Congratulations on the new job and career! Teaching is a wonderful and challenging profession. I hope you enjoy it.
In any class, you want to give students the chance to practice the new material. This builds confidence as they become increasingly familiar with the target language. Drills, gap fills, and other controlled activities work well here.
Of course, students would quickly get bored without the chance to experiment with the language. As such, you should work towards free(r) activities. This lets students personalize the conversations, experiment with the language, and incorporate previously learned grammar and vocabulary.
I just sent out a teaching newsletter from my site, http://www.headsupenglish.com
. It addressed this very topic. Although I hadn't planned to write it as an article, I'll make some edits, put it on the site, and post the link in this thread.
In the meantime, here's a speaking activity that has worked well for me.ANSWER, ADD, and ASK
Step One: The teacher writes the following on the board:
1: Answer: You must answer questions.
2: Add: You must add information.
3: Ask: You must ask a question in return.
This all equals REAL CONVERSATION.
Step Two: Students get into pairs and receive a set of questions. The questions may be written on the board or distributed as a printable.
Step Three: Student A begins the activity. He asks a question to his partner, who answers it, adds more information, and then asks a question in return. Students should continue with the same question as long as possible, then move on to the second question, third question, and so on.
Step Four: At the end of five minutes, the teacher stops the activity. Partners switch roles and repeat with a new set of questions.
I hope this all helps. Good luck.