AP® Exam Preparation on Extempore - Section 2: Output-based Language Production | Email Reply, Simulated Conversation, Cultural Comparison

Part one of this blog series can be read here

In the second half of the AP® Language and Culture exam, students exhibit their speaking and writing language skills through various prompts. These writing and speaking questions are divided into interpersonal and presentational sections, and since the writing section starts first, we'll start with that. 

Interpersonal Writing - Email Reply

The interpersonal writing section has students reply to an email using the formal register. In this section, students need to make sure they are including all parts of a formal correspondence such as...

  • a greeting
  • a closing
  • answering all the questions asked in the email, and 
  • keeping the communication going by asking some follow-up questions. 

To create email reply prompts on Extempore, teachers can either upload an image of an email or insert text into the question box. As a response, students can type their replies directly into Extempore. 

Email reply on Extempore
A sample email reply prompt on Extempore. Students type their response in the box on the right.

Presentational Writing - Persuasive Essay

For presentational writing, students compose a five-paragraph essay, utilizing their writing skills to argue their point of view while also citing evidence from three authentic sources: a written text, a graphic and an audio recording. To help students prepare for these prompts, teachers can host practice prompts asking students to analyze various authentic resources, whether images, recordings, or texts. Likewise, you as an instructor can use Extempore to scaffold the essay by breaking it down into one paragraph at a time, or a single source at a time.

Presentational Writing - Narrative Story (Chinese only)

The AP® Chinese exam does not have a persuasive essay prompt; instead, students compose a story based on four images (see example below). These prompts can be uploaded to Extempore and students can respond in writing to get high-quality preparation for narrative story questions. 

AP Story Narration on Extempore
Instructors can easily make AP story narration prompts on Extempore for AP Chinese practice.

Interpersonal Speaking - Simulated Conversation

The interpersonal speaking is the shortest part of the AP® Language and Culture exam but potentially causes a lot of anxiety for students. Here, students participate in, you guessed it, a simulated conversation where they respond to various questions and responses in the target language. The exams of certain languages like Spanish and French often come with a conversation outline, showing the students the general flow of the conversation. Other exams, like for Chinese and Japanese, do not have a conversation outline. 

Do you remember your first phone conversation in a new language? That anxiety is real! “Practice makes proficient,” as they say, and this is no different. In order to lower students’ anxiety with conversation, they need multiple opportunities to practice without fear of being penalized for mistakes. Beautiful mistakes! I want my students to make mistakes when we practice. We learn by making mistakes and reflecting on them. This is where Extempore really shines - it replicates the exam day experience with precision.

In Extempore Commons, instructors can download simulated conversation templates, with timing parameters, rubrics and instructions for students already included (see link below). All you need to do is upload a pre-recorded audio or record directly into the assignment, add the image of the conversation outline and you’re done! The students’ experience is just like exam day: they click “record” and they click “pause/stop.” It couldn’t be easier. Afterwards, they can reflect on the individualized feedback you've left.

Watch the video below for a full walkthrough with our Community Manager, Grant. 

Presentational Speaking - Cultural Comparison

The final part of the AP® exam, the cultural comparison, is short and sweet. Students get four minutes to prepare and two minutes to record a spoken comparison of the target culture and their home culture, based on a given topic. Building a practice in Extempore to mimic this part of the AP exam takes just a couple minutes. Enter your instructions and your timing parameters, add in your prompt and you’re ready to go! Take it a step further by combining the simulated conversation with the cultural comparison into one assessment in Extempore and students will get a fully authentic exam day experience.

Cultural Comparison Prompt on Extempore
An example of a student responding to a cultural comparison prompt on Extempore

All-in-one AP® Preparation on Extempore

The world language teacher’s job is to give students the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. The student, then, has to take advantage of those opportunities and use those tools to their advantage. Extempore provides both teachers and students with the opportunities and tools that make AP® exam day a success for all involved.

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AP Exam Preparation on Extempore - Part 2

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