CTEL anyone?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by mimers31, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2006

    ANyone else taking CTEL on Saturday??? ANyone else freaking out??? I just feel very nervous because all I really have to go by is the CLAD study stuff I borrowed from people and what is on NES website...And it doesnt help that scores are not poasted for so long!!! (like 6 weeks I think)
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Are you doing bilingual, or just the usual can-be-trusted-with-ELLs?
     
  4. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Just the regular, tests 1-3
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Make sure you know and can use the technical terms that are in the CLAD materials you've borrowed. If there are any terms in the online content specifications that aren't in the CLAD materials, make sure you look those terms up. Think about how you'd teach the material in the question (or the situation in the question, as the case may be.) I'm sure you already know to give answers that are respectful of diversity. Unless a question connected with a scenario specifically asks you to take issue with that scenario, assume it's true even if you think it's wrongheaded, and shape your answers accordingly.

    And breathe, please.
     
  6. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    CTEL Tomorrow

    Well, Mimers, not freaking out but yes, taking the test Saturday, like you. Taking all three sections because I took a six year break from teaching in the year when I was to take CLAD 3 and now have to start over because my old scores are five plus years old. I will say that I passed both CLAD 1 and CLAD 2 with one days' study each. Get a good night's sleep, review your buzz words, and be sure to support your essay with concrete examples.

    I have a question for anyone out there that has taken the CTEL. The study guide I pulled from the "official" site seems to require application of knowledge rather than straight memorization ;-). But a second guide I pulled from a company that claims to prep for this test centered on memorization-type questions, especially matching authors with works, theorists with theories. That's a different kind of preparation. Is this kind of question a large part of the CTEL?

    Thanks, anyone who has a handle on this. And Mimers, I'll be thinking of you. This too shall pass.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2006

    In this case, I'd go by what the Web site says, rather than what the prep guide says. Fortunately. A test that has a person applying knowledge is much more interesting.

    I'll be thinking of both of you. Get a decent night's sleep, okay?
     
  8. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    You bet. And much more useful, too. Thanks.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That, 25YearsIn, was a test-passer's response!
     
  10. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    Thanks. And for anyone who stumbles on this and might be "freaking out," to quote Mimers31, over some test or another, let me share this.

    Some 26 years ago I had to face two major exams in order to prove my teaching ability. I had put myself through six years of college (dual major, dance/comparative lit) and really needed to begin a teaching job in September. The outlook was grim, Prop 13's backlash having decimated educational funding. Every district had long lists of employees who had been RIF'd (laid off) and had to be rehired before I would be considered. Every district needed to cut between one and three million dollars. There was no centralized means of finding work, like EdJoin. Come to that, the Internet ran on computers that required entire rooms to house them, LOL. No REAL humans used, much less owned, one. So I basically sat all day on the phone every Monday for an entire summer, calling job lines district by district. That was rough.

    Of the two tests, one was an overview of, basically, any literature ever written (by DWMs, that is.) The other was the CLEP in grammar and writing. This was a new thing, no information to be had about it--in fact, I think I was in the first group ever to take that particular test. And for the first time ever as a test taker, I lost track of time. Each M/C item was so dense, so complex, that at the end of 45 minutes I had finished 45/60 questions. I had studied--for a year--and knew my stuff. And I knew I had done well on the essay. But still, leaving 25% of the items blank on a high-stakes test was not one of life's high moments for me.

    Imagine my surprise when I passed in the 99th percentile rank. That was sweet for about ten seconds (okay, maybe a minute) and then absurd. That kind of situation shouldn't have been possible, but it happened, and it taught me never to be too upset by anything a test taker throws at me on the day of the test. Too often the whole setup isn't what it seems, norm referencing being what it is.

    Tomorrow I plan to bring my game, play hard, and let the rest fall away. Can't ask more of myself than that.
     
  11. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    thanks for the support. I have been studying a lot (nothing like the CSET though!) and I hope that it has been enough. My baby just went to sleep so I am off to put in another couple hours before I go to sleep and be up at 6am to be at the site, so good luck 25years!
     
  12. 25YearsIn

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    Jun 23, 2006

    You too!
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Barring something fairly bizarre, 25YearsIn, that should do the job in fine style.
     
  14. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    Okay, talk to you tomorrow about how it went! Where are you taking it?
     
  15. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    Orange County. You?
     
  16. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    I took the test today in san fernando valley. It wasnt too bad... I feel okay about it which kinda scares me... It took a long time though. Guess we will see in August!
     
  17. 25YearsIn

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Glad for you, Mimers31. No surprises for me, either, in test content. I was, however, surprised to find my energy (and more amazingly, motivation!) lagging halfway through the second test. Getting too old for this.

