Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 54: English as a Second Language

Test Overview

Table outlining the test format, number of questions, time, and passing score.
Format Computer-based test (CBT); 100 multiple-choice questions, 2 open-response items
Number of Questions
  • Subarea I: 43–45 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 55–57 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 2 open-response items
Time 4 hours (does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial)
Passing Score 240

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are designed to measure a candidate’s knowledge of the subject matter contained in the test objectives for each field. The MTEL are aligned with the Massachusetts educator licensure regulations and, as applicable, with the standards in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.

The test objectives specify the content to be covered on the test and are organized by major content subareas. The chart below shows the approximate percentage of the total test score derived from each of the subareas.

The test assesses a candidate’s proficiency and depth of understanding of the subject at the level required for a baccalaureate major according to Massachusetts standards. Candidates are typically nearing completion of or have completed their undergraduate work when they take the test.

Pie chart of approximate test weighting.

Sub area I 35%, Sub area II 45%, and Sub area III 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
I Foundations of Second-Language Instruction 01–04 35%
II Second-Language and Content Learning 05–09 45%
III Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 10 20%

*The open-response items may relate to topics covered in any of the subareas.

Subarea I–Foundations of Second-Language Instruction

Objective 0001: Apply knowledge of basic linguistic and sociolinguistic concepts related to instruction for English language learners.
For example:
Objective 0002: Apply knowledge of processes and stages of language acquisition.
For example:
Objective 0003: Evaluate and apply knowledge of ESL instructional approaches and best practices for promoting English language learners' English language development.
For example:
Objective 0004: Apply knowledge of factors, including socio-emotional and sociocultural considerations, that influence the teaching and learning of English language learners.
For example:

Subarea II–Second-Language and Content Learning

Objective 0005: Apply knowledge of aural and oral language instruction and assessment for English language learners.
For example:
Objective 0006: Apply knowledge of theory, research, and practice related to developing reading skills and reading comprehension in English as a first language.
For example:
Objective 0007: Apply knowledge of reading instruction and assessment for English language learners.
For example:
Objective 0008: Apply knowledge of writing instruction and assessment for English language learners.
For example:
Objective 0009: Apply knowledge of instruction and assessment related to the development of English language learners' social and academic language proficiency and content-area learning.
For example:

Subarea III–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0010: Prepare an organized, developed analysis related to one or more of the following: foundations of second-language instruction; second-language and content learning.

(Refer to objectives 0001 through 0009 and associated descriptive statements.)