1. PRADO, M. The relevance of Pragmatics in aviation English teaching: a study based on corpora. 2019. 336 pages. Dissertation (PhD) – Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, 2019.
The teaching and the testing of aviation English are based on the Language Proficiency Rating Scale of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), published in Doc 9835 (Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements) in 2004. This Scale lists six linguistic areas to be assessed, which are pronunciation, structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and interaction. However, even in the three last linguistic areas of the Rating Scale, we observe an absence of conversational elements which are present in the radio communications between pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCOs), mainly in abnormal situations – the scope of ICAO ́s interest, given that this is the kind of situation in which professionals need to use plain English (ICAO, 2010). The present study aims to understand how fluency and interaction are manifested in radio communications held in abnormal situations, and how these findings can be applied in the teaching of aviation English. To reach these objectives, we compiled two corpora: the first is comprised of radio communications between the abovementioned professionals; the second, of transcriptions of seven classes we offered to a group of three airline pilots, to which we applied the results of the investigation of the first corpus. The theoretical background relies mainly on Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics, but also draws on elements of other areas such as Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis. The analyses of the radio communication corpus revealed a high occurrence of pragmatic phenomena, such as speech acts (AUSTIN, 1962) which are specific to this register (BIESWANGER, 2016); the presence of deictic elements (FILLMORE, 1971; LEVINSON, 2004), mainly in the transition between Aeronautical Phraseology and plain aviation English; facework (GOFFMAN, 1967) highlighted through mitigation (CAFFI, 1999); and components of conversational management (SACKS, SCHEGLOFF & JEFFERSON, 1974; MCCARTHY & CARTER, 2002 ) through multiword strings (AIJMER, 1996; SINCLAIR, 2004; WOOD, 2006; ADOLPHS, 2008). The results of the investigation were then applied to the abovementioned group of students, whose classes were video recorded, transcribed and analyzed, according to Walsh ́s (2006, 2011) framework. Based on this material – which became a learner corpus – we followed the same methodological path to raise the multiword strings typical of this small linguistic community, with a view to verifying how pragmatic phenomena are expressed in this new register. We grouped these strings into functions related to conversational organization, speech gap filling devices, negotiation of meaning, learning awareness and speech acts specific to this register (see NATTINGER & DECARRICO, 1992). The findings of the two corpora formed the basis of some pedagogical activities that are suggested in the final chapter of this dissertation, oriented by Pragmatics as the main objective of the content to be delivered. They are above all recommendations of activities which rely on authentic context – and its elements – as a fundamental feature of the classes given. We conclude with the suggestion of future changes to ICAO ́s Language Proficiency Rating Scale which should then be incorporated in the teaching of aviation English, in such a way that the classes reflect the context in which the professionals work, thus preparing them so they can better accomplish their tasks, particularly when communicating in abnormal situations.
2. MONTEIRO, A. L. T. Reconsidering the Measurement of Proficiency in Pilot and Air Traffic Controller Radiotelephony Communication: From Construct Definition to Task Design Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies – Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 2019.
The high-stakes context of international radiotelephony (RT) communication, in which pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCOs) use aviation English (AE) as a lingua franca, requires a robust testing policy that is clear and fair to all stakeholders. The International Civil Aviation Organization Language Proficiency Requirements have been criticized for their lack of fit with pilots’ and ATCOs’ real-life communicative needs, for both native and non-native speakers of English (Douglas, 2014; Kim, 2012). This dissertation investigates and specifies the proficiency construct (awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes) in pilot-ATCO intercultural RT, following Fulcher and Davidson’s (2007) test development framework, and drawing on theoretical and empirical studies in the domains of Aviation English, English as a Lingua Franca, Intercultural awareness, and Interactional competence. It is guided by the following overarching research question: What are the communicative demands of pilots and ATCOs involved in intercultural RT communications; how can they be specified within a construct framework and operationalized as test tasks? In order to address this question, a multiphase mixed methods (MM) research design (Creswell, 2014) with three integrated phases is applied. In phase one, the intercultural RT context is explored (MM exploratory study). In phase two, models of language use relevant to this aviation workplace are proposed; and, key construct components are specified and validated by 128 aviation stakeholders (qualitative study). In the third/final phase, draft tasks that operationalize the identified RT construct are designed and pilot tested with AE testing experts (convergent parallel MM study). Integration of all findings allows for meta-inferences regarding the research question and underscores 1) the value of MM research designs in addressingiii such complex questions, and 2) the role of domain experts in: exploring a target testing context, specifying and validating a construct, and designing and pilot testing tasks to generate the evidence needed to make valid inferences about test-takers’ specific purpose language ability. A broader view of professional communicative competence for intercultural RT suggests an encouraging perspective in a highly specialized occupational domain, has implications for aviation safety, and serves as an example of how non- linguistic competencies could be operationalized in contexts other than aviation.
3. SOUZA, P. R. The washback of EPLIS on teachers’ and learners’ perceptions, attitudes and actions in an air traffic control initial training course. 2018. 384 f. Tese (Doutorado em Linguística) – Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, 2018.
