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Aviation Communication

Between Theory and Practice


Edited By Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Karin Maksymski

This book contains a collection of articles dealing with aviation communication from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective. Its publication arises as a result of the conference «Languages and cultures above the clouds – International English between standardization and everyday aviation communication», which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2010 at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germersheim. The book substantiates and prospectively encourages an exchange between pilots, air traffic controllers, (language) trainers and researchers, i.e. an exchange between theory and practice. Not only does it contribute to the discussion of communication problems, but also to the development of efficient solutions concerning communication in Air Traffic Control.


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Dragica Stankovic: Operational Use of the English Language–ATM Safety around Europe


8 Three complementary articles are dedicated to the analysis of deviations from standard language. Wendy L. Fox draws attention to the comprehension difficul- ties when listening to, transcribing and analyzing recordings of dialogues between controllers and pilots. She argues that background knowledge is necessary to understand this highly specialized type of communication within its real-life settings. Silja Koble and Patricia Roh present a sample analysis of transcribed dialogues on the basis of which characteristics of aviation English (including deviations from the standard) become clear. From a pilot’s perspective, César Holzem names reasons and factors for deviations from ICAO. Alice Müller-Leonhardt and Silvia Hansen-Schirra approach aviation communi- cation from a theoretical linguistic perspective: both deal with the power of lan- guage and the social role relationship between the dialogue partners involved. In her article, Müller-Leonhardt introduces constructivist theories and their possible application when dealing with misunderstandings in incident investigation. In addition, Hansen-Schirra presents a corpus-based analysis of authority and lin- guistic dominance in ATC. Where only one, strongly standardized language, i.e. aviation English, should be used in communication, language teaching plays an important role. Therefore Lynette Rees speaks about the role of plain language in English training for non- native controllers discussing the development, implementation and efficiency of language proficiency requirements and courses. In addition to this, Stefan Hinz and Dugald Sturges discuss the language examination procedures and their compliance with ICAO proficiency levels within the context of military ATC. Finally, the last articles in this book are...

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