Aviation English : A lingua franca for pilots and air traffic controllers book cover
1st Edition

Aviation English
A lingua franca for pilots and air traffic controllers

ISBN 9781138022386
Published January 21, 2016 by Routledge
214 Pages

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Book Description

Aviation English investigates the key issues related to the use of English for the purpose of communication in aviation and analyses the current research on language training, testing and assessment in the area of Aviation English. Based on a series of recent empirical studies in aviation communication and taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book:

  • provides a description of Aviation English from a linguistic perspective
  • lays the foundation for increased focus in the area of Aviation English and its assessment in the form of English Language Proficiency (ELP) tests
  • critically assesses recent empirical research in the domain.

This book makes an important contribution to the development of the field of Aviation English and will be of interest to researchers in the areas of applied linguistics, TESOL and English for Specific Purposes.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. English as a lingua franca in aviation
Chapter 2. Aviation English: a linguistic description
Chapter 3. ICAO requirements
Chapter 4. Language testing
Chapter 5. Communications between ATC and pilots
Chapter 6. Contextual factors impacting Aviation Communication
Chapter 7. Native Speakers and EL2 pilots: an experimental study
Chapter 8. Future research

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Dominique Estival is a researcher at the MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia, and a flight instructor. She investigates the impact of pilot training and language background on pilots’ ability to follow ICAO regulations for radio communication.

Candace Farris is a doctoral candidate at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She investigates controller–pilot interactions and language testing policy in the global aviation context. She is co-author of the book Misunderstandings in ATC Communication: Language, Cognition and Experimental Methodology.

Brett Molesworth is a pilot and applied cognitive psychologist. He is a senior lecturer at the School of Aviation, University of New South Wales, Australia. Brett’s research interests include pilot risk management and the effects of noise on pilot performance.


"A long-awaited comprehensive and in-depth introduction to the context and language of pilot-controller communications. Bringing together the accumulated expertise of linguists, human factors specialists and aviators, this study is indispensable reading for any language instructor or language test developer in this area."

Dr Jeremy Mell, Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, France, and former expert for France to the ICAO Price Study Group

"This landmark text offers powerful insights into what is at stake in aviation communication, the threats to its success, and how policy is struggling to manage its risks. A hugely valuable resource not only for those interested in aviation communication and aviation safety, but for readers and researchers in the broader fields of ELF, ESP, and English as an international language."

Professor Tim McNamara, University of Melbourne, Australia

"...this book offers a lot of food for thought, is also an excellent appraisal of AE and an outstanding addition to the secondary literature."

Simon Gilmour, Police University, Rhineland-Patatine, Germany

"All in all, this collection of papers written by experienced AE experts provides a “treasure trove” for everybody involved in learning or teaching AE. It is written in a clear academic style, provides a lot food for thought and is clearly based on scientific research and practical experience. It is recommended as an informative reading for AE instructors, students, pilots and ATCs. It is the first in a number of forthcoming challenging books on research in ESP in the Routledge Research in English for Specific Purposes series, with hands-on experience highly awaited by ESP professionals."

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Ines-Andrea Busch-Lauer, Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau, in Fachsprache (2017)