FTCE ESOL K-12 Ultimate Guide2019-05-03T20:02:01+00:00

FTCE ESOL K-12: Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the FTCE ESOL K-12 exam?


You’ve found the right page. We will answer every question you have and tell you exactly what you need to study to pass the ESOL K-12 exam.

FTCE ESOL K-12 Test Overview

Quick Facts


Language as a System

Language Acquisition and Development

Second Language Literacy Development

Research, History, Public Policy, and Current Practices

Standards-Based ESOL and Content Instruction

Resources and Technologies

Planning Standards-Based Instruction

Assessment Issues

Language Proficiency Assessment

Classroom-Based Assessment

FTCE ESOL K-12 Quick Facts


All teacher certification candidates in Florida are required to pass FTCE tests in reading, writing, mathematics, and professional knowledge. Candidates who are wanting to specialize in additional areas of teaching must also take and pass additional tests in that subject area. The ESOL K-12 exam is for candidates who are hoping to become certified to teach English to speakers of other languages.

According to Pearson and the Florida Department of Education, the subjects on the test were identified and validated by committees of content specialists within the state of Florida including public school teachers, district supervisors, and college faculty with expertise in this field.  





A score of at least 200 is needed to pass. Unofficial pass/fail status will be given immediately following the test, and a detailed score report will be provided in the following weeks.

Pass rate:

In 2017, out of 875 test takers, 60% passed the ESOL test on the first attempt.

Study time:

In order to feel prepared for the test, plan to spend several weeks preparing. It is helpful to create a schedule for yourself ahead of time by breaking down the test topics into different weeks. This way, you will know you have enough time to study each topic covered on the test.

What test takers wish they would’ve known:

  • Watch for questions that include the words, “not or except,” which indicates that you need to choose the answer choice that does not apply.
  • Keep an eye on the time and make sure you are able to complete the test in the 2.5 hour time frame.
  • It is better to guess on a question you don’t know the answer to than to leave it unanswered.

Information and screenshots obtained from the National Evaluation Series website: http://www.fl.nesinc.com/



Culture competency questions account for about 8% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at some concepts you definitely need to know for the test.

Assimilation vs. Acculturation

Any student who has moved to a new country will likely go through cultural assimilation/acculturation. Cultural assimilation happens when a person’s culture starts to resemble the dominant culture. Acculturation occurs when a person adopts some of the dominant culture’s customs, while maintaining their native customs and cultural practices.  

Assimilation is not as beneficial as acculturation, because there are great benefits to people maintaining their native culture and language, while also learning a new language and customs.

This process looks different for every student, but typically you can expect an ESOL student, who is new to the United States, to go through three stages:

  • Initial or “honeymoon” stage- the student is very excited about their new life. Some try very hard to fit in, while others feel very isolated. Students in this stage may not attempt to speak in English while they are acquiring the language and adjusting to a new culture.
  • Uprooting stage- this stage is very difficult for ELLs, because they begin to recognize the differences between their culture and the new culture. The ELL has varying feelings about his/her new surroundings and culture. The student and his/her family feels curious, lonely, and possibly scared.
  • Culture shock- this stage can happen at the same time or right after the uprooting stage. In this stage, people may begin to feel overwhelmed from losing familiar places, people, and day-to-day routines from their native culture. Students in this stage may be fearful of their new situation and can show signs of withdrawal, anger, sadness, etc. They may also struggle academically as more is expected of them.
  • Adaptation- people begin to accept and become more comfortable in their new culture. Students typically go through either assimilation or acculturation.
  • Assimilation– the ELL replaces native cultural values with his/her new culture
  • Acculturation– the ELL adopts some of his/her new culture while he/she maintains native cultural values and customs.

Elements of Culture

Culture is the way of life for groups of people or societies. Culture can be broken into different elements:

  • Social organization- how society is organized including family patterns and social classes
  • Customs and traditions- behavior that includes the ideas of what is wrong and right
  • Religion- answers questions about the meaning of life; can often be a point of conflict when ideals are different; monotheism is the belief in one god, polytheism is the belief in many gods, and atheism is the belief in no god
  • Language- language is the foundation of culture; all cultures have a spoken language
  • Art and literature- passes on basic beliefs of a culture through music, writing, folk tales, and art; these are the products of a culture’s imagination
  • Government- governments provide people’s common needs, keep order, and protect the society; governments hold power in a society and make/enforce laws; common government structures include a democracy (people have the power and the government acts with consent), a republic (the citizens choose leaders), or a dictatorship (a leader comes to power by force using military power or support)
  • Economic systems- the way people use their resources to satisfy needs and wants; this includes the type of goods produced, where goods are produced, how goods are produced, and for whom goods are produced

Each of the factors influence ELLs to varying degrees depending on how different the new culture is compared to the native culture. Of course, there will be major differences that can cause the ELL to feel frustrated, unsuccessful, and unmotivated. It is important that teachers have a clear understanding of each element’s role, so they can create a learning environment that is culturally diverse and supports all students.

And that’s some basic info about the Culture competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Language as a System


Language as a System competency questions account for about 12% of the

entire test.

Concepts to Know

Here are some concepts you definitely need to know for the test.

Universal Principles of Language

The universal principles of language include:

    • Phonology– the sounds that symbols of a language make, including how they blend and sound individually (phonemic awareness)
    • Morphology– understanding morphemes when listening and reading and using them correctly when speaking and writing; a morpheme is a unit of language, such as a prefix or suffix, that cannot be further broken down (un- meaning not or -ed turning a word into past tense)
  • Syntax- how words can be combined to form sentences in spoken and written language; this includes using and understanding correct sentence structure for all parts of language
  • Semantics- the definition or meaning of words in language; this includes vocabulary used when listening, speaking, writing, and reading
  • Pragmatics- the appropriate use of language in conversation and social settings; this includes understanding social aspects of language when listening, using language so that it is understood in a certain setting, and understanding the audience’s point of view
  • Discourse- communicating by words in conversation; discourse can be formal, such as in an academic setting, or informal, such as a conversation between friends

Structural Ambiguity

Structural ambiguity refers to a sentence that has more than one meaning, not based on the words themselves but how the sentence is structured.

