Study Guide

Field 038: Reading (Subtest I)
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Competency 0001
Understand formal and informal techniques for assessing reading.

Which of the following best describes the primary purpose and function of classroom reading assessment?

  1. to guide instructional planning in reading by determining individual students' ongoing reading needs
  2. to prepare students for state standardized testing in reading by equipping them with a variety of test-taking strategies
  3. to monitor students' academic achievement in reading by measuring their mastery of the state reading standards
  4. to evaluate the effectiveness of reading instruction by comparing the reading achievement of specific groups of students
Correct Response: A.
In a standards-based curriculum, student performance standards inform assessment, which in turn informs instructional planning and practices. Reading teachers engage in classroom assessment on an ongoing basis to determine students' specific reading strengths and needs in order to plan reading instruction that is effective in promoting students' achievement of grade-level performance standards.

Competency 0002
Understand how to interpret and communicate the results of reading assessments.

Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

Retelling is one assessment a teacher uses to monitor students' reading comprehension. A student orally retells a story that the student has just read silently. The teacher tape-records the student's retelling and notes observations about the retelling on a form. The results of one student's retelling are shown below.

Based on this assessment, which of the following is the most accurate statement about this student's reading comprehension ability?

  1. The student has strong reading comprehension skills but needs to develop oral language proficiency.
  2. The student comprehends the gist of the text but needs to attend more closely to important details.
  3. The student has some literal comprehension skills but needs to work on constructing meaning from the text as a whole.
  4. The student employs a few basic comprehension strategies but needs to engage more actively in the reading process.
Correct Response: C.
The results of this retelling indicate that the student demonstrates good understanding of story details such as setting and characters. However, the student has great difficulty with skills that require drawing conclusions from a text, such as identifying the story's main conflict, resolution, and theme and being able to make inferences from ideas that are implied but not directly stated in the text.

Competency 0003
Understand the use of assessment data to plan and guide instruction for readers at all skill levels.

Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

Retelling is one assessment a teacher uses to monitor students' reading comprehension. A student orally retells a story that the student has just read silently. The teacher tape-records the student's retelling and notes observations about the retelling on a form. The results of one student's retelling are shown below.

Given the results of this assessment, the teacher could most effectively facilitate the student's reading development by first:

  1. having the student read stories with strong characters that will enhance understanding of character development.
  2. involving the student in guided discussions of stories that prompt the student to use textual evidence when identifying key story ideas.
  3. having the student answer a series of questions about a story that encourage the student to describe the time and place in which the story is set.
  4. involving the student in paired reading activities that provide opportunities to share personal reactions to a story with a partner.
Correct Response: B.
Engaging a student in text-based discussions in which the teacher continually prompts the student to look back at the text, to reread key sections, and to draw evidence from the text to support his or her responses promotes the student's reading comprehension and helps the student develop the ability to read texts, including complex texts, independently and proficiently.

Competency 0004
Understand language acquisition, reading processes, and theories of reading development.

Which of the following best describes the role of phonics in a research-based elementary school reading program?

  1. Phonics is an instructional strategy that should be used primarily as an intervention with students who are experiencing reading difficulties.
  2. Phonics is a key component of comprehensive reading instruction that supports students' development of fluency and comprehension.
  3. Phonics is a reading technique that should be taught implicitly to students who demonstrate specific needs in the area of decoding skills.
  4. Phonics is the central focus of reading instruction until students have achieved automatic recognition of high-frequency sight-words.
Correct Response: B.
Rapid, automatic word recognition plays an important role in both reading fluency and comprehension. Research indicates that most children who are struggling readers lack mastery of fundamental phonological aspects of reading. Decoding, including applying knowledge and skills in phonics, syllabication, and morphology, is the primary strategy effective readers use to identify words they cannot recognize immediately.

Competency 0005
Understand the role of phonological awareness in reading development and strategies for promoting phonological awareness skills.

A kindergarten teacher orally presents students with pairs of words (e.g., buy/tie, see/saw) and has students identify whether the words rhyme or not. Next she says a series of one-syllable words and asks students to point to a part of the body that rhymes with each word (e.g., the teacher says bed and students point to their heads). These activities promote students' reading development primarily by:

  1. improving their word decoding skills.
  2. expanding their understanding of the alphabetic principle.
  3. enriching their vocabulary knowledge.
  4. promoting their development of phonological awareness.
Correct Response: D.
Young children are used to attending to oral language solely for meaning. Since the English writing system is alphabetic and English spellings reflect both graphophonemic and morphophonemic relationships, young children also need to begin to develop the awareness that oral language comprises sounds. Helping children learn to identify words that rhyme is one important component of developing students' phonological awareness skills.

