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GSE and Corporate Language: Pathways to Fast-Track Learning

Sep 13, 2023

Language proficiency assessment is a critical element of any corporate language program, but how can assessment results be used to fast-track learning? Through scoring results, learning objectives, and other tools, the GSE provides pathways to creating customized, targeted approaches to language training that can streamline mastery of specific learning goal processes.

Interpreting English language test results with the Global Scale of English (GSE) imparts valuable data that can be used for a variety of purposes that benefit HR managers, students, and teachers. Designed by Pearson, the GSE is a standardized, granular scale that measures English language proficiency.

The scale breaks down the six CEFR language levels on a scale of 10-90, with specific learning goals for each point that show skills to target next to improve the learner’s level and continue progressing. It’s an exceptionally powerful tool to motivate learners and provide detailed learning progress tracking to language program stakeholders.

Learn how to find the right English proficiency tests to assess your employees’ language skills.

Tracking progress with the GSE

The CEFR, an international standard for describing language ability, uses a six-level classification of English proficiency, ranging from A1 to C2. While learning objectives are tied to each level, the instruction needed to progress can widely vary due to many factors, such as students’ age, native language, ability, etc. The GSE was developed to extend the scale and range of learning objectives to support a more granular approach.

One benefit of this extension is more incremental language progress tracking. It can take years for an English language learner to progress to the next level on the CEFR scale, which can be disheartening. Using the GSE scale, learners and other program stakeholders can see micro-progressions, or small steps forward that serve to motivate.

a graphic showing "Personalised Progress" tools of the GSE's proficiency scale, learning objectives, course materials, assessment and certification.
The GSE provides personalized insights into learners’ progress through the proficiency scale, learning objectives, and course materials, creating an informed pathway to progressing through language levels.

For teachers, the detailed scale and learning objectives provide tools for informed instruction. The GSE focuses on the four major areas of language learning: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, but learners can follow personalized pathways to develop the specific skills they need, fast-tracking their progress. Instructors can use the GSE to build lessons and curriculum, tailor content to specific student needs, and continually track student progress.

The GSE is a powerful tool for instruction for Bridge’s corporate language program teachers, used to create personalized learning pathways, assess student learning, and track student progress. Let’s look closer at how personalized learning pathways are developed.

Learn more about Bridge’s language program solutions, with options for live online English classes with global teachers.

Mapping GSE scores with competencies

Corporate language program students have specific skills to master, as they’re engaged in the program for distinct purposes tied to their role in the company. Rather than a general approach to learning English, they need a targeted approach to master those specific skills. Program efficiency depends on developing learning pathways unique to the needs of each learner.

An effective way the GSE can be used to fast-track mastery of those specific learning goals is by mapping GSE scores with targeted competencies within English language program curriculum materials. Bridge teachers map students’ GSE scores with competencies in each unit covered in course texts, and then design short, corporate-style language courses that can be completed in three to four months, delivering a set of particular competencies a student can acquire in that short timeframe.

This strategy allows language program students to focus on the specific competencies they need to master, streamlining the process and creating a syllabus that caters to these specific needs. In short, at Bridge, courses do not always start on page one of the course book. We can determine beforehand what material the student needs to learn, rather than re-teaching what they already know.

Learn about common challenges – and the solutions – for Business English learners.

a screenshot of the GSE teacher toolkit tabs.
The GSE Teacher Toolkit provides learner-specific goals, metrics, and micro-progressions at the click of a mouse.

The Teacher Toolkit

The GSE teacher toolkit is another important element of the GSE. It provides a framework for curriculum development and student progress tracking. Bridge teachers use the GSE teacher toolkit for targeted lessons, to personalize learning paths, and for curriculum development and design. Bridge courses are delivered online with live instruction through a state-of-the-art learning platform that includes Pearson’s My English Lab, integrating Pearson curriculum tools.

The GSE toolkit provides separate interactive tabs for learning objectives, grammar, vocabulary, and a text analyzer. Each tab provides a variety of specific topics, subjects, and evaluation criteria for each student. This tool allows teachers to maintain awareness of the progress, challenges, and goals of their students through each phase of assessment.

Using the GSE, instructors can set appropriate goals for their Business English students, access resources for relevant skill building such as writing emails or learning industry jargon, provide targeted feedback, and measure progress across the four skills categories.

The GSE toolkit includes:

  • GSE learning objectives – used for establishing goals or identifying what needs to be mastered within a level to make progress
  • GSE grammar and vocabulary – leveled appropriately to the learner
  • Coursebook recommendations – aligned to teaching criteria
  • GSE text analyzer – AI-driven tool to identify the proficiency levels of longer texts
Bridge's LPI (Language Performance Indicators) dashboard, showing language program data and analytics.
Bridge’s LPI (Language Performance Indicators) dashboard provides language program students and stakeholders with detailed data and analytics.

Learn how organizations can support their English language learners in the workplace to maximize program effectiveness.

GSE and professional English language proficiency

While the GSE is widely used in many English language learning contexts, learning objectives for professional English are one of several sets of learning objectives developed for specific groups of learners. This set of objectives is aimed at learners using English for work or professional purposes and covers the kinds of English skills and tasks necessary in occupations in a variety of industries.

For learners, the detailed profession-specific learning objectives provide targeted training in the skills they need that go beyond basic English language acquisition. For HR professionals, these objectives provide an improved understanding of the specific English skills required for particular jobs, as well as the current skill levels of employees performing or applying for particular jobs.

a screenshot of the GSE Teacher toolkit showing the job role option.
The Toolkit tailors micro-progressions based on topic, industry, and objective. From writing emails to managing teams, the toolkit provides astounding data for its users.

The GSE also includes GSE Job Profiles, which provide valuable information to ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teachers on English language skills needed for specific jobs. Using job descriptions from the O*NET database, each task in the job description is mapped to the GSE learning objectives for professional learners.

GSE learning objectives for professional English include a detailed model of student target performance relevant to the study of Business English. Target performance is mapped across a range of skills and domains, and built-in assessment tools provide teachers with additional tools to track performance and customize instruction as needed.

Pearson designed the GSE specifically to help instructors and stakeholders improve learning performance across all major aspects of language learning.

Incorporate the GSE into your corporate language program

The GSE is a powerful tool for any corporate language program. Creating a high standard of personalized instruction, the scale and other tools also provide an accurate means of tracking incremental language progressions of learner progress.

Mapping GSE scores with competencies covered in course texts creates personalized learning pathways that target the specific skills students need to master in shortened timeframes, streamlining learning progress and increasing program efficiency. This targeted approach, coupled with incremental progress tracking, motivates learners and provides language program sponsors assurance their program is operating at maximum efficiency.

Lastly, with GSE learning objectives created specifically for Business English students, learners will work to master skills specific to job roles, ensuring they are mastering the skills they need for their profession. Using the GSE in corporate language training ensures effective and efficient results.

Learn more about Bridge’s language assessment solutions.

Savannah Potter

Savannah is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience as a content creator, editor, and journalist. Currently specializing in culture writing with a focus on the digital nomad revolution, she enjoys finding where culture, business, and technology meet. "Early adopter, coffee aficionado, people person."