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Wednesday, August 12 • 3:00pm - 3:25pm
Aviation English and Listening Problems at High Rates of Speech

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The ultimate aim of our research is to improve the listening ability at high rates of speech for Japanese airline transport pilots (ATP) and air traffic controllers (ATC) who are non-native speakers of English (NNSE). Listening errors occur with fast speech rates, and over the past several years, we have been trying to pinpoint exactly when and where the errors occur. In our measurement of over 10,000 sentences in movies, we found English spoken at a median of 5.1 syllables per second (sps), similar to other reports of speech rates in daily life. We found that 31 high English-ability Japanese NNSE missed or mistook words increasingly at faster speech speeds; 4.2% missed words at 4 sps, 12.6% at 5 sps, 21.2% at 6 sps, 32.7% at 7 sps, and 40.6% at 8 sps. Our measurement of some 4,000 sentences spoken by ATP and ATC in the USA found a median of 6.1 sps, a rate 20% higher than standard speech speed and which can cause problems for NNSE pilots. Our survey of 33 Japanese ATP and ATC revealed places where they stumbled in their listening.

While our research is focused on aviation English, our results hopefully can stimulate ideas and programs to improve listening ability for all English learners, who face more or less the same problem.

avatar for Walter Klinger

Walter Klinger

University of Shiga Prefecture
*using films, film songs, tv shows, comedy tv show skits for esl/efl. *improving listening ability at high speech rates. *evaluation rubrics, incl. cefr and cerf-j. *what can NSE teachers do better than NNSE teachers (i.e., curricula should be modified to use teachers' streng... Read More →

Haruhiko Nitta

Senshu University

Hironobu Okazaki

Akita Prefectural University

Wednesday August 12, 2015 3:00pm - 3:25pm EDT
William James B1 33 Kirkland St Cambridge, MA