Your Back to School Polyglot - September, 2014


The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

September, 2014

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • IEFLA Fall Workshop, Connecting Common Core Literacy Strategies
  • LA STARS Jobs Bulletin Board
  • LA STARS Calendar of Language Events
  • Tech Corner: IEFLA's Pinterest Page - Lots of resources
  • IEFLA’s World Language Binder - For all languages
  • Back to School Ideas
  • Back to School Night
  • World Language Jamboree
  • Target Language in the Classroom - 90%+ ???!!!
  • Dear Poly



IEFLA Spring Workshop
California State University, San Bernardino
Saturday, September 27, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
College of Education, Room CE-110

Connecting Common Core Literacy Strategies with Effective Language Learning
Paul Sandrock, Director of Education, ACTFL

World languages connect naturally to the development of literacy, from Prekindergarten through postsecondary levels.  Explore how Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Global Competence Skills, Disciplinary Literacy, and 21st Century Skills inform language learning.  Experience and analyze numerous strategies that explicitly build students’ skills in interpretive listening and reading, presentational writing, and interpersonal listening and speaking. Identify approaches that engage and motivate students at all levels, while guiding learners to develop their language performance from Novice to the Intermediate level and on toward the Advanced level.  Build your repertoire of ways to practice and assess all three modes of communication.



Paul Sandrock, Director of Education at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), directs this national organization’s professional development and initiatives around standards, curriculum, instruction, and performance assessment. Previously, Paul was Assistant Director of Content and Learning at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, beginning that state's implementation of Common Core State Standards. Paul taught Spanish for 16 years in middle school and high school and authored The Keys to Assessing Language Performance and Planning Curriculum for Learning World Languages.

For additional information

To register online and pay with credit card.

Download and mail registration form.

Register online with credit card at / or mail this registration with a check.
Registration:  $50   Sorry we cannot take PO’s.

When and Where:  Saturday, September 27, 2014, College of Education Room CE-110, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407

8:00 am – 8:30 am Registration and continental breakfast.  
8:30 am -  3:00 pm Workshop.  Handouts and lunch included.

Space is limited.  Register early.  Registration closes when room limit is reached.  Please pre-register by September 20, 2014.  Registration after this date does NOT guarantee handouts or lunch.  We cannot hold a place for you until registration and payment are both received.

Registration on site:   Add $10 if space is available.
For further information, contact Jennifer Lovelace, at

Directions to California State University, San Bernardino:  Take Interstate 215 to San Bernardino.  Exit freeway at University Parkway.  Go north on University Parkway, which goes into the university.  Parking is $5.

Need a teacher? Need a job?

See the LA STARS Jobs Bulletin Board for Southern California.

See job openings in Southern California.

Add your name to available candidates.

Calendar of Southern California Language Events

LA STARS calendar of Southern California language events is ONLINE! See the whole line-up of summer activities for language teachers.


Tech Corner 
Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month we return to Pinterest:  Pinterest. is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as 'pinning' on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others' boards and browsing what other users have pinned. 

Follow IEFLA on Pinterest!  Click on the link and start following us today! 

Looking to use Pinterest in the classroom? 
37 Ways to Use Pinterest in the Classroom



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, authentic assessment, participation, and much, much more!



Back to School Ideas

First Weeks of School
The first weeks of school are so important to set the foundation for a successful school year.  Here are some great ideas to help you get started:

Tired of the same boring syllabus.  Check out these alternate ways to organize your classroom information:
Algebra 1 (for the formatting!)
French with Madame Naditz
Language Arts (using Piktochart)

First Days Activities:
Looking for activities to get to know your students and ease them back into school and languages:

Story Game via Bryan Kandel

Toss and Talk Ball – Write several questions on a cheap bouncy ball and have students toss it to each other.  Where a student's thumb lands is the question he answers.

Vacation Bingo- Have students generate a list of activitiesthat they did during vacation.  Collect them and the next day play Vacation Bingo.  Pass out blank bingo cards and students fill out their own cards with their vacation activities and check off if you call one of the activities they’ve listed on their card.

Create your own Bingo cards online:
Blank Bingo Card (complicated)
Blank Bingo Card (easy)

First day ideas from the Creative Language Class Blog using a Prezi and the target language.

