TExES ELAR/Social Studies 4-8 (113) Study Guide

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TExES English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8 Study Guide

The TExES English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8 exam or TExES 113 is required by the state of Texas for those wishing to teach English and social studies to students in grades 4 through 8. Test takers must achieve the TExES test scores needed to pass in order to obtain teacher certification in the field. The test contains 120 selected-response questions that must be answered in 4 hours and 45 minutes. Candidates will have to answer questions about various areas of language arts, such as oral language, early literacy development, reading comprehension, written language, and the content knowledge and skills needed to teach social studies. In order to prepare, test takers should use a TExES English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8 study guide to learn about the content of the exam. Explore our TExES 113 study guide and the different domains and competencies below.

TExES English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8 Study Guide (113)
Oral Language, Early Literacy Development, Word Identification Skills, and Reading Fluency17% (~20 questions)
Reading Comprehension and Assessment, Reading Applications, Written Language, Viewing and Representing, and Study and Inquiry Skills33% (~40 questions)
Social Studies Content36% (~43 questions)
Social Studies Foundations, Skills, and Instruction14% (~17 questions)
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Oral Language, Early Literacy Development, Word Identification Skills, and Reading Fluency Candidates will need to be prepared to demonstrate their understanding of how students learn oral language, begin to read, and develop reading fluency. Questions in this domain will also evaluate candidates' understanding of specific language arts skills, such as word identification skills.

Oral Language

The first competency aims to test candidates' understanding of oral language development and their skills in helping students grow in their abilities to speak and listen. Test takers will have to demonstrate their knowledge of oral language development stages and what linguistic concepts students learn at each stage.

Candidates need to know how to utilize oral language assessments to identify student strengths and needs in oral language. Based on their findings, test takers will need to plan instruction and use various strategies to implement their lessons. They should also know how to incorporate various materials and tools, including technology, in their lessons.

Early Literacy Development

Test takers need knowledge of early language development and how students grow in phonological and phonemic awareness. They should be familiar with how comprehension and the alphabetic principle play a role in literacy. Candidates also need to know that English is different from other languages, which can affect students' literacy development. For instance, not all languages are alphabetic.

Similar to the competency of oral language, test takers need to know how to choose and use assessments for literacy and then be able to analyze results. Candidates should use these assessments to monitor student needs and identify reading errors.

Word Identification Skills and Reading Fluency

Candidates must understand the role of word identification and reading fluency in reading and know how to provide activities for students to practice these skills. Test takers need to know how to teach:

  • Sight words
  • Decoding
  • Structural analysis
  • Blending

Candidates should know the different factors that may influence students' skills in these areas, such as learning disabilities or a different home language. Test takers must be familiar with assessments used to evaluate fluency and word identification skills and instructional activities that can be used to improve these skills at various reading levels.

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Reading Comprehension and Assessment, Reading Applications, Written Language, Viewing and Representing, and Study and Inquiry Skills

The second language arts domain focuses on testing candidates' skills in teaching reading comprehension and written language. Test takers need to be prepared to answer questions about reading, writing, and study skills.

Reading Comprehension and Assessment

Test takers should be familiar with how reading comprehension develops over time and understand the various factors that can affect reading comprehension, such as vocabulary development, language background, and fluency. They also need to notice student errors and use assessments to evaluate students' skills in order to plan effective instruction.

Candidates will also be asked about teaching self-monitoring skills to students and helping them increase reading comprehension by using different communication modes and developing vocabulary. Questions may also ask how candidates would help students who are demonstrating difficulties with reading comprehension.

Reading Applications

This competency examines test takers' abilities to teach students reading skills for a wide range of reading materials and contexts. Candidates must be able to train students to use dictionaries and begin using reading as a tool to learn.

Test takers will also need to be familiar with skills for teaching students about different literary genres, abstract content, and technology that can be used for reading and research. They need to understand how to teach students to interpret information from graphs and other graphics.

Written Language- Writing Conventions

Candidates will be required to demonstrate their skills in teaching writing conventions, including punctuation, sentence construction, and letter formation, to students. This means candidates will have to be familiar with the development of writing conventions and the instructional methods for teaching these conventions.

Test takers need to know how to assess writing conventions and help students improve their grammar and spelling. They will also need knowledge of spelling development and how to develop spelling skills in their students.

Written Language- Composition

This competency aims to test candidates' ability to teach students how to write in order to communicate. Test takers need to understand the different uses of writing and plan instruction that is designed to increase students' writing skills.

