⚠️ ICAO English Level 4 in General ⚠️
ICAO English Level 4, ICAO Level 4 or simply English Level 4 is so-called Operational level of Aviation English. ICAO English Level 4 is minimum proficiency of English language to be demonstrated for operational use as a pilot or ATC. However some airlines or operators might have higher minimum standards for language proficiency. So even though your ICAO English level 4 is from regulations point of view sufficient to operate as a pilot, it might not be the case from the operator's perspective.
Let's have a look what does actually mean ICAO English level 4 when we break it down...
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Pronunciation
We do not expect your Pronunciation to be perfect. Our Language proficiency examiner will spot almost instantly that English is not your first language nor the mother tongue. The most common ICAO English Level 4 Pronunciation sign is the strong local accent. This is reflected in English depending on your mother tongue. For example - German speakers have specific pronunciation of "th". Great example of ICAO English Level 4 Pronunciation is a word "think" to be pronounced as "sink"...
Besides that the content of your message is easily comprehensible from the context.
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Sentence structure
Sentence structure of ICAO English Level 4 holder clearly expresses the intended content of your message. You can express time using various tenses. ICAO English Level 4 syntax is not flawless, but you can easily tell the difference between the past and the present, you can use plurals, and use various prepositions. ICAO English Level 4 holder can tell the difference between "a" and "an". In case of more complex conversation, you generally leave it to others or you avoid constructing some more complex sentences.
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Spoken fluency
It does not take long to find the right words to describe a situation or answer a question for ICAO English Level 4 fluency. It might take you a bit longer in some cases, but that does not mean serious problems.
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Vocabulary
Aviation English vocabulary extends with your flying experience. What we consider important for ICAO English Level 4 holder is your vocabulary to be adequate to your flying experience. It is also important that you are able to communicate with other pilots and ATCs using your vocabulary. Regarding conversations about different topics, you can express yourself using your own words, describing or paraphrasing essentials of various topics.
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Message comprehension
We expect a bit more than just an aviation phraseology and its correct use. To acquire ICAO English Level 4, you also need to be able to use simple language, not only the standard aviation phraseology. You need to comprehend various situations. It is possible you will not understand immediately, but after repeating the message, you will understand the content of the message, or at least the context. You are not afraid to use "say again" phrase.
ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Interaction
ICAO English Level 4 holder is not afraid to speak. If you do not understand, you do not remain silent, but ask for clarification or use the magic aviators' phrase "say again".
✓ Validity of ICAO English Level 4
Once passed, the license endorsement depends on your flight crew licence:
- EASA licence: 4 years
- national or ICAO Licence: 3 years