For example:

“That is a five foot man eating snake.” This could mean a five foot tall man is eating a snake, or it could mean that a five foot long snake eats men.  

The turkey is ready to eat.” This could mean the turkey is hungry and ready to eat, or a turkey has been cooked and is ready to be eaten.


Morphology refers to the study of the smallest units of a language that have meaning. Some words are considered morphemes (free morphemes); prefixes and suffixes are also considered morphemes (bound morphemes).

For example:

Boy is a word but also a free morpheme, because it cannot be broken into a meaningful chunk; however, we can add s to boy and make boys. In this case, s is a bound morpheme but not a word.

Write is a morpheme and a word; the prefix and morpheme re- can be added to create the word rewrite.

Here are some common morphemes and their uses:

  • -s, -es, -en:  to make nouns plural
  • -’s:  to make nouns possessive
  • -s’:  to make plural nouns possessive
  • -ing or -ed:  to change the tense of a verb
  • -er and -est:  to compare describing words

Morphology should be taught as a strategy for reading comprehension. When using morphology to improve vocabulary and understand words with an unknown meaning, students must learn to:

  • recognize a word as unfamiliar
  • look for recognizable morphemes in the root of the word, as well as the suffixes
  • think of possible meanings based on the parts of the word
  • check for meaning in context of the sentence

And that’s some basic info about the Language as a System competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Language Acquisition and Development


Language Acquisition and Development competency questions account for about 12% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at a few concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Input Hypothesis

The Input Hypothesis is a concept proposed by linguist Stephen Krashen that says the only way to acquire language is to receive input (instruction) that is just beyond our comfort level but not beyond our understanding. ELLs must also have the right environment for comprehensible input to work, meaning that they need to have low stress and high motivation.


Overgeneralization occurs in the earliest stages of language acquisition; this happens when ELLs apply grammar rules to irregular verbs and nouns.

For example:

  • Instead of went a student might say “goed”
  • Instead of feet a student might say “foots”
  • Instead of fish a student might say “fishes”
  • Instead of ate a student might say “eated”

Transitional Strategy

The goal behind a transitional bilingual educational strategy is to help transition an ELL to an English-only classroom as soon as possible. Students learn core subjects such as science, language arts, math, and social studies in their native language so that when the transition is made to the English-only classroom, the ELL has the necessary knowledge to succeed with his/her peers. Transitional programs are typically introduced in kindergarten and continue for five to six years. Most skills learned in an ELL’s native language can later be easily transitioned to the second language.

For example, a new student moves to the United States from Mexico. During the early stages of language acquisition, core subjects are taught in Spanish by a bilingual teacher, but as the student’s English skills improve, the bilingual teacher decreases instruction in Spanish and increases instruction in English.


Circumlocution is a strategy used by ELLs that allow them to describe or define a concept instead of using a specific word.

For example, if a student doesn’t know the word for banana:

What they want to say: “I’d like to eat a banana.”

What they say using circumlocution: “I’d like to eat the fruit that is yellow and that monkeys like to eat.”

Most listeners would understand the speaker is referring to a banana, and the student did not have to stop and look up the word in the dictionary or take a long time to think of the word.

And that’s some basic info about the Language Acquisition and Development competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Second Language Literacy Development


Second Language Literacy Development competency questions account for about 10% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Here are some concepts that you may see on the test.

Language Transfer

Language transfer happens when rules from a native language are transferred and applied to a second language.

  • Positive transfer happens when the understanding and application of the rule helps language acquisition.
  • Negative transfer happens when the understanding and application of the rule hinders language acquisition.


Cognates are words that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation in two different languages.

For example:

The Spanish word información is very similar to the English word information.

For Spanish speaking ELLs, cognates help form a bridge between Spanish and English, especially in subjects such as math and science.  


Pseudo-words are combinations of letters and sounds that have no meaning but can be pronounced, because they are formed using recognizable blends of phonemes. Beginning readers and ELLs can practice phonemic awareness by decoding pseudowords such as:

  • dup
  • kam
  • vam
  • gup
  • rin
  • tup
  • sup
  • nup

And that’s some basic info about the Second Language Literacy Development competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Research, History, Public Policy, and Current Practices


The Research, History, Public Policy, and Current Practices competency questions account for about 5% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s look at some concepts that you may see on the test.


Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) was created to help ELLs understand content material. The SIOP model includes eight components:

  • Lesson preparation- planning must include lessons that help ELLs make connections between their knowledge and experiences and the new content being presented. Lessons should include learning objectives for content, as well as language, and should be age and educationally appropriate.
  • Building background- concepts that are taught must be related to student’s background experiences whenever possible. The connection can be personal, academic, or cultural. Teachers should emphasize key vocabulary in context.
  • Comprehensive input- teachers should use vocabulary that is appropriate to the ELL’s level of language proficiency. Teachers need to speak slowly, clearly, and try to use body language, gestures, and applicable pictures when teaching new vocabulary.
  • Strategies- processes and methods that help ELLs learn and remember information. Students should be given multiple opportunities to use various strategies that have been taught explicitly.
  • Interaction- it is important for ELLs to use English across all content. In this stage of SIOP, students can explore content. Students should be able to practice speaking, asking questions,  answering questions, and clarifying ideas. It is important to provide plenty of wait time during this phase.
  • Practice and application– lessons should include many opportunities to use hands-on materials to practice content.
  • Lesson delivery- this includes how well the learning and language objectives are presented by the teacher.
  • Review and assessment- this should be included into daily lessons. Effective sheltered instruction includes reviewing key concepts, providing feedback, and adjusting instruction based on how the ELL responds.

