Circling 101

Circling in a language classroom means targeting a word or phrase and using it repetitively in scaffolded questioning. For example: trabaja (works).

Start with a statement: Kim Kardashian trabaja en Taco Bell.
Ask a yes question: ¿Kim Kardashian trabaja en Taco Bell? 
Ask an either/or question: ¿Kim trabaja en Wendy’s o Taco Bell?
Ask a no question: ¿Kim trabaja en Wendy’s?
Ask an open-ended question: ¿Dónde trabaja Kim?

Need practice writing circling questions? Here’s a template!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL IT IS. It is a difficult process that requires years of practice.

For teachers new to circling, or who are looking for a refresher, I have identified three steps for successful circling.

  1. Require 100% Choral Response
  2. Point and Pause
  3. Teach to the Eyes

I presented this workshop to my department to demonstrate and practice these skills. See this Google slideshow for the full presentation. The presentation outlines how to successfully implement those three steps. It also includes tips, demo videos of TPRS teachers in action and bail-out options from Mike Peto.

I also created a Circling Checklist to keep in mind while you teach.

See also:

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