Circling doesn’t work. It’s old. Don’t buy into it anymore. If you feel that your recent teaching with CI has been boring, look to Circling as one of the causes. That and a lack of proper structure in your CI instruction.
Circling came into the old TPRS/CI movement in 2005. I was there for that grand announcement by Blaine Ray. However, it has been shown to not be effective over the past 15 years.
The main drawback of Circling is that it greatly diminishes student interest. But we won’t go into all that here.
I prefer Sercling. What is that?
It’s Spiraling, Expansive and Recurrent Comprehensible Input. S-E-R.
How does Sercling differ from Circling?
- It keeps interest high. The more you “sercle”, the more student interest goes up, not down.
- It is less compact. Instead of peppering the students’ minds with the same word over a period of a minute or so, like machine gun fire in the old sequence that so many CI teachers are sadly still doing, when you do Sercling you offer multiple properly-paced and engaging reps on vocabulary that is actually interesting. This is far too big a big topic to go into here, but interested readers can read the “75 Reasons” article for more and generally start viewing circling as an enemy and not an ally in this work.
- Sercling is far more natural than Circling, which is quite unnatural.
Learning how to sercle can change your entire relationship with language instruction.