Lau v. Nichols

Lau v. Nichols (1974) references a US Supreme Court case which ruled that the lack of second language instruction in public schools for ELLs violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit was filed by Chinese parents in San Francisco. The ruling stated that “identical does not constitute equal education” and that school districts must take steps to help LEP students overcome educational barriers.

The biggest impact of Lau v. Nichols was that school districts across the country adopted bilingual education programs to better serve LEP students, and more safeguards are now provided to make sure students with limited English proficiency are as successful as possible.

Inclusion Model

The inclusion model of ESL instruction places an ESL specialist in the general education classroom, rather than pulling ESL students out of the classroom. The ESL specialist provides specific support to ELLs by modifying lessons, displaying pictures to go along with vocabulary, and providing other comprehension aids.

And that’s some basic info about the Research, History, Public Policy, and Current Practices competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Standards-Based ESOL and Content Instruction


Standards-Based ESOL and Content Instruction competency questions account for about 14% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Here are some concepts that you may see on the test.

Expository Writing

Expository writing is non-fiction writing that typically presents reasons, steps in a process, or explanations.

Teachers can support ELLs in expository writing by:

  • teaching skills in nonfiction reading and writing first
  • spending plenty of time in the prewriting stage
  • using graphic organizers to organize information (use sentences rather than phrases)
  • not expecting ELLs to self-edit
  • modeling good writing at the ELL’s language level

Methods to Improve ELLs’ Listening Skills

To improve ELLs’ listening skills, students should practice:

    • Predicting content– watch or listen to a video and pause occasionally to let students predict what is going to happen.
    • Listening for gist– watch a video with students and let them predict what the content will be (based on the title). Instruct students to listen for content words during the video. Then, re-watch the video using subtitles and discuss what was understood the first time.
    • Detecting signpost words– teach students to recognize signpost words and phrases such as, first of all, in summary, to illustrate, for example, etc. Signpost words help ELLs link ideas and understand the direction of a topic or conversation.
  • Listening for details- give students the opportunity to listen for specific information in content. For example, listen to a news report about sports, and ask students to list details about specific stats or scores.

Adapting Curriculum

Teachers can adapt curriculum and instruction using various methods so that ELLs receive the appropriate amount of support. Common methods to adapt curriculum include:

  • providing a copy of notes when presenting vocabulary
  • showing students how to create flashcards and study materials for weekly quizzes
  • allowing ELLs to listen to material instead of reading it independently
  • allowing ELLs extra time to complete assignments
  • breaking instructions down into very small steps
  • using music to help with understanding vocabulary
  • using frequent positive reinforcement
  • encouraging students to use spelling words in sentences or stories

And that’s some basic info about the Standards-Based ESOL and Content Instruction Practices competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Resources and Technologies


Resources and Technologies competency questions account for about 8% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at some concepts that may appear on the test.

Multicultural Texts

Multicultural texts describe how people live throughout the world. It can be a powerful tool in the classroom that not only helps students understand other cultures, but also their own. Many times, multicultural texts will feature themes that involve family, traditions, holidays, religion, and preserving culture. Reading multicultural texts also helps students become more sensitive and aware of the challenges other cultures might face; it also helps them have a more diverse perspective of the world around them.

When selecting multicultural books for the classroom, teachers should consider:

    • General accuracy– is the book relevant and accurate?
    • Stereotypes– the book should reflect characteristics about a specific character’s story, not necessarily specific traits blindly applied to an entire group of people.  
  • Setting- books should be accurate in their settings, making sure to not reinforce stereotypes. For example, not all Native Americans lived in tepees, but some books might depict that.
    • Language– books that have multiple languages in them should use the actual languages. Any words that are translated should be natural and not awkward.
    • Illustrations- book illustrations should represent that people, even within the same culture, do not all look alike.
  • Author’s perspective- you should consider if the author is a part of the culture depicted or if they are writing from an outsider’s perspective.

Collaborative Webquests

Collaborative Webquests offer internet-based language learning to ELLs. Webquests provide ELLs the opportunity to read authentic material, as well as discuss content in a meaningful way.

Collaborative webquests:

  • focus on an interesting task that is a smaller scale version of what an adult would do as an employee or member or society
  • require higher order thinking, not just summarizing. Students can be required to analyze, problem solve, create, and judge.
  • use academic resources on the internet.
  • ARE NOT a simple research report or step-by-step procedure.
  • typically have five parts:
    • an introduction
    • the task
    • the process
    • the evaluation
    • a conclusion

Webquests are also a great way for ELLs to collaborate in English with other students. ESL teachers can use Webquests across curriculum as a strategy to enhance instruction, because they provide authentic learning opportunities in the targeted language (English).    

And that’s some basic info about the Resources and Technologies competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Planning Standards-Based Instruction


Planning Standards-Based Instruction competency questions account for about 10% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Here are a few concepts that may appear on the actual test.

Student-Centered Classroom Environment

A student-centered classroom focuses on the individual interests and needs of every student. Characteristics of student-centered classrooms include:

  • collaborative work spaces
  • assessments that use open-ended questioning

Student-centered classrooms also:

  • value student engagement over convenience
  • honor student passions and interests
  • allow opportunities for student input
  • nurture and encourage positive and healthy relationships

Student-centered classrooms support ELLs, because each student’s needs are considered and every effort is made to support those needs. Student-centered classrooms also provide LEP students with opportunities to collaborate with peers which builds language skills and confidence.


Scaffolding is a type of differentiation that meets students where they’re at academically and requires them to work just above their independent level. Teachers support students by helping them make connections and build on prior knowledge. This method provides ELLs the structure and support they need to feel comfortable while learning, but also forces them to take risks that result in higher level thinking and learning. Effective scaffolding includes:

  • modeling/think-alouds
  • tapping into prior knowledge
  • giving students time to talk and process new ideas/concepts
  • pre-teaching vocabulary
  • using visual aids
  • providing “think time” and reviewing

And that’s some basic info about the Planning Standards-Based Instruction competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Assessment Issues


Assessment Issues competency questions account for about 8% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at some concepts that may appear on the test.

