language lab

No Language Lab? No Problem!

Does your school have a language lab? My school has been through many iterations. We had one, then we had one without any supported software, and then they dismantled it……. 🤔🤔🤔

Bur now we use a software called Extempore. It’s a subscription service that our district pays for. It continues to improve each year, and I think it’s great! I am not paid to say this, and I have no affiliate benefits either. I’m just putting this app out there in case it could help other Spanish and World Language teachers and students!

Extempore Replaces a Language Lab

If your school doesn’t have the space or the money to run a language lab, Extempore is an app/website that can be used in it’s place, right in your classroom!

First, a teacher must have an account. You can then add students manually, have students log in using codes you generate, or you can sync to Google Classroom.

What Can You Do With Extempore?

When you don’t have a language lab, there are lots of things that are more difficult to do when it comes to listening and speaking.

In Extempore, you make your classes. When you create an activity, you can copy it to other classes and you can also share it with colleagues!

Extempore allows you to do things like

-set how many times a student is allowed to listen to a prompt

-set the minimum and maximum amount of time students must record a response

-set the specific time and date for when an activity is “open”. This helps with test security.

What Kinds of Activities Can You Make?

One of my favorite kinds of activities is an ILS (Integrated Listening and Speaking). Students hear a prompt and then record their response. This is similar to the AAPPL and STAMP tests.

Simulated Conversations can also be created, and Extempore now has templates for these and free ones to share!

Types of questions include: audio prompt, text prompt, visual prompt, or any combination. So you could show a picture, and record yourself asking a question. You could write a sentence and then ask students to identify the time frame they need, and in the next question ask them to respond to it (in writing or in speech). There are so many possibilities!

Student responses can be oral, written or multiple choice.

There is even an option for students to collaborate together in real time! This can be used for practice or for an interpersonal assessment.

No Language Lab? No Problem! (Or Is There?)

Nothing is perfect!! Some things to consider:

-this can be an expensive purchase for the district. (It’s still far less expensive than building a language lab, purchasing software and support, and possibly paying someone to run it)

-sometimes the site can be glitchy

-there is a learning curve for teachers and for students. It’s easily overcome with regular use! And customer support is very responsive!


Let me know if you have any other questions about Extempore! Email me at

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language lab