The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

April, 2016

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios

In this Issue:

IEFLA Spring Workshop - GIve It Your Best Shot!
Free Webinar for Members of CLTA - Liberation from the Vocabulary List
IEFLA is now on Twitter!
27th Annual CLTA / CWLP Summer Seminar at Santa Barbara
San Bernardino Arabic Opportunities for Students!
High Desert Teacher Awarded Grant to Study in Spain
Opportunities for Teachers
YouTube Clip of the Month
Not YouTube, but TED!
Activities, Activities, Activities
Languages in the News


Last Chance to Register

Give it Your Best Shot!

Kara Parker and Megan Smith

IEFLA Spring Workshop, California State University, San Bernardino
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m

Pre-registration deadline April 22, 2016

Refocus a Traditional Language Unit: Zoom in on Culture

  • Engage students with culture.
  • Sharpen that language lesson.
  • Zoom in on purposeful communication.
  • Create real-life scenarios.
  • Make real connections at home and abroad.
  • Reflect through comparisons.


Assessment? Think Snapshots and Selfies

  • Explore performance-based assessments.
  • Provide your class with meaningful feedback.
  • Measure with proficiency-based rubrics.
  • Guide students to create and self-assess.
  • Experience interpersonal assessment.


Registration:  $85   We cannot take PO’s.
When and Where:  Saturday, April 30, 2016, University Hall Room UH-042, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407

Register online with credit card at or mail the registration form with a check. (Download registration form at



Liberation from the List

Vocabulary Instruction Without Burdens or Limits

WIth Amy Lenord, Jasper High School, Plano Texas; TFLA Past President

Date: April 21 6:30-7:30 PM Central Time Zone

What if the vocabulary lists teachers have used for generations to teach their students actually undermined their instruction? What if those lists are actually more cumbersome than helpful? So many teachers talk about abandoning the lists if only they knew a better way. Imagining language instruction without the vocabulary list can be frightening to teachers and students alike, but it is more than possible! It is liberating! In this session participants will explore the mind of a language student and the unintentional messages lists of words send him. Participants will get to play with concrete examples of how vocabulary can be taught without providing a list or even mandating a note taking system. During the course of those lessons participants will see examples of how losing the list knocks down the borders of what students are allowed learn and makes what they actually learn richer and longer lasting.

If you are a current member of CLTA, a member of SWCOLT, or of PNCFL, then you are eligible for this FREE professional development opportunity!

Sign up now!  Learn without having to leave your home!

Link to Register: Sign Up For The Webinar

REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE ON Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Join CLTA at

IEFLA is now on Twitter!  Follow us @iefla_tweets!

27th Annual CLTA / CWLP Summer Seminar at Santa Barbara
July 15 - 20, 2016
University of California, Santa Barbara

The theme this year is: Common Core and World Language Education: Enhancing Global Competence and Academic Performance
Register online NOW!

The 2016 Seminar Program Strand offerings are:

A: Academic Language, Literacy, and Culture for Heritage Speakers of Spanish: Aligning Heritage Speakers Course Content with Advanced Placement® Curricula Themes
B: Designing Instruction, Learning, and the “Beyond” with Technology Tools
C: French as a World Language for Global Competence
D: Integrated Performance Assessment: Real-World Assessments for Real-World Global Competence and Performance
E: Project-Based Language-Learning (PBLL): Engaging Students in Productive Inquiry to Achieve Global Competence
F: STARTALK Leadership Development for Teachers of Critical Languages and Cultures
G: Teaching Italian to 21st Century Learners: Lesson Design that Inspires Global Competence
H: Teaching Japanese to Build and Enhance Global Competence

Furthermore, I hope that you also will share the information with your colleagues and encourage them to attend as well.

Should you have any questions or need more information regarding this year's seminar, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

San Bernardino Arabic Opportunities for Students!

FI supports K-12 students to study Arabic in summer programs run by some of the leading language institutions in the United States. QFI awards grants to the institutions which then allot need-based and merit-based scholarships to qualifying students. Applications for scholarships for Summer 2016 are now open.

Go here to see which programs are available for scholarships this summer:  .

High Desert Teacher Awarded Grant to Study in Spain

Lisett Diaz, Spanish teacher at Encore High School in Hesperia was awarded a grant from CLTA and the Spanish Embassy to study this summer in Salamanca, Spain. The grant includes tuition, room and board, transportation from Madrid to Salamanca and return, and some extra-curricular activities. Lisett only needs to arrange her own airfare, but CLTA even helps diffray some of that expense.

This grant was awarded very late. Since the original recipient wasn't able to accept it, CLTA offered it again.

Each year CLTA administers the awarding of grants to 7 different countries. But there are usually only a few applicants for each grant. There are two main reasons for this: 1. Teachers don't apply. 2. You must be a member of CLTA for the current year and the year before.

If you're interested in applying for a grant next year, join CLTA now for this school year. Then join again in the fall for next school year. You can join CLTA on the CLTA web site The cost of a year's membership is just $45.

Opportunities for Teachers

French film festival in Los Angeles


Tech Corner 

Google Cultural Institute – The Google Cultural Institute is actually three interactive websites: Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders.  Each one allows an interactive and in-depth exploration of different topics.  How can you use it in the world language classroom?  In Art project – create a gallery of works of art on a specific topic (prepositions, weather, clothes, self-portraits) and share the gallery with students for discussion.  In World Wonders or Historic Moments - have students take an in-depth tour of one of the World Wonders.  (Hint: You can change the language of the Google Cultural Institute by changing your language settings in Google.)  Explore today by going to the Google Cultural Institute


YouTube Clip of the Month

.French students talking about diversity in language and culture.     

Not YouTube, but TED! 

Did you know you can watch TED talks in languages other than English?  It’s true!  Sort by language by clicking here.


To Flunch or not to Flunch

Guide for the Museo del Prado – Scroll down through the slides to see detailed information about the works of art.

Cuántos tigres ves?

List of curated #authres in Spanish from Creative Language Class

Free!  Yes Free! Spanish Activity Book on Conserving Resources from the EPA and a list of activities you could do with the book from Spanish Playground.

Spring Poetry Lesson for Spanish class.

Activities, Activities, Activities

360 View of Paris from the rooftops

Word Variation in German - MapLooking for usable free images for you or your students to use in lessons?  Check out this list of 59 image banks.

Do your French students read Le Petit Prince? Here are three different assessments for different points in the novel.

Kara Jacobs writes about how she incorporates the song “El Mole” by Virulo along with other authentic resources into her unit on “La Diversidad de la Gastronomía” in her Spanish 4/5 class. Read how she does it here.

Couldn’t make it to a conference this year?  Check out this list of presentations from the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.  They put all of their presentations online so you can “attend,” even if you didn’t get to go!

Manie Musicale – Check out this great idea to familiarize students with different musical acts and genres. 

Justin Slocum Bailey describes an activity that is incredibly simple and also incredibly versatile: after the teacher (or another student) says a sentence, students declare whether it is a good idea or a bad idea. This can be a stand-alone activity or used to reinforce other activities. Read the full blog post for many adaptations and applications of this very simple activity:

Jenny from the Spanish Playground gives some great ideas for expanding your family tree activities.
Read on for activity ideas:

Weekly Rubric for Target Language Use – Are you looking for a new proficiency based rubric?  Check out this one from Spanish Mama.

Mash-Up:  Interpretive Reading Meets Interpersonal Activity

Circumlocution activities (Examples in Spanish, but applicable to other languages.

Languages in the News

Bilingual babies are smarter, even before they can talk!

French performers at Coachella 2016.

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