Rated Speech Samples Developed for ICAO by ICAEA
The 2011 ICAO Rated Speech Sample Training Aid (RSSTA) was developed under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA) by a panel of international academic, linguistic, testing and operational experts. Analysis of the data was carried out by specialists in language testing from the universities of Lancaster, Melbourne and Cambridge.
ICAO issued the first RSSTA in CD ROM format in 2006. As part of its ongoing commitment to improve standards in aviation English, ICAO commissioned ICAEA to produce a second RSSTA in 2010. Its purpose is to help aviation language test service providers, examiners, teachers and also training, human resources and operational management to understand what constitutes an acceptable level of English for pilots and air traffic control officers. Unlike the original training aid which was distributed on CD ROM, this set of speech samples is available online, free of charge, through the ICAO website.
75 raters from 23 countries engaged in the rating exercises. The raters, from both operational and language backgrounds, assessed over 210 samples of language from a range of tasks representative of the materials that are currently available in the testing of aviation English. The data from the rating exercises was subjected to a many-facet Rasch analysis (FACETS, Linacre 2002) to identify samples which provide internationally agreed, reliable indications of each candidate's performance in the six criteria of the ICAO rating scale. Rating work continues; more samples will be added to the RSSTA over time.
The RSSTA project would like to thank the pilots and air traffic control officers around the world who allowed recordings of their tests to be used for the purposes of this training aid. The project would also like to thank the test service providers who authorised the use of their samples, and the raters who gave generously of their time; without them this product could never have been developed.
Test service providers:
Raters: The RSSTA project panel:
The RSSTA project panel: