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Double your Comprehensible Input by Circling

Circling is one of those neat little tricks you can use anytime and anywhere. As long as your students have not yet mastered a piece of language, circling is a great technique to get in a few more repetitions in unpredictable contexts. And with ACTFL urging language teachers to stay at 90% or more target language, who couldn't use a few repetitions of new language?

Circling is a technique that uses repeated but unpredictable questions to practice new language in a rapid, intense and effective way. I teach it in workshops using the CircleUp! card system. Although it takes a little practice to get to where you can "circle" new language confidently, it's well worth the time spent practicing.

The "rules" of circling are very simple. This handout, which is the instructions for the CircleUp! cards from, contains a step-by-step explanation of how to start.

Learning to Circle

My beginning TPRS workshops (both general and Chinese-focused) include an introduction to circling. Attendees receive a set of CircleUp! cards which are used in the workshop to practice. The cards can also be used for solo or group circling practice games.

I also present research data showing the effectiveness of circling versus teaching vocabulary without circling it. For teachers with TPRS experience, I can help with how to integrate other TPRS skills with circling.

The CircleUp! card system