Create speaking assignments and get your students talking in minutes with the speaking practice app™
I recently talked with Carlos Seoane, co-founder and CEO of Extempore. I've been aquainted with Carlos and his company for a few years now, as colleagues at Extempore have contributed several quality guest posts to the site. It was great to hear about the success they have been having with this unique and powerful app.
Those who teach languages know that one of the biggest challenges of this discipline can be getting students to practice speaking in the language they are learning, especially outside of the classroom. Enter Extempore.
Extempore – the Speaking Practice App
The classic issue in language courses is lack of time. There is nowhere near enough time for teachers to make sure students are practicing speaking the language, or to assess their ability to do so. This is a fundamental challenge that Extempore can help to address. Take a look:
With Extempore, which is language agnostic, teachers create assignments and students record their responses. Instructors create their assignments using the mobile friendly web site and students can use a smartphone app (available for iOS or Android) or a web based app to provide their recorded responses.
Flexible Pricing and Payment Options
Extempore has a pretty smart pricing model – schools and teachers get to decide who will pay for the app. What makes sense in your classroom? You or your school paying, or letting students pay? In K-12, schools often pay, whereas in higher education, it often makes sense for students to pay for the resource.
Before sharing a few testimonials from educators who use Extempore, I want to mention one pretty amazing statistic CEO Seoane shared with me. Extempore has experienced a user renewal rate of over 150% for two terms in a row now. About half of their customers are K-12 schools with site licenses which expand their use of Extempore at renewal time, adding new languages and students. The other half of this group consists of higher education customers who used the app in the prior semester and bring new colleagues to the app at renewal time.
Here are a couple teacher testimonials (there are plenty more on the Extempore site home page).
“Extempore offers and excellent solution for oral practice outside the classroom. It allows me to ensure that my students read the texts before class or practice Hebrew speech on their own. It also allows them to listen to their old recordings at the end of the course, so they can see how much they improved – even if they don't feel they did. I highly recommend!” – Dr. Or Rogovin, Assistant Professor, Bucknell University
“I find Extempore really useful. I can have all my students’ oral assignments in one place and give them feedback online. It is a great tool for your students to practice and improve their oral proficiency.””I find Extempore really useful. I can have all my students’ oral assignments in one place and give them feedback online. It is a great tool for your students to practice and improve their oral proficiency.”– Dr. Begoña Caballero-García, Assistant Professor of Spanish Studies Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
What's Next for Extempore?
There are plans for continued improvement of the tool, including the incorporation of a speech-to-text function that uses language processing AI algorithms to “score” quality. They are also planning to add student-to-student communication and group assignments. These functions will continue to build on the core functionality of Extempore as a spontaneous and authentic speech assessment platform.
I see a lot of “edtech” that is not really bringing anything fundamentally new to teaching and learning. But every now and then I come across a tool that makes something new possible and really fills a need, and Extempore is definitely one of those applications.