TAP Reading Comprehension: Vocabulary & Language

As you prepare for the TAP exam to become a teacher in Illinois, you can refresh your memory about vocabulary and language with these lessons. Clear, brief videos explain each concept, and short multiple-choice quizzes are provided. 

About this chapter

TAP Reading Comprehension: Vocabulary & Language - Chapter Summary

The Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency requires future teachers to demonstrate strong understanding of a writer's use of language. This chapter's lessons can help bolster your comfort with both the literal parts of a passage and any figurative or colloquial use of language. We provide a series of short videos that can help you confirm your grasp on vocabulary and on creative language use. Here are some of the literary techniques these videos cover:

  • Metaphor
  • Simile
  • Allusion
  • Cliche
  • Paradox
  • Irony
  • Personification
  • Repetition
  • Euphemism
  • Symbolism

You can also watch a video on commonly confused words. Another video explains how to use context to interpret a word's meaning.

Each video has a tight focus on one topic, so you can spend your time where you most need a refresher. You can use our suggested order, or watch the videos in the order you choose. Each video has a brief multiple-choice quiz to help you test your understanding of the concept.

TAP Reading Comprehension Objectives

The Illinois Licensure Testing System wants each new teacher to demonstrate the ability to understand college-level written material. Content on the exam may include written passages about the sciences, arts or social sciences. Primary source documents may appear too.

The reading comprehension section is 60 questions long and multiple-choice. It's one of four sections on the test. The others are language arts (multiple choice), mathematics (multiple choice) and writing.

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With diligence and intrepid ingenuity, you can use context to ascertain the purport of a word. In other words, in this lesson we'll find out how to use context to figure out what words mean.

Is it 'accept' or 'except?' 'Affect' or 'effect?' How do you know when to use 'there,' 'their,' or 'they're?' Watch this video lesson to learn about some confusing words in English and how to properly use each one.

Metaphors are all around you. They're the bright sparkling lights that turn plain evergreens into Christmas trees. Learn how to spot them, why writers write with them, and how to use them yourself right here.

Allusions and illusions have little in common besides the fact that they sound similar. Learn the difference between the two and how allusions are an important part of literature and writing - and how to spot them in text.

Would lend your ears for a moment (or at least your eyeballs)? This lesson will explain what synecdoche and metonymy mean and how to spot them in a piece of prose or poetry.

Learn about cliches, paradoxes, and equivocations, and how they can weaken or strengthen certain types of writing. Explore examples of all three from literature and daily life.

Explore the simile and how, through comparison, it is used as a shorthand to say many things at once. Learn the difference between similes and metaphors, along with many examples of both.

In this lesson, explore how writers use personification to give human characteristics to objects, ideas, and animals. Learn about apostrophe or when characters speak to objects, ideas, and even imaginary people as if they were also characters.

Discover, once and for all, what irony is and is not. Explore three types of irony: verbal, situational and dramatic, and learn about some famous and everyday examples.

In this lesson, explore the different ways authors repeat consonant and vowel sounds in their literary works. Learn about how writers use repeated words and phrases with well-known examples.

In this lesson, explore the use of understatement as a way to draw attention to a specific quality or to add humor. Learn about litotes, a specific form of understatement, and discover examples from literature.

This lesson defines euphemisms, alternate language used in place of offensive language or when discussing taboo topics. Explore some examples of euphemisms in everyday language and well-known examples from literature.

In this lesson you will learn how poets and authors use symbolism in their writing to make it more meaningful and interesting. Explore how descriptive writing called imagery appeals to the senses, adding to works of literature.

Watched all the videos in this chapter?

Take the practice chapter exam.

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