Study Guide

Field 207: English Language Arts
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Each multiple-choice question has four answer choices. Read each question and its answer choices carefully and choose the ONE best answer.

During the test you should try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will NOT be penalized for choosing an incorrect response.

Objective 0001
Apply knowledge of the nature, development, and relevancy of reading in all content areas.

1. A high school English language arts teacher plans to use a variety of materials (e.g., anthologies, magazines, media) for reading instruction. Which of the following approaches would best promote students' reading engagement while also exposing them to new vocabulary?

  1. assigning nonfiction materials that contain a range of Tier Two and Tier Three words
  2. selecting materials from multiple genres to encourage the students to read widely
  3. focusing on materials from one genre until the students have attained word mastery
  4. choosing materials that will appeal to the students based on their personal interests
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
By using a variety of materials from multiple genres for reading instruction, the teacher can engage students' interest in a variety of topics and genres, thus encouraging students to read widely. Engaging in wide reading on a regular basis will enhance students' vocabulary knowledge as well as their background knowledge of academic subjects.

Objective 0002
Apply knowledge of the selection and use of various materials to plan reading instruction appropriate to students' knowledge and abilities.

2. An English language arts teacher would like to promote students' independent reading in a class that includes several reluctant readers. The teacher would like to interest the reluctant readers in a particular popular book series. Which of the following strategies would be most appropriate for the teacher to use for this purpose?

  1. showing the students scenes from a movie based on the series
  2. creating a display of the series books in the classroom library
  3. having the students do online research to find out what reviewers think about the book series
  4. giving a book talk in which the teacher briefly describes the series' premise in an interesting way
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
A book talk is a short, informal presentation designed to motivate students to read a particular book or series. Generally, a book talk presenter attempts to pique students' interest in a book or series by beginning with a hook, highlighting interesting sections, and ending with a cliffhanger. By exhibiting passion and generating curiosity about the book series during a book talk, the teacher is likely to encourage even the most reluctant readers to read the first book in the series, followed by the remainder of the series.

Objective 0003
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for teaching and assessing word identification skills and vocabulary development, including academic-language development.

3. An English teacher designs an activity in which students work together to identify as many words as possible that share a common root (e.g., transport, portable, export). This activity is most likely to promote students' vocabulary development by helping the students learn to:

  1. use a word's grammatical category to infer its meaning.
  2. distinguish between a word's denotative meaning and its connotative meaning.
  3. infer the meaning of an unfamiliar word by analyzing its structure.
  4. determine which of several mean¬ings of a word is most likely in a given context.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Many English words are derived from Greek or Latin roots. Instructing students on common root words can help them figure out unfamiliar words by analyzing the words' structures. For example, port is a Latin root word meaning "carry." Knowledge of this root word can help students figure out that words containing the root port, such as transport, portable, and export, are related to the concept of "carrying."

Objective 0004
Apply knowledge of reading fluency and appropriate strategies for using oral language to help students develop reading skills.

4. A ninth-grade student who is a struggling reader will participate in a program in which older students read aloud predictable or rhyming books to early-elementary students. This activity will most likely promote the ninth-grade student's reading development in which of the following ways?

  1. motivating the student to read age-appropriate literature
  2. developing the student's phonemic awareness
  3. encouraging the student to use metacognitive strategies
  4. improving the student's reading fluency
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Reading aloud predictable and rhyming texts that contain multiple repetitions of words and phrases will enable the ninth-grade student to develop automaticity, accuracy, and prosody (appropriate expression), which are key reading fluency skills.

Objective 0005
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for assessing students' reading comprehension.

5. Which of the following types of assessment would be most appropriate for a teacher to use to determine a student's level of comprehension following the reading of a short passage?

  1. miscue analysis
  2. authentic task
  3. norm-referenced test
  4. cloze procedure
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
A cloze procedure is a reading comprehension activity in which a student is given a reading passage with certain words initially omitted. The student must replace the missing words with words that fit in the blanks appropriately. This type of assessment would be useful in assessing the student's comprehension in the areas of syntax, semantics, and vocabulary within the context of reading text.

