Teaching Tips - Aviation English

Whether you are an aviation expert with little teaching experience an English teacher with little experience for aviation, here are some helpful tips for teaching aviation English.

With the new ICAO language proficiency requirements, learning English has become a priority for training in the aviation community.

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1. Teach in context

In order for pilots and controllers to feel that their learning is relevant to their professional sphere, it is important that learning is set firmly within the context of aviation. Students can quickly lose interest when they are faced with topics and material that are unrelated to their working lives.

2. Focus on good communication

It is crucial that classes give exposure to authentic radio exchanges that feature deviations from the routine in aviation operations. It is very important to focus on how good communication plays a vital role in the resolution of non-routine and emergency situations.

3. Be technically accurate

Language teachers are not teaching the students how to fly or how to manage traffic but to be effective communicators in the English language. However, it is important that the aviation content is technically accurate so that the students will trust the courseware as a reliable learning resource.

4. Set learning objectives

It is important that learners know what it is they are learning and why. They should have sufficient opportunities to practise and consolidate this language in order to successfully reach these learning objectives.

5. Offer accessible yet challenging course material

Much aviation-related material in English is aimed at a native-speaker audience. Texts and listening scripts in courseware should be both accessible to pre-operational users of English and challenging at the same time.

6. Keep lessons varied

For aviation English classes to appeal to a wide range of learning styles and differences in personality, it is important that there is variety in the training methodology employed. Learning is likely to be more successful when learners are faced with different exercise types and practice activities

7. Encourage creativity

No-one knows the work environment better than the students (the pilots and the controllers) themselves. Courseware should provide the opportunity for them to be creative and to explore and experiment with language use in a work-related context.

8. Generate interest

Above all, courseware should engage, stimulate and provoke, and encourage genuine interest in subject matter. Communication in the classroom should be meaningful; the most effective learning takes place when controllers forget they are learning.

We have samples on the Aviation English Course page.