A good starter to get students talking straight away is to give the class a question to discuss, ensuring students are expressing and justifying their opinions.
DOWNLOAD German opinions support sheet and questions of the day
DOWNLOAD Spanish example questions of the day
Students are encouraged to speak for 30 seconds on a given topic. Students could participate in a 'reading images' task (inspired by the wonderful work by Rachel Hawkes - if you haven't already, I strongly recommend you view her resources TES for more ideas and info) or be given random key words they have to include. Obviously you can vary the amount of support offered, depending on the group.
DOWNLOAD example Spanish 30 second speeches.
The grids offer a variety of questions to get student talking to one another.
DOWNLOAD Grid 1
DOWNLOAD Grid 2
A simple power point to stimulate discussion as to what items students would place in room 101 and why. Many thanks to Jen Sutton (MFLresources forum) for the Spanish support pages. DOWNLOAD
With a diamond nine activity, students have to rank the items in order of most important/relevant to them from top to bottom. This task encourages discussion as students can then justify their choices.
DOWNLOAD Spanish friendship diamond nine
DOWNLOAD German friendship diamond nine
MFL classroom, then there are lots of inspiring resources on TES.
Greg Horton and his colleagues at the Wildern School demonstrated successful ways to get students participating in group talk. Google will bring up a wealth of resources on this topic, but there are some sample resources here.