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The Establishment of a Framework of Communicative Competence of Seafarers: A Systematic Review


Fan, L and Fei, J and Schriever, U and Fan, S, The Establishment of a Framework of Communicative Competence of Seafarers: A Systematic Review, What is Next in Educational Research?, Sense Publishers, S Fan, J Fielding-Wells (ed), The Netherlands, pp. 223-248. ISBN 9789463005227 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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With the development of technology and automation of merchant vessels, ship losses have decreased significantly from 1% in 1912 to 0.149% in 2009 (Allianz, 2012). However, the number of accidents categorised as attributable to human elements has not decreased, in which communication failures represent one third of these elements (Trenkner, 2007). A review to date clearly shows that communication failures are one of the dominant contributing causes of accidents at sea (Ziarati, Ziarati, & «albaş, 2009). Under the International Regulations on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010), each Administration (flag state) shall require every company to ensure that at all times effective oral communication is maintained on board ships (IMO, 2011).

Almost 90% of all vessels under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) are presently crewed with multilingual personnel who, for various reasons, are often unable to communicate effectively with each other (Trenkner, 2009). Cultural differences can also impede effective communication and knowledge sharing (Fei, Chen, & Chen, 2009). Three major barriers have been identified in communication at sea including the difficulties of being proficient in Maritime English, inadequate awareness and understanding of diverse culture, and a lack of sociolinguistic ability in communication (Schriever, 2011). Language and culture are inextricably linked. The aim of cultural training is to develop strategies for predicting, understanding and resolving miscommunications. Training and teaching in language and communication skills are essential tools to support effective teamwork and promote a culture of safety (Alert, 2007). Pritchard (2011) emphasised that miscommunication may have negative effects on the morale of the crew and their working environment. It is clear that seafarersí communicative competence is becoming increasingly important for safe shipping.

Although the concept of communicative competence is a well-established concept, it is relatively new in the context of maritime education and training. No systematic research has been done to identify the concept of communicative competence in the shipping context. The structure and purposes of this chapter are to: (1) systematically review the development of the concept of communicative competence over the past decades, (2) identify components of communicative competence in the shipping setting, and (3) develop a framework of communicative competence for maritime education and training based on (1) and (2).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:maritime English, communicative competence, seafarers, effective communication
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Technical, further and workplace education
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:Water safety
UTAS Author:Fan, L (Mr Lidong Fan)
UTAS Author:Fei, J (Associate Professor Jiangang Fei)
UTAS Author:Schriever, U (Dr Ulf Schriever)
UTAS Author:Fan, S (Dr Frances Fan)
ID Code:110400
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Maritime and Logistics Management
Deposited On:2016-07-26
Last Modified:2021-07-05

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