If there’s one thing all our learners have in common, it’s that they are going to graduate school or university and enter the world of work.
As well as introducing our students to essential 21st century skills they’ll need to get ahead in life, we can also get them thinking about their futures and help them achieve their career goals.
The Global Scale of English (GSE) Teacher Toolkit allows you to look for specific language objectives for different professions, meaning you can tailor your classes to your students’ career interests and consolidate the knowledge of students already working in those fields.
In this post we’ll show you how to find different work related learning objectives and share two ideas for how you can use them in class.
How to choose professional learning objectives
On the main page of the toolkit, select the Learning Objectives tab and choose Professional Learners from the Who are you teaching? drop-down menu. Next, select a Job Role; choosing first an area, such as Architecture and Engineering, and from there a specific job.
There’s a range of jobs within the database, from Air Traffic Controllers and Travel Guides to Plumbers or Video Game Designers – so make sure you speak to your students about their career aspirations before planning your class.
Note: you can also look for a specific job using the search bar at the top.
You can also focus on specific skills: either language related (reading, writing, listening, speaking) or business related (Managing staff/Being managed, Negotiating or Writing Emails and Letters).
Using the objectives in the classroom
Now you are more familiar with how the toolkit works – let’s look at some examples of how we can use it to plan a lesson for specific business needs.
1. Business discussions
Imagine you have a group of B1 students who haven’t yet decided on their future professions, but you’d like to teach them some useful language and transferable skills to take part in a business discussion.
Select Professional Learners and move the scale to incorporate all language objectives from A1 to B1. Click on the Choose Skill box and select Business Skills, then Discussions.
This gives you eleven learning objectives matching the search requirements, one of which is Can discuss what to do next using simple phrases. When you select this objective, you can see the related grammar you can use to work on this objective, as well as the job roles in which learners might be expected to use this language.
You can then give the learners a situation and some useful phrases to enable them to communicate their ideas effectively.
Your company has bought a new computer for each member of staff in the office. Decide on the best order for the manager to do these actions:
- Teach workers how to use computer programs
- Connect the computers to the internet
- Give each worker a password for their computer
- Connect the computers to the printer
- Move documents from the old computers to the new computers
- Check staff can listen to music on their new computers
To do this it will be useful to pre-teach some phrases which they can use when discussing the options and deciding on the order of events:
- It will be better to do X first, because…
- If we do X first, then we will be able to do Y
- When we have done X, we can do Y
- We should definitely do X before Y, because…
- If we’re going to do Y, we’ll need to do X first
- Writing a report
Here we prepare an activity related to a specific job and students write a report.
Select Professional Learners with the Job Role of Legal/Lawyers and a B2/B2+ level and choose one of the 45 learning objectives e.g. Can understand specialized terms used in reports in their field.
Next, click on the vocabulary tab and select Adult Learners with a B2/B2+ range and in the Choose Topic menu – Language related to laws and legal agreements (you can find this in the law and crime category). This gives us 56 terms which our learners will find useful in this area. You can download the terms to share with your students or just select the vocabulary you think is most appropriate.
Holding the mouse over each word gives us a definition (and you can also listen to how the word is pronounced in British and American English by clicking on the small speaker icons).
Select 10 of the words from the list and prepare a game or activity where the students have to match the words with their definitions.
Next, provide learners with a model of a report and point out the key features of report writing (title, subheadings, use of formal language, passive structures, etc.)
Here’s an example you can use in class.
A report on the rise of crimes committed by juveniles
The aim of this report is to identify a type of crime which is increasingly being committed by young offenders in our town and steps which could be taken to combat this issue.
A major problem
According to the town council, reports of young people breaking the speed limit have doubled in recent years. In an incident last week, a witness reported a vehicle traveling well over the speed limit in the residential area of the town. Despite mandatory speed restrictions in the town center and rules in force prohibiting the use of car horns in residential areas, young drivers often speed around playing loud music into the early hours and using their horns when picking up friends at any time of the day or night.
Measures need to be taken to combat the noise these young drivers create and if there were more police officers patrolling the area on a regular basis, they would be more able to catch these juvenile offenders. Furthermore, if there were a greater police presence in the areas affected, these juvenile drivers would be less likely to disobey the speed limit as if caught, they would be liable to pay a fine. Another option to combat speeding would be to expand the CCTV network in the town center as this has been shown to deter criminals.
Finally, have students write their own report on a topic of their choice (provided it’s related to the chosen profession) using the new vocabulary they learned in the matching activity.
By using the tools available on the GSE Teacher Toolkit and tailoring your lessons to your students’ professional needs and interests, you can increase their motivation and provide meaningful learning objectives for them.
For more ideas about using the GSE Teacher Toolkit in class check out these articles: