Minimum Language Requirements Are Not Enough to Keep Our Skies Safe!

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A terrifying mid-air collision in 2017 was caused by two international pilot trainees who both lacked basic English language proficiency. One of the pilots was severely injured, the other pilot died.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a report on the crash that occurred between two flight school airplanes near St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec. The report clearly states that lack of language proficiency in English and French on the student’s part muddled the complex aeronautical environment that caused the accident.

The investigation states that both pilots “deviated from the altitude restrictions provided by air traffic control before colliding in mid-air.” According to the report, the pilots involved in the crash were international flight students enrolled in training in Canada.

Both of the pilots in the crash were tested and met the minimum English-language proficiency requirements to fly, however, neither pilot’s first language was English or French. According to the TSB report, improper and insufficient language proficiency testing, which allowed these student pilots with low English-language proficiency to pass, is likely a key factor in the cause of the crash.

The investigation found that it’s not possible to ensure the validity, reliability or nation-wide standardization of the aviation language proficiency testing (ALPT) given by Transport Canada, as there is little to no oversight of the examiners. Even though pilots must be at operational or expert level in English or French (or both), “operational,” meaning they met a minimum international proficiency level to be able to communicate with air traffic control, it wasn’t enough.  A Civil Aviation Safety Alert was published, citing the risks created by improper validity, reliability and standardization in language testing.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded with the recommendation that all international student pilots should be tested through private language proficiency testing programs, and be required to meet stringent English-language standards to obtain personal licensing prior to their first solo flight.

Assess with Confidence

Language Testing International (LTI) administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Getting Ahead in the Infotech World

developing programming and coding technologies website design cyber-space concept woman manInformation technology is the study, design, and development of computer systems and networks, and it’s one of the most important fields of the future. Millions of jobs have been created by IT, as it plays a vital role in every aspect of modern-day life.

The tech world is full of different languages – JavaScript, Ruby and Python are just a few of them. With so many programming languages out there, it’s essential for tech workers to have one common language to communicate in and in most cases, that common language is English. Many IT professionals who are non-native English speakers may be technology experts but lack the English language proficiency needed for communicating effectively. The ability to communicate in English is a huge asset to many companies and organizations. Companies that conduct business internationally are likely to be engaging with people who speak English as a first or second language on a regular basis, making the ability to use English in the workplace a very valuable skill. Most global IT teams work and communicate on a day-to-day basis in English. Continue reading

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting Business Globally

Moving your business abroad can open new opportunities. In our hyperconnected world, approaching new global markets is easier than it’s ever been. Still, conducting business globally isn’t without its difficulties – new languages, cultural norms and business customs, if not planned for, might get in the way of a successful international plan. Here are some of the most common mistakes that companies make when expanding across the border – read on to make sure that you don’t end up prey to these common pitfalls.

Not Hiring a Qualified Multilingual Team

It’s tempting to send your seasoned team members abroad to start a new office. They’ve proven their loyalty to the company, their work ethic and their skills. Yet just because they’re successful in your local market, doesn’t mean that they’re the perfect person for your overseas expansion.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

#AWarmerWelcome: The True Spirit of Hospitality

What’s one of the biggest worries people have when traveling? 

Hint: It stops more than 30% of travelers from embracing new and different destinations and accommodations.

Booking.com surveyed 20,500 global travelers about various travel topics, including travel ambitions, trip planning habits and biggest fears. Nearly 30% of the people surveyed agreed that one of their biggest worries while traveling was the language barrier, and that this communication worry can even stop them from booking unknown accommodations or a vacation in an exotic locale.

When asked what would remove those travel anxieties, one in five said that language skills would make the difference. If they were sure they would be able to ask questions at their hotel or order their favorite foods, aspiring travelers claimed they’d be more likely to book a new destination.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.