EASA has published Commission Regulation (EU) No 2015/340 ATCO.B.045 that contains new requirements concerning language training to maintain proficiency levels and avoid skills erosion between testing cycles.
ATCO.B.045 – Language training
(a) Air navigation service providers shall make available language training to maintain the required level of language proficiency of air traffic controllers to: (1) holders of language proficiency endorsement at operational level (level four); (2) licence holders without the opportunity to apply their skills on a regular basis in order to maintain their language skills.
(b) Language training may also be made available in the form of continuous training.
AMC1 ATCO.B.045 – Language training
(a) Language training should contain communication in a job-related context particularly to handle abnormal and emergency situations and conduct non-routine coordination with colleagues, crews and technical staff.
(b) Emphasis should be placed on listening comprehension, speaking interaction and vocabulary building.
GM1 ATCO.B.045 – Language training
While it is true that many licence holders regularly have prolonged and extensive opportunities to practice – and so to maintain – their language proficiency, it is also true that a purely routine use of the language through phraseology, standard procedures and limited social contact only maintains a restricted core usage of the language which might be quite inadequate for managing unexpected and abnormal situations. Research shows that language proficiency erosion (language attrition) occurs rapidly over time; the lower the initial level, the faster the rate of erosion unless systematic strategies and a high degree of motivation counter this trend. It is very well documented that one’s language and communicative proficiency, even in one’s native language, deteriorates sharply under stress, therefore, it is recommended that licence holders participate in available language training.
GM2 ATCO.B.045 – Language training
Training for language proficiency skills may be delegated to language training organisations with knowledge in the field of aviation.
from Commission Regulation (EU) No 2015/340