Extempore's Back To School Newsletter 2021

Wow, August already! A year ago right around now I had just started at Extempore and our 2020 back to newsletter blog was my first blog. One unforgettable school year and many blog posts later, much has changed here! Let’s get you caught up to speed on what you need to know for the 2021-2022 school year.

Notice something different here?

If you haven’t been back to our blog or website in a while, you may have noticed some changes. We revealed a chic, updated website in July that showcases the many things Extempore and our team provide, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Notice something different about your account?

Lite account users may have been pleasantly surprised to see some nice additions to their account. Previously, our lite accounts limited instructors to only three assessments, which did not allow optimal usage of Extempore. Now, we’ve opened up our lite accounts so that they can be used in classes throughout the school year. For more on what you can do with a new lite account and how this differs from before, check out our recent blog post.

A warm welcome to our inaugural cohort of Extempore Ambassadors!

This year we are proud to support four language teachers around the country who will support us as Extempore Ambassadors. These four teachers are

  • Kathryn Rump, Spanish teacher, Deleware

  • Michael Braden, Spanish teacher, Illinois

  • Dorah Fauben, French teacher, California

  • Lisa Kobuke, Japanese teacher, Hawaii

As Extempore Ambassadors, these teachers will contribute guest blog posts, host webinars, and help grow our new Extempore Commons database. Their diverse personal and educational backgrounds will provide our team at Extempore with high quality content to share with our broader community. We are elated to have them working with us this year. Look out for their posts and webinar opportunities in the near future!

Introducing Extempore Commons

Also new this school year is Extempore Commons (mentioned above), our comprehensive database of assessments that instructors can import directly into their accounts. The goal behind Commons is for instructors to find any type of assessment (formative / summative), for any mode of communication, for any level, for any language, for any content. Make sense? Here’s an example. Say you teach French and want a novice formative assessment in the interpersonal mode for your students. Oh, and it needs to be related to weekend plans! Use the filters and find one in seconds. Watch the video below to see how to navigate commons.

It goes without saying, but as you can tell, Commons is still in its fledgling stages. Our goal is for this database to grow over time (with the help of contributing instructors) so that instructors using Extempore can access anything they need in a matter of seconds.

Our Summer 2021 PD Extravaganza

Finally, some PD. This summer we hosted our inaugural PD Extravaganza featuring “bites” of Extempore (mini-webinars), interactive workshops, and language meetups, as a way to illustrate the manifold strategies and use cases the Extempore platform offers. This includes using it for Task-Based Language Teaching (shoutout to Dr. Claudia Fernandez for her fantastic workshop), helping students conquer their anxiety, integrating routine practice for language classes, and more. To access the presentations and recordings from this event, navigate to the Sched platform by clicking here. You can also head to our YouTube channel where you’ll find those Extempore "bites" and other past recordings.

Looking for more ideas on how to use Extempore this year? Read up on four ways to use Extempore in your class, or if you’re a total beginner, learn the basics

Whether you are a seasoned veteran teacher or beginning your first year, we wish you the best of luck towards a rewarding, successful school year.

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