Aviation English

Foundations of Aviation English

Foundations of Aviation English is designed to help non-native English speakers communicate as a professional pilot or controller over the radio in English. The course is designed to help students achieve ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards for radio communication. It is useful for pilots, controllers and aviation students wanting to work in an international aviation environment.

The course focuses on building skills in all six areas of the ICAO Rating Scale, including pronunciation, structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and interaction. The fundamentals of pilot-controller radio communication are also introduced, including topics like the formats for standard radio communication, in-flight emergency communications and pilot weather reports. Beyond in-flight communication, the course also includes how to read METAR and other standard weather reports, and basic knowledge and practice in filing flight plans in English.

An official OU Certificate of Completion will be granted.

Why should you take this course?

Communication is an essential part of aviation safety. ICAO recommends that all pilots and controllers be able to communicate on the radio in English at Level 4 or better on the ICAO rating scale. Many nations have implemented this in their laws and require testing for pilots and controllers working in an international environment.


Tom Hoyt has taught English as a Second Language for 16 years, including courses for pilots and controllers in Japan.

Victoria Thorpe served as a member of Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force, U.K., for ~10 years in the role of Aerospace Battle Manager. Her regular duties involved protecting the integrity of U.K. and NATO airspace during peacetime and supporting military operations abroad. In 2016, she became a professor at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico at the School of Aeronautics. She designed and delivered six courses— English for Aviation ProfessionalsAviation MeteorologyPrinciples of Air Traffic Control and a three-semester program in support of the FAA Air Traffic College Training Initiative. During this time, she contributed to the FAA Center of Excellence (TTHP) with research into adaptive training methodology. She has been an adjunct professor for the University of Oklahoma since February 2019, designing several new international aviation courses for the OU School of Aviation Studies. She is also a professor of English for Popular, Inc., delivering six virtual business English training programs. Her academic career started as a graduate of Oxford University in 2007. She completed an M.A. in Air Power in 2013 with King's College London and is currently studying for her Doctor of Aviation with Florida Institute of Technology.

Contact Us 

Contact Cory Northern (bladenorthern@ou.edu) or Tom Hoyt (tom.hoyt@ou.edu) with any questions regarding this seminar or the registration process.


OU accepts a maximum of 15 participants into each course. We strongly suggest a quick sign up if you want to guarantee a seat. Applications open March 15, and applicants are accepted until the course is full — first-come, first-served. Once the course is full, you may ask to be placed on the waitlist for this course or watch for registration links for future sessions to become available.

Cost: $599 USD

Date: The preliminary module opens May 3, and the course begins May 10.

Course format: 100% online

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