Test of Speaking
The EALT is a valid, reliable and practical test for use by the aviation industry in the language proficiency assessment of its personnel. Comprising the EALT Test of Listening and the EALT Test of Speaking, the EALT is a comprehensive test of communicative competence in which the demonstration of a candidate’s actual listening and speaking ability in English is required. Both parts of the EALTS are administered and assessed by approved and certified examiners with the candidates being rated against the criteria contained in the ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale and the ICAO Holistic Descriptors of operational language proficiency. Candidates are awarded their final ratings after the independent assessments of a minimum of four accredited assessors.
The EALT Test of Speaking assesses a candidate’s use of spoken English by means of a series of exchanges or language tasks in a direct interview comprising elements of both face-to-face and voice-only interaction. From the language produced by the candidate, the certified EALT examiners are able to draw inferences relating to his/her language proficiency in the context of aeronautical communications in both routine and non-routine situations and so assess the candidate’s language against the criteria contained in the ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale and the ICAO Holistic Descriptors.
Candidates take the EALT Test of Speaking in pairs. They may know each other, or they may never have met before. If there are an uneven number of candidates sitting the test in any one session, one of the interviews of the session will be with a single candidate. Adaptations of the test are available to suit both pilots and air traffic controllers.
The EALT Test of Speaking assesses the language proficiency of the candidate (controller or pilot) in three distinct parts and includes elements of both face-to-face and voice-only communication. The videos below show how the test is conducted in each part.
In a face to face exchange, the candidates briefly introduce themselves before moving on to talk about common, concrete and operations-related topics drawn from their own area of aviation-related activity.
In a voice-only exchange, the candidates interact with each other in sharing their understanding of an aeronautical communication concerning an unusual circumstance or emergency situation.
In a face to face exchange, the interlocutor presents each candidate with a scenario of an unusual circumstance or emergency situation. The candidates are required to give a briefing of approximately two minutes’ duration explaining the nature of the scenario and how it may be effectively managed..
Task 3 Extended
At his/her discretion, the interlocutor may ask the candidates to participate in a discussion of a more abstract nature, based on verbal questions thematically linked to their Task 3 scenarios.This will examine further the candidates’ ability to express thoughts and opinions in English.
Test of Listening
The EALT Test of Listening is a computer mediated adaptive test of voice-only aural comprehension. Test-takers listen to a number of recorded communications. The recordings feature a range announcements and talk-back exchanges typical of aeronautical communications. The communications concern routine and nonroutine situations and include a variety of English accents, both native and non-native speaker.
Test-takers demonstrate the extent of their proficiency in the noncollaborative comprehension of the communications through their responses to aural prompts accompanying the communications. Unless otherwise selected by the test-takers, the communications and their accompanying prompts are heard once only.
A test-taker’s proficiency in understanding discourse in non-interactive situations is measured against the criteria for the assessment of aural comprehension contained in the descriptors for Comprehension in the ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale.
The interactive demonstration below is designed to give a taste of the real Listening Test which, by nature of its adaptive design, cannot be reproduced outside of the test environment.