Study Guide

Field 086: English as a Second Language
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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LANGUAGE, LINGUISTICS, AND COMPARISONS

Objective 001
Understand major concepts and principles related to the nature of language and language systems.

1. Which of the following aspects of a language tends to change most rapidly and significantly over time?

  1. the meaning of lexical items used in oral discourse
  2. the organizational patterns used in written discourse
  3. the syllabic structure of words used in oral discourse
  4. the orthographic conventions used in written discourse
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Objective 002
Understand fundamentals of linguistics and comparative linguistics and how to apply this understanding to promote language and literacy development (i.e., the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills) in English.

2. An English Language Learner is having unusual difficulty pronouncing certain consonants. The teacher wants to determine if the student's primary language could be contributing to this difficulty. Which of the following strategies would likely be most effective in addressing the teacher's purpose?

  1. skimming through a primary-language text to determine whether the target consonants appear in words in the student's primary language
  2. listening to the student recite the alphabet of the primary language to ascertain its phonology
  3. asking a bilingual speaker of the student's primary language whether the target consonants exist in that language
  4. looking for information about the student's primary language in a general linguistics textbook
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Objective 003
Understand fundamentals of sociolinguistics and how to apply this understanding to promote language and literacy development in English.

3. Which of the following statements is most accurate about bilingualism in children?

  1. Simultaneous acquisition of two languages slows long-term language development because children tend to mix up the two languages.
  2. Bilingual children often perform better on certain cognitive tasks, such as focusing on a task and switching attention between tasks.
  3. Children who speak two languages often experience identity issues because they feel trapped between two worlds.
  4. Most bilingual children grow up to be excellent translators and interpreters of the languages they speak.
Answer
Correct Response: B.

CULTURE

Objective 004
Understand major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the nature of culture.

4. An advanced-level English Language Learner has been living in the United States for several years. He is performing well academically in school and enjoys participating in various extracurricular activities. While he has developed close friendships with a number of his English-speaking classmates, he continues to speak his primary language with his family and with friends from his home country and is actively involved in community events that celebrate his heritage culture. This student's behavior and actions are most indicative of which of the following cultural processes?

  1. deculturation
  2. enculturation
  3. assimilation
  4. acculturation
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Objective 005
Understand the role of culture in language development and academic achievement.

5. A middle school class includes several English Language Learners. One of these students avoids contact with other members of her cultural group and strives to emulate the behavior of her U.S.-born classmates in every way. Another student expresses great pride in her cultural group and has negative feelings toward cultural groups that are different from her own. A third student maintains close friendships with peers from a variety of cultural groups, including U.S.-born classmates and classmates from her own cultural group. These students best exemplify which of the following concepts related to adapting to a new culture?

  1. The degree to which individuals assimilate into another culture is primarily dependent on the level of contact they have with that culture.
  2. Levels of cultural identity can vary widely among individuals who live in a culture that is different from their heritage culture.
  3. A positive attitude toward one's own cultural heritage is a prerequisite for success in a multicultural environment.
  4. Some cultures value a strong cultural identity while other cultures value cultural identity to a lesser degree.
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Objective 006
Understand how to create a culturally inclusive learning environment that supports individual students' language development and academic achievement.

6. An ESL teacher regularly incorporates literature that reflects a variety of cultural and literary traditions into literacy instruction for English Language Learners. The most important benefit of this practice for the English Language Learners is that it:

  1. maintains their interest in literature study by continually presenting them with new settings, characters, and situations.
  2. helps them understand perspectives, values, and beliefs beyond those that are familiar.
  3. promotes their critical thinking skills by encouraging them to analyze an author's purpose, point of view, and voice.
  4. provides them with repeated, meaningful exposures to new vocabulary.
Answer
Correct Response: B.

SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES

Objective 007
Understand second language acquisition theories and research and how to apply this understanding to facilitate English Language Learners' language and literacy development.

7. An ESL teacher conducts an oral activity with beginning-level English Language Learners in which the teacher produces an oral sentence with one word that is deliberately unintelligible. For example, the teacher says, "I put the scissors on the bzzzzzz next to the stapler." The teacher then tells the students to construct a request for clarification such as, "Excuse me, where did you put the scissors?" This exercise is likely to promote the students' second-language acquisition primarily by:

  1. teaching students a strategy for overcoming gaps in comprehension.
  2. modeling for students a method of identifying pertinent information for solving a problem.
  3. supporting students' development of metacognitive learning strategies.
  4. providing students with opportunities to engage in extended discourse.
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Objective 008
Understand individual learner variables in the second language acquisition process and how to apply this understanding to facilitate English Language Learners' language and literacy development.

