ESL Subtests of MTEL

Importance of ESL MTEL

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) is conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to test and provide a license to candidates who inspire to teach. It is a prerequisite for educational professionals desiring to train prekindergarten to grade 12 students. Candidates are required to demonstrate their subject expertise and proficiency in communication with students, parents, guardians and their co-faculty.

MTEL test includes varied subtests in ESL (English as a Second Language), Math, Science, Dance, History, Reading, Theatre, Visual Art and more. Candidates are judged based on their subject knowledge and language skills by means of comprehensive reading, crisp writing and clear speech. MTEL is a computer-based test grounded on objectives and reference criteria that aim to measure a candidate's potential to teach. This test is of four types namely;

  1. Communications and Literacy Skills Test

  2. Academic (Prekindergarten to grade 12) Subject Matter Tests include ESL test

  3. Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test

  4. Adult Basic Education Test

Importance of ESL MTEL Subtest

The United States of America comprises students from different cultural backgrounds and their native language of communication is the only familiar language. As an ESL teacher, you will be entitled to enhance the child’s language skills and also improve their subject matter knowledge which includes good written & spoken English skills.

Preparing for the ESL MTEL Subtest

The ESL test is premeditated to gauge the aspirant’s understanding & subject knowledge expertise in order to be rewarded with the Massachusetts English as a Second Language License.

  1. ESL subject is covered in the sub-tests namely;

    • English as a Second Language (ESL) Prekindergarten- Grade 6
    • English as a Second Language (ESL) Grade 5 – Grade 12
  2. The test format takes you through multiple-choice questions with four options to choose from and open-response questions.

  3. The duration of each subtest is 4 hours.

  4. Test Structure for ESL test:

    • 100 multiple-choice questions with four options to choose from
    • 4 open-response questions
    • The mode of answering the test is with oral responses

  5. Score reports for the ESL subject subtest can be accessed for 45 days on the website as per the score report date listed. However, English and History scores are available within five weeks of the test date. Refer the link for more details.

Preparing For the ESL MTEL Sub Test

  • Test Objectives: Before beginning the preparation, getting familiarized with the test objectives of the subtest is highly recommended as it provides the foundation essentials of the test. You may follow the link for the PDF version:

  • Information Booklets: ESL is designed with the essential study material including detailed insight into the test content, sample questions in multiple-choice and open-response formats. The booklet also includes proven strategies to help you prepare for the test. You may follow the link:

  • Study Tools for ESL MTEL:

    1. MTEL English as a Second Language (54) Teacher Certification Test Prep Study Guide - A study guide by Sharon A Wynne

    2. MTEL as a Second Language (ESL MTEL) 54 Practice Test 1 by Sharon A Wynne

    3. MTEL English as a Second Language (54) Exam Secrets Study Guide: MTEL Test Review for the Massachusetts by MTEL Exam Secrets Test Preparation Team

  • The Massachusetts Higher Education institutions offer a diverse range of preparatory courses to help the students prepare for the ESL test. The list is available on the website of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The updated costs and details for specific courses can be availed directly from the mentioned institutions. You may follow the link:

  • 80% of the multiple-choice test content comprises of-

    1. English Language Listening proficiency

    2. Foundations of Second-Language Instruction

    3. Second-Language and Content Learning

    4. English Language Oral Proficiency

  • 20% of the open response test content is based on Integration of Knowledge & Understanding which include

    1. Conversation Communiqué (A conversation between two friends)

    2. Narrative Communiqué (Narrating an incident or an event)

    3. Persuasive Communiqué (Taking a position on an issue)

    4. Language Fluency & Pronunciation (Reading a script)

A child who is learning English as a second language requires guidance to pick up the language easily. As an ESL teacher, you have the challenge and responsibility to teach the child in a manner that he/she will grasp easily. Teaching today's children will enrich the student's future by building a definite foundation system. Thus, by obtaining a teaching license, an educator can be the source of building the young child's bright future.