Our Solution

The Extempore app addresses and solves some of the limitations in the traditional method for formal listening and speaking assessment in the language classroom. Most importantly, it eliminates scheduling conflicts when conducting assessments in the classroom and it ensures that students are producing spontaneous speech when performing the assessment asynchronously.

The Traditional Method for Formal Listening & Speaking Assessment

You schedule individual interviews with students…

  1. During class time, finding independent work for the rest of the students and losing crucial instructional time. This loss naturally limits your ability to frequently and formally assess students’ listening and speaking skills.
  2. Outside of classroom time, handling the logistics of scheduling each student and competing with various sport, extracurricular, and work schedules. Additionally, you suffer the loss of precious class preparation and grading time.
  3. Using the recorded prompt and recorded response method, risking receiving responses that have been pre-prepared and scripted.

You assess student performance by…

  1. Grading the student’s live performance. This method often distracts both the student and teacher. It also prohibits both the student’s and the teacher’s ability to review the discussion and directly track growth and progress.
  2. Recording (or having the student record) the performance. This method requires you to have a recording system, to manage (and name) multiple files, to listen to the files while tied to a computer, and to manage paper rubrics and comments. Of course, you’ll also need to calculate all those scores and input them into your grade recording software.

The Extempore Method

Benefits for the Teacher

  1. The teacher is freed from scheduling, and rescheduling,  multiple interviews.
  2. The teacher is freed from the logistics of managing multiple sound files.
  3. The teacher does not lose instructional time.
  4. The teacher receives extemporaneous speech, not scripted responses.
  5. The teacher, now freed from time constraints, can more frequently and more easily assess students’ listening and speaking skills.
  6. The teacher has the choice to grade on a computer or on-the-go using a mobile device.

Benefits for the Student

  1. Students can complete formal speaking and listening assessments during times that meet the needs of their schedules.
  2. Students are more frequently asked to formally use their speaking and listening skills, thereby increasing their learning.
  3. Student anxiety related to face-to-face interviews is reduced.
  4. Students receive quick and easily accessible feedback from their teacher.
  5. Students build a portfolio which tracks their speaking progress.

Check out some of our free sample activities.