Objective 0006
Apply knowledge of literature from a variety of eras, cultures, traditions, genres, and media.

6. The literary works of writers Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Gabriel García Márquez tend to share which of the following characteristics?

  1. narrow and orderly world views
  2. authentic depiction of realistic settings
  3. idealized portrayal of heroic figures
  4. experimentation with narrative forms
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Gabriel García Márquez have often experimented with narrative forms in their works. In her novel Jazz, Morrison's nonlinear narrative mimics the repetition, reinterpretation, and improvisation used in jazz. Salman Rushdie's works, particularly The Satanic Verses and Haroun and the Sea of Stories, often blend realistic fiction with elements of folklore and fantasy. Gabriel García Márquez is commonly credited with developing the narrative technique known as magic realism. His novel One Hundred Years of Solitude and short story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" exemplify magic realism's blend of realistic detail and magical elements.

Objective 0007
Apply knowledge of literary nonfiction and other informational texts from a variety of eras, cultures, traditions, genres, and media.

7. Read the excerpt below from "The Crisis," a speech delivered by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1916; then answer the question that follows.

I have taken for my subject, "The Crisis," because I believe that a crisis has come in our movement which, if recognized and the opportunity seized with vigor, enthusiasm, and will, means the final victory of our great cause in the very near future. I am aware that some suffragists do not share this belief. They see no signs nor symptoms today which were not present yesterday; no manifestations in the year 1916 which differ significantly from those in the year 1910. To them, the movement has been a steady, normal growth from the beginning and must so continue until the end. I can only defend my claim with the plea that it is better to imagine a crisis where none exists than to fail to recognize one when it comes; for a crisis is a culmination of events which calls for new considerations and new decisions. A failure to answer the call may mean an opportunity lost, a possible victory postponed.

The object of the life of an organized movement is to secure its aim. Necessarily, it must obey the law of evolution and pass through the stages of agitation and education and finally through the stage of realization. As one has put it: "A new idea floats in the air over the heads of the people and for a long, indefinite period evades their understanding but, by and by, when through familiarity, human vision grows clearer, it is caught out of the clouds and crystallized into law." Such a period comes to every movement and is its crisis. In my judgment, that crucial moment, bidding us to renewed consecration and redoubled activity, has come to our cause. I believe our victory hangs within our grasp, inviting us to pluck it out of the clouds and establish it among the good things of the world.

Over the course of the excerpt, the author uses and refines the meaning of the term crisis to refer to:

  1. a serious tragedy.
  2. an emotional state.
  3. a turning point.
  4. an internal struggle.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
In the first paragraph of the excerpt, Catt defines a crisis as "a culmination of events which calls for new considerations and new decisions." In the second paragraph, she refines that definition by describing a crisis in loftier terms, as the moment in a political movement when "human vision grows clearer" and a new idea "is caught out of the clouds and crystallized into law." Catt describes the crisis as an opportunity for the women's suffrage movement to seize victory and establish itself "among the good things of the world."

Objective 0007
Apply knowledge of literary nonfiction and other informational texts from a variety of eras, cultures, traditions, genres, and media.

8. Read the excerpt below from an address to Congress by President Lyndon Johnson on March 15, 1965; then answer the question that follows.

The bill that I am presenting to you will be known as a civil rights bill. But, in a larger sense, most of the program I am recommending is a civil rights program. Its object is to open the city of hope to all people of all races.

Because all Americans just must have the right to vote. And we are going to give them that right.

All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race. And they are going to have those privileges of citizenship regardless of race.

But I would like to caution you and remind you that to exercise these privileges takes much more than just legal right. It requires a trained mind and a healthy body. It requires a decent home, and the chance to find a job, and the opportunity to escape from the clutches of poverty.

