PRAXIS II English Language, Literature, and Composition Content Knowledge Exam

This exam is designed to test competencies for licensure as a secondary school English teacher. You will be given two hours to complete this 120 multiple-choice question exam. The exam has 36 questions on composition and rhetoric, 18 questions on language and linguistics, and 66 questions regarding reading and understanding text.

Reading and Understanding Text
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of various instructional approaches to the teaching of reading, interpretation of historical and cultural text, identification of major literary works and authors, identification of patterns, structures, characteristics of literary forms, identifying and interpreting figurative language, other literary elements, and paraphrasing, comparing, and interpreting various forms of writing.

Language and Linguistics
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of the elements of semantics, grammar, the history and development of the English language, principles of language acquisition, and development of dialects, along with historical, social and cultural influences of language.

Composition and Rhetoric
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of the purpose, organization, strategy and, method of writing. Your skills of writing instruction and evaluation of student writing will also be assessed.

PRAXIS II English Language, Literature, and Composition Content Knowledge Practice Questions

1. Literature choices in a language arts curriculum should:

A. include women and minorities
B. explore countries and cultures
C. promote critical thinking
D. All of the above

2. Which of the following does not engage students in the learning process?

A. Interesting material
B. Topics of concern to them
C. Boring assignments
D. Hands-on activities that relate to their lives

3. How can data in one class help students in another class?

A. Help understand new facts
B. Integrate new information
C. Apply lessons from one class to the other
D. All of the above

4. Which of the following is not a focus of the taxonomy of personal engagement?

A. Thoughts and feelings
B. Memorization
C. Points of view
D. Value system

5. Which of the following is not important in the writing process?

A. Computer
B. Outline
C. Revision
D. Feedback

Answer Key For English Language, Literature, And Composition Content Knowledge

1. Answer: D

In a well-designed language arts curriculum, both contemporary and historical literature in various genres is read and analyzed. The content should embrace society’s diversity, portray women and minorities accurately and without bias, and explore various countries and cultures. The program should be organized around universal themes that reflect the human condition, promote critical thinking, encourage vocabulary enhancement, and integrate information from other disciplines.

Teachers should emphasize that timeless literature does not exist in a vacuum and can only be truly understood when viewed through the social, economic, and political environment in which they are set. This is the best way to integrate information from other disciplines such as history, social studies, and economics into the language arts program. It is important teachers recognize students are at different reading and comprehension levels, so the choice of literature, time spent discussing and reviewing it, and the hands-on activities assigned should compensate for those differences.

2. Answer: C

Students don’t learn if they are not engaged in the process. They won’t engage in the process if they are not motivated. So just how does a teacher fulfill the curriculum requirements and engage the students at the same time? A great way to motivate adolescents is to offer them material that is interesting to them, on topics they care about, and helps them understand their world better. The choice of literature has to mean something to the students or the assignment will not come alive for the student, and the message will be forgotten as soon as the test is over.

To prevent boredom and help students retain key concepts, teachers need to build on previously acquired knowledge and link new data with old information. Ability to do so will vastly broaden the range of materials that can be made relevant and interesting to students. Create lesson plans and hands-on activities that both relate to the students’ lives and help them see beyond themselves. Encourage student discussion. As students share ideas and ask questions, alternate perspectives are presented, considered, and integrated.

3. Answer: D

One of education’s primary functions is to prepare students to be productive members of society. In order to do that effectively, the knowledge gained in school needs be meaningful and make sense to the students. Therefore, it is imperative teachers consciously make connections between information learned and skills acquired in one class to their application in other disciplines. Connected data can be used to understand new facts, integrate new information, and apply lessons learned in one area to problems posed in another.

The ability to see the relationship between seemingly unrelated topics and events requires critical thinking and advanced reasoning skills. When teachers encourage students to explore the relationship between activities and attitudes in school, at home, and in the neighborhood, they gradually begin to understand that individual actions have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate environment. Making that critical connection is a major milestone in an adolescent’s maturation process.

4. Answer: B

The Taxonomy of Personal Engagement solicits thoughts and feelings and requires students use critical thinking skills and make connections to related concepts by tapping into their thoughts, feelings, attitudes, points of view, real life experiences, and value system. Open-ended questions should:

Pique their INTEREST and curiosity
Be ENGAGING so students want to be involved
Require a COMMITMENT to develop responsibility
Merge ideas with experiences so students INTERNALIZE and take ownership of new concepts
Help students INTERPRET information and want to communicate new insights
EVALUATE and show a willingness to use the information

5. Answer: A

Students need to understand that writing is hard work and requires patience and persistence. A well-written paper takes thought and preparation and shouldn’t be rushed. The steps in the writing process help produce a well-crafted, interesting paper. Explaining each step will help students write better papers in all their classes, not just language arts.

Brainstorm by reading and researching different subjects to generate ideas. Take notes and highlight important facts. Write down book and article titles, authors, and page numbers.
Develop an outline of the main topics to be covered. This guide can be general or detailed, depending upon the writer’s preference.
Write the first version or rough draft to get the ideas on paper. Sometimes this is called the “sloppy copy.”
Revise the rough draft by rewriting awkward sentences, adding and deleting information, and improving the introductory and concluding paragraphs.
Edit the revised version. Correct spelling and grammar errors.
Ask for feedback. Have a parent or peer review and comment.
Make corrections.
Print (publish) the final version.
Learn from the teacher’s comments.