Malila Carvalho de Almeida Prado, Daniela Terenzi, Patricia Tosqui-Lucks, Ziqian Zhou

DOI Number
First page
Last page


This paper describes collaborative work by two higher education institutions in Brazil and China that joined forces to build a corpus with a view to investigating the language of aircraft maintenance documentation for teaching and lexicography purposes. The corpus consists of three languages, including English, with Chinese and Portuguese still under construction. The paper opens with an overview of language-related studies in the aircraft maintenance field, drawing attention to this specific niche and its demands. It discusses trials already performed with the English and Chinese sub-corpora, challenges faced, and the importance of task-sharing in multidisciplinary teams. It emphasizes the need to combine linguistics and professional expertise not only to develop materials for the aviation industry but also to assist the development of trainees who can experience a professional setting during their education. The corpus will be used in (among others) preparing pedagogical material for teaching not only aircraft maintenance personnel but also pilots and air traffic controllers. The corpus will also serve as a lexicographic resource for designing a visual dictionary with collocates and constructing trilingual glossaries. 


multilingual corpus, aviation English, teaching, lexicography

Full Text:



Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe. 2021. ASD-STE Simplified Technical English Specification STE-100. International specification for the preparation of technical documentation in a controlled language. Issue 8, April 2021. Brussels.

Almeida, Dilso and Malila Prado. 2011. “Desenvolvendo o conteúdo programático de um curso de inglês para mecânicos de aeronaves com base em um corpus DIY: um estudo de caso” [Developing the syllabus of an aircraft maintenance English course based on a DIY corpus: a case study]. Aviation in Focus 2 (2): 6–20.

Anthony, Lawrence. 2022. Antconc (Version 4.2.0) [computer software]. Tokyo: Waseda University. Available at:

白秀敏 [Bai, Xiumin]. 2023. “民航术语翻译研究的现状与展望:对象、内容与方法” [Present Status and Prospect of studies on civil aviation terminology: objects, contents and methods]. China Terminology 25(1): 74-87.

Bhatia, Vijay K. 2008. “Genre Analysis, ESP and Professional Practice.” English for Specific Purposes 27 (2): 161–74.

———. 2017. Critical Genre Analysis: Investigating Interdiscursive Performance in Professional Practice. New York: Routledge.

———. 2022. “World Englishes for Specific Purposes: A Multi-perspective View.” World Englishes 41 (4): 584–95.

Bocorny, Ana Eliza Pereira. 2008. “Descrição das unidades especializadas poliléxicas nominais no âmbito da aviação: Subsídios para o ensino de inglês para fins específicos.” [Description of noun phrases in the aviation field: subsidies to the teaching of ESP]. Doctoral Dissertation. Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.

———. 2011. “Panorama dos estudos sobre a linguagem da aviação.” Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada 11 (4): 963–86.

Borowska, Anna P. 2017. Avialinguistics: The Study of Language for Aviation Purposes. Warschauer Studien zur Germanistik und zur Angewandten Linguistik, vol. 29. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Bowker, Lynne and Jennifer Pearson (Eds.). 2002. Working with Specialized Language. .London: Routledge.

Čarapić, Dragana. 2022. “Importance of Translation in Teaching and Learning English for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering: A Case Study.” Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, October, 261–76.

Carvalho, Yuli Souza and Rozane Rodrigues Rebechi. 2021. “Inteligibilidade e convencionalidade em textos de divulgação da área médica em português brasileiro [Readability and Conventionality in Expository Texts in Brazilian Portuguese].” Revista de Estudos da Linguagem 29 (2): 959.

Chatzi, Anna V., Wayne Martin, Paul Bates, and Patrick Murray. 2019. “The Unexplored Link between Communication and Trust in Aviation Maintenance Practice.” Aerospace 6 (6): 66.

Chervak, Steven, and Collin, Drury. 2003. “Effects of job instruction on maintenance task performance.” Occupational Ergonomics, 3(2): 121–132.

