SOME BASIC ISSUES Aviation English testing: what is required? Aviation English training: How much?
4 Language Proficiency Testing Misleading to speak about a test. Testing services are required Capability to constantly develop new test prompts Able to maintain high level of security in administration, record keeping, scoring
High Stakes Testing Careers Safety Safety Economics Airline industry health
6 Stakes are high too hard-- a threat to airline economic health and pilot career too easy-- a threat to airline safety standards
Aviation-Specific Testing Existing general English tests not appropriate Not aviation specific Not proficiency tests Proficiency testing Actual speaking performance Not pen and paper tests
8 Test development Needs analysis Specifications Item writing Operational experts Language testing specialists Trialing Analysis Construction Standard setting Guidance material Rater training and retraining Quality control Adminstrative Administering test Test security Record keeping On going test item development, including trials
ICAO Phraseology Radiotelephony Communication Aviation English Uh, whos ahead? Us or Ryan Air? There is a dog on the runway ATC, do you see fire?
13 Learner Variables Starting point Time Learner style Motivation Personality Environment
14 Aviation English Training How long to Level 4? 200 hours for measurable improvement Immersion environments Intensive learning Teacher-led Academic programs Reading; writing, grammar, listening/speaking
15 Canadian Civil Service True beginner (ICAO Level 1) To Canadian Civil Service Level 3 (can describe process but not explain process. 1300 Hours
16 Aviation English Training 100 hours @ DLI Level 1++ Level 2 Defense Language Institute, USA Immersion Intensive Teacher led Speaking/Listening Only Aviation specific
17 Aviation English training: Best Practice Teacher-led Immersion Intensive TESL qualified teacher/material developer Communicative, interactive Learner-centered Aviation-specific
Tests Materials Programs Teacher Training Programs Personnel STANDARD TOEFL Academia
21 …If you are a native speaker and can fog a mirror, then you can teach English abroad. Recruiter for English teachers Quoted in Time Magazine, June 30, 2003 Threats and Challenges to effective language TEACHING
Threats and challenges in language testing High stakes: careers versus safety Requires specialized knowledge, beyond language teacher knowledge-base Users usually lack awareness of professional requirements Test development is expensive 2008 Deadline creates urgency Large testing and training market Language testing is unregulated
Threats and challenges to language training Perception that English teaching easy Effective and efficient Aviation English training requires specialized knowledge Much training required Pilots and controllers cannot come off line easily Not much aviation-specific English materials currently available. Unregulated industry
Role of General English Basic Levels Until Aviation-specific material more available Why aviation English at low levels/ Interest Motivation Relevance
25 Practical suggestions Document 9835 TESL input especially for test DEVELOPMENT and curriculum development Start early. Stay the course. Believe it is possible!