Help Prepare Your Child for the Listening Section of the ELA Exam

The NYS English Language Arts exam (which begins on April 17th) is less than 6 weeks away, and we all know how quickly time flies! As students prepare for the ELA exam in school, and many work one on one with private tutors, a parent may ask how they can work with their child to help prepare them for the ELA. I will focus on the Listening section of the exam, and make some suggestions that you can begin implementing today to help your child. The Listening section of the ELA exam consists of one listening piece, which the students will listen to twice, and some students (such as ELL students) will listen to three times. Students will be required to take notes and then answer multiple choice questions, short response questions, and one extended response essay question based on their notes. Of course, their notes are based on how well they listened. You can practice listening strategies with your child in a number of ways, by reading aloud to them and having them repeat back to you what you said, or simply having them paraphrase a story. You can make lists of words and have them listen for a specific kind of a word, such as only red objects, or nouns, and have them write down only the specific information they are listening for.  These activities, if done on a regular basis will help prepare your child to be better listeners, and as a result, better test takers. You can read them newspaper articles, or other stories and have them use the simple note taking format below. Remind them to only write down the things they feel are important, and that they don’t have to take notes in complete sentences. After they write down the Title, Who, What, When and Where of the reading passage, they can list important details. Practicing and implementing good listening and note taking skills will help your child to do his or her best on the Listening section of the NYS ELA exam.


Note Taking Format


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