STUDY GUIDE FOR THE PEDAGOGICAL SPANISH EXAM ADMINISTERED AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY PREPARED BY EXAM
This exam has three parts: I. Video II. Oral Part, and III. Written Part
POINTS NEEDED TO PASS THE ORAL PART: 43.4 out of 62 possible points
POINTS NEEDED TO PASS THE WRITTEN PART: 26.6 out of 38 possible points
I. VIDEO: (0-10 points) Examinees will watch a video about children interactions in a school setting for approximately 15 minutes and will have to
select the correct answers of ten different (10) questions based on several portions of the video. These are multiple-choice questions. Each
question is worth one point. The total points are added to the sections of the oral part of the exam. The purpose of this part of the exam is to
determine the examinees’ oral comprehension of Spanish. No preparation is really possible. However, good concentration and taking a few notes
while watching the video are excellent recommended tactics.
II. ORAL PART (0 - 62 points). The oral part has five sections:
1) Communication between a teacher and a parent.
2) Oral reading of an excerpt of a literary work.
3) Oral presentation of an instructional activity.
4) Elaboration of questions.
5) Oral reading of technical vocabulary.
1) Communication between a teacher and a parent. Total: 12 points. The purpose of this section is to evaluate the ability to speak Spanish within a
specific school situation. The following aspects are evaluated and graded as follows:
- Appropriateness, both social and contextual. Answers should be culturally appropriate, that is the style should demonstrate respect and the
proper role. (0-3 points)
- Grammar. Examinees are expected to use linguistic forms and structures of a person who is native or near native and educated. (0-3 points)
- Vocabulary. Used vocabulary should be that of an educated native speaker of Spanish. Points are deducted for the use of regional, colloquial,
or Anglicized vocabulary (0-3 points).
- Naturalness and completeness (fluency). Expression is expected to be natural, native and completely clear. (0-3 points)
This section is recorded by all the examinees simultaneously. After receiving proper instructions in Spanish, examinees are asked to translate five
to six responses that are written in English into Spanish. The preparation time is three minutes. The examinees are also allowed to listen to the
incomplete conversation once to get familiar with the format. After the preparation minutes are over, examinees are asked to listen to the
conversation for a second time while inserting their responses in the appropriate slots. Examinees need not to worry about pressing any buttons
since this portion is automatically recorded by the laboratory technician.
CAUTION: For all the other oral sections (2-5), examinees should press the Record button while recording and the Stop button when not recording.
Not following these simple instructions may cause the loss of valuable points and not passing the oral part.
STUDY TIPS: Review telephone etiquette (greetings and farewells). Review grammatical structures such as commands, subjunctive mode.
Practice aloud possible questions and answers that would take place within a conversation between a teacher and a parent about school activities.
COMMON MISTAKES: Not answering within the time allowed. Using familiar tone “tú” instead of “usted” in formal conversations. Making
grammatical errors. Using vocabulary that reveal lack of professionalism and telephone etiquette.
2) Lectura Oral (0 - 5 points) Examinees must read an excerpt of a literary work (poem, novel, short story). Examinees should use an expression,
intonation and rhythm that correspond to the read excerpt; almost all words should be pronounced correctly. HINT: Before recording, read the
excerpt thoroughly, rehearse it a couple of times, then record it.
COMMON MISTAKE: Some examinees take this portion lightly and do not prepare it, losing valuable, yet easy points to earn.
3) Presentación oral de una actividad instructiva. Examinees must choose one of two activities. One activity corresponds to the elementary and the
other correspond to the secondary level. Once the examinees choose one activity, they should prepare the lesson according to the objective and
lesson elements given. The following aspects are evaluated as follows:
- Comprehension (0-8 points). Everything should be understood and clearly explained.
- Fluency and naturalness (0-2). The expression should be natural and fluent.
Updated September 11, 2008
- Grammar (0-5 points) Grammatical structures should be those of an educated native speaker. Language use should be that of a professional.
Points will be deducted for using regionalisms and colloquialisms.
HINT: Before recording, prepare the main points of your lesson in writing, as you would in the case of giving a extemporaneous speech, since you
have limited time for preparation. Be concise and go straight to the point that you are trying to explain while using valid examples. Limit your
interaction with students, even if that is your style of teaching, since the objective of this section is to evaluate your ability to explain a subject matter,
and not how well you know your students’ names, habits, etc. The actual time of recording should not exceed eight (8) minutes.
COMMON MISTAKES: Examinees teach both lessons, instead of one, and therefore wasting precious time. Teaching two lessons instead of one
will not add any points lost in other sections. Examinees give lengthy explanations using all the tape available (45 minutes total) and not being able
to complete other sections. Examinees pretend to converse with the students instead of presenting new material to students.
4) Formulación de preguntas (0 - 10 points) Examinees are asked to read a short story (of five paragraphs in length), and to formulate a total of five
questions, one question for each paragraph. Each correct and complete question is worth two points. Incorrect or incomplete questions receive
partial or no credit depending on the errors.
STUDY HINT: Review question structures. Yes/No questions and informative questions requiring interrogative words. For example of the following
paragraph, which questions would you make: El niño volaba en su caballo con alas sobre la hermosa pradera, mientras se complacía al ver la
puesta de sol. En el horizonte se divisaban gaviotas que volaban hacia el infinito. El niño pensó en su madre muerta y una lágrima rodó por su
mejilla. You could probably ask several questions. However, remember that you are expected to ask only one question per paragraph. For
example: ¿Hacia dónde volaban las gaviotas?