Cultural and Linguistic Bias

  • Cultural bias- the event of judging or interpreting information by standards associated with one’s native culture.  

Cultural bias can influence a teacher’s instruction, attitude, and behavioral expectations.  

For example, a test question asked African American students to infer where a man, who was standing on a corner in a suit, was going. The test writers, who were caucasian, agreed the correct answer was “work.”  However, the majority of African American students thought that the man was probably going to church (Perry and Delpit, 1998).

  • Linguistic bias- at all levels of education, teachers will many times favor students who sound like themselves and can be biased against students who speak a different language. This bias can potentially affect how a teacher talks to a student and the expectations the teacher has for the student; it can even cause a teacher to stereotype or discriminate against a student.

For example, when creating an assessment, teachers should only include vocabulary and language that was used/taught in class. Including idioms or phrases that are probably only familiar to native speakers will not be a fair assessment for ELLs.

ESE Services

In Florida, students who require specially designed instruction and/or related services are called exceptional students. The services these students receive are called exceptional student education or ESE services.

The following are eligible conditions for ESE services:

  • autism
  • deaf or hard-of-hearing
  • deaf/blind
  • emotional or behavioral disabilities
  • gifted
  • homebound or hospitalized
  • intellectual disability
  • language impairment
  • other health impairment
  • orthopedic impairment
  • specific learning disability
  • traumatic brain injury
  • visual impairment

A team of people make decisions about the ESE services a student will receive. A student must meet eligibility requirements to receive ESE services, and the referral process, which is based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, includes:

  1. A referral request for a formal review is made. This includes detailed information about the student’s learning needs, strengths, weaknesses, health information, and interests.
  2. The team determines whether or not additional evaluation is required to determine eligibility.
  3. If additional evaluation is recommended, the evaluation moves forward with interviewing teachers and parents. Diagnostic assessments are given by specialists which could include interventionists, diagnosticians, and/or psychologists. Parents must sign a consent form before evaluation can begin.
  4. If it is determined that a student meets eligibility requirements, the team (including the parents) meet to discuss what services will best fit the needs of the student.

Formal versus Informal Assessments

Formal and informal assessments are important tools throughout the learning process.  

Formal assessments (summative assessments) should take place after many opportunities for learning/practice and can include:

  • standardized tests
  • data that is compared
  • structured testing environments

Informal assessments (formative assessments) should take place throughout the learning process, and instruction should be adjusted based on the results of the informal assessment. Informal assessments can include:

  • non-standardized tests
  • observation and interviews
  • normal classroom environments
  • no data taken

And that’s some basic info about the Assessment Issues competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Language Proficiency Assessment


Language Proficiency Assessment competency questions account for about 5% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at a concept that may appear on the test.

Communicating with Stakeholders

A stakeholder, in terms of education, is any person who has an interest in the education process of a particular school, classroom, or student. Positive relationships have a huge impact on academic success, so communication should be a top priority. To positively communicate with stakeholders, educators should:

  • Create two-way communication

This can be done using technology like communication apps, email, blogs, websites, or social media pages created for the classroom.

  • Be a leader when communicating

Communication on social media, websites, or blogs should portray a positive picture of the things going on in your classroom and at your school.

  • Align your actions with your words

It is important that you are promoting what is actually happening at your school and in your classroom. If you are promoting growth and high scores, reports to stakeholders should reflect that.

And that’s some basic info about the Language Proficiency Assessment competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Classroom-Based Assessment


Classroom-Based Assessment competency questions account for about 8% of the entire test.

Concepts to Know

Let’s take a look at some concepts that may appear on the test.

Norm- versus Criterion-Referenced Assessments

Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s performance with that of his/her peers. Norm-referenced assessments are scored in percentiles, not by a standard score or pass/fail status.  

For example, if a fifth grader takes a norm-referenced reading assessment, the student’s score will be compared to the scores of his/her peers on the same test. The student will be placed into a quintile group, or percentile, based on how the student’s score compares to the rest of the students who took that test.

Criterion-referenced assessments measure mastery of specific learning objectives based on a scale score. The score is then used to determine if the student did or did not master the learning objective. Criterion-referenced assessments typically assign pass/fail or met standard/did not meet standard designations to the results.  

For example, students complete a unit over multiplying decimals. The teacher gives all students the same 10 questions, and students must answer 8 out of 10 questions correct in order to meet standard or demonstrate mastery.  

Performance-Based Assessments

Performance-based assessments are an alternative to traditional multiple-choice assessments. Performance-based assessments measure students’ mastery of a skill and/or knowledge through a task-oriented project or question.

Instead of using a multiple-choice test to check for mastery, teachers can ask students to:

  • create a presentation
  • design a portfolio
  • perform a short play
  • complete a project
  • participate in an exhibition or fair
  • participate in a debate over the topic

Self-Monitoring Checklist

A self-monitoring checklist allows students to monitor their own behavior in an effort to improve social skills, as well as increase success in the learning environment. When developing a self-monitoring checklist for students, teachers should:

  • identify the behavior that needs to be improved upon or monitored
  • create an appropriate checklist
  • choose a schedule for self-monitoring
  • decide on a monitoring cue
  • choose a reward for successful behavior
  • phase out the checklist as the behavior improves

Self-monitoring is important for students because checklists:

  • promote responsibility
  • promote independence
  • improve coping skills
  • increase productivity
  • improve self-awareness
  • increase self-esteem

And that’s some basic info about the Classroom-Based Assessment competency.

Now, let’s look at a few practice questions to see how these concepts might actually appear on the real test.

Culture Practice Test

Question 1

A sixth-grade ESL student, Marta, routinely approaches the teacher’s desk to ask questions and maintains a proximity to the teacher while asking the questions. The teacher becomes uncomfortable with such proximity. What is the best explanation for the student’s proximity to the teacher?

