Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research


Peter H. Ragan






Aviation is a specialized, technology-based area that covers a broad range of activities, from esoteric analyses of compressible fluids, to selling tickets, to getting a clearance for takeoff. Accordingly, the language behavior inherent to such activities is diverse, often requiring specialized uses of English that are collectively labeled here as Aviation English. Aviation English figures prominently in most fields of aviation/aerospace education and practice, in regulatory and administrative agencies concerned with national and international commerce, norms and standards, and in academic, industrial, and government research and development. A greater awareness of the nature of Aviation English and of relevant resources can assist those aviation professionals whose daily work depends significantly on the use of language. Toward this end, this paper has been written for the aviation professional, not the language specialist. It serves as a general introduction to Aviation English by presenting background for the need to address this issue of language, describing the nature of aviation uses of language, reviewing selected, pertinent writings on the subject, and concluding with ideas for advancing our knowledge and refining our use of Aviation English.



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