The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

March, 2015

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • Honors Reception - Only 9 days left to nominate your students
  • Tech Corner - Duolingo - Students listen, talk, and read
  • YouTube clip of the month
  • Praise for IEFLA Workshops and Activities
  • An Activity that Take ZERO prep time
  • A Lot of Miscellaneous Activities and Resources
  • Dear Poly
  • Japan Day @ CSUSB
  • Spanish Spelling Bee
  • Teach English for a year in Taiwan



15th Annual Inland Empire Language Association
Honors Reception

For Outstanding World Language Students

 Submission deadline March 18, 2015, or as soon as capacity is reached.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, IEFLA and the Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Advancement of Second Language Acquisition will be sponsoring an Honors Reception to recognize outstanding foreign language students.  The reception will be at 5:00 p.m. at California State University San Bernardino.

IEFLA members are invited to submit the names of students of any level whose world language achievement they would like recognized at the Honors Reception.  No more than five students may be nominated per IEFLA member. You may nominate your outstanding students online. For questions contact Jennifer Lovelace at email

Approximately 3 weeks before the reception, you and the students you nominate will receive invitations to the reception by mail.

Space is limited.  Submit your nominations early.

Nominate your students online.



Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:  Duolingo is a free tool that helps students practice their language.  Students have to listen, talk and read.  It is available as an app or on a computer.  Students can sign up for an account and Duolingo will keep track of their progress.  If they choose “Progress sharing” and if you have signed up, students can share their progress with you.  Students can choose the amount they want to practice each day and Duolingo will push them to meet that goal.  Duolingo is a fun and engaging tool to get students using their language outside of the classroom.

YouTube Clip of the Month

“La Vie à Deux”  A fun interesting video for reflexive verbs.


Praise for IEFLA Training and Workshops

Not sure if you should sign up for the next IEFLA Workshop?  Read these comments from attendees:

From the Observation Day at Granite Hills High School

“I was definitely impressed by the amount of activities performed in class.  I really enjoyed the teaching strategies of French teacher Toni Drewry and her level of engagement with her students.  It was really mind blowing.”

“Today was quite a day for me and as far as I view World Language instruction.  I came away with a ton of great ideas.”

“I am taking with me ideas on how to interact with my students, how to engage with them and classroom management”


From the workshop with Yo Azama

“I’ll go back to work with a new found zeal!”

“Yo is a master communicator, motivator and educator!  Come back soon!”

“I wish it was longer!”


100% Prep Free Activity

We all have those days.  The days when the assembly went long or short.  There was a fire drill that went long or short.  The copier stopped working.  Your workshop was cancelled, and you’re unexpectedly in the classroom without your normal lesson planning.  Here’s a simple activity for all languages and levels.

  • Pass out a piece of paper to each student and ask them to fold it into six boxes.
  • Tell the students that you are going to tell them a story and that they have to draw the story with as much detail as they can.
  • Tell a level appropriate story with as much detail as you can.

From here it’s a Choose Your Own based on time and purpose:

  • Students turn to a partner and re-tell the story with as much detail as possible.
  • Students write the story on the back of the pictures.
  • Students do a gallery walk and write comments on other students’ drawings.
  • Students switch papers and identify all of the objects in their partner’s paper.
  • Students cut up the boxes and mix them up and swap with someone else.  They put in the correct order and re-tell that story.
  • Leave one box open and have students draw in that part of the story.
  • Ask students to record themselves (using whatever method you prefer- Google Voice, Vocaroo, Voice record) telling the story.
  • What else could you do with this idea?  The possibilities are endless!

Miscellaneous Ideas

Looking for a template for Tic Tac Toe, Vocabulary, Bingo or Flyswatter game?  Check out Mrs. Langer’s Teacher Resources Page.

Authentic Video with Subtitles
For language teachers and students, some great things to emerge from the crowdsourcing movement are subtitles and captions for international movies and TV shows.  Viki and Dotsub are two sites that provide subtitles with video, as well as opportunities for regular users to contribute subtitles for a wide variety of media content. With these sites, a teacher could develop a class project around subtitling a film that doesn't have any yet.  Or a class could just watch a film in the target language. Both activities are great ways to get students into contact with authentic language use.  (From LARC.) 

Do you use Avancemos?  Mary Gust has created quizzes based on the lessons at  They are all named with “Avancemos” so that they are easy to locate.