    I will say to anyone who has to take the CTEL, the sample questions on the "official" site DO reflect the kind of questioning you'll find. You'll be asked to apply your knowledge, so don't waste time memorizing theorists' names and seminal works. I have nothing to add to TeacherGroupie's excellent advice except to underscore that you'll want to fully understand the ELL standards and the expectations of students within each of the five levels (basic, early intermediate, et. al.) You'll need to be grounded in this in order to make judgments about appropriate (and inappropriate) teaching strategies, especially in test two. And for those looking for a study reference, The Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development Handbook by Diaz-Rico and Weed covered everything I needed and did well by the subject. Pop for the Third Edition. It's worth it. Fiinally, the sole test-prep web-site that covers this test (and promises your money back if you aren't satisfied? That site?)--covered little to nothing of worth and also offered time-wasting inaccurate content from old recycled psych theory. That's all for now. Enjoy your summer, all.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Sounds promising, 25YearsIn. I'd seen the Diaz-Rico/Weed book and wondered about it... what's the copyright date on the third edition, please?

    As for energy and motivation flagging, that's not surprising if CTEL runs as CBEST and CSET do with no scheduled breaks, and if you didn't take one. That's one thing that's not so good about these tests, though I think getting to spread out the subtests without having to go through special-accommodation hoops more than makes up for it.
     
  19. 25YearsIn

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    Jun 25, 2006

    The publication date is 2005. There are a number of second-hand second editions out there for a lot less money (like, $15. versus $50?), but for the CTEL, the third edition adds practical, classroom-based strategy boxes throughout the book. Not only are these great prep, but they serve to make the theory comprehensible in terms that translate to every-day classroom decisions. The third edition additionally offers improved readability. (And no, I have no affiliation to either the authors or the book. So how do I know? I bought them both. There were two of us in my household who had to take the CTEL. We bought one of each and swapped. I ended up wishing we had popped for two of the third edition. It's that much better. Talk about life's foolish economies!)

    A final thought--understand that this is a textbook and not a study guide. It's dense, some 350 pages worth, and why wouldn't it be when it covers the same ground that universities are requiring four classes to complete? Not for everyone (especially the first 125 or so pages, which deal with theories and do require personal discipline) but if you do well studying on your own, then this is the book to buy for the CTEL. The tipping point for me involves how they didn't pull their punches on the "hot" issues (equity, the "new" racism, the mental blindnesses necessary to maintain a class society in a "free" country). Their discourse in these areas was some of the most cogent I have encountered: unblinking, uncompromising, grounded in historical fact and in research. Whatever one's position on immigration, national languages, what it means to be "American," one cannot afford to ignore the reality that the battle for America's future will probably rest, not in the hands of its generals, but of its teachers.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ah: the edition I saw must have been the second - which looked good-but-not-great. Thanks for clarifying; I'll have to keep an eye out for edition 3. Any resource that gets people really thinking, even (and maybe especially) if they end up disagreeing with me articulately and cogently, is A Good Thing.
     
  21. 25YearsIn

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Amen to that.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    And, yes, the battle for America's future is in the hands of its teachers, and its teachers' teachers. No matter which side of the aisle any of us occupies politically.
     
  23. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Well I will check out that book if I need to retake any test... I am praying I dont, as the December test date is my daughter's second birthday and we are planning a big family weekend to Disneyland then. My confidence in the test scares me a little.. I dont think I aced it at all, but I think I pulled off enough to pass it.. but then everytime I was sure I failed any tests, especially the CSET!, I did very well. So apparently my instincts are not very good! Well we will see August 4th... BTW< why is it so much longer for these tests?? There are fewer essays than others that take only 4 weeks to score. This sucks!
     
  24. 25YearsIn

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    I really wasn't thinking of you, Mimers31, when I recommended the book. I had the folks in mind who would come after us. It's my habit to pull as much information as I can about a test I need to face. On this one, there's relatively little information/discussion available. So I took an opportunity to maybe help someone out down the line.

    As to whether we do or do not pass this one, so much of this test is subjective, not just the essay but also M/C questions that require judgment/evaluation and are therefore open to misinterpretation on both sides. Can you say with certainty that the teaching strategy you picked really was best for a group of, say, third graders at the early advanced level? Seems to me questions like that leave some wiggle room. Having said that, I feel pretty good about my chances too. Come August, I expect to launch a Frisbee in your honor.
     
  25. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    thanks ;) I felt very unsure about many of the MC questions because I also felt they were subjective and on many of the questions, I felt two of the answers were correct. I wish there was a way to put that down somehow! LOL. It was really hard for me cuz I am taching special ed students who dont even talk, so I have had really no practice in my 5 years of teaching! Oh well!
     
  26. 25YearsIn

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    I believe this was a pretty good test, waaaay better than the memorize-and-spit-it-out tests I took early on. But the very thing that makes it good--the necessity to think, for example--also opens it to criticisms of subjectivity. And one of the hallmarks of a good m/c test is that two of the answers should be possible, with the correct one offering some crucial shade of difference to the discerning eye. Was my eye discerning enough? Hope so. Would I like to pass? Sure. Did I flat-out guess? Once or maybe twice. Did I mostly know what was wanted? Think so. That's about as good as you get on a test like this. When I'm sure of success, I also wonder what was wrong with the testing.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Good points, 25YearsIn. I like the line about launching the Frisbee in mimers's honor almost as much as I endorse the celebration.

    mimers, my recollection as we were doing CSET is that you were doing a great deal of gnawing, and then you did fine. Let me urge you to kindly and gently find something else for your brain to do when it starts doing the hamster-treadmill thing about whether you passed. (Nobody better complain about a split infinitive: kindly and gently modifies find, and that wouldn't have been clear if they'd been placed anywhere else.)

    Have you ever read TESTING MISS MALARKEY?
     
  28. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    TeacherGroupie, your choice to neatly and proactively silence the Grammar Nazis lurking on the threads causes me wonderingly to puzzle that odd quirk of human nature which leads some to denigrate sneeringly those whose help they claim to need, greatly if ambivalently.

    In the sentence above, which use of the adverb most clearly and concisely communicates the meaning?
    A to neatly and proactively silence
    B wonderingly to puzzle
    C to denigrate sneeringly
    D to need, greatly if ambivalently

    In a testing situation, I would throw out B and C as awkward; the test question, mercifully, asks nothing about the grammatically possible but instead centers on clear and concise communication. This leaves either A or D. Of those two, D does get a stylistic vote from me (thank you, Harry Noden) but is effective only if used sparingly, say, once? This makes it the exception, which is never a strong answer in M/C situations. Thus A is the most straightforward, and in that sense, elegant solution. Of course, in peer editing I’d advise the writer of this dreadful sentence to limit the use of adverbs to, say, the first two?

    It being morning, TeacherGroupie, I am now launching a second cup of latte in your honor, with admiration for all you do.
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Like most grammar nazis, not to mention people of feline temperament and high-octane geekery, I hate being wrong, and even the appearance of imperfection is repellent... it's a habit bred in the bone. Anyway, I typed that sentence, then stopped short. Scowled at it. Catalogued all the ways it could be repaired. Realized none of them would get across the point I wanted, which was that it is mimers who needs to be kind and gentle about ushering her mind out of that defeatist neighborhood, without sounding even geekier. (Even I have my limits.) Sighed and swore.

    But I couldn't quite bring myself to let it go without a comment to save my face, or other vulnerable portions of anatomy as the case may be. Ah, human frailty.

    As for you, sir, I hoist a nice hot cuppa to you. (Peach tea in the morning, thanks, and for me, it's still very much morning.) You are an opponent worthy of my steal.

    And for the rest of you, yes, that last word was the one I intended.

    If someone absolutely insists, I might consider an emendation... to borrowing liberally.
     
  30. 25YearsIn

    25YearsIn Rookie

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    On further reflection, this brings to mind the parent who approached me after a Back to School night presentation commenting that I hadn’t ended a single sentence with a preposition. Though this was intended as a compliment, I wondered if he had heard a word of the message....

    Sure gave me empathy for that kid.
     
  31. 25YearsIn

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    TeacherGroupie, my computer screen didn't jump to this page until I posted the above, whereupon I read your excellent post #28. My nonsequitorial #29 aside, I would be very glad to have you on my team in a dark alley, and very nervous if you were not.

    Setting up yet another latte...and making it a double.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Your #29 looked more sequitorial than non-, my friend. And latte in good company is quite a different issue. For that matter, if the company's this good, even morning is doable... mostly.)
     
  33. 25YearsIn

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    The pleasure's all mine, TeacherGroupie, even --errrm--before noon? Awake or no? (You may have deduced there's a reason for all that caffeine? Hmmm?)
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I used to wonder why, when schools are built or remodeled, the intravenous caffeine port keeps being omitted. Then I overheard a couple of veteran teachers discussing the assorted indignities of menopause. Suddenly all became clear, or at least pale straw-color.
     
  35. 25YearsIn

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    Mimers, what will be your cup of choice, come August? (Anything will do, as long as it's celebratory and doesn't come in a sippee cup. You deserve it.)

    And what say we plan a synchronized frisbee-launch? For all who DID (huzzah!) For all who DIDN'T (huzzah!)

    Who's in? If we work at it we can get a state-wide thing going here. Or not. Just us is good.
     
  36. 25YearsIn

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    I can attest to that, TeacherGroupie. Aging sucks.
     
  37. 25YearsIn

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    oops. Do you have to edit that? Enough latte and I develop a potty mouth.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Can't hold your latte either way, eh?

    (What a good thing I didn't have tea in my mouth while reading your post.)

    As to the indignities, I'm personally acquainted with 'em now. All I can say is, they beat the alternative by a good six feet vertically.
     
  39. 25YearsIn

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    And rumor has it they don't last forever. Then we get to be ... crones! I just canNOT wait.
     
  40. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

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    My drink of choice is definitely a margarita!! I detest any coffee drinks and only drink tea when I am very sick.... An sadly, with a 1 1/2 year old, quite a few of my drinks do come from a sippy cup! LOL
     
  41. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I dunno, 25YearsIn: I'd have to say it Depends.

    mimers, back before there were travel mugs, Tupperware made sippy-cup tops that would fit on cups ranging from four ounces up to 16 or so ounces. I bought a set then so I could drink iced tea while driving. They went through two kids, the younger of whom is 15, and they're still very much in service.

    Margaritas are good; I generally prefer mine on the rocks, though today was hot and nasty enough to justify a blended one. But no mix, please: just good Tequila, a decent quality orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, ice, and salt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2006

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