103 TExES Bilingual Generalist EC - 4 Exam:
- Bilingual Education (60 questions)
- English Language Arts and Reading (40 questions)
- Mathematics (15 questions)
- Social Studies (15 questions)
- Science (15 questions)
- Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education (15 questions)
The information covered in each section of the exam relates to the same specific topics that are covered on the Bilingual Education Supplemental Exam and the Generalist EC - 4 Exam. The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 - 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The registration fee for the Bilingual Generalist EC - 4 Exam is $82 and the exam is only offered in a paper-based format. However, there may be other exams and fees in addition to this exam that are required in order to become a certified educator in an elementary school bilingual education program within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Describe some strategies to create an effective bilingual learning environment.
Studies show the most successful methods to create an effective bilingual learning environment incorporate several approaches. Teachers who have English Language Learners in their mainstream classroom, no matter what the subject area, can do many things to help them learn and improve their pronunciation and comprehension. Some easily implemented strategies include:
- Enunciate clearly; speak in a normal volume at a normal pace.
- Use short sentences; avoid idioms and slang.
- Use appropriate gestures.
- Point to pictures and objects for clarification.
- Print information (cursive can be difficult to read).
- Explain objectives and answer questions before beginning activities.
- Repeat, review, rephrase and summarize frequently.
- Praise when earned, unless the student's cultural heritage considers individual attention inappropriate, in which case a private word is better.
2. Discuss English Language Learners instructional methods using the native language of the student.
There are five main English Language Learner (ELL) programs that use the student's native language while he is learning English:
- TRANSITIONAL BILINGUAL uses the native language in core academic subjects. However, the goal is to phase into English-only instruction as quickly as possible.
- DEVELOPMENTAL BILINGUAL uses the native language in core academic subjects throughout elementary school. Sometimes the program extends into middle and high school even after the student has been classified proficient in English.
- In TWO-WAY IMMERSION the students are from similar backgrounds, with about half the class speaking the native language and the other half speaking both. Instruction is about evenly split between English and the native language.
- In some cases, the native language is used in a SUPPORT ROLE ONLY. Instruction is entirely in English with a bilingual paraprofessional available to translate vocabulary, explain lessons and clarify confusing assignments.
- NEWCOMER programs are usually reserved for recent U.S. arrivals. Instruction is in the native language and students are also helped to acclimate to their new environment.
3. Discuss the continuum of learning theory as it applies to learning English as a second language.
The Continuum of Learning theory outlines predictable steps when learning a new language. No matter what the characteristics of the person or the subject matter being presented, teachers will encounter these general levels of mastery.
- The SILENT/RECEPTIVE OR PREPRODUCTION stage can last from a few hours to six months. Students usually don't say much and communicate using pictures, pointing and gestures.
- In the EARLY PRODUCTION stage students use one and two word phrases. They indicate understanding with yes/no and who/what/where questions. This stage can last six months.
- The SPEECH EMERGENCE stage may last a year. Students use short sentences and begin to ask simple questions. Grammatical errors may make communication challenging.
- In the INTERMEDIATE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY stage students begin to make complex statements, share thoughts and opinions and speak more often. This may last a year or more.
- The ADVANCED LEARNING PROFICIENCY stage lasts five to seven years. Students have acquired a substantial vocabulary and are capable of participating fully in classroom activities and discussions.
4. Discuss general standards that should be present in all language arts programs.
Home, church, community and culture all play vital roles in a student's life away from school. Recognizing and working with these influences will help students acquire the skills they need, retain knowledge, and apply it outside the classroom. Understanding, evaluating, integrating and sharing information gleaned from the literature of many eras and a variety of genres helps students appreciate diversity and enhances their knowledge of the world. The ability to read, write, analyze, and communicate ideas and concepts effectively should be the goal of every language arts program. Students don't learn if they are not engaged in the process. A great way to motivate students is to offer material that is interesting to them, on topics that help them understand their world better. To prevent boredom and help students retain key concepts, teachers need to build on previously acquired knowledge and link new data with old information. Create lesson plans and hands-on activities that relate to the students' lives. Encourage student discussion; as they share ideas and ask questions, alternate perspectives are presented, considered, and integrated.
5. Define phonics and the whole language approach to reading.
Phonics is an analytical approach to reading. Students take words apart to study individual letters and how they come together to make sounds. Learning to decode or "sound out" letter combinations enables students to visually recognize words they already hear and speak in every day conversation. It gives them tools to sound out unfamiliar words. It helps expand students' vocabulary by giving them a way to pronounce new words. Phonics helps them learn to spell, because most words are spelled like they sound. The whole language approach to reading instructs by building on knowledge previously acquired, encourages active learning, and emphasizes working in groups to develop social and communication skills. It brings together speaking, listening, reading and writing experiences to create a rich literary environment that emphasizes quality literature and cultural diversity. When students connect new data with information they already know in a meaningful manner, they understand the new material better and are able to use it more effectively. They integrate new information with the old information more quickly, retain it for a longer time, and are able to retrieve it more easily.
6. Explain what math is and why the basics are important.
Math explains the logic of and relationship between numbers. It is used everyday in countless ways and in order to minimize potential math phobia, teachers need to make the subject relevant to the students' lives and use examples with which they are familiar and that make sense to them. In order to do that, learning the basics is critical, because all math concepts are built on addition, division, fractions and shapes; all mathematical relationships flow from these concepts. It is imperative students understand one concept before moving on to the next. If they fail to grasp the basics, students become confused as they progress to higher levels, because they are unable to apply appropriate background knowledge when introduced to geometry, algebra, probability and statistics. Making math fun by injecting a sense of wonder and excitement into learning how to use numbers in everyday life goes a long way in preventing a fear of math from developing. Some fun activities: play cards, checkers or backgammon; build a tower with interlocking blocks; or count the legs on a centipede.
7. Discuss the importance of making social studies activities relevant to today's world.
Social studies is composed of history and the social sciences (government, citizenship, sociology, economics, cultural influences and the effects of technology). It is a broad subject, indeed. Imparting the values and mores of society to impressionable young people and teaching them how to be involved, engaged, active members of the world is a huge responsibility. It is critical for teachers to use real problems appropriate to the students' age, and prod them to use their creativity to dissect problems and devise solutions. Part of the process is to challenge students' thinking by offering stimulating subjects from which to select their reading, writing, discussion and debate topics. The projects need to combine independent study with group responsibilities, because this is the way the real world works: people bring their unique perspective to the group and the group reaches a consensus on the best way to tackle a problem. Social studies is a class that can and should be realistic preparation for participation as an adult member of society.
8. Discuss science in elementary school.
Children come to school with background knowledge and rudimentary understanding of how things work. They have reached conclusions based on their perception of the physical world. It is a wise teacher who recognizes that fact and uses it to his advantage when introducing and explaining scientific concepts. He builds on ideas already known and corrects any misconceptions. Teachers need to explain that science has a history. Students need to be familiar with the socio-economic environment in which a theory was introduced in order to truly understand why something did or did not work, why it may have been proven wrong, or why a better way was discovered with later experimentation. In a science classroom, safety must always be a priority. Since it is an interactive area, it needs to be ventilated and appropriate safety equipment (i.e. water, fire extinguisher, protective gear, etc.) must be available. The students need to understand how to operate the instruments in a safe manner, so instructions should be provided in writing as well as given verbally. Questions should be asked and answered before any activity is started.
9. Discuss creative expression and the use of themes in art.
Being creative is the ability to bring into existence an original and imaginative work of art (music, painting, sculpture, comedy, drama, literature) by conveying an idea, emotion or opinion in a direct or indirect representation using words, pictures, gestures, signs and symbols. A person with creative expression has the burning need to bring forth a unique manifestation of his or her understanding and interpretation of mankind's primal desires. There are four themes (universal, timely, broad, and shared) used by the artist, musician, writer, sculptor and architect to organize ideas and concepts into a coherent whole. They present a perspective beyond the individual and his cultural experience to help him connect with people who have a different worldview. Since art's function is to communicate, themes help the reader, viewer, listener recognize and understand just how similar are the circumstances of the human family. They connect current events to historic happenings and enable readers, viewers, and listeners to relate to the past, and help communities apply lessons learned long ago to contemporary issues.
1o. Explain some of the health benefits of regular physical activity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), daily participation in physical education classes has declined in the last twenty years and, even in communities and schools where physical activity is encouraged, participation drops dramatically as children age. Studies have shown that even moderate exercise is beneficial: it helps builds strong bones, muscles and joints; significantly reduces the risk of developing many diseases including diabetes, hypertension and colon cancer; helps control weight; reduces depression and anxiety; and promotes an overall feeling of well-being. Schools and communities can encourage physical activity by providing safe facilities for children to play baseball, basketball, tennis and engage in other active pursuits. Developing activities that bring young people together with friends, peers and parents and providing events that allow them to gain confidence in their physical abilities is a positive way to get them up, out, and moving. And finally, the best encouragement for children to be active is for the adults in their life to be leading healthy, active lives. Respected role models are very effective motivators for young people.
Last Updated: 03/13/2013