The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

October, 2015

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • Need New Ideas? IE STARS Training will give you many, Monday-ready activities
  • What teachers are saying about IE STARS trainings
  • CLTA Conference 2016 in Visalia
  • SWCOLT Conference in Honolulu
  • ACTFL Convention in San DIego
  • Actividad física - YouTube Clip of the Month
  • Languages in the News
  • Tech Corner: Duolingo, Quizzes
  • Ideas for Day of the Dead
  • Lesson Plans for Day of the Dead
  • Authentic Resources
  • Activities, Activities, Activities
  • Mobile Storytelling at San Diego State
  • 4-day Oral Proficiency Workshop (OPI)


Need New Ideas?


IE STARS Professional Development Seminars

For World Language and ELL Teachers
California State University, San Bernardino

Three Tiers to Choose From

5 Meeting Days

Optional Credit Available

IE STARS Professional Development at Cal State San Bernardino

IE STARS has unveiled the five-day series of professional development seminarsfor world language teachers that will begin in November. This year they are offering three different strands to choose from:

Tier 1A - Standards-Based World Language and ELL Instruction to Address the Common Core and Today’s Students
Tier 1B - Using Stories to Enhance Standards-Based Foreign Language and ELL Instruction and to Address the Common Core
Tier 2 - Standards-Based Instructional Practices to Address the Common Core for Teachers of Advanced Spanish Classes

Program will be offered on four Saturdays: November 14, December 5, 2015 and January 30, February 27, 2016, and an observation day at a local school.*: Tiers 1A and 1B on December 3; Tier 2 on December 2, 2015.

If your school cannot send you, IE STARS has a partial scholarship for you. In addition, you can register for credit for an optional fee.

For details and registration information, go to

Deadline for enrollment: October 30, 2015

What teachers are saying about IE STARS trainings...

It was all fabulous.  I was able to bring back enough activites to keep the students engaged all year long! Robyn Smith, Chaparral High School, Temecula

This training has become the guide and foundation for my teaching.  Jamie Muller, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Corona

I wish I had taken this my first year of teaching.  I learned more from this than any other training I’ve had. Carlota Vargas, Victor Valley High School, Victorville

You taught an old dog new tricks! Cely Lajara-Echevarria, Oak Hills High School, Hesperia

IE STARS training teaches how to make language-learning interesting, fun, and exciting. Pelagio Escalante, Cesar Chavez Middle School, San Bernardino

This program provided me with a plethora of new strategies to support my English language learners. Nancy Ruiz, Ralph A. Gates Elementary School

The training provided me with many strategies and activities that were easy to start using right away! Karla Diaz, Beaumont High School, Beaumont

IE STARS gave me a variety of activities to use throughout the language acquisition process. Toni Drewry, Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley

These sessions have helped revitalize my vision and exitement for teaching Spanish! Jeff Henrichsen, Santiago High School, Corona

IE STARS has given me greater confidence to teach my English learners. Anonymous

CLTA Annual Conference 2016

Visalia Marriott - Convention Center
March 17-20, 2016, CLTA Annual Conference, including speakers, workshops, interest sessions, exhibitors, and more. For registration and additional information.

This is a fantastic opportunity for professional development when you need it most! The Conference is one of the premiere professional development opportunities every year for world language professionals in California and beyond. Expert and seasoned presenters, peer presentations, pre-Conference workshops, exhibitors , vendors, awards and grants, and more.

Available now! Download a PDF of the Registration Fees HERE!

Registration will begin in late fall 2015. Registration Booklet will be available mid-November!Hotel information will be available mid-November!


SWCOLT / HALT 2016  Honolulu, Hawaii
Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, March 3-5, 2016

Next year's SWCOLT Conference will be held at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel in Honolulu. The Southwest Council on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) is teaming up with the Hawaiian Association of Language Teachers to present the 2016 conference.

Watch for information at

Phone: (405) 613-1481

ACTFL Convention, 2015
San Diego

This year's ACTFL Convention will be held in San Diego on November 20-22, 2015. You will have the option to choose from more than 700 educational sessions in a variety of formats covering a wide spectrum of the language profession.

Visit with more than 250 exhibiting companies showcasing the latest products and services for you and your students.

The ACTFL Convention is an international event bringing together more than 6,000 language educators from all languages, levels and assignments. Thought-provoking speakers will inspire you, innovative formats will keep you engaged, and smart practices will allow you to transform your classroom.