COMMON MISTAKES: Examinees ask five questions for each paragraph wasting precious time and tape space. Examinees ask questions with
incorrect structures. Please remember that the most common structure is: interrogative word +verb + subject + complement (direct or indirect
object). If the complement requires a preposition, this usually precedes the interrogative word. Example: ¿En qué volaba el niño?
5) Lectura de vocabulario técnico. Total 10 points. Examinees are expected to read expressions commonly used by educators, such as numerical
phrases, instructional terms, time expressions, class commands, family relationships. Each word or phrase is worth half a point. No partial credit is
given. No credit is given to expressions that reflect incorrect grammatical use of the language, colloquialisms, regionalisms, and slang expressions.
III. WRITTEN PART. The written part should not be recorded orally. Instead, it should be written on the spaces provided for each section in the
answer sheet. Although we provide scratch paper for preparation, answers will not be graded if written on lose pages. You may use pen or pencil
to write your answers. You may use the back of the answer sheet if you run out of space in the front of the page you are using, but indicate this by
drawing a small arrow.
The written part has three sections: 1) Translation of a letter from English to Spanish.
2) Professional reading, and 3) Correction of students’ compositions.
1) Traducción de un anuncio para los padres de familia. Total: 12 points
Examinees are expected to translate a letter written by the principal of a school to the parents about a topic related to a future school event or
The aspects evaluated in this section are as follows:
- Grammar and use of structures. Linguistic forms and structures should be those used by an educated native speaker. Points will be taken for
grammatical errors. (0-3 points)
- Orthography (spelling and accentuation)
Examinees should spell words correctly using proper accent marks. (0-3 points)
- Use of appropriate vocabulary.
Examinees are expected to use professional, business-like and educated vocabulary. Points will be deducted for using regionalisms,
colloquialisms, and anglicisms. (0-3 points)
- Content and style
Examinees should translate the letter in full. Although the letter should not be a “word-by-word” literal translation, it should carry a complete
meaning of the original. The style should be professional and appropriate to the context. Points will be deducted for incomplete translations and
awkward style. (0-3 points)
STUDY HINTS: Practice translating to Spanish, communications sent in English to parents. Review proper business greetings, opening
paragraphs, different bodies of letters, closing paragraphs, farewells. Review correct spelling and capitalization of days, months, and other time
Updated September 11, 2008
expressions. Review commands and conjugation of verbs in the subjunctive mode. Knowing verb conjugations are essential to mastering the
2) Lectura profesional. Total: 14 points. Examinees are expected to read and understand an excerpt of a professional article written in Spanish
about a topic related to educational issues. Examinees will be asked to write two paragraphs of at least 50 words each. The first paragraph should
be a summary of the excerpt. It is worth 0 - 5 points depending on the level of understanding shown. It is important to understand that the purpose
of a summary is to present a shortened version of the excerpt, yet all main elements of the excerpt should be mentioned.
COMMON MISTAKES: To copy the excerpts word by word without omitting anything. To omit important aspects of the excerpt.
In the second paragraph, examinees need to write a personal reaction to the excerpt. Thus, you are expected to provide examples of your
experience that you feel relate directly to the subject of the excerpt. Aspects to be evaluated are:
- Form (grammar, orthography and vocabulary) (0-6 points)
- Style and content (0-3 points)
COMMON MISTAKES: To write part two of the summary, that due to lack of space could not be copied into the first paragraph. To repeat the first
paragraph, but using different words.
HINTS: For the first paragraph, review carefully the excerpt, analyze the main points and assemble them in a shortened version. For the second
paragraph, only use experience related to the topic. Do not digress. Also check the grammar, vocabulary and ortography of both paragraphs.
Content and style should be professional, complete and appropriate.
3) Redacción de alumnos. Total: 12 points. Examinees need to read several compositions that have been written by students enrolled in bilingual
programs. These compositions have many grammatical and orthographical mistakes. Only some words or phrases are underlined and numbered.
Examinees must discern whether to correct or not, such words or phrases, and then rewrite them (whether they are corrected or not) on the spaces
provided for each number 1-24 in the answer sheet. Each word or phrase is worth half of a point, and no partial credit is given. If accent marks are
missing, credit will not be given.
Example: The following is a composition written by students. Correct only the underlined and numbered words or phrases.
Mi mama me dice que yo vena temprano a la caza y que me pona a aser la tarea.
1 2 3 4 5 6
You should fill the following blanks in the answer sheet as follows:
2. dice que
4. casa y que
In general to pass both the written and the oral parts of the Pedagogical Spanish Exam, examinees should have at least a fair proficiency level of
Spanish. Examinees need to be familiar with grammar and use of structures. Frequent problems that examinees with limited knowledge of the
language are addressed by most Spanish textbooks for college students. The following is a list of topics that should be reviewed before taking the
exam; however, it should not limit your preparation for the exam:
Conjugation of verbs: Regular verbs ending in -ar, -er, and -ir; irregular verbs in the present of the indicative. Regular and irregular verbs in the
preterit and imperfect of the indicative.
Commands: tú, usted, and ustedes.
Gender and number: agreement of article, noun, adjective
Agreement of subject and verb.
Definite and indefinite articles.
Uses of Ser, Estar, Tener, and Haber
Uses of Saber and Conocer
If after preparing on your own you fail to pass this test, it is recommended that you enroll in Spanish courses at a university or community college, or
to hire a private tutor. For more information, on enrolling in a class or obtaining a list of currently available tutors, please contact the Testing
Coordinator at the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University, 480-965-8247.
Updated September 11, 2008