ICAO language proficiency requirements
Dr Jeremy Mell
Head of Language Studies
ENAC, Toulouse, France
[email protected]
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
1
Language proficiency:
general concepts
•
single complex skill OR many sub-skills
•
knowledge/competence
•
competence/performance
•
receptive/productive
•
spoken/written
•
accuracy/fluency
•
general/special purpose (LSP)
•
AND for aviation… phraseology/plain language
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
2
Communicative language
competence
• linguistic competence
– lexical range, control
• single words, fixed
expressions
– grammatical accuracy
• syntax, morphology
– phonological control
• phonemes, syllable
structure, prosody
– interaction/fluency
• pragmatic competence
– relevance, rules for
interpretation
– appropriateness of
tone/register/dialect
– scripts, interaction
schemata,
– appropriateness of
response
– evaluation of outcomes
• impacts on safety
• impacts on efficiency
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
3
ICAO language proficiency :
who is concerned?
•
ALL partners in aeronautical
communications (English and local
language)
–
accommodation and monitoring
Smith (1992) - a study of
intelligibility using speakers of 9
national varieties of English:
–
–
training and testing
first language speakers (L1) and
second language speakers (L2)
•
•
Yoshida (2004) - ICAO seminar
Tokyo
foreign language speakers (FL)
•
–
•
•
« There are no native speakers of
English as an International
language »
English as an International language
(EIL) arises from a mutual need for
comprehensible input:
–
–
–
refrain from using idioms/jargon
modulate delivery
be specific, explicit, direct
« native speakers … were not found
to be the most easily understood,
nor were they, as subjects, found to
be best able to understand the
different varieties of English »
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
4
The rating scale: FAQ
•
Why a rating scale?
– Not applied in other fields of
aviation competency, but...
– … well-established in the
language training/testing
profession
•
What are the benefits?
– lower levels for
recruitment/training
– higher levels to predict future
language loss
– top level brings native-speakers
within the purview of LPRs
•
Why an ICAO rating scale?
– many general rating scales
world-wide, but...
– …. associated with particular
tests (often commercial) or
individual state, and...
– ...do not address specific
requirements of aeronautical
communications within a single
level band
– ICAO scale ensures
• acceptability to stakeholders
• efficiency in training/testing
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
5
ICAO language proficiency :
foundations
• PRICE SG: operational and academic
• subject-matter experts + language experts
• Evaluation of existing language proficiency scales
• DLI/Council of Europe/….
• Findings of several job-specific linguistic needs
analyses (cf. Appendix to Doc 9835):
• FAA
• Eurocontrol (PELA)
• DGAC/ENAC (F)
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
6
Language proficiency in aviation:
what ICAO tells us (1)
• Concerns only
• Holistic descriptors
– PIL/CTL radiotelephony
communications (Annex 1)
– communications between
ATC units (Annex 11)
–
–
• Excludes other professional
tasks:
–
– PIL: intra-cockpit, cabin
announcements, ground
staff…
– CTL: intra-unit, external
services, ...
–
–
–
Proficient speakers shall:
communicate effectively in voice only and
in face to face situations.
communicate on common, concrete, and
work-related topics with accuracy and
clarity.
use appropriate communicative strategies
to exchange messages and to recognize
and resolve misunderstandings (to check,
confirm, or clarify information.)
handle successfully and with relative ease
the linguistic challenges presented by a
complication or unexpected turn of events
that occurs within the context of a routine
work situation or communicative task with
which they are otherwise familiar.
use a dialect or accent which is intelligible
to the aeronautical community.
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
7
Language proficiency in aviation:
what ICAO tells us (2)
•
Annex 10, 5.1.1.1
–
•
Words and phrases (vocabulary)
–
–
•
–
minimum “operational level” = 4
Attachment to Appendix to Annex 1:
ICAO Rating scale
–
–
–
6 levels of proficiency
6 skill areas (pronunciation, structure,
vocabulary, comprehension, fluency,
interactions)
“The language proficiency requirements
are applicable to the use of both
phraseologies and plain language.”
