Extempore Activities for the World Languages Classroom

The success of the integration of mobile tools in enhancing the learning process depends significantly on the type of task and the pedagogical principles that inform the design of such a task. We would like to offer you examples of tasks that can be well implemented with Extempore, as well as their underlying pedagogical rationale.


1. Responses to written/audio-visual prompts +
This is probably the most basic type of task supported by Extempore. Students receive a written or audio-visual prompt to which they respond orally. Read More

2. Listening comprehension with audio-visual support +
Have students listen to a short description of an image that they see on their mobile or tablet screens. Read More

3. Error correction and self-reflection activity +
Have students record 2-3 minutes of their speech on the Extempore app following a particular prompt. Read More

4. Flipping the classroom +
In the flipped classroom, the presentation of course content is delivered to students outside the classroom, often through online tools. Read More

5. Map task +
Prior to the task, provide students with a simplified map of a fictitious town which shows numerous places of interest (i.e. a restaurant, a library, a school, a barbershop, etc.). Then, via Extempore, ask students to give directions from one location to another… Read More

6. Picture describing task +
Create an image prompt on Extempore using a painting, an illustration, a cartoon, etc. Read More

7. Story retelling task +
Create an audio or audio-visual prompt in Extempore to deliver a short story in the target language. Read More

8. Story completion task +
Create an audio or audio-visual prompt in Extempore to deliver in the target language the introduction and middle portions of a short story. Read More

9. Question forming task +
Create an image prompt on Extempore using a picture of a person, house, animal, or any other concrete object. Read More

10. Foreign language lecture task +
Using Extempore app, teacher delivers or imports an audio or audio-visual lecture in the target language. Read More

11. Student dialogue task +
Divide the students into pairs. Using Extempore, prepare a prompt that asks students to work together to have a conversation about a classroom topic or theme… Read More

12. Celebrity-reporter interview +
Divide the students into pairs. Using Extempore, create an audio-visual prompt in which a theme is assigned (sports, food, cinema, etc.). Read More

13. Picture comparison and contrast task +
Create an audio-visual prompt on Extempore using a picture or video of a cultural practice or way of life, such as a celebration, religious rite, food preparation, family photo, etc. Read More

14. How-to task +
Create a prompt on Extempore in which students are assigned different activities. Ask the students to prepare a response in which they detail in as much detail as possible how to perform these activities. Read More

15. Job interview task +
Many world languages textbooks have a chapter on professions and the workplace. Create a series of audio-visual prompts on Extempore in which you ask students common questions posed in a job interview. Read More

16. School tour task +
Create an audio-visual prompt on Extempore in which you (i.e. the teacher) play the role of an international/exchange student new to your institution. Read More

17. Pronunciation/phonetics practice +
Create an audio-visual prompt (or a series of prompts) on Extempore in which you model the standard pronunciation of new vocabulary items. Simply ask the students to repeat the pronunciation out loud. Read More

18. Assembly instructions: assisting the non-visual IKEA customers +
Upload an image of the assembly instructions that come with IKEA furniture (easily downloadable online). Read More

19. Paired problem-solving task +
Divide the students into pairs or small groups. Then create an audio-visual prompt on Extempore in which you give students a problem that they, while working in tandem in the target language, must solve, or at minimum attempt to improve. Here are a few examples: Read More

20. Art critique/analysis task +
Create a visual prompt on Extempore by uploading an image of a famous painting by an artist from a region where the target language is spoken. Read More



21. Show-and-tell task +
Create an audio-visual prompt on Extempore in which you ask students to select an item in their home that holds special importance to them. Ask the students to create a video response in which they identify the object, describe what it is, say where it originated, and explain why it is special to them. Read More

22. Current events task +
For more advanced courses, or for advanced students who desire more speaking practice, consider asking students to weigh in on a current event or news item that is making waves. Create an audio-visual or reading prompt on Extempore in which you ask students to analyze a hot-button topic. Read More

23. Practice with IPA symbols in a Phonetics class +
This is an activity for more advanced students taking a course on Phonetics or an Introduction to Linguistics class in which they need to work with the IPA alphabet. Read More

24. Reactions to a reading or lecture +
In upper level content courses (literature or culture courses, for example), Extempore can be a good tool to obtain questions or reactions from shyer students who usually do not speak up in class. Read More

25. Room description task +
Nearly every world language textbook or textbook sequence has a unit devoted to the home and household items, and many often ask students to talk about their bedrooms. Asking students to talk about their rooms taps into personal experience and hopefully encourages them to provide more information. Read More

26. Extraterrestrial visitor description task +
To get students to use the target language in a creative way, ask them to imagine that an alien visitor is on the loose in their town and they need to describe it to local authorities. Read More

27. Poetry analysis activity +
For more advanced language students, consider presenting a level-appropriate poem in the target language on Extempore. Read More

28. Sports play-by-play activity +
In a chapter on sports or free time activities, try testing your students’ speaking abilities by asking them to play the role of a sports commentator. Read More

29. Subjunctive vs. indicative activity +
Get students using the subjunctive and indicative while getting to know their teacher and classmates a bit better! Read More