The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

January, 2015

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • A Mini-Grant for your Class
  • IEFLA Winter Workshop with Yo Azama
  • IEFLA Observation Day - See a class in action.
  • Tech Corner
  • YouTube Clip of the Month
  • French Song Data Base
  • Valentine's Day
  • How to Choose Authentic Web Materials
  • Free Adventure of a Lifetime: The China Summer Teach and Travel Program
  • Languages in the News
  • Job Openings



Postmark Deadline February 20, 2015

Four $300 mini-grants will be awarded by IEFLA.  These mini-grants are intended to help teachers and/or world language departments to enhance instruction for students learning world languages. Applicants must be current (2015) IEFLA members.  If you are not a member, just include a check for $15 with your application.  If you’re not sure if you are a 2015 IEFLA member, you can check the membership roster online at

Download proposal form, fill out and mail in.

California State University, San Bernardino
February 7, IEFLA's Winter Workshop with Yo Azama, ACTFL National Teacher of the Year. 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Registration and information are available at

Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley
February 5, IEFLA Observation Day, 7:45 am - 2:15 pm, How do you maintain active student engagement and stay in the target lanugage? See five outstanding teachers use their myriad of teachniques. Come away with lots of new activities to use with your classes. For additional information or registration go ot



Tech Corner 
Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month: is a free tool that helps students read authentic articles.  To use sign up for a free account and start reading.  Students can “collect” words they don’t know by clicking on them in the article.  But wait there’s more!  Add the extension to your Chrome browser and be able to highlight any word in the target language for a definition and to hear it pronounced.  Looking for even more ways can work in your classroom?  Read the “10 Hack for Language Teachers”

YouTube Clip of the Month
This month’s YouTube clip TAG: Sólo una palabra.  Mariebelle of Mariebelle Cosmetics is challenged to use the one word that comes to her mind to describe a variety of people, things, and events. What would your word be for these?


French Songs Database
Audrey Irias from FLTeach has created a database of French songs and videos.  Check out her list here.  You can add to her list by clicking here.  As always, preview any unknown content before playing it for students the first time.


Valentine’s Day
Download these free Spanish bookmarks for your students.

Valentine Spanish Blog Hop- Visit different Spanish teacher blogs and collect some great ideas for your Spanish Valentine’s celebrations.

From a Valentine Powerpoint and song in French.

Readings, colorings, games and more in French from


How to Choose Authentic Web Materials
Are you not sure how to choose authentic materials for your students?  Not sure what is appropriate or even how to go about selecting materials that challenge your students without being too difficult for them?  Here are some resources that can help you select the best authentic materials for your students.

The Ohio Department of Education has compiled a list of authentic resources by languages and includes samples of proficiency based assessments.  There are links to videos and digital technology guidance.

The New Jersey Department of Education gives selections and suggestions for authentic materials based on proficiency level.

The Spanish Embassy offers publications just for students of Spanish with audio.

Free Adventure of a Lifetime:
The China Summer Teach and Travel Program

Cristina Hernandez
Ruth Musser Middle School, Rancho Cucamonga


Free adventure of the highest quality available to you now! Sound like something that should be in your spam folder? No! That is the only way to sum up the amazing experience I had teaching and traveling in China over the past couple of summers. When I first saw the ad for this opportunity two years ago, little did I realize how much I would fall for the people and places of China and how this experience would change my life. Kudos to Mrs. Sally Lowe for organizing the China Summer Teach and Travel Program that enables American teachers to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts in an exchange of culture, language, and travel all for free (airfare, hotel, tours, most meals)!

I met many new friends traveling from LAX to Shanghai.  Once there, we toured with our private tour guide, stayed in good hotels, and ate great food in two cities before arriving at our teaching city. We then stayed in Suzhou or Nanjing for 2 weeks teaching summer school at one of the two cities’ prestigious private boarding schools. After the two weeks, we finished up with more touring to Xi’an and Beijing (think Terra Cotta Warriors and The Great Wall). I arrived home with a new-found love for the Chinese culture, language, and people. Teaching and traveling in China strengthened my instruction and awareness for our English learners.

What fun adventures we had! Only in China can you—

  • Eat one of the best meals of our lives for $10 and then get lost inside a nine-story luxury mall
  • Take a 35-minute ski lift ride to the top of Purple Mountain and let little fish eat away at our feet (it tickles)
  • Have a 2 ½ hour lunch break with a soothing massage for $15
  • Buy pearls, jade, life-size terra cotta warriors, and silk at a fraction of the cost it would be in the U.S.A.
  • Dance with complete strangers in the park with a thousand year old wall and lotus blossoms as our backdrop.
  • Only in China can you meet some of the nicest children (and adults) teeming with excitement about meeting you and wanting to speak English with you.

I started the journey not knowing anyone or anything and came home with life-long friends and memories; gifts that will be in my heart always. The China Summer Teach and Travel Program really is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to travel for free.

I could go on indefinitely singing its praises; however, there really is only one way to appreciate this: Go to China and see for yourself!  If you would like more information about this program, you can go to

Languages in the News
 “Research Supports Global Curriculum” at Edutopia explains, once again, how language proficiency is necessary in our global economy.

“Can Students Have Too Much Tech?” from the NY Times.

“Learning a Language Is Never a Waste of Time”  (Don’t we know it!)

Job Openings
Looking for a job? Go to

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