The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

September, 2012


Calendar of Events
Tech Corner: Get control of your web site book marks.
Videos - French and Spanish
Tired of carrying your textbook around the room? Cut the cord.
Languages in the News
Music to Soothe the Soul - French and Spanish
Back to School Night Ideas

Next Month


CLTA Calendar of Language Events

LA STARS Early Start program, Occidental College
Meets on five Saturdays: September 15, October 6, October 20, and November 10, 2012. Professional Development Seminars (5 Different strands to choose from: Peace Makers and Trend Setters, Enhancing Instruction Through Technology, Using Film for Spanish Speakers, ELD Standards, AP Language and Culture Exam). Download information and registration form There is room for a few more participants. Register today.

MCLASC Mini-conference
October 13, 2011, Heritage Christian School in North Hills, near Cal State Northridge, from 8:00 am to 12:45 PM.

I E STARS Professional Development Seminars
Nov. 3, Day 1 of a five-day series. Other days: Dec. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 12, Feb. 23 at Cal State, San Bernardino. Three strands to choose from. Additional information and registration materials will be available on September 10 at

CLTA Conference
February 27-March 3, 2013, CLTA Conference Hyatt Orange County Garden Grove, CA. CLTA is now accepting proposals for workshops and interest sessions. Submit your proposal today at

ACTFL Convention
November 16-18 2012 ACTFL Convention, Philadelphia, PA. http;//

tech corner


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom. This month:  Symbaloo

Do you have bookmarks for websites all over the place? Do you want one central location to keep all of your bookmarks?  Want to be able to share bookmarks with different people? Symbaloo is for you.  Symbaloo syncs all of your bookmarks no matter which web browser you are using.  Go to and take the tour.  It’s free!  

How to use Symbaloo:

  1. Sign up for a free account.
  2. Start creating your bookmarks and webmixes.




YouTube Clip of the Month
Têtes à Claques: A l’école (with English subtitles) because we’ve all had students like this. Must see.

Realidades YouTube Video
¿Cómo se va al supermercado?
Student-made, extra-credit video - Here the students lip sync a Hip Hop song that goes with the Pearson book, "Realidades." Your students will love it. This song goes with Level 2, Chapter 3B, Giving Directions. Even if you don't use "Realidades," you may be able to use the hip hop songs with your own textbook. There is a song for the vocabulary and grammar for each chapter: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3

Not Your Average Cat Video
The Best Cat Video on the Internet or The Best Cat Promoting Language Learning on the Internet. French with English subtitles. Too cute !

Free French Videos
Check out this portal of videos in French.  Looking for short videos with des expressions familières? Extra practice with verbs?  These short videos are courtesy of Great browsing and practice.

Web Lesson of the Month
Do you have a great Web Lesson you want to share? Send your lesson idea to Bethany Thompson at

Cut the Cord to Your Textbook

This interesting tip comes from Charlotte Meyer via FL Teach. Scan the pages of the textbook exercise you are going to use, then cut it out and put it on an index card. You can carry around the index card in class while the students are doing the exercise instead of the heavy teachers addition.

Have an online edition of your textbook? Use the online edition to do the same thing.

Languages in the News

Where were languages born?  Listen to this NPR story about mapping the birthplace of modern languages.

Afghan Language, Culture and the Army

The army is sending troups better prepared to overcome language and culture barriers.



Music to Sooth the Soul

Here’s several different tunes to keep your students engaged and on their toes.

Days of the Week Rap

(from Clauda Diaz via FLTEACH)


 LUNES…is Monday
 the worst day of the week
 MARTES….is Tuesday
 and all we want is sleep
 MIÉRCOLES… is Wednesday
 the middle of the week
 JUEVES…is Thursday
 the end is almost here
 VIERNES… is Friday
 get ready for the party
 SÁBADO… is Saturday
 you like to shake your body
 DOMINGO…is Sunday
 beware of coming Mondayyyy!!!!


French Verb Songs

Aller-to the tune of “My Darling Clementine”
Je vais
Tu vas
Il va, elle va
Nous allons au supermarché
Vous allez à la piscine
Ils vont aller au café

Etre- to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
Je suis
Tu es
Il est, elle est
Nous sommes
Vous êtes
Ils sont, elles sont

Faire- to the tune of “Frères Jacques”
Je fais
Tu fais
Il fait, elle fait
Nous faisons
Vous faites
Ils font, elles font

Back to School


Back to School Night Ideas

Here are some ideas for a successful Back to School Night:

  • Greet parents and introduce yourself as they come into your classroom.
  • Have student work on the walls
  • Have presentation prepared with agenda listed on the board or PowerPoint. Don’t wing it.
  • Tell them you’ll have time for questions at the end of the presentation.
  • Have a sign in sheet where parents can give you their best contact information. Include a place for student name especially if it is different from parents.
  • To encourage parent attendance you can give team points for parent attendance.
  • You can show the textbook and explain its role in the course.
  • Share your homework/homework policy and how students can get assignments when they are absent.
  • It can be helpful for parents to know a little about you personally, but they don’t need to hear your life’s story.
  • Try to focus on the positive. They don’t need to hear you’ve never taught this class before or that few students pass the class.
  • Have your contact information available for them.
  • Tell how great the course is and give examples.
  • Tell them the importance of the course.
  • Tell how the class is doing so well.
  • Share with them your expectations.
  • What parents can do:

    a. See that homework is done
    b. See that students get rest, to sleep at an early hour, so that they are rested in the morning.
    c. See that students get breakfast.
    d. See that students arrive on time.
    e. See that students attend regularly.
    f. Make orthodontist appointments during other classes, not yours.

  • Give parents tools for helping students even when they don’t know the language: have them ask students what their work says or they can work on flashcards or spelling at home.
  • Have the students do an on-the-spot demo of all that they have learned since the beginning of the year. The parents are impressed.

Next month:  iPad, iPhones, iPods, iHelp is on the way!  Tips and ideas for using netbooks and tablets in the classroom!

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