Course Overview : Aviation English


Course Focus

In the entire spectrum of ESP courses, nearly nowhere is the need for proficiency in the English language as crucial as in the aviation industry, a profession which carries the weight of responsibility for the lives of millions of travellers. Infallible communication is imperative to ensure the absolute safety of these passengers. As stated in the paper presented at the eighth meeting of the ICAO in 2003, ‘Communication, or the lack thereof, has been shown by many accident investigations to play a significant role in those accidents.’

As a result, it was decided that all aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers working in international flights/travel should have a minimum level of English, established as the ICAO Operational Level 4. This course on Aviation English is aimed at such professionals who work internationally and are therefore required to communicate at this level of English without fault. The course and all material used complies with this standard, taking into account the six core skills stipulated:

  • pronunciation
  • structure
  • vocabulary
  • fluency
  • comprehension
  • interactions

Course Content

In keeping with the ‘holistic descriptors’ laid out by the ICAO to ensure flight security via clear and accurate communication, the course gives students the correct language to enable them to effectively:

  • check for understanding,
  • confirm information,
  • resolve complications and misunderstandings,
  • deal with unexpected and/or problematic situations.

This is done by referring to different linguistic aspects (lexis, grammar, pronunciation etc.) as necessary and integrating the four language skills depending on the tasks and material at hand to be suited to an aviation context, including voice-over and face-to-face communication and dialogues, which are practised and simulated in activities such as role-play.

Upon completion of a needs analysis questionnaire, a tailor-made course programme will be created to suit the specific needs of the student/s.