The Global Scale of English (GSE) Teacher Toolkit is a free online resource, created in collaboration with thousands of English language teachers from across the world. Not only does it help you measure your students’ progress in English, but it also offers guidance on learning objectives, so you can plan the most effective lessons possible.
It features a powerful search function that returns suggested grammar points, vocabulary topics and learning objectives, alongside job profiles, coursebook suggestions and a wealth of learning resources. You can also filter results by student level and age, and organise your search results by language skill or communicative skill. Of course, all the results are all linked to specific levels on the GSE and the CEFR, making it even easier for you to find relevant ideas.
Find out more about the GSE Teacher Toolkit:
So now you know how the database works, how exactly can you use it in your classroom?
1. Using the GSE teacher toolkit to plan your lessons
You can use the toolkit to plot each lesson’s learning objectives on the GSE, as you can see in the image below.
The Learning objectives in the results are clearly marked by both GSE and CEFR level. This will help you decide if they are appropriate and achievable for your students’ level.
The Learning Objectives can also be organized by skill (speaking, listening, reading, writing), which helps choose objectives with are both relevant and specific.
Once you’ve chosen your Learning Objectives for your lesson, there are grammar points and vocabulary topics, all clearly organised on the GSE/CEFR scale, which you can use to plan the content.
For example, for Learning Objective 4 & 5 from the example above, you could read your students the title of a B1 graded reader. In pairs, ask them to discuss what they think the story is going to be about. Then have a student read the opening paragraph. You can follow this with a class discussion about what they predict will happen next in the story.
If you search the grammar points for predictions and filter it by level, you’ll get two results. As you can see in the image below, the first one has a resource pack of eleven free, downloadable grammar worksheets which can be used as supplementary materials for your lessons.
2. Using the GSE teacher toolkit to plan mixed-ability classes
The teacher toolkit is also a fantastic resource when it comes to planning mixed-ability classes. It features over 1600 learning objectives, 36,000 definitions and 300 grammar objectives. This allows you to plan classroom activities around the needs of the individuals in your classroom, so they can learn at their own pace.
For example, if you are teaching modal verbs, the toolkit suggests starting with ‘can’ for ability in the present. Next, it suggests moving on to giving and asking for permission, which is something that more advanced students could do.
The toolkit also provides additional teaching resources to support you, making it quick and easy for you to plan additional activities and fast-finisher exercises for higher-level students. For example:
3. Using the GSE teacher toolkit for curriculum design
The GSE Teacher Toolkit is an invaluable tool for curriculum design. If you adopt the GSE as a framework across your department or school, it will ensure all your students and teachers are working from the same reference points, helping to standardise your curriculum.
When it comes to the challenges of developing a curriculum, the learning objectives are so clear and well levelled that they provide a solid structure to build a course around. This helps teachers and directors develop their curriculums faster, more efficiently and with greater confidence.
You can also use it to set standards across your department or institution, meaning that courses are pitched correctly for students, so they offer your students just the right level of challenge!
4. Using the GSE teacher toolkit to improve your curriculum
The toolkit offers a detailed list of what your students should be able to do at each point on the GSE range. This will help you place your students and measure their progress across the four skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading.
Once your curriculum is in place, you can use the toolkit to make sure there are no gaps in grammar or vocabulary in your courses.
You can use this information the GSE Teacher Toolkit provides to tailor your courses to your students’ needs, by focusing on the skills which they most need to improve. Simply refer to the LOs to create a detailed plan of study and work together in the classroom to get them to the next level.