Foundations of Reading Study Guide

Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Foundations of Reading Development

Objective 0001
Understand phonological and phonemic awareness.

1. Which of the following statements best explains the difference between phonemic awareness and phonics skills?

  1. Phonemic awareness is the general understanding that spoken language can be represented by print, while phonics requires knowledge of particular letter-sound associations.
  2. Phonemic awareness is the ability to associate sounds with letters, while phonics refers to knowledge of common spelling patterns.
  3. Phonemic awareness involves a general understanding of the alphabetic principle, while phonics includes letter-blending skills.
  4. Phonemic awareness is the ability to distinguish individual speech sounds, while phonics requires knowledge of letter-sound correspondence.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 0003
Understand the role of phonics in promoting reading development.

2. Which of the following describes the most likely source of phonics difficulties for English Language Learners whose primary language is alphabetic?

  1. Other languages tend to use letter combinations to represent individual phonemes.
  2. The letters of the English alphabet may represent different phonemes in other languages' writing systems.
  3. Other languages rely more heavily on the use of context cues in decoding than English does.
  4. English contains words that have been adopted from many other languages.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 0003
Understand the role of phonics in promoting reading development.

3. In which of the following nonsense words is the vowel sound likely to be the same as the vowel sound in the word on?

  1. goan
  2. goble
  3. gobb
  4. gowl
Correct Response: C.

Objective 0004
Understand word analysis skills and strategies.

4. Students in an upper-elementary class examine and discuss paired words such as compete and competition, inflame and inflammation, and magic and magician. Word pairings such as these are most likely to promote students' reading development by increasing their awareness that:

  1. most phonic generalizations have at least a few exceptions.
  2. syllabication can help a reader identify the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
  3. the spelling of a word may give clues to its meaning as well as to its sound.
  4. some phonemes are represented by more than one letter combination.
Correct Response: C.

Development of Reading Comprehension

Objective 0005
Understand vocabulary development.

5. A fourth-grade teacher leads a class discussion about different types of animals. As students name various animals, the teacher draws on the board the diagram shown below.

line drawn animal classification tree

Image defined by list: Animals


This type of activity is most likely to promote students' reading proficiency in which of the following ways?

  1. helping them recognize that a word's meaning may shift when the context changes
  2. enriching their vocabulary knowledge by relating familiar words to larger conceptual categories
  3. helping them recognize that every word has links to many other types of words
  4. enriching their vocabulary skills by demonstrating that many single words have both denotative and connotative meanings
Correct Response: B.

Objective 0006
Understand how to apply reading comprehension skills and strategies to imaginative/literary texts.

Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow.

A fifth-grade student has been reading a novel set in the early nineteenth century. Shown below is an excerpt from a chapter of the novel. In this excerpt, Thomas and his family are travelling across the United States in a covered wagon to settle in California.

As the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas came into view, Thomas began to understand why his parents wanted to make it here earlier in the fall. The mountains were covered in a thick blanket of white. Each time they stopped, Flip jumped out and ran around the wagon, letting out frightened little yelps, as if he knew what lay ahead, and was just as worried as anyone.

Thomas and his parents, and even little Adele, understood that there was no choice but to go on. Here they were in the middle of nowhere—dry desert and more mountains behind them, and nothing, no signs of human life, as far as the eye could see. Everyone in the family stopped talking. There was nothing to talk about, just a heavy fear in the pit of everyone's stomach. Every so often, Thomas's mother or father would disappear into the back of the wagon, checking on the provisions and busying themselves with final preparations for the trip through the pass. Nothing they could do would change the fact that there were five, ten, fifteen feet of snow in some places up there, and more coming.

When the student finishes reading the chapter, the teacher asks questions about this passage. Printed below is an excerpt from their conversation.

Teacher: So what's this chapter about?

Student: Thomas and his family are still trying to get to California. But now they're worried.

Teacher: Why are they worried?

Student: I'm not sure. They're all alone, and it's cold. And there are mountains too, I guess. And they're all feeling sad and scared.

Teacher: What makes them feel that way?

Student: I think maybe they wish they could go back home. Maybe they don't have enough supplies.

Teacher: Do you remember anything else about this part of the story?

Student: Not really... nobody's talking about anything.

6. In this conversation, the student most clearly demonstrates which of the following reading skills?

  1. making predictions based on information in a passage
  2. understanding the author's point of view in a literary passage
  3. interpreting the mood of a literary text
  4. identifying the main idea of a passage
Correct Response: C.

7. This conversation suggests that the student would benefit from instruction to help the student:

  1. understand cause-and-effect relationships in a literary text.
  2. analyze the development of the main character in a literary text.
  3. identify the sequence of events in a literary text.
  4. recognize the emotional responses of characters in a literary text.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 0007
Understand how to apply reading comprehension skills and strategies to informational/expository texts.

Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow.

Students in a fourth-grade class read the following passage from their science textbook.

You can sometimes feel static electricity in action. As you take off a sweater over your head, some of the negatively charged particles from the sweater rub onto your hair. This gives your hair extra negative charges, while your sweater is left with extra positive charges. Notice how your hair sticks to the sweater as you pull it over your head.

8. This passage illustrates which of following types of text structure?

  1. comparison and contrast
  2. cause and effect
  3. thesis and evidence
  4. problem and solution
Correct Response: B.

9. Which of the following student responses to the passage most clearly suggests that the student is applying inferential comprehension skills?

  1. "I guess positive charges stick to negative charges."
  2. "My hair always sticks straight up when I take off my sweater."
  3. "I think all my sweaters must have lots of negative charges."
  4. "I think there are other kinds of electricity besides the static kind."
Correct Response: A.

Reading Assessment & Instruction

Objective 0009
Understand multiple approaches to reading instruction.

10. Use the sentences with missing letters below to answer the question that follows.

1. W_ll y_ _ r_ _d th_s?
2. _i_ _  _ou  _ea_  _ _i_?

Reading researchers have observed that while sentence 1 is easily understood by most readers, sentence 2 is not. This observation best supports which of the following conclusions about effective phonics instruction?

  1. Capitalization and punctuation help determine the meaning of a sentence but are not relevant to decoding.
  2. Students should be encouraged to guess at a word's identity once they have decoded part of the word.
  3. Context cues are as important as phonics knowledge in enabling a reader to decode connected text.
  4. Students' ability to decode connected text will develop most quickly if phonics instruction begins with consonants.
Correct Response: D.