Study Guide

Special Reading
Sample Questions

Expand All | Collapse All

Competency 0001
Demonstrate knowledge of theories and foundations of literacy development.

1. Which of the following statements most accurately characterizes the relationships among the five essential components of reading identified by convergent, scientifically based reading research?

  1. The components develop simultaneously yet independently of one another and play separate but equal roles in a student's reading proficiency.
  2. Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary all work together to help a reader achieve the ultimate, fundamental goal of reading comprehension.
  3. Phonemic awareness and phonics are important for beginning readers, while fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are important for advanced readers.
  4. The components develop in a predictable sequence with mastery of one component required before development of the next component can begin.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. To achieve comprehension, the fundamental goal of reading, a reader must be proficient in all five essential components of reading. Readers must develop enough proficiency in phonics and phonemic awareness skills to decode with the accuracy and automaticity required for fluent reading. Fluent reading reduces the cognitive load on the brain and allows a reader to focus on the meaning of the text. A reader must also have sufficient vocabulary development to make sense of the text, and fully comprehend what they have read.

Competency 0002
Apply knowledge of foundations of scientifically based and evidence-based reading instruction.

2. Which of the following is an essential step in planning and implementing standards-based reading instruction and intervention?

  1. ensuring that reading assessments and instructional goals are aligned with state grade-level reading standards
  2. modifying state grade-level reading standards to better align them with individual students' assessed strengths and needs
  3. focusing on specific state grade-level reading standards depending on students' cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  4. selecting supplemental instructional resources to encourage students' growth beyond state grade-level reading standards
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. It is essential that reading specialists plan instructional goals, assessments, and interventions with standards in mind. In this way, reading support will both align with state and district grade-level reading standards and also support students' unique learning needs.

Competency 0003
Apply knowledge of foundations of reading assessment.

3. A reading specialist administers an informal reading inventory (IRI) to a fourth-grade student. The student reads aloud the beginning-of-year, third-grade passage with 98% accuracy, and a word correct per minute score that is significantly higher than benchmark expectations. The specialist then asks the student comprehension questions about the passage, and the student scores 50% on this section. Which of the following steps would be most appropriate for the specialist to take next in administering the IRI to this student?

  1. conducting the IRI with the student again using a passage that the student previously read in class
  2. allowing the student to answer the comprehension questions again while looking back at the passage
  3. having the student read a passage at a higher level of the IRI and answer comprehension questions about it
  4. asking the student to answer the comprehension questions again after listening to the specialist read the passage aloud
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. By allowing a student to look back at a passage when answering comprehension questions, the specialist will be better able to determine if the student can demonstrate adequate comprehension when not focused on speed.

Competency 0004
Apply knowledge of emergent literacy skills and phonological and phonemic awareness.

4. Which of the following behaviors suggests that a child has developed some phonological awareness but not phonemic awareness?

  1. orally blending the sounds /k/ + /ī/ + /t/ to make the word kite, but not being able to distinguish the difference between the printed words kite and kit
  2. orally segmenting the spoken word robot into its five component sounds, but not being able to recognize that robot, cabin, and rabbit all have the same number of syllables
  3. clapping the correct number of syllables in the spoken words bunny, goat, and elephant, but not being able to identify the syllable boundaries in the printed words
  4. identifying several spoken words that rhyme with the word cat,but not being able to identify that the spoken word cat comprises the sounds /k/ + /ă/ + /t/
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. Phonemic awareness is typically the last skill to develop within the broader category of skills called phonological awareness (e.g., rhyming and alliteration, sentence segmentation, syllables, onsets and rimes, and phonemic awareness). Phonological awareness skills develop along a continuum as children learn to recognize and identify increasingly smaller units of spoken language. A child who can identify rhymes but cannot segment the phonemes in the word cat has developed phonological awareness skills but has not yet developed phonemic awareness skills.

Competency 0005
Apply knowledge of phonics and word analysis.

5. An elementary reading coach is working with a team of second-grade teachers on strategies for developing students' foundational reading skills. Which of the following recommendations by the reading coach would be most effective in promoting students' accurate, automatic recognition of grade-level high-frequency words?

  1. explaining to students that high-frequency words need to be memorized individually by sight and providing them with instruction in mnemonic devices and strategies
  2. teaching 10 high-frequency words each week as part of the spelling curriculum and ensuring that students write each word at least 10 times as part of spelling practice
  3. pointing out to students that most high-frequency words are partially or completely decodable and organizing instruction of these words by phonics and/or spelling patterns
  4. increasing the amount of class time devoted to sustained silent reading to increase students' exposure to grade-level high-frequency words in their independent reading
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. A majority of high frequency words are regularly spelled and can be introduced as part of a lesson on a related phonics or spelling pattern. For example, when teaching short-vowel one-syllable words, high frequency words such as had, but, and get may be introduced as part of the same lesson. Words that are irregularly spelled are often at least partly decodable. Students should be encouraged to notice the segments of irregularly spelled words which are decodable. For instance, in the word from, although the pronunciation of vowel o is irregular, the initial blend fr, and the ending consonant m, are decodable.

Competency 0006
Apply knowledge of reading fluency.

6. Which of the following performance indicators best suggests that a student is ready to independently read grade-level texts silently?

