As we all go back to school and meet new students and try to push them to try something really new and maintain target language in the classroom, as you maintain it, commit to make your target language input comprehensible and make sure students know you’re committed to it. Show them this video:
This baby is talking. She know exactly what she’s saying. But you and I don’t have a clue. Why? Because she doesn’t know we don’t know and she doesn’t care.
If you only make one change this year, commit to use more target language. But we also need to be sure it’s comprehensible. So, give students a way to communicate this. Tell them, if I sound like this baby to you, show me an X. Outgoing students may stand up and do a full-body X. Shy students may cross their index fingers at chest height in a discreet “don’t point me out but I am not getting this” X. On the other hand, if they can understand you, they should give a thumbs up. If they’re somewhere in the middle, like they think they’ve got it but might need a little more clarification, they can do a sideways thumbs-out. Whatever it is, give students nonverbal ways to communicate to you quickly and en masse whether they understand.
Of course, now that they have a signal, make sure you’re checking and rechecking!