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I recently passed the Texas ESL exam… after failing it two times before.
The first two times, I just studied the packets from the testing website and nothing else. I was close though, very very close.
The third and final time, prior to the exam, I took a course through my district with an educator that literally wrote the book on the Texas ESL exam. My score increased more than 30 points from the first two times, talk about growth!
The course instructors name is Patricia Morales, Ed.D. and the book is titled, Content Review and Practice Book for the Texas Educator Certification Program. The book came with the course that I took but can be found for $39.99 on Amazon. The book is great and really breaks down the key components of the competencies for a better understanding of the information needed to pass the test. This book also provides a practice test with answers and rationals.
The course with Dr. Morales was engaging and her understanding of the content was evident. I think one of the more important parts of the course was that Dr. Morales was using real life strategies that can be used directly with English Learners in the classroom. Just a few of the strategies she used in the course include: repeating words that were important, enunciating, speaking slowly, using models, examples, facial expressions, hand gestures, providing copies of the PowerPoint with page numbers matching the book, constantly asking if we understood to provide explanations if needed, and looking for confusion when we all just sat there staring. Dr. Morales was an excellent instructor and made the two sessions of 3 hours each (after a long day of work) seem to fly by. Suggestions though, don’t forget some snacks.
The Best Part: We were not working in groups and instead we were in a lecture hall type room that provided everyone with enough space. I CANNOT stand being crowded into a small room sitting at a table with a bunch of other people for long periods of time. I especially prefer lecture style over collaborative groups after teaching all day!
My district will refund the cost of the test and adding it to my certification after I submit the appropriate paperwork.