For information and registration, go to

YouTube Clip of the Month

“Actividad física, ejercicio y deporte”  - Importance of physical activity for students.

Learn how to use YouTube videos to identify aspects of culture here.

Languages in the News

“How Foreign Language Fosters Empathy in Children”

“Why Schools Should Focus on Foreign Language Learning Earlier”

“MIT Researchs Claime to Have Discovered a Language Universal”


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:  Duolingo.  Duolingo is an online and mobile gamification for language learning.  Sign up and make a classroom that students can share their progress to and just watch them learn.  Students can earn points and badges.  Students choose a level and number of minutes they’d like to practice.  If you haven’t tried it yet, click now!

Sometimes you just have to give a quiz.  Interested in using technology to create non-traditional quizzes and assessments?  Check out this list from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. 


Ideas for Día de los Muertos
Day of the Dead

The culture and history of Day of the Dead provide an incredibly rich opportunity for learning but, as institutions representing government, schools must remember the religious elements of the holiday so that they do not infringe on the constitutional rights of their students and their families.
Teachers must be careful not to cross the line between teaching about religious holidays (which is permitted) and celebrating religious holidays (which is not).

Teaching about a religious holiday is constitutional if it furthers a genuine secular program of education, is presented objectively, and does not have the effect of advancing religion through simulating or participating in a sacred ritual or practice. For more guiding information and principles regarding the teaching about religious holidays in public schools, consult the latest edition of the California 3Rs - Rights, Respect, and Responsibility at

Literature selections to support the teaching of Día de los Muertos
Pablo Remembers (1993) by George Anacona 
Day of the Dead (2000) by Tony Johnston
El Día De Los Muertos: The Day of the Dead (2002) by Mary Dodson Wade
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead (2008) by Judy Goldman 
The Day of the Dead: A Mexican-American Celebration (1995) by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

Sometimes has used books - very inexpensive and no shipping charge. I think I saw two of these titles for $3.98. Maybe only one available.

Lesson Plans: Day of the Dead

New Section of the Polyglot!

Authentic Resources

Beginning this month is our new features section on authentic resources and activities.
Looking for authentic resources?  It’s easier than ever!

Teachit Languages has an entire website dedicated to authentic resources you can trust AND labeled by topic.

Spanish Resource:  Cine Programación (via Amy Lenord)
Level 1 Activities:  What is this announcing? Who is it about?  When can you see it?  Intermediate Level Activities: read the summary and write a scene for the movie

French Resource:  Hobbies  This one is huge, but luckily Madame Farab has created several activities for you here.

Activities, Activities, Activities

Peek-a-WHO Icebreaker Activity – Use it to review names!

Great songs channeling your inner Céline and learning French via

Quiz, Quiz Trade Speaking Activity

Five Zero Prep Speaking Activities

365 Journal Prompts – Translated into different languages!

Communication Rubric
Looking for a simple communication rubric you can use for just about anything?  Check out this one from

Languages in the News
Library of Congress Launches Online Hispanic Literature Recordings

Support Growing for Bilingual Classrooms

Scholarships for Students to Study Abroad
NSLI Applications due October 29.  There’s still time!

Grading Smarter Not Harder
Feeling controlled by your gradebook?  Check out this blog post with some tips on how to grade smarter.

What makes a frame French?
The Getty Center knows and has a temporary exhibition about French framing.  While you’re there check out the Degas Exhibition on pastels.


Mobile Digital Storytelling Workshop
with Noah Geisel, 2013 ACTFL Teacher of the Yea
San Diego State University
November 18, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Technological advances combined with increased access and connectivity have given rise to Mobile Storytelling.  We will explore 5 free tools and take the time to dive deep with each so that you have expertise and exemplars to share with your learners tomorrow. Bring your mobile device. For registration information visit:

4-day Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Workshop, plus
Optional additional day with Dr. Mahdi Alosh (REDUCED PRICE!)

San Diego State University

November 15-18

It is designed to introduce language educators to the Oral Proficiency Interview, the ACTFL rating scale, and the techniques for conducting and rating oral proficiency interviews. Early bird rate $400 by Nov. 1. For additional information and registration. It is followed by a workshop the day after with Dr. Mahdi Alosh. See below.

November 19, A workshop with Dr. Mahdi Alosh, Learning about the design and implementation of a learner-centered language course at any level. Early bird reduced price: $100 by November 1. For additional information and registration. Prerequisite: Previous OPI training.

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