Your December Polyglot - 2013


The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

December, 2013

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • LA STARS starts Saturday. You can still register.
  • IEFLA Low Desert Share-a-Thon
  • Summer Teach and Travel in China
  • CLTA Summer Study Abroad Grants
  • CLTA Conference Registration Booklet: Download now
  • Tech Corner: Class Dojo
  • IEFLA's World Language Binder
  • Rick Steves: European Christmas
  • Using Authentic Assessment
  • Dear Poly

LA STARS - Eight Different Seminars to Choose From

First day of Training is Saturday - You can still register. FAX in your registration form.

  1. Tier 1A - Common Core and Standards-Based Practices for Foreign Language Teachers

  2. TIer 1B - Using STORIES to Enhance Common Core and Standards-Based Foreign Language Instruction

  3. Tier 1C - Common Core and Standards-Based Practices for Teachers of Spanish Speakers

  4. Tier 1E - Addressing the Common Core through Authentic Communication in the Standards-Based Classroom
  5. Tier 2A - Beyond the Textbook: Common Core and Standards-Based Instructional Practices (Levels 1-3)
  6. Tier AP Language - Preparing students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam and the Common Core
  7. Tier AP Literature - Preparing students for the AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam and the Common Core
  8. Tier 3 - Standards-Based Assessment of Academic Content, Literacy and Common Core Competencies for Foreign Language and Native Speakers

Dates:              Program will be offered on five Saturdays:December 14, 2013, and January 25, February 15, March 22, and April 12.
Times:             8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.               Credit: Four units of credit will be available for an extra fee
Cost:               $695 per participant  (If your school is not able to send you, ask about our scholarships.)  
Location:        Occidental College

Registration forms and program information are available online at .

FAX in your registration form.

POSSIBLE FUNDING SOURCES: IDEA, Title I, Title II, Title III, Title V, Title VII, No Child Left Behind Funds, Innovation Funds, Imporving Teacher Quality Enhancement Funds, Charter Schools Funding, Program Improvement Funds, SELPA, Professional Development Funds, and Parent Teacher Organizations. Check with your school for what may be available for you.

If your school cannot send you, we have partial scholarships available.

For additional information contact our office at (323) 259-2949; Fax (323) 341-4894; .

IEFLA Low Desert Share-a-Thon

Exciting and Motivating Activities

Hosted by the Palm Springs High Language Acquisition Department,
Trinidad Rios, and Svetlana Lazarova
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Palms Springs High School, Room 201

This is a “MYOW” – Make Your Own Workshop – event.

Each participant is encouraged to bring a student activity to share.
Bring your successes and challenges – leave with ideas and solutions.
This is an informal get-together of colleagues.

Workshop is free, but you must register online.  To register go to
Register Now.

For questions contact Trinidad Rios at


Teach and Travel in China Program

The Teach and Travel in China Program is now accepting applications to participate in summer of 2014. This a non-profit organization to promote intercultural understanding between American teachers and teachers and students in China. You teach oral English for 12 days in a Chinese summer camp. As this is a non-profit, you don't get paid, but they provide you with airfare, hotels, meals, transportation, and tours of five cities. For additional information and applications, go to or

CLTA Summer Study Abroad Grants

CLTA is accepting applications for summer study grants to study in Spain, France, Quebec, Japan, Germany, Italy,and design your own summer study abroad. In addition there is a grant to help a new teacher attend the CLTA Conference in March. For grant information, application forms, and descriptions, go to To be eligible, you must be a CLTA member for 2013 and 2014.To renew your membership for 2013 and/or 2014, go to Deadline: January 15, 2015.


CLTA Conference Registration Booklet Now Online

San Diego March 13-16, 2013

Just in time for Christmas!  Download the CLTA Registration Booklet and go to website to register online.

On Thursday and Friday, there are 25 workshops to choose from.

On Saturday and Sunday, there are 100 Interest sessions to choose from.


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month: Class Dojo.  Class Dojo is an online behavior management system that allows you to track and monitor students’ behavior in real time.  Students can create their own “dojo” monsters and parents can log in and see how students are behaving.  It’s free.  Check out Class Dojo today!


IEFLA’s World Language Binder

For general information that applies to all language teachers including tabs for all of the links to websites featured in the Tech Corner, Common Core, participation and much, much more!  Explore now.



YouTube Clip of the Month

Rick Steve’s: European Christmas  This video is split into several sections, but a great short clip (in English) to show your students how Christmas is celebrated all over Europe.  (The link to this video is about Christmas in France, but has links on the side to the rest of Europe!)



Using Authentic Assessment

Each month we will focus on a specific aspect of language teaching.  This month it’s using authentic assessment. 

What is authentic assessment?
Authentic assessment authentic assessment describes the different types of assessment that reflect student learning, achievement, motivation, and attitudes.  In general it assesses what they know and can do as a opposed to what they don’t know.  It reflects the goals and objectives of the class and provides consistent feedback for students about their progress.

What are some examples of authentic assessment?
Authentic assessment can be in the form of storytelling, interviews, projects, and experiments; basically everything that a World Language classroom does every day.  For a great list of authentic assessments (and rubrics) for Spanish, French and Latin, check out Jan Mueller’s site

How do I plan an authentic assessment?
First, you need to know where you’re going.  Backwards planning is the most useful.  Start with your goals and objectives and then work backwards.  What will students need to know in order to complete these tasks.  Once you’ve decided all of that, then you’ll need a rubric.  A rubric is essential and your guide for the criteria you want to grade. 

This sounds so time consuming!
Authentic assessment can take up more time class time than a traditional test, but it’s authentic and gives you a true measure of what your students are able to do.  Are you doing an oral exercise?  Consider having students record themselves using their phones (either with making a voice recording file and sending it to you or by leaving you a message on your phone.)  You can grade projects on your own time.  Google Voice is a great free option for this.  You can create a local phone number that students can call and leave your message.  You can then grade them on your own time as you have a chance. 

How can I start implementing more authentic assessment in my classroom?
If you don’t do a lot of authentic assessment right now, start slow- you don’t have to do it all at once!  Start with your current lesson.  What do you expect students to be able to do at the end?  Is there something already out there?  What comes with your book?  What do you have time for?  (Jan Mueller’s site has lots of tasks and rubrics!)  Choose to do one authentic assessment per lesson.  As you start to build your toolbox of authentic assessment, ask yourself if it’s well rounded.  If you did writing last month, do an oral assessment this month.  Edutopia has some great tips for using authentic assessment:  Edutopia Ten Tips for Authentic Assessment.

Still want more information about authentic assessment?  Go to the Authentic Assessment Tab in IEFLA’s Live Binder




Dear Poly

Each month Poly responds to your questions.  Do you have a question for Poly?  Submit your question by filling in the form here.

Dear Poly,

My school is now requiring that we design our lessons to align with the California Content Standards for World Languages. But I just realized that what we’ve been using are not California Standards but the National Standards for Foreign Language Education the 5 C’s: Communication, Comparisons, Communities, Cultures, Connections. Why don’t we have content standards for world languages in California?

Perplexed in Palm Desert

Dear Perplexed,

California does have World Language Content Standards, but it has been one of the best kept secrets of modern times. You can download a copy of the content standards from the California Department of Education web site or from the IEFLA web site And if you’d like to get training on designing standards-aligned lessons, you can attend the IE STARS or LA STARS training.
Wishing you the best,


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

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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