Bilingual Education Supplemental #164

What is the Bilingual Education Supplemental?

This exam is designed to measure your understanding of bilingual education pedagogy, including best teaching practices, current research, language acquisition stages, program models and curriculum.

The test is available year-round, takes up to 5 hours and contains 80 multiple-choice questions.

In addition to testing your knowledge, you will be asked to apply that knowledge to scenarios to choose the best strategy in a certain educational scenario.

Study Guide

Recommended resources

What do I need to know to pass?

You must know more than the definitions, facts, strategies, and legal cases that you can find on many flash card study resources and study guides.

Here are the standards covered by the test, according to the TExES website.

The Standards

  • Bilingual Education Standard II
    The bilingual education teacher has knowledge of the foundations of bilingual education and the concepts of bilingualism and biculturalism.
  • Bilingual Education Standard III
    The bilingual education teacher knows the process of first and second language acquisition and development.
  • Bilingual Education Standard IV
    The bilingual education teacher has a comprehensive knowledge of the development and assessment of literacy in the primary language.
  • Bilingual Education Standard V
    The bilingual education teacher has a comprehensive knowledge of the development and assessment of biliteracy.
  • Bilingual Education Standard VI
    The bilingual education teacher has a comprehensive knowledge of content-area instruction in L1 and L2.

These standards are broken down into competencies. You can see a summary of these below. Read the full text in the preparation manual under the Domains and Competencies section.


Competency 1

  • History of bilingual education
    The beginning teacher understands the historical background of bilingual education in the United States, including pertinent federal and state legislation, significant court cases related to bilingual education, and the effects of demographic changes on bilingual education.
  • LPAC and ELPS
    The beginning teacher understands procedures (e.g., Language Proficiency Assessment Committee) for the identification, assessment, and instructional placement of English-language learners, including identification of students’ English-language proficiency levels in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These proficiency levels are in accordance with the descriptors for the beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced-high levels as described in the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).
  • Global perceptions of bilingualism
    The beginning teacher demonstrates an awareness of global issues and perspectives related to bilingual education, including how bilingual education and bilingualism are perceived throughout the world.
  • Additive education, acculturation, and assimilation
    The beginning teacher understands the importance of creating an additive educational program that reinforces a bicultural identity, including understanding the differences between acculturation and assimilation.
  • Equity advocacy
    The beginning teacher uses knowledge of the historical, legal, legislative, and global contexts of bilingual education to be an effective advocate for the bilingual education program and to advocate equity for bilingual students.
  • Research-based best practices
    The beginning teacher understands convergent research related to bilingual education (e.g., best instructional practices as determined by student achievement) and applies convergent research when making instructional decisions.
  • Program models
    The beginning teacher knows models of bilingual education, including characteristics and goals of various types of bilingual education programs, research findings on the effectiveness of various models of bilingual education, and factors that determine the nature of a bilingual program on a particular campus.
  • Instructional strategies and materials
    The beginning teacher uses knowledge of various bilingual education models to make appropriate instructional decisions based on program model and design and selects appropriate instructional strategies and materials in relation to specific program models.
  • Culturally supportive learning environment
    The beginning teacher knows how to create an effective bilingual and multicultural learning environment (e.g., by demonstrating sensitivity to students’ diverse cultural backgrounds and generational/acculturation differences, showing respect for regional language differences, incorporating the diversity of the home into the classroom setting, applying strategies to bridge the home and school cultural environments).
  • Cognitive and linguistic learning environment
    The beginning teacher knows how to create a learning environment that addresses bilingual students’ affective, linguistic and cognitive needs (e.g., by emphasizing the benefits of bilingualism and biculturalism, selecting linguistically and culturally appropriate instructional materials and methodologies).

Competency 2

  • Basic linguistics regarding native language/Spanish (L1) and acquired language/English (L2)
    The beginning teacher understands basic linguistic concepts in L1 and L2 (e.g., language variation and change, dialects, register) and applies knowledge of these concepts to support students’ language development in L1 and L2.
  • Phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics
    The beginning teacher demonstrates knowledge of major language components (e.g., phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntactic features, semantics, pragmatics) and applies this knowledge to address students’ language development needs in L1 and L2.
  • Language development stages and theories
    The beginning teacher demonstrates knowledge of stages of first- and second-language development and theories/models of first- and second-language development (e.g., behaviorist, cognitive) and understands the instructional implications of these stages and theories/models.
  • Instructional methods for teaching L1 and L2
    The beginning teacher applies knowledge of linguistic concepts and theories/models of language acquisition to select and implement linguistically and developmentally appropriate instructional methods, strategies, and materials for teaching L1 and L2.
  • Making connections between L1 and L2 and their interrelatedness
    The beginning teacher understands the interrelatedness and interdependence of first- and second-language acquisition and assists students in making connections between languages (e.g., using cognates, noting similarities and differences).
  • ESL methods
    The beginning teacher knows and uses effective, developmentally appropriate methodologies and strategies for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and for supporting ESL development across all areas of the curriculum, including providing focused, targeted and systematic second-language acquisition instruction to English-language learners (ELLs) in Grade 3 or higher who are at the beginning or intermediate level of English-language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and/or writing in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).
  • Cognitive, linguistic, social, and affective factors that impact language development
    The beginning teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, and affective factors affecting second-language acquisition (e.g., academic background, length of time in the United States, language status, age, self-esteem, inhibition, motivation, home/school/community environment, literacy background) and uses this knowledge to promote students’ language development in L2.

Competency 3

  • Stages of L1 literacy development
    The beginning teacher knows common patterns and stages of literacy development in L1 and how to make appropriate instructional modifications to deliver the statewide language arts curriculum in L1 to students at various levels of literacy development.
  • Formal and informal literacy assessments
    The beginning teacher knows the types of formal and informal literacy assessments in L1 and uses appropriate assessments on an ongoing basis to help plan effective literacy instruction in L1.
  • English Language Arts TEKS
    The beginning teacher knows the state educator certification standards in reading/language arts in grades EC–12, understands distinctive elements in the application of the standards for English and for L1, and applies this knowledge to promote bilingual students’ literacy development in L1.
  • Spanish Language Arts TEKS
    The beginning teacher knows the statewide Spanish language arts and reading curriculum for grades EC–6 and ESL middle and high school, as appropriate, as specified in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and applies this knowledge to promote bilingual students’ L1 literacy development in grades EC–12.
  • Transfering literacy from L1 to L2
    The beginning teacher knows how to help students transfer literacy competency from L1 to L2 by using students’ prior literacy knowledge in L1 to facilitate their acquisition of L2 literacy, including using explicit instruction to help students make connections between L1 and L2 (e.g., in phonemic awareness, decoding skills, comprehension strategies).
  • Using linguistic concepts and ESL techniques in reading instruction
    The beginning teacher knows how to apply linguistic concepts (e.g., comprehensible input) and integrate ESL techniques in reading instruction to promote the development of L2 literacy.
  • Promoting biliteracy
    The beginning teacher knows how to promote students’ biliteracy (e.g., by maintaining students’ literacy in L1 while developing students’ literacy in L2, by using ongoing assessment and monitoring of students’ level of proficiency in oral and written language and reading to plan appropriate literacy instruction in L1 and L2, by including authentic children’s literature in L1 and L2).

Competency 4

  • Assessment and linguistic accommodations
    The beginning teacher knows how to assess bilingual students’ development of cognitive-academic language proficiency and content-area concepts and skills in both L1 and L2 and to use the results of these assessments to provide appropriate instruction in a manner that is linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, scaffolded) to the students’ levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills across all content areas in both L1 and L2.
  • Creation of learning experiences that promote the development of both languages
    The beginning teacher knows how to create authentic and purposeful learning activities and experiences in both L1 and L2 that promote students’ development of cognitive-academic language proficiency and content-area concepts and skills as defined in the state educator certification standards and the statewide curriculum (TEKS), including developing the foundation of English-language vocabulary, grammar, syntax and English mechanics necessary to understand content-based instruction and accelerated learning of English in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).
  • Integrating language arts skills in all content areas
    The beginning teacher knows strategies for integrating language arts skills in L1 and L2 into all content areas and how to use content-area instruction in L1 and L2 to promote students’ cognitive and linguistic development.
  • Comprehensible input strategies
    The beginning teacher knows various approaches for delivering comprehensible content-area instruction in L2 (e.g., sheltered English approaches, reciprocal teaching) and can use various approaches to promote students’ development of cognitive academic language and content-area knowledge and skills and learning strategies in L2 (e.g., using prior knowledge, metacognition, and graphic organizers) across content areas.
  • Differentiation
    The beginning teacher knows how to differentiate content-area instruction based on student needs and language proficiency levels in L2 and how to select and use a variety of strategies and resources, including technology, to meet students’ needs.

