Students speak more when using Extempore

Last Updated on 2017-07-11Students speak more when using Extempore A little over a year ago, I blogged about the results of a survey on the role of Extempore in boosting confidence to speak among advanced learners of Spanish. Three quarters of the students reported feeling more confident to speak in the target language after a[…]

Dear Abby, How Can I Practice the Imperative?

Last Updated on 2017-11-27First things first. Your students probably have never heard of the Dear Abby advice column. Maybe you haven’t either. But that’s OK; it still provides a good context for your students to practice using the imperative mood in the language that they’re studying and it can be accomplished very easily on Extempore. I’m actually[…]

The Challenges of Assessing Cultural Competency in the World Languages

Last Updated on 2019-08-05We all know the importance of the 4 big skills in a world language class: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Encouraging the development of each one in our students brings with it a unique set of challenges, approaches, and assessment methods. (And, given our classroom time constraints, we probably also know how hard[…]

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 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[…]

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[…]

Study Abroad Spoken Journals on Extempore

Last Updated on 2017-11-27A while back, I was rummaging through some personal belongings, and I stumbled across my old study abroad journal that I kept while studying in Madrid. Unsurprisingly, my reactions to its 15-year-old contents ranged from utter horror to belly laughs to nostalgia. The rediscovery of my journal got me thinking. Since my semester[…]

Grading Oral Assignments in a Large Class (or Why we rely on written work to assess learning in large groups?)

Last Updated on 2017-11-27Why don’t we assess speaking as frequently as we assess writing, or written grammar, or written vocabulary? Because recording students frequently is cumbersome and having all students present in class several times in a semester is not practical, even more so in large groups of 30 or more. Yet most of us[…]