The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

October, 2012


IE STARS Professional Development Seminars
IEFLA Calendar of Events
Videos: Día de los Muertos, A ne pas oublier…la Toussaint!
Ideas for Dia de los Muertos
Tech Corner: 101 uses for iPods, iPads, and iPhones in the classroom
Practicing Numbers Activity that Students Love
Justo Lamas Group Concerts for your school
Exchange Opportunities for High School Students
IE STARS Program

IEFLA Calendar of Language Events

Local Events
November 3, Day 1 of 5, IE STARS Professional Development Seminars for World Language Teachers. 
Four tiers to choose from:
Tier 1A - Standards-based Instructional Practices for World Language and ELL Teachers
Tier 1B - Using Stories to Enhance Standards-based World Language and ELL Instruction
Tier 2 –  Standards-based Instructional Practices for Teachers of Advanced Spanish Classes
Tier 3 – Using Film to Enhance the Proficiency of Spanish Speaking Students

Registration forms and scholarship information at See details below.

October 6, 2012, Highlights from the National AP Conference
Understanding the NEW AP Spanish Literature & Culture Exam
8:30 am  to 4:00 pm, at Flintridge Prep School

October 13, 2012, MCLASC and LA Stars Mini-Conference

CLTA Events
February 27-March 3, 2013 CLTA Conference Hyatt Orange County Garden Grove, CA

ACTFL Events
November 16-18, 2012, ACTFL Conference Philadelphia, PA



YouTube Clips of the Month
Dia de los muertos video

A ne pas oublier…la Toussaint!
Video:  Le Chrysanthème star de l’automne

An idea for the French classroom:  Make tombstones for famous dead French people and decorate the hallways with them after each student tells about the person they profiled. You can also bring in flowers to decorate our tombstones on the holiday itself. Cyrstal Cannon (via FLTeach.)

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

Creative Ideas: Make papel picado banners or bake "pan de muertos." You can also make titeres de calavera. I have never had any problem with parents, since I always allow students with restrictive religions to opt out of the lesson. For the rest I preface the lesson with a discussion about cultural difference and sensitivity to other's beliefs. Dave Hirst (via FLTeach)

Una ofrenda- About a week beforehand I let students know we are going to need pictures and or articles for our altar. I borrow calacas from the local Latin American import store and create an ofrenda with all the articles students bring in, along with food and things typical of the holiday in Mexico. Each student gets an opportunity to tell us about his or her loved one during their class time. This has been very meaningful to many of the kids and has become more and more popular with families as they learn what the holiday is all about. Erica Lusco (via FLTeach)

Dia de los muertos ideas, PowerPoints and videos all at AZCentral

Here you can download a complete standards based unit on Día de los Muertos from Denver Public Schools.


Web Lesson of the Month
Do you have a great Web Lesson you want to share? Send your lesson idea to Bethany Thompson at


Tech Corner

101 uses for iPods, iPads, and iPhones in the classroom

iPads, iPods and iPhones, Oh My!
Do you have an iPad or iPhone for class? Here are some ideas to get your started.

Change the language of your iPad in the settings so students get used to seeing the technical language of the target language. An additional benefit- it’ll stump the IT guys the next time they come in!

Turn your iPad into a document camera for $10. If you’re handy you can make your own iPad stand to turn your iPad into a document camera using the camera app. Use the video to record the lesson to post to your website later. See the The DIY version. (Do It Yourself version) Here is an example of a commercial iPad stand.


The iPad/iPhone needs apps to work. Here are some essential educator apps.
That list not enough? Here’s a second list of essential apps.

Handy iTunes tip- While you may not be able to buy apps from different iTunes stores in different countries, many times these apps are available in the US store. You just need to know how to look! Scroll to the bottom of the iTunes store and click on the US Flag. Choose the country you want and start browsing for apps. Make a note of the apps you want and then reverse the process to go back to the US store. Search for those apps. Not all apps are available in the US store, but many are using this method!

Use iPads or iPhones to have students video tape short skits. You can then watch the videos straight from the students’ device or have them share their final video with you.

Use your iPad to travel from student to student, showing student work on the projector using the camera app. Great way to keep students engaged, as they never know if their paper will be next!

Some great links for more exploration:

iPads in Education
Ideas for activities with examples
The Ultimate Guide to Using the iPad in the Classroom


Evernote is a free note taking and syncing app that works on nearly every computer and mobile app.  Take a picture or video on your phone and instantly sync it to all of your devices.  Organize your notes into notebooks that you can share with others.  Clip entire web pages to read later.  Visit the Evernote for Schools webpage for even more ideas how to use Evernote in the classroom.

How to use Evernote:

  1. Visit and take the tour.
  2. Sign up for a free account.
  3. Download the app to your mobile device.
  4. Start clipping!


Check out CLTA on Facebook and on Twitter @cltatweets

1, 2, 3

Practicing Numbers Activity that Students LOVE

I was looking through my notes last week and stumbled across a game someone suggested a long time ago called "Diez" (ten). I have been using it with my students and they absolutely love it!

Class stands in a circle or you can actually go up and down the rows. The students have to count to 10 in the TL, but each student has the choice of saying the next one, two, or three numbers in the sequence. Whoever gets stuck with the number 10 has to sit down and the next student starts with 1. They like the game because they can control to some degree who they can get "out". The only thing I have to caution the students about is to watch their language if they are forced out of the game. We play several times in a row and I always start in a different place in the room. Since you don't know where a student is going to stop in the sequence, the next student has to be aware of what the next number should be. If they get it wrong or skip a number, they are out also. Once the students get really good at this and are ready for higher numbers, we move on to 10, 20, 30, etc, and even 100, 200, 300, etc., 1000, 2000, 3000, etc.

