Using the GSE to prepare learners for the world of work

gse learning objectives for work

In today’s globalized world, English is a skill which is required for many jobs both home and abroad. As teachers, it’s part of our job to make sure learners are in the best position possible to find work and be able to communicate successfully in an English-speaking environment.

With the Global Scale of English (GSE) you’ll find Learning Objectives and resources to help you prepare content for your lessons which is both relevant and level-appropriate.

Using the GSE Teacher Toolkit, you can search for specific Learning Objectives and vocabulary that will help build learner confidence and prepare students for the workplace. This includes searching and applying for a job, preparing for an interview, writing a cover letter or resume, and sending emails.

The following Learning Objectives are from the GSE Teacher Toolkit, that is completely free to access and use. They are a great place to start when planning a series of lessons or curriculum related to seeking work.

Searching for a job


  • GSE 47 (B1) Can scan several short, simple texts on the same topic to find specific information.
  • GSE 55 (B1+) Can find relevant Internet texts on specific topics and extract the most important information.

Class idea: Jobseekers need to find companies that are hiring. Direct students to websites which are popular for finding jobs where you are based. Have them choose one or two job adverts of interest and share them with the rest of the class. Then get them to list all the requirements for each job (e.g. level of English, qualifications, experience). To finish discuss which job would be most suitable for them and why (based on the points they have written down).

Writing a cover letter


  • GSE 44 (B1) Can write simple texts or emails making arrangements to meet, given a model.
  • GSE 45 (B1) Can write simple letters with appropriate paragraph breaks, given a model.

Class idea: First impressions are important, so a strong, well-written cover letter will be key to helping your learners present themselves to potential employers. Using one of the examples from the last activity, have students write a cover letter explaining why they are the best candidate. It will help if you give students a model cover letter before starting. Here are some tips and an example you could use with your class.

Filling out an application or writing a resume


  • GSE 46 (B1) Can write short, simple descriptions of personal experiences in linked sentences, given prompts or a model.

Class idea: A well written resume is just as vital as a good cover letter because it highlights your skills and experience. Depending on the age of your students have them translate their current resume to English or create a new one. Before starting, go through the structure and pre-teach any vocabulary you think they might need. You could bring in a copy of yours to use as an example or use this one.

Preparing for interview


  • GSE 49 (B1) Can answer questions about what they have done recently in some detail.

Class idea: Interviews can be a terrifying experience even in your first language, so it’s important to practice as much as possible beforehand. Give everyone the same job advert then split students into two groups – employers and interviewees. Give them 10 minutes each to prepare: Interviewees should think of typical questions they might be asked and also think about what they would say (in relation to the job advert). At the same time, the employers should think of what type of candidate they are searching for and then write a list of questions to ask. Get students to interview each other, monitor and provide feedback on content, form and delivery and then have them swap roles and do the same using a different advert.

Sending or answering an email


  • GSE 40 (A2+) Can write short, simple personal emails/letters about familiar topics, given prompts or a model.

Class idea: Love it or hate it, writing emails is a big part of most people’s job and an important skill for students to learn. During class give students a number of scenarios they might face at work such as asking for a day off, having a problem with a colleague, arranging a meeting, or asking for a promotion. Put students in pairs and ask them to write the email to each other. For homework, their partner should write the reply with the answer.

If you are wondering which vocabulary to pre-teach your students, or want to find more work-related Learning Objectives, you can use the GSE Toolkit’s search function.

Simply select the correct tab (Learning Objective, vocabulary or grammar), choose your age group (e.g. adult learners), type in a search term (e.g. work) and hit show results.

gse learning objectives for work

You’ll see there are a number of results over a range of levels (from A2–B2+), which will help you to plan relevant and appropriate classes and helping your learners stay one step ahead of the game when looking for work.

Supporting courseware to use in class

We also offer a range courseware, which incorporate the GSE Learning Objectives, to help you deliver relevant and engaging classes to your learners.

For teens and young adults you can find specific lesson content associated with the world of work in:

  • SpeakOut, Starter Level – Unit 10 – A new job
  • SpeakOut, Pre-Intermediate Level – Unit 2 – The company 4 U
  • SpeakOut, Advanced Level – Unit 1 – This is me
  • SpeakOut, Advanced Level – Unit 10 – Horizons
  • Focus, Level 1 – Unit 3 – Work
  • Focus, Level 2 – Unit 6 – Working life
  • Focus, Level 4 – Unit 5 – The world at your feet
  • Focus, Level 5 – Unit 5 – All in a day’s work
  • Summit, Level 2 – Unit 1 – Dreams & Goals

Read more about the Global Scale of English and take a look at our 2018 ELT catalogue.

Do you have any other ideas for helping learners prepare for the job market? Let us know in the comments!

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