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Study Guide

Field 211: Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood
(Birth–Grade 2)
Part One: Literacy and English Language Arts

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Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Knowledge of Literacy and Language Arts

1. A four-year-old child has not yet grasped the alphabetic principle. Which statement is the most likely explanation of the child's ability to recognize some printed words in the environment (e.g., a popular brand name; a stop sign)?

  1. The child is able to guess the words based on the sound of the first letter.
  2. The child has memorized the sequence of letters in the words.
  3. The child is familiar with graphic elements associated with the words.
  4. The child has incorporated the words in memory as sight words.
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Correct Response: C. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of language and literacy development, including major components of reading development. A working understanding of the alphabetic principle, the recognition that letter patterns in written words represent the component sounds in spoken words, is an essential step in learning to decode printed words in English and an important milestone in early reading development. Children who have not yet developed this recognition do not attend to individual letters or use letter sequence to identify words. They may nevertheless be able to recognize some printed words encountered frequently in their environment, such as the names of products appearing in distinctive logos or the word stop on a traffic sign, by virtue of their distinctive and consistent appearance, i.e., by virtue of graphic features associated with the words (e.g., colors and shapes in a stop sign, prominent visual characteristics on a label) and their environmental context.

Competency 0002
Instruction in Foundational Literacy Skills

2. In addition to reading aloud a variety of books to the whole class, a prekindergarten teacher regularly reads aloud and discusses books with groups of two or three children. Small-group read-alouds are generally more effective than whole-group read-alouds in promoting children's robust vocabulary development primarily because a small-group setting is more likely to encourage young children to

  1. view themselves as members of a literate community
  2. develop awareness of different genres of text
  3. make connections between print and spoken language
  4. engage in conversation about a book's content
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Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of developmentally appropriate research- and evidence-based instructional practices for providing opportunities to hear, read, and use new vocabulary in a variety of meaningful contexts to develop the depth of understanding of words. A robust vocabulary entails a deep understanding of a wide variety of words that occur more often in written texts or academic discourse than in everyday speech. Depth of vocabulary knowledge includes an understanding of the meaning and usage of words in relationship to other words. Convergent research indicates that depth of word knowledge develops from multiple opportunities to hear and use new words in meaningful ways. A small-group read-aloud provides more opportunities for children to actively participate in discussing the text with their peers and teacher than are possible in a large-group setting. This activity promotes vocabulary development.

Competency 0003
Instruction in English Language Arts

3. While reading illustrated informational texts aloud to students, a prekindergarten teacher routinely prompts students to describe how the illustrations depict people, places, things, and ideas in the text. This instructional practice will help students achieve college and career readiness primarily by promoting their ability to

  1. conduct research based on focused questions
  2. integrate content presented in diverse formats
  3. evaluate specific claims and evidence
  4. compare approaches authors take to a topic
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Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate understanding of NYCCLS grade-specific standards in reading informational text for prekindergarten–grade 2 and the relationship of these standards to the development of college and career readiness in reading by the end of grade 12. The instructional practice of reading illustrated texts aloud and prompting students to describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text in which they appear enhances students' understanding of how illustrations reinforce and complement information in a written text. This instructional approach helps prekindergarten students develop foundational skills that will help them achieve the college- and career-readiness standard "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words" (NYCCLS.R.7).