don't know this new exam format. I need new ideas and new strategies to use in my teaching. Is there any where locally that I can get training?

Frantic in Fontana

Dear Frantic,

Never fear. IE STARS is coming to your rescue. Starting in November, they are offering training on one Saturday each month until March. The training will be led by the stellar presenter Aurora Martinez and will give you strategies for AP Language Exam, Advanced Spanish Students, and Spanish Speakers classes.. You will be getting detailed information on registration around September 15.



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

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