This research aimed at investigating the washback effect of EPLIS (Aviation English Language Proficiency Exam for the Brazilian Airspace Control System) on teachers’ and students’ perceptions, attitudes and actions in an air traffic control initial training program. EPLIS is a proficiency test, which has been applied to Brazilian in-service air traffic controllers and aeronautical station operators every year since 2007, in compliance with ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) guidelines pertaining to the proficiency assessment of professionals involved in international flight operations. In 2014, pre-service air traffic controllers in Brazil started sitting EPLIS in the last semester of their two-year training program. Adopting a mixed methods design, this study comprised two consecutive phases. In the first phase, the focus was to identify patterns and trends of perception and attitude among participants in relation to the influence of EPLIS on various aspects of English teaching and learning. To this end, a questionnaire was designed and statistical analyses were conducted on the data. In the second phase, qualitative data were collected through a focus group, individual interviews and class observations, in order to explain, expand on and corroborate the initial results. The results showed that the exam influenced the skills developed in the classroom, the types of tasks and their formats, the school achievement tests, and the teachers’ teaching approach. Factors such as the proximity to the test date, the learners’ proficiency level, the teachers’ and learners’ knowledge about the exam, as well as the high-stakes classroom tests played a role in this process. Thus, washback was more intense in the last semester of the course, when aspects of the exam were mentioned and discussed more often and oral skills were further explored in the classroom. However, gaps in teachers’ training in the test seemed to contribute to some characteristics being overemphasized, to the detriment of other exam aspects. Moreover, the high-stakes school paper and pencil tests led to a decrease of oral production in the classroom, especially in the 2 nd and 3 rd grades. Learners’ perceived level of English also influenced washback intensity. Learners with a higher proficiency demonstrated greater confidence, motivation and positive attitudes towards EPLIS, rating test relevance higher, as well as the frequency with which they searched for more information and engaged in preparation activities. In higher level classes, it was found that teachers developed the oral production skills further, promoted more opportunities for interaction among learners and explored more activities similar to those in the exam. Lastly, limitations in the communicative functions assessed in the exam had a negative impact in the classroom, therefore tasks that focused on the management of pilot-controller dialogue and on the use of meaning negotiation strategies tended to be overlooked.
4. GONÇALVES, S. S. B. Open to Talk - emergências: um glossário português/inglês para as comunicações radiotelefônicas entre pilotos e controladores de tráfego aéreo 2017. 116 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Estudos da Tradução) – Instituto de Letras, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, 2017.
Commercial aviation in Brazil has significantly grown in recent decades, although there are still few studies in the area mainly related to the languages used within this domain. After some accidents and incidents in which insufficient English language proficiency played a contributing role, an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has shown a greater interest in aeronautical communications and began to require a minimum level of proficiency in the English language from flight crews and air traffic control personnel. The idea of organizing a glossary focused on radiotelephony communications between pilots and air traffic controllers came up in order to assist these professionals in the language acquisition and to create a query tool of Portuguese and English terms. Among the few terminological studies in the aviation field, there is not one related to these communications. The accuracy of communication is fundamental for the maintenance of flight safety, and since emergency situations require greater attention and dedication from those involved in this context, this matter was prioritized in this master's project. Through terminology theories, mainly the General Theory of Terminology and the Communicative Theory of Terminology, we could conclude the glossary assembly, designed with 69 entries in Portuguese, and a list of 90 English terms with their terminological equivalents in Portuguese.
5. TERENZI, D. Princípios norteadores para o planejamento de cursos de línguas para propósitos específicos em curso superior tecnológico (manutenção de aeronaves): considerando visões de aprendizes, instituição formadora e empregadores. 2014. 194 f. Tese (Doutorado em Linguística) – Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, 2014.
The technological higher education has expanded significantly in Brazil and there is a connection between the world of science and technology and the English language (CELANI, 2008). The technological higher education context, therefore, provides a rich environment for investigations considering the language teaching process, especially English. Actions are needed to adjust language teaching to the requirements of this context (ALMEIDA FILHO, 2008). Commonly, studies on needs analysis, which guide the planning of language courses for specific purposes, focus exclusively on the perspective of learners but, at the beginning of their undergraduate program, these needs may not be clear to them (ANTHONY, 1997; AUGUSTO-NAVARRO et al, 2012). Bearing that in mind, our research aims at discussing the planning of English for specific purposes courses in higher education, taking into account three perspectives: the educational institution, based on its official documents (program and syllabus); learners, considering their interests and perceptions of needs and, finally, the labor market, represented by employers of companies that hire the professionals who graduate from the technological program in focus: Aircraft Maintenance Technology. Data collection was performed using questionnaires and document analysis. The results show that there are similarities and differences, especially between the expectations of learners and the demands of the labor market compared to the objectives presented in the syllabus. Based on the obtained results and on theoretical issues considering language teaching for specific purposes discussed by many authors, we present principles aiming at sensitizing and guiding professionals involved in language for specific purposes course planning.
6. BABBONI, C. A Atividades de pronúncia em livros didáticos de Inglês Aeronáutico: reflexões sob o prisma de falantes de português brasileiro 2017. 187 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Letras, Universidade de Taubaté, Taubaté, 2017.
