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Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment:
By Lynda Park
(Your Interpreting Maven)
In a message dated 1/6/2007 3:56:19 PM Pacific Standard Time,
By July, 2007, as an interpreter working in Illinois I have to be
certified via EIPA. I am quite nervous about this test since i hear
it is rough.
Do you have any friends that have gone through this screening? I
wonder if this time next year I will have a job.
I have been interpreting in education for 5 years now and enjoy it
Thanks for your time.
The EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) offers a
performance test and a written test. Your email is probably
referring to the performance test. My personal method of easing any
nervousness is to get as much information as possible in order to be
well informed. The EIPA provides very thorough information relating
to their testing at: www.classroominterpreting.org . You will find
plenty there to help you understand the testing process.
The interpreter's skill will be rated according to the following:
Grammatical skills: Use of prosody (or intonation), grammar, and
Sign-to-voice interpreting skills: Ability to understand and convey
child/teen sign language
Vocabulary: Ability to use a wide range of vocabulary, accurate use
of fingerspelling and numbers
Overall abilities: Ability to represent a sense of the entire
message, use appropriate discourse structures, and represent who is
Your concern seems to be whether or not it is a difficult test. My
answer to that is, "it depends". (Gee, I must be an interpreter!) Do
you test well? Are your skills at a level where you're able to
accurately convey information between ASL/PSE/MCE and English? Do
you believe educational interpreting involves more than simply
standing in front of a classroom relaying information?
The EIPA test is the diagnostic tool used by the county I work in to
evaluate interpreter performance. I have spoken with many
interpreters regarding the test. Generally it seems interpreters
praise it, with only a few complaints coming from interpreters who
felt they should have received higher scores.
I believe the feedback from the EIPA test is a valuable tool for
interpreter development and will help an individual wanting to
increase his/her professional skills. I'm very glad I took the
performance test, and I'm pleased to have professional feedback
relating to my field of work.
Becoming comfortable in front of a video camera will help you on
testing day. And getting plenty of practice voicing for video
signers who appear one dimensional on a television screen will also
help. It's a little different than voicing for live signers in 3-D.
You say you enjoy educational interpreting and have been at it for 5
years. Sounds like you're ready to give it a try.
I hope you do well!
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