Study Guide

Field 177: English as a Second Language (ESL) 
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

 start bold NOTE: end bold  You can scroll to view items in sequence, or use the links at the left to go to the item/information aligned to a specific competency.

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of the fundamentals of linguistics as related to the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for social and academic purposes in English.

1. A middle school E S L teacher plans to teach developing-level (Level 3) English language learners cohesive devices (e.g.,  start italics at first, after a while end italics ) to help them convey sequential and chronological relationships in their speaking and writing. This scenario best demonstrates the teacher's understanding of an important aspect of:

  1. pragmatics.
  2. discourse.
  3. semantics.
  4. syntax.

Correct Response: B. In linguistics, discourse refers to units of oral or written language longer than a single sentence left paren e.g., a conversation, a speech, a paragraph, an entire text right paren. Discourse that is cohesive is organized in a logical manner and uses cohesive elements, such as pronouns and transition words left paren e.g., start uppercase at first end uppercase, start uppercase after a while end uppercase right paren to connect ideas from one sentence to another. These cohesive devices also help signal the structure of the discourse left paren e.g., chronological, cause/effect, comparison/contrast right paren.

Competency 0002 
Apply knowledge of current theories of and variables that can affect new-language acquisition and literacy development.

2. Before expanding-level (Level 4) and bridging-level (Level 5) students in an  E S L  class begin reading a new content-area text, their  E S L  teacher instructs them to stop at specific points in the text and ask themselves if they have understood what they have read. This activity facilitates English language learners' new-language acquisition primarily by:

  1. developing their reading fluency.
  2. facilitating their retention of new content-area vocabulary.
  3. improving their categorization skills.
  4. promoting their development of metacognitive skills.

Correct Response: D. Metacognitive skills facilitate new-language acquisition by enhancing English language learners' ability to think about what and how they are learning. Monitoring one's own comprehension and evaluating how well one has achieved a learning objective are two key metacognitive skills.

Competency 0003 
Analyze major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the nature of culture, cultural processes, and the role of culture in language development and learning.

3. A high school English language learner arrives in a community that has few members who share the student's cultural background. The student's  E S L  teacher notes that the student looks absentminded in class and keeps class materials close by as if attempting to prevent someone from taking them. In addition, the student appears fatigued and withdrawn from learning tasks. The teacher checks with the students' parents who report that the student is not ill and goes to bed early enough to get sufficient sleep. Given the evidence provided, the student's behaviors are most characteristic of:

  1. socialization differences.
  2. cultural accommodation.
  3. language differences.
  4. culture shock.

Correct Response: D. Culture shock is a phase or stage of the acculturation process. At this stage, people tend to miss elements of the home culture, such as customs, mores, food, language, and societal structures. It is common for English language learners who are experiencing culture shock to feel confused, anxious, and alienated.

Competency 0005 
Apply knowledge of concepts, research, and best practices related to planning, managing, and implementing standards-based language and content instruction for English language learners.

4. A high school  E S L  teacher is planning a content-based  E S L  unit around U S Government Content Standard 5 of the Oklahoma Academic Standards for the Social Studies, which relates to the significance of civic participation in order to ensure the preservation of constitutional government. According to principles of standards-based instruction, which of the following questions should the  E S L  teacher consider  start italics first end italics  when planning this unit?

  1. What background knowledge do my students already have about civic participation?
  2. What vocabulary words do my students need to know to understand specific texts about civic participation?
  3. How will my students demonstrate what they learn about civic participation?
  4. How can authentic materials about civic participation be adapted for my students?

Correct Response: A. In standards-based education, student learning standards identify by grade level and content area what students should know and be able to do. Teachers should use the standards to plan assessments and then use the assessment results to inform instruction. Therefore, the first step in planning standards-based instruction is to assess students' current knowledge with respect to a given standard.

 start bold Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow [#s 5 and 6]. end bold 

A middle school  E S L  teacher is teaching a content-based life science  E S L  unit on cells. For one activity in the unit, the teacher uses an Internet Web site that presents a series of interactive diagrams of cells with written explanations. The students view the Web site, complete an activity worksheet using the information, and share their findings in a class discussion.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of concepts, research, and best practices related to promoting English language learners' vocabulary development and their understanding and usage of standard English conventions when listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

5. The primary benefit of using this Internet activity with  E S L  students is that the activity:

  1. promotes students' content-area and academic-language development using multiple language domains.
  2. ensures that entering-level (Level 1) and emerging-level (Level 2) English language learners are exposed to comprehensible input.
  3. focuses on English language learners' social language development using an academic setting.
  4. reinforces students' understanding of content-area material through concrete practice.

Correct Response: A. In this lesson, students use multiple language domains left paren e.g., reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing right paren to help develop their academic language skills left paren e.g., content-specific vocabulary and language structures right paren as well as their content-area knowledge with respect to the lesson's content.

Competency 0009 
Apply knowledge of concepts, research, and best practices related to promoting English language learners' development of content-area knowledge and skills.

