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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Before and after vocabulary grid

Before and after vocabulary grids and writing definitions help students to become independent learners of new words by using strategies such as context clues. Their use encourages students to focus their attention on the key words and provides them with opportunities to actively work out word meanings.

At the beginning of a topic draw up a grid of key words:

Word My definition Revised definition

Students write their own definitions for each word without using a dictionary. As they come across the word later during the lessons the students can confirm or revise their original definition. At this point the answers can be discussed and clarified in the whole class. This reflection helps students to think about their own learning. Students may also be encouraged to write definitions in their first language.

This clip talks about the importance of using your first language in order to understand English and of writing the meaning of new vocabulary into your own words. It does not show a before and after grid.

Teaching and learning sequence planning examples:

Primary level:

  • Siapo: Visual Arts, Curriculum level 3

Secondary level:

Published on: 19 Jan 2018