English language proficiency is an essential tool for the safety of aeronautical communications which involve international air traffic. The Institute of Airspace Control (ICEA) is responsible for planning, developing and delivering training and testing solutions to Brazilian air traffic controllers, in order to comply with the language proficiency requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Besides, as a Science & Technology Institution, ICEA must “provide for research, development, training, and teaching pertinent to Brazilian airspace control activities,” according to its internal regulation.
In agreement with its mission statement, ICEA is home to a research group named GEIA - Grupo de Estudos em Inglês Aeronáutico (Aeronautical English Research Group). The group has been listed under Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) since 2013. Led by Dr Patrícia Tosqui Lucks, a civil servant at ICEA, GEIA comprises researchers at various Airforce Command organizations and also universities, thus possessing an interinstitutional character.
GEIA is dedicated to studying aspects concerning Aeronautical English language description, teaching, learning, and assessment. Aeronautical English refers to the language used in communications during a flight in an international environment and, for the purposes of this group, more specifically between pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCo). “Aviation English” in an umbrella term that refers to English language used in the communication of many aviation professionals (such as pilots, mechanics, meteorologists, etc.), in different contexts and situations.
This group aggregates research studies whose objective is to investigate different aspects of Aeronautical English in the Brazilian context, as well as their relationships with teaching, learning, and assessment. The group aims to study topics such as:
The results from those studies will aid the development and improvement of English language teaching, learning, and assessment resources targeted at Brazilian air traffic control professionals, so as to ensure they are able to use the English language as a tool for a safe work performance.
Lines of Research