8. A school has a growing population of older beginning-level English Language Learners who come from migrant families. Many of these students have limited literacy skills in both their primary language and English because their families' mobility has led to frequent disruptions in their education. These students spend part of the school day receiving primary-language literacy instruction from a bilingual teacher. The students' ESL teacher could best promote their English language and literacy development by:

  1. developing activities that allow these students to work together to reinforce their primary-language literacy skills.
  2. creating lessons for these students to work on individually that focus on developing their literacy skills in English.
  3. working with the bilingual teacher to design literacy units that build on these students' current language skills and past experiences.
  4. designing lessons that primarily focus on development of these students' oral language skills in English.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Objective 009
Understand research-based best practices related to planning, managing, and implementing ESL instruction, including how to select, adapt, and use instructional resources.

9. The primary purpose of the Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards is to:

  1. specify the English language competencies English Language Learners need to achieve to be able to fully access grade-level academic content.
  2. define the minimum content expectations English Language Learners need to meet to function in English at a particular grade level.
  3. identify the types of test accommodations English Language Learners at certain English language proficiency levels should be given on state standardized assessments.
  4. describe the types of instructional techniques ESL teachers should use to help English Language Learners become fully proficient in English.
Answer
Correct Response: A.

APPLICATION OF STANDARDS-BASED CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow.

As part of a sheltered social studies unit, an ESL teacher has advanced-level English Language Learners listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. First, the students watch a video clip of the entire speech. Then, the teacher provides students with a printed script of the speech and plays the speech in segments, pausing to lead a discussion of the content of each segment.

Objective 010
Understand the standards and benchmarks in the Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards for K–12 Schools related to listening and how to teach English Language Learners to acquire and use listening skills for academic and social purposes in English.

10. The teacher wants to promote the students' critical-thinking skills while listening to English by prompting students to identify Dr. King's attitude and point of view in the speech. Which of the following discussion questions would likely be most effective for this purpose?

  1. How do you think the setting and environment of the speech influence what Dr. King says in his speech?
  2. How do you think the audience feels about what Dr. King is saying in his speech?
  3. What message do you think Dr. King is conveying through his tone of voice and body language in the speech?
  4. What effect do you think Dr. King's speech might have on people who disagree with him?
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Objective 014
Understand how to support English Language Learners' access to the core curriculum as outlined in the Michigan Curriculum Frameworks as they learn language and academic content.

11. The teacher could most effectively support the students' development of learning strategies for comprehending content-area material by engaging students in which of the following activities after they listen to the "I Have a Dream" speech?

  1. writing answers to comprehension questions about the speech
  2. reading parts of the speech aloud using appropriate stress and intonation
  3. translating sections of the speech into their primary language(s)
  4. creating a graphic organizer that represents important concepts in the speech
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Objective 011
Understand the standards and benchmarks in the Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards for K–12 Schools related to speaking and how to teach English Language Learners to acquire and use speaking skills for academic and social purposes in English.

12. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

An elementary school ESL teacher is leading a discussion about bears and hibernation with beginning-level English Language Learners. The following exchange takes place during the discussion.

Student: The bear—do he have the uh…the dreaming? Like, all a' time, for, uh…all a' winter?

Teacher: What an interesting question! Do bears have dreams while they are hibernating through the winter? I'm not sure about that. What do you think, class—do you think bears dream when they hibernate?

The teacher's response is effective in promoting students' ability to use English to interact in the classroom primarily because the response:

  1. validates the student's question, provides scaffolding to make the question more comprehensible, and invites other students to join the discussion.
  2. models a variety of ways to formulate a question without ellipses, hesitations, and grammatical errors.
  3. demonstrates that the teacher is not the absolute source of knowledge, restates important information, and models how to formulate a hypothesis about a topic.
  4. addresses the student's errors immediately and explicitly without shifting the focus away from the topic of discussion.
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Objective 012
Understand the standards and benchmarks in the Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards for K–12 Schools related to reading and how to teach English Language Learners to acquire and use reading skills for academic and social purposes in English.

13. English Language Learners are preparing to read an expository essay. The ESL teacher asks the students to keep the following questions in mind as they read.

What do you know about the writer of the essay?

What do you think was his or her purpose in writing the essay?

This strategy is likely to be most effective in promoting the students' achievement of which of the following English language proficiency standards in reading?

  1. Students will analyze the unique styles and forms of various genres.
  2. Students will demonstrate comprehension of the main idea and supporting details of a text.
  3. Students will identify aspects of voice and point of view in a text.
  4. Students will make predictions about and draw conclusions from a text.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Objective 013
Understand the standards and benchmarks in the Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards for K–12 Schools related to writing and how to teach English Language Learners to acquire and use writing skills for academic and social purposes in English.

14. English Language Learners are writing persuasive essays on school policies they think should be changed. Using the sample topic of the school's dress code, the ESL teacher asks the students to brainstorm ideas about what kind of evidence might be used to support an argument about changing the school's dress code. Students have offered ideas, which the teacher has recorded on the board. Which of the following student ideas represents the best strategy for effectively using evidence to support a written argument?

