This is a clip of me beginning the story Cierra la puerta with my sixth graders. This is a good clip to examine for a demonstration of circling and comprehension checks, but I don’t ask for any variables/details in this segment of the story. I’ll have to tape something else so that you can see a demonstration of that, I guess.


Circling is asking a series of questions about the same statement to get ‘repetitions’ of the structures. For example…

  • Eli opens the door.
  • Does Eli open the door?
  • Does Eli open the door or close the door?
  • Does Eli open the door or does his mom open the door?
  • Who opens the door?

This is a great circling template imagined by Laurie Clarcq and re-formatted by several of the TPRS think-tanks in Alaska that you can use to get ideas. I’d recommend writing out your questions before you jump into circling if you’ve never done it before, mostly so that you know whether or not you have a circleable structure! Circling Template


Comprehension checks are brief, targeted questions made to individuals or to the class that allow you to know whether or not they understand what you’re saying. In this video clip, some of the checks that I used including asking either/or questions to the class, asking students for translations of specific words or entire phrases, and asking students for transformations of statements. Betsy Paskvan does a great presentation on comprehension checks! As you can see, my kids had a lot of trouble catching on to “son las siete” meaning “it’s seven o’clock”. I think it’s because they received the structure as “son las ocho” (it’s 8 o’clock). I should have stuck with the original first and then done the transformation later. Oops! I know for next time.

This is a clip of a significantly larger version of me demonstrating a modified MovieTalk technique with the music video for “Espacio Sideral” by Jesse & Joy. For more information about MovieTalk, click here. In more traditional MovieTalk, there would be more description and less questioning. However, the purpose of this activity was to provide additional repetitions of the structures ‘llega’, ‘lleva’, and ‘regresa’, and so there is a lot of circling, checking for comprehension, and predicting.


Looking for more Demos? Look no further:

14 replies on “Demos

  1. Thank you for posting this! I did this lesson last week and watching this reaffirmed that I need to SLOW down and play more with student actors. You’ve inspired me to be brave and tape myself sometime this semester. Our gestures for open/close door, it’s ___ o’clock, and nunca were identical 🙂

  2. Thanks for the video example. I have been reading your blog for a little while now. It is nice to see a face and see an example of your ideas. Muchas gracias!

  3. How did I not know about this video until I read Michele’s blog last night and she referenced this video? Thanks for posting it online. I learn so much by watching others interact with their students as they teach with TPRS, plus I have another video to refer teachers to that are interested in TPRS, but haven’t had any training other than reading about it.

  4. Thanks for the video! I love your blog and your awesome ideas!! What other activities would you have your students do with the video and song?

  5. Angela–I use the song in part of my “El Viajero” unit, which you can download here: OR you can download just the song activity sheet here: (after MovieTalk, students read a video summary in Spanish and have to select the correct words from multiple sets of parentheses to complete the reading, and they have to answer some questions about the song lyrics).

  6. Thank you for sharing the demos! Could someone help add English subtitles to the videos? I don’t understand any Spanish.

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