•
« relevant grammatical structures and
sentence patterns are determined by
language functions appropriate to the
task »
Phonology (pronunciation)
–
•
« common, concrete and work-related
topics »
“paraphrase successfully”
Grammatical structures
Annex 1
–
•
« ICAO standardized phraseology shall be
used in all situations for which it has been
specified. Only when standardized
phraseology cannot serve an intended
transmission, plain language shall be
used. »
•
« accent which is intelligible to the
aeronautical community »
Interactions
–
–
–
–
«voice-only and face-to-face situations »
«general or work-related context »
« complication or unexpected turn of
events »
« apparent misunderstandings »
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
8
Work related topics: aviation
• Domains
–
accident investigation, aerial work,
aerodrome, aeronautical
information, air transport
management, aircraft, approach,
ATC automation, ATC staff,
cartography, collision risk, en-route,
fuel management, ground
movements, in-flight incidents,
landing, liaison, meteorology,
navaids,organizations, position
reporting, private flying, radar, radio
communications, regulations, search
and rescue, take-off and departure,
telephone monitoring, traffic
information (source AIRWORD
ENAC/Eurocontrol,)
• Sub-domains
– aerodrome
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
status
management
general terms
amenities
facilities
services
surface conditions
runways/taxiways
security problems
water aerodrome
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
9
Work related topics: non-aviation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Abbreviations, acronyms
Animals, birds,
Behaviour, activities
Cargo, merchandise, packaging
Causes, conditions
Geography, topographical features,
Health, medecine
Language, spoken communication
Modality (obligation, probability,
possibility)
•
Numbers
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Perception, senses
Problems, errors, accidents,
malfunctions
Rules, enforcement, infringement,
protocol
Space, movement, position,
distance, dimension
Technology
Time, duration, schedules
Transport, travel, vehicles
Weather, climate, natural disasters
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
10
Grammatical structures: overview
•
•
•
“grammatical structures and sentence patterns are determined by language
functions appropriate to the task ”
communicative function
–
speaker’s intention in producing a given utterance (a “speech act”)
–
e.g. … “request information”, “thank”, “deny approval”,…
intentions are linked to activities being undertaken, so we can identify a limited
predictable range of frequently occurring functions
–
–
•
same functions can be realised in professional OR non-professional contexts
distinguish different functions for comprehension and production
4 major function groups in aeronautical R/T (Doc 9835, Appendix B)
–
–
–
–
triggering actions (orders, requests/offers to act, advice, permission/approval, undertakings,...)
sharing information (states, actions, events in the past, present or future, necessity, feasibility,…)
managing the relationship (satisfaction, complaint, reprimand, concern, reassurance, apologies,…)
managing the dialogue (opening/closing, self-correction, readback, acknowledgement, checking,
repetition, confirmation, clarification, relaying,…)
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
11
Individual functions (example)
• Triggering actions:
– orders - controller
•
•
•
•
•
give an order
give an amended order
give a negative order
give alternative orders
give a sequence of orders
• cancel an order
• « give an order »:
– phraseology
• TURN LEFT
– plain language
• NOW, I WANT YOU TO TURN
LEFT ABEAM THE
SHOPPING MALL AT YOUR 1
O ’CLOCK. DO YOU HAVE IT
IN SIGHT?
– orders - pilot
• announce compliance
• announce non-compliance
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
12
DISTRIBUTION OF LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS
IN AVIATION RADIOTELEPHONY (MELL, 1992)
TRIGGERING ACTIONS
SHARING INFORMATION
MANAGING RELATIONSHIP
MANAGING DIALOGUE
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
13
Interaction schemata
•
Simple (2 moves)
– Maintain flight level 2 7 0
– Maintain 270
•
Simple (3 moves) CTL initiative:
– Say heading
– 173
– 1 7 3 roger
•
•
Complex move
–
I ’ve got an emergency, short on fuel, and
I ’m steering to the beacon on II2.3, and
I ’ve been told to tune onto the IFR to get
me into an airfield. I have less than 15
minutes fuel supply sir. Have you copied?
Over.
Simple (3 moves) PIL initiative:
– Requesting descent
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
14
Interaction schemata
•
Simple (2 moves)
– Maintain flight level 2 7 0
– Maintain 270
•
Simple (3 moves) CTL initiative:
– Say heading
– 173
– 1 7 3 roger
•
•
Complex move
–
I ’ve got an emergency, short on fuel, and
I ’m steering to the beacon on II2.3, and
I ’ve been told to tune onto the IFR to
get me into an airfield. I have less than
15 minutes fuel supply sir. Have you
copied? Over.
Simple (3 moves) PIL initiative:
– Requesting descent
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
15
Interaction schemata
•
Simple (2 moves)
•
–
– Maintain flight level 2 7 0
– Maintain 270
•
Simple (3 moves) CTL initiative:
– Say heading
– 173
– 1 7 3 roger
•
Complex move
Simple (3 moves) PIL initiative:
– Requesting descent
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
•
I ’ve got an emergency, short on fuel, and
I ’m steering to the beacon on II2.3, and
I ’ve been told to tune onto the IFR to
get me into an airfield. I have less than
15 minutes fuel supply sir. Have you
copied? Over.
Complex exchange
–
–
–
–
–
–
Are you direct BRC?
