Many people are familiar with the “10,000 Hour Rule” – the theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill. Whether or not this is an accurate estimate for learning a language, it is true that “practice makes perfect” and the key to success is perseverance. Maintaining motivation over a long period of time can be challenging for learners – but the notion that “success breeds success” will resonate with many teachers and learners – and being able to demonstrate tangible progress is one way in which learners can experience success. The Global Scale of English (GSE) Learning Objectives provide learners with granular goals that they can work towards – and achieve – in a reasonable period of time.
Research from LinkedIn reveals that 83% of business leaders believe there is a need for a global standard of English proficiency, and the GSE Learning Objectives for Professional English provide just that. These learning objectives cover the English language skills necessary in business. Global companies increasingly view English as a core competency for their employees, and these GSE Learning Objectives provide a detailed understanding of the specific English skills required to carry out a particular job.
GSE in action in business English
Iwonna Dubicka is an experienced author of teaching materials who also teaches English for business in universities and companies in Barcelona. We recently spoke to her about the challenges of teaching business English and how the GSE helps to address these issues.
Iwonna says: “Time is always of the essence. Often you might only have two hours per week – so the courses need to be compact and specific. Another problem is mixed levels. For example, I have a class of 50-60 students, and they can be anything from pre-intermediate to advanced learners. Within a class you might have different needs and objectives. There are also many different business skills students want to focus on like participating in meetings, presentations and negotiation skills – as well as softer skills such as interviewing, socialising and speaking over the phone with someone.”
To tackle the issue of mixed ability students within a class, Iwonna believes it’s important to have an on-going conversation with each learner and to keep referring back to their needs and goals. With this in mind, the GSE Learning Objectives for Professional English provide a useful checklist against which to plot those needs.
“With the GSE Learning Objectives, we can be specific with the objectives for these business skills and have specific skills for writing and listening – not only for speaking,” says Iwonna. “If you have more parameters and specific objectives it can help to refine the lesson.”
To hear more about Iwonna’s thoughts on the benefits of the Global Scale of English for business English teaching, watch the video below…