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Mono and Multi Lingual testing Fairness in ELP Aviation ALTE Madrid

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Abstract

The mandatory testing of language proficiency for pilots and air traffic controllers introduced worldwide in 2008, with recommendations for the use of common international testing standards, was clear evidence of the need for minimum standards of communication in this domain. However, many language proficiency tests worldwide developed for this purpose – mostly in the de facto use of English, although all languages used via the radiotelephone must be assessed – have been done in isolation, leading to differing testing standards and practices where valid and reliable test results are not always assured. This paper will show recent research that continues to show a high variance in quality and test usefulness in this domain and then go on to examine the development of one language proficiency test for pilots, demonstrating that good testing practice is possible and highlighting the need for test-takers to engage in test tasks replicating real-life communication.
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