Our research had its origin in perceptions that have occurred to us since 2010, during our Aviation English classes for the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) Training Course at the Escola de Especialistas de Aeronáutica, in Guaratinguetá – SP. Although several papers have been written in the Aviation English field, we were not able to find Brazilian papers specifically about teaching English pronunciation to pilots or ATCOs. Thus, the objective of this research was to investigate in what way the pronunciation exercises from three textbooks, used during the Training Course for ATCOs, fulfill the specific needs of speakers of Brazilian Portuguese (BP). In order to reach our main objective, the specific objectives of this paper were as follows: 1. to check how many pronunciation exercises there are in each of the three textbooks and what their focuses and topics are; 2. to analyze which pronunciation exercises available in the three textbooks satisfy the needs of speakers of BP as a first language, and which exercises are relevant for the ATCOs context; 3. to identify existing gaps. The textbooks analyzed are: (1) English for Aviation, by Ellis and Gerighty, from the Oxford University Press, (2) Aviation English and (3) Check Your Aviation English, both by Emery and Roberts, from Macmillan Publishing House. Being textbooks made by international publishers, the contents in the books aim to comply with the needs of speakers of several languages, and not just our own reality of native speakers of BP. This study is based on conceptions on teaching pronunciation by Celce-Murcia et al (1996), Cristófaro-Silva (2012), Fraser (2001), Godoy et al (2006), Kenworthy (1987) and Sant’Anna (2008), as well as discussions in the area of English as Lingua Franca, by Jenkins (2000, 2002, 2005) and Seidlhofer (2005). In addition to these authors, the research is also guided by the theories on English for Specific Purposes (ESP), by Dudley-Evans and St John (1998), Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Ramos (2005) and Robinson (1991). To reach our research objectives, an analysis was conducted by means of the quantitative and the interpretative-qualitative approaches. Initially, through this analysis, it was possible to obtain descriptive data on the pronunciation exercises in the Aviation English textbooks, objects of this study. The data collected were analyzed in the light of the theories that underlie our perspective on our research object. The results show that, in general, most of the pronunciation exercises have few samples (words and/or sentences), and many exercises do not suggest any type of oral practice for the learners. Furthermore, the analysis of the pronunciation exercises revealed that several difficulties in English pronunciation, which are common to speakers of BP, are not addressed in any of the three textbooks.
7. SILVA, A. L. B. C. Uma Análise de Necessidades de uso da Língua Inglesa por Oficiais Aviadores do Esquadrão de Demonstração Aérea da Força Aérea Brasileira 2016. 278 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada) – Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, 2016.
Although the interest in studies into the necessary English for international aviation has been growing, it still can be noticed that there is a gap in research on the needs for the use of English by pilots from the Brazilian military aviation. In this study we conducted a language needs analysis for the usage of English by Aviator Officers of the Air Demonstration Squadron (EDA) of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), popularly known as "Smoke Squadron". EDA’s mission is to represent the Brazilian Air Force and Brazil through air shows. Among its various responsibilities EDA represents FAB abroad as a diplomatic tool, and it spreads the media policy of the Air Force Command (COMAER). Through a qualitative research, we developed a case study in which we employed various methodological procedures, such as nonstructured and semistructured interviews, focus groups, document analysis and observation, and we heard several participants – Pilots in Activity, Veteran Pilots and English teachers from the Brazilian Air Force Academy (AFA). The Present Situation Analysis (PSA) showed that the speaking ability in English – for specific purposes, (ESP), and for general purposes, (EGP) – has not been directly assessed. Nevertheless, the results show that all the 13 Pilots in Activity from EDA held, during the study, the so - called "Card S", which proves proficiency in EGP, according to the parameters established by COMAER. The Target Situation Analysis (TSA) demonstrates that the English language needed by the group is multifaceted. It includes the usage of standard phraseology for flight communication between pilots and air traffic controlers, in routine situations, and plain English for non-routine situations. On ground situation, there is evidence of need for the usage of general English (EGP) and specific vocabulary for aviation, in the performance of administrative and operational tasks. Similarly, EGP and specific vocabulary for aviation are required for interaction with the public, the press, authorities, members of other teams, among other parties, and also during exchange visits and the welcoming of international visits at the group's headquarters. The results also indicate that communications may occur by various means, such as radiotelephony, face to face and electronic media. The most needed skills to the group are listening and speaking, both during flight and on the ground, in ESP and EGP. In some cases, the reading and writing abilities become also necessary. This study provides theoretical and practical discussions about teaching and assessing English for aviation in the Brazilian military sphere, which can support the development of courses, syllabuses, production of teaching materials, specialized training for English teachers, and give rise to new studies about methodological aspects which may be useful to conduct further language needs analyses, in the military context or not.
8. DIAS, R. T. S. IMAGE ANALYSIS IN ENGLISH BOOK AVIATION: a contextualization for ESP teaching for Brazilian pre-service air traffic controllers 2016. 207 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Letras, Universidade de Taubaté, Taubaté, 2016.
Nowadays textbooks (TB) of English are widely illustrated. Considering the image on Language Education for Specific Purposes context, the image is an excellent resource to represent real situations of language. This resource is very important especially for students who still do not act professionally in their functions, that is, pre-service students. However, considering the textbook of English and its peculiarities of production, the images may not be appropriate for the target audience, and may be necessary to adapt them. In this research, the audience was considered as pre-service Brazilian students of air traffic controll. Based on this information and grounded in language teaching and learning theories for Language Specific Purposes, textbook and image, this study aims to analyze the function of the image in three units of an Aeronautical English textbook and verify the contribution of the use of images in preparation for EPLIS, proficiency examination directed to the air traffic controllers in Brazil. Among the TB available in the market, it was chosen for analysis the Aviation English by different imaging manifestations that this material offers. For thisanalysis, we elaborated criteria for the classification of images based on Costa (2005) and complemented by Paiva (2010). In this research 45 images.were analysed. The end result of data analysis indicated that the most frequent function was application of exercise (20 images); followed by illustration (13 images). Also it was found that most of images contributes to EPLIS (26 images), but a large number of images does not contribute (18 images). During the analysis it was also discussed the possibilities of image adaptation in the texbook.