6. The E S L teacher wants to use the Internet activity to give students practice in applying cognitive learning strategies to content-based subject matter. Which of the following student tasks in the activity worksheet would most likely address this goal?

  1. reading a brief introduction to the Web site and its contents
  2. answering questions about the presentation and format of the Web site
  3. using a glossary of terminology that appears on the Web site
  4. completing a graphic organizer summarizing key information from the Web site

Correct Response: D. Completing a graphic organizer summarizing key information from the Web site would provide the students with opportunities to apply a variety of cognitive learning strategies including imagery left paren using a graphic to help visualize and learn new information right paren, summarization, categorization, and deduction.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of concepts, research, and best practices related to promoting English language learners' oral language development.

7. An  E S L  teacher plans an activity in which second-grade developing-level (Level 3) English language learners will orally describe the sequence of events that take place in a narrative text. The teacher would like to scaffold the activity for several English language learners who have good reading comprehension skills but tend to have difficulty with retelling stories. Which of the following strategies would best support these learners?

  1. having the students write down what they plan to say prior to having them give their retelling
  2. showing the students how to use a story frame, such as "First, the character . . .. Then, the character . . .."
  3. pairing the students with higher-level peers who can model accurate retelling that the students can repeat
  4. providing the students with explicit instruction in the meaning of the terms  start italics  sequence end italics  and  start italics retelling end italics 

Correct Response: B. Story frames are tools for helping English language learners organize their ideas and develop academic language. In this scenario, the teacher wants to scaffold instruction to help English language learners retell the sequence of events of a story. Using a story frame such as "First, the character . . .. Then, the character . . .." will help students develop skill in retelling by developing both their knowledge of narrative text structure and their academic language (e.g., transition words) related to describing the sequence of events in a narrative text.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of concepts, research, and best practices related to promoting English language learners' literacy development.

8. An  E S L  teacher plans to teach fifth-grade bridging-level (Level 5) English language learners how to find specific information in a nonfiction text in order to answer text-dependent questions related to an assigned topic. Which of the following strategies would be most effective for the teacher to model for this purpose?

  1. skimming the text
  2. identifying charts or diagrams in the text
  3. locating relevant key words in the text's glossary
  4. previewing the text's illustrations or photographs

Correct Response: A. By fifth grade, teachers should be asking text-dependent questions that require students to go beyond the literal meaning of a text and think critically about the text left paren e.g., by making inferences and drawing conclusions based on evidence in the text right paren. To answer text-based questions such as this, students need to have a firm grasp of the text's overall meaning as well as awareness of where key information is mentioned in the text. Skimming involves rapid reading of key parts of a text left paren e.g., title, subtitles, topic sentences, introductory and concluding paragraphs right paren. Thus, skimming is an ideal strategy for both reinforcing the gist of a text and locating specific information to answer text-based questions.

Competency 0010 
Apply knowledge of various concepts and issues related to assessing English language learners, including different types of assessments used in E S L programs and their purposes, uses, and limitations.

9. An E S L teacher is planning assessments to be used at the beginning of the school year in various E S L classes. Which of the following is the  start italics first end italics  step the teacher should take when planning these assessments?

  1. designing a scoring rubric that takes into account cultural factors that may influence student performance
  2. selecting assessments that involve both oral and written receptive and expressive language
  3. referring to current Oklahoma language and content student standards in order to align assessments with the standards
  4. ensuring that assessments include a peer assessment or self-assessment component

Correct Response: C. In standards-based instruction, classroom assessments should be aligned with relevant Oklahoma language and content standards. The content standards establish what students need to know and be able to do at various grade levels in specific subject areas, while language standards establish what language knowledge and skills students need in order to achieve grade-level academic standards.

Competency 0012 
Apply knowledge of the historical and research foundations of E S L programs, pursuing professional growth opportunities in the field of ESL, and serving as a professional E S L resource to colleagues.

10. An elementary E S L teacher is assigned to team teach several periods a day with a third-grade general education teacher whose class includes many English language learners. The E S L teacher notices right away that the third-grade teacher's expectations for student behavior are quite different than the E S L teacher's expectations. The classroom environment feels chaotic to the E S L teacher, especially during classroom transitions from one activity to the next. Consequently, the E S L teacher often feels uncomfortable when working in this classroom. Which of the following approaches to team teaching would best improve the situation described in this scenario?

  1. having each teacher be solely responsible for the behavior and learning of specific students
  2. discussing the situation with an administrator to determine which teacher's practices related to classroom management are best
  3. collaborating regularly to discuss each teacher's role and responsibilities related to classroom management
  4. having one teacher provide instruction while the other teacher attends to student behavior

Correct Response: C. Regular collaboration is a key approach to successful team teaching. Specifically discussing each teacher's role and responsibilities related to classroom management is essential in establishing consistency and thus reducing the sense of chaos and discomfort that the E S L teacher is currently experiencing (and no doubt the students as well) in the classroom environment described in the scenario.