Developing the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) listening and speaking test

This study aims to develop the training and testing materials for the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) listening and speaking test.

2021

A collaborative project for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). 

Pilot in plane

This collaborative project between the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) at the University of Melbourne and Western Sydney University aims to develop training and test materials for the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) listening and speaking test at two levels on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) scale, that is, Level 4/5/6 and Level 6, with the involvement of experts in both aviation communication and language testing research and practice.

The project will be implemented in several stages. During the first stage, the project team will develop test specifications (or a test blueprint) for both the listening and speaking test at the two levels through a comprehensive review of research literature on aviation communication and reference to current aviation testing practices. During the second stage, the project team will develop the test materials for the listening and speaking test, and a training module for assessors, who will need to be certified to conduct AELP speaking assessments. The third stage of the project will focus on the trialling of the test materials, statistical analysis of the trial data, and further revisions to and refinement of the listening and speaking test. Also, benchmark speaking performances will be selected for future training purposes. With the involvement of leading experts from both aviation communication and language testing, this project will help to improve aviation English language testing practices of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Image of plane in flight

Project  details

Sponsor/grant scheme

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Project leaders

Associate Professor Ute Knoch (LTRC, University of Melbourne)
Dr Dominique Estival (Western Sydney University)

Project team members

Dr Jason Fan (LTRC)
Dr Sally O’Hagan (LTRC)
Dr Ivy Chen (LTRC)
Maria Treadaway (University of Auckland)

Contact

Associate Professor Ute Knoch