Why Maritime English?

As it stands there are no recognised international or European standards for Maritime English. There are only practices and guidelines.

The shipping industry has a globalized market employing crew from multiple nations across the world.

Review of the arguments from the recent IMO meetings (IMO MSC, 2006) considering MSC 82/15/2 and MSC 82/15/3 had identified that 'there is a compelling need to promote a high level of working maritime English language skills' (Ziarati, 2006). For further research see the research section or visit our website www.c4ff.co.uk

According to recent IMO statistics 80% of accidents taking place at sea are caused by human error, with half due to poor communication.

It has therefore been concluded that maritime English must be focused and relevant to the candidate’s role in the industry as well as being unambiguous and simple.

MarTEL has established a set of standards by transfer of innovation from existing English language standards and maritime English model courses such as IMO SMCP. MarTEL aims to provide standards equivalent to those held by TOEFL (Teaching of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) which is specific to the maritime industry and in line with Common European Framework of Reference (CEF).

MarTEL recognises that each rank and class of seafarer’s competence in Maritime English is in accordance with his/her professional responsibility. For example Chief Engineers must have good reading and writing skills, but a lower ability in speaking may be tolerated. However, a Chief-mate should have higher levels of competency in speaking skills.

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