Yes sir. Do we need to come right a little?
I think you proceed initially to Abbeville, if
you wish Abbeville by the right.
Understand turn right. We could go to
Abbeville VOR, BRC
Negative. Proceed Abbeville, BRC or if
you prefer BRC direct.
Direct to the BRC
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
16
Interaction schemata
•
Simple (2 moves)
•
–
– Maintain flight level 2 7 0
– Maintain 270
•
Simple (3 moves) CTL initiative:
– Say heading
– 173
– 1 7 3 roger
•
Complex move
Simple (3 moves) PIL initiative:
– Requesting descent
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
– Descend flight level 1 3 0
•
I ’ve got an emergency, short on fuel, and
I ’m steering to the beacon on II2.3, and
I ’ve been told to tune onto the IFR to
get me into an airfield. I have less than
15 minutes fuel supply sir. Have you
copied? Over.
Complex exchange
–
–
–
–
–
–
Are you direct BRC?
Yes sir. Do we need to come right a little?
I think you proceed initially to Abbeville,
if you wish Abbeville by the right.
Understand turn right. We could go to
Abbeville VOR, BRC
Negative. Proceed Abbeville, BRC or if
you prefer BRC direct.
Direct to the BRC
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
17
Phonology - the problem
• phonology is a crucial parameter for intelligibility,
– sound channel imperfections
– absence of visual channel
– non-native speaker (NNS) reliance on acoustic input
• but phonological features are:
–
–
–
–
least described by linguists
strongly influenced by mother tongue
most closely linked with personal identity
least susceptible to conscious control
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
18
Phonology - some solutions
•
All stakeholders follow ICAO recommendations
•
•
NNS renounce a pure native speaker (NS) target for pronunciation
–
linguists define core phonology e.g. Lingua Franca Core (Jenkins) combining crucial
features of regional variants
•
•
•
•
–
•
standardised phraseology/standardised pronunciation of alphabet, numbers
vowel length distinctions,
correct placing of nuclear stress,
marking of tone boundaries,
avoid simplification of some consonant clusters
learners practise paired interactions (different first language backgrounds)
NS cultivate skills of accommodation in speaking
•
•
perception of interlocutor’s possible linguistic difficulties
replacement of ‘ high-risk ’ L1 features to increase communicative efficiency
–
•
a natural inclination if intelligibility is a salient feature of the interaction
NS + NNS develop skills of “convergence”
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
19
Spontaneous convergence, if...
-
Productive convergence:
-
-
•
intelligibility is most salient aspect of interaction (eg Information transfer)
speaker appreciates listener's difficulties in using extra-linguistic context
target LFC item is within speaker's repertoire and can be produced
effortlessly
no processing overload to prevent focus on pronunciation
Receptive convergence:
-
motivated to understand (eg. Information transfer)
prior exposure to speaker's accent
prior exposure to a range of L2 accents and tolerance of difference
no fear of acquiring speaker's transfer errors
linguistically and affectively able to signal non-comprehension
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
20
Level 4: implementation issues
•
A licensing requirement:
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–
–
•
level 4 = operational (the safety standard)
levels 4-6: re-test intervals
supplementary descriptors for ICAO phraseology?
A training objective:
–
–
intermediate levels (3.5…)
aim higher to:
•
•
–
unstable vs. consolidated levels
•
•
•
increase safety margins?
facilitate maintenance
variability of performance (mood, stress,…)
one or more skills are borderline
A benchmark for:
–
–
monitoring performance in aeronautical commmunications
analysing occurrences, incidents,...
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
21
Level 4: application to phraseology
• Possible descriptors:
– Mostly uses standard ICAO phraseology accurately and
appropriately, even when switching between phraseology and
appropriate plain language.
– Pronunciation of phraseology conforms to ICAO recommended
pronunciations when available, or otherwise to a natural model of
pronunciation which is intelligible to the aeronautical community.
– Speech transmitting technique (enunciation, rate of speech,
pausing, and speaking volume) is adequate to fulfil ICAO
recommendations for intelligibility.
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
22
Further reading
•
•
•
•
ICAO (2004), Doc 9835 AN/453, Manual on the Implementation of
ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements.
Jenkins, J (2000), The Phonology of English as an International
Language, Oxford University Press.
Mell, J (1992), Etude des communications verbales entre pilote et
contrôleur en situation standard et non-standard, Editions de l’ENAC.
Websites
– www.icaea.pata.pl (International Civil Aviation English Association)
– http://culture.coe.fr (Common European Framework for Modern Languages)
ICAO-Eurocontrol European Seminar on Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communications,
Eurocontrol Brussels October 27th-28th 2005
23
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