Welcome to this edition of Aviation English Services newsletter.
IFATCA encourages all Service Providers and Regulators who have not already done so to act without delay to ensure an English language proficiency training and testing program is in place. (Letter written to Air Navigation Service Providers by Executive Vice President Professional IFATCA)
The way in which Aviation English training material is delivered is critical.
Properly harnessed, computer-assisted language learning empowers both learner and student.
Part One of an interview on Language Proficiency Requirements.
Come and see us at the following events
We know that differences in education, perceptions and expectations can make communication difficult; these differences are often critical when we need to communicate in the workplace. Pilots and controllers, however, share a common professional culture, regardless of their differences in native language, race and nationality.
AES training courseware capitalizes on the connection between culture and communication.
This is one important reason why Aviation English Services (AES) fully accepted the guidance in the ICAO language proficiency manual* that content-based learning is an appropriate language training methodology for pilots and controllers. Content-based learning programs “speak” to students in a common language of understanding. This methodology is, for pilots and controllers, a means of building the unknown on the known: the concepts are known; their proper linguistic expression needs to be learnt.
Moreover, AES content-based courseware incorporates contemporary safety-related subject matter that has the twin benefits of effectively facilitating acquisition of the English language and improving the safety consciousness of pilots and controllers.
Teaching English to pilots and controllers is not enough. It is ineffective to teach a brand of “aviation English” that is unrelated to operations on the flight deck and in the control tower; topics such as the four forces of flight, travel itineraries and hotel accommodation fall into this category. AES instructional design focuses on cutting edge subject matter of direct operational relevance and effectiveness. This includes such topics as controlled flight into terrain, safety management, runway incursions and threat and error management.
AES Aviation English courseware has been developed by experienced operational personnel and highly qualified linguistic experts working in cooperation with airlines, service providers, industry groups and regulators. It is specifically designed to meet ICAO language requirements in the most cost-effective way possible. Many AES instructional designers have been either members of the PRICE Study Group or closely associated with it. AES courseware is training material designed and presented by professionals. AES believe these training programs will prove to be world’s best.
What if you could learn about a subject like human factors in aviation and improve your aviation English at the same time?
* ICAO Document 9835: Manual on the Implementation of the ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements
First part of an interview with Captain Rick Valdes
How did you get involved in the ICAO Price Study Group?
IFALPA (International Federation of Airline Pilots Association) wanted to support ICAO's efforts to improve English in radiotelephony communications when ICAO was putting together the PRICE Study Group. They looked into their ranks and found me - a non-native speaker of English (first language Spanish) and international pilot who had worked on safety issues for many years. At the time, I was working on ATC issues for Latin America within the ALPA structure.
I was aware of the language issues in aviation. I knew that English proficiency needed to be improved. Most pilots and controllers are proficient using ICAO's phraseology. However when an incident occured that was not covered by normal phraseology, communications deteriorated rapidly. At that point, everything was reactive rather than proactive. We dealt with a problem after it happened. Some ICAO Member States and IFALPA brought the language issue to ICAO's attention. Something needed to be done. There were too many accidents where language played a major role in the event.
Can you tell me something about your international flight experience?
I fly domestic and to Europe and South America. I flew a number of years to Asia, to Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore and Seoul with over-flights over China. I also worked as a pilot for a number of years in Latin America for a South American carrier.
I was flying into a South American country once. The ATIS there was bilingual. The native language ATIS pointed out that there were balloons in the area, one in proximity to the outer marker. However, the English version ATIS made no mention of balloons at all. Then, a regional carrier making the approach in front had to swerve around a steel cable holding the balloon in place, from the ground. He told the controller in the local language to "tell Airline X about the balloons on the localizer, that we had to take evasive action." Silence. The pilot told him again. Again..silence. Finally the regional pilot notified us in English. The controller did not have the English ability to relate the information.
So, I've seen first hand why we need to strengthen the use of English worldwide.
What was IFALPA's point of view on the work of the Price Study Group?
IFALPA had a policy statement on languages for aviation communication. IFALPA maintains that all pilots and controllers should use English-only all of the time. The reason? Situational awareness. When you fly an airplane, you are aware of what is happening around you. You know if the guy in front of you is having problems. You are totally cognizant of everything that happens on the frequency by listening in. When you are listening to a foreign language, you can have a pilot having an emergency speaking in another language and have no clue an emergency is going on. (Therefore, you could continue to make proper reports interrupting the communications during an emergency, having no idea what is happening on the frequency).
At this time the political process in ICAO worldwide would not allow that English be mandated as the only language for ATS. ICAO, a UN Agency, wouldn't have been able to get a single-language policy through the 189 Member States.
The new Standards and the Rating Scale and test requirements are a huge step forward.
But, I still have some concerns about the implementation process.
The second part of this interview will be published in the next edition of the Newsletter.Captain Valdes is a member of the Aviation English Services Board of Advisors. He was one of the Speakers at the ICAO – Eurocontrol Workshop on Language Proficiency Requirements Implementation held in Langen, Germany, September 6 – 7, 2007.
AES is very pleased to be working with the following Associates:
Queen Noor civil Aviation Technical College www.qnac.edu.jo
ALAS de America www.alasdeamerica.com.mx
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University www.erau.edu
Jetway Aeronautics www.jetwayaero.com
|Aviation English Services Newsletter|
Disclaimer: This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. While considerable effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in it is accurate and current Aviation English Services does not accept any responsibility for content and shall not be responsible for, and excludes all liability for any claims arising from the use of the content.