FTCE ESOL K-12 Exam

Discussion in 'ESL/ELL' started by bryancohen101, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. bryancohen101

    bryancohen101 New Member

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    Jun 8, 2018

    I am getting set for my FTCE ESOL exam and I had two questions:

    1. What is the best study guide online or offline for this exam?

    2. Are there any online tutoring companies that help with this exam?

    I want to try to pass two of the exams this summer.
     
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  3. eesa

    eesa New Member

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    Jun 23, 2018

    I have the same question, and pushed back my exam from this Monday to July 6. Were you able to get any answers outside of this forum?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2018

    I haven't looked at FTCE's exam specifically, but the content is likely to be fairly similar from state to state: know your English phonology, syntax, and morphology, know that other languages' phonology, syntax, and morphology may differ, know how to teach English learners (lots of visuals, lots of realia, lots of acting out, lots of exploitation of language similarities. The website Dave's ESL Cafe may help.
     
  5. eesa

    eesa New Member

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    Jun 23, 2018

    I appreciate your response and advise TeacherGroupie, and I also wish it were that simple. I have been teaching ESOL to university students for the past 5 years, and I am concerned about this test (and other FTCE tests for that matter). FTCE has changed their tests to be much more rigorous; there have been several news reports done on this phenomena to show how they have made them too difficult, and at the same time it seems they are reaping the benefits from repeating test-takers repaying for each test.

    I think what Bryan Cohen and myself are asking is where we can find specific study material to help us get through this testing gauntlet. Many of the reviews on online study material suggests that what they studied and what the test actually tested for were 2 different things.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 24, 2018

    Ah. "... what they studied and what the test actually tested for were 2 different things" is a common complaint here on A to Z and elsewhere. Study guides are by no means universally good - I once almost chucked one off a university bookstore mezzanine, because the cover said it was for a specific state's test but it had clearly been cobbled together from material for a different state's differently organized test, and not very well - but the audience to which they're addressed is unavoidably mixed in background and so the study guide can't avoid devoting most of its effort and word count simply to defining terms and sketching out concepts. But the better-written tests don't test definitions and they don't test memorizing/regurgitating: instead, the expectation is that test takers understand the content being tested well enough to be able to ferret out the concept that is merely hinted at in the question and to apply it to derive a result.

    Add the established fact that new questions - questions that cover content that earlier test versions had to bypass, questions that take a different perspective on a subarea previously covered - are introduced in teacher tests much more frequently than most study guides get updated. And that even the least-commonly-given teacher tests appear in more than one version.

    The upshot is that expecting a study guide to prepare one for all and only the questions one will encounter on a given test version is bound to be an exercise in frustration, and when it isn't, it's probably a waste of the test taker's time. The real point of being tested on this material is that the test taker know the material thoroughly enough to teach it (in the case of tests of subject matter, like English or science) or to teach with it (in the case of pedagogy, reading instruction, and English for speakers of other languages). Passing the test as such as merely a happy byproduct.

    As for ESOL, I can recommend a resource that has worked well for takers of several other states' ESL (or ESL-related) teacher tests. It works well not because it is designed for a specific test (though it was originally written with a predecessor test in mind) but because it is a fairly thorough dissection of issues and concepts that drive effective education of English language learners. The book is The Cultural, Linguistic, and Academic Diversity Handbook, written by Diaz-Rico and Weed, and you want a version no earlier than the third (which has been out for most of a decade and can be found for cheap on eBay and the like). It will take you some time to work through, but the process will help make you a better teacher, and you're likely to find that the book is worth keeping after the test itself is merely a bad memory.
     
  7. eesa

    eesa New Member

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    Jun 25, 2018

    Thank you very much for your time and suggestions -- I have the book now in my cart, and will order it to read and study.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2018

    As you work through it, play with the concepts: look for examples of them in your everyday life and make a point of using the terminology you're learning. The more you use the content, the more available it will be.
     
  9. eesa

    eesa New Member

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    Jul 12, 2018

    Hey there,

    I just wanted to update this forum by saying that I just got done earlier today taking the FTCE ESOL K-12 exam and I passed! Thanks again for the book reference; I used that in conjunction with a lot of different types of flashcards uploaded by people on Quizlet.

    Overall, the test was very tricky, and understanding the terms was almost not good enough. The wording used was ambiguous as times, and the types of questions weren't matched with the practice exams I took. Additionally, there were some questions about Florida specific rules pertaining to ESOL and ESE students that I just had to guess.

    Study linguistic terms like minimal pairs, syntax etc. and approaches such as the cooperative approach.

    Good luck to whoever has to take it!

    Cheers,

    Eesa
     
  10. Esolgirl

    Esolgirl Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2018

    After completing the exam, which I did pass today, YAY, I can honestly say every prep book on Amazon is useless. I'm lucky in that I have a Masters in TESOL, I work with ELLs on a daily basis, work with compliance, and know the ins and outs of assessment issues, and what accommodations ELLs need during standardized tests. If you want to know terms, then buy a prep book, but the entire exam is application. I'm also lucky in that I have had experience in the ESOL classroom, but I would urge anyone who has to take this exam to invest in a teacher education course for ESOL. Get a certificate at the local college. Teach at least one year in an ESOL classroom, and work on compliance before taking this exam. Study dot com also has a pretty decent course for this exam. You can't just use this, but they have a lot of information that was pertinent to this exam.

    Here's a few things you should focus on for this exam (don't just use flashcards, know how to apply these items:

    Know your phonology: allophone, homophones, etc
    Know Minimal Pairs and why we use them
    Know the ins and outs of compliance
    Know types of accommodations ELLs get during let's say the FSA (Dictionary and Flex Seating)
    Difference between Assimilation/Acculturation
    Acquisition vs Learning
    Parental rights is a big one in terms of exiting ELLs, monitoring, etc
    Things to do before you refer an ELL to ESE -You need to change your instruction first
    Whole Language Approach
    Natural Approach
    Language Experience
    Challenges an Arabic students may have in gym glass
    Challenges Muslim girls have in class
    How subject matter teachers should grade ELL assignments
    Stages of learning-identify the stage using a scenario – pre production, early production, etc
    Use of realia
    Norm referenced assessments and how they can be used with ELLs

    Hope that helps!
     

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