What a couple of action packed days were had at the BEI Preparation Workshop held at the Chicago Hearing Society on December 4 - 5, 2016.
First of all - thank you to CHS for their generous donation of space to host this workshop. Also a special shout out to Michelle Mendiola and Kim Eischen (CHS Staff) for coming in early on a weekend day to open the doors for us.
The event advertising asked if you wanted to improve test taking skills and to obtain BEI certification? Over 50 new and seasoned interpreters did just that in an intensive 2 day workshop packed with information such as:
- Eligibility process to sit for the BEI exam in Illinois
- How the BEI exams were developed to be psychometrically valid and reliable
- Use of rubrics to assess interpreted product
- Preparation to sit for the BEI exam
- Test of English Proficiency (TEP)
- Performance Exam
- Sight Translation
- Transliteration (Sign to Voice)
- Interpretation (Sign to Voice)
- Transliteration (Voice to Sign)
- Interpretation (Voice to Sign)
Day one was mostly an overview of the test development, understanding the various sections of the test, learning how it is rated and finally taking a sample Test of English Proficiency. Most everyone agreed that the TEP was not an easy one even though most were fluent English first language users. The take away was for a need to study and review vocabulary at a college or even graduate level.
After an exhausting day one, the participants were given sample stimulus materials for the BEI Performance test (at either the basic or master level). Each person was asked to record video of their work interpreting / transliterating the 5 sections provided in the stimulus materials.
The snow that began on the second day didn't dampen anyone's spirit as each attendee reviewed and evaluated their work product in light of what we had learned the previous day. We discussed and reviewed together and in small groups our work.
Lastly - before wrapping up, each attendee made a plan and shared with another participant when he or she planned to take the BEI and how exactly each would prepare.
Overall, it was great fun working and learning together.