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LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN AVIATION: COORDINATION OF SECTOR AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS CONFERENCE BRINGS TOGETHER LANGUAGE EXPERTS6/1/2016



"Language Education in Aviation: Coordination of Sector and Educational Institutions" Conference organized by the Turkish Aviation Academy was held on 26-27 May 2016 at Istanbul Radisson Blu Hotel.

Director of Turkish Aviation Academy Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kemal Yüksek, Language Training and Services Manager Muzaffer Özçelik, and experts in their field from Turkish Airlines Flight Training Academy and Human Resources Directorate participated in the conference. The event brought together universities such as Yıldız Technical University, Marmara University, Istanbul Technical University, Cappadocia Vocational School, academies, language schools and training units of aviation companies. During the conference, long-term solutions in relation to meeting the training needs of the human resources who are equipped with the required language proficiency skills to satisfy the sectoral needs were discussed.

The conference organized by the Academy, began with the opening speech of the Director of Turkish Aviation Academy Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kemal Yüksek. In his speech Yüksek stated: "We are in a steady and planned growth as a flag carrier brand of the rapidly developing aviation sector. Our number of employees which was 14 thousand in 2010 has reached to 22 thousand today. We plan to double this number by 2023 and have a family of 40 thousand people. As Turkish Airlines, while we aim to keep the title of Europe’s Best Airline, we believe that personnel quality is the most important determinant of our service quality. Today, Turkish Airlines carries its service quality to 292 destinations in 115 countries. Cabin, cockpit, ground services staff and those who are in one-to-one communication with passengers bear the huge responsibility of increasing passenger satisfaction.”

THE NEED TO WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH TRAINING INSTITUTIONS WITH REGARDS TO EMPLOYING STAFF IN POSSESSION OF LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY WAS EMPHASIZED

Being aware of the fact that speaking the passenger’s mother tongue is an important value for effective communication, Yüksek stated that in the recent years concentration is given on hiring flight attendants who speak other languages like Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. He said “Currently, we have nearly 600 cabin staff who speaks a second foreign language in addition to English. With this understanding, as Aviation Academy, we offer trainings in various languages to our personnel after their employment. Additionally, we offer training options whereby advanced computer and communication technologies are used keeping in mind the current training and learning habits. We endeavor to make the trainings independent of time and space. Today, we see that there are many educational institutions and various departments where students are trained to take part in the aviation sector.” By way of this conference, various language training institutions came together with the Language and Employment Departments of  Turkish Airlines, and reflected upon the significance and necessity of training human resources who speak a second foreign language in addition to English.

Through the presentations made by many language experts from within the sector, participants were provided with current information on various topics. The presentation titled “Language Education for Specific Purposes in Aviation: Language Skills Expectations and Needs of Aviation Sector” delivered by instructors of Turkish Aviation Academy Hülya Arınık and Rana İnal, was well received. Chief of Cabin Employment Unit Kamil Öz and Specialist in Cockpit Employment Unit Halil İbrahim Mollaibrahimoğlu from Human Resources Directorate of Turkish Airlines offered enlightening information on the importance of language in the cockpit and cabin employment. They answered questions regarding employment, language assessment and exams. Tülin Uluçay, a cabin instructor from Flight Training Directorate, focused on the importance of language in the trainings of cabin crew. She enhanced her speech by sharing her experiences.

In addition to the rewarding and intense workshop and presentations the two-day conference, was also enriched with the rich array of social activities. The conference ended with the Director of Turkish Aviation Academy Kemal Yüksek presenting certificates to the speakers and a group photo shooting.