Is it your goal to reach ICAO Level 5? How do you do it? I’m sure you’ve heard that reaching ICAO 5 requires higher level vocabulary. But, what does that mean? What is ICAO 5 vocabulary??

To explain what ICAO 5 vocabulary is, let’s make a comparison in the vocabulary of a native speakers. Compare the vocabulary of a child, an adult speaking in an every day situation, and an educated professional speaking about his/her work.  If we listen to these 3 people speaking, we probably hear three different levels of vocabulary.  The child might speak very simply.  The adult speaking about an every day situation might use more words and be more descriptive.  However, the educated professional (such as pilot, air traffic controller/ATC, etc.) will use highly descriptive, precise terminology and will build strong, deep messages.

Let’s look at some comparisons of words. See if you can get an idea of the differences between the quality of vocabulary.

First let’s start with some pairs:

  • rule     regulation
  • tell       explain
  • teach   train
  • do        perform
  • use       operate

Now let’s work in groups of 3:

  • Plane                        aircraft                          wide-body aircraft
  • Big                             large                              immense
  • Look                         observe                          inspect
  • Broken things         broken pieces              debris

Do you notice the difference between the words? Can you think of ways you can use these kinds of words? For more information about improving your English level make sure you check out How to improve your ICAO Level and the Vocabulary Lesson: Top 3 Reasons for Approach Delays.

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