The new school year always means new possibilities, old clichés, and anticipation for what's to come along the way. Who are we to stop ourselves from providing you with a dose of all three? As you set up shop and brace yourself for the highs and lows of the academic year, try your hand at these refreshing ways to use Extempore in your language classes.
Word has spread quickly about our new rubrics...
"So powerful for proficiency...revolutionary." - Lisa Parra Staves
"The single greatest update in Extempore's history." - Carlos Seoane
"An even better way to provide feedback to students." - Holly Strand
And that's just what my colleagues here have been saying! With this update, you can now create your own grid-based rubrics, add unique criteria and descriptions, save and share rubrics, and even import premade, commonly used rubrics (like WIDA or AP) from our Global Rubrics menu. Save time and have your students reflect on their progress with this integral new feature.
For more, watch the video below and navigate to the 'rubrics' tab on the top menu of your account.
Crop YouTube videos at the question level
You know those times where you find the absolutely most perfect YouTube video for your students? It has all the target vocabulary you're looking for, the content is spot on, and the speakers even talk at a good pace! You start thinking of all the possible ways you could use this to both introduce language and assess your students. Until you realize that it's 20 minutes long.
While we can't tell YouTubers to make shorter videos for our classes, we can help you crop those videos to only show the specific sections you find valuable. Save time and hassle on the students' end and assess listening comprehension or any other skill with our YouTube cropping feature. Learn more in the video below.
Teach with communication in mind
In our 2023 PD Extravaganza, we hosted over a dozen different sessions and workshops on assessment, rubrics, tasks, and more. They all had one thing in common: a focus on Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). In my first session at the start of the week, I talked about connecting Extempore with CLT and using the platform to host meaning-based practice and assessments. Some of those strategies include..
- Mediation: Design a situation for your students to interpret the target language for someone who does not speak that language.
- "Strong" Multiple Choice Questions: Craft questions that take a deeper level of understanding to show true comprehension.
- Communicative Tasks: The ways we use the language in class should connect to students' lives in the real world. Use relevant and communicative tasks to assess your students' proficiency and to allow them to see that connection.
For more, watch the highlight reel of my session below or click on the links for each of the strategies listed above.
So many ideas, but so little t- wait, you have the entire year to try these out! How do you think you might use these strategies in your classes? Will you use our new rubrics to assess proficiency and have students self-assess? Maybe you'll find some 5 ⭐️ YouTube videos to crop and provide authentic listening practice? Or perhaps you'll try out some communicative tasks and elicit spontaneous responses from your students on Extempore.
No matter how you experiment with these ideas, I hope you find them useful as you guide your students on the path to proficiency. From all of us at Extempore, best of luck this school year.