9. GARCIA, A. C. M. What do ICAO Language Proficiency Test Developers and Raters Have to Say about the ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements 12 Years after their Publication? 2015. 114 f. Dissertação (MA in Language Testing (by distance) degree) – Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom, 2015.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard and recommended practices (SARPs) related to the language use for aeronautical radiotelephony communications were published in March 2003. Twelve years after their publication, in the light of research suggesting the revision of the ICAO policy, it is important to learn what experts who have been working with the ICAO language proficiency requirements (LPRs) think are their strengths and weaknesses according to their experiences. This dissertation investigates experienced test raters and test developers’ opinions about the ICAO LPRs. Six expert professionals were interviewed in this qualitative analytic research and the data were analysed in accordance with the thematic analyses method. The discussions included not only general features of the policy but also the specific features of the assessment criteria. The research puts forward suggestions of improvements to be made to the ICAO policy and recommends ICAO to revise the LPRs at the earliest.
10. PRADO, M. Analysis of lexical-grammar patterns of aviation English: a study vectored by Corpus Linguistics. 2015. 133 p. Dissertação (Mestrado em Estudos Linguísticos e Literários em Inglês) – Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 2015.
ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), a specialized agency which regulates civil aviation worldwide, defines aviation English as a combination of Aeronautical Phraseology – a sublanguage used by air traffic controllers and pilots in radiotelephony communications in routine situations – and plain English, used when Phraseology does not suffice. After verifying that air crashes were aggravated by miscommunications, ICAO started requesting a proficiency level accredited in the licenses of these two professionals when operating internationally. To obtain this license, applicants are required to take a proficiency exam, prescribed in the Manual of Implementation of Proficiency Requirements, or DOC 9835, published by ICAO in 2004. Since then, aviation English has reached a higher level of importance, and started being evaluated by governments and institutions throughout the world and, in the last years, coursebooks have been published with the objective of meeting those needs. Having identified a lack of authenticity in such materials, as well as an imbalance between the definition of aviation English in DOC 9835 and the Glossary of Basic and Complex Structures added to its second edition (ICAO, 2010), we used Corpus Linguistics as a methodology to investigate this language for special purposes in its real environment. Therefore, this research presents a description of the language used by air traffic controllers and pilots in radiotelephony communications when in abnormal situations. To achieve our goals, we compiled a spoken corpus extracted from this context. For this study, we primarily investigated the phraseological patterns in the surroundings of five lexical items – ‘runway’, ‘aircraft’, ‘emergency’, ‘fuel’ and ‘engine’ – , chosen because of their high frequency status in our corpus. We then contrasted our results with the Glossary attached to DOC 9835, which suggests a list of grammar structures on which the assessment and training of aviation English should be based. This research concludes with a demonstration of the simplicity, objectiveness and clarity of the plain English identified in our corpus, which does not correlate with the structures recommended in the Glossary nor with the language explored in coursebooks published to this end.
11. BONIFÁCIO, E. M. R. CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF TEXTBOOKS DESIGNED FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING TO BRAZILIAN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS: a checklist proposal 2015. 170 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Estudos Linguísticos e Literários em Inglês) – Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 2015.
Considering the need to improve the level of proficiency of air traffic controllers (ATCO) in the English language, in order to avoid incidents and accidents due to lack of proficiency, many language courses started offering English classes to those professionals. According to ICAO (2010), all ATCO must be approved in a specific proficiency exam, so that they can control international traffic. Nevertheless, the number of published textbooks in aviation English field is still low; therefore, choosing the most appropriate textbook becomes difficult due to the few options. The general objective of this paper is to contribute with researches in the field of textbook evaluation and Englisht learning and teaching. The specific objectives are: to set criteria in order to create a checklist to evaluate textbooks used in English language courses to air traffic controllers, based on criteria already found in the literature about textbook evaluation, adapting those criteria to what ICAO requirements and to the Proficiency Exam tasks; and to evaluate the book Aviation English using the checklist. The checklist criteria were created in the light of the Document 9835 (ICAO 2010), as well as in the light of the theories of language, Widdowson (1978), and others; the theory of English as a lingua franca of aviation, Oliveira E. (2007), Hülmbauer et al (2008), and others; the principles of language teaching and learning, Larsen-Freeman (2000), Brown (2007), and others; the tenets of English for Specific Purposes, Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998), and others; and the conception of materials development, Cunninsworth (1995), Tomlinson (1998; 2003), Mc Grath (2002), Dias (2007), and others. The checklist has as main categories the theoretical principles (language role and language teaching and learning), graphical features, lexical, grammatical and functional competences described in the Document 9835, support materials and English proficiency test preparation and it was subdivided into 117 items. The material evaluated by the means of the checklist fulfilled 71,8% of the checklist items in a positive way; on the other hand, 20,5% of the items were not identified in the material, and 7,7% of the items were partially identified in the textbook. Using the checklist to evaluate materials will enable professionals engaged in English teaching to air traffic controllers to choose the most appropriate textbook according to their audience, as well as to identify gaps in the book, in order to adapt the material, since there is no such thing as perfect material.
12. CRUZ, A. P. C. S. Conscientização linguística e profissional para o controlador de tráfego aéreo: uma proposta didática para o ensino - aprendizagem de Língua Inglesa baseada em tarefas 2015. 137 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicadas) – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Letras, Universidade de Taubaté, Taubaté, 2015.
