March 3, 2015

231 TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7 – 12 Exam Practice Questions

1. Every language arts program should teach students to:

A. Analyze
B. Memorize
C. Speak in public
D. All of the above

2. Active learning helps students:

A. Avoid boredom
B. Retain information
C. Use critical thinking skills
D. All of the above

3. Open-ended questions used in the Taxonomy of Personal Engagement tap into students’:

A. Points of view
B. Grades
C. Memorized knowledge
D. All of the above

4. Which of the following does not contribute to language development?

A. Rules, patterns and conventions
B. Changes over time
C. Is one-dimensional
D. Continues after formal schooling has ended

5. Which of the following steps is not part of the writing process?

A. Developing an outline
B. Writing a sloppy copy
C. Reading it out loud
D. Asking for feedback

6. Strategies to improve students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills may include:

A. Asking probing questions
B. Memorization projects
C. Dismissing the need to listen
D. All of the above

7. The steps used in learning to read include:

A. Decode the letters
B. Arrange them appropriately
C. Recognize spoken words when written
D. All of the above

8. How can a teacher help students learn and retain new vocabulary?

A. Define unfamiliar words
B. Stress the importance of learning new words
C. Require memorization of definitions
D. All of the above

9. Students will add a word or term to their active vocabulary for the following reasons:

A. It will give them higher grades
B. It solves a problem
C. They are forced to
D. All of the above

10. To encourage class participation, it is important to:

A. Enforce rules strictly
B. Requiring students to read aloud
C. Ask for student input
D. All of the above

ANSWER KEY EXAM 131

1. Answer: A

Students do not live in a vacuum. School is just one part of their life. Recognizing the influences of home, church, community and culture and working with them by incorporating a wide range of print and non-print media across many countries and cultures should be the cornerstone of every language arts program. Learning is most effective when students acquire the skills they need, retain that knowledge and are able to apply the information outside the classroom. Reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction helps students learn about the complex world they live in and prepares them to function as productive citizens in that world. Learning to understand, evaluate, integrate and share information gleaned from the literature of many eras and a variety of genres helps students appreciate diversity and enhances their knowledge of the world beyond their backyard. The ability to read, write, analyze and communicate ideas and concepts effectively should be the ultimate goal of every language arts program.

2. Answer: D

Active learning uses interactive instructional methods and strategies to impart course content. It creates an environment that encourages students to do more than just sit and listen to the teacher talk. Studies have shown students learn better and retain information longer when they are actively engaged in some activity: Reading, writing, discussing, experimenting, creating. They are using critical thinking skills, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating data, solving problems and integrating new information with previously acquired knowledge. Students prefer active learning to passive listening. Moving around the room, talking from memory, using positive body language, animated facial expressions and an upbeat tone of voice all engage the students effectively. Interjecting demonstrations and showing pictures, charts and illustrations adds interest and variety. Asking open-ended questions encourages lively class discussion and helps prevent boredom.

3. Answer: A

The Taxonomy of Personal Engagement solicits thoughts and feelings and requires students use critical thinking skills and make connections to related concepts by tapping into their thoughts, feelings, attitudes, points of view, real life experiences and value system. Open-ended questions should:

Pique the Interest and curiosity
Be Engaging, so students want to be involved
Require a Commitment to develop responsibility
Merge ideas with experiences, so students Internalize and take ownership of new concepts
Help students Interpret information and want to communicate new insights
Evaluate and show a willingness to use the information
4. Answer: C

Students need to understand that language is integral to learning and developing skills in all fields of study and carries over into life after school. Language is not static or one-dimensional. It varies depending upon the audience (parents, peers, professors), has structural rules, patterns and conventions and changes over time with continued use. It entails speaking, listening and writing. It requires the speaker, listener and writer to respond, interpret, assess and integrate. In today’s information age, media and technology play important roles. It is critical students be taught methods to dissect and discriminate the digital data received and learn to scrutinize the sources from which it comes. The classroom should be a place where students feel safe to explore, ask questions, take risks and develop effective listening, speaking and writing skills.

5. Answer: C

A well-written paper takes thought and preparation. The steps in the process help produce a well-crafted, interesting paper. Learning this method helps students write better papers in all their classes, not just language arts:

Brainstorm by reading and researching different subjects to generate ideas. Take notes and highlight important facts. Write down book and article titles, authors and page numbers.
Develop an outline of the main topics to be covered. This guide can be general or detailed depending upon the writer’s preference.
Write the first version or rough draft. Sometimes this is called the “sloppy copy.”
Revise the rough draft. Rewrite awkward sentences, add and delete information, improve the introductory and concluding paragraphs.
Edit the revised version. Correct spelling and grammar errors.
Ask for feedback. Have a parent or peer review and comment.
Make corrections.
Print (publish) the final version.
Learn from the teacher’s comments.
6. Answer: A

Read with expression and enthusiasm. Let students decide the topics to read. Encourage critical thinking, ask probing questions and pose different scenarios. Assign written essays, reports and term papers. Giving students the latitude to choose subjects encourages creativity. Critiquing and editing helps them learn to think critically and assess their work more accurately. Listen carefully to what each student says, what they say to each other and be attentive during discussions. Paraphrase to make sure meaning and intent is clear. Always use proper English when lecturing, interacting with groups and during private conversations with students. Have students take turns leading class discussions, reading out loud and making formal presentations.

7. Answer: D

Fluency is the ability to comprehend the written word accurately and quickly. Fluent readers recognize words and expressions and understand their meaning automatically. They don’t focus on the word; they concentrate on the meaning. They make connections between knowledge they already have and ideas and concepts discovered in the new information. Vocabulary is vital to comprehension. In order to read, a student must be able to decode the letters, arrange them in a logical sequence and know what each word means. Readers need to recognize what spoken words look like when they see them written. If readers don’t recognize the words they see in print, they won’t understand the ideas and concepts being discussed. As students are introduced to unfamiliar subjects, they must expand their vocabulary in order to understand the new content.

8. Answer: A

A student is taught unfamiliar words by direct vocabulary learning in an effort to help him understand and comprehend new information. A teacher enhances the experience by:
Explaining unfamiliar words to help comprehension before he reads the assigned text
Encouraging students to look for the new words and use ones just learned
Providing the same words in different contexts to help understanding, memory and retrieval
Defining new words, using them in sentences and relating them to familiar scenes and situations

9. Answer: B

For students to remember a word or a term and add it to their active vocabulary, it should be relevant to them, essential to understanding the material and reflect key concepts. They should be able to make a connection to information they already know, relate the term to personal experience or use it to solve a real problem. Providing examples and/or applications of the word in a different context along with examples of how not to use it help students understand its meaning. Requiring a written explanation of new terms is also effective and makes new ideas and concepts easier to remember.

10. Answer: C

It is important to foster an environment that encourages class participation and ensures no one is inhibited or prevented from participating because of teaching methods. Participation is predicated on teacher and student expectations, instructional strategies and classroom atmosphere. It is important to develop class rules for discussions, provide frequent feedback and ask for student input to ensure teaching practices are in line with student perceptions of reasonable opportunities to actively engage.
When a question is asked, a problem posed or a solution required students need time to think about the information and formulate a response. Encourage questions. Require different students to summarize the lesson, pose a prepared question from assigned material or describe something they learned. Acknowledging every contribution encourages additional participation.