ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements — Rated Speech Samples

Language Proficiency Rating

Test Taker ID 081
Test Date 25 September 2005
Lead Rater ICAO
Assistant Rater(s) ICAO

Individual Ratings and Final Rating

(To be completed by Lead Rater)
Pronunciation Structure Vocabulary Fluency Comprehension Interactions

(Lowest rating among individual ratings)
3 4 3 3 3 3 3

General Remarks

Although the test taker can master some fairly complex language structures correctly (reflected by his just attaining Level 4 in Structure), his expression and comprehension are severely restricted by the range of structures and vocabulary he has at his disposal. His pronunciation is also a serious obstacle to ease of comprehension.


The influence of the test taker's first language on his pronunciation frequently interferes with ease of understanding:

  • we have a small famil (family) business (02:36 - 02:39)
  • sink (think) (02:44 - 02:45)
  • so, it's my answer at your *** (02:54 - 03:00)
  • if I'll ask *** (police) (03:46 - 03:48)
  • I try to *** this problem (04:25 - 04:28)

Stress, rhythm and intonation are not very successfully employed.


The test taker sometimes uses complex structures successfully:

  • I think we should expect uh uh changes of aviation regulation in the future. (09:13 - 09:28)

Errors do occur:

  • I work as ATC uh about 26 years (00:21 - 00:30)
  • Interesting job, butís too tiring job. (00:30 - 00:35)
  • not bad paid job (01:33 - 01:35)
  • I shall pick up his (pick him up) (05:39 - 05:42)
  • different uh country use aviation in the world (07:31 - 07:41)

but these rarely interfere with meaning.


The test taker is familiar with standard work-related terms:

  • appropriate services (04:31 - 05:05)
  • facilities (09:54 - 09:56)

and can occasionally use appropriate colloquial expressions:

  • to keep in my head (00:40 - 00:42)

However, in general his range of vocabulary is narrow and he frequently re-uses vocabulary supplied by the interlocutor in his responses. When he does try to be more creative, there are errors:

  • different homeworks (different jobs to do at home) (02:11 - 02:13)

Word choice is often inappropriate.


The test taker does produce stretches of language, but there are many times when hesitation is overlong, suggesting he is struggling to find and process the appropriate language, and these prevent effective communication:

  • when asked to explain what he would do in the event of a complete power failure (04:26 - 05:05)
  • when talking about how he would help a fainted colleague (05:12 - 05:47)
  • when talking about worldwide regulations in aviation (06:19 - 06:54)

The result is often a very drawn out discourse with only rudimentary information without significant detail. The prolonged silences tend to be very distracting.


The test taker seems to have problems understanding many of the questions:

  • In this third part ... I understand. (03:03 - 03:27)

This is particularly true in the section of the test where the situations are unexpected:

  • Interlocutor: Do you believe that there should be global regulation of the aviation industry? Test taker: (pause) Could you say again? (06:55 - 07:13)


Responses are rarely immediate, and the test taker occasionally brings his contribution to a close with a closing statement such as:

  • Thatís all. (03:50 - 03:52)
  • Thatís my answer. (10:00 - 10:03)

or by tailing off.

However, he does make use of interactive skills by checking that the interlocutor has understood him:

  • Díyou understand? (01:18 - 01:20)

and asking for clarification:

  • Interlocutor: My collegue faints. What do I do? Test taker: Excuse me, my? Interlocutor: My colleague faints, my colleague falls down. Test taker: Ah, ok. (05:07 - 05:18)

Influence of the test format

The interlocutor tends to modify his rate of delivery to an unnaturally slow pace to make sure the test taker understands. On the other hand, some of the later questions about aviation regulations are extremely abstract and not issues that a controller should be expected to be familiar with. The test features face to face communication and communication without eye contact. Nevertheless, it does not provide a range of different accents and as a result does not permit all the aspects of Comprehension on the ICAO Rating Scale to be assessed.

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