This work is the result of observations proceeded during the years of professional experience with the training of air traffic controllers (ATCos). The interest in developing awareness tasks arouse when, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in the aviation context, it was observed that many students were not clear about the importance of English to the area chosen as their profession, and they could not understand the nuances of the English language that caused ambiguity in radiotelephony communication. The perception of these linguistic aspects that can cause ambiguities and misunderstandings in discourse is very important to prevent aviation accidents and incidents. In this context, it was also found that many students were taking ATCos Training Course without knowing the scope and challenges of the profession. This lack of knowledge was clear during English classes and resulted in lack of interest in carrying out the activities and also the lack of awareness on aspects of English that are considered important for a safe flight. Thus, this dissertation aims to contribute to the process of raising awareness of the importance of the English language for students attending training courses for air traffic controllers, by means of the development of tasks with a focus on awareness. The task - based language teaching approach (TBLT) focuses on education based on meaning. Therefore, this methodology was chosen mainly becauseit can help student reflect on how to act to carry out similar activities in the real - world. Because of these findings, the theoretical assumptions of TBLT were selected as the primary basis for making the awareness proposals. These theoretical foundations also converge with the theoretical perspective of awareness, therefore, to perform tasks, the students become active in their reality and prone to reflection. This is a bibliographic and qualitative research, and it was concluded that the theoretical basis of ESP, TBLT and teaching focused on awareness can make students prone to linguistic and professional awareness.
13. CHINI, M. R. R. C. Ensino-aprendizagem de Inglês para o Controlador de Tráfego Aéreo Brasileiro: em busca de novos rumos 2014. 195 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Letras, Universidade de Taubaté, Taubaté, 2014.
This work, theoretically based on the teaching and learning of Languages for Specific Purposes, with emphasis on English for Specific Purposes, as well as linked to the Study Group on Aeronautical English – GEIA –, aims to investigate to what extent the English Course at Escola de Especialistas de Aeronáutica (EEAR) caters to the students‟ learning needs (pre-service air traffic controllers), and to determine whether the Course contributes to the performance of the operational tasks carried out by the controllers in the different air traffic control units. A qualitative - interpretative research was conducted, the instruments of which were two written questionnaires administered to 50 students graduating the 4th grade of the under Sergeant Training Course – specialty Air Traffic Control, as well as to 14 air traffic controllers in the military working in the air traffic control units – EEAR alumni. This comparative study is justified by the importance of the use of English Language in the performance of working tasks for sergeants who will work as air traffic controllers (ATCos). The data resulting from the analysis of the responses to the questionnaires indicated that the large majority of respondents are aware of the necessity of this language in the aviation context. Both the students and the sergeants declared they have improved their English skills throughout the training process. However, the respondents of two groups revealed the importance to further develop their listening skills as well as speaking skills due to the fact that those skills presentthe highest degree of difficulty. Furthermore, it was possible to identify the lack of dialogue between these two subjects: Air Traffic Control Phraseology and English. The integration of these two subjects has been suggested as a way of bringing education to the reality of the occupation. The data also showed that the unequal distribution of the English classes along the semester greatly affects the teaching and learning of the English language. The results of this research may contribute as subsidies for the re(formulation) of the current EEAR English Course for ATCos.
14. MACHADO, V. S. J. Pilots’ language proficiency evaluation: candidates’ discourse and its influence in the behaviour and judgement of the examiner 2010. 196 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Lingüística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2010.
This thesis focuses on the interaction between examiners and candidates who take part in language proficiency oral exams in the aeronautical context. Such exams have the purpose of certifying airplane and helicopter pilots who conduct international flights and they have been demanded by CANA (Civil Aviation National Agency), the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority in compliance with the international language proficiency requirements established by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). Conversation Analysis makes it possible to observe how “actions are both shaped by context and also shape context by influencing participants’ subsequent actions and understandings of what is happening.” (NEVILE e WALKER, 2005, p.3, emphasis added). Within this perspective, interactions between examiners and pilots are analyzed with emphasis on the influence that the speech of the former exerts over the reaction of the latter and vice-versa. The data suggest that some behavior standards can promote intimidation of the examiner, inverting the asymmetry between examiners and candidates during language proficiency interviews, mainly when there is a hierarchical relation between interactants. In spite of the behavioral deviation in relation to the standards expected during oral exams, in the cases analyzed in this research, no misuse of ICAO rating scale from the examiner was observed. However, the profile of the interactants and the relation between them seemed to be relevant for fairer evaluations. Thus, this study expects to promote reflection among those involved in language proficiency testing, more specifically on aspects that should be observed so as to allow greater reliability and consequently more validity in oral proficiency interviews aimed at complying with ICAO language proficiency requirements.
15. SÁ, P. P. T. F. Novos caminhos para o conteúdo programático das disciplinas Inglês 2 e Inglês 3 do curso de Formação de Controladores de Tráfego Aéreo Militares. 2010. 130 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Letras, Universidade de Taubaté, São Paulo, 2010.
