MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 5, 2016) Deeloh Technologies and SkillFitness today announced the formation of a partnership to introduce the Extempore App, a product that promises to fundamentally change the way students practice and learn foreign languages using their smartphones and tablets.
With seventeen million students enrolled in foreign language classes at the high school and post-secondary level in the US alone, and heavy use of smartphones and personal or school-provided tablets, Extempore meets the unique needs of this generation of learners, said Susana Perez-Castillejo, Ph.D., co-founder of Deeloh Technologies.
Deeloh Technologies created a strategic partnership with SkillFitness to develop the Extempore product. SkillFitness offers a mobile, video-role play platform often used in service training and leadership development programs. “SkillFitness was created to disrupt old ways of doing corporate training,” Bill Young, president and co-founder of SkillFitness, said. “We are excited about Extempore disrupting – in a good way – language education and opening up a new way of learning languages to new generations of students.”
Extempore (“The Speaking Practice App”) allows world languages instructors and speech therapists to create speaking practice activities for their students without having to schedule 1:1 time. Students practice the language assignment and capture a video “selfie” or an audio recording of their efforts using their device’s camera and microphone. The students’ recordings are then shared with their teacher, who can watch, coach and grade their progress.
“By assigning speaking practice for my students to do on their own, I dramatically increase the amount of speaking my students do. I can then provide them with the feedback and evaluation they need without taking class time or scheduling individual appointments” said Phil Thornberry, Ph.D. a high-school Spanish instructor and Extempore user at Seven Hills School, in Cincinnati, OH.
“Extempore allows instructors to teach these students in the way they want to learn– and wanting to learn and practice is the key to language learning,” Perez-Castillejo said. “These students turn to mobile devices in nearly every area of their lives. Why not integrate that into their language classes?”
By configuring the Extempore parameters, teachers ensure that answers are spontaneous: students don’t have time to write the answer down and read it back, like they do with available systems today, Perez-Castillejo added.
About Deeloh Technologies: Deeloh Technologies was founded in 2015 by a team of foreign language teachers and technologists who saw gaps in their teaching practice that could be filled with technology solutions. Extempore is the first in a number of products that will make life in the world language classroom easier and more efficient for teachers and students alike. Learn more at www.extemporeapp.com.
About SkillFitness: Founded in 2013 by Minneapolis inventors and entrepreneurs Bill Young and Wilson Garland, SkillFitness seeks to harness mobile technology to create new learning and communications solutions to improve team learning, performance and engagement. The SkillFitness® platform is designed help people learn the way they want to learn – and learn best: through video role play, through social learning, and on their mobile devices. Learn more at www.skillfitness.com.
Susana Perez-Castillejo, Ph.D.