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FCICE: Traditional vs. Alternate Administration
Thread poster: Kgraffam
Kgraffam
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 1, 2007

Hey, everyone.

Just wondering if there is anyone out there who took the 2001 pilot version of the alternate oral exam. I am torn between choosing the CD proxy or facing the Traditional 3-member panel. The CD method is certainly enticing, as I am sure to deal with less nerves, but the traditional method is closer to a real world interpreting environment, and thus may carry more weight or special consideration come time to select the passing candidates.

Any thoughts?


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Here are some points of view from professionals in the field Mar 1, 2007

From discussions with my colleagues, I think that a lot of people will choose the CD (alternate) method over a panel of live judges. We had a *lot* of discussion about this on the NAJIT listserv, with solid discussions pro and con each type. For example:

Pro-CD method: no one can be swayed by prejudice (race, weight, gender, glasses, nationality, freckles, etc.). Less frightening and/or distracting as no one is staring at you. Particularly if you know the names/repuations of the raters from other venues and that puts you in awe of them. Finally, each test is delivered to the examinee in an identical fashion, no variations between different speakers.

Pro-live raters: It's more like real life in court. Plus, the raters are really rooting for you, they want to see you pass, so they'll listen and take notes carefully and see you as a person. Finally, listening to the test without seeing those speaking may be more stressful on your cognitive processes than listening to live raters.

Overall, it seems that subjective factors may make the difference between the two tests. If you're good, you'll pass -- either version. I picked the alternate (CD) version *only* because of my travel schedule this summer. But, talking with several of my colleagues locally, they are afraid of the live raters. That leads me to wonder whether the spots will fill up *very quickly* for the alternate version - so get going!!!

Good luck!


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Kgraffam
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Going with CD Mar 1, 2007

Yes, your post certainly sums up the dilemma. I just opted for the CD method on impulse, after reading your comments. Any idea how many candidates there are this year? I assume the numbers go up with each exam. It may be one of the reasons behind the reintroduction of this method, besides that of ensuring equal conditions for all examinees--which I like a lot.

Thanks, and good luck to you.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
I took the traditional Mar 2, 2007

I did not find the traditional method intimidating but after taking the Consortium oral test in CD a month ago, this time I chose the alternate method for the FCICE and registered already.

The only thing I will do different this time is practice longer, around 2 hours daily for at least 4 months. That means going thrice over the ACEBO materials.


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Jackie Bowman

Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just curious ... Mar 2, 2007

A brief question for all three posters above …

Is there any particular reason why, in testing language professionals, the FCICE uses the word ‘alternate’ (repeated by all of you) – rather than, for example, the word ‘alternative’? I’m interested. This is, after all, a body devoted to testing skills in use of language. Thanks for any reply.


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Darin Fitzpatrick  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2006)
German to English
Alternate usage of alternate Mar 2, 2007

Jackie Bowman wrote:

A brief question for all three posters above …

Is there any particular reason why, in testing language professionals, the FCICE uses the word ‘alternate’ (repeated by all of you) – rather than, for example, the word ‘alternative’? I’m interested. This is, after all, a body devoted to testing skills in use of language. Thanks for any reply.


Hi Jackie,

I suspect that the FCICE testing body has instinctively borrowed the courtroom terminology of "alternate jurors."

They probably also recognize that one definition of "alternate" is "alternative" - that is, the words are synonyms.

Check it out:

http://tinyurl.com/24lwve

8^) Cheers!


[Edited at 2007-03-02 14:30]


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Jackie Bowman

Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
No alternative use of alternative Mar 2, 2007

Darin Fitzpatrick wrote:

Hi Jackie,

I suspect that the FCICE testing body has instinctively borrowed the courtroom terminology of "alternate jurors."

They probably also recognize that one definition of "alternate" is "alternative" - that is, the words are synonyms.

Check it out:

http://tinyurl.com/24lwve




Thanks, Darin. Your link led me to a definition of the word ‘troll’. Not sure why.

In any case … of course in a courtroom there are ‘alternate jurors’ – that is, people who substitute for other people. As an adjective, naturally, it means ‘every second one’. ‘Alternative’, on the other hand, connotes a choice between two or more things.

As both nouns and adjectives, the two words are no more synonymous than ‘one’ and ‘two’ are synonymous. Depending on the context, one is right and the other is wrong. Hence my question as to why a body that certifies language professional should, apparently, misuse language.


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:59
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Can we, please, return to the topic? Mar 2, 2007

which is about administration of FCICE exam, let me remind.

Thank you!


Magda


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Traditional Mar 2, 2007

Hi,

Actually, I prefer the idea of the traditional method.

In part, thinking along the lines cecourtright mentions in favor of the "live" examiners.

But what really made me decide was the experience with the proctoring at my venue during the written exam. There were a few circumstances that could have affected the performance of some examinees, and I would not like to risk stuff like that happening at the oral exam...

I think that having a few examiners present allows the application of the exam to be more consistent.

A lot of people mention that they will be less nervous without the examinees, but whoever is going into this field of court interpreting should be able to dismiss "performance jitters"¡¡¡¡


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nancyH
English
+ ...
a question about the federal oral exam Mar 15, 2007

What would you recommend for material for the oral exam?

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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Material to study Mar 26, 2007

vibe1 wrote:

What would you recommend for material for the oral exam?


I am using the ACEBO materials.

There is a lot of stuff, but I bought The Interpreter's Edge and The Interpreter's Edge Supplement, which are basically a course to prepare for the exam with material in the different areas tested.

Of course, there is a lot more!! You can check the webpage
www.acebo.com

Also, the University of Arizona also sells materials which I have heard are very good. I used their practice tests for the written part, and they were really the same as the real exam. (I haven't checked out these materials).

Any other sugestions?
And how about courses?

Are we all going into a fit as the date approaches?

:I


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tips for taking the exam Mar 26, 2007

vibe1 wrote:

What would you recommend for material for the oral exam?


I second Heidi's endorsement of the Acebo materials. You might also like reading Acebo's article called "Tips for taking the Federal Oral Exam" at http://www.acebo.com/fedtips.htm.

Besides that, I am a big fan of flash cards. Each time I am don't have a word, term or phrase on the tip of my tongue during practice, or in real-life work, I make a new flash card with English on one side and Spanish on the flip side. Then before starting each practice session, I review them, each one. The pile grows and shrinks constantly: eventually you will discard those that have become too easy and keep/add to the ones that are still doubtful.

Now this advice is only worth as much as you are paying for it as I too need to take the Federal exam this summer. But the flash cards and Acebo materials did wonders for me in passing my State test on the first try, 3 years ago, and I continue to use them.


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