  1. The student reads grade-level texts at about the same rate that the student speaks.
  2. The student regularly pauses after punctuation when reading grade-level texts.
  3. The student consistently reads grade-level words accurately and automatically.
  4. The student feels uncomfortable reading aloud grade-level texts in front of peers.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. A student who consistently reads words in grade-level texts accurately and automatically is decoding proficiently and is therefore ready for silent, independent reading.

Competency 0007
Apply knowledge of vocabulary and academic language.

7. Which of the following instructional strategies would be most important and appropriate to use in promoting the vocabulary and academic-language development of kindergarten and first-grade students?

  1. showing students how to use common Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meanings of unfamiliar age-appropriate content-area words (e.g., pre-dict, class-ify )
  2. fostering students' word consciousness by emphasizing nuances of meaning between various age-appropriate content-area words (e.g., participate versus observe, map versus globe)
  3. helping students create and display labels for age-appropriate content-area objects and locations around the classroom (e.g., yardstick, map, science learning center)
  4. providing students with a variety of robust, oral language experiences (e.g., hands-on collaborative projects, text-based discussions) related to age-appropriate content-area topics
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. Students can learn vocabulary through both direct instruction and indirectly through robust, oral language experiences with many opportunities to practice using the words across the curriculum. Oral language experiences provide a context to access what a word means and how it is used. Providing students with opportunities to use newly introduced content-area vocabulary and academic language will build their speaking and listening vocabularies as well as their reading and writing vocabularies.

Competency 0008
Apply knowledge of comprehension and analysis of informational texts.

8. A teacher conducts a close reading of a short, complex text using text-dependent questions with a small group of students. After they finish reading the text, the teacher posts a question about how the author's word choices support one of several possible central themes and directs the students to write a response. Which of the following modifications to this lesson would make it better aligned with the key components of a research-based close-reading lesson?

  1. explaining the broader thematic connections the text shares with other texts students have read before beginning the close reading of the text
  2. pre-teaching the meaning of new vocabulary words that students will encounter in the text before beginning the close reading of the text
  3. posting several alternative questions on the board to provide students with a range of topics to respond to during the independent writing task
  4. engaging students in collaborative conversations about the text and the posted question before beginning the independent writing task
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. A significant body of research links close reading of complex texts to significant gains in reading proficiency. Collaborative conversations help students access complex texts by supporting them in asking questions and clarifying their understanding of a text. Students should be explicitly taught how to participate in effective academic discourse, and this part of the close reading routine provides opportunities for students to interact with their classmates and teachers using academic language.

Competency 0009
Apply knowledge of comprehension and analysis of literary texts.

9. A student could most effectively use scanning to achieve which of the following purposes when reading a literary text?

  1. analyzing the author's craft in using figurative language and literary devices
  2. focusing on the author's choice of vocabulary words during in-depth reading
  3. locating specific information about a character or event described in the text
  4. developing detailed notes about the text while reading it for the second time
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. Scanning is most effective as a strategy to locate specific, relevant information quickly without doing an in-depth reading of the text.

Competency 0010
Apply knowledge of the literacy-rich classroom environment.

10. A high school reading coach explains the concept of qualitative factors that affect text complexity to a group of content-area teachers to help them when selecting texts for instruction. The reading coach explains that some texts are written in ways that support the readers' navigation of the text, which supports their comprehension of the text's message. According to this concept, which of the following factors would make a text most appropriate for a lesson on text structure analysis?

  1. The text uses transition words (e.g., because, for example, similarly) to signal relationships between ideas and/or events in the text.
  2. The text addresses challenging concepts or content through concise written explanations without use of illustrations or other graphic elements.
  3. The text includes a bibliography instead of a subject index and limits the use of textual features (e.g., headings, subheadings, bold text).
  4. The text alludes to common student misconceptions about a topic without providing explicit explanations why a given concept is false.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. Text structure and transition words help a reader to make connections between ideas, which leads to a deeper understanding of the text. Differing informational text structures (e.g., descriptive, compare and contrast, problem/solution, cause and effect and sequential) are associated with specific transition words and these words can support readers by helping them identify a specific text structure. Learning the transition words will also help students to interpret the relationships among concepts or events within the text. Research has demonstrated instruction in text structure analysis improves students' reading comprehension.

Competency 0011
Apply knowledge of professional learning and leadership in literacy.

11. According to research on culturally responsive professional learning communities (PLCs), which of the following roles would be most appropriate for a reading coach to play when facilitating a culturally responsive PLC focused on improving students' reading?

  1. ensuring that participant teachers develop analytical skills focused on student learning while also reflecting on their own perspectives and understanding of diversity
  2. guiding participant teachers in disaggregating the results of state and district summative assessments with respect to diverse student populations in the school
  3. helping participant teachers come to consensus about the best ways of achieving the student reading goals outlined in the school's improvement plan
  4. researching and disseminating to participant teachers information about the latest scientific research and trends in literacy instruction
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. A learning environment that values students' cultures and identities improves student learning. Reading coaches should provide consistent opportunities for teachers in PLCs to identify and reflect on how their own cultural experiences affect their instruction and encourage them to view diversity as an asset when planning lessons and selecting curriculum and materials.