The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

March, 2013


  • Build and Expand Your Program
  • Tech Corner
  • YouTube Clips of the Month'
  • AP Level Movies
  • IEFLA Calendar of Language Events
  • Honors Reception - Last Call
  • Easter Ideas
  • Latino Education and Advocacy Days
  • Dear Poly
  • ACTFL Video Winners
  • The Pulsera Project
  • National World Language Teacher of the Year


Build and Expand Your Program

In today’s education climate we have to fight for every language student.  Spring means students are choosing classes for next year.  Here are some tried and true methods for keeping and expanding your program.  The links below give concrete examples about how to recruit, retain and build your program.  What’s the one thing they have in common?  Publicity and getting the word out.  In the end word of mouth will have far more reach than any activity.  If students are engaged and feel like what they are learning is worthwhile they will return; and so will their friends and siblings. 

ACTFL has a list of several ideas including inviting local community members to see what you are doing.

The AATF has a printable sheet of ideas to recruit and support teachers.

Recruiting and retaining French students from the AATF.  (Longer and more theoretical, but still good reading.) 

While centered around French, a good list of talking points when speaking to parents or administrators about the importance of language learning. 

Does your school offer the State Seal of Biliteracy?  If not find out how here.


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:   Pixton is an easy way to make and share comic strips.
How to use Pixton:

  1. Go to
  2. Create a your free account.
  3. Watch the Overview Video.
  4. Start creating your comic.

Students can create free accounts as well and share their comics with you. 

YouTube Clips of the Month

Be sure to carefully preview videos first.

If you just can’t get enough of reality TV- Les anges de la téléréalité.  En Floride quand meme et au Costco et Kim Kardashian.  Full episodes available online.   You might want to block out your afternoon. 

Ataque de Pánico! (English: Panic Attack!) is a 2009 Uruguayan science fiction short film, directed by independent filmmaker Fede Álvarez.[4] Giant robots appear out of the mist and attack Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

El Chavo del Ocho "A un no es hora de clase"

El Chavo del Ocho "Los yoyos"

El Chavo del Ocho "El billete de lotería"

AP Level Movies

Voces Inocentes (child soldiers in El Salvador), La Historia Oficial (Los Desaparecidos in Argentina), Carol's Journey (The Spanish Civil
War) are all excellent AP level movies.  Here are links to the trailers, ratings, summaries, and resources.

Victoria para Chino

A very intense short film on immigration.

TV Commercials

Here's a website with TV commercials from around the world. It's in French but I think non-French speakers can probably find their way around it.

You can search by country, brand, theme, year, etc. It's pretty amazing.



IEFLA Calendar of Language Events

IEFLA Honors Reception - LAST CALL
March 16, Deadline for nominations. IEFLA/CASLA Honors Reception. Submit nominations online. Space is limited. We have room for only 20 more teachers' nominations. For additional information go to Submit your nominations here. The reception will be held at California State University, San Bernardino, on April 24, 3013.

IEFLA Observation Day
March 26, 2013, 7:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. With the World Language Department of Granite Hills High School. Go into the classrooms and see communicative language in action. Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley, California, For more information or to register go to

Cal State, San Bernardino
March 27, Cal State, San Bernardino will be hosting the Latino Education and Advocacy Days from 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Visit LEAD webpage for all of the information. Featuring "Dora, the Explorer," Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Rep. Raul Ruiz, U.S. House of Representatives, and many more.

Henderson, Nevada
April 4-6, SWCOLT Conference. Presenters from the 8 southwest states plus national presenters.For information and registration, go to

IEFLA Spring Workshop 
Deadline for registration April 5. "On the Move Towards Language Proficiency" with Jason Fritze TPRS: Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Stories, $20 IEFLA Members    $35 Non-members, Saturday, April 13, 2013, California State University, San Bernardino.
For information and registration: Space is limited.

IEFLA Spring Workshop 
April 13, "On the Move Towards Language Proficiency" with Jason Fritze TPRS: Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Stories, $20 IEFLA Members    $35 Non-members, Saturday, April 13, 2013, California State University, San Bernardino.
For information and registration: Space is limited.


Honors Reception

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 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. 

Nomination deadline: March 16, 2013.

You can mail in a paper nomination form or now you can submit your nominations online! Submit your nominations here.

Easter Activities

Looking for some activities to do around Easter?