Who doesn’t love an activity that involves stickies!  Here are seven icebreakers you can do with students using stickies. 



Back to School Night
Once you get the students hooked in then it’s time to wow the parents.  Here are some great ideas to make your Back to School Night a success:

  • Introduce yourself to every parent that walks through the door.
  • Have all of your contact information and syllabus available for parents to take
  • Have students do a demonstration of what they do in class
  • Use QR Codes to help parents and students save information to their phones
  • If talking to a large group of parents intimidates you, create a Powerpoint or slideshow with all of your pertinent information than can run continuously freeing you up to walk around and talk to individual parents.
  • Give students a “treasure hunt” of items/activities they should show their parents while they are there.  Students can check them off as they show their parents. 

World Language Jamboree

The Jamboree is back! Save the date.

October 25, 2014, Esperanza High School in Anaheim

Target Language in the Classroom

90%+ ???!!!

A question from a reader:

I know that the ACTFL Position Statement states that we should be using the target language in the classroom at least 90% of the time. How can I do that?

Advice from Ellen Shrager:

Yours is the eternal question of balancing the need to build relationships with students in a short amount of time to ensure a successful language program with the need to follow our ACTFL mandate of 90% target language usage.

For many of us, the answer lies in making the paradigm shift from teacher speaking 90% TL to:

  • the teacher creating visual comprehensible input (vci) that supports 90% TL in the classroom
  • direct instruction of teacher-to-student commands
  • direct instruction of student-to-teacher requests
  • direct instruction of student-to-student phrases

I believe that if you make a tech guide for each lesson, you will be more comfortable with the 90% TL goal. For links to examples and to the book that explains the process, go to

Best wishes,
Ellen Shrager
Newtown Square, PA

[Ed. note - If you'd like to download (FREE!) the first day's lesson on PowerPoint, go to the freedownload on Teachers Pay Teachers. You must first join "Teacher Pay Teachers" (Free). It comes with complete directions to use it.]



Spanish MA Program at CSUSB to Offer New Track and Teaching Opportunities

The Spanish MA program at California State University, San Bernardino, is a 2-year program which offers recent graduates and professionals the possibility to continue their study and deepen their knowledge of the Spanish language and Hispanic literatures and cultures. The program is particularly well suited for high school teachers and others who wish to pursue a career in college/university teaching or who intend to enter a doctoral program.

See additional information online.

Contact information: For more information about the Spanish MA program at CSUSB, please contact Prof. Jany at or (909) 537-7386.


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,
I’m a new(er) teacher and just starting out with all of these technology websites and apps.  I never know what email to use when setting up these accounts.  My personal email? My school emaill?   
Tech Challenged in Colton

Dear Tech Challenge
First, congratulations on jumping into the digital world!  This is a great question and one that could effect where your digital files are stored and how you access them.  It is a always a good idea to keep your personal email and accounts separate from your work accounts.  That said, if you use your work email to set up accounts for websites and you ever change schools you won’t have access to your work email any more and would have to change your settings or open new accounts.  To solve this problem, many teachers set up a free gmail account that they can use just for school.  This allows teachers to set up professional Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc accounts that are separate from their personal and any district accounts.  This is the best of both worlds- you are able to keep your personal accounts on the strictest privacy settings, but your professional accounts open for students and parents.  Doing this will also help you build a digital portfolio that you own and can take with you if you move or change jobs. 


Dear Poly,
HELP!!!! I've been teaching for 15 years. And now suddenly, my principal is asking us to align our teaching to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We're supposed to cite the CCSS that we are addressing in each lesson. I AM LOST! The more I look at them, the less I see what I can do in the classroom to align with them. Do they really work with world languages?

Frantic in Fontana

Dear Frantic,

Never fear when IEFLA is here! They have the solution for you. IEFLA is bringing all the way from Wisconsin a national level presenter, Paul Sandrock. And he is GREAT! He explains very clearly what the world language teachers can do to contribute to the Common Core focus of your school. In addition he shares specific activities and strategies that are very effective in addressing the standards. Lewie Johnson attended a workshop that Paul presented and says that he learned so much. If you attend only one workshop this year, this is it! You can get additional information and register here:

See you at the workshop on September 27. You're gonna love it!



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

Check out CLTA on Twitter @cltatweets.
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