Competency 0006
Understand the role of phonemic awareness in reading development and strategies for promoting phonemic awareness skills.

Which of the following teacher prompts would be most appropriate to use to promote kindergarten students' phonemic awareness skills?

  1. "Say the first sound you hear in the word ball."
  2. "Can you think of a word that rhymes with the word cat?"
  3. "Clap your hands for every beat you hear in the word umbrella."
  4. "What sound does the letter D make?"
Correct Response: A.
One of the first skills taught in a sequence of instruction designed to promote students' phonemic awareness is identifying (also referred to as isolating) a word's initial phoneme. Within the phonological awareness continuum, this skill follows the development of skills related to identifying, segmenting, and blending onset and rime.

Competency 0007
Understand methods for promoting literacy as a lifelong skill.

A teacher observes that some students in the class seem indifferent to reading and rarely choose to read voluntarily. Which of the following approaches to addressing this situation is likely to be most effective in cultivating these students' enthusiasm for reading?

  1. explaining to the students the benefits of reading and scheduling time each week for the students to spend in the school library
  2. providing the students with explicit instruction in comprehension strategies that apply to reading specific types of content-area texts
  3. challenging the students to read a certain number of books per month and displaying each student's progress on a classroom wall chart
  4. involving students in author studies in which they read a number of books by the same author and discuss the books in small groups
Correct Response: D.
Avid readers frequently select new books to read independently by actively seeking out books written by favorite authors. Students who rarely read independently, however, do not tend to have favorite authors nor are they likely to be familiar with the body of work specific authors have developed. An important component of promoting reluctant readers' independent reading is helping them discover authors whose writing they enjoy and promoting their awareness that authors often have a whole body of work that shares similar features and style. Author studies contribute directly to the achievement of these goals.

Competency 0008
Understand how to promote students' understanding of concepts about print and the alphabetic principle.

Which of the following activities would be most appropriate for introducing kindergarten students to the alphabetic principle?

  1. writing a student's name on the board and having students sound out the name by blending the letters
  2. posting students' names on a wall and having students whose names contain a certain letter come to the front of the room
  3. saying a student's name and having students clap the number of syllables they hear in the name
  4. reciting a list of students' names and having students raise their hands when they hear a name that begins with a specific sound
Correct Response: B.
Some of the earliest words children tend to learn to recognize in print are names, both their own names and those of family members, friends, and classmates. Focusing students' attention on the letters in familiar names is an effective way to begin to foster speech-to-print connections, which form the foundation of the alphabetic principle.

Competency 0009
Understand the role of phonics and other word-analysis skills in promoting reading development.

In a sequence of phonics instruction, which of the following regular phonics generalizations would most typically be taught last?

  1. consonant clusters (e.g., tch as in catch, str as in string)
  2. vowel digraphs (e.g., ee as in meet, oa as in boat)
  3. consonant digraphs (e.g., ch as in children, sh as in wish)
  4. short vowels (e.g., e as in egg, a as in sat)
Correct Response: A.
Research-based, systematic phonics instruction should be sequenced according to the increasing complexity of linguistic units. Among the four responses given in this item, consonant clusters—a sequence of three consonants—represent the most complex linguistic unit.

Competency 0010
Understand strategies for promoting fluency at the word level and text level.

A first-grade teacher models pauses and inflection changes as he points to punctuation when reading aloud from a big book. He then leads students in a choral reading of the book. This strategy is most likely to help students who are having difficulty with which of the following reading skills?

  1. recognizing alliteration and other sound patterns when reading aloud
  2. constructing inferences when reading aloud
  3. using appropriate phrasing and expression when reading aloud
  4. monitoring their own comprehension when reading aloud
Correct Response: C.
The teacher models how to "read" punctuation and then reinforces learning by engaging students in a choral reading activity. These activities promote prosodic reading (i.e., reading with appropriate expression, phrasing, and inflection). Prosody is a key component of reading fluency, which plays an important role in reading comprehension.