Some Aspects of NAATI Marking

Presenter: Dave Deck

Prospective candidates preparing for NAATI tests, or others seeking to mentor them in their preparation, to some extent operate without the benefit of a full understanding of the marking procedures for NAATI tests. While this presentation cannot (and is not intended to) be equivalent to a normal test preparation workshop, it does aim to provide a better understanding of both the basic facts about the process, and the underlying principles.

These ‘basic facts’ will include:
  • how the Examiners’ Manual sets marking standards and marking methods
  • some realities of selecting, recruiting, and training examiners, and of standardising assessments
  • an overview of the ‘modes’ by which translating and interpreting are tested
  • some of the administrative realities of the marking process
Among the ‘underlying principles’ are:
  • what we are trying to measure
  • markers’ accountability
  • provisions for impartiality and for marking on merit
  • what is emphasised in marking

The presentation will also identify common reasons for failure, both general or ‘systemic’ reasons, and those specific to translating and to interpreting.
Finally, the presentation will briefly explore some of the changes envisaged in the INT (Improvement to NAATI Testing) project: both the proposed overall system, and proposals for specific changes to testing and marking procedures.

Dave Deck

About the Presenter
Dave has practised as a translator and interpreter in Indonesian and Malay for about 21 years, and is chairman of NAATI’s Indonesian/Malay and English examining panels. In 2005 and 2008, he was one of the co-authors of major revisions of NAATI’s Examiners’ Manual, and has since developed and run various examiner training workshops. Additionally, he has been running workshops for both translating and interpreting candidates in NAATI’s Melbourne office since 1998. Formerly an education officer and language instructor in the RAAF, he returned to the Defence Force School of Languages as a civilian instructor in Indonesian, and then served as their Assessments Officer before retiring from Defence in 2009. For the last 8 years he has been teaching T&I theory (plus Indonesian translating and interpreting) as a sessional lecturer on the Masters and Advanced Diploma programs at RMIT University, and still runs staff workshops for RMIT. Having now retired from regular teaching there, he is filling in some of his time as a member of AUSIT’s National Council.