Working with English teachers worldwide to define what it means to “be at a level” in English

Working with English teachers worldwide to define what it means to “be at a level” in English

What does it mean to say a learner has a certain level of proficiency in English? What does intermediate really mean? These are questions that aren’t easy to answer if you look at language proficiency in terms of broad levels such as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Learners and teachers told us that they would find it more helpful and more motivating if they could see progress measured in a more precise way. That’s why we created the Global Scale of English (GSE), a granular scale from 10-90 to measure English proficiency across reading, writing, speaking and listening.

But a scale needs context. So in order to describe what learners can be expected to do at different levels of proficiency on the Global Scale of English, we’ve created a brand new set of GSE Learning Objectives that describe what a learner should be able to do at every point on the Global Scale of English across each of the four skills.

In developing these Learning Objectives, we’ve extended the number and range of ‘Can Do Statements’ that form the Common European Framework (CEFR), providing information to support a far more granular way of measuring learner progress. We’ve created and validated over 250 new learning objectives for adults across all four skills. Learn more about how the GSE Learning Objectives work in practice.

Download your copy of the GSE Learning Objectives for Adults today! In the future, we’ll release versions tailored for learners of Professional English, learners of Academic English and Young Learners. Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest Global Scale of English updates.

How we created the GSE Learning Objectives

The project to level GSE Learning Objectives didn’t happen overnight, and we’re hugely indebted to the thousands of people involved in the development of this revolutionary learning ecosystem. We enlisted the support of more than 6,000 experienced ELT teachers from over 50 countries to rate the difficulty level of new learning objectives.

93% of teachers surveyed said that the new Pearson learning objectives would be useful to inform their teaching.

Want to shape the future of English Language Learning?

Our development of Learning Objectives for different groups of learners (Adults, Young Learners, learners of Professional and Academic English) is ongoing. Pearson English would love to hear from experienced teachers who are interested in getting involved in this exciting project. Do you have a couple of hours a month to rate the difficulty level of new learning objectives? If so, please contact us at

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