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Study Guide

Field 116: English to Speakers of Other Languages

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Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Language and Language Learning

1. According to research-based theories of language development, following the preproduction stage of new-language acquisition, English Language Learners typically begin to demonstrate which language skill?

  1. constructing simple but grammatically correct sentences, such as "What does he want?"
  2. recognizing and self-correcting their own errors during conversations
  3. generating single-word utterances or telegraphic speech, such as "Where paper?"
  4. communicating nonverbally while relying on contextual clues
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Correct Response: C. This item requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of stages and sequences in new-language acquisition. According to research-based theories of language development, English Language Learners typically follow predictable stages of language acquisition, beginning with the preproduction stage. Students in the preproduction stage listen observantly and generate nonverbal responses. Following this stage is the early production stage, during which students are able to produce single-word utterances and short phrases.

Competency 0002
Knowledge of English Language Learners

2. An ESOL teacher in an elementary Stand-alone ENL classroom regularly involves students and their families in content-area instruction. For example, the teacher has students write about personal experiences when practicing writing dialogues and narrative pieces during English language arts lessons. On other occasions, the teacher invites two parents/guardians, one who is a construction worker and one who is a nurse, to help with an applied mathematics lesson on adding and subtracting fractions, and also invites students and their families to share family memorabilia (e.g., old family letters, newspaper articles, posters of community events, postcards) when the class is studying differences between primary and secondary sources in social studies. The teacher's practice best demonstrates the teacher's understanding of the importance of:

  1. respecting students' and their families' varying levels of English language proficiency.
  2. creating a culturally responsive classroom that makes use of students' and their families' funds of knowledge.
  3. establishing an open-door policy so that students' families feel welcome in the classroom.
  4. recognizing how students' family relationships and different family structures may affect the home-school partnership.
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Correct Response: B. This item requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of how to create a culturally responsive classroom that makes use of students' funds of knowledge. By routinely involving students and their families in content-area instruction (e.g., student-written narrative pieces), the teacher demonstrates the importance of using students' background knowledge and experiences to enrich classroom learning.

Competency 0003
ESOL Instructional Planning, Practices, and Assessment

3. At the beginning of the school year, a middle school ESOL teacher would like to learn about the science interests of expanding-level students in the teacher's Integrated ENL science class. Which type of assessment tool would be most appropriate for the teacher to select or design for this purpose?

  1. a questionnaire in which students respond to specific questions about themselves and their desire to explore scientific topics
  2. a preassessment in which students answer questions that reveal their specific content knowledge about various science topics
  3. a performance-based task that provides a clear demonstration of students' strengths and weaknesses related to science
  4. a record of anecdotal observations written by the teacher about each student as the students engage in a science-related activity
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Correct Response: A. This item requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of types of assessments. A questionnaire is typically used to assess student preferences. Because the teacher in this scenario is hoping to gain insight about students' interests in science, a questionnaire would be the best assessment tool for the teacher's purposes.

Competency 0004
Instructing English Language Learners in English Language Arts

4. A fourth-grade ESOL teacher has selected the following excerpt to use in a language arts lesson focused on promoting students' ability to interpret figurative meanings of words and phrases in a literary text.

Far away from here, following the Jade River, there was once a black mountain that cut into the sky like a jagged piece of rough metal. The villagers called it Fruitless Mountain because nothing grew on it and birds and animals did not rest there.

_______________________

From The Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Copyright © 2009 by Grace Lin. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company.

Which language arts activity related to this lesson would be most appropriate for the ESOL teacher to use to scaffold transitioning-level English Language Learners' understanding of the excerpt and their achievement of the lesson's goal?

  1. modeling for students how to consult a dictionary to determine shades of meaning among related words in a literary text
  2. teaching students how to distinguish between the literal and figurative meanings of idioms used in a literary text
  3. modeling for students how to use contextual clues to verify the meaning and pronunciation of multiple-meaning words in a literary text
  4. teaching students how to recognize and interpret the meaning of simple similes or metaphors in a literary text in context
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Correct Response: D. This item requires candidates to apply knowledge of research- and evidence-based resources for scaffolding English Language Learners' achievement of relevant learning standards related to comprehending complex literary texts. According to New York State P–12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy, students should demonstrate understanding of figurative language in a literary text, such as the simile found in the excerpt above. To support and scaffold transitioning-level English Language Learners’ understanding of the excerpt, teachers need to provide instruction to students on how to recognize and interpret the meaning of simple similes and metaphors.

Competency 0005
Instructing English Language Learners in the Content Areas

5. A high school ESOL teacher in an Integrated ENL U.S. history class leads expanding-level students in a close reading of a text about King George III during the period leading up to and including the American Revolution. During the reading, the teacher supports students in annotating the text. As a follow-up activity, the teacher has students work with a partner to complete the following graphic organizer.

Significant Action by King George III Relating to the 13 American Colonies Distinguishing Characteristic or Trait Revealed by This Action

This follow-up activity supports English Language Learners' content-area learning primarily by:

  1. providing students with a strategy for making inferences from evidence presented in an informational text.
  2. promoting students' ability to identify a text's key ideas and details when taking notes about an informational text.
  3. helping students understand the importance of considering multiple perspectives when analyzing an informational text.
  4. improving students' self-monitoring skills during reading to facilitate their comprehension of an informational text.
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Correct Response: A. This item requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of research- and evidence-based strategies for supporting content-area learning. The graphic organizer above supports English Language Learners’ ability to make inferences using evidence from a text by having students first identify King George III’s actions, as revealed in the text, and then infer what those actions say about his character.

Competency 0006
ESOL Professional Environments

6. The U.S. Supreme Court case Lau v. Nichols and the associated Lau Remedies published by the U.S. Commissioner of Education affected educational programs for English Language Learners in the United States primarily in which way?

  1. They upgraded the quality of educational programs for English Language Learners by ensuring that every school district make available a uniform process for English Language Learners and their families to file formal complaints regarding insufficient instructional materials, inadequate school conditions, and teacher vacancies or misassignments.
  2. They increased the demand for bilingual education programs by allowing parents/guardians of English Language Learners to ask for a waiver so that their children can learn English through bilingual education methodologies after first completing 30 days of structured English immersion (SEI).
  3. They improved the quality of language instruction provided to English Language Learners by mandating that programs for English Language Learners be based on sound educational theory and that instructional practices used in such programs must be proven to be effective in helping students overcome language barriers.
  4. They increased English Language Learners' access to educational programs by requiring that public school districts have appropriate systems in place for identifying English Language Learners, evaluating their English language skills, and providing them with language support services.
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Correct Response: D. This item requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of key court cases and their effects on educational programs for English Language Learners. The U.S. Supreme Court case Lau v. Nichols (1974) and the associated Lau Remedies published by the U.S. Commissioner of Education in 1975 promoted regulations related to the identification of English Language Learners and the way they receive services.