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). See also Forsythe's Student Perceptions of MALL from JALTCALL 2018.
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.
Abdous, M., Camarena, M., & Facer, B. (2009). MALL technology: Use of academic podcasting in the foreign language classroom. RECALL Journal, 21(1), 76–95.
Abrams, Zsuzsanna I. (2003). The Effect of Synchronous and Asynchronous CMC on Oral Performance in German. The Modern Language Journal, 87(2) 157-167.
Al-Jarf, R. (2012). Mobile technology and student autonomy in oral skill acquisition. In J. Díaz-Vera (Ed.), Left to my own devices: Learner autonomy and mobile-assisted language learning innovation and leadership in English language teaching (pp. 105–130). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group.
Ally, M., Tin, T., & Woodburn, T. (2011). Mobile learning: Delivering French using mobile devices. Proceedings 10th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn) (p. 448). Beijing, China: Beijing Normal University.
Al-Shehri, S. (2011). Context in our pockets: Mobile phones and social networking as tools of contextualising language learning. Proceedings 10th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn) (pp. 278–286). Beijing, China: Beijing Normal University.
Amer, M. (2010). Idiomobile for learners of English: A study of learners’ usage of a mobile learning application for learning idioms and collocations. PhD dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Anaraki, F. (2008). A Flash-based mobile learning system for learning English as a second language. ABAC Journal, 28(3), 25-35.
Beauvois, M. H. (1997). Write to speak: The effects of electronic communication on the oral achievement of fourth semester French students. In J. Muyskens (Ed.), New ways of learning and teaching: Issues in language program direction (pp. 93-116). Boston: Heinle.
Belanger, Y. (2005). Duke University iPod first year experience final evaluation report. Center for Instructional Technology. Duke University
Blake, R. (2000). Computer-mediated communication: A window on FL Spanish interlanguage. Language Learning & Technology, 4, 120-136.
Cooney, G., & Keogh, K. A. (2007). Use of mobile phones for language learning and assessment for learning, a pilot project. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 6th Annual International Conference on Mobile Learning, Melbourne, Australia.
Dunn, Melanie G. (2012). The effect of VoiceThread integration on high school students’ anxiety and oral proficiency in the foreign language classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, Liberty University.
Facer, B., Abdous, M., & Camarena, M. (2009). The Impact of Academic Podcasting on Students: Learning Outcomes and Study Habits. In R. de Cassia Veiga Marriott & P. Lupion Torres (Eds.) Handbook of research on e-learning methodologies for language acquisition. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Gromik, N. (2012). Cell phone video recording feature as a language learning tool: A case study. Computers & Education, 58(1), 223–230.
Hsu, H-Y., Wang, S-K., & Comac, L. (2008). Using audioblogs to assist English-language learning: an investigation into student perception. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(2), 181–198.
Kessler, G. (2010): Fluency and anxiety in self-access speaking tasks: The influence of environment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(4), 361–375.
McNeil, Levi. (2014). Ecological Affordance and Anxiety in an Oral Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Environment. Language Learning and Technology, 18(1), 142-159.
Palfreyman, D. (2012). Bringing the world into the institution: Mobile intercultural learning for staff and students. In J. Díaz-Vera (Ed.), Left to my own devices: Learner autonomy and mobile-assisted language learning innovation and leadership in English language teaching (pp. 163–181). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing
Payne, J. S., & Whitney, P. J. (2002). Developing L2 oral proficiency through synchronous CMC: Output, working memory, and interlanguage development. CALICO Journal, 20, 7-32.
Sun, Y. C. (2009). Voice blog: An exploratory study of language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 13(2), 88–103.
Sykes, J. M. (2005). Synchronous CMC and pragmatic development: Effects of oral and written chat. CALICO Journal, 22, 399-431.
Yang, J-C., Lai, C-H., & Chu, Y-M. (2005). Integrating speech technologies into a one-on-one digital English classroom. Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education (pp. 159–163). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.
Yanguas, I. & Flores, A. (2014). Learners’ willingness to communicate in face-to-face versus oral computer-mediated communication. The JALT CALL Journal, 10(2), 83-103.
As we do every year, we use the summer break to push updates to the platform. Some of these updates are major new features; but many others are small tweaks, performance and usability improvements that are reported to us during the year. That being said, we’re excited to announce the first one of the summer![...]
Posted on 2020-06-26 by Thomas Murr
Guest Post by Susana Perez-Castillejo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of St. Thomas. Beyond the Zoom breakout rooms for speaking activities and shared Google docs for collaborative writing practice, there are other tools we can leverage to make our synchronous class meetings a bit more interactive. These are ideas I have been learning these past few[...]
Posted on 2020-04-16 by Thomas Murr
Nowadays technological developments have affected our lives, how we communicate, how we learn and, of course, our way of teaching. Indeed, it is almost impossible to find a language class that does not use some technological support. Computer assisted language learning has changed the practice of teaching (Chapelle & Voss, 2016). Technology in Language[...]
Posted on 2020-02-10 by Thomas Murr