This course introduces teachers and trainers to concepts, approaches and knowledge of teaching practice specifically for aeronautical communication between pilots and air traffic control.

The course allows a development of skillsets for teachers with a specific focus on contextualising real-life communication of their learners through practical guidance, and interactive tasks. This enables teachers to develop their understanding of the actual communication processes taking place in the operational environment and the key role that language plays in this. Developing skills and knowledge for professional language training in such a dynamic environment is imperative and a prerequisite in helping to promote and support flight safety.


The course content and methodology follow the recommendations of ICAO Doc 9835 (Chapter 7) and Circular 323.

Download FAQs and recommended pre-course reading list.

Upon successful completion of the NILE assignment or Trinity CertPT qualification, all participants will receive the 12-unit course pack ‘Aviation English for Private Pilots’, a pack not available for publication elsewhere. Each 4-page unit is based on a domain of unexpected situations identified in ICAO Doc 9835 Appendix B and includes basic discussion, vocabulary, and grammar exercises that can be combined with recordings, listening exercises and scripts to build a full aviation English programme for pilots at PPL level.

Is this course for you?

Location: Online
ELT professionals who currently work in, or are considering working in, the domain of teaching English in an aviation context
Language Level: B2 or higher
Course dates: 
8 April - 12 June 2024
16 September - 20 November 2024
NILE Certificate
Option for Trinity CertPT
Course Length: 8 weeks
Course fees:
Course fee £495
Trinity CertPT qualification (optional): £325
Minimum age: 18
Max class size: 18
Tutor-led and highly interactive
Live and asynchronous eLearning platforms
Specialist ELT eLibrary
Accredited by AQUEDUTO

Course content

Real-life communication of learners
Domain specific language – functions & references
Communicative competence in speaking & listening
The multiple skills in language proficiency
Context & task-based communication learning
CPD – developing domain and linguistic knowledge
Interplay of phraseologies and plain language
Discourse analysis of real-life communication
The role and use of the ICAO Rating Scale
Aviation domain communication
Working with authentic materials
Adapting materials from general to specific purpose
Needs analysis for learners
Curriculum design
Assessment and monitoring

Participant’s learners would typically be either pilots or Air Traffic Controllers but can also be one of the many sub-domains related to the daily operational requirements of anyone working in aviation, such as: Ground Handling, Flight Schools, Military Operators, Maintenance and engineering, etc.


Download course description


Further Information

NILE Online courses are highly interactive and learning takes place through varied and engaging multimedia content and the collaboration between participants from different contexts. All participants work on the same unit in the same week but there is a high level of flexibility within that time period to help you fit studying around your life and work. The interaction via forums and the other powerful digital tools built into the platform help and encourage you to share ideas, ask questions, explore concepts and build up a community.

You need a computer, a headset (with microphone) and an Internet connection. Much of the course can be done on a mobile device, but a computer is needed for certain activities and tasks.

All participants have access to NILE’s extensive ELT e-library and an innovative social and cultural programme.

Meet a Course Tutor: Neil Bullock

Neil Bullock - NILE

Neil is an English trainer, teacher trainer and test development specialist working mainly in the domains of business and aviation English. He has 20 years of operational experience in aviation and over 18 years working in language learning and testing. He writes and presents regularly on teaching and testing issues in ESP and aviation.

He is currently General Secretary and Vice-President of the International Civil Aviation English Association, and former joint-Coordinator for IATEFL TEASIG.


Available dates:

Course dates Location Course length
16 September - 20 November 2024 Online 8 weeks
16 September - 20 November 2024 with Trinity CertPT Online 8 weeks