Davies, Mark. 2004. British National Corpus (from Oxford University Press). Available online at

Drury, Colin G., and Jiao Ma. 2003. “Do Language Barriers Result in Aviation Maintenance Errors?” In Proceedings of the 47th Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting.

Dupont, Gordon. 1997. “The Dirty Dozen Errors in Maintenance.” In Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on Human Factors in Maintenance and Inspection: Human Error in Aviation Maintenance. Washington, DC.

Embryany, Fairistya R. 2020. “A Needs Analysis of English Learning for Aircraft Maintenance Students. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Lifelong Learning and Education for Sustainability (ICLLES 2019), 35-39. Dordrecht: Atlantis Press.

Friginal, Eric, Elizabeth Mathews, and Jennifer Roberts. 2020. English in Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy. London:: Bloomsbury Academic.

Friginal, Eric and Jennifer Roberts. 2022. “Corpora for Materials Design.” In The Routledge Handbook of Corpora and English Language Teaching and Learning, edited by Reka R. Jablonkai and Eniko Csomay, 131–46. London: Routledge.Gabrielatos, Costas and Simone Sarmento. 2006. “Central Modals in an Aviation Corpus: Frequency and Distribution.” Letras de Hoje 41 (2): 215–40.

International Civil Aviation Organization. 2010. Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements, (2nd ed.). Montreal: International Civil Aviation Organization.

Kilgarriff, Adam, Vít. Baisa, Jan Bušta, Miloš Jakubíček, Vojtéch Kovář, Jan Michelfeit, Pavel Rychlý, and Vít Suchomel. 2014. "The Sketch Engine: Ten Years On." Lexicography 1: 7-36.

Li, Zhizhuo, Min Zhu, and Yali Zhou. 2018. “The Translator’s Subjectivity in Aviation English Translation.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation 4 (3): 46-51.

Liu, Hui. 2020. “The Interplay between Terminology and Translation: Taking Terminology Translation in the Field of Civil Aviation from English into Chinese as an Example.” Terminologia e Traduzione, Publifarum 33: 1–5.

Ma, Jiao, Colin G. Drury, and Clara V. Marin. 2009. “Language Error in Aviation Maintenance: Quantifying the Issues and Interventions in Four World Regions.” International Journal of Aviation Psychology 20 (1): 25–47.

Mathews, Elizabeth. 2020. “How Incomplete Language Standards Threaten Aviation.” Aviation Week, March 3, 2020.

McEnery, Tony and Andrew Hardie. 2012. Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Niamsuwan, P M. 2017. “A Study of Needs Analysis of English Language for Aircraft Heavy Maintenance Mechanics.” Master’s Thesis, Thammasat University, Phra Nakhon.

Peixoto, Rafaela Araújo Jordão Rigaud. 2020a. “Nas asas da tradução: Elaboração de glossário de meteorologia aeronáutica.” Revista CBTecle 2 (1): 563–82.

Peixoto, Rafaela Araújo Jordão Rigaud. 2020b. “Aeronautical Meteorology Glossary: A Discussion on Term Definition in the ANACpedia Termbase.” The Especialist 41 (3): 00-00.

Prado, Malila Carvalho de Almeida. 2019. "A relevância da pragmática no ensino do inglês aeronáutico: um estudo baseado em corpora [The importance of pragmatics in the teaching of aviation English: a corpus-based study]." Doctoral Dissertation. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo.

Prado, Malila, and Daniela Terenzi. 2022. "Development of aircraft maintenance glossaries in higher education: exchanging knowledge in international encounters." XIV Encontro Nacional de Tradutores e VIII Encontro Internacional de Tradutores - ENTRAD. Porto Alegre: UFRGS.

