Encouraging Students to Speak in Class
To build confidence, I try not to put people on the spot answering questions, especially if they are struggling to remember new vocabulary. In my Level 1 class, I have used notecards as an assist. I write a question on the board (ie, "What are you wearing?"); students write their answer on a notecard. We then go around the class, each student asks the question of the student next to him/her and the next student reads his/her answer. We continue the exercise by mixing up and redistributing the cards. Now each student reads another's card and has to answer the question: "Who is it?"
In the family unit, photos people carry on their smartphones are a good a conversation starter. For the most part, most students are curious about their classmates and enjoy sharing photos and asking about family members, and I think getting a bit more personal helps the vocabulary more memorable.