John, P., Björkroth, P., & Noble, A. (2013). Making SMCP count!. In International Maritime English Conference (IMLA-IMEC) (S. 15). Istanbul (Turkey): Piri Reis University (Istanbul, Turkey). Abgerufen von http://imla.co/sites/default/files/imec25.pdf (Original work published 09/2013)
Gustafsson’s (2004)1 linguistic scrutiny of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCP) reveals, amongst other characteristics, that almost 900 of the 2,500 so-called “content words” appear only once in the document offering “no support from repetition in the learning task” (ibid. p.179). The accusation that the SMCP are difficult to learn is a criticism often leveled at the phrases. Indeed, teachers of Maritime English frequently struggle to find an optimum means to encourage learning of this particular aspect of the syllabus. The aim of the SMCP is, however, to promote and enhance safety at sea through concise, unambiguous communication and, as a result, knowledge and use of the phrases are required by the IMO Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW). Such justifiable and laudable motives are, one would think, enough to encourage any cadet “worth his or her salt” to master the SMCP. Experience in many MET institutions proves otherwise however.This paper suggests that classroom “low-fi” simulation of bridge team interaction may be used as an innovative means of encouraging and developing competent use of English, including SMCP, during onboard communication. In December 2012, the first of a proposed series of simulations was conducted at Novia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, Jade University of Applied Sciences in Germany and Antwerp Maritime Academy in Belgium. This paper describes the methodology used for the simulation and then goes on to analyse aspects of the data gathered. Using John’s2 (2013) method of analysis, a system of quantifying the content in utterances is applied to highlight technical language and, in particular, SMCP content words. Questions arising from the communication flows produced may have pedagogical implications: does, for example, increased use of the SMCP result in less ambiguity and ultimately greater communicative precision?