Teaching English to Aircraft Maintenance Students: Challenges and Needs





Aviation English, English teachers, Challenges, Needs


Aviation English is a specialized language mainly used in aviation, such as in aircraft maintenance areas. Teaching Aviation English usually faces more challenges compared with teaching general English. It pays more attention to the specific needs of learners and the language in the context. Therefore, this study aimed to discuss the challenges of English teachers in teaching English to aircraft maintenance students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the three English teachers from three different aviation schools in Malaysia. The data were analyzed thematically and managed by ATLAS.ti software. Overall, the findings showed that the teachers face challenges in teaching and designing Aviation English materials, activities, and syllabi. It was revealed that there was a shortage of textbooks and materials on Aviation English. Another challenge is related to the student's motivation and language proficiency and teachers' excessive workload. Meanwhile, in terms of needs, they should have support in some aspects like teaching materials sources and Aviation English training. Besides that, there is a need for the teachers to collaborate with people from the industry in order to find out their requirements and revise the English course accordingly. The revealed challenges and needs would help the teachers and learning institutions develop solutions to fulfill the needs of the teachers and aviation students.

Author Biographies

Aina Suriani Mahmood, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Malaysia

Aina Suriani is a Ph.D. student at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Malaysia. She is also an English lecturer at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL, MIAT), and currently, she is on study leave to pursue her Ph.D. Her research interests include teaching methods, teaching and learning, pedagogy and education, and English for Specific Purposes.


Noor Saazai Mat Saad, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL, MIAT), Malaysia

Associate Prof. Dr. Noor Saazai Mat Saad is an English lecturer at the Faculty of Major Language Studies, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. Her teaching experience of 25 years covers both secondary school and tertiary level. Currently, she teaches the English language for Academic Purposes, Technology and Innovation in Education, Research Methods, and Data Analysis (Qualitative). Her research interests include innovation in teaching and learning, inclusive education, and teacher education. She has published books and papers on language, learning styles, strategies, and international students' learning experiences.

Nurhayati Mohd Nur, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Malaysia

Dr. Nurhayati Mohd Nur is a Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Department and currently serves as a Head of Research and Innovation at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL-MIAT). Her main research interests include ergonomics design, human factors, manufacturing processes, maintenance activities, quality management systems, and technical education.


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How to Cite

Mahmood, A. S., Saad, N. S. M., & Nur, N. M. (2023). Teaching English to Aircraft Maintenance Students: Challenges and Needs. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 3(1), 112–125. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijte.23317



Research Article