The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

November, 2015

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • Need New Ideas? IE STARS Training will give you many, Monday-ready activities: Deadline Friday
  • YouTube Clip of the Month: Cuerdas
  • Tech Corner: Pixton
  • Authentic Resources: Operation Empty Trash Bin and more.
  • Activity of the Week: Stereotypes
  • Activities, Activities, Activities:10 Instant Games, Seven Brain Breaks, Five Zero Prep Writing Activities, and more
  • CLTA Annual Conference2016, Visalia Marriott
  • SWCOLT Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • ACTFL Convention, San Diego
  • Mobile Digital Storytelling Workshop
  • 4-day Oral Proficiency Interview Workshop, San Diego State University


Need New Ideas?

Deadline Friday, Nov. 6

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

By popular demand deadline for enrollment extended to November 6, 2015

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


YouTube Clip of the Month

“Cuerdas”  An award-winning short film inspired by a true story.  Follow it up with the report on the true story.


Tech Corner 


Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:  Pixton is the “World’s Best Way to Make Comics.”  Create a free account to try it out.  Students can create on the computer, smartphones or tablets.  Once students create their comic strips they can share them with you by downloading or even by taking a screenshot and sending it to you.  Check it out today!

New Section of the Polyglot!

Authentic Resources

Operation Empty Trash Bin! Help the family reduce their waste by playing this cute game.  Choose your language spoken in the European Union to play!

Faut-il banir le steak? – Level 1 – Identify the objects, ask their partners if they like those objects?  Are these foods good for you?  Advanced Level- Should these food items be banned?

Normas básicas para sobrevivir a una glorieta – Level 1 – Colors and directions  Level 2 and above-Compare and contrast driving styles in the USA and Spain. Lewie- do you want to add something here?  I think this article is talking about new different types of traffic circles? But I’m not sure.

Blog Post “#autres are overrated”  -  Hint- not really!

Teachitlanguages - #authres resources you can trust.  Find authentic materials for your lesson without spending a lot of time.  Engaging news articles and video clips with ideas for using them in class!

Activity of the Week

Activity of the Week via Center for Applied Linguistics at the University of Oregon


Stephanie Knight, Language Technology Specialist at CASLS, and Holly Zaher, Theory of Knowledge and mathematics educator, worked collaboratively to create this week’s activity.

The purpose of this activity is to help intermediate and advanced students to develop their media literacy skills. This activity provides an example of how to use the thinking questions provided by the Center for Media Literacy referenced as this week’s Topic of the Week.

Modes: Presentational writing, interpersonal speaking, presentational speaking

    • Students will be able to identify messages imbedded in images produced by the mass media.
    • Students will be able to describe images that they see in great detail.

Resources: Butcher paper for gallery walk, markers for students (a different color for each group), rubric


    1. Expose students to stereotyped interpretations of genders and ethnic groups by having them consider Disney characters. For good images and commentary on racial stereotypes as portrayed by Disney, please see Some thought-provoking commentary on gender roles as revealed by Disney can be found at
    2. Ask the students to write silently for a few minutes about what they see in two of the images that you choose (choose one that demonstrates a stereotyped portrayal of an ethnic group and one that demonstrates a stereotyped portrayal of gender roles). At this stage, students should not try to interpret anything from the images and should not place value on any image. After they are done, allow the students to share what they see in a Think, Pair, Share format.
    3. Next, ask the students to write (in groups of four or less) about what the image causes them to think about. The students should complete this task by engaging in a gallery walk and walking around the room to contribute answers to each question. Use the questions from the Center for Media Literacy mentioned in this week’s Topic of the Week as a guide. Here are the questions:
      • Who created this message?
      • What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
      • How might different people understand this message differently?
      • What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in or omitted from this message?
      • Why is this message being sent?
    1. Engage in a class discussion about the answers to the gallery walk.
    2. Using a print medium (the internet, old magazines), have the student groups search for images that represent gender or race. They should use these images to construct a collage that they present to the class. This presentation should answer the questions listed above posed by the Center for Media Literacy.
    3. As the students present, use a rubric to evaluate performance level. Though this presentation will be formative in nature, it is a wonderful opportunity to give students speaking feedback in a low-stakes situation.

As a possible extension activity, students may create a multimedia presentation in which they discuss the underlying message regarding the representation of a specific character or a group of characters in a given Disney production. If the production cannot be found in the target language, students may wish to look at a series of images instead.


Activities, Activities, Activities

Seven Brain Breaks for World Language Teachers

Five Zero Prep Writing Activities

Learning Stations updated for cultural and listening practice from Language Sensei

And a second updated version of learning stations here.

Using CI to make comparaisons – A lesson involving Betty White!

Stuck in a rut?  10 Instant Games for the Language Classroom will remind you of some oldies, but goodies.

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

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

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