Candidates must be familiar with writing assessments and know how to apply interventions for struggling students as needed. Questions may examine topics in the different stages of writing, writing styles, writing voices, and technology used to aid writing. Test takers also need to understand the differences between spoken and written language and convey these differences to students.

Viewing and Representing

Candidates need to be able to teach students how to analyze various forms of media for the intended message. Test takers should know how various kinds of media work and determine how images convey meaning. For example, candidates may need to teach students the differences between visual and electronic media and how to analyze films or political cartoons.

Test takers will also need to be able to instruct students on how to create visual images. This typically involves using technology and experimenting with different presentations for a given message.

Study and Inquiry Skills

The final competency in this domain evaluates candidates' knowledge of study and inquiry skills and their ability to further develop these skills in their students. This includes understanding and teaching skills such as:

  • Locating information
  • Organizing information
  • Outlining
  • Previewing
  • Summarizing information
  • Utilizing multiple sources
  • Evaluating information

Candidates will need to know the expected study and skill levels for each grade and be familiar with instructional strategies for further developing these skills. Test takers should understand the different assessments that can be used to monitor students' development in this area.

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Social Studies Content

Candidates will need to demonstrate their content knowledge in a range of areas within the social sciences. Test takers' knowledge of areas such as history, economics, and government, will be examined, as well as their skills to teach these subjects.

History

Candidates must be familiar with major events, historical figures, and developments from history at the state, national, and global levels. They need to be able to examine events from different contexts and viewpoints and relate ideas from history to the present.

Test takers should be prepared to answer questions about events such as:

  • Civil War
  • Westward expansion
  • European exploration
  • Reconstruction

They will also need to know about Native American groups in Texas, economic development in the U.S., and contributions of different racial and religious groups in Texas.

Geography

Geography content will also be tested on the state, national, and global scales. Candidates must be familiar with different geographic regions, such as Texas, and the physical characteristics of these areas. They need to understand how these different characteristics affect human settlement.

Test takers will need to know different physical processes, including plate tectonics and erosion, and how these processes affect the environment. Questions will also examine topics in human interactions with the environment and how geography affects economic development and other factors.

Economics

Test takers must understand economic concepts such as:

  • Consumer
  • Producer
  • Free-enterprise
  • Goods and services
  • Factors of production
  • Scarcity

They need to be familiar with various economic systems and the economic indicators that can be used to describe economic activity.

Candidates will also need knowledge of work and economic developments in the state, country, and across the world. They need to be able to identify economic trends throughout history and understand major economic events. They also need to be able to explain how economic events impact the state, nation, and world.

Government and Citizenship

The Government and Citizenship competency focuses specifically on the United States and Texas governments. Candidates need to understand how both the federal government and Texas state government function and how they are structured. They also need to understand major documents associated with the state and nation, such as Texas' constitution or the Declaration of Independence. Questions may also ask about major Supreme Court cases.

Candidates also need to know the different aspects of citizenship. They should be able to explain individual rights and responsibilities and know how citizenship is different across societies. They also need to be familiar with American celebrations and symbols.

Culture; Science, Technology, and Society

Test takers will need to demonstrate their understanding of diversity and cultural development and how scientific developments and technological innovations may influence society, such as influencing culture or politics. Questions will test candidates' knowledge of family roles, customs, and stories in culture.

Candidates should also understand how different ethnic and racial groups have contributed to society. They need to understand the role of religion and culture in everyday life.

Finally, test takers need to know how innovations in science and technology have affected development in economies, societies, politics, and other areas. They also should be able to explain how science and technology have influenced ethics and altered the environment.

Social Studies Foundations, Skills, and Instruction

This final domain is designed to test candidates' skills in teaching social studies. Candidates must understand the interconnectedness of the social sciences and be able to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction.

Social Studies Foundations and Skills

Candidates need to know how the social sciences can apply to everyday life and how the different fields are related to one another. They need to understand the various assumptions and trends in the social sciences, as well as the terminology used in the field.

Questions will also evaluate test takers' skills in analyzing social science data and information. They must understand the differences between primary and secondary sources and know how

to read different types of graphics, such as maps. Test takers also need to demonstrate their problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Social Studies Instruction and Assessment

Candidates should be prepared to demonstrate their abilities in planning and implementing social studies instruction. They need to be able to incorporate educational standards according to grade level and be aware of what and how content should be taught based on stages of development.

Test takers also need to understand how to use activities, materials, and technology that encourage student growth in vocabulary, research, and other social science skills. Candidates should use assessments to monitor student progress and adjust instruction as needed.

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