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Going Online: The Next Step in Aviation English

What is Aviation English, and why is it so important? English is aviation’s lingua franca and allows for clear and concise communication between Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers from different regions and language backgrounds. With effective Aviation English, miscommunications and aircraft accidents are reduced, thus ensuring safety in the operating environment.

More and more industries are turning to technology and online services to provide training courses, assessments and educational materials and the aviation industry is following suit. This has become increasingly relevant in the light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Nonetheless, in the context of aviation English, CBT (Computer Based Training) is essential, and common sense and experience tell us that some aspects of the ICAO proficiency requirements will lend themselves to learning via CBT”’, - Ms Elizabeth Mathews, “The Value of Content-based Language Training for the Aviation Industry’

Based on shared sentiments with Ms Mathews, we are developing an online platform that can serve as a learning and predictive tool for an Aviation English Test, traditionally conducted face to face, with examiners physically present.

Online testing enables for greater flexibility allowing International candidates from different time zones to access the test whenever, wherever. These tests can be adapted for use in face to face assessments providing organisations with the ability to customise the test conditions.

Sharing the same vision and belief, Sovereign Quest Pte Ltd (SQPL), a Singapore-based company that conducts courses for Aviation English, Cabin Crew Training, and those seeking a Private Pilot License (PPL), has provided us with greater opportunities to connect with the international aviation community.

The Aviation English Predictive Test is an effective and meaningful way to indicate one’s ICAO Aviation English Proficiency level. This test aims to allow candidates to gauge their Aviation English level, from the comfort and convenience of their own home.

The test would examine a candidate’s understanding and proficiency of Aviation English. It consists of three components – language use, audio listening and pictorial description, allowing for the assessment of one's use of English language rules, listening comprehension and ability to analyse and interpreted different aviation related scenarios.

With the kind help of Brookfield Aviation International, we were able to validate our Predictive Test, attaining an accuracy score of 83%. A notable factor for the differences between our predicted ICAO score and the candidates’ actual ICAO score would be that some of the written answers were not given in complete sentences to be able to properly assess candidates’ level of produced language.

Moving forward, we strive to improve and enhance the reliability of the test together with SQPL, with the likelihood of assessing candidates’ voice recordings for pronunciation and fluency. Our hope is to provide an accurate and easily accessible predictive tool for Aviation English.

Heading this project, we are a team of students pursing the Diploma in Aviation Management (AMS), at Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Our diploma took in its first batch of students in 2007. Originally conceived to provide skilled labour to Singapore’s Changi Airport, it has since evolved, now catering to the manpower needs of Singapore’s aviation industry.

“An average of 80% students join the aviation industry every year and our alumni now can be found in many aviation and tourism related companies in Singapore and beyond." - Mr Abbas Ismail, AMS Course Chair

Over the course of our studies in AMS, we have covered a variety of topics from airport operations management to pilot, cabin crew, air traffic management and airline operations management.

From our 3 years of study, we have grown to be more resilient and adaptable. We aspire to apply these principles into the ever-changing industry during this time of need. As discerning Next Generation Aviation Professionals, it is our duty to improve and innovate allowing aviation to continue to thrive and excel. We believe in contributing towards the education and training of Flight Crew and Aviation Professionals of tomorrow.

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