This is great if you end up with a few extra minutes at the end of the period. We are on the block schedule and I use this if we have about 5 or 10 minutes left in the block and it's not enough time to start a new topic.

IEFLA sends thanks to Charlotte Meyer for this idea.
Spanish Teacher
Preston Schools


An Exciting Spanish Program

Justo Lamas Group Presents Ennio Emmanuel

After 15 years of Justo Lamas touring schools all around the USA, they decided to continue this succesful program with a new artist, Ennio Emmanuel, and new songs and strength to motivate your Spanish studens.
Hundreds of teachers say that this program has created, in their students, such interest and enthusiasm for the Spanish language never seen before.

 Program Benefits

 The Justo Lamas Group Concerts are much more than a concert. They are an inspiring educational activity. We want to expose American students of Spanish to the music and enthusiasm of Ennio Emmanuel. While the students are having fun, they will also:

  • Learn about the Latin America culture.
  • Become aware of modern Spanish-speaking young people's customs.
  • Get excited about continuing their study of the Spanish language.
  • Acquire many useful vocabulary words and languages structures.
  • Lose some stereotyped ideas about Spanish-speaking people.
  • Learn not to give up in the face of the adversity.

 How to host a Concert

 If you are interested in having a Justo Lamas Group Concert in your school or in attending one, don't hesitate to contact them. The only thing you need is an auditorium in your school district. They will help you and be with you every step of the way toward hosting this program, which they guarantee your students will never forget!

Don't forget that your students can actively participate in the show by choreographing a dance or singing a duet with Ennio.

For tickets, details, and how you can host a concert go to


Exchange Opportunities for High School Students

U.S. Department of State Youth Exchange Scholarships for U.S. High School Students

Please share with your students.

The U.S. Department of State announces scholarships for American high school students to study abroad:
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students for overseas study of seven critical foreign languages:  Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish.  The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.  Applications for summer 2013 and academic year 2013-2014 programs are due November 1, 2012. <> for more information. 
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2013-14 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey.  This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. The application deadline is January 16, 2013. Visit the YES Program’s website <>for more information.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy.  Secondary school students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany.  Young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies ages 18-24 study and participate in practical training. Scholarships are now available for academic year 2013-14; application deadlines vary by U.S. region and range from September 2012 to January 2013.  For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state <> .
The American Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week-long exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues.   Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary, so please check the American Youth Leadership Program <> website for more information.




World Language Professional Development Seminars
at California State University, San Bernardino

I.E. STARS  a regional center of the
California World Language Project
is pleased to announce to Inland Empire area schools our program
for the 2012-2013 school year
at California State University, San Bernardino

World Language Instruction for Today’s Students:

Focus on the New World Language Standards

These programs qualify for Title I/II/III funding.  If your school is a program improvement school, it receives this funding. Registration forms and program information are available online at

If your school cannot send you, we have partial scholarships available contact us for details: or Lewie Johnson at 760-953-0659.

Tier 1A - Standards-based Instructional Practices for World Language and ELL Teachers

For teachers of all languages and ELL, this hands-on and interactive workshop focuses on standards-based instructional practices that develop student proficiency. Presenters will demonstrate a wide variety of strategies that really work to keep today’s students actively engaged and in the target language. Participants will learn effective, classroom-tested, ready-to-use strategies to reach and teach diverse student populations through demonstrations, examples, and video clips. Room: UH-246

Tier 1B - Using Stories to Enhance Standards-based World Language and ELL Instruction

For teachers of all languages and ELL, this workshop presents highly motivating and engaging storytelling strategies to develop language proficiency. Participants will learn easy steps to accelerate proficiency through a variety of inputs, reading, and stories. It emphasizes standards-based approaches that are effective and classroom-tested strategies to reach and teach diverse student populations. Pre-requisite: Tier 1A or equivalent.   Room: UH-246

Tier 2 –  Standards-based Instructional Practices for Teachers of Advanced Spanish Classes
In this workshop for teachers of Spanish 3, 4, AP Language, and Spanish for Spanish Speakers, teachers will be shown how to implement engaging and motivating thematic units such as La diversidad, Cuestiones éticas, Los logros de la mujer, y Los medios de comunicación, which are designed to ensure student success on the new AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam.  The presentation will address all areas included in the new examination:  essential questions, aural/oral skills, reading comprehension, grammar, and composition.  Participants will receive all materials presented as well as suggestions for implementation. Room: UH-246

Tier 3 – Using Film to Enhance the Proficiency of Spanish Speaking Students
Participants will learn about the major artistic movements in Peninsular and Spanish American cinema exploring cross-cultural links to history, current events, art, music and literature. They will analyze the cinematic arts through representative films and filmmakers, and examine procedures for developing linguistic and cultural proficiency using film to enhance the curriculum and infuse it with authentic experiences of cultural merit.  Room: UH-246


Dates:              Program will be offered on four Saturdays: November 3 and December 1, 2012, January 12 and February23,  2013, and an observation day at a local school.*: Tiers 1A and 1B on December 6; Tiers 2 and 3 on December 4.
Times:             8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.               Credit: Four units of credit will be available for an extra fee
Cost:               $595 per participant  (If your school is not able to send you, ask about our scholarships.)
Deadline for  enrollment:       October 20, 2012.  Space is limited. Please respond promptly.        
Location:        UH 246, California State University, San Bernardino

*Teachers who cannot attend the observation day can complete an alternate assignment.

Registration forms and program information are available online at


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