First, I am beginning conversation building right at the beginning of the year.
I start with 1 topic (eventually the students can compare 2 topics in their conversation)
1. I give the transition words out - practice them
2. I say a phrase (usually at the top of the paper0
3. Students only have to continue the conversation with the transition words.
4. I go as long as I can.
5. I then ask them in English what /why/where etc. regarding the conversation, for comprehension (no direct translation)
6. I encourage the students to ask info questions (comes naturally) such as "Tu aimes voyager etc")
I do use pictures to do this as well (working on providing my own pics to use)
I MODEL MODEL MODEL. Eventually they should be able to have a brief conversation about le Colisée.
I included a link as well to a site (silent) that shows the Coliseum.
As an extra I also included some quick facts that I also talk about with the class (for communication) I then ask if they can give some info that they "remember" about the Colisée.
You could also give true false quizzes but for me the conversation is the main point.
More coming as I do more in communication.