Teachers in Texas can become highly qualified to teach different subject areas by passing state content exams. Exam 154 ESL 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 including cultural awareness and 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.

Step 1

Review the Texas Examinations of Education Standards (TExES) preparation manual. This study guide is available online at the TExES Web site (www.texes.ets.org). It 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.

Step 2

Use a printed study guide to learn more specifics about the content of the exam. The state preparation manual provides descriptive statements about the domains and competencies on the exam. Some printed study guides will 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, read reviews and recommendations from people who have purchased and used these guides.

Step 3

Take a practice exam. 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 provide an answer key that includes the reasoning behind the correct and incorrect answers.

Step 4

Attend a test review session. Private test preparation centers provide review sessions for state certification exams. These review sessions are often available for a fee and are taught by professional educators.