eCite Digital Repository

A discourse on teaching and learning of maritime English in the context of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds


Schriever, UG, A discourse on teaching and learning of maritime English in the context of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, Proceedings of the 17th International Maritime English Conference, 4-7 October, Marseille, France, pp. 1-14. (2005) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

Not available


The ethnic and linguistic make-up of international seafarers has undergone some profound changes over the past half century or so.

It is a fact that the learning of English as a second language comes easier to some than to others. There is clearly the factor of personal language learning aptitude, but other aspects play a role also. If the linguistic background of a person lies in the Teutonic language branch then he or she will generally have little difficulty in grasping English relatively fast. More challenging is the learning of the tongue for someone from one of the other five branches of the Indo-European languages such as Indian, Persic, Celtic, Graeco-Latin or Slavonic. Harder still is the acquisition of English for persons whose mother tongue belongs to the families of Altaic, Sino-Tibetan or Afro-Asiatic languages.

Where the usage of a codified language - as in the "Standard Maritime Communication Phrases (SMCP)" - is concerned such fundamental differences may seem of little consequence as phrases are short and simple in terms of language structure. However, even here pronunciation remains a serious problem with some speakers from a NESB. More importantly, miscommunication can occur due to the fact that language is not just a code. Communication is embedded within culture and therefore culturally orientated.

This paper is trying to shed some light on the difficulties and problems some learners of English are confronted with and to what degree seafarers of different ranks should be competent in the four linguistic macro skills

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:maritime communication, language learning against cultural background, ownership of a language, English for special purposes, coded language
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Other language, communication and culture
Research Field:Other language, communication and culture not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication across languages and culture
UTAS Author:Schriever, UG (Dr Ulf Schriever)
ID Code:82811
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:NC Ports and Shipping
Deposited On:2013-02-19
Last Modified:2013-02-19

Repository Staff Only: item control page