E T S Praxis Series

Reading Specialist (0300)

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Sample Test Questions

Current section: Multiple Choice > Answers


  1. The best answer is C. A "think aloud" is a means of verbalizing one's thoughts. It can be used by teachers to model ways in which skilled readers make predictions, use visualizations, relate prior knowledge, and monitor and self-correct their comprehension. After several modeling experiences, students can work with partners to practice "think alouds," taking turns reading orally and sharing thoughts.

  2. The best answer is D. Research shows that parents' reading aloud to children, especially during the preschool years, is the most influential home literacy activity. The benefits are greatest when the children are active participants. Reading to children and discussing the stories is a social and interactive event that helps prepare children for success in reading.

  3. The best answer is D. This task deals with fluency, which enhances comprehension. Students who are able to read orally with speed, accuracy, and expression, but who do not simultaneously understand what they read, are not fluent. Comprehension is better attained when words are read in meaningful units rather than word by word or by ignoring punctuation. Educators value assessments of rate and accuracy because they help determine a child's level of automaticity, or the "fast, effortless word recognition that comes with a great deal of reading practice."

  4. The best answer is C. When Dolores Durkin's classic study of reading comprehension instruction was published in the late 1970s, it rocked the literacy community. Durkin's (1978-79) research had revealed that fewer than 28 of 4469 minutes (less than 1%) observed during reading periods in 24 fourth-grade classrooms in 13 districts were devoted to teaching students how to comprehend. Instead, the greatest portion of class time was devoted to assessment of comprehension where teacher questions dominated: Teachers assigned students to read and then asked them questions about what they read. This fi nding resulted in great attention to research in comprehension instruction over the next couple of decades — a time that has been referred to as the Golden Age of Comprehension because so much was learned about comprehension processes and the teaching of comprehension.

  5. The best answer is B. In teaching reading there are three levels: Independent, Instructional, and Frustration.

    Independent Level Relatively easy for the student to read (95% word accuracy).
    Instructional Level Challenging but manageable for the reader (90% word accuracy).
    Frustration Level Difficult text for the student to read (less than 90% word accuracy).

  6. The best answer is B. Phonemes are the smallest sounds of speech that are combined to create spoken language. The way in which the word "smiled" is divided distinguishes the individual sounds in the word.

  7. The best answer is E. The meaningful use of vocabulary involving inference is basic to good vocabulary instruction. Choices A through D do not emphasize the combination of meaning and inference.

  8. The best answer is E. Semantic feature analysis, based on the way students organize knowledge, is a sound visual instructional practice that uses a reader's prior knowledge. It shows students how words that are closely related contain some similar characteristics and some different characteristics.

  9. The correct answer is E. In DRA (directed reading activity), teachers first help students access background knowledge about the content.

  10. The correct answer is B. All of the words listed in the question can best be described as demonstrating spelling patterns for either long e or short e.

  11. The best answer is A, which pertains to key criteria for selecting instructional materials. Although the other choices deal with organizing for effective instruction, choices B and C deal with knowledge of individual differences, and choices D and E deal with knowledge of contextual factors.

  12. The best answer is B. Teachers act from an ethic of care and responsibility (Fullan & Hargraves, 1996). So, a clear understanding of the teacher's purpose is critical in adopting that new reading improvement program based on the latest fi ndings of best practices in reading pedagogy. For successful change in classroom teaching practices to occur, Fullan and Hargraves recommend the change leader acknowledge the teacher's purpose and provide the opportunity for teachers to challenge the assumptions contained within their practice and facilitate a culture where the practical knowledge of teachers is not squelched by published research or administrative decision. The leader's role is to create a community of teachers empowered to discuss individual purposes together, so over time, a shared purpose may emerge.