Part 5. Level 4 Requirements – How to Boost English Skills to Hit ICAO Level 4

u003cpu003ePreviously we covered the steps to be taken along the way from zero to the proficiency test and I asked you to find out where you are at right now. That would be your starting point. Now let’s draw a more precise picture of your destination point.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eFurther on, I’ll keep reiterating the idea that u003cemu003elevel 4u003c/emu003e is referred to as u003cstrongu003eOperationalu003c/strongu003e. No need to cite Shakespeare, really. However, you are expected to demonstrate a decent command of skills which you require to perform your professional duties. Particularly, as ICAO puts it, you have to be able to:u003c/pu003enu003culu003enu003cliu003ecommunicate effectively in voice-only (telephone/radiotelephone) and in face-to-face situations; communicate on common, concrete and work-related topics with accuracy and clarity;u003c/liu003enu003cliu003euse appropriate communicative strategies to exchange messages and to recognize and resolve misunderstandings (e.g. to check, confirm, or clarify information) in a general or work-related context.;u003c/liu003enu003cliu003ehandle successfully and with relative ease the linguistic challenges presented by a complication or unexpected turn of events;u003c/liu003enu003cliu003euse a dialect or accent which is intelligible to the aeronautical community.u003c/liu003enu003c/ulu003enu003cpu003eThat is the overall goal. And in order to make a true assessment of how close you are to this goal, your performance will be checked against the six parameters (they are called ‘descriptors’ as you remember). In short, these requirements to level 4 skills are as follows (I’m quoting Doc 9835, in case you didn’t notice):u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003ePronunciationu003c/strongu003e: u003cemu003ePronunciation, stress, rhythm and intonation are influenced by the first language or regional variation, but only sometimes interfere with ease of understandingu003c/emu003e.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eGrammar (Structure)u003c/strongu003e: u003cemu003eBasic grammatical structures and sentence patterns are used creatively and are usually well controlled. Errors may occur, particularly in unusual or unexpected circumstances, but rarely interfere with meaning.u003c/emu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eVocabularyu003c/strongu003e: u003cemu003eVocabulary range and accuracy are usually sufficient to communicate effectively on common, concrete and work related topics. Can often paraphrase successfully when lacking vocabulary in unusual or unexpected circumstances.u003c/emu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eFluencyu003c/strongu003e u003cemu003eProduces stretches of language at an appropriate tempo. There may be occasional loss of fluency on transition from rehearsed or formulaic speech to spontaneous interaction, but this does not prevent effective communication. Can make limited use of discourse markers or connectors. Fillers are not distracting.u003c/emu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eComprehension:u003c/strongu003e u003cemu003eComprehension is mostly accurate on common, concrete and work-related topics when the accent or variety used is sufficiently intelligible for an international community of users. When the speaker is confronted withu003cbr /u003ena linguistic or situational complication or an unexpected turn of events,u003cbr /u003encomprehension may be slower or require clarification strategies.u003c/emu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eInteractionsu003c/strongu003e: u003cemu003eResponses are usually immediate, appropriate and informative. Initiates and maintains exchanges even when dealing with an unexpected turn of events. Deals adequately with apparent misunderstandings by checking, confirming or clarifying.u003c/emu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eHere in this blog I will go in detail through each of these parameters, and based on my experience in teaching both plain and aviation English (individually and in groups) I will provide recommendations on how to boost your skills.u003c/pu003enu003cblockquoteu003eu003cpu003eHome assignment: do a self-assessment of your skills against the ICAO scale. If you can’t do that on your own, get in touch with any aviation training center or find a language proficiency linguistic expert online.u003c/pu003eu003c/blockquoteu003en

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