Domain IV: Multiple Choice Tasks

There are approximately 65-70 multiple choice questions on the exam. These include both content questions, in which knowledge about reading and reading instruction is directly assessed, and contextualized question that assess the candidate’s ability to apply specific knowledge, to analyze specific problems, or to conduct specific tasks related to reading instruction. Approximately 20% of the questions assess competencies in Domain IV.


Domain IV Relationships Among Reading, Writing and Oral Language

1. Oral language screening is designed to alert teachers to students who may have:

a. reading proficiency

b. rhyming

c. vocabulary and/or language needs

d. sound addition and substitution.

2. "Kid-watching" refers to

a. playground supervision

b. direct and informal observation of students

c. formal assessments from observations

d. cooperative learning strategies.

3. Language experience approach connects reading and writing by

a. reading aloud their reading log entries at the end of each week

b. asking students to write down their experiences that are like ones in a book they are reading

c. reading a wordplay book and reciting the words out loud

d. having children dictate words and sentences about their experiences while the teacher writes them down

4. A grand conversation is a strategy that invites students to

a. lead a discussion about a book read by the entire class

b. join in a book discussion and explore interpretations and reflections

c. share readers theater presentations with the whole class

d. meet as a group with the teacher to discuss the roles in the classroom

5. Teachers use book talks to

a. share books by a particular author

b. introduce students to books for a book club

c. introduce students to classroom books

d. all of the above

6. Word walls are used by students and teachers to

a. decorate the classroom

b. practice spelling

c. write words being studied, specific words for writing, interesting or important words from texts

d. share messages about what they are reading

7. An example of "playing with language" is

a. alliteration

b. rhyme

c. jokes

d. metaphors

e. all of the above

8. Writing across the curriculum is useful because

a. it provides students with opportunities to improve handwriting

b. it assists students in learn content and demonstrating what they know

c. it provides students with goals to increase the amount of writing expected

d. it improves behavior

9. Which of the following is not a writing prewriting or rehearsal strategy

a. brainstorming

b. researching

c. drawing

d. discussing

e. proof-reading

10. The writing process recognizes that

a. writing improvement requires practice and instruction in specific stages

b. all writing should be corrected immediately

c. every student writing assignment needs to be published

d. writing needs to be linked to reading

e. all of the above

11. Which of the following strategies support English language learners?

a. real objects

b. word organizers

c. preview/review

d. visual aids

e. all of the above

12. Which of the following is not true?

a. Reading and writing are reciprocal language processes.

b. Reading and writing are central to a language arts program.

c. Reading and writing need to emphasize skills 50% of the time.

d. Reading and writing content standards can be taught during social studies.

Domain IV: Vocabulary Development

13. Vocabulary can be taught orally by the use of

a. alliteration, dictionary work, and word walls

b. modeling, synonyms, and definitions

c. syllables, definitions, and writing

d. metaphors, synonyms, and modeling

14. Context clues assist in vocabulary development because

a. students use surrounding information in the sentence to predict the meaning of the unknown word

b. a reader can skip around and focus on only a few words in each sentence

c. vocabulary development occurs during silent reading

d. students use their knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to figure out the meaning of the word

15. Semantic Feature Analysis

a. develops vocabulary knowledge through writing the word several times

b. develops vocabulary knowledge by establishing shared meaning relationships between words

