English for Air Traffic Controllers


Aviation is the only sector globally where English is mandatory in order to hold a pilots or ATC license. With our English for ATC course, you get over 30 hours of learning spread across four modules, covering key topics of air traffic navigation, pre-flight to cruising, approach, emergencies & hazards. Check below to see what you will learn and achieve by the end of this course.

This course is designed for those who are achieving ICAO Level 4. You should be able to communicate effectively, accurately and with clarity in voice only (telephone/radiotelephone) and face to face situations.  You can use appropriate communication strategies to recognise, check, confirm, clarify and resolve misunderstandings. You should be able to successfully and relatively easily handle linguistic challenges presented by complications or unexpected turns of events in a cockpit or in-flight situation. You can speak and use a dialect or accent which is intelligible to the aeronautic community.


Your Course

By the end of this course on English for Air Traffic Controllers, you will develop the following:

  • Finesse your Aviation English specialist speaking and pronunciation skills using special playback features and our extensive vocabulary lists
  • Listening: Improve your critical listening skills designed especially for pilots and ATCs covering specialised topics
  • Reading: Understand highly technical reports and presentations related to your role in ATC

Throughout the course you will cover the following topics

  • Air Traffic Naviation
  • Pre-Flight to In-Flight
  • In-Flight Emergencies
  • Approach and Landing Hazards

Prior knowledge

This course is specifically for Air Traffic Controllers and those studying to become an ATC. You will ideally need to have achieved your English level to ICAO Operational Level 4 to make the most from this course. As you develop your career, there will be a constant requirement to not only refresh and update existing technical learning but also to develop new skills and ways of thinking and behaving.

Technical Skills

Whether you’re in production, distribution, sales, finance, human resources or management your technical skills will always need to keep up with the latest developments in technology and change. The learning for this will generally come from your peers, industry trends and specialised training.

New skills

However, as you move up in seniority through an organisation or become and entrepreneur, you will be faced with learning a much wider array of skills. You will need to learn how to be a generalist but with the ability to look at the whole of a business and how it all interlocks.

People Skills

Most importantly, you will need to master your own behaviours and character and emotional intelligence in order to influence, inspire and bring people along with your vision. Your career, personal and professional development should never stop, whether you are learning because of a company or professional body requirement or whether you are just wanting to grow.


Module One: Air Traffic Navigation

  • Speaking: Communication and air traffic safety. Pre-departure and mechanical failure. Instructions to land an aircraft with rudder malfunction. Radar systems and navigational aids. Reporting on runway conditions and approach lighting systems.
  • Listening: Giving a vector. The movement area of the airport. ATC reports. Relaying weather info.
  • Reading: Communications and air traffic safety. Navigational aids at an airport. Rudder malfunction. The impact of weather on aviation. METAR and TAF weather advisories.
  • Vocabulary topics: Transmitting the phonetic alphabet. Phonetic numbers. Airport movement area. Navigation systems and aids. Call signs for aeronautical stations. Aircraft parts. Emergencies. Weather advisotires. ICAO weather abbreviations.

Module Two: Pre-Flight to Cruising

  • Speaking: Allocate a new slot. Give instruction for push-back, start-up and taxi. Give instructions to a pilot experience instrument failure or a bird strike. emergency and terrorist attack. Give instructions to a pilot declaring an emergency.
  • Listening: Relay position and level. Report traffic to aircraft. Sequence departures.
  • Reading: A flight plan. Incident report. SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures). Article on near misses. Incident report.
  • Vocabulary topics: Aerodromes flight plan. Airfield weather conditions. Instructions for start-up, push-back, taxi, line-up and departure. Take-off positions, levels and directions. Route and level changes. Delays and holding patterns. Topographical features and terrain.



Module Three: In-Flight Emergencies

  • Speaking: Contact a pilot experience radio failure. Get information an attempted hijacking, onboard medical emergency. Relay information to another ATC about bird strike and radio failure. Transmit instructions to a pilot experiencing a fume incident.
  • Listening: Handling a controlled ditching. Relaying information about emergencies. Allocate a new slot. Transmit instructions for an emergency landing and diverting to another airfield.
  • Reading: Mid-air collision report. ATC seminar. Incident on rapid decompression. Handling VFR flights. Encountering IMC. Controller’s report on instrument failure.
  • Vocabulary topics: Types of aircraft engine failure. Medical emergencies. Security issues. Terrorist threats Transmission problems. Emergency landings. Dealing with IMC weather.

Module Four: Approach and Landing Hazards

  • Speaking: Give instructions for an ILS landing VOR landing. Give instructions to aircraft joining and leaving the traffic circuit. Relay information about patches of water on the runway and a non-operational VOR.
  • Listening: Deal with unidentified aircraft. Resolve a situation with a lost aircraft due to instrument failure. A wind shear incident.
  • Reading: Article on strayed or unidentified aircraft. Manual controlling the traffic circuit. ATC incident reports and wind shear. Online chat for hydraulic failure. Handling radio communication failure. Presentation on handling emergencies.
  • Vocabulary topics: Problems with stray and unidentified aircraft. Navigation phraseology. Readability scale. Landing clearances. Delay actions and expected approach time. Vectoring for hydraulic problems. Navigation problems. Sind shear. Solving communication problems. Read back emergency terms. Read back aviation distress frequencies.

The course includes:

  • 30 hours of on demand e-learning
  • Speech Training app to help refine your pronunciation
  • Vocabulary app to help with specific terminology
  • Three months unlimited access
  • Access from any platform or device anytime


Are you an organisation, institution or tutor looking for a comprehensive learning solution for you and your teams and students? We have a portfolio of general and specialised English language and business short courses that are available online and on-demand as well as for a blended solution in the classroom environment or delivered via live webinar based tuition.

These ready to go courses cover all key areas of adult professional English language learning as well as a catalog of short courses covering finance & operations, sales & marketing, human resources to administration and management. As well as hard skills that range from elementary to advanced, there is an array of people and soft skill development.

Our e-learning is comprehensive, up to date and produced by a high quality learning and editorial team. It combines the latest in business thinking with the latest in learning technology. Learning can be delivered wholly online through self-study, with virtual tutor support or in a group & classroom environment by our qualified trainers.

  • All online learning is tracked and courses can be used as part of a personal development plan
  • Learners can study out of hours or in breaks with bite-size learning
  • Get management reports on learner progress
  • Cost efficiently solve any training, compliance, insurance, regulatory or union requirements
  • Choose and pay for only the courses you need or look at our library models for even greater value
  • No lock-in contracts – pay monthly or get a highly competitive price for annual and multi-year commitments
  • No big installations necessary – a simple web browser is all that’s needed to get started
  • New courses being added all the time

If you want to know more, get in touch with Connor, Marius, Stephen or Adam  for more information.

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