This study presents a comparative analysis between the syllabi of two English subjects from the Military Air Traffic Controller English Programme – which approach is English for Specific Purpose – and the list of Events, Domains and Subdomains of the Controller-Pilot Communication, that has been suggested by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a guide training content. The comparison was proposed in order to provide guidance to the syllabus designers of the Military Air Traffic Controller English Programme in the selection of the appropriate programme content, with reference to the ATCos target needs presented by the ICAO list. The study is based, mainly, on the Hutchinson and Waters (1987); and Dudley-Evans and St John (1998) theoretical framework; whose perspective is the English for Specific Purpose approach, named Inglês Instrumental in Brazil. In order to collect all information for this research, some instructional and normative documents were examined. The results of the analysis revealed that the content suggestions made by ICAO on the list of Events, Domains and Subdomains of the Controller-Pilot Communication weren’t followed completely by the Military Air Traffic Controller English Programme. The results also showed the content which hasn’t been covered by the two English subjects syllabi, providing precise information to be used for redesigning the Military Air Traffic Controller English Programme.
16. MONTEIRO, A. L. T. Pilot-controller communications: linguistic, discursive-interactional and intercultural factors 2009. 382 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Lingüística Aplicada) – Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2009.
In order to contribute to research conducted on radiotelephony communications problems (cf. PRINZO e BRITON, 1993; CUSHING, 1995; MORROW e RODVOLD, 1998; MCMILLAN, 1998; EUROCONTROL, 2006) and to identify factors contributing to accidents, this thesis aims at investigating possible threats to the oral comprehension related to the use of the English language by Brazilian pilots and controllers in a multicultural context, in which subjects with different language abilities interact. Initially, issues regarding radiotelephony communications characteristics, participants‘ conventional roles and intercultural factors in aviation safety are discussed. From taxonomies proposed by researchers in international contexts, a range of factors which can lead to misunderstandings in radiotelephony communications is identified. Moreover, this study intends to contribute to the successful international radiotelephony involving Brazilian pilots and controllers, by correlating the factors identified in the literature with their personal reports, obtained from two data generating instruments: focus groups and individual interviews. Based on a theoretical framework which privileges the view of language as action (AUSTIN, 1962; SEARLE, 1969) and cooperation (GRICE, 1975), and in light of relevant definitions of concepts such as English as an International Language, pronunciation, intelligibility and prosody, the analysis of the corpus enables the discovery of what Brazilian pilots and controllers perceive as problems in radiotelephony communications when they must use the English language. From such evidence, this thesis proposes a revision of the taxonomy of previously identified factors in order to include the ones that are particularly relevant to Brazilian professionals in the international aviation context. Results show consensual and controversial issues which need to be more rigorously addressed.
1. ROSA, J. M. J. A prova Santos Dumont English Assessment (SDEA) na perspectiva de pilotos brasileiros 2015. 62 f. Trabalho de conclusão de curso – Faculdade de Ciências Aeronáutivas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015.
The standardization of the English language in aviation consists of an important instrument to assure the telecommunication’s effectiveness in commercial flights around the world, improving the operations safety. Likewise the current study had as an objective to describe the Santos Dumont English Assessment test in a way to show its importance and applicability from a theoretical study and questionnaires applied to pilots of the four main airlines that operate in Brazil regularly. It has been noticed that although the test is not a unanimity among the interviewees, all of them consider important the standardization of the English language in commercial aviation.
Publications in Scientific Journals
1. SILVA, A. L. B. C. ; TOSQUI-LUCKS, P. From writing a collaborative glossary to discussing the terms “aviation English” and “aeronautical English” Revista Estudos Linguísticos, v. 49, n. 1, p. 97-116, abr. 2020
In this article we discuss the need aviation terms, present theoretical and methodological aspects employed in the elaboration of a bilingual collaborative Aviation English glossary and, finally, we discuss two fundamental terms not only to the glossary but to the aviation area itself: “English for aviation” and “aeronautical English”, justifying the need to distinguish the two terms.
2. SILVA, A. L. B. C. The English language needed by the “Smoke Squadron” pilots: how specific can the Language for Specific Purposes be? Revista Estudos Linguísticos, v. 48, n. 1, p. 118-139, abr. 2019
In fact, a Language for Specific Purpose (LSP) course is directed towards a particular goal and should therefore be guided by a needs analysis. This article aims to problematize the specificity of the English language that is necessary to a group of military pilots from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), the Air Demonstration Squadron (EDA), or “Smoke Squadron”. In order to do so, we carried out a bibliographic review on Aviation English and analyzed the language use situation for the group. Data were generated and triangulated from a multiplicity of participants and methodological procedures, such as interviews, focus groups, observation and document analysis. The results of the study show that, paradoxically, the specificity of English necessary to EDA encompasses even the so-called General English, as its aviators, besides being pilots, are military officers who cumulatively perform administrative functions on the ground, in order to represent FAB and Brazil abroad.
3. SOUZA, P. R. The proficiency level as a mediator factor in the washback effect process in EPLIS Revista Estudos Linguísticos, v. 48, n. 1, p. 540-560, abr. 2019
This paper aims at investigating how the learners’ proficiency level in an air traffic control initial training program affects their perceptions and attitudes towards an external aviation English test, administered to them at the end of the course. To this end, a questionnaire was designed and delivered to 407 students enrolled in the program. Principal component analyses and hypothesis tests were conducted on the data to plot the significance of the relationships between the fundamental constructs of the questionnaire and the learners’ perceived level of proficiency. Results showed that learners with a higher perceived proficiency rate their knowledge about the exam higher, as well as the frequency with which they engage in preparation activities, the importance of being successful in the test and the alignment between teaching and external examination.
4. PRADO, M. ; TOSQUI-LUCKS, P. Designing the Radiotelephony Plain English Corpus (RTPEC): A specialized spoken English language corpus towards a description of aeronautical communications in non-routine situations Research in Corpus Linguistics 7: 113–128, 2019.
