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EIPA Basics

Apr 16, 2021 | Interpreter Education

by: Lisa Hendrickson, CI - NIR Interpreter Coordinator

What is the EIPA?

The EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) is an evaluation tool designed and developed in 1991 by Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. The EIPA focuses directly as an evaluation of the skills and effectiveness of K-12 educational interpreters.

What is the fee to take the EIPA?

The Performance Assessment itself costs $350.00, but test administrators may charge up to an additional $75.00 for their services. Retesting will incur the same fees.

The fee for the Written Test and Knowledge Standards is $250.

Is the Written Test a prerequisite for the Performance Assessment?

No, there is no requirement to pass the Written Test prior to scheduling and/or taking the Performance Assessment.

How is the EIPA Written Test and Knowledge Standards structured?

The test is computer-based and consists of 177 multiple-choice questions based on general interpreter knowledge and an understanding of the EIPA Code of Professional Conduct for Educational Interpreters.

How is the EIPA Performance Assessment structured?

Testing candidates will need to choose either “Elementary (1st grade-6th grade)” or “Secondary (middle and high school)” stimulus tapes. Candidates will also choose one of three options within “Elementary” or “Secondary”:

  • MCE (Manually Coded English)
  • PSE (Pidgin Signed English, aka CASE-Conceptually Accurate Signed English)
  • ASL (American Sign Language)

After making the above selections, candidates will view two sample tapes, Form A and Form B. The candidate will then choose which signer they feel more comfortable with for the “Sign Language to Spoken English” portion of the evaluation. The signer chosen will be the subject of the stimuli throughout all subsequent tapes for this portion.

As this portion of the evaluation begins, candidates will view a warm-up segment including the interviewer (spoken English) and the student (MCE, PSE, or ASL). At the conclusion of each warm-up segment, candidates will be presented with the interactive interview to be interpreted.

Once this segment is completed, candidates will begin the “Spoken English to Sign Language” portion. Tapes will match the previously chosen level: Elementary or Secondary, and will include a variety of interactions and lecture, as would be expected in any K-12 educational setting.

Prior to the start of this segment, candidates will be provided with lesson plans for the classes they will be interpreting, paper and pencil, and an English dictionary. These materials can only be used for preparation during the 30-minute warm-up period.

Once the warm-up period is complete, candidates will be presented with the interactive classrooms to be interpreted. When this segment is completed, the location proctor will collect the recorded interpretations to be sent to the evaluation team.

The entire process including the warm-up, the Sign Language to Spoken English segment, and the Spoken English to Sign Language segment can be expected to last around two hours.

What to expect next?

The two videotapes will be sent to Boys Town headquarters to be evaluated by a team of two or three specially trained evaluators (at least one Deaf evaluator will be on the team). The team will calculate a final score for the candidate from “0” (no skill exhibited) to “5” (advanced skill).

The evaluation process can take several months; once completed, the candidate will be mailed a packet including the score for each skill set, an overall average score, and feedback from the evaluators. Feedback will include strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

How to schedule a Written or Performance Assessment?

To register for a Written or Performance EIPA, use the following link: Register Here

The list of testing locations and contacts can be found at: Testing Locations</a >

* Reference: “Classroom Interpreting”, Boys Town National Research Hospital, accessed April 1, 2021, https://www.classroominterpreting.org/home.asp

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