Extending the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) with our research and expertise

The Global Scale of English builds on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), extending the number and range of Learning Objectives – or ‘Can Do Statements’ – that are included in the CEFR, and providing information to support a far more granular scale.

Whereas the CEFR describes attainment in six broad bands from A1 (low basic) to C2 (fully proficient), the GSE uses a standardised, granular scale from 10 to 90, so learners can see the step-by-step progress they are making and maintain motivation.

Our Research

The Global Scale of English Research Series

The papers in this series will cover a wide range of research projects, which aim to objectively explore fundamental components of the GSE.

In our mission to improve learner outcomes, we are focused on providing empirically valid evidence to support our work and in doing so to significantly enhance the advancement of English through ministries, institutions and teachers around the world.

These papers aim to provide that evidence and we welcome feedback from others working in the same fields of language teaching, learning and assessment.  

gse research

On Raising Standards

In a recent Pearson English survey, 90% of teachers believe that such a standard is needed. There is a lack of consistency among countries and even among institutions within the same country in success measures, curriculum and pedagogy. Not surprisingly, teachers around the world recognise the potential of a single global standard for teaching English. 

Our Expertise

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

We have an expanding programme of collaboration with external researchers in universities all over the world. Our Technical Advisory Group comprises experts from language testing, psychometrics and teaching who provide feedback, advice and critical assessment.

The independent group of experts guides the work of Pearson English in developing the Global Scale of English and the GSE Learning Objectives. They also have oversight of the Pearson English suite of English language tests, including PTE Academic and Progress.

The GSE TAG serves to ensure that Pearson’s internal standards are aligned with best international practice (for example; ALTE code of Practice, APA code of conduct, Council of Europe’s Manual for Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR, EALTA Guidelines for Good Practice, ILTA Guidelines for Practice, etc.). The TAG also helps Pearson ensure it meets provisions set down by external authorities such as OFQUAL, DIAC and the UK Home Office.

The GSE TAG consists of key stakeholders from the academic and practitioner communities. This enables them to give us insight into external developments in the markets and also, where appropriate, act as advocates for Pearson in those communities.