California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) : Theories, Models, and Processes of Second-Language Acquisition

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL)

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Additive Language Development

In a classroom of adult second language learners it is best to encourage _____________.

Possible Answers:

free and natural conversations about contemporary or personally relevant topics

strictly academic discourse

None of these

only supervised conversations on specific topics, so the teacher can supervise language use by the students

Correct answer:

free and natural conversations about contemporary or personally relevant topics

Explanation:

The first thing to remember when teaching second language learners is that they are already fluent conversationalists in another language! This is the primary difference between facilitating primary and second language acquisition. Second language learners, in order to progress to the difficult goal of pragmatic competence, will be more stimulated and more apt to acquire language when they engage in natural conversations similar to those they will or would like to have in their real lives. Allowing learners to express themselves naturally and without constant strict supervision is key.

Example Question #2 : Additive Language Development

Which of the following is the best technique to teach students to produce a short essay on a contemporary topic?

Possible Answers:

Have the students read several model essays, both positive and negative in advance, and then have them discuss the essays in small groups

Give the students an abundance of essays to take home, telling them they will produce their essays the next day

None of these

Have the students gather in small groups to discuss the topic, generate a thesis, and write introductions that they then workshop as a group

Correct answer:

Have the students gather in small groups to discuss the topic, generate a thesis, and write introductions that they then workshop as a group

Explanation:

The best way to help students synthesize information about essay structures is to make sure that all aspects of language learning are incorporated into the process. By having students read, write, talk, and listen while composing their essays you will be developing all of their language skills, while also allowing the students to be comfortable, while combining social and solitary work.

Example Question #1 : Additive Language Development

Semantic meaning refers to ___________.

Possible Answers:

the meaning of a phoneme

the meaning of an individual word

the meaning of a sentence

the meaning of a paragraph

Correct answer:

the meaning of an individual word

Explanation:

This is a simple, but important, definition: semantic meaning refers to the meaning generated by a single word in isolation.

Example Question #4 : Additive Language Development

In providing corrections for beginner-early intermediate second language learners it is best practice to _________________.

Possible Answers:

correct every single mistake in order to provide the learner with maximum input

provide only a summary paragraph response that is encouraging; individual sentences should not be commented upon

avoid correcting all mistakes, and instead focus on providing consistent feedback in a specifically targeted area

Not applicable; beginning students should not be asked to write or read

Correct answer:

avoid correcting all mistakes, and instead focus on providing consistent feedback in a specifically targeted area

Explanation:

Beginning and early intermediate second language learners are very far away from being able to produce a text that does not require significant correction. To correct every grammatical point in a student's work at this level would be deeply discouraging to a student, and would simply overload them with information, making it impossible for them to actually synthesize the corrections. The best thing to do is to give specific, targeted feedback on a grammar point that the student can take in and learn from. Doing this over a long period of time, as the points are incrementally integrated the student will improve.

Example Question #11 : California Teacher Of English Learners (Ctel)

According to a semantic theory of second language acquisition, meaning is ______________.

Possible Answers:

a detrimental idea to the early stages of language acquisition

a purely theoretical construct, and thus unimportant in practical language acquisition

an existentially irrelevant and pernicious term

the most important and fundamental factor in language acquisition

Correct answer:

the most important and fundamental factor in language acquisition

Explanation:

Semantic theory holds that meaning is the single most important factor and goal of all language. According to this theory, to acquire language is to gain the ability to express meaning. This theory identifies four kinds of meaning: semantic, lexical, grammatical, and pragmatic.

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