The Global Scale of English: A decade of innovation in language education

Pearson Languages
A group of women celebrating with confetti
Reading time: 4 minutes

This month marks 10 years since the launch of the Global Scale of English (GSE) and what a journey it has been. As we celebrate this important milestone, it’s time to reflect on everything that has been achieved over the past decade and to take pride in the work that has contributed to the advancement of language learning, teaching and assessment around the world.  

10 years of the GSE
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What is the Global Scale of English? 

The GSE is both a proficiency scale and a language framework designed to provide a detailed understanding of learners' English levels. It is the result of extensive global research and goes beyond other language measurement tools, such as the CEFR, to offer unparalleled insights into learners' skills.  

The GSE ensures precise learner placement and measurable progress tracking. It provides tangible insights into learners' English language competencies, boosting motivation and confidence.   
  
Accurately place learners: Easily pinpoint reading, writing, listening and speaking skills on the simple 10-90 scale.

Measure and fast-track progress: Learning objectives describing what learners 'can do' at each point on the scale enable the creation of personalized learning journeys, short-term learning goals and the monitoring of progress towards these goals.  
  
In just a decade, the GSE has grown to support educators, learners and businesses across diverse learning stages and languages. Now, with the Global Scale of Languages (GSL), it also supports learners of French, German, Italian and Spanish. 

The evolution of the GSE 

From the initial set of 100 new GSE Learning Objectives, we now have almost 4,000 for all types of learners, from pre-primary to adults learning English for academic study and work. Our resources include comprehensive grammar and vocabulary databases, text analysis software and job-specific tools, all aligned to the GSE.  

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of thousands of people around the world. This includes researchers, psychometricians and the 6,000+ teachers who collaborated with us to rate and validate the new learning objectives. 

Key milestones 

The GSE's journey is marked by many key milestones that highlight its growth and impact on global language education. Here are but a few notable achievements to showcase how far the GSE has come.

Plans and frameworks: The GSE resources provide guidance and support for the language learning process. Key educational frameworks, including Pre-Primary Learning Objectives, Young Learner Learning Objectives, Adult Learning Objectives, Academic Learning Objectives and Professional Learning Objectives, have been developed to help support English teaching in all contexts and for all ages. Educators can use these frameworks to deliver effective lessons, plan curriculums, shape learning and develop lessons further.

Recognition and awards: Recognition for the GSE by other education bodies such as the Council of Europe (CEFR), EAQUALS, NEAS and ACCET has strengthened its reputation within the worldwide education community. Furthermore, the GSE's nomination for the British Council ELTons Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources in 2020 further demonstrates its value and growing recognition.

Tools and applications: Teachers and students can benefit from the GSE Toolkit and GSE Text Analyzer. These tools provide helpful resources for educators and learners to make the most of the GSE. The GSE Job Profiles tool is an innovative resource that connects language learning with specific job requirements.

Global Scale of Languages expansion: It doesn’t just stop with English either. The GSE's expansion now includes the Global Scale of Languages (GSL) for French, German, Spanish and Italian, demonstrating our commitment to supporting language learners and educators across multiple languages.

Conclusion 

The 10-year anniversary of the Global Scale of English represents a significant milestone in language education. The GSE, a key part of Pearson's learning programs, aims to provide precise, accurate, and personalized learning for students worldwide. We look forward to another decade of supporting learners, educators and businesses. 

Find out about the GSE today and how it can enhance your educational journey.

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    A key resource

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    Adapting to feedback and continuous improvement

    When we introduced the new curriculum in the 2014-2015 academic year, we received extensive feedback from both students and teachers on nearly every aspect – materials, midterms, quizzes, pace and more.  During my five-year tenure as director, we continually refined our curriculum and targeted specific facets of the curriculum each year for enhancement. For instance, one year we focused on assessment methods, while another year was devoted to teacher professional development. We applied a similar strategy to our German, French and Russian language programs, ensuring they understood our rationale and adopted comparable approaches in their curriculum development.

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    Here's to the GSE – I am grateful for its existence; it’s made a huge impact on my life. Happy birthday!

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    The Global Scale of English: A decade of innovation in language education

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 4 minutes

    This month marks 10 years since the launch of the Global Scale of English (GSE) and what a journey it has been. As we celebrate this important milestone, it’s time to reflect on everything that has been achieved over the past decade and to take pride in the work that has contributed to the advancement of language learning, teaching and assessment around the world.