Help on CSET & CBEST

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Ah~Chu, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Ah~Chu

    Ah~Chu New Member

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    Jun 19, 2006

    Hello, I’m New to the forum

    I was googling online in search for a multiple subject CSET tutor and I found this great website. Can someone recommend a tutor near Pomona, CA?

    I have problems in all curriculums and I need immediate help. I will be graduating with a B.A. in September of 2006 and planning to take the CSET and CBEST on the following months. My biggest fear is in English; both reading and writing has been my problems throughout my college years. Although I have passed the Cal State Graduation Writing Test, I continue to receive negative feedbacks on my papers regarding on my writing style, word choice, grammar, and sometimes question marks.

    I came to United States during high school :( , and have never taken a grammar class. My professors wonder how I learned to write, and the answer is, by hearing and reading. I sort of created my own grammar structure from reading books and listening to radios and other media. I definitely need to build up my vocabularies and grammar.

    Can anyone recommend books for someone like me? My dream is to become ESL teacher to help immigrants like myself. I really need to pass both tests. Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you,
    A~Chu :eek:
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2006

    What is your language background?
     
  4. Ah~Chu

    Ah~Chu New Member

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    Jun 19, 2006

    I learned Korean until I was 11 or 12, then I learned Chinese. I lived in Korea and Taiwan before I came to United States. Thus, I've never mastered any of the languages, so I my language level is about the same with Korean, Chinese, and English. I speak better Chinese and Korean than English. People can't tell that I'm foreign when I speak all three languages.
     
  5. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 19, 2006

    IIWY I would take CBEST at the very next administration, August 12. Even if you go in totally unprepared, you will find out what you are up against. Who knows, you may even pass all three parts.

    Based on what you told us. I think reading might wind up being more of a challenge for you than writing. It is more than simple comprehension. Without a formal introduction to English I think you are at a disadvantage. But you appear to be an intelligent person. Who knows, you may pass on the first try.

    Considering your writing in this thread, I think all you need to do for the writing section is learn how to write the two kinds of short essays on the test in standard five paragraph format well.

    FWIW I think your Korean and Chinese language and cultural background will make you a hot property. I just started a teacher preparation program run by a local school district in conjunction with one of the CSUs. The students in the district have 71 different primary languages. And we were told "Yes, you will have students who don't speak any English in your class."

    Remember, CBEST is not about proving your competency as a teacher of reading, writing and arithmetic. It only sets a minimum bar of competence for anyone wanting to teach in California. And it really isn't a very high bar.

    CSET is something else. For multiple subject, you are basically going to be test on what one would pick up as a liberal arts major. Many folks have to do a lot of studying. And it is not at all uncommon for an intelligent, well educated person to have to take at least one subtest more than once. OTOH it isn't all that uncommon to pass all subtests on the first attempt. Check previous threads in the multiple subject forum for approaches to preparation, including prep classes.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2006

    I'm assuming you're contemplating CSET Multiple Subjects; you should know that CSET is much less concerned with the niceties of formal English than it is with whether you can communicate what you know.

    Here's a children's book that might help: IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH, published by Usborne, ISBN 0-7450-6100. It covers spelling, punctuation, and grammar for British kids facing high-stakes exams, so it would be a good classroom resource later. If you can't find it in your local bookstore, try http://www.ubah.com/b1854.

    If you have to have grownup books, try LearningExpress's skill building books in writing and grammar: WRITING SKILLS SUCCESS IN 20 MINUTES A DAY is one title, and LearningExpress also has a book of practice questions under the title of either 501 GRAMMAR AND WRITING EXERCISES or 1001 GRAMMAR AND WRITING EXERCISES - sorry I can't recall which.

    As for tutors, try phoning the English departments of any or all of the Claremont Colleges (Pomona, Pitzer, Scripps, Claremont McKenna - well, actually, Harvey Mudd College might not do you much good: it's a hard-science school, mostly), or you could look for help through the English department of Cal Poly Pomona. Or perhaps a teacher at one of the high schools in Pomona Unified School District would be interested, now that school's out or on the way out. You could also send me a private message; I've been known to work with people by email.
     
  7. Ah~Chu

    Ah~Chu New Member

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    Jun 20, 2006

    Thank you guys so much for the replies....^o^
    I think this website will remain in my "favorite" forever.
    Hope I can move on to the teachers' forum soon.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 20, 2006

    You can move on to the teachers' forum pretty much whenever you like: there are plenty of people around here who have no credential (and a few who don't necessarily intend to get one). You may even find that some of the material discussed by people who are or will be teaching reading can help you now.
     

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