Adapting Training to International Standards: A Case Study in Aviation English Training
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has mandated that pilots and air traffic controllers around the world meet or exceed a set standard of English Language Proficiency by 2008. This paper presents a case study of an English language training company’s adaptation of its Aviation English training program to match ICAO goals and to help clients meet the mandated level of proficiency.
While developing and delivering training to an international audience is always challenging, undertaking this task to help multinational clients meet an international professional standard can be daunting. While the case study presented in this paper deals with English language training within the field of aviation, the same review and adaptation process could apply to all training companies, especially those that deal with high stakes training – for example, within the medical arena – and/or those whose training content is overseen or certified by professional or governmental regulatory agencies.
In the current case study the professionals being trained are non-native English speaking air traffic controllers (ATCs) and commercial airline pilots. The standard for them to reach is a newly mandated level of English language proficiency, especially in the area of radiotelephony, the specialized system of terminology and phraseology used by pilots and air traffic controllers to communicate during takeoff, flight, and landing.