Being able to better teach English as a Second Language (ESL) students is something many Texas teachers need or want to do. Teachers in Texas can become highly qualified to teach different subject areas by passing state content exams including ESL students. The 154 ESL exam is the supplemental English as a Second Language exam. Passing this exam provides evidence that the teacher knows the basics of teaching students whose primary language is not English. The test covers three domains: language concepts and acquisition, instruction and assessment and the foundations of ESL education. The foundations include cultural awareness as well as family and community involvement. To prepare for this exam, teachers should review printed and online study guides, take practice tests and attend a test review session if one is available in their area.

Reviewing Preparation Manual

Teachers preparing for the 154 ESL exam should review the available and most recent Texas Examinations of Education Standards (TExES) preparation manual. The manual includes detailed information about the domains, competencies and standards covered on the exam. This information is what every beginning educator should know when teaching ESL students. The preparation manual also provides tips for studying for the exam, details on how the exam is formatted and practice test items.

ESL 154 Study Guide

Before taking the test, a printed ESL study guide to learn more specifics about the content of the TExES ESL exam is another good option for teachers. The state preparation manual provides descriptive statements about the domains and competencies on the exam. Some printed study guides will also provide more specific information about these concepts. For example, the TExES preparation manual notes the importance of knowing language concepts and how language is acquired. A third-party study guide might provide a more detailed review of language development stages and how to teach students at different stages. Before purchasing a printed study guide, try reading reviews and recommendations from people who have purchased and used the guides.

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Taking Practice Exam

After going over the ESL 154 study guide, the next step is to take an ESL 154 practice test. Sample exam questions are available in both the TExES preparation manual and in most printed study guides. You can also find sample exam questions online. Most resources also provide an answer key that includes the reasoning behind the correct and incorrect answers.

Attending Test Review Sessions

Another option for teachers preparing for the ESL certification test is to take a test review session. Private test preparation centers provide review sessions for state certification exams including the TExES ESL exam. These review sessions are often available for a fee and are taught by professional educators.

About the Author

A professional educator in Texas, Lynn Wolf began her journalism career in 1993. She has published in the "New Orleans Times-Picayune" and the "Monroe News-Star." Wolf holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from Loyola University New Orleans and a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University.