Of course, people cannot contribute to the Nation if they are never taught to read or write, if their bodies are stunted from hunger, if their sickness goes untended, if their life is spent in hopeless poverty just drawing a welfare check.

So we want to open the gates to opportunity. But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help that they need to walk through those gates.

My first job after college was as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas, in a small Mexican-American school. Few of them could speak English, and I couldn't speak much Spanish. My students were poor and they often came to class without breakfast, hungry. They knew even in their youth the pain of prejudice. They never seemed to know why people disliked them. But they knew it was so, because I saw it in their eyes. I often walked home late in the afternoon, after the classes were finished, wishing there was more that I could do. But all I knew was to teach them the little that I knew, hoping that it might help them against the hardships that lay ahead.

Somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child.

I never thought then, in 1928, that I would be standing here in 1965. It never even occurred to me in my fondest dreams that I might have the chance to help the sons and daughters of those students and to help people like them all over this country.

In the excerpt, Johnson uses a personal anecdote primarily to:

  1. provide historical context for the civil rights bill.
  2. demonstrate expertise in the field of education.
  3. illustrate how hard work helps one achieve the American Dream.
  4. support the idea that a strong democracy requires strong citizens.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Johnson's bleak personal anecdote about working as a teacher is designed to illustrate the purpose of the Civil Rights Act: "Somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child." The purpose of the bill, as explained by Johnson, is not just to "open the gates of opportunity," but to help people walk through the gates by eliminating obstacles such as the poverty and prejudice he witnessed as a teacher.

Objective 0008
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for developing comprehension and analysis of literary texts.

9. While reading an assigned novel, each student in a ninth-grade English class compiles a scrapbook that a central character from the novel might have kept. The items in the scrapbook may include significant items that are mentioned in the novel as well as other items that are not specifically mentioned but are in keeping with the character. Which of the following extensions of this activity would best promote students' skill in interpreting and analyzing characters in fiction texts?

  1. Students present a portion of their scrapbooks to the class and explain what the items reveal about the character.
  2. Students exhibit their scrapbooks in the classroom and then vote on their favorite scrapbook for certain characters.
  3. Students compile another scrapbook for a secondary character in the novel and then compare the two scrapbooks.
  4. Students make changes in their scrapbooks based on feedback from the teacher and from other students in the class.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Explaining what items reveal about a character will promote students' understanding of the novel's explicit and implicit meanings. For example, if the scrapbook contains a ticket stub from a concert, a student could describe the scene in the novel when the character attends the concert, using textual evidence to explain why the character attends that particular concert at that particular time. The student can also use textual evidence to make inferences about the character.

Objective 0009
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for developing comprehension and analysis of informational texts.

10. A high school English language arts teacher wants to model for students how to apply reading comprehension strategies such as predicting and questioning. Which of the following approaches would be most appropriate for the teacher to use for this purpose?

  1. asking students a series of open-ended questions about an assigned text
  2. drawing a semantic map that uses examples from an informational text
  3. having students independently read a short story and then retell the story
  4. engaging in a think-aloud process while reading aloud a text to the class
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
When reading aloud to the class, the teacher can effectively model reading comprehension strategies by pausing to vocalize thoughts. For example, the teacher might pause to make a prediction based on textual evidence: "If all the team members feel so discouraged, they'll lose the game." Or, the teacher might pause after reading an unfamiliar word and describe the process involved in guessing the word's meaning: "I don't know what that word means, but since this scene takes place in a factory, it must be something related to manufacturing. Maybe it's a type of machine or tool, or maybe it's a product that they make in the factory." By verbalizing mental processes and strategies, the teacher provides models for students to use in their own reading.

Objective 0010
Apply knowledge of writing processes and of principles, skills, and approaches for successfully engaging students in writing processes.

11. As part of an essay-writing assignment, a high school student has selected a main idea but is having difficulty figuring out which details to include. Which of the following pre-writing strategies is likely to be most effective in addressing this difficulty?

  1. listing
  2. freewriting
  3. creating a semantic map
  4. brainstorming with a classmate
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
A semantic map is an organized visual representation of the relationship of a broad concept to narrower concepts. To apply semantic mapping, the student would write down the main idea and then link details that provide the strongest support for the main idea. Semantic mapping can help the student rank details according to their importance to the development of the main idea and can also guide the student in determining which, if any, details should be omitted from the essay.

Objective 0012
Apply knowledge of strategies for writing arguments.

12. A student is developing an argumentative essay in which she will claim that students should be required to take a group music class, such as chorus or band. She plans to state the following reason for her claim:

Musical training tends to increase students' willingness and ability to collaborate with others and work efficiently with a team.

Which of the following sentences should the student use in the essay to clarify the relationship between the student's reason for the claim and supporting evidence that will be provided in the essay?

  1. In addition, musical training stimulates brain growth in children and possibly changes how the brain interprets information, thus promoting creativity.
  2. When making decisions, school leaders must take into account that tremendous amounts of research support the benefits of musical training in schools.
  3. In fact, research demonstrates that students who take music classes have better planning and thinking skills than peers who do not take music classes.
  4. This outcome is likely due to experience in having to discern when it is appropriate to lead and when it is necessary to follow as part of a musical ensemble.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
In developing the argumentative essay, the student plans to state that required musical training "tends to increase students' willingness and ability to collaborate with others and work efficiently as a team." By adding the statement, "This outcome is likely due to experience in having to discern when it is appropriate to lead and when it is necessary to follow as part of a musical ensemble," the student clarifies and supports the claim by identifying specific aspects of musical training that contribute to the broader benefits of musical training.

Objective 0012
Apply knowledge of strategies for writing arguments.

13. A student is developing a report on the decline of Arctic sea ice to argue that polar bears are in danger of losing their habitats. In the report, the student has provided examples of polar bear refugee sites that house bears as their icy hunting grounds are compromised. In addition, the student has provided statistics about rising temperatures, which impact the Arctic region more than anywhere else on earth. Which of the following versions of a concluding paragraph would be most appropriate for the student to include in the report?

  1. The loss of Arctic sea ice is a major issue. As I have written, Arctic sea ice provides a hunting ground for polar bears, whose diet should include seals. I have also written that global warming hits close to home in the Arctic, where climate change is felt more than anywhere else on this planet. Something must change.
  2. At this point, I must speak from the heart. Ever since I saw a polar bear in the Brookfield Zoo, these glorious and majestic creatures have tugged at my heartstrings. A polar bear in captivity is a forlorn sight, but even at the tender age of six I could recognize the unparalleled dignity of these animals, the polar bears, Ursus maritimus.
  3. To close, we should remember that there are nineteen subspecies of polar bear. Polar bear populations in Alaska may be dwindling, but elsewhere these animals are thriving. Polar bears inhabit Greenland, Canada, Russia, and Norway. For now, if these animals can learn to be fed by humans, they will have a greater chance of survival.
  4. Nineteen thousand square miles gone in five days: that's the perilous and nearly unheard of amount of Arctic ice that was lost in November. If the continuation of a robust polar ecosystem is important to this world, international leaders must resolve to cut greenhouse gas emissions. We must protect the polar bears from their worst enemy: us.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
An appropriate concluding paragraph follows from the argument presented without merely repeating what has already been said or introducing new information or ideas. In this case, an appropriate concluding paragraph would include an explanation of the significance and consequence of the examples and statistics included in the student's report. In the first sentence of the paragraph, a statistic provides dramatic factual support for the student's argument. The second sentence presents an urgent call to action: "international leaders must resolve to cut greenhouse gas emissions." By addressing the reader directly and using the pronouns We and us, the final sentence implies that the author and readers have a shared responsibility to protect polar bears' habitats.

Objective 0013
Apply knowledge of strategies for writing informative and explanatory texts.

14. A student is developing an informative essay about Old Chicago, a now-defunct shopping mall and indoor amusement park that existed in Bolingbrook, Illinois, from 1975 to 1980. Which of the following introductory paragraphs would most effectively introduce the topic?

  1. My parents, who are usually jaded, loved Old Chicago without irony. They enjoyed shopping at the cheesy specialty stores that were designed to look like stores from the 1800s and going on rides that were obviously from 1975. They even went to the circus and concerts there. My parents, like Old Chicago, are full of contradictions.
  2. A development as ambitious as Old Chicago was bound to bring in curious first-time visitors enticed by its novelty. But an indoor amusement park, circus, and concert venue open during hot, humid summers and freezing, snowy winters also should have had many repeat visitors. Yet a year after opening, Old Chicago filed for bankruptcy.
  3. Old Chicago still has its acolytes. A group of roller coaster enthusiasts frequently discuss the mega-mall/amusement park on an online message board moderated by a photographer who specializes in roller coasters. They describe the mall with the type of awe and affection usually reserved for places like the Eiffel Tower or Niagara Falls.
  4. People have fond memories of Old Chicago. They remember the roller coaster, the concerts, and the quaint little shops. But fond memories can be deceptive, like sepia-toned photographs that make the past look more special than it was. And yet every holiday season, people wax nostalgic about Old Chicago festooned with twinkling lights.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
The introductory paragraph of an essay should clearly indicate what the essay's focus, purpose, and tone will be. The first sentence of the paragraph introduces the topic of Old Chicago, and the second sentence expands on the topic. The final sentence narrows the focus to Old Chicago's bankruptcy. Based on the introductory paragraph, a reader could reasonably expect that the essay would go on to explain why Old Chicago failed.

Objective 0014
Apply knowledge of strategies for locating, analyzing, evaluating, and organizing information from multiple sources that represent multiple perspectives.

15. While conducting research on the Internet, a student comes across a Web site containing brief excerpts from a variety of famous nineteenth-century speeches. The student would like to incorporate several of these excerpts into a research paper. Before doing so, it is most important that the student:

  1. determine whether the author of the Web site is an authority on the nineteenth century.
  2. check primary sources to ensure that the excerpts have not been taken out of context.
  3. see if the Web site contains hyperlinks to additional information relating to the speakers.
  4. examine secondary sources to learn more about the historical context of the speeches.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Before incorporating the speech excerpts into a research paper, the student should verify that the excerpts have been accurately quoted and applied within the secondary source. Checking the quoted excerpts against primary sources would be the best way for the student to determine whether the excerpts will accurately support points in the research paper.

Objective 0015
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for writing narratives.

16. Read the paragraph below from a draft of a short story; then answer the question that follows.

The breeze helped Catherine bear the rays of the blistering sun. The temperature was already 92 degrees, and it was just past noon. But she worried as the wind picked up speed. As an archaeologist, she knew that a dust storm could come out of nowhere and bury the fossils that she had spent hours painstakingly uncovering.

Which paragraph, if added next, would most effectively develop the problem in the story?

  1. "Your camera will be one of your most important tools," her professor had said during her first week in the doctoral program. "Pack it with your compass and brushes." Catherine had always followed her professor's advice, but with a hollow feeling of dread she realized that she had left her camera in the hotel.
  2. "Dust, you are no match for me!" Catherine slipped her tools into her backpack and reached for her camera. Her hand felt the bottom of the pack, but the camera was not there. Was it possible she had left it at the hotel? Her mind raced to recall the events of the morning. When and where might she have mislaid it?
  3. "Keep calm and break camp carefully," she reminded herself as she packed up her tools. She had heard about archaeologists who, in their rush to escape a dust storm, inadvertently destroyed a site by packing too quickly. "I just have to take some quick photos," she thought, looking through her backpack for her camera.
  4. "Why did I pick today of all days to forget my camera?" Catherine wondered aloud. As she had been trained to do, she pulled out her notebook and jotted down a detailed description of all she had uncovered, then carefully recorded the coordinates of the area and sketched a crude map of her location.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
The given paragraph establishes the problem of a sudden dust storm. Catherine's spirited declaration ("Dust, you are no match for me!"), followed by her packing up her tools and reaching for her camera, seems to solve the problem. But Catherine's discovery that her camera is missing complicates the problem and heightens the story's suspense.

Read the passage below; then answer the two questions that follow.

1It is not often that the publication of a single book marks an important turning point in the emergence of a major social movement. 2But Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique did just that. 3Unlike most books, Friedan struck a nerve in her widely read work. 4In the book, she used a number of case studies to examine the alienation felt by many American housewives. 5These were women who had been told that marriage and family provided all one could reasonably expect from life and later found that it did not. 6Friedan's book tried to explain this discrepancy by looking at the ways in which educators, women's magazines, and advertisers manipulated the feminine mystique to convince women that happiness was a house filled with the latest consumer goods.

7The women who responded to Friedan's message did not immediately take their case into the streets. 8They did, however, begin to reexamine their lives. 9Many also began searching, often outside the home, for new means of achieving the sense of fulfillment they had been promised.

Objective 0016
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing documents and for guiding students through these stages of writing processes.

17. Which of the following sentences should be revised to correct a misplaced modifier?

  1. Sentence 3
  2. Sentence 6
  3. Sentence 7
  4. Sentence 9
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
In Sentence 3, the phrase "Unlike most books" modifies Friedan, thus suggesting that Betty Friedan was her book rather than its author. To correct this misplaced modifier, the sentence should be revised to read, "Unlike most authors, Friedan struck a nerve in her widely read work."

Objective 0016
Apply knowledge of principles, skills, and approaches for revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing documents and for guiding students through these stages of writing processes.

18. Which of the following revisions is needed to correct an error in usage?

  1. Sentence 1: Change that to when.
  2. Sentence 2: Delete just.
  3. Sentence 5: Change it to they.
  4. Sentence 9: Insert that after fulfillment.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
In Sentence 5, the singular pronoun it is incorrectly used to refer to "marriage and family." To correct this error, the singular pronoun it should be replaced with the plural pronoun they in the sentence.

Objective 0017
Apply knowledge of principles and approaches for developing skills for speaking, presenting, and participating in academic discussions.

19. A speaker is nervous about delivering a presentation to a large, formal audience. Which of the following strategies is likely to be most effective in minimizing the speaker's communication anxiety?

  1. acknowledging the nervousness to the audience at the outset of the presentation
  2. memorizing every word and detail of the presentation as if it were a stage performance
  3. preparing mentally for probable mistakes and planning ways to recover when such errors occur
  4. being careful and thorough in preparing for the speech and allowing plenty of time to rehearse
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Communication anxiety can be minimized by preparing and rehearsing a speech carefully and thoroughly. Doing so will increase the speaker's comfort with the material as well as the speaker's self-confidence.

Objective 0018
Apply knowledge of principles and approaches for developing listening and viewing skills.

20. During a listening and viewing unit, a teacher plans to ask each student to view and give impromptu talks in response to video recordings of informative, persuasive, and special occasion speeches. Which of the following strategies would most effectively differentiate the process for students who are struggling?

  1. providing alternative speeches that are more accessible
  2. allowing students to prepare written responses to read aloud
  3. having students view a smaller number of speeches
  4. ensuring that the classroom is distraction-free during viewing
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Viewing fewer speeches exemplifies a core method of differentiation known as differentiating by process. The key to making differentiation by process work is for the teacher to ensure that the speeches viewed by the struggling students accurately convey concepts that the students need to learn. Effectively administered, this differentiation technique would enable the teacher to respond to a variance among learners while promoting all students' ability to master lesson objectives.