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Aviation English Language Solution - Training

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IATA has developed a complete solution for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) around the world to meet ICAO English language proficiency standards. IATA's Aviation English Solution consists of the following three sequential services:

  • Assessment service 
  • Language training 
  • Proficiency test for ICAO Proficiency Level 4    

Assessment service

This service enables organizations to assess their Pilots' and ATCOs' level of English language proficiency in an aviation context. This is the critical first step for any organization to create an action plan. The objective of the assessment is to evaluate pronunciation, structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and interaction. A consolidated report with recommendations for training is then provided to the organization.

Language Training

Once assessments are completed, Aviation English Language Training can be delivered in a variety of methods to meet any organization's needs and budgets. The training modules are tailored to reflect the working environment of Pilots and ATCOs who must learn how to communicate effectively in English in a variety of aviation-related situations such as regular operations, irregular operations and emergencies. Standard ICAO phraseology is used whenever applicable. In order to offer the best possible quality of language training, IATA has partnered with Berlitz, the world-renowned language services provider with 400 training centers in 60 countries. 

The IATA Aviation English Language solution for Assessment and Training is offered through Berlitz Languages Inc. For further information, please contact Berlitz directly at

The Berlitz Method

IATA has partnered with Berlitz to develop a comprehensive Aviation English Training Program. Berlitz has a unique approach to training called the Berlitz Method TM.  With this approach candidates do not learn to translate from one language to another; they learn to think in the target language. The Berlitz Method TM helps learners achieve their language goals because it is:

  • Fast
  • Context-based
  • Conducted in the target language only
  • Based on building blocks
  • Designed to maximize student participation

The essential principle is that one learns to speak a language by speaking it. From the moment candidates begin a course, they use the target language exclusively in class. Grammatical structures and items of vocabulary are presented in such a way that they are either immediately intelligible or can be made immediately intelligible using only material that has already been taught. Though candidates must obviously start out with very simple, concrete steps, this building block approach allows them to progress step-by-step to the most complex, abstract ideas. 

Lesson Types

The following lesson types are available: 

Private Lessons: Designed for one candidate, classes are led by one dedicated instructor who ensures that the candidate is actually speaking 50% of the time, making it a highly effective way to learn a language. 

Semi-private Lessons: Designed for two to three candidates, classes meet one to three times a week. 

In-Company/ Local Facility Group Lessons: Designed for a group of four to ten candidates, classes meet on a set schedule over a period of weeks, at the company site or a local Berlitz office, depending on availability.

Total Immersion: Designed for one candidate, lessons last a full day and continue from two to six weeks in an English-speaking environment. Available locations are Toronto, Vancouver (Canada) and London (UK).

Group Immersion: Designed for three to ten candidates, lessons are otherwise similar to those of Total Immersion and are delivered in the same locations.

Virtual Classroom: Designed for one to six candidates, candidates simply log on to a dedicated website for scheduled lessons and converse with an instructor in real time. Course materials are combined with joint internet browsing to ensure that lessons are always stimulating and up-to-date. The method eliminates travel time and expenses associated with traditional instruction.

Next class

There are currently no scheduled classes. Check back later for updates or contact us to arrange a class in your company.

What you will learn

Upon completing this course you will have the skills to:

  • Meet and exceed the required ICAO level 4 proficiency standard
  • Apply aviation English in a operational context 

Course content

Learning Objectives

The general learning objective of the training is to enable candidates to communicate at a minimum with an ICAO level 4 in pronunciation, structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and interaction (as per ICAO standards). A general English program is recommended for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers assessed below ICAO Level 3. Our aviation-specific training helps advance those currently assessed at ICAO Level 3 to ICAO Level 4. 

Training Duration 

Following are estimates of the amount of training required for candidates to reach ICAO Level 4 based on the various assessment results. It is important to mention that the number of lessons required also varies with the lesson type, the intensity of the training and the learning capabilities of the Candidates. 

ICAO Score                Lessons Required (Units)       Training Duration (Hours) 
Level 1                        360                                                270
Level 2 (medium)        288                                                216
Level 2 (high)              264                                                198
Level 3 (low)               216                                                162
Level 3 (medium)        180                                                135 
Level 3 (high)              144                                                108 
Level 4                       No training                                    No training 

Training Cost

The training cost for a candidate and for an entire organization can only be accurately determined once an assessment has been completed. If an organization is nevertheless interested in obtaining a training quotation without a completed assessment, assumptions must be made regarding the : 

  • Number of candidates requiring training
  • Current English level(s) of the candidates 
  • Preferred lesson type(s) 
  • Number of candidates per class

Training Content 

The Aviation English Specialization was designed specifically to meet the needs of Pilots and ATCOs who need to advance from ICAO proficiency level 3 to level 4. The Specialization consists of 10 modules, representing the following aviation topics and learning objectives: 

Module 1 - Geography
Module 2 - Meteorological Conditions 
Module 3 - Aircraft Maintenance 
Module 4 - Cargo and Dangerous Goods
Module 5 - Flight Planning
Module 6 - Departure
Module 7 - En Route
Module 8 - Flight Safety  and Security
Module 9 - First Aid and Medical Assistance
Module 10 - Descent, Approach and Landing

Details of these Modules can be obtained on request for a proposal from Berlitz.

Each chapter includes:

  • Topical vocabulary and focus on vocabulary exercises
  • Communicative functions
  • Pronunciation focus
  • Listening comprehension and skits
  • Role play
  • Culture in the cockpit focus
  • Topical reading and discussion
  • Words/ expressions related to a topic 
  • Interesting facts e.g. word origins/ etymologies; first-ever events; world records
  • Chapter review

Proficiency Test

As a third and final step, IATA also offers a Proficiency Test that validates the English proficiency level of Pilots and ATCOs in accordance with ICAO Level 4 standard. The service is similar to the assessment service in that Pilots and ATCOs call in to a testing center to complete an oral evaluation of the English language proficiency.

For further details on the training at the various ICAO Levels, training duration, training cost, training content, and the Proficiency Test for ICAO Level 4 standard, please contact Berlitz directly at

Who should attend

This course is recommended for:

  • Pilots
  • Air traffic control officers

Subject areas

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Additional information

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