In aviation English has been agreed upon being the international working language ever since. However only less than 15% of the worlds population speaks English as mother tongue, and it seems reasonable to assume that among pilots and controllers the percentage of native speakers is below 30%. To secure high global standards the International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO has recently defined new requirements concerning the level of English language proficiency among aviation professionals. From March 2008 on aviation professionals have to be assessed concerning their proficiency in speaking and listening preferably in aviation-specific context. ICAO proposes to start formal evaluation much earlier to assure applicants to meet language proficiency requirements as a prerequisite for recruitment. However by now no validated tools to achieve this have been published. This article offers a solution derived from the experience of the German Aerospace Center DLR to test English language skills among applicants for aviation careers, for example pilots, air traffic controllers or even astronauts.
Hinnerk Eißfeldt, H.
(2005). English as Working Language for Non-Native Speakers–the Assessement of English Language Proficiency Among Ab-Initio Applicants. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 215-218.