English for Aviation

English for Specific Purposes
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English for Aviation

ICAO language proficiency testing

Ih Cape Town is a registered ELP testing centre with the South African Civil Aviation Authorities ( ATO# CAA/0370) and therefore all tests conducted are valid for international licensing. ICAO, a division within the United Nations, regularly reviews and strengthens its language proficiency requirements.
ICAO stipulates that all pilots operating on international routes and all air traffic controllers who communicate with foreign pilots must be able to communicate using both ICAO phraseology and plain English, and must have their English language proficiency formally assessed.

ICAO has established 6 levels of language proficiency:

  • ICAO Level 6: Expert
  • ICAO Level 5: Extended
  • ICAO Level 4: Operational
  • ICAO Level 3: Pre-Operational
  • ICAO Level 2: Elementary
  • ICAO Level 1: Pre-Elementary

The minimum language level for licensing purposes is ICAO Level 4. To be assessed at ICAO Level 4 or above, a pilot or air traffic controller must achieve Level 4 in all six of the ICAO skill areas:

  • Pronunciation
  • Structure
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • Comprehension
  • Interactions

Local civil aviation authorities determine how long test scores remain valid. ICAO recommends that:

  • Level 4 is valid for license endorsement for 3 years from the test date
  • Level 5 is valid for license endorsement for 6 years from the test date
  • Level 6 is valid for license endorsement for an indefinite period from the test date

This course has been designed with the new language regulations in mind which have been introduced by ICAO for all concerned to reach Level 4 and higher on the Language Proficiency Scale.

The English for Aviation covers a range of subjects associated with flying and the Aviation Industry. The course is organised in the sequence of a flight, starting with an introductory unit, followed by pre-flight, ground movements, departure, cruising, en-route events, contact and approach, landing and end-of-flight ground movements.

Who is the course for?

Pilots and air traffic controllers will find the course useful for improving their Standard English, but anyone working in aviation ground staff, emergency services, or administrators, for example – who want to improve their English ability will benefit from the English for Aviation course as well.

Course Summary

  • Starting Dates: On request
  • Duration: 2 -8 weeks
  • Lessons per week:
    • 20 Group Lessons
    • 10 English for Aviation private lessons
  • Minimum English Level:  Upper Intermediate +
  • Maximum students per class: 12 students

Class Times
Monday – Friday
09h00-10h40 > Tea Break 11h00 – 12h40 > Lunch Break
Monday –Thursday

Price (Quoted per week)

  • €360* for 2-4 weeks
  • €340* for 5-8 weeks

Important: *Prices exclude ICAO Test fees of €65


  • Tuition fees
  • Placement test
  • All course materials
  • End-of-course certificate
  • Unlimited free wi-fi access on school premises
  • Access to free online English courses through Net Languages and Ih World


Happy students

“I would like to thank IH Cape Town for the beautiful time. I had the possibility to get to know amazing people from different countries of the world.”

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Marie Ritter


"I am able to say that I'm a better person because of Ih Cape Town. Ih Cape Town offered me the opportunity to meet new people; to be more open-minded and I am really thankful for it."

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Elizabeth Djanie Badjoko-Wa-Lileko


“Ih Cape Town is an amazing English school. It’s location in Sea Point makes it a safe place, with a safe surrounding. Teachers are awesome. Each teacher has unique qualities and is very loveable. I don’t regret any second I spent here. I truly fell in love with the school and with Cape Town.”

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Salmah Hani. Sait

Saudi Arabia

"I really improved my conversation and my English level. I met a lot of new friends. I am delighted about the school and the teachers."

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Carlos Climent


"Ih is an amazing school. The teachers do their best to make sure that we students learn the language in a way that we won’t forget. Besides the teachers, the staff is like a family, takes care of us very well."

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Milena Silva


“I had the best moment of my life in IH Cape Town. I’m going to miss you guys.”

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Lucia Elisa Benza Tito