Series: Engaging Newcomers in Language & Content

Seven Step Vocabulary
Lesson Objective: Use a seven step method for vocabulary instruction
Grades 6-12 / All Subjects / ELL

Thought starters

  1. How does each step help build students' understanding of the new word?
  2. Why is this strategy especially effective for ELLs?
  3. How could you use this strategy in your own classroom?
This seven step vocabulary method is great especially for second language learners because it will allow them to learn an unfamiliar word for instance and really understand what it means. My question is for the second step which is translation in native language, how would you choose what language to translate it to? For example in a classroom where there are at least four different major languages that students speaks.
Recommended (0)
Very useful for all the subject I would say. And specifically second language or language acquisition stage. Thanks for posting.
Recommended (0)
This method is great! It's easy and to the point all while helping the ELL learn new words.
Recommended (0)
The seven step process is an excellent method to learn vocabulary words. It goes above and beyond any traditional method for learning vocabulary words. Great for ELL learners
Recommended (1)
Recommended (0)


  • Seven Step Vocabulary Transcript
    Joe Burkett: One thing that I do to teach important vocabulary for the day's lesson is

    Seven Step Vocabulary Transcript
    Joe Burkett: One thing that I do to teach important vocabulary for the day's lesson is use a seven step vocabulary method.
    All right, so we're gonna start by looking at vocabulary words.
    So the seven step strategy is a sheltered English strategy for teaching vocabulary. Step one would be having the students repeat the word three times.
    So can we have you repeat after me. Rising.
    Students: Rising.
    Joe Burkett: Sea levels.
    Students: Sea levels.
    Joe Burkett: Step two would be providing translation in native language.
    Could I have someone read the translation for me? Mateo.
    Mateo: [foreign 00:00:40]
    Joe Burkett: All right. So you've a space to write that.
    And then step three we provide an academic definition.
    And could someone please read the definition for me? Gadiel?
    Gadiel: Increase the water level of the ocean.
    Joe Burkett: Ocean, nice job.
    Step four would be providing a definition that's more student friendly.
    An increase in the water level of the ocean.
    Step five would be highlighting an aspect of the word that might be confusing, for example, false cognates. Step six would be providing a visual image for them to see.
    Okay what I want you to do is turn and talk to your partner about rising sea levels. So here, rising sea levels are dangerous because ... Ready? Turn and talk.
    Step seven is an activity which they can use the word in context, for instance, a turn and talk about using the vocabulary word where they're describing an image.
    Who would like to share? What did you talk about? Yes?
    Speaker 5: Sea level increasing and can kill many species of animal and also human.
    Joe Burkett: So you're saying extreme weather is connected to both of the other effects.
    A lot of times through the vocabulary you can really have the students engage in some of the content that you want them to focus on. So imagine the seven step process as being a real support for the content that you're trying to teach.
    Thank you everybody, you guys were great.

Related Blogs

img alt text
English Language Learners

English Language Learners

School Details

ENLACE Academy

Lawrence, Massachusetts


Joe Burkett



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture