Assessment Design and
Framework

Field 028: Middle Grades English Language Arts

The assessment design below describes general assessment information. The framework that follows is a detailed outline that explains the knowledge and skills that this assessment measures.

Assessment Design

Format Computer-based test (CBT)
Number of Questions 125 multiple-choice questions
Time* 180 minutes
Passing Score 220

*Does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial

Framework

 



Domain Range of Competencies Approximate Percentage of Assessment Score
I Reading Process and Comprehension and Reading Across the Curriculum 0001–0003 15%
II Reading Various Text Forms and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 0004–0007 31%
III English Language Conventions, Composition, Writing Process, and Research 0008–0009 16%
IV Modes of Writing 0010–0012 24%
V Oral and Visual Communication 0013–0014 14%
Domain I–Reading Process and Comprehension and Reading Across the Curriculum

0001 Understand the foundations of reading development. (5%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of phonological awareness skills, such as distinguishing word syllables.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of phonemic awareness skills, such as segmenting and blending the component sounds of a word.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the role of phonics in promoting reading development.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the role of fluency in reading development, the components of fluency, and the factors that influence fluency.

0002 Understand strategies for developing vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension. (5%)

Includes:

  1. Use knowledge of syntactic rules and word structure and contextual analysis skills to help identify word meanings.
  2. Determine the denotative and connotative meanings of words and phrases, including the meanings of synonyms and antonyms.
  3. Recognize factors that influence vocabulary development, such as promoting word consciousness and wide reading.
  4. Recognize factors that influence reading comprehension, such as vocabulary and fluency.
  5. Recognize appropriate research-based reading comprehension strategies to use for a particular text and purpose before, during, and after reading.
  6. Recognize appropriate oral and written language activities to use to enhance reading comprehension.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of literal and inferential reading comprehension skills.

0003 Understand strategies for reading across the curriculum. (5%)

Includes:

  1. Analyze concepts, themes, and vocabulary that recur in multiple disciplines in various contexts.
  2. Examine how the same vocabulary is used in multiple disciplines in various contexts to denote and connote similar and different meanings.
  3. Examine how similes, metaphors, and analogies are used to compare and contrast concepts and themes in texts from multiple disciplines.
  4. Examine how familiar concepts and themes from one discipline are used to enhance comprehension of unfamiliar concepts and themes from other disciplines.
  5. Examine how familiar organizational structures and stylistic features of texts from one subject area are used to enhance comprehension of texts used in other subject areas.
Domain II–Reading Various Text Forms and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

0004 Understand strategies for reading informational texts. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Recognize the characteristics of various types of informational texts, such as newspapers, textbooks, biographies, and essays.
  2. Use knowledge of the organizational features and structure of an informational text to help enhance comprehension of the text.
  3. Identify the main idea, purpose, and intended audience of an informational text.
  4. Assess the relevance, importance, and sufficiency of evidence, examples, and reasons provided to explain a concept or process presented in an informational text.
  5. Assess the credibility, objectivity, and reliability of various sources used in an informational text.
  6. Recognize an accurate summary of an informational text.
  7. Interpret graphic features used in informational texts, such as tables, graphs, and charts.

0005 Understand strategies for reading persuasive texts. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Recognize the characteristics of various types of persuasive texts, such as editorials, propaganda, and advertisements.
  2. Use knowledge of the organizational features and structure of a persuasive text to help enhance comprehension of the text.
  3. Identify the main idea, purpose, and intended audience of a persuasive text.
  4. Distinguish between facts and opinions presented in a persuasive text.
  5. Assess the relevance, importance, and sufficiency of evidence, examples, and reasons provided to support an argument presented in a persuasive text.
  6. Assess the credibility, objectivity, and reliability of various sources used in a persuasive text.
  7. Analyze the use of rhetorical devices and techniques in a persuasive text, such as repetition; exaggeration; and logical, emotional, and ethical appeals.
  8. Interpret graphic features used in persuasive texts, such as photographs and illustrations.

0006 Understand strategies for analyzing and interpreting literary texts. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Recognize the characteristics of various forms of literature, such as works of drama, poetry, and fiction, including graphic novels and literature written for adolescents and young adults.
  2. Analyze the use of rhetorical, dramatic, poetic, and literary devices and techniques, such as analogy, monologue, symbolism, and foreshadowing, in a literary text.
  3. Analyze the use of figures of speech, such as simile, metaphor, and personification; and the use of sound devices, such as alliteration and onomatopoeia, in a literary text.
  4. Analyze the use of word choice, point of view, tone, voice, and mood in a literary text.
  5. Analyze the use of structural elements, such as exposition, climax, meter, and stanzas, in a literary text.
  6. Analyze plot, setting, and characterization in a literary text.
  7. Interpret the central idea or theme of a literary text.

0007 Understand the major historical, social, cultural, and political aspects of literatures from around the world. (7%)

Includes:

  1. Examine in literary works expression of diverse values, attitudes, and ideas of peoples from various regional, ethnic, and cultural groups.
  2. Examine how writers from diverse cultural backgrounds and various historical periods have commented on major historical events and influenced public opinion about and understanding of major social, cultural, and political issues through their literary works.
  3. Examine how social, cultural, and political issues, such as issues relating to age, gender, ethnicity, and human rights, are explored in classical and contemporary literary works.
Domain III–English Language Conventions, Composition, Writing Process, and Research

0008 Understand the conventions of Standard American English and the elements of effective composition. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the conventions of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation to use when developing text.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate word usage and grammatical sentence structure to use when developing text.
  3. Recognize methods of developing an introduction to a text that draws a reader's attention, specifies a topic, and provides a thesis.
  4. Recognize methods of developing the body of a text that presents, emphasizes, links, and contrasts ideas in a clear, concise, and coherent manner.
  5. Recognize methods of developing a conclusion to a text that provides a summary or resolution, suggests a course of action, or offers a personal commentary.

0009 Understand the writing process and the elements of effective and appropriate research. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate form of writing to use for a particular purpose and audience.
  2. Recognize methods of generating and organizing ideas for writing.
  3. Recognize methods of drafting and revising text to show consistent development of a central idea or theme and to eliminate redundancy and distracting details.
  4. Recognize methods of editing and proofreading text to generate interest, clarify meaning, and correct grammatical errors.
  5. Recognize methods of composing specific, open-ended questions for a research topic.
  6. Recognize methods of identifying and locating multiple and various sources of information for a research topic.
  7. Recognize methods of assessing the credibility, objectivity, and reliability of sources of information.
  8. Recognize methods of incorporating into a text information from sources effectively and appropriately.
Domain IV–Modes of Writing

0010 Understand strategies for descriptive writing. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the forms and purposes of descriptive writing, such as expressing personal thoughts and feelings or providing a vivid impression of a person, place, or thing.
  2. Recognize methods of selecting an effective organizational approach to use in descriptive writing, such as general-to-specific or spatial order.
  3. Recognize methods of generating a list of multiple and various sensory details associated with a subject and of selecting the most important details to incorporate into descriptive writing about the subject.
  4. Recognize methods of selecting specific nouns, strong verbs, and effective modifiers that convey precisely the unique aspects of a subject.
  5. Recognize methods of using similes and metaphors to draw comparisons and provide a vivid impression of a subject.

0011 Understand strategies for writing informative and explanatory texts. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the forms and purposes for writing informative and explanatory texts.
  2. Recognize methods of selecting and limiting a subject for writing an informative or explanatory text.
  3. Recognize methods of formulating a specific question to address through expository writing and of developing a thesis statement that provides a focus for writing.
  4. Recognize methods of selecting an effective organizational approach to use in writing informative and explanatory texts, such as cause and effect, problem and solution, or chronological order, as well as for including formatting, graphics, and multimedia to aid comprehension.
  5. Recognize methods of developing a topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information or examples.

0012 Understand strategies for writing arguments. (8%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the forms and purposes of persuasive writing, such as stating an opinion or influencing beliefs.
  2. Recognize methods of establishing a clear position or controlling idea in persuasive writing.
  3. Recognize methods of selecting an effective organizational approach to use in persuasive writing, such as logical order or order of importance.
  4. Recognize methods of selecting effective and relevant supporting evidence to use to develop an argument, such as facts, reasons, and appeals.
  5. Recognize methods of anticipating questions, concerns, and counterarguments for points made in persuasive writing and of incorporating effective responses to them into the writing.
  6. Recognize methods of establishing and maintaining a formal style.
Domain V–Oral and Visual Communication

0013 Understand strategies for effective listening and speaking and for participating in group discussions. (7%)

Includes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics and purposes of various types of listening and barriers to listening effectively.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the social norms and conventions involved in interpersonal communication, including through social media, and how these are influenced by factors such as self-concept, cultural or socioeconomic background, age, and gender.
  3. Recognize methods of participating actively in conversations and group discussions, such as restating, clarifying, and using nonverbal cues.
  4. Recognize methods of incorporating effective and appropriate language styles, rhetorical devices, and vocal techniques into speeches on various topics and for various purposes, audiences, and occasions.

0014 Understand strategies for developing media literacy. (7%)

Includes:

  1. Analyze messages, meanings, biases, and themes conveyed through visual images in various media and in various combinations of media.
  2. Examine how elements of visual images used in various media can be manipulated to change personal behavior and influence public opinion.
  3. Examine how personal experience and prior knowledge can affect an individual's interpretation of visual images in various media
  4. Recognize methods of establishing a clear purpose for a presentation and of organizing and modifying a presentation to correspond to the characteristics of a particular audience.
  5. Recognize methods of making strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to convey information and enhance audience understanding during presentations.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of legal, ethical, copyright, and source citation issues related to viewing and presenting media.