Aviation English

“Aviation English” is aimed at professionals in the aviation industry, such as pilots or air traffic controllers, who want to attain ICAO level 4 (operational).
Reviewed for Teflnet by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi

I will admit I was nervous about reviewing this book as I didn’t know much about Aviation English and was expecting a lot of difficult terminology but I was pleasantly surprised. The text is so well set out and developed it was actually interesting and fun to look at. The first few pages contain an easy to read introduction, detailed contents page and the ICAO rating scale.

The text is 128 pages long and is accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM and also a pronunciation CD-ROM. The Student book contains 12 units and each unit is then divided into 4 sections (reading based, listening/pronunciation based, emergency/non-routine flight operation scenarios and an extension section). The units covered include Runway Incursion, Lost, Technology, Animals, Gravity, Health, Fire, Meteorology, Landings, Fuel, Pressure and Security, each of which is explained in detail on the Contents page. Each unit consists of Topics, Skills, Pronunciation, Functions and Vocabulary. Each unit’s goals are to enhance not only structure and vocabulary but also fluency, and they all succeed in this.

Many textbooks these days contain pictures which aren’t really related to the text or activities, but the first thing I noticed in Aviation English was that all the activities in the exercises are realistic, as are the pictures and diagrams. These things make it a really good text, beneficial to students using it, and more motivational as it is authentic and easier to relate to.

A number of activities are either pair work or group work, with many pair work activities found at the back of the book. All of the listening for activities can be found on the interactive CD-ROM and the tapescripts also are at the back of the text. The recordings are very professional and have a range of English accents, which is useful. The CD-ROM is easy to navigate and as a result will encourage students.

It is easy to get bogged down with many texts these days but Aviation English isn’t overly thick, which makes it easy to carry around. There is also an accompanying site through Macmillan and an accompanying Teachers Book available. Overall it is a well developed textbook which is beneficial to anyone in the aviation industry, personnel and teachers alike.

Reviewed by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi for TEFL.net August 2009

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