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The Study of Language for Aviation Purposes


Anna P. Borowska

The book presents the first comprehensive description of avialinguistics. The author analyses this new interdisciplinary branch of applied linguistics that recognises the role of language for aviation purposes. She provides an integrated approach to Aeronautical English and proffers insights into aviation discourse, discussing its current linguistic errors and providing suggestions for aviation English communication improvement. The author tests theoretical considerations against illustrative real-life examples so as to facilitate an interpretation of regular pilot-controller communications.

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Chapter 6: Improving Aeronautical English Communication


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Chapter 6 Improving Aeronautical English Communication

The purpose of any language is communication. If the language fails in this regard, it means that the language is inadequate. As the previous chapter shows, language errors still cause misunderstandings in the aeronautical context. Although they are inevitable during the learning process, they should be reduced in real-life communication. Nevertheless, they also serve as useful examples for interpretation and remediation. There have been many types of errors observed in aeronautical communication (see Chapter 5) even after the introduction of obligatory Aviation English exams for ATCOs and pilots. Especially worthy of note is the clear boundary between NNS and NS language uses. Therefore, there is still a need to look at the linguistic behaviour of both groups (for examples – see Chapter 5), find common attitudes towards language use for each of the group and indicate areas to improve. This will take us to the cause of the error. Only in this way, we would be able to minimise the risk of error occurrence in the future by introducing proper early training, not only trying to eliminate repetitive errors. Thus, this is the next task for avialinguistics – to support the amelioration of aeronautical communication.

There are many possibilities to improve aeronautical verbal communication: by technology, by legislation, by modifying AeE structures, or by proper training and testing. The ideas to do away with speech communication altogether and substitute it with more comprehensive data links110 and devices that can...

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