  1. The student’s native culture uses a proximity in personal conversation
  2. The student is not speaking loud enough for the teacher to hear
  3. The student is worried her speaking skills will be made fun of among her peers
  4. The teacher is huddling close to the student

Correct answer: 1. This is the best explanation. Many cultures encourage a proximity for communication.

Question 2

Which of the following is not a common symptom of culture shock?

  1. depression
  2. irritability
  3. loss of focus
  4. contentment

Correct answer: 4. Contentment is not a common symptom of culture shock. Common symptoms of culture shock include depression/sadness, irritability, loss of focus, disorientation, sleeping and eating disturbances, feelings of helplessness, etc.

Question 3

Which of the following is the best definition of culture?

  1. The traditions passed down from one generation to the next
  2. The norms and social behavior of groups of people
  3. The holidays celebrated by a specific country
  4. The expectations and rules set forth by a group of people

Correct answer: 2. Culture is the characteristics of a group of people, more specifically, the norms and social behavior of that specific group of people.

Question 4

Which of the following terms describes the process of a cultural group adapting to and resembling a dominant culture?

  1. Acculturation
  2. Ethnocentrism
  3. Cultural agreeance
  4. Assimilation

Correct answer: 4. Cultural assimilation is the process of a cultural group becoming more like another, more dominant cultural group.

Question 5

Henry is an English language learner and has mastered the English language. He also performs well academically and participates in various extracurricular activities. He has many English-speaking friends; however, he continues to speak his primary language with his family and friends from his home country. Also, Henry is actively involved in community events that celebrate his heritage and home culture. Henry’s behavior is most indicative of which of the following?

  1. Assimilation
  2. Enculturation
  3. Deculturalization
  4. Acculturation

Correct answer: 4. Acculturation−the adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture. This is what Henry is doing. He is not replacing his own culture but incorporating American culture while maintaining his primary heritage and culture.

Language as a System Test

Question 1

The past tense marker in English is -ed. Changing verbs from present to past tense simply requires adding this suffix. This is an example of:

I. English grammar

II. English morphology

III. English syntax

  1. I and II
  2. II
  3. II and III
  4. I, II, and III

Correct answer: 1. English syntax refers to sentence structure and does not apply in this case.

Question 2

The study of existing sounds in a particular language is called?

  1. Phonetics
  2. Morphology
  3. Phonology
  4. Phonics

Correct answer: 3. Phonology refers to the study of sounds that exist in a language.

Question 3

Mrs. Summerville is teaching a unit on synonyms and antonyms. Her instructional activities would best cover what concept?

  1. Conventions of English
  2. Semantics
  3. Syntax
  4. Phonology

Correct answer: 2. The study of word meanings is a part of semantics. This is the most specific answer choice.

Question 4

When ELL students hear these phrases, “It’s raining cats and dogs outside,” or “This is just a drop in the bucket,” they may be confused as they probably need to have specific instruction in:

  1. semantics
  2. segmentation
  3. phonetic strategies
  4. scaffolding

Correct answer: 1. This is the correct answer. Semantics is the study of word or symbol meaning. It is important, because one word or sentence might have multiple meanings or have a meaning that is figurative rather than literal.

Question 5

Which of the following is not a universal principle of language?

  1. systematic
  2. rule-governed
  3. arbitrary
  4. undifferentiated

Correct answer: 4. This is the correct answer.

Language Acquisition and Development Practice Test

Question 1

Mrs. Johnson has been working with an English language learner to develop his English language skills. The student has shown frustration in his progress, because he feels many words are easier to say than to spell. She encourages the students to continue trying to pronounce words and write them correctly. Mrs. Johnson’s encouragement most accurately reflects the knowledge that:

  1. if a student cannot say a word, they will not be able to spell it.
  2. language skills are interrelated and do not develop sequentially.
  3. a student must have a positive attitude to learn a new language.
  4. the phonetics of some words are reflected in their spelling.

Correct answer: 2. This is true. Language skills are interrelated and the development in one area may prompt development in another.

Question 2

In a cookbook, there are many instances of command forms of verbs. This is true, because the purpose of the recipes is to tell how to prepare various food items. This is an example of:

  1. a language proficiency level.
  2. a language function.
  3. a language register.
  4. a lexical expansion.

Correct answer: 2. This refers to the function of a particular language. The purpose of the language used in a cookbook is to guide the reader to make the specific food items correctly.

Question 3

At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Covey notices that one of his students, who is classified as an English language learner, speaks almost fluent conversational English. Of the following, which would be the best assessment of the situation by Mr. Covey?

  1. The student will be academically successful because he is articulate
  2. The student will be academically successful because conversational English must be learned before formal English
  3. The student will be academically successful as his knowledge of conversational English indicates he is highly intelligent
  4. It is uncertain if the student will be academically successful because conversational English develops much faster than the English skills necessary to be academically successful

Correct answer: 4. The first three answers are misconceptions people have, but there is a distinction between socio-oral language and the academic language needed for school. The acronyms stand for BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency Skills). The latter take additional years to develop.

Question 4

One of the best ways to promote second language learning is to put the students in groups and give them problems to solve because:

  1. they must talk and interact to get to the solution.
  2. they can get the problem solved quickly by dividing it up and each student does a small part.
  3. it is less work for the teacher to grade.
  4. it is a challenge that they may not be able to complete.

Correct answer: 1. This is the best answer because negotiating your ideas and sharing with others is a thinking process that also requires language use and sometimes is the greatest motivator when you want to convince others of your point of view or to share information. Doing independent work does not have this interactive dimension.

Question 5

Which of the following best describes children’s language development at birth?

  1. Children are born without a facility for language acquisition or processing and learn language through social interaction
  2. Children are born with a simple and complex understanding of syntactic rules
  3. Children are born without knowledge of language and learn through parental instruction
  4. Children are born with a natural predisposition for learning language and language rules

Correct answer: 4. According to language acquisition theory, children are born with a “language acquisition device.” This device helps their language development. Language acquisition theory also states that children unconsciously learn normal social interaction without the need of structured vocabulary teaching or grammatical structures.