Le poisson d’avril – La vraie histoire de Thierry la Truite qui est LE poisson d’avril

Change up question and answers by buying plastic eggs and putting a question inside each one. 

Semana Santa in Mexico -

Los cascarones de confetti son divertidos.

Latino Education and Advocacy Days

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 p.m.

Santos Manuel Student Union / CSUSB Campus 
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407 

The College of Education at California State University, San Bernardino is pleased to announce the 4th Annual LEAD Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD) Summit.

  • Are you ready to make a difference in the Latino community?
  • Are you ready to connect with and be part of Latino educational leadership?
  • Are you ready to find cross-sector solutions to improve the education and lives of all students?
  • Raise Your Hand, Step In, and Get Involved!!!
  • Latino Education is the economic imperative of our time, and the civil rights issue of our generation.
  • Latino students disproportionately bear the crux of the educational crisis,
    and is where the greatest improvements and most fundamental changes must be fared.

Please join us for a one-day summit as we convene key stakeholders: teaching professionals and educators, researchers, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, families, civic leaders, activists, and advocates. In short, those sharing a common interest and commitment to educational issues that impact Latinos.

For additional information and registration go to

There will be a variety of speakers and entertainment throughout the day. 

  • Honorable Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
  • Chris Gifford, Creator and Executive Producer, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!
  • Dr. Mariana Diaz-Wionczek, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research and Development, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go
  • Dr. Carlos E. Cortés, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Riverside, Creative/Cultural Advisor for Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!
  • Honorable Raul Ruiz , United States House of Representatives (CA-36)
  • Aztec Dancers - Grupo Xipetotec
  • Grupo Folklórico de UCLA
  • Mariachi Generación Musical

Visit LEAD webpage for additional information and complete program.

Contact: Diana Quijano ( , LEAD Registration Committee, 909-537-7641 

Santos Manuel Student Union / CSUSB Campus 
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407 

Link to podcast on-demand


Dear Poly
Every month Poly responds to your questions.

Dear Poly,

HELP !!!!!   I just read the ACTFL position statement that says that we should be teaching in the target language 90%+.  How can they do that?  Can it be done?  I'm only in Spanish about 30-40% of the time and that's when we're doing the exercises in the book.  How can you teach grammar in Spanish?  Don't you have to use English?

Skeptical in San Bernardino

Dear Perplexed,

California does have World Language Content Standards, but it has been one of the best kept secrets of modern times.  You can download a copy of the content standards from the California Department of Education web site or from the IEFLA web site  And if you’d like to get training on designing standards-aligned lessons, you can attend the IE STARS training.  The next series will be in the fall.

Wishing you the best,



Dear Poly,

I'm discouraged.  My students are so bored with my classes.  They are tired of my good activities because we've done them so much.  I look out at my classes, and they all look droopy.  What can I do?  I need some ideas.

Despondent in Desert Hot Springs

Dear Despondent Desert Hot Springs
First congratulations on reading the Polyglot.  There are always great ideas in there.  Besides turning the air conditioning down so that students are too cold to sleep, you should sign up for the IEFLA Spring Workshop with Jason Fritze.  He is a national language advocate and speaker and always has great ideas.  You’ll leave feeling energized and ready for Monday. 

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


Check out Clta on Facebook and on Twitter @cltatweets

ACTFL Video Winners

The winners of the ACTFL Video Contest 2013 have been announced! Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone for their great entries and for making the 2013 ACTFL Video Contest a success!

High School Category – 1st prize (Judges) – Much more than just learning Chinese

High School Category – 2nd prize (Judges) – Santa Clara Discovers Languages

High School Category – 3rd prize (Judges) – Learn a new language today!

See other video winners from elementary to post-secondary at



The Pulsera Project

Does your club/school need a service project?

The Pulsera Project buys hand-woven pulseras from young Nicaraguan artisans and artisan families and sells them mostly through U.S. schools. We provide sustainable, fair-trade employment and dramatically expand economic opportunities for many Nicaraguans. We support youth shelters, fund scholarships, provide loans, and support community development projects run by members of our pulsera makers’co-op of shelter “graduates." They partner with other non-profit organizations who share our belief that economic aid is just one part of a mutual exchange among people who share knowledge, ideas, and life experiences for the benefit of all.

For more information go to



National World Language Teacher of the Year

Yo Azama is a teacher of Japanese at Salinas High School. He was selected as Teacher of the Year for 2012. See his students in action.

Other teachers are featured at

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