Course Topics

  • 2.1 Adequate knowledge of the English language to enable the officer to use Engineering publications and to perform Engineering duties
  • 2.1.1 Oral Communication
  • 2.1.2 Written Communication and Grammer
  • 2.1.3 Comprehension and speech
  • 2.1.4 Technical report writing
  • 2.1.5 Library / Project work

2.1 Adequate knowledge of the English language to enable the officer to use Engineering publications and to perform Engineering duties



  • Defining Maritime English in the context of ESP (English for Specialist Purposes).
  • Training in complying with English standards required in IMO™  Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers ( STCW™95) regarding the need for Watch keepers at sea to communicate effectively in English.
  • Demonstration of some teaching techniques that will encourage interactive classroom activities.
  • Raising awareness of the need to include specific maritime educational material in an English communication syllabus, for example: IMO* Conventions: e.g SOLAS (Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974), MARPOL (Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from ships 1973/1978), STCW™95.
  • Broadening perspective regarding the needs of seafarers to communicate-in English- with other ships, Port State Control Inspectors, Pilots, Vessel Traffic Services, Tugs, Emergency and Salvage personnel, etc.
  • Introducing, and providing practice in teaching IMO™ Standard Marine Communication Phrases™: (SMCP: November 2001).
  • Raising awareness regarding communicative, trainee centred teaching methodology, as relevant to teaching maritime topics in English.
  • Providing new information and teaching resources, including authentic materials to extend learning strategies: for example: documentary and industrial video, international shipping industry journals and IMO publications

1.1. Definition of Maritime English.

Word originated from Latin word ‘maritimus’ from mare sea.

It is also an English language used by maritime industry and its content is specifically different from general English. It can be regarded as English for special purpose. For its specific content, IMO(International Maritime Organization) has published SMPC (Standard Marine Communication Phrase).Here are some example of its specific words; (heave to, haul in,

bulwark, garboard strake, halyard, wharf, dead reckoning, and such archaisms as abeam, aloft, ashore, hard-a-starboard)

  1. of or relating to navigation, shipping, etc; seafaring
  2. of, relating to, near, or living near the sea
  3. (of a climate) having small temperature differences between summer and winter; equable

1.2.Position of the SMCP in maritime practice

The Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCP) has been compiled:

  • to assist in the greater safety of navigation and of the conduct of the ship,
  • to standardize the language used in communication for navigation at sea, in port-approaches, in waterways, harbours and on board vessels with multilingual crews, and
  • to assist maritime training institutions in meeting the objectives mentioned above.

These phrases are not intended to supplant or contradict the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 or special local rules or recommendations made by IMO concerning ships' routeing, neither are they intended to supersede the International Code of Signals, and when applied in ship’s external communication this has to be done in strict compliance with the relevant radiotelephone procedures as set out in the ITU Radio Regulations. The SMCP, as a collection of individual phrases, should not be regarded as any kind of technical manual providing operational instructions.

The SMCP meets the requirements of the STCW Convention, 1978, as revised, and of the SOLAS Convention, 1974, as revised, regarding verbal communications; moreover, the phrases cover the relevant communication safety aspects laid down in these Conventions. Use of the SMCP should be made as often as possible in preference to other wording of similar meaning; as minimum requirement users should adhere as closely as possible to their wording in relevant situations. In this way they are intended to become an acceptable safety language, using English for the verbal interchange of intelligence among

individuals of all maritime nations on the many and varied occasions when precise meanings and translations are in doubt, increasingly evident under modern conditions at sea.

1.3.Organization of the SMCP

The SMCP is divided into External Communication Phrases and On-board Communication Phrases as far as its application is concerned, and into PART A and PART B as to its status within the framework of the STCW, 1978, as revised.

PART A covers phrases applicable in external communications and which may thus be regarded as the replacement of the Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary, 1985, which is requested to be

used and understood by the STCW Code, 1995, Table A-II/I. This part was enriched by essential phrases concerning ship handling and safety of navigation to be used in on-board communications, particularly when the Pilot is on the bridge, as required by Regulation 14(4), Chapter V, SOLAS 1974, as revised.

PART B calls attention to other on-board standard safety-related phrases which, supplementary to PART A, may also be regarded useful for Maritime English instruction.

Position of the SMCP in Maritime Education and Training The SMCP does not intend to provide a comprehensive Maritime English syllabus which is expected to cover a far wider range of language skills to be achieved in the fields of vocabulary, grammar, discourse abilities, etc., than the SMCP could ever manage..

1.4.Communicative features of SMCP.

  • avoiding synonyms
  • avoiding contracted forms
  • Providing fully worded answers to "yes/no"-questions and basic alternative answers to sentence questions
  • providing one phrase for one event, and
  • Structuring the corresponding phrases after the principle: identical invariable plus variable.

 1.5. Typographical conventions


  • ( ) brackets indicate that the part of the message enclosed within the brackets may be added where relevant;
  • / oblique strokes indicate that the items on either side of the stroke are alternatives;
  • ... dots indicate that the relevant information is to be filled in where the dots occur;
  • (italic letters) indicate the kind of information requested;
  • ~ tildes stand for the invariable part of an aforementioned standard phrase which is followed by a variable addendum.