Extempore activities fit within what the field of foreign language pedagogy calls Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) tasks, a subset of the broader area of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC). The use of MALL tasks – and CMC in general – in the foreign language classroom has proved beneficial for learners in two important ways: it promotes learners’ language development, including oral proficiency, and it can reduce anxiety, consequently increasing motivation and positive attitudes towards learning.
Early studies on the use of CMC tasks in the foreign language classroom established a positive relationship between the use of these tasks and language development (Abrams, 2003; Beauvois 1997; Blake, 2000; Kost, 2004; Payne & Whitney, 2002). Research that examines the curricular integration of CMC oral tasks, both synchronous and asynchronous, reveals students’ gains in areas of oral proficiency, such as comprehensibility and fluency (Dunn, 2012), as well as amount of output (Gromik, 2012; Yanguas & Flores, 2014), pragmatic competence (Sykes, 2005), and pronunciation (Anaraki, 2009).
The Extempore app also allows the instructor to decide whether students can re-record their answers. For practice assignments or for any other form of formative assessment, on the other hand, timing restrictions can be more flexible.
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