When will I get my score report?

Exam Dates Score Report Date
7/26/2021 – 8/8/2021 8/20/2021
8/23/2021 – 9/5/2021 9/17/2021
9/20/2021 – 10/3/2021 10/15/2021
10/18/2021 – 10/31/2021 11/12/2021
11/15/2021 – 11/28/2021 12/10/2021
12/13/2021 – 12/26/2021 1/7/2022
1/10/2022 – 1/23/2022 2/4/2022
2/7/2022 – 2/20/2022 3/4/2022
3/7/2022 – 3/20/2022 4/1/2022
4/4/2022 – 4/17/2022 4/29/2022
5/2/2022 – 5/15/2022 5/27/2022
5/30/2022 – 6/12/2022 6/24/2022
6/27/2022 – 7/10/2022 7/22/2022
7/25/2022 – 8/7/2022 8/19/2022

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Frequently Asked Questions

01. What is the difference between the Bilingual Education Supplemental Exam and the BTLPT?

The BTLPT is a Spanish proficiency test designed to measure your fluency, vocabulary, and mastery of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in Spanish.

The Bilingual Supplemental Exam is a pedagogy exam designed to test your ability to teach academic content to students with a different native language than English.

You must pass both tests to teach in a bilingual classroom in a Texas elementary school.

02. What is pedagogy?

Pedagogy is the art and science of teaching.

This term is used to refer broadly to all of the skills, knowledge, theories, beliefs, approaches, strategies, and methods used in instruction.

03. I've studied flashcards and court cases for the Bilingual Education Supplemental? Is that enough?


The biggest mistake teachers make is not understanding that you have to know more than what the words mean or which theory was developed by which theorist.

If you study at a knowledge/recall level only, you will not be prepared to meet the demands of this test.

You have to know bilingual pedagogy well enough to apply that knowledge to make educational decisions for students with specific needs.

You should be able to read a scenario of a student at a particular level of English with a certain academic challenge and know what to do to help that student and why.

04. What should I study to prepare for the Bilingual Education Supplemental?

You should read through the competencies covered by the test and highlight the areas that you already understand fully in green, those that you need to learn more about in yellow, and those that you know very little or nothing about in red.

This will help you prioritize the concepts and material with which you are least familiar.

Then find sources online or in textbooks that will supplement your knowledge in the red and yellow areas.

I have a link-based study guide that provides references for each competency available in my Store.

You can also check out the study guides that I recommend for use once your exam date is within 2 or 3 weeks.

The best method is to study on your own first and THEN review the practice questions and information found in study guide books online.

05. Which test should I take first, the BTLPT or the Bilingual Supplemental?

It doesn’t matter which test you take first in terms of certification, but I recommend taking the BTLPT first unless you are already comfortable speaking in Spanish in a high-level academic and professional situation, such as presenting training about your district’s different bilingual programs to new teachers or explaining your thoughts on new scientific development.

In my experience, unless you have lived and worked as an adult in a Spanish-speaking country, you should probably work on the BTLPT first, as it will be the more difficult exam.

06. How long do I need to study for the Bilingual Supplemental?

I suggest that you give yourself 2 to 3 months of study time, 2 to 3 hours per week, to learn all that will be required for this exam.

Of course, you may need more or less time than this, but this time frame has worked for many teachers, in my experience.

07. How long will it take to get my results after I take the test?

You will receive your scores at 10 pm CST within 7 days of testing.

You can determine your exact score report date depending on when you take the test, according to the score report dates listed on the official testing website.

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