Second Language Literacy Development Practice Test

Question 1

Some middle school ESL students are struggling with the current assignment on word order. The teacher explains again that there are certain rules in English that must be applied. She points out verb endings and other relevant information to one group more than once. Why might they be having such a hard time?

  1. They are not listening attentively
  2. They are having a conflict with the rules from their first language
  3. They do not want to work in their assigned groups
  4. They are not intelligent students

Correct answer: 2. This is the correct answer. Although the stereotypical tendencies of middle school students may sometimes hinder their cooperation, the question does not allude to any such tendencies. The question gives a great example of first language interference which is very strong for this group of kids.

Question 2

Which of the following terms refers to people applying knowledge of one language to another?

  1. language transfer
  2. code-switching
  3. cognates
  4. overgeneralization

Correct answer: 1. Language transfer occurs when a speaker or writer applies his/her knowledge of one language to another language.

Question 3

The English word “history” and the Spanish word “historia” are

  1. pseudo-words
  2. cognates
  3. synonyms
  4. adjectives

Correct answer: 2. “History” and “historia” share the same root and common origin. These words sound and are spelled similarly but are from different languages.

Question 4

“Mheet,” “laip,” and “snepd” are examples of which of the following?

  1. cognates
  2. transfers
  3. pseudo-words
  4. determiners

Correct answer: 3. These are examples of pseudo-words. Pseudo-words appear to be real words in a certain language, but are actually not.

Question 5

Which of the following statements is true?

  1. Children are more likely to develop L2 literacy if they have a strong foundation in L1.
  2. L1 literacy has no correlation with L2 literacy.
  3. L2 literacy is more important than L1 literacy.
  4. Children are more likely to develop L2 literacy if they quit using their native language.

Correct answer: 1. A strong foundation in L1 reading and writing will help children develop L2 literacy.

Research, History, Public Policy, and Current Practices Practice Test

Question 1

Which of the following statements is the most accurate about bilingualism regarding 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

Correct answer: 2. This is correct. There are no studies to support the incorrect options.

Question 2

Providing books in English to English language learners is equal treatment but not sufficient to provide English learners an equitable education. Of the following, which court case established this rule?

  1. Texas v. Ramirez 1955
  2. Lau v. Nichols 1974
  3. California v. English Immersion 1966
  4. Brown v. Board of Education 1954

Correct answer: 2. This is the correct answer.

Question 3

Staff members at a rural school with a growing ELL population are developing an ESL program to meet the needs of students. Which of the following questions can best ensure their program is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

  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 resources?
  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 these 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?

Correct answer: 1. This is the correct answer.

Question 4

Of the following, which is the most beneficial program for English language learner instruction for elementary students?

  1. Pulling out ESL students for specialized instruction
  2. Providing proper instruction to ESL students while they stay in their homeroom classes
  3. Providing ESL students the same material as non-ESL students
  4. Allowing non-ESL students to work with ESL students in peer tutoring programs

Correct answer: 2. This is the best answer option, because it keeps ELL students in the classroom and provides the students with proper instruction.

Question 5

Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark case related to:

  1. segregation based on language.
  2. segregation based on race.
  3. segregation based on income.
  4. segregation based on culture.

Correct answer: 2. This is the correct answer.

Standards-Based ESOL and Content Instruction Practice Test

Question 1

Mrs. Lewis is planning a social studies unit for her ESL class. After reviewing the unit chapter, she notices the chapter is long and many words will be difficult for her students to understand. What is the best strategy for Mrs. Lewis to use in presenting the information to her students?

  1. Present only half of the information and assign the other half to be completed at home
  2. Only assign a few homework problems for the students to complete
  3. Provide a glossary of terms and highlight specific sections of importance for the students
  4. Present the lesson without adjustment

Correct answer: 3. This is the best option as students will have been provided resources to make the studying more efficient and to help them retain the information they need to know. It is best to amplify instruction to best suit the needs of the students.

Question 2

Mrs. Evans has an ELL student, Jae Shin, who is really struggling with his writing, because he is not able to move on from his first language habits. Mrs. Evan suggests he read more of the English books on the school’s “Recommended Reading List.” Which of the following best describes why she would make this suggestion?

  1. By reading more English, he will most likely begin to speak more English at home and improve his English skills
  2. English literature will help model proper sentence structure and vocabulary use for the student
  3. The teacher is unable to make all the necessary corrections for the student
  4. Reading more English books will most likely help the student better understand everyday vocabulary used by his peers

Correct answer: 2. Although more writing will give Jae Shin practice with word choice, he may continue to make the same types of mistakes. Thus, more reading helps influence his writing, because he sees quality writing that he can learn from.  

Question 3

Which of the following is required for a student to become a proficient English speller? The student must:

I. possess strong memorization skills.

II. know that written vowels have many sounds.

III. know that certain letters are silent under specific circumstances.

  1. I and II
  2. I, II, and III
  3. III
  4. II and III

Correct answer: 2. None of the three answers is sufficient by itself. The combination of answer choices gives the best answer.

Question 4

During her conference period, Mrs. Hayes, a new teacher, has an opportunity to observe her mentor teacher. She notices the mentor teacher does not simplify the content of the lecture, even though half the class consists of English language learners. The only adjustment that the mentor teacher provides is a glossary of terms that explains the words the students were more apt to find difficult to understand. After class, Mrs. Hayes asks the mentor teacher about simplifying the material. Of the following, which would be the best response by the mentor teacher?

  1. The content for English Language Learners should only be modified on assessments
  2. The instructional content should only be simplified if the majority of the class is classified as English language learners
  3. The English language learners need to learn by “immersion” which is not adjusting or accommodating any instruction
  4. The content for English language learners should not be simplified because these students will increase the likelihood to fall behind their peers in academic progress

Correct answer: 3. This is the answer as it provides the best explanation to the teacher’s instructional strategy which is in alignment with state requirements.