Pilots and air traffic controllers need to undergo a specific English test in order to be granted a license for international operations. A language proficiency scale was developed to serve as a parameter to all aviation regulatory agencies throughout the world by targeting the language produced specifically by air traffic controllers and pilots in radio communications when non-routine situations (such as technical problems, bird strike, changes in weather, health problems on board, etc.) occur (ICAO 2010). However, there is a lack of empirical investigation which could shed light upon this particular register helping the users of the scale with its understanding. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper outlines a compilation of the Radiotelephony Plain English Corpus (RPTEC), a spoken corpus of aeronautical communication consisting of transcriptions of exchanges between pilots and air traffic controllers in non-routine situations for research and pedagogical purposes. By presenting steps taken during the process, we intend to provide fellow researchers with data whic may suit other purposes and yield further analyses, as well as enlighten similar investigations in the field of English for Specific Purposes.
5. Damião, S.M. ; TOSQUI-LUCKS, P. ; Scaramucci, M.V.R. Overview of Aviation English Surveys in Brazil – Contribution to Flight Safety Revista Conexão Sipaer, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 50-64, 2018.
English proficiency is an important safety requirement made by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for communications between pilots and air traffic controllers in an international environment. The expression “Aviation English” designates this type of language, which comprises both the standard phraseology and mastering of plain English, i.e., the use of English to deal with non-routine or emergency situations that are not covered by the phraseology. Despite the social relevance of the studies in this area, there are still few publications of studies on the subject, mainly in the Portuguese Language. This article presents an overview of the surveys on this theme done by members of the GEIA (Aviation English Study Group) accredited by the CNPq since 2013. The Group headquarters is located at the Airspace Control Institute (ICEA). The group has an interinstitutional composition, with members from a number of universities and other organizations connected with English teaching to air traffic co trollers and pilots of the Brazilian Air Force, such as ICEA, DECEA (Department of Airspace Control), EEAR (Aeronautics’ School of Specialists), and AFA (Brazilian Air Force Academy). The overview presented herein includes a brief description of studies which have been already defended or are being elaborated, which encompass the three lines of investigation by the group: description and analysis of the language within the Aviation English domain; English teaching and learning within aviation contexts; and Aviation English Proficiency assessment. The studies involved analysis and description of Aviation English by using theoretical and methodological procedures from Corpus Linguistics; reflections on the teachinglearning phenomenon, and evaluation of the teaching materials based on the concepts of the Teaching of English for Specific Purposes; and studies on Proficiency Assessment, bringing forward different perspectives on the same theme.
6. PRADO, M. A. C. ; TOSQUI-LUCKS, P. Are the LPRs focusing on real life communication issues?International Civil Aviation English Association Workshop (ICAEA). 15, 2017
This article aims to present the discussions of both preparation and delivery processes of a workshop targeted at aviation English professionals. Pursuing a corpus-based pragmatic investigation of the language used in real radio communications by pilots and air traffic controllers when dealing with abnormal situations, it was proposed that participants discussed issues about the importance of the interlocutors' roles in the language production, the recognition of linguistic features related to fluency and interaction, and the revision of the concepts of native x non-native speakers regarding language proficiency. To such an end, five transcripts evolving from native and non-native interactions to non-native speakers’ communication, all succeeding in getting the message across, were debated through specific questions which conducted the discussions. These questions addressed topics related to the use of modalizers (or hedges), plain English, shared knowledge and peer proficiency. The workshop concluded with a demonstration of examples taken from the study corpus and contrasted with communicative functions listed in the ICAO DOC 9835.
7. SOUZA, P. R. The washback effect of EPLIS on teachers’ perceptionsPorto Alegre, January-June 2017, v. 8, n. 1, p. 24-39
The Aviation English Proficiency Exam for the Brazilian Airspace Control System (EPLIS) was developed in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) language policy regarding the assessment of English language proficiency for air traffic controllers and aeronautical station operators. A high-stakes test by any account, EPLIS was delivered only to in-service air traffic personnel for the first 7 years. In 2014, however, pre-service air traffic controllers started sitting EPLIS in the last semester of their two-year training program. This study aimed at investigating the washback effect of EPLIS on the English teachers’ perceptions in an Air Traffic Control Initial Training Program. Teachers responded to a questionnaire about the influence of EPLIS on different aspects of language teaching and learning. A descriptive statistical analysis was carried out and the results showed that Aviation English teaching experience and knowledge about the exam interact with washback intensity.
8.SILVA, A. L. B. C.Needs Analysis and Its Relation with Courses and Proficiency Tests in English for a Group of Brazilian Military PilotsRevista Estudos Linguísticos (São Paulo), Vol. 45, No 2. 2016.
Needs Analysis has been widely discussed as the first step in the design of courses, curriculum, and materials for teaching languages, as well as in the definition of tasks for proficiency tests in English for Specific Purposes. The aim of this study is to highlight the importance of Needs Analysis for a group of Brazilian military pilots. A bibliographical review about the theme indicates how theorists define Needs Analysis and elaborate a conceptual distinction between the Target Situation Analysis, which comprises language in use, and the Learning Situation Analysis, which takes into account the way language is taught/learned. Such distinction is critical to define the most appropriate model of needs analysis to be used in each case.
