What is a language assessment body?
A language assessment body (short: LAB) is an organisation approved in accordance with the European aviation legal requirements of FCL.055 and the applicable means of compliance (AMC).
An LAB is somehow similar to an ATO (approved training organisation), but the main focus lies on providing standardised exams, not training. Just like the ATO has the oversight over its flight instructors, the LAB supervises its language proficiency examiners (LPE), language proficiency linguistic experts (LPLE) and the standardised testing materials.
LAB-106 is an approved language assessment body in Austria, therefore operating under the direct oversight of the Austrian civil aviation authority Austro Control GmbH.
Every one of our English language proficiency tests for pilots consists of two parts: The Interview and the Semi-Direct test.
The Semi Direct Language Test
A computer program randomly selects a number of questions from an authority approved pool of questions.
The questions concern typical aeronautical topics and give you the opportunity to show the language examiners your best language skills.
In addition to the Semi-Direct test you are also required to talk with your language examiner.
This is a free conversation of at least 15 minutes duration and will also involve typical aeronautical topics.
It takes approximately 60 minutes to complete both parts of the language test, including a short briefing and time to complete the paperwork.
Who is involved in your language proficiency test?
The LPE is an operational expert (such as pilot, air traffic controller, flight instructor or examiner) especially trained for the purpose of language proficiency tests.
He/she will also conduct the interview - so you'll be talking to an operational expert about aeronautical topics.
The LPLE is the linguistic expert involved in the language proficiency testing process. At least one LPE and one LPLE rate your performance - in cases of doubt a second or third LPLE will also listen to your language test.
LPLEs are typically English language teachers or native speakers.
The LAB is responsible for the testing materials, the processes, oversight over the examiners and linguistic experts, making decisions about your final level, documentation of the results and all the necessary communication / coordination with the competent civil aviation authorities.
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