Language issues of Brazilian pilots regarding structure: A comparative study between student pilots and SDEA test takers


  • Aline Pacheco Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)
  • Angela Carolina de Moraes Garcia Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC)



Brazilian pilots, Aviation English training, Language testing, Structure errors


This article addresses the most common language problems of Brazilian pilots regarding structure, a fundamental skill in aeronautical communications (DOC 9835). We aim to present an overview of the most specific errors made by student-pilots and Santos Dumont English Assessment (SDEA) test takers and compare them in order to better understand their language competence. The qualitative analysis will be based on lists which feature data collected from classroom work (student pilots) and SDEA report forms (RFs). The study is intended to provide researchers with more tools to deal with Aviation English focusing on pilot performance, as well as to contribute to better curriculum design and improvements in assessment practices. 


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Author Biographies

Aline Pacheco, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)

Aline Pacheco is an Associate Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), in Brazil. She holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Linguistics. Both studies focused on the acquisition of English as a Foreign Language. She has been teaching English since 1993.

Currently, she is responsible for the Aviation English courses in the Aeronautical Science Program at PUCRS. Her research interests include Language as a Human Factor in Aviation, Corpus Linguistics and English for Specific Purposes.

Angela Carolina de Moraes Garcia, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC)

Angela Carolina de Moraes Garcia is in her first year of the PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at Carleton University. She has been working as a language test developer and raters’ trainer at the Brazilian Civil Aviation National Agency (ANAC) since January 2008. Angela holds a Master’s degree in Language Testing from Lancaster University. Her research interests are: English for Specific Purposes and Language Testing, especially aeronautical English testing, validity, reliability, construct definition and rating scale development.


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How to Cite

Pacheco, A., & de Moraes Garcia, A. C. (2020). Language issues of Brazilian pilots regarding structure: A comparative study between student pilots and SDEA test takers. The ESPecialist, 41(3).