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K-State Today

February 22, 2022

English Language Program develops aviation English course for Panamanian aeronaval forces

Submitted by English Language Program

The English Language Program, working with partners from K-State's Department of Aerospace Studies and K-State Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus, recently completed development of a course on English for Aviation through the U.S. Department of State's Online Professional English Network, or OPEN, Program.

The course was developed to be delivered as part of the Online Professional English Network, a program sponsored by the Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by FHI 360. The online course was developed to teach English specific to helicopter flight and maintenance to members of Panama's aeronaval security forces. This was a request of the regional English language officer of the U.S. Department of State, Dennis Yang, a foreign service specialist currently posted at the U.S. Embassy in Panama. The course content is openly licensed — CCBY 4.0 — and may be used by other aviators and aviation instructors around the world. 

This collaborative project was completed with contributions from three K-State programs/departments. Leena Chakrabarti, associate director for student services in the English Language Program, served as the principal investigator for the project. The English Language Program team consisted of Jolene McConnell, instructor, and April Darnell, instructor, as course developers; and Virginia Brunner-Livingston, instructor, and Ketty Reppert, associate director of academics, as technology experts. The main contributors to helicopter-related course content were Lt. Col. Garrett Hogan, department head/professor of aerospace studies, and Lt. Col. Paul Bozzo, assistant professor of aerospace studies. Austin Walden, assistant professor of aviation, and Lindsey Dreiling, executive director of aviation strategy, served as general aviation experts and facilitated access to the AVM Lab on the Salina campus. The team member to complete this team was Wendy Matthews, assistant director of special programs/sponsored students in the Office of International Programs, who was responsible for the budgetary end of the project. One of the things that makes this course unique is a welcome interview to the course by former university president Richard Myers, retired U.S. Air Force general, who served as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001-2005.

The K-State staff above worked closely with the OPEN Program's professional course development team at the U.S. Department of State's implementing partner for the OPEN Program, FHI 360.

The course is ready to be taught by April Darnell from the English Language Program and will span over eight weeks, March 7-May 27.

The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the State Department.