Assessing Speaking Skills: Extempore Solves Much More than Scheduling Issues

In our recent blog, we told you about Extempore’s origins: our founders’ desire to avoid the hassle of having to schedule 1:1 interviews with each of their students to assess spontaneous speech… and consequently having to find something else for the students to do while not taking part in the interview.

Assessing Speaking Skills

Like all good products, however, Extempore addresses much more than the original problem it was created to solve:

  • By limiting the time your student can spend planning their responses, you eliminate the risk of assessing a learner’s reading of a written script, but you also dramatically reduce the opportunities for cheating: no more Spanish boyfriends doing your student’s homework!
  • By receiving video, you ensure that it’s your student answering the question and not a more proficient friend. (You can also set the answers to "audio-only", if you’d rather not have to deal with video.)
  • By preventing re-recording, you ensure you are grading their truly extemporaneous answer and not a rehearsed performance.
  • By randomizing the order in which the questions appear, you ensure that your students are not sharing questions with each other and then scripting their responses.

Yes, we’ve seen it all. But if you can think of a way to make Extempore better, tell us and we’ll add that, too: In the meanwhile, feel free to check out sample activities you can incorporate into your teaching.