9. TOSQUI-LUCKS, P.; SOUZA, P. R.; RAYMUNDO, N. A. ; GUERREIRO, N. C. ; ARAGÃO, B. F. Air Traffic Controllers’ English Language Training and Evaluation as a Flight Safety RequisiteRevista Conexão SIPAER (Brasília), Vol. 7, No 1. 2016.
English language proficiency is a fundamental tool as far as safety of aeronautical communications involving international air traffic is concerned. Several studies on the investigation of accidents and incidents indicate that the lack of such proficiency and the presence of human failures in radiotelephony communications may contribute to the occurrence of accidents. In order to mitigate this problem, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) established requisites for the qualification and evaluation of pilots and air traffic controllers involved in international air traffic, aiming at guaranteeing that these professionals have the competence to communicate effectively in English, mainly in those situations in which it is necessary to go beyond the use of the prescribed standard aeronautical phraseology and make use of plain English. The Airspace Control Institute (ICEA), in the municipality of São José dos Campos, State of São Paulo, is the organization responsible for planning, developing, and implementing tools for the qualification and evaluation of Brazilian air traffic controllers in relation to English language proficiency, in order to comply with the requirements established by the ICAO. This article presents the theoretical and methodological prerequisites for the development and implementation of these tools either in relation to the qualification process, composed of presence - and distance - learning activities, or in relation to the SISCEAB (Brazilian Airspace Control System) English Language Proficiency Test, known as EPLIS. Finally, the work discusses a few solutions for offering on – the - job training to thousands of professionals manning the various operational organizations throughout Brazil by means of a system of education progress management which utilizes hybrid technological resources for education. It then makes comments on the decision - making criteria utilized for establishing the priorities for EPLIS test, based on the methodological procedures described herein, and aimed at operational safety.
10. PRADO, M. Perceptions of learners of Aviation English of language and their own learning process. Aviation in Focus (Porto Alegre), v.3, n.1, p. 20-33 – jan./jul. 2012
Based on the French Speech and Discourse Analysis, this paper aims at presenting a study about the image which aviation English students, particularlypilots, have of the English language and its teaching. By doing so, we intend to identify the imaginary formation (Pêcheux, 1962) that permeates their representations, and to detect the manners to re(construct) the teaching/learning process. We also consider the thesis, proposed by Prasse (1997), that advocates the desire for the foreign language, and we will briefly explain the differences between mother tongue and second language, as well as native and non-native speakers.
11. SCARAMUCCI, M. V. R. Validade e Conseqüências Sociais das Avaliações em Contextos de Ensino de Línguas. LINGVARVM ARENA - VOL. 2 - ANO 2011 - 103 - 120
The concept of validity is so central to testing and assessment that it would be practically impossible to research it or practice it without taking this concept into consideration. Motivated largely by the recent developments of performance assessment, which assesses language use in social contexts, however, this concept has been through extensive review in meaning and comprehensiveness to the point of becoming one of the most discussed and controversial concepts in the field of language assessment nowadays, or, as pointed out by Chapelle (1999), one of the most interesting and important aspects in Applied Linguistics. My aim in this article is to discuss the modern or expanded concept of validity/validation (as opposed to the traditional concept), which takes into consideration not only the evidencial basis but also the social consequences/washback in validating a test (Messick 1989).
12. SCARAMUCCI, M. V. R. O Exame de Proficiência em Língua Inglesa para Controladores de Voo do SISCEAB - Uma entrevista com Matilde Scaramucci. Aviation in Focus (Porto Alegre), v.2, n.1, p. 3-12 – jan./jul. 2011
13. BOCORNY, A. E. P. Overview of studies about language and aviationRevista Brasileira de Lingüística Aplicada (Belo Horizonte, v. 11, p. 963-986, 2011.
The lack of descriptive studies on the specialized language of aviation hinders the creation and development of English for Specific Purposes (hereafter ESP) courses for this area. This research seeks to remedy this deficiency as it presents a review of studies that have been produced about language and aviation. Thus, the purpose of this article is, while examining the emergence and evolution of language studies related to aviation, identify the main issues focused by researchers and writers since the emergence of “the art of flying” to date relating them to different areas of Applied Linguistics. For this purpose books, articles and documents were identified, listed, related to major historical events of the period and categorized according to their focus of study. Finally, a frame of reference with the main focuses of the study identified was organized and presented.
14. PRADO, M. Aviation oral English corpus in abnormal situations. Aviation in Focus (Porto Alegre), v. 1, n. 1, p. 48 – 57 ago/dez. 2010
This article aims to discuss how Corpus Linguistics can assist in the development of a common understanding of ICAO ́s descriptors of language proficiency, by determining which semantic, lexical, and structural fields are to be taught in Aviation English. In the first section, there is a brief description of the needs in Aviation English along with an overview of the ICAO's descriptors. This is followed by a recommendation of the use of Corpus Linguistics as an adequate tool for the scientific collection and processing of linguistic data which may allow for a uniform understanding of the descriptors. Finally, some analyses on how studies can be accomplished are provided.
1. Blog do Aplicado. English for Aviation.
2. Aviation English Hub A list of references for Aviation English course and test developers, researchers, teachers, and examiners.
3. LHUFT Language as a Human Factor in Aviation
1. Internacional Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO. Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements. 2010. Second Edition. 999 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 5H7.
2. Internacional Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO. Guidelines for Aviation English Training Programmes. 2009. 999 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 5H7.
3. Internacional Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO. Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Air Traffic Management. 2007. Fifteenth Edition.
3. LHUFT Language as a Human Factor in Aviation