Prado, Malila, and Patricia Tosqui-Lucks. 2019. "Designing the Radiotelephony Plain English Corpus (RTPEC): A specialized spoken English language corpus towards a description of aeronautical communications in non-routine situations." Research in Corpus Linguistics, 113-128. doi:

Scott, Mike. 2016. Wordsmith Tools, Version 7. Stroud: Lexical Analysis Software.

Tagnin, Stella Esther Ortweiler. 2015. “Corpus-Driven Glossaries in Translator Training Courses.” Oslo Studies in Language 7 (1): 00-00.

Tarone, Elaine. 2005. “English for Specific Purposes and Interlanguage Pragmatics.” In Interlanguage Pragmatics: Exploring Institutional Talk, edited by Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig and Beverly Hartford, 157–74. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Terenzi, Daniela. 2014. “Princípios norteadores para o planejamento de cursos de línguas para propósitos específicos em curso superior tecnológico (manutenção de aeronaves): Considerando visões de aprendizes, instituição formadora e empregadores English translation].” Doctoral Dissertation, Universidade Federal de São Carlos.

Terenzi, Daniela. and Augusto-Navarro, Eliane Hércules. (2018) “Planejamento de cursos de língua para propósitos específicos (instrumental) em cursos superiores tecnológicos: reflexões e estabelecimento de princípios norteadores com base em curso de tecnologia de manutenção de aeronaves [English translation]” In Planejamento de cursos de línguas: Traçando rotas, explorando caminhos, edited by Rita de Cássia Barbirato and Vera Lúcia Teixeira da Silva , 17–48. Campinas: Pontes.

Terenzi, Daniela. 2020. “A linguística de corpus como meio de envolvimento de alunos de curso tecnológico com pesquisas na área de língua inglesa.” Simpósio Internacional de Ensino de Língua, Literatura e Interculturalidade (SIELLI) 2020, Goiás..

Terenzi, Daniela. 2021. “Overcoming Challenges in English for Aviation Maintenance: Technical Publications Selection for the Construction of a Corpus and Its Use to Teach Language Aspects Considering Learners Needs.” Open Journal of Applied Sciences 11 (10): 1122–34.

Terenzi, Daniela and Maria Claudia Bontempi Pizzi. 2020. “The Relevance of Linguistic and Professional Knowledge as Contributing Factors for Technical Translation in the Area of Aircraft Maintenance.” The Especialist 41 (3): 00-00.

Tosqui-Lucks, Patricia and Malila Prado. 2021. "Corpora de inglês aeronáutico: desafios para o estudo da área e proposta de trabalho conjunto." Tradterm 37 (1): 148-174.

Trimble, Louis. 1985. English for Science and Technology: A Discourse Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

文军 [Wen Jun] and 李培甲 [Peijia Li]. 2011. “航空航天英语术语翻译研究 [A study on the translation of Aerospace English Terminology].” 广东外语外贸大学学报 [Journal of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies] 03: 27-31+42.

White, Alan Robert. 2018. "A review of an aircraft maintenance related English writing course." CreTech 2018 6th International Conference on Creative Technology 24th-26th July. Bangkok: Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep. 186-190.

Widdowson, Henry. 1998. “Communication and community: the pragmatics of ESP.” English for Specific Purposes 17 (1): 3-14.

Zhang, Genggeng, Eric Friginal, Elizabeth Mathews, and Jennifer Roberts. 2020. “The Language of Aviation: Corpus-Based Analysis of Aviation Discourse.” In English in Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy, edited by Eric Friginal and Jennifer Roberts, 111–50. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Zhao, Lizhu. 2014. “Application of Small Corpora in ESP Teaching: A Case Study of Aeronautical English Teaching.” Journal of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Social Sciences Edition) 2: 89-92.

Zuppardo, Maria Carolina. 2013. “A linguagem da aviação: um estudo de manuais aeronáuticos baseado na Análise Multidimensional.” ReVEL 11(21): 5-25. [].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2334-9182 (Print)
ISSN 2334-9212 (Online)