c. develops vocabulary knowledge by dividing words into syllable

d. develops vocabulary knowledge by asking students to dramatize meanings

16. Word sorting is a strategy that builds vocabulary by

a. alphabetizing words

b. relying on developmental spellings

c. assisting students to write purposefully

d. categorizing words into groups of similarity and difference

17. Greek and Latin word parts form a large part of the new vocabulary in

a. science

b. music

c. literature

d. social studies

e. all of the above

18. Knowledge of long and short vowel patterns

a. extends students’ understanding of expository text structure

b. is part of the keyword strategy for learning new vocabulary

c. is the foundation for understanding how syllables are joined in words

d. determines a student’s writing development

19. Homophones

a. are words related to hearing loss

b. are words that look alike but sound differently

c. are words that sound alike but look different

d. are words likely to be studied in a unit on oceanography

20. Homographs

a. are words that are printed in bold in a glossary

b. are words that sound alike but look different

c. are words that have the same meaning

d. are words that look alike but sound differently

e. all of the above

Domain IV: Structure of the English Language

21. Which of the following is an example of an inflected verb?

a. impeached

b. phonograph

c. scarecrow

d. terrible

22. Which of the following is an example of a compound word?

a. napkin

b. ambiguity

c. scarecrow

d. phonograph

23. Which of the following is an example of a derivational suffix?

a. phonograph

b. terrible

c. weakly

d. nameless

24. How many speech sounds are in the word ox?

a. 2

b. 4

c. 3

d. 1

25. How many speech sounds are in the word straight?

a. 4

b. 5

c. 6

d. 3

26. How many speech sounds are in the word though?

a. 4

b. 5

c. 6

d. 2

e. none of the above

27. A digraph is

a. the sound made in the back of the throat

b. two letters that represent one sound

c. two letters that represent two sounds

d. a developmental reading disability

28. Morphology is the study of

a. structure and forms of words

b. sounds of words

c. inventive spelling

d. metacognition

29. Which of the following words includes a consonant blend?

a. pumpkin

b. scratch

c. first

d. all of the above

e. none of the above

30. Grammar is defined as the

a. paragraph structure that supports content development

b. study of the history literature

c. principles that govern the correct use of language

d. phrase that is used as a single part of speech

31. A compound sentence consists of

a. an adjective and adverb phrase

b. two declarative sentences

c. a fragment and a run-on

d. two or more simple sentences

32. A sentence is

a. a group of words that expresses a complete thought

b. two declarative phrases

c. a fragment and a run-on

d. a group of related words used as a single part of speech

33. Knowledge of English language structures

a. can only be learned through specific skills instruction

b. promotes reading fluency

c. slows reading fluency and accuracy

d. none of the above

34. Students consolidate their knowledge of grammar and improve their reading fluency and comprehension through frequent opportunities

a. to be read to

b. to read a variety of texts

c. to reread selections of materials

d. all of the above

e. none of the above

35. Syntax is the

a. an adjective and adverb phrase

b. two or more simple sentences

c. two declarative sentences

d. a fragment and a run-on

36. Semantics is

a. the development of clear writing

b. the study of Eastern European literature

c. the study of meaning in language

d. the study of grammar and the structure of language


Domain IV: Focused Educational Problems and Instructional Tasks

In this section of the RICA exam, problems and tasks in educational contexts are presented and require candidates to (a) consider information about a class, a groups of students, an individual student or an instructional situation and (b) devise or proved explanations related to appropriate instructional strategies or assessment approaches. Four of these focused tasks are included on the exam. Each asses one or more competencies in one domain of the RICA Content Specifications, and there is one problem or task for each of the four domains. Problems or tasks for Domains I and IV each require a written response of approximately 50 words. Those for domains II and III each require a written response of approximately 150 words.

Domain IV (Numbers correspond to specific RICA Competencies)

11.1 Carlos has just transferred into your district who has been assigned to your second grade classroom. In order to plan appropriate instruction for him, you plan to do a quick informal assessment of his oral and written English language skills. Describe how you might do this.

Possible Responses
Interview the child
Ask the child to tell you a story
Ask the child to write a story about a subject familiar to him
Engage the child in a conversation about your classroom

11.1 Here is a story written by a fourth grade student in response to the writing prompt:

You bought a lottery ticket. Surprise!! You won a million dollars! What will you do with the money? How will your life be different?.

My life is going to be different at school and home because I am going to bay more coles and soehe. I am going to bay my mom a Lovey dras. and my dad a tuke setow. When I go to school I am going to ware new coles and new soehes. On Frd. I am going to a fans rarot whit my MoM, Dad, sisther.

Analyze the student writing and describe the writer’s strengths and needs. Describe one instructional strategy you would suggest to improve the above student’s writing in each of the following areas:
- grammar/syntax,
- mechanics (capitalization/ punctuation)
- overall written composition development (i.e. ideas,
organization, style, vocabulary, etc.).

Sentence structure and variety
Ending Punctuation
Sight word/high frequency word practice
Paragraph structure
Elaborating details
Developing a storyline

11.3. Sam is a beginning teacher in a combination third and fourth grade class with a large percentage of English learners. Sam wanted to ask his students to write a response to the following writing prompt:

"You bought a lottery ticket. Surprise!! You won a million dollars! What will you do with the money? How will your life be different. OK. Now write."

How might Sam have improved his approach to enhance the quality of this literacy experience?

Semantic mapping
Integration of the language arts (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
Building background by reading a related children’s literature
Authentic story starter (Can a 3rd grader win a lottery?)
Story starter options

11.2. & 13.3
Mrs. Carter, a second grade teacher, calls all of the children over to see their new class pet, a guinea pig. When the guinea pig is surrounded by children, the guinea pig goes into his house. Mrs. Carter asks, "Why do you think the guinea pig hid from us?" The children give a number of reasons. Mrs. Carter and the children discuss the guinea pig and how they will take care of her. Mrs. Carter asks the children to give their pet a name. Jon says that we should name her "Nothing" because she knows nothing about us. The children argue about whether this is a good name.

Later, Mrs. Carter suggests they write a class story about their new guinea pig. She asks individual students to contribute to the story. Mrs. Carter writes each child’s contribution on chart paper. This is their story...

Kelly said, "We have a new guinea pig."
Jon said, "Her name is Nothing."
Kim said, "She’s not much of anything at all."
Jose said, "She doesn’t even weigh a pound."
Carmen said, "She wants to hide from us. Maybe she’s scared.