Games and Activities:
Flyswatter in pairs?  Rapid writing?  30 seconds?  Do you know these games and activities?  Even if you know some Señora Thompson has some variations you might not have thought of yet. 

Running Dictation
Running?  In class?  It can work.  Check out this organized twist on a normal dictation.

Short Videos of Spanish Native Speakers
Looking for short videos to use for your Spanish classes with a variety of different access?  The University of Texas at Austin has them for free as part of their Spanish Proficiency Exercises.  Videos are divided by levels and subject and contain links to grammar and vocabulary for each video. 

Languages in the News
“Quiz:  What Language Should You Learn”  (Hopefully it’s the one you chose!”)

“Committee approves world language requirement for Utah high school graduation.”

Your Input Matters
ACTFL is requesting input from K-12 teachers about foreign language enrollment and studies.  Take a few minutes to take the survey here.


Dear Poly parrot


Dear Poly,
I hear this work “curate” a lot when people are talking about web resources?  And I’ve heard colleagues talking about curating resources for students? What does this mean?  How is it different a list of sites?  Is this something I need to start doing?

Curious in Colton

Dear Curious-
Curating is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a topic or area of interest.  If you have a Pinterest page that you are curating, if you keep a list of websites on particular topics for your students, then you are a curator.  Curating is a hot buzzword right now in Ed Tech.  And some people feel in the future knowing how to curate resources effectively will be more important than writing the resources.  If you’re looking for more information on how to curate resources for your students see this curated list from Mashable.  As the expert in your classroom, your ability to sort through the web and find the resources most valuable for your students will be vital to their success, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process!


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



Japan Day @ CSUSB

March 13, 2015 | Free Admission

Japanese Taiko Drum Performance | By TAIKOPROJECT
11:30am - 11:55am in front of the John M. Pfau Library

Japan Day Luncheon
Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
12:00pm - 2:30pm at Upper Commons, Obershaw Dining Room
(RSVP required at
About the Speaker:
Ambassador Fujisaki served in Washington, D.C. as Japanese Ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2012. He also served in Jakarta, Paris, London and Geneva.

Breakout Sessions by delegates
“Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan.”
2:40pm - 4:00pm at the Lower Commons

Japanese Tea Ceremony Lecture & Demonstration
By Ms. Takako Osumi, Tea Master
5:00pm - 6:00pm at Upper Commons, Obershaw Dining Room

Sponsored by:
Department of World Languages and Literatures
Center for International Studies and Programs
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
University Diversity Committee
For more information about this event, please contact:
Makiko Amaya, Department of World Languages and Literatures
909-537-7132 |
Rika Dawson, Center for International Studies and Programs
909-537-3712 |


2015 Inland Empire High School Spanish Spelling Bee Contest

Please join us as we gather to celebrate our first spelling bee contest at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. This event provides students the opportunity to showcase their ability to spell in Spanish. Additionally, winners will receive cash prizes to be used for educational expenses, including computers, software and school supplies.

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Innovator’s Auditorium (Business Building 132), California Baptist University
For updates and most recent event information, please visit our Facebook page (Omega Phi).

For the Championship Finalists:

1st Place: $500 + $100 for the teacher of the first place student for purchase of school supplies.
2nd Place: $350
3rd Place: $250

For official rules, word list, and a flyer, contact Noe Ruvalcaba at

Teaching English in Taiwan Program

1.Recruitment purpose: The Ministry of Education in Taiwan would like to enhance English learning environment for shcool-aged children in rural area through recruiting qualified teachers to teach in K-9 public schools in Taiwan.

2. Application period: From Feb 1, 2015 to April 30,2015

3. Requirements:(1) English native speaker, (2) Bachelor's degree or above, (3) teaching certificate, (4) no criminal record

4. Teaching duration: one academic year (August to the next year July, about 11 months)

5.Remunerations and other benefits: round-trip economic air tickets, housing allowance, health care benefits, monthly salarys, performance bonus, overtime pay.  Download additional information at " Teaching in Taiwan"

6. work week: about 40 hours a week (8 hours a day, 5 days a week), From Monday to Friday.

7.Application contact: Ministry of Education, Lilian Huang, please send application form and required documents to Liliang Huang at

8. Download application package, please visit website at

Should you have any questions, please contact

Mary Li-Ling Liang, PhD,
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles

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