Question 5

Mr. Ramsey wants to promote vocabulary expansion among his English Language Learners. Which of the following would be the best strategy to promote this goal?

  1. Work with a bilingual dictionary one hour a day to define commonly used words
  2. Memorize words in alphabetical order for ease of recall
  3. Use activities to internalize language
  4. Write out each definition of a new word three times

Correct answer: 3. This is the best activity, because the internalization of language allows the students to increase their comfort level and understanding of the language. Internalizing language is the goal of ELL instruction, because when students can internalize language, their proficiency and ability to communicate increases more so than with the basic memorization of words.

Resources and Technologies Practice Test

Question 1

When ESL students have access to books that reflect their home culture, it can be helpful because:

I. they see familiar information and that helps them to be at ease for learning.

II. they can connect to prior experiences from home.

III. assimilation is promoted.

  1.  I
  2.  I and II
  3.  I, II, and III
  4.  II and III

Correct answer: 2. This would be the correct answer, because both answers offer helpful reasons for the use of these books. Familiarity and comfort are both very helpful to ESL students’ learning.

Question 2

Mrs. Homers usually incorporates literature that reflects various cultural and literary traditions into literacy instruction for her English language learners. Which of the following is the greatest benefit to this practice?

  1. It helps maintain the students’ interest in literature study by continually presenting them with new settings, characters, and situations
  2. Students are better able to understand perspectives, values, and beliefs beyond those that are familiar
  3. It promotes the students’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to analyze the author’s purpose, point of view, and voice
  4. Students are exposed to repeated and meaningful vocabulary

Correct answer: 2. Using multiple resources that reflect various literary and cultural traditions exposes students to differing viewpoints.

Question 3

Of the following, which would be the most beneficial staff development program adjustment to promote the needs of English language learners in a school?

  1. Emphasize innovative literary strategies to promote English proficiency
  2. Extend participation in the program to the entire school, not just the ESL staff
  3. Allow a guest-speaker to address the differences between the cultures that the students are familiar with and the culture of the English language
  4. Promote a second language development among the ESL staff

Correct answer: 2. By extending participation to the whole school, the ESL department allows all teachers to better address the needs of the ELL students. The staff development program should already have important informational activities planned, so other adjustments would have a limited impact on the students as only a portion of the staff would be exposed to the other adjustments.

Question 4

An ESL teacher has created a list of books he would like to read to promote his professional development. His school does not have a budget for purchasing materials for professional development and he cannot find the books in the school or local library. Which of the following would be the best approach for the teacher to find the books?

  1. Apply for a grant to purchase the books
  2. Request the books directly from the publisher, explaining the situation and his desire for professional growth
  3. Locate a university that can collaborate with the local library for an interlibrary loan
  4. Use the funds for classroom materials to purchase the books

Correct answer: 3. The best option would be to use existing resources to get the books. This is the most monetarily efficient and plausible option.

Question 5

What is the best way an ESL teacher could advocate for ESL students to the school’s staff and faculty? The teacher could provide information about the:

  1. strategies for assessing students and the need for simplifying the use of complex phrasing, idiomatic expressions, and cultural references.
  2. different cultural viewpoints about education.
  3. proper pronunciation of culturally sensitive words.
  4. different learning styles of the students.

Correct answer: 1. Helping the school’s staff and faculty better understand assessment strategies, and how to simplify the more difficult aspects of the English language, will allow them to better address the academic needs of the ESL students.

Planning Standards-Based Instruction Practice Test

Question 1

Mr. Martin is planning an instructional unit and wants to adjust the lesson to meet the needs of the English language learners in his class. Each student has a varying level of English proficiency. What is the best strategy to adjust the instructional unit to meet the students’ needs?

  1. Allow the ELL students to work together during group activities to promote English proficiency
  2. Adjust the content to make the presentations and homework assignments simpler to accommodate the varying language proficiencies
  3. Make dictionaries accessible to the students and allow for additional time to complete the assignments while other students work independently
  4. Send the ELL students to the resource room for supplemental instruction during the presentations

Correct answer: 3. By allowing students a dictionary and additional time, the teacher is adjusting instruction to meet the needs of the ELL students while promoting English proficiency and grade-level appropriate content.

Question 2

Which of the following best describes content-based ESL instruction?

  1. Taking concepts the students already know and helping them apply a new label to the new language
  2. Teaching content in a native language then using the content to teach a new language
  3. Teaching a new language while simultaneously teaching a new content, using the two concepts to complement learning.
  4. Teaching a language while simplifying current content taught in the classroom

Correct answer: 3. Content-based ESL instruction focuses on learning a second language as a medium to learning other academic areas.

Question 3

An ESL teacher who adjusts her lessons for various language proficiencies does this at the planning level by:

I. having dictionaries as reference materials for the beginners.

II. having additional time to complete an assignment for some while others are doing independent work.

III. keeping the lesson content on grade level but adjusting the students’ tasks to match their language proficiency.

  1. I and II
  2. I, II, and III
  3. I and III
  4. II and III

Correct answer: 2. A way to adjust the task but keep the content intact is by checking for evidence of learning with responses that require varying linguistic responses (from a single word to full sentences). Of course, additional time is beneficial to allow for more processing time and having resource materials add yet another form of scaffolding instruction.

Question 4

Robert and John are two siblings who are new ELL students. Robert is the older brother and has been in and out of school throughout his childhood while his younger brother, John, is in first grade, after completing kindergarten the year before. Throughout the school year, John is progressing at a faster rate than Robert. Their parents become concerned at the discrepancy in academic performance. Which of the following is the best explanation a teacher could provide the parents about their concern?

