The age-old dilemma of the foreign language teacher…how to get students to stay in the target language and avoid speaking the native language in class? (Particularly when they are “helping” by translating for their classmates). Here is a class management system that I use.
I choose a student’s name at the beginning of the class and put the slip of paper in the élève mystère (mystery student) spot with the name hidden. Students know that I am paying close attention to that student and if he/she goes the entire class without speaking the native language he/she “wins” something for the entire class. This depends on the age of the students. I get creative with youtube videos, stickers or a fun game, all in the target language of course.
The happy and sad faces are used to keep the entire class accountable as well. Each time I hear a student say something in the native language I put a mark under the sad face, when there are 5 minutes of only hearing target language I put a mark under the happy face. At the end of the class if there are more sad than happy we skip the mystery student. If there are more happy than sad we look at the mystery student. If the the student did well, I announce who it was and the class does a big Thank You. If the mystery student did not do so well, I don’t reveal who it was (that would be uncomfortable). We can always try tomorrow.
Students often think (and hope) that they are the mystery student. Once they get the hang of it I move up to an entire week rather than just one class because the native language goes away fairly quickly.