Intensive English training for future controllers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Since November 2017, we have the pleasure of providing training for students who, after completing an intensive English and ATC training programme, will start working for Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The students, who come from various Saudi Arabian cities and areas including Jeddah, Medina, Mecca and Riyadh, came to Entry Point North’s training facilities in Malmö for a two-year training programme to become air traffic controllers. This programme consists of a full year of English training followed by a year of ATC Initial training. This is the second time that we offer this training programme to students from Saudi Arabia, which is specifically developed to meet their training needs.

Initially, the students are given intensive English language training to be familiarised with writing, reading, speaking and listening in a daily context. Later, the focus is aviation English to best prepare them for their career, with a particular emphasis on confidence in speaking. The students have been divided into two groups based on their English level, which are often divided into even smaller groups for discussions and one-to-one training. Both groups receive multimedia lessons that introduce them to new topics and raise discussions that were previously unfamiliar to them. The English training is provided by highly qualified native-English-speaking teachers who have extensive experience with teaching the English language to adults in Europe and Australia. Both the students and the teachers have already seen great progress in the student’s skills.

“I have learned many things so far. How to speak confidently in front of a group and I also now think in English,”

– says Fahad Binounn, student from SANS.

To deepen the students’ understanding of the study material, the English training is conducted both internally in the classrooms at our training facilities and externally during study visits. In addition to providing the training, we have assigned the group a mentor who supports them 24/7 with practical issues.

After the students have completed their English training in October, they will move on to their Initial ATC training, which is tailored to SANS’s requirements while also being fully compliant with ICAO standards. After completing the Basic training, followed by APS, ADI (TWR) and APP courses, the students will graduate in September 2019.