Check your Aviation

Henry Emery and Andy Roberts (Macmillan Education 2010)
ISBN 978-0-230-40207-2

This is an ESP course book for pilots and air traffic controllers. The level is targeted at ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) level 4. Level 4 expects the student to have reasonable pronunciation language skills and basic grammar. Vocabulary range will be mainly work-related, and fluency might be restricted to familiar formulaic language. Finally, comprehension might need clarification strategies if faced with a difficult accent or an unexpected turn of events.

To raise awareness and develop clarification strategies the course book focuses on the non-routine and emergency situations that could occur during flight operation. The book offers 30 units with each unit tackling an aviation emergency, e.g. On-board-firebomb scare, volcanoes. Each unit is divided into 6 parts covering relevant vocabulary, two listening, initially for gist then with more detailed information. This is followed by a practice session to identify and develop the clarification techniques needed in difficult situations. There is a revision check to make sure the main unit vocabulary is understood and finally a freer practice using the unit vocab. The book includes five progress tests and two reviews tests. The answer keys for the units, the progress tests and the review tests as well as transcripts of listening and three CDs all come with the book. This makes this course easy to use for teachers and self-study for students.

The book has superb photos of aircraft in various forms of distress, giving an instant overview of the unit topic. The layout is uncluttered and clear with just enough colour to promote interest with easy-to-read headings. The listenings sound authentic and would certainly have the potential to identify and promote the clarification strategies needed for the job. The vocabulary sections are relevant and well reviewed.

To sum up, the writers have considered crucial communication breakdowns and weaknesses at this level of ICAO and with this in mind have focused on strategies to promote and develop these areas using good and authentic materials followed by thorough practice and review.
Dianah Esdaile