  1. Tell about a trusted friend or relative who agrees with the policy change.
  2. Describe an imagined future in which the policy change has been implemented.
  3. Explain the historical rationale behind the existing policy.
  4. Report on the positive results of a similar policy change at another school.
Answer
Correct Response: D.

ASSESSMENT

Objective 015
Understand major concepts and principles related to standards-based assessment of English Language Learners.

15. A new student in a middle school has been identified as an English Language Learner based on a Home Language Survey (HLS). According to national and state requirements, which of the following steps must school staff take in determining the student's eligibility for Title III services?

  1. Assess the student's level of English language proficiency using the state English language proficiency assessment.
  2. Explore the student's education background by reviewing school files and conducting an individual student interview.
  3. Provide the student's parents/guardians with written notification of the student's language status based on the results of the HLS.
  4. Assess the student's level of academic knowledge using standardized state-approved content-area assessments.
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Objective 016
Understand various assessment issues and factors related to the assessment of English Language Learners.

16. An ESL teacher reads the reading components of the state standardized English language arts assessment to a group of English Language Learners in the students' primary language. This is considered a nonstandard assessment accommodation because it:

  1. negatively impacts students' test performance by introducing cultural and linguistic bias into the assessment.
  2. results in an invalid test score by changing what the assessment is measuring.
  3. disadvantages those English Language Learners who do not receive this type of accommodation in the classroom.
  4. gives English Language Learners an unfair advantage over their native-English-speaking peers.
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Objective 017
Understand reflective assessment practices, including how to select, develop, adapt, and use various classroom assessment tools and techniques, analyze assessment results, and adjust instruction for English Language Learners based on assessment results.

17. An ESL teacher is assisting an intermediate-level English Language Learner in a mainstream science class. Based on their interactions, the ESL teacher feels confident that the student has a solid grasp of the course content. However, the student has been performing poorly on class exams because he has difficulty writing responses to essay questions on the exams. The science teacher asks the ESL teacher for advice about how to adapt class exams to allow the student to better demonstrate his knowledge. Which of the following recommendations from the ESL teacher would be most appropriate in this situation?

  1. Permit the student to answer essay questions on exams by dictating his responses to a scribe who records his words verbatim.
  2. Grade the student only on selected-response and short-answer sections of exams.
  3. Give the student the opportunity to complete exams as a take-home assignment rather than requiring him to complete exams in class.
  4. Substitute selected-response and short-answer questions in place of essay questions on exams.
Answer
Correct Response: A.

PROFESSIONALISM

Objective 018
Understand the legal and historical foundations of ESL programs.

18. A school district is located in an area with a growing population of English Language Learners. School staff members are developing an ESL program to meet the needs of these students and are in the process of selecting a program model. They can best ensure that the program model they select is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by considering which of the following questions?

  1. Does the ESL program develop English language proficiency while providing English Language Learners with equal opportunities to participate in the district's educational program?
  2. Does the ESL program ensure that English Language Learners have access to the same educational facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum as students in the district who are native speakers of English?
  3. Does the ESL program establish specific English language and academic educational standards for English Language Learners in the district and measure students' achievement of the standards?
  4. Does the ESL program ensure that English Language Learners' educational progress is assessed in the same manner and frequency as students in the district who are native speakers of English?
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Objective 019
Understand the ESL teacher's role as a professional within a discipline.

19. An ESL teacher has identified from catalog descriptions and book reviews a number of books he would like to read over the next year to promote his professional growth. The school does not have a budget for purchasing professional development materials for teachers, and the teacher has been unable to locate the books in the local library. Which of the following steps would be most appropriate and practical for the teacher to use next to help achieve his professional goals?

  1. Apply for funds to purchase the books through a foundation grant for exemplary professional development efforts.
  2. Contact the publishers to request examination copies of the books for a teacher education course.
  3. Locate a public or university library that has an interlibrary loan process for locating and borrowing books from cooperating libraries.
  4. Use funds from the classroom materials budget to purchase the books.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Objective 020
Understand how to serve as a resource and advocate for English Language Learners and how to build effective partnerships with English Language Learners' families and communities to support students' language development and academic achievement.

20. A number of parents/guardians of English Language Learners have expressed to the ESL teacher discontent with the school district's policies for determining which students will receive ESL services and when these services should be terminated. The ESL teacher can best serve as an advocate for English Language Learners and their families by taking which of the following actions in response to the parents'/guardians' concerns?

  1. showing the parents/guardians the assessment tools used to make ESL program decisions and clarifying for them the rationale for the district's ESL entry and exit policies
  2. organizing an ad hoc group of concerned parents/guardians and offering to be the spokesperson for the group in meetings and public forums
  3. explaining to the parents/guardians the various options for making their concerns known to policymakers and helping them make contact with the appropriate policymakers
  4. researching possible avenues to changing or waiving the district's ESL entry and exit policies and pursuing those avenues on behalf of the parents/guardians
Answer
Correct Response: C.