English Language Proficiency

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Pilot
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English Language Proficiency

Post by Pilot » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:33 pm

Have anyone with an Irish PPL managed to get their English Language Proficiency sorted out?

Mine, probably like most people's expires in March next year, and I've been unable to renew it so far.

Visits to two flight schools in Weston, informed me that it's only possible to renew your ELP by doing a skills test with an examiner for a new rating!

So far I've contact the IAA three times and got three very different answers!

Call 1:
Only possible with a skills test with an examiner for a new rating or licence. I explained that I'd renewed my class rating by experience, and didn't want to add an IR or do a CPL just to renew by ELP. I asked if it was possible to simply have an examiner test my English, and was told no, as it had to be done in an aircraft. So I asked if it was possible that I could bring an examiner on a fligth with me so that they could test it in the air, and was told no, because the test had to be as part of a skills test!

I asked if it was possible to do an English Language Proficiency with a foreign English Language Proficiency tester and submit the results to the IAA (A friend of mine does English Language Proficiency for the Dutch CAA). I was told no, that it had to be done by an IAA examiner.

I pointed out that if the only way for me to renew my English Language Proficiency was to do an IR or a CPL, then there would be a lot of people like me unable to renew it. I was told “Yes. We know that we have a problem here, but we haven’t figured out what we are going to do about it yet!”.
That was a year or so ago.

Call 2:
Earlier this year I had reason to call into the IAA office on another matter, and asked again, and was told, “Oh any flight school can renew that for you. You don’t need to do any sort of flight test.”
So I revisited the schools in Weston, assuming that the problem had now been sorted, only to be told that it was news to them! They confirmed that what I’d been told in call 1 was their understanding of where things stood!

Call 3:
In September, getting a little more concerned, with just 6 months to go, and no know solution yet, I contacted the IAA again. This time I was told, “Oh, you’ll be getting a letter about that shortly. You’ll have to do an English Language course that some place in Dundalk I think, is doing, in order to renew your English Language Proficiency certificate. You should get the letter about it shortly. If you haven’t got it by November, then call us back.” I have to do a Bl##!y course to learn to speak English? And I have to travel to Dundalk to do it? No doubt there will be a nice fee for it too, and a day out of the office.

Now this letter hasn’t arrived yet. So before I go and call the IAA again, I was wondering if anyone else has managed to sort it, and if so what is the solution?

This question is solely for IAA (IAA JAR) licence holders, as the UK CAA, and FAA seem to have a relatively easy way to deal with the problem!

I am guessing that one potential solution is to renew my class rating by doing a Licence Proficiency Test instead of by experience, and doing it about 15 months too early! But it would be nice to know if someone else has found simpler way of sorting it!

Thanks
P

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by captain slow » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:55 am

Hi Pilot,

First im afraid im not much use to you as i have mine sorted elsewhere. Having said that its a little rich that a) they havent it sorted by now b)that they want you to do a course in english! The only upside is they probably wont want more than a hundred euro off you for the pleasure :shock:

I dont even know if they can have enough properly certified testers in the time frame concerned. The test itself is a joke. If english isnt your first language then fine but in FAA land if you can hold a decent conversation with the FAA guy over the counter then youre qualified? Did everyone in the Uk get an automatic 6in theirs too by default as they invented the language???

Speaking of getting a 6 in the test i heard a rumour that the IAA cant award a 6 as they didnt apply for that authorisation at the relevant time. Dont know how true that is tho.

All i can say is keep ringing and keep asking to speak to the guy/girl further up the food chain. Ask for head of licencing and that if you havent heard anything concrete and definitive by the end November start saying things like "but my licence will be invalided by your inaction etc etc and i wont be held responsible" .That usually gets 'em moving!

Will be very interesting to see what they do,how they do it and what if anything they charge for it.

PS yes mine is IAA issued

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by jonkil » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:55 am

No problem at all.... but mine is a UK issued one... keep everything flying related on a British ticket, much less hassle.

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Fanstop » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:36 am

or just ignore the stupid rule let the IAA explain it to the Judge. Bet they will not. i for one will not be paying any money to anyone to tell me that i speak english. if the EASA JAA IAA idiots signed off this stupidity let them live with it. :evil:

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:58 pm

Every Licence holder with a grade 4 is due renewal next March.
Those with Grade 5 are due March 2014.
And those with a 6 are "Lifetime" candidates.

Now for the snags!!
The IAA stated in /files/2008/docs/20080323110820_ANNoP18Issue1PublicationVersio.doc that they would train and appoint Examiners.

They did train and appoint examiners, however as the ball rolls, these have now moved on to different employ. Not sure if any of them are with IAA today.

It is a bit of a gray area as the IAA adopted the regulation without much thought for its future implementation.

IAA have stated they will be contacting every licence holder on their books before the expiry of their ELT.
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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by cubpilot » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:45 pm

Just a correction, the UK default position on issuing an updated license is to give a grade 4. i have no idea how or when to get a 6 and to be honest it is a total bit of official nonsense and is one of the reasons why i have lost most of the respect i had in the the CAA and EASA to regulate with wisdom.

