A Student-Led Discussion Activity for the World Language Classroom

Last Updated on 2019-07-17Triangle Talk/Triángulo de Tertulia This is not only a great speaking activity for world languages, but also a student-led activity.  The first time I did it this year, the students were scared, but they grew to love  it and it became almost a weekly occurrence in the classroom. By the end of[…]

Keeping Students in the Target Language [Three Classroom Activities]

Last Updated on 2019-07-17Three Activities and Strategies to keep language students in the target language In this blog post I am going to share with you a couple of strategies and highly engaging activities that I use regularly in the classroom.  The Can of Blah Blah Blah  (La Lata de bla bla bla) This activity[…]

All-In-One Activity for the World Language Classroom: Yes.  No. Maybe?

Last Updated on 2019-07-16One Activity:  All-in-one and done? Could there be such a thing? Sometimes being a world language teacher is overwhelming.  We do it all…speaking, listening, writing and reading. These are all essential elements of an effective classroom making it all-in-one!   In addition to all of these moving parts, we want our students to connect[…]

Back-to-School Activities for the World Languages Classroom

Last Updated on 2018-08-28Do you want to spice up a little your old “what did you do this summer?” activity for the first day of class? Or do you prefer to avoid it altogether? Here are some ideas that I am going to use in my classes. What happened in the world this summer? Headlines[…]

What’s For Dinner?: Paired Dialogue Task Ideas

Last Updated on 2017-11-27A few months ago, we posted about the benefits of student-centered paired speaking activities on Extempore. There are a ton of reasons to promote these sorts of activities in your classroom, but the most convincing one of all, I think, is that they give the teacher a snapshot of his/her students’ authentic spoken abilities at[…]

10 Reasons to Learn Another Language

Last Updated on 2017-02-05Sure, you’ve probably heard someone say–and maybe you’ve even said it yourself–that everyone speaks English, so what’s the point in putting a ton of effort into learning a new language? We at Extempore certainly don’t subscribe to that notion. In fact, we think learning a new language is one of the most[…]

Extempore, Backwards Design, and Exit Outcomes for Students

Last Updated on 2017-01-07If you’re an educator these days, you’ve likely come across backwards design. As the name indicates, it’s a method of curricular design in which the instructor starts by establishing desired results for a particular chapter, unit, course, or sequence.  Then he or she works backwards to identify evidence of learning and put into place various instructional practices (i.e.[…]

The Problems with World Language Presentations and How to Fix Them-Part 2

Last Updated on 2016-12-04Hopefully you read our post last time about the problems that many students encounter with giving presentations in a world language classroom. I wrote a little bit about how a “speed-dating” or “marketplace” format can actually put students at ease and promote a fun, more vibrant, and more engaged classroom atmosphere on[…]

The Problems with World Language Presentations and How to Fix Them–Part 1

Last Updated on 2016-11-27You’ve probably had to walk the plank before. Uh oh. Presentation time. You know, where it’s your turn to trudge up to the front of the class and start speaking in front of everyone. Maybe you’ve been assigned to talk about a national dish, or a traditional dance, or a famous artist. It’s bad[…]

The Best of the Best: A Speaking Activity on Extempore

Last Updated on 2017-11-27When I was growing up, my hometown newspaper ran an informal column in which the readers themselves could write in highlighting a product or item that they used at home that had proved beneficial to their lives somehow and that everyone else should check out: powerful vacuum cleaners, super-duper TV remote controls,[…]

Let’s Go to the Mall Today: Paired Dialogue Task Ideas

Last Updated on 2017-11-27A few weeks ago, we posted about student-centered paired activities meant to develop speaking skills in the classroom. We mentioned how beneficial these role play or dialogue tasks can be: they foster autonomy, responsibility, creativity, peer-teaching, fun, and authentic language output. Today I wanted to give a quick example of one that I’ll certainly[…]

Paired role plays with Extempore: Student-centered in-class practice

If you read our blog, you’ve probably noticed that we talk a lot here about using Extempore for regular speaking practice at home as a way to reinforce skills learned in the classroom, to build fluency, and to develop confidence. Although those are undeniable benefits of our app, students and teachers can also use Extempore[…]

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

Last Updated on 2016-07-22We 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,[…]

Assigning Speaking Practice over the Summer with Extempore

Last Updated on 2018-12-12If there’s anything that teachers and students can agree on, it’s that summer vacation is…what’s the word? Amazing? Phenomenal? Ecstatic? But, as we all know, there’s a price to pay.  Our language students–at any level–get more than a little rusty. Those preterit and imperfect endings get mixed up, commands get forgotten altogether. All those[…]

6 Image-based Extempore Tasks to Get Your Students Talking

Last Updated on 2017-11-27We’ve all heard the cliché: a picture is worth a thousand words. But with Extempore, the expression might actually have some literal truth to it! That’s because our app allows teachers and students to use images to kickstart a discussion in the target language. Obviously, an audio prompt from a teacher most closely mimics[…]

Conversation Starters in Spanish from TakeLessons.com

Last Updated on 2019-03-28Are you a beginning learner of Spanish? Do you just need some help getting started with a conversational partner? Or are you a teacher of beginning Spanish trying to get your students to use the language? Well, we wanted to take a moment to post a quick, handy guide to starting your conversation in[…]

Five Topics Students Like to Talk about in the Foreign Language Classroom

Last Updated on 2018-02-14If there’s something we all like to talk about, it’s ourselves. Topics related to one’s own life experience are almost certainly guaranteed to spark conversation among students of all ages. Now, not all life experiences are equally suitable as conversation topics. The best are the ones for which everybody has something to[…]