Answer the following questions:
a. What is this activity called?
b. How can Mrs. Carter use this activity to help children learn to read?
- What are some possible next steps?
c. How can Mrs. Carter use this activity to help children learn to write?a. How can this activity be used to promote vocabulary development for English Language Learners?

Class dictation where teacher writes responses on overhead/chart paper
add a Title and Read the story & Reread the story several times & Reread each day
Duplicate copies for all students
Ask students to Identify Words they recognize
Individually -- underline words they know on their copy
Mini-lesson on skill/strategy if appropriate
Next day, ask students to Identify Words they recognize
Individually -- Underline Again, words they know on their copy
teacher (or students if able) writes each word which has been
underlined twice (both days) onto a Word Bank Card.
add word bank cards to word banks
Word Bank Activities

12.2, 12.3, & 11
Brenda is planning a unit on tide pools. Her goals are to increase student content specific vocabulary and extend students’ understanding of the relationship between ecology and their lives.

a. Briefly outline a lesson plan which integrates the various language arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking) into her unit to meet her stated goals?
b. Brenda also wants students to learn some specific strategies to allow them to independently unlock the meanings of new words they find in their readings?

Suggest one or two instructional strategies she could teach.

Possible Responses
Discuss and orally reflect on the materials they will read
Write about what they read and learn about;
Share writing with one another
KWL chart
Oral Presentations
Vocabulary Development Activities
Semantic Maps
Concept Maps
Group Maps


11.4 In perusing the upcoming science lessons for the science unit on water, Nancy wants to be sure that she provides ample comprehensible input for the 5th grade English Language Learners who are at various levels of English language proficiency. The key concepts in the lessons are that...

- water molecules adhere to form surface tension
- the deeper the water, the greater the pressure

Describe 4 specific strategies and learning activities that Nancy can use to provide comprehensible input to support her English learners.

Possible Responses
Preview of key terms and concepts
Hands-on experiments to demonstrate molecular cohesion
Review of key concept
Journal writing to summarize learning
Small group mapping activities to show what students have learned
Assign reading from the science test after class discussion and experiments
Graphic organizers
Provide English learners with an advance organizer
Before they read the assigned science text pages

13.1, 13.2, 13.3, & 11.3
Helen is reading a book which includes a fair amount of pronouns. In the follow-up discussion to check for comprehension, she discovers that her students are showing confusion among the pronouns its and their, which is causing a decrease in comprehension.

What effective literacy strategies can Helen use help her students gain an understanding of correct English pronoun usage?

Possible Responses:

Reading and rereading children's literature selections which illustrate proper use of the targeted pronouns (varied suggestions are outlined below)

RREADING ALOUD (by the teacher)
[Access to book students could not read themselves. Fluent reading model. Opportunities to model reading strategies. Also used when only one copy of a book is available.]

Teacher reads story aloud, students follow along...
each child has own copy
big book used
book placed on Opaque Projector to enlarge for all students to see
[Directed Reading Thinking Approach]
[Teacher provides the scaffolding]
Students predict, read to find out, confirm or deny their predictions.
ECHO READING Teacher reads portion, students echo that portion back. Continue...
CHORAL READING Teacher and students read together. (Sometimes they switch off parts/sections.)
IMPRESS READING (like singing a song in a round ex. Row, Row, Row Your Boat) Teacher begins reading at beginning and continues. When teacher gets to 3rd or 4th word, students begin reading orally from the beginning of the material (a few "beats" behind the teacher). To help students develop fluency in their reading.
READERS' THEATRE Students perform dialogue story as a play while holding their books and reading their narrator/dialogue parts out loud. (Students can "re-write" other types of stories as plays in cooperative groups first.) Can videotape or perfom for other classes/groups also!
[Used to reread a familiar text]
Two students read a story together
CROSS GRADE READING Upper grade students become reades with lower grade students. They read material to each other.
SMALL HETEROGENEOUS GROUPS Students gather into small felxible groups of mixed ability readers. Roles are assigned as follows:
Noise Monitor
Time Keeper (child who decides when one stops and another starts reading, usually mid-page/paragraph to keep all students on task.)
Helper (child who helps readers with words they have difficulty with)
Question Asker (child who periodically asks questions about the material read to monitor comprehension)
Materials Handler
INQUIRY READING Students silently skim the material to locate the section of the story which addresses a specific question and then student reads it out loud to the group.
WRITTEN CLOZE Teacher reads predictable written material (stories/rhymes/...) aloud, leaving off predictable part for students to "fill in". Works well with big books, covering predictable words with post-its,...
LIFTING SENTENCES Teacher/Students copy a sentence from the book. They then discuss, edit it to change meaning, highlight a specific skill/technique,...
(Students select their own materials, reading experience is more authentic)
Recreational Reading Alternatives