Ages and Stages: teaching English to different types of learners

A series of upcoming blog posts from a group of experts will explore the key challenges around teaching English to specific groups of learners. We’re calling this series of blog posts ‘Ages and Stages‘, and will be focusing specifically on two very different ages and...

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A series of upcoming blog posts from a group of experts will explore the key challenges around teaching English to specific groups of learners. We’re calling this series of blog posts ‘Ages and Stages‘, and will be focusing specifically on two very different ages and stages: at one end of the spectrum, English for employability, and at the other, teaching the language to young learners.

As part of this series, we will be discussing the key challenges facing English language teachers of these different groups of learners, and offering some suggestions on how to overcome them. We’ll be providing support and suggestions about managing classrooms and assessments; measuring progress; and customising your curriculum.

Through these blog posts, we aim to help teachers and education decision makers:

  • Raise awareness of the current issues associated with teaching specific types of English learners
  • Better understand how to build a curriculum for specific types of learners
  • Address some of the limitations presented by current proficiency frameworks
  • Improve ways of measuring learner progress in the classroom.

All of these blogs will draw on research carried out to develop the Global Scale of English (GSE). The GSE is fundamentally a granular scale that measures language proficiency – but the tools and resources that have been developed around the scale mean that it has much more to offer the teaching community. This series of blogs will show you how you can use the scale itself to support assessment, the GSE Learning Objectives developed to define proficiency on the scale and course materials built on the GSE to tailor your teaching to each different group of learners. We will also show you how to get the most out of the GSE Teacher Toolkit to support your lesson and course preparation.

Here are just some of the topics that will be covered in the coming weeks:

  • Building a curriculum for young learners.
  • How to create fun and engaging lessons for young learners.
  • How wide a vocabulary should young learners have?
  • Managing classrooms of mixed abilities.
  • What skills are necessary when speaking English at work?
  • Helping English learners to move up the executive ladder.
  • Do learners know how good their English is?

We hope you enjoy this series, and we encourage you to share the blogs with colleagues and take part in the online discussions.

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