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Higgie » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:42 pm

Hi All
I suggest you call Martin Purcell, Manager Personnel licensing.
IAA switchboard 016718655
We spoke to him last week and he assured us that the IAA have a course and instructors/examiners in place.
Just awaiting the grand rollout in the next week or two.
The facility will exist to do the upgrade to level 6 (good for life) at remote locations.
The projected cost is expected to be about €50.
regards
Higgie.
No harm reminding them, just in case they forget. :wink:

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Raven 912 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:41 pm

I was given level 4 when I applied for my UK RT licence. My UK RT Examiner said that on renewal of the RT licence the UK CAA will be issuing automatic level 6. The renewal is just a paperwork exercise and no further testing is required. Problem is that my RT licence is valid till 2015.

I have been practising my ELP for over 40 years. I regularly go into shops and talk to the people behind the counter. I have even been known to have conversations in english with family, friends and people I know. In case I wasn't up to standard I bought a phone and use it every day to bring myself up to speed. :lol:

That lot may seem funny but, by the time the IAA have reinvented the wheel once again, can any of us be sure we have what it takes to actually pass whatever test they come up with. :oops: I was going to phone them but I'm not sure they'd understand the question :lol:

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by alphaLaura » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:48 am

The projected cost is expected to be about €50.
I have to pay €50 to prove to an examiner that I can speak English?
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no.
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mixturerich
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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by mixturerich » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:39 pm

..............And take time off work. And travel to a "remote location" to give them €50 so that they can tell me I can speak English?

Surely, this can be done over the phone in 5 minutes?

I wonder can AOPA do anything for us here?

Cheers,

Mixturerich.

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Raven 912 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:09 pm

One of the main problems here is that the IAA appear to confuse issues. They seem to be confusing RT with ELP on this one. English Language Proficiency is self explanatory for me................Can I proficiently speak English? I really dont see the need to prove my flying ability to a Flight Examiner to show that, so I cant see the need for a flight test.

RT can be done in a classroom as is done in other countries including the UK so again, no need for a flight test................Can I use a radio properly using the correct terminology? If I cant then does that mean I cant speak English?

So..............With all that in mind. To prove I can speak English it is ridiculous to expect me to prove that I can fly or use a radio properly. My children can all speak English but they can neither fly nor use the radio.

English Language Proficiency...........I should be immediately be awarded level 6 as I have spoken to people in the Authority over the phone loads of times and they all appeared to understand me.

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Jim » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:22 am

mixturerich wrote:..............And take time off work. And travel to a "remote location" to give them €50 so that they can tell me I can speak English?

Surely, this can be done over the phone in 5 minutes?

I wonder can AOPA do anything for us here?

Cheers,

Mixturerich.
It would be seen as inadvisable for any body to take a verbal examination over a phone line for obvious reasons!

English is the Official INTERNATIONAL language of the aviation world.
Many countries ATC (including Ireland) encountered problems over the years with visiting Pilots as regards speaking in English.
The British Isles, Ireland and others were given the option of NOT adopting the ELT, howerver they did because of such issues as migration, free movement, etc.

The ELP test was introduced as a result of Problems and incidents of misunderstanding within the RT field of Both General and Commercial Pilots.

Just because someone is fluent in a language, it does not mean they are PROFICIENT in it!
Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language. As theories vary among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency, there is little consistency as to how different organizations classify it. Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects. In predominant frameworks, proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies. Thus, a high number of native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient.
But to be able to JUDGE or to EXANINE the level of an individuals capabilities as regards proficiency, i fail to believe that there a specific level that one should reach! Legal or otherwise!
the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language
Now! thats Proficient! (Proficiency!) Able - Capable.

and Mixturerich.
AOPA was urged by some of its members to include candidate examiners on the ELT training program following consideration from authority to include AOPA within this, given that we visit a lot of Ireland.
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Rudy
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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by Rudy » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:34 pm

Check out "Air China 981" on You Tube and you'll soon see the need for ELP tests.
Rudy

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by mixturerich » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:39 pm

Thanks Jim,

Yes, your right, I do understand that doing this over the phone may not be acceptible but how about the use of every day modern technologies such as Skype?

Also, I was just wondering if there are guidelines laid down as to what you (as a pilot whose proficiency is being tested) are expected to exceed. And if so, what can you do to prepare for it?

Also, one last query. Ravin 912 states
"I was given level 4 when I applied for my UK RT licence. My UK RT Examiner said that on renewal of the RT licence the UK CAA will be issuing automatic level 6. The renewal is just a paperwork exercise and no further testing is required. Problem is that my RT licence is valid till 2015."

Could we not follow UK CAA's initiative?

Cheers,

Mixturelean.

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Re: English Language Proficiency

Post by jonkil » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:54 pm

mixturerich wrote:
Could we not follow UK CAA's initiative?

Cheers,

Mixturelean.
Of course not, that makes too much sense.... silly boy...!!! Image

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