In this series of articles, Sara Davila shares her top ten uses of GSE Teacher Toolkit, which is a finalist for the 2020 ELTons awards for Innovation in Teacher Resources. In at number 10 is how to use GSE Teacher Toolkit alongside a standardized curriculum. She explores how it works with standards-based practices, and looks in detail at how it can support teachers to achieve specific learning objectives.
In the rest of the articles Sara will look at how the GSE Teacher Toolkit works as a resource to support diverse classroom activities such as skill integration, learner goal setting and planning for progress, among others.
How to use GSE Teacher Toolkit to teach within a standardized curriculum
All teachers need to maintain standards in their classroom. These standards could be set at a national level, through a national curriculum, or they could be designated by a school for classes or programs that have been developed internally.
Standards-based practices are useful for making sure teachers have a clear idea of what learning is expected. However, there is also concern and debate about standardized programs – with some educators arguing that they lead to a “one size fits all” approach.
What is the GSE?
- Global Scale of English (GSE) is a language standard which is designed to give teachers a precise idea of the language skills that students need to master within each CEFR level. It does this by providing a numerical proficiency scale which goes from 10 to 90, and hundreds of learning objectives. In this way, it’s easy for teachers to measure student progress in small steps.
- GSE Teacher Toolkit is a free online database which you can easily search to find appropriate learning objectives, grammar and vocabulary for your learners’ level. It’s a fantastic tool to support everyday teaching – especially within a standardized curriculum.
Best practice for standardized education means not only teaching to the standard curriculum, but also teaching the skills and sub-skills your specific learners need to achieve their learning goals. In this way you can ensure learning is both personalized and relevant.
It’s clearly important for teachers to be able to adjust their approach to teaching, based on the real performance needs of their learners. GSE Teacher Toolkit can facilitate this, so how does it work in practice? Let’s take a look at an example.
Using GSE Teacher Toolkit to achieve a specific learning objective
The Ministry of Education of Israel recently published their English Curriculum 2020; a comprehensive resource for local teachers. One of the standards designated for the development of speaking skills at the pre-Foundation level of the program (or very young learners) is as follows:
- Can recognize Pre-A1 vocabulary, including instructions, provided they are delivered clearly and slowly in a well-defined, familiar, everyday context (adapted CEFR Pre-A1)
- Can recognize numbers, prices, dates and days of the week, provided they are delivered slowly and clearly in a defined, familiar, everyday context (CEFR Pre-A1)
State of Israel: Ministry of Education, Pedagogical Secretariat, 2020
Now, this provides some guidance, but as the teacher responsible for meeting this standard you’ll need to answer the following questions:
- What are the sub-skills that learners need to achieve this standard?
- How can I successfully build these into my curriculum?
Fortunately, as the curriculum clearly states Pre-A1, you can go straight to GSE Teacher Toolkit . When you look up the speaking skills for learners who need Pre-A1 development, you’ll be able to see which skills are related to this curriculum standard.
GSE Teacher Toolkit, at the Pre-A1 level, has a variety of granular skills related to the day of week, time and numbers. By guiding students through these specific objectives, you can be confident that each day of teaching is a step towards achieving the larger curriculum objective.
Aligning your teaching with curriculum standards
GSE Teacher Toolkit makes the process of aligning your day-to-day teaching to larger curriculum standards a simple task. What’s more, you’ll have clear results that are easy to explain to all of your stakeholders, from administrators to parents.
And don’t forget to stay tuned for the next article in the series, which focuses on using GSE Teacher Toolkit for lesson planning.