Ditch the Language Lab: Go Anywhere (and Everywhere) with Extempore

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We live in a mobile world. We take our devices everywhere we go and do countless daily tasks on them. And increasingly, mobile technology is becoming part of daily life in education as well. So, why, when it comes to language learning, are so many of our lessons still so “non-mobile”? The language lab, in particular, despite its best intentions, represents an older way of doing things.

With Extempore, we can now safely ditch the language lab. And it’s not a case of just switching out one technology for another. Extempore’s actually an enhancement that more fully models and fosters real-life communication, in turn promoting language skills! Here are some concrete ways in which you and your students can take Extempore with you to practice speaking in meaningful, authentic ways.

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  • With mobile technology like Extempore, we can meet the needs of our most kinesthetic learners. Oftentimes, students sit in desks all day long and become passive learners. The language lab is frequently no different. However, with Extempore, you can turn your speaking activities into active, engaging learning events that can take place anywhere: in the hallway, outside, on field trips, at a classmate’s house over the weekend, or anywhere else that might spark your learners’ imagination.
  • Many of our students these days are overbooked with extracurricular activities and sports practices. Instead of rushing at home late at night to get their work done, students can submit speaking assessments on Extempore during down time between activities, before a sports practice starts, while waiting for a parent to pick them up, or even on the bus on the way to a soccer game, thus more effectively managing their time and staying productive. And no special, expensive headsets are required!
  • Turn field trips to art museums or service learning organizations into truly communicative encounters! Field trips can be amazing learning opportunities for our students in so many ways, but we oftentimes sacrifice target-language usage when we embark on a trip outside of school. Extempore, though, allows you to set up speaking activities that can be carried out live, on the spot, that tap into the field trip experience as it’s unfolding. For example, if you’re at the art museum, ask students to record analyses of a handful of paintings as they walk around. Then, later at home, they can complete a follow-up summative activity to maximize their off-campus experience.
  • Teachers are cut loose from the learning lab, too! How many of us have ever looked out of our office or classroom window and felt a twinge of envy when we see our students enjoying some vitamin D during downtime? Instead of locking yourself in the classroom to grade speaking activities, join your students outside! Extempore’s mobile grading feature gives us teachers the flexibility to stay productive while soaking up some rays.
  • And let’s face it. As teachers our jobs don’t end at the afternoon bell. Extempore’s mobile grading also lets us take care of business outside of school hours if we need to. While you’re waiting in car line at your daughter’s school, you can grade an interview or two. Or what about at halftime of your school’s Friday night football game? Or even over coffee on a Sunday morning? The point is, you get to decide when you’d like to do your grading, not the limits of old-fashioned technology.

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Unlike other language technology, Extempore’s mobility matches the demands of teachers and students alike. Students engage in enriching interactive learning and teachers can grade more effectively and conveniently. Simply put, Extempore enhances language learning. Anywhere and everywhere.