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  • ICAO and EASA rating scale

    ICAO and EASA rating scale

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defined 6 holistic descriptors to evaluate the pilots and air traffic controllers English proficiency level.

    Each descriptor is described in 6 proficiency levels (1 to 6).

    Levels 4, 5 and 6 grant the pilots or controllers the authorization to fly in controlled airspace using the English language.

During the AEPS test, the following holistic descriptors will be evaluated:

  • Pronunciation ;
  • Structure ;
  • Vocabulary ;
  • Fluency ;
  • Comprehension ;
  • Interactions.

The candidate is given a level for each of these holistic descriptors. There are 6 levels defined as follows:

Level 4 – Operational | Validity: 4 years

  • Pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation are influenced by the first language or regional variation but only sometimes interfere with ease of understanding;
  • Basic grammatical structures and sentence patterns are used creatively and are usually well controlled. Errors may occur, particularly in unusual or unexpected circumstances, but rarely interfere with meaning;
  • Vocabulary range and accuracy are usually sufficient to communicate effectively on common, concrete, and work-related topics. Can often paraphrase successfully when lacking vocabulary in unusual or unexpected circumstances.;
  • Produces stretches of language at an appropriate tempo. There may be occassional loss of fluency on transition from rehearsed or formulaic speech to spontaneous interaction, but this does not prevent effective communication. Can make limited use of discourse markers or connectors. Fillers are not distracting.;
  • Comprehension is mostly accurate on common, concrete, and work-related topics when the accent or variety used is sufficiently intelligible for an international community of users. When the speaker is confronted with a linguistic or situational complication or an unexpected turn of events, comprehension may be slower or require clarification strategies.
  • Responses are usually immediate, appropriate, and informative. Initiates and maintains exchanges even when dealing with an unexpected turn of events. Deals adequately with apparent misunderstandings by checking, confirming, or clarifying.

Level 5 – Extended | Validity: 6 years

  • Pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation, though influenced by the first language or regional variation, rarely interfere with ease of understanding ;
  • Basic grammatical structures and sentence patterns are consistently well controlled. Complex structures are attempted but with errors which sometimes interfere with meaning ;
  • Vocabulary range and accuracy are sufficient to communicate effectively on common, concrete, and work-related topics. Paraphases consistently and successfully. Vocabulary is sometimes idiomatic ;
  • Able to speak at length with relative ease on familiar topics but may not vary speech flow as a stylistic device. Can make use of appropriate discourse markers or connectors ;
  • Comprehension is accurate on common, concrete, and work-related topics and mostly accurate when the speaker is confronted with a linguistic or situational complication or an unexpected turn of events. Is able to comprehend a range of speech varieties (dialect and/or accent) or registers ;
  • Responses are immediate, appropriate, and informative. Manages the speaker/listener relationship effectively.

Level 6 – Expert | Validity : for life

  • Pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation, though possibly influenced by the first language or regional variation, almost never interfere with ease of understanding ;
  • Both basic and complex grammatical structures and sentence patterns are consistently well controlled ;
  • Vocabulary range and accuracy are sufficient to communicate effectively on a wide variety of familiar and unfamiliar topics. Vocabulary is idiomatic, nuanced, and sensitive to register ;
  • Able to speak at length with a natural, effortless flow. Varies speech flow for stylistic effect, e.g. to emphasize a point. Uses appropriate discourse markers and connectors spontaneously ;
  • Comprehension is consistently accurate in nearly all contexts and includes comprehension of linguistic and cultural subtleties ;
  • Interacts with ease in nearly all situations. Is sensitive to verbal and non-verbal cues and responds to them appropriately.