  1. Because John is younger than Robert, his ability to absorb the language is better. Robert’s academic performance will improve as he increases his English skills
  2. Robert should be tested for a learning disability
  3. The first-grade curriculum is easier than Robert’s curriculum
  4. Because Robert has been in and out of school, academics are more difficult as he has gaps in his knowledge while John, being a first-year student, is starting from the beginning

Correct answer: 4. This is the best answer. John is beginning his schooling in America without a significant gap in his academic progress. The concepts being taught will be in-line with his past schooling. However, Robert has had gaps in his education and he is behind regarding language and in his conceptual knowledge.

Question 5

Which of the following is an example of scaffolding?

  1. completing worksheets
  2. front-loading vocabulary
  3. giving students extra recess time
  4. giving spelling tests

Correct answer: 2. Pre-teaching vocabulary before reading or learning about a new topic will help ELLs comprehend the text better. It is important to give students time to discuss and explore new words.

Assessment Issues Practice Test

Question 1

An ESL teacher has been approached by many parents about the district’s policy for students receiving ESL services. The parents are not pleased with the policy and would like adjustments made. Which of the following actions best allows the ESL teacher to serve as an advocate for ELL students and their families?

  1. Show the parents the assessment tools used to make ESL program decisions and clarify for them the rationale for the district’s ESL entry and exit policies
  2. Organize the concerned parents and offer to be the spokesperson for the group in any meetings and public forums
  3. Explain to the parents the options for making their concerns known to policymakers and help them contact the appropriate policymakers
  4. Research possible avenues to changing or waiving the district’s ESL entry and exit policies and pursue those avenues on behalf of the parents

Correct answer: 3. The best option would be to educate the parents on the best way to contact the policymakers. Instead of becoming directly involved in the process, thus creating a conflict of interest between the teacher and the school district, the teacher can place into contact the stakeholders and the policymakers and promote a positive dialogue between the two parties.

Question 2

Which of the following may be used to determine if a student is LEP or not?

  1. attendance records
  2. grades from the previous or current year
  3. family involvement
  4. socioeconomic status

Correct answer: 2. Grades from the previous or current year can be one factor used to determine if a student is LEP or not.

Question 3

Who is responsible for making decisions regarding the identification, reclassification, and exit of ELLs from ESOL programs?

  1. LEP committee
  2. ESOL committee
  3. Family committee
  4. Administrators

Correct answer: 1. LEP committees, made up of ESOL teachers, home language teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, social workers, school psychologists, etc., are responsible for making decisions regarding the identification, reclassification, and exit of ELLs from ESOL programs.

Question 4

The main goal of creating Parent Leadership Councils was to

  1. promote parent involvement and participation in LEP students’ education
  2. identify LEP students
  3. train ESOL teachers
  4. promote the use of English among ELL parents

Correct answer: 1. Parent Leadership Councils were designed to get parents involved and become active participants in their children’s education.

Question 5

Which of the following is an effective approach to communicating with stakeholders regarding ELL assessment data and outcomes?

  1. Talk with parents twice a year to discuss beginning and end of year assessment data
  2. Email parents a detailed assessment data result sheet after major assessments
  3. Talk with parents after each major assessment to discuss results and new plans/goals
  4. Send a detailed assessment data result sheet home after each major assessment

Correct answer: 3. It is important to communicate the results of each major assessment to parents; however, emailing and sending home data sheets may result in one-way communication. Also, the data sheets may be filled with jargon and be confusing to read and interpret. Talking to parents, either on the phone or in person, allows for two-way communication where the teacher can explain results, and the parents can provide their input for goals. A translator may be needed for effective communication.

Classroom-Based Assessment Practice Test

Question 1

Which of the following would be the most appropriate adjustment to make for a test given to an English language learner?

  1. Use only multiple-choice questions
  2. Use multiple-choice and short-answer questions
  3. Use vocabulary that is easier for the ELL student to understand
  4. Provide a glossary of terms found on the test

Correct answer: 4. This is an adequate adjustment as it allows the ELL student to understand all of the test questions.

Question 2

Of the following, which is the best grading resource to use for group projects and activities?

  1. A teacher-designed rubric
  2. A teacher-student designed rubric
  3. A teacher’s impression of how the project fulfills the project requirements
  4. A student’s impression of how the project fulfills the project requirements

Correct answer: 2. This is the best option as the students will be aware of the requirements and would be able to give their input for the project requirements.

Question 3

Mr. Ramirez is confident his English language learner students are able to apply the rules of English in prompted conversation, but he is not sure if they can fluently speak English in everyday conversation. Which of the following would be the best assessment for Mr. Ramirez to gauge the conversational English of his students?

  1. An integrated language test
  2. A true/false test
  3. A short-answer test
  4. An oral assessment of language rules

Correct answer: 1. This is the best answer option as students are required to give short answer responses to various questions or scenarios.

Question 4

Mr. Rivera uses multiple-choice, true/false, and short answers on his assessments. He also implements oral exams for students to gauge academic progress. Mr. Rivera’s use of multiple assessment formats best reflects knowledge in which education principle?

  1. Some students may perform more accurately on different types of assessments due to learning styles and test anxiety
  2. Multiple assessment types should be implemented to provide parents with various assessment reports
  3. Student learning styles require diverse academic instruction
  4. Academic instruction should be diversified in response to varying cognitive development levels among students

Correct answer: 1. This is the best answer option. Some students are better able to demonstrate knowledge using a multiple-choice, short answer, or oral assessment method.

Question 5

Which of the following is true about norm-referenced assessments?

  1. Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s knowledge or skills to those of a group
  2. Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s knowledge or skills to a predetermined standard
  3. Norm-referenced assessments categorize a student’s results as “basic,” “proficient,” or “advanced.”
  4. Norm-referenced assessments are the best to use in the classroom

Correct answer: 1. Norm-referenced assessments compare a student’s knowledge or skills to those of a norm group, while criterion-referenced assessments compare a student’s knowledge or skills to a predetermined standard. Criterion-referenced assessments categorize a student’s results as “basic,” “proficient,” or “advanced.” Both types of assessments have a place in the classroom.

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