Study Guide

Field 015: Reading Specialist 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of the linguistic foundations of reading.

1. An English Language Learner whose primary language uses definite and indefinite articles has little difficulty understanding the use of articles in English. This is an example of which of the following linguistic processes?

  1. positive transfer
  2. interlanguage
  3. phonemic awareness
  4. code-switching

Correct Response: A. Positive transfer occurs when a property of a student's first language promotes the acquisition of a second language. In this case, both languages use articles. The student applies knowledge of the article system in the first language to the article system in the second language.

Competency 0005 
Analyze the role of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and letter recognition in reading development and apply strategies for promoting students' knowledge and skills in these areas.

2. A first-grade teacher places a "start here" sticker in the upper-left corner of a poster listing several short sentences. As he points to each word, he has students read the sentences in unison. The primary benefit of this activity is to:

  1. provide skills practice in auditory/visual association.
  2. reinforce the tracking motions used in reading.
  3. encourage self-control and attention to teacher direction.
  4. assess fluency in reading word combinations.

Correct Response: B. This activity will best promote students' understanding that printed English should be read left-to-right, starting at the top of a page. By following the words on the poster as the teacher reads, the students can connect the flow of the words with the order in which the teacher reads the words.

Competency 0010 
Analyze the role of academic language and background knowledge in reading development and apply strategies for developing students' academic language and background knowledge.

3. A health class is beginning a new unit on nutrition. The teacher asks students to complete a prereading activity in which they keep a personal log of their eating habits for one week. This instructional activity is likely to be most effective for accomplishing which of the following instructional goals?

  1. establishing text-to-text connections between old and new material
  2. providing guided practice for development of students' research skills
  3. increasing students' understanding of their own cognitive processes
  4. making meaningful connections between new material and students' current knowledge and life experiences

Correct Response: D. The ability to comprehend a text can be highly dependent on the background knowledge that a reader brings to the text. Expanding students' awareness of ways in which content-area topics connect with their experiences helps students understand the connections between their current knowledge and the new material. This ultimately helps students understand new material and also promotes their reading of content-area texts about new material.

Competency 0011 
Analyze the nature of reading comprehension and apply knowledge of factors related to text comprehension.

4. Which of the following reading and writing activities would best promote the development of a sixth-grade student's literal comprehension skills?

  1. reading two newspaper editorials about the same topic and creating a chart comparing the evidence the authors use to support their opinions
  2. reading a grade-level book and writing a new chapter describing what happened next to the main character
  3. reading an expository text about a historical event and creating a flowchart showing the cause-and-effect sequences that led to the event
  4. reading a first-person narrative text and writing a description of the narrator based on details from the text

Correct Response: C. Literal comprehension involves understanding information that is stated directly in a text. By creating a flowchart, students organize the cause-and-effect relationships that were described in the text. This chart helps them understand this information from the text.

Competency 0015 
Analyze criteria and apply procedures for selecting and using reading materials to promote students' reading development.

5. A reading specialist is evaluating the text complexity of various reading materials for use in the reading program. Which of the following strategies would be most effective for the reading specialist to use to measure qualitative dimensions of text complexity?

  1. analyzing factors such as the text's levels of meaning, language clarity, and knowledge demands
  2. applying a proprietary formula to the text that takes into account the variables of word frequency and syntactic complexity
  3. using readability software that is able to measure the text's word and sentence length quickly and accurately
  4. evaluating reader and task considerations such as background knowledge relevant to the text, reading purpose, and motivation

Correct Response:A. Qualitative dimensions of text complexity refer to text factors that require a human reader to evaluate. Such dimensions include the knowledge demands of the text, the levels of meaning embedded in the text (e.g., through the use of irony and/or figurative language), and the degree of conventionality and clarity of the language used in the text.

Competency 0023 
Analyze the role of the reading specialist and apply strategies for working with others inside and outside the school to promote students' reading development.

6. Which of the following would be an appropriate responsibility to assign to a paraprofessional in a reading program?

  1. advocating with classroom teachers on behalf of students
  2. tutoring individual or small groups of students with teacher guidance
  3. monitoring the implementation of a student's Individualized Education Program ( I E P )
  4. interpreting the results of diagnostic reading tests

Correct Response: B. Paraprofessionals may be effectively employed in reading programs to extend the reach of the reading specialist. This is best accomplished by having the paraprofessional provide focused attention to individuals or small groups of students to reinforce the work of the reading specialist with the reading specialist's supervision.

Competency 0024 
Analyze and apply principles for evaluating reading programs and materials.

7. An elementary school has just completed an evaluation of its reading program. In reviewing the results of the evaluation, the reading specialist should probably consider which of the following the most serious problem?

  1. Many students exhibit strong preferences regarding the types of texts they read and are not equally enthusiastic about all types of reading.
  2. Teachers at each grade level do not use a uniform set of strategies and resources for providing their students with reading instruction.
  3. Most classrooms contain a significant amount of reading material with words and concepts that are unfamiliar to some of their students.
  4. Some teachers provide reading instruction in whole-class settings based on the needs of the average reader in that classroom.

Correct Response: D. Reading instruction aimed at the average level of a diverse class is problematic in that more-advanced students will lose interest because they are not challenged, while the challenge for less-advanced students will be too great, and they may feel frustrated and become disengaged.

Competency 0027 
Analyze the role of reflection, self-evaluation, and professional development in reading instruction.

8. A new reading specialist would like to determine what instructional strategy is likely to be most effective in teaching students a particular reading skill. Which of the following strategies would best foster the reading specialist's own professional growth while addressing this question?

  1. asking students with varying levels of reading proficiency to describe the type of instruction they most prefer
  2. making a list of possible strategies for teaching the reading skill, trying each strategy with a different student, and assessing the results
  3. informally surveying a number of teachers in the school to see what strategies they would use to teach the particular reading skill
  4. consulting reading education journals to determine what current research suggests about how to teach this type of skill

Correct Response: D. By consulting reading education journals, the reading specialist is exposed to the most current research in the field. In this way the specialist may discover new, research-based strategies that are likely to be effective in reading instruction.

 start bold Use the information below to answer the questions that follow. end bold 

At the beginning of the school year, a first-grade teacher completes a checklist for each student in the class. The following is an excerpt from one of the completed checklists.

start bold Name colon end bold Julienne

When listening to literature... Rarely, Sometimes, Usually

Competency 0020 
Analyze and apply procedures for interpreting assessment results and using assessment information to plan reading instruction that addresses students' evidence-based needs.

9. Given the information in this checklist, the student would likely benefit most from instruction designed to help her:

  1. increase her oral vocabulary.
  2. foster her understanding of story structure.
  3. enhance her phonemic awareness.
  4. improve her aural memory.

Correct Response: C. The oral language checklist shows that Julienne rarely recognizes words that rhyme or words that begin with the same sound. This indicates that she does not yet understand that words can be divided into discrete segments and that some word segments may sound similar to other word segments. Julienne would therefore benefit from further instruction to enhance her phonemic awareness.

Competency 0021 
Analyze characteristics and purposes of screening procedures.

10. Which of the following would be the most appropriate use for this checklist?

  1. screening for potential reading difficulties
  2. diagnosing a specific reading disability
  3. identifying specific auditory processing deficits
  4. determining an appropriate reading placement level

Correct Response: A. The results from this checklist are based on the student's reading behaviors as they have been observed by the first-grade teacher. While the teacher probably knows a great deal about the student, her observations of the behaviors identified in this checklist do not provide sufficient information to do anything more than screen the student for potential reading difficulties.