Using the Subjunctive to “Solve” Environmental Problems

Several of our blog posts have been bigger picture recommendations for how Extempore can help you more effectively and efficiently assess student learning. Well, this time, let’s try looking at how a classroom activity with a specific learning goal in mind can help improve speaking (and listening) skills. In the second semester of my high school Spanish 2[…]

Feedback for Oral Assessments in the World Languages Classroom

Why are you giving feedback on EVERYTHING? Many of us, especially new teachers, tend to hold the unfounded belief that effective teaching means extensive feedback. Yes, feedback is powerful and beneficial for learning, but not all types of feedback are created equal. In fact, research shows that some forms of feedback have no effect or[…]

Five Tips to Reduce Speaking Anxiety in the World Languages Classroom

I’ve written before about how speaking anxiety is a common phenomenon in any setting where people engage in public speaking activities, but especially in the foreign language classroom because students feel self-conscious about making errors or not making sense at all. In my previous post I wrote about what we as instructors can do. Here[…]

Eight Ways to Differentiate your Speaking Activities

There’s been a lot of talk these days in educational circles about differentiating instruction. In some ways, we world language teachers have been ahead of the curve here, partly because it’s inherent in our classrooms to some degree. In other words, we teach different skills–listening, speaking, reading, and writing–in an assortment of ways, so providing different pathways to[…]

Grading Oral Assignments in a Large Class (or Why we rely on written work to assess learning in large groups?)

Why don’t we assess speaking as frequently as we assess writing, or written grammar, or written vocabulary? Because recording students frequently is cumbersome and having all students present in class several times in a semester is not practical, even more so in large groups of 30 or more. Yet most of us would rank oral[…]