Pearson and busuu partner to launch Global Scale of English test (GSET)

  • Pearson partners with busuu, the world’s largest online platform for language learning, to transform the future of language measurement
  • GSET represents a major milestone in the race to offer accessible, affordable language assessment

London, Tuesday 30th September – Today Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has announced a partnership with language learning platform, busuu, to launch GSET, its latest online English language assessment test which is fully calibrated to the recently launched Global Scale of English - the world's first truly global standard for the measurement of English proficiency.

The GSET is launched via its English division, Pearson English, in an exclusive six-month launch partnership with busuu, the world's largest platform for language learning. The GSET provides learners with an online test, which demonstrates their level of English language proficiency in an accessible way and at an affordable price wherever they are in the world.

busuu is the first company worldwide to offer the test. It is free to its paying members and available at a nominal charge to its non-paying members. The GSET will eventually be fully integrated into all busuu’s English courses as its standard for measuring learner proficiency in English. busuu’s members can improve their language skills through direct interaction with native speakers within the community via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections. The community’s 45 million language learners will now also have access to the latest in online self-testing and a meaningful measure of their English language proficiency.

The GSET delivers scores based on the Global Scale of English, a standardised, granular scale that measures English language proficiency in a way that is consistent and actionable for learners, teachers, and employers. Unlike other frameworks, which describe attainment in broad bands, the Global Scale of English identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. For instance, a person who has a speaking ability of 29 can identify and order very common food and drink from a menu or someone who scores a 53 can write a letter of complaint.

Commenting on the launch of the GSET, Tas Viglatzis, Managing Director of Pearson English, says:

“GSET is a true game-changer in English language learning, enabling anyone worldwide to get a Global Scale of English score online. Working with a company such as busuu, we’re showing how the Global Scale of English can be available to everyone, benefiting English language learners around the world. Pearson is putting the learner at the heart of everything we do resulting in a more personalised experience and stronger learner outcomes.”

CEO and co-founder of busuu, Bernhard Niesner, says: “As one of the world’s most innovative companies in the edtech space, we’re constantly looking for new and exciting ways to enhance the learning experience. We are delighted to be partnering with Pearson English for its new online language test, GSET. At busuu it’s our mission to provide a more effective way to learn a new language for students around the globe.”

Learners can take the test here:

Pearson’s partnership with busuu is the latest in a number of key initiatives brokered by its English division in order to fulfil its ambition in the English language learning sector to be a ‘teacher for life’ to learners of all ages and abilities. Pearson English is consolidating its existing resources and assets - ranging from Wall Street English, Pearson ELT and Groupo Multi - as well as investing in deals with companies like Voxy to cement and enhance its position of leadership in the hugely competitive language learning market.

For more information on the Global Scale of English, visit



About Pearson English

Pearson English is a division of Pearson and is the world’s largest provider of English language learning, covering everything from basics for beginners to boardroom-level business English. Through engagement and encouragement we’re transforming the process of learning English from one of life’s frustrations to one of its highlights, breaking language barriers around the world.

Our key businesses include: Wall Street English (centre based learning for consumers); Pearson English Business Solutions (online business English learning solutions formerly known as GlobalEnglish) and ELT (institutional English language publications including brands such as Longman). In 2013, Pearson announced a strategic investment in English language learning platform Voxy and acquired Grupo Multi, the leading adult English Language Training company in Brazil.

In 2014 Pearson English released the Global Scale of English, the world’s first common, global benchmark of English language learning. It measures English language progress on a numeric scale in a way that is consistent, granular and actionable for governments, corporates, academics, institutions and learners. The Scale has been created as an Open Standard for English that meets a global need. 

About busuu

Founded six years ago busuu was designed to innovate the global language learning industry.  The company is committed to developing innovative ways of using technology to enhance the learning experience and transform the way in which people learn languages through its online and mobile platforms. 

busuu is now the largest platform for language learning, with over 45 million users worldwide.

Members can improve their language skills through usage of interactive courses in 12 languages and direct interaction with native speakers within the community via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections. As a result, every user is both a ‘student’ of a foreign language and also a ‘tutor’ of their own mother tongue.

The company is named after the Busuu language of Cameroon. According to an ethnological study from the 1980’s, Busuu is spoken by only 8 people.

For more information

Josie Whittle
020 7067 0645