The Background

As the number of planes in our skies continues to grow, so the need for safety becomes even more important. An ICAO review of 28000 incident / accident reports has found that over 70% of the problems were caused by language. ICAO standards now demand that all pilots flying internationally and all air traffic controllers providing services to international flights must have a minimum level of English. This level of English is known as ICAO Operational Level 4. The language descriptors (developed by ICAO) can be found here. The Challenge The busy and changing work patterns of pilots and controllers mean that traditional classroom-based courses are mostly impractical and ineffective. However, technology now offers exciting new opportunities for the way we live our lives, including the way we learn languages. Independent study programmes offer greater flexibility and advantages so that learners can study at their own pace and when and where they want. Such programmes have historically been useful for improving vocabulary, grammar and listening skills. They have however been ineffective at improving a learner’s speaking skills. That is until now!
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