Communication challenges to maritime English education and training in China in the modern shipping world
Fan, L and Fei, J and Schriever, U and Fan, S, Communication challenges to maritime English education and training in China in the modern shipping world, Papers and Presentations of the 2015 Master Mariners Congress, 13-15 April 2015, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 1-10. (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Effective communication can help enhance the quality of our personal and professional lives. Ineffective communication, however, may lead to problems or embarrassment and even to serious consequences. In the international maritime labour market, the employment of seafarers continues shifting from the traditional maritime countries of Western Europe, Japan and North America to the Far East, the Indian sub-continent and Eastern Europe. Consequently, multilingual and multicultural seafarers working on the same ship have become dominant in the world’s ocean-going merchant fleet, and the need for effective communication among multilingual and multicultural seafarers is becoming more prominent than ever. It is not only the multilingual but also the multicultural characters of crew members that lead to miscommunication on board. Research shows that communication failures are causal to one third of maritime accidents. As a result, the Manila Amendments 2010 laid great stress on communicative competence when compared with previous amendments. As non-native English speaking countries have been supplying most seafarers for the world merchant fleet in recent years, the teaching and learning of English as a lingua franca presents a significant challenge. In its attempt to gain more share from the international maritime labour market, China has been making effort to improve the competence of its seafarers, in which communicative competence is considered a critical element. This paper endeavours to examine the challenges that maritime education and training (MET) institutions in China may face in their efforts to improve Chinese seafarers‟ ability in maritime English communication on board ships. Recommendations will be made to MET institutions in China to improve their maritime English teaching and assessment practices so that individual’s communicative competence is developed and emphasised.
Refereed Conference Paper
Chinese seafarers, maritime labor market, maritime English, communication