English Test of MTEL

How are English Language Skills Tested in MTEL?

In order to teach in Massachusetts public schools, you need to earn the Massachusetts Tests Educator Licensure (MTEL). The licensing requirements include a few tests and other eligibility criteria. Depending upon the level and type of license you are interested in, the tests that you are required to pass varies. However, the two common tests that most license types demand are:

  • Appropriate Communication and Literacy Skills Test
  • Relevant Subject Matter Test

If you want to become an English teacher in Massachusetts, achieving a passing score in the MTEL English test is mandatory. General information about the English test that you need to know is described in this article.

Overview of the MTEL English Test

The English exam assesses how well you are prepared to teach English to school students. You are expected to understand the basic concepts and general principles of the English language. Also, you must be able to effectively communicate your ideas to students in order to make them learn English as a subject.

The test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-response questions. The former covers 80 percent of the total test score whereas the latter accounts for 20 percent. The total duration of the test is four hours out of which you need to spend around 20 to 30 minutes for each open-response question.

How are English Language Skills Tested?

The English subject test is sub-divided into 4 subareas. Your knowledge in the English subject matter is tested by defining a few test objectives pertaining to each subarea and through questions that are relevant to the test objectives. The subareas of the English test are listed below along with the number of test objectives that are included under each subarea.

  • Literature and Language: The topics covered in this subarea are mostly related to literature of different geographical zones across significant time periods of the world (for example, American literature of the twentieth century), literature types and structure and development of the English language. 9 objectives are included in this subarea. Test questions are in the multiple-choice format.
  • Rhetoric and Composition: This subarea tests your knowledge in oral and written forms of communication in the English language. Your awareness about the necessary skills required for effective writing and general written language conventions are measured. It consists of 3 objectives and test questions in multiple-choice format.
  • Reading Theory, Research and Instruction: This subarea includes 2 objectives that assess your understanding about reading skills and their application in research through multiple-choice questions.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Understanding: This section consists of open-response questions with the objective of testing your writing skills. You need to write two compositions on topics covered by the other three subareas. Hence, your integration skills of the subject knowledge and writing ability are assessed in this section.

How is English Test Evaluated?

Each multiple-choice question of the English test is provided with four answer options from which you need to choose the most appropriate answer. They are either direct questions pertaining to a subject or questions related to a given passage. Each correct answer gets a scoring point.

The two open-response assignments require you to compose writings of approximately 150-300 words each. Your written composition is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Purpose: It determines how well you integrate your essay with the purpose of the assignment. For instance, if you are asked to identify and write about a significant theme of a given passage, then your written essay must clearly display your ability to understand and express the main theme precisely.
  • Subject Knowledge: It assesses your expertise in the English language and knowledge in the subareas. The right application of subject matter at appropriate places in the composition is also evaluated.
  • Support: In general, writing tasks need relevant examples to be included in order to justify your ideas. Hence, this criterion measures your reasoning and thinking capacity in providing appropriate support for your statements.
  • Rationale: It assesses the quality of your arguments in the essay which directly reflects the extent of your subject understanding.

To conclude, while preparing for the English exam, taking sincere efforts to understand the test content and format as well, is sure to help you achieve the required passing score in the test with ease.