By Paul Davey
The reality of achieving level 5 is within every pilot and controllers grasp and it can be achieved, but like everything else that you really want in life, you MUST work hard for it and you MUST really want it too!
Let’s look at why you want it.
Money. One benefit of having level 5 is that you will not have to retake your test for 6 years as opposed to 3 years for a level 4 candidate. The average student is spending between 600 and 800 reais per month on his or her aviation English training and preparations ideally will take in the region of 10 months add to that the 600 reais test fee, we can see that over the 6 year period you will be saving R$1000 reais a year, money that can be spent more wisely on the beaches of Florianopolis, Itacaré or maybe enjoying the German beers at Oktöberfest in Blumenau, with the money saved you can do all of these things whilst the guy with level 4 is back in the classroom with his English books open and his pencil sharpened.
The feeling of achieving level 5 can be considered like the feeling of becoming a captain. You will be considered by your firends as a captain of English, with the world of aviation and the world of English speakers under your command. With level 5 you have a knowledge of English in excess of what is required to just do your job, you can talk effortlessly and freely about whatever you like, you will not pause uncomfortably whilst searching for a word, you will use your knowledge of the language to explain in other words, hey, you might even start beginning to invent words to convey your meaning. (I remember the times I used to try this in portuguese….. badly “senhor, Vc tem a coisa pra coisar o outra coisa”).
Once you get to level 5, most of your fears abut the English language will have disappeared
MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! this final point, is often either not said, or simply forgotten or not realised, please say it more, and promise not to forget! You want to be a safer pilot or controller, you want to have the confidence that an accident report written about you will never contain the phrase “The unsure and unclear use of both standard phraseology and plain English was a clear contributing factor to the accident” if this is written then, “goodbye career” The stakes are very high!
Later today I will be posting about how the ANAC assessment works. What it really tests and why the test is fair and how its structure promotes safety, later still I will post a “What you have to know” type document in which some of the differences between levels 4 and 5 will be explained.
I’ll leave you with this. The ANAC assessment is not there to be beaten, there is no specific way that you can prepare solely for the exam, other than by learning English thoroughly it is designed to test how well you speak English, not to test just your aviation vocabulary. You must learn how to speak plain English,to interact, develop ideas, to comprehend to speak clearly and be understood and to be relevant, you must be fluent in the language beyond standard phraseology, a good teacher will teach you the language as a whole and explain how best to optimise the language within a given aviation environment.