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Abstract

As English increasingly becomes the language of communication for international companies, so the pressure on governments and institutions grows to ensure that employers have a linguistically skilled workforce to draw on. At the same time, there is disillusionment with existing assessments that are used to demonstrate work-readiness, a disillusionment shared by both employers and employees. In research carried out by Pearson and LinkedIn, only 7% of employees felt they were able to communicate effectively at work. Could one reason for this dissatisfaction be the fact that current assessments have been based on proficiency frameworks that were not designed to measure English as it is used at work?

This presentation looks at the development of a proficiency framework for the workplace: the global Scale of English Learning Objectives for Professional English. The presenter will give an overview of the project to develop business-specific learning objectives aligned to both the Global Scale of English (GSE) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) before reporting on a second phase of the project: identifying the key language skills required for specific jobs. This phase involved aligning GSE Learning Objectives for Professional English to the job tasks specified for over 200 roles in the O*NET database, a jobs database sponsored by the US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. 

Bio

Mike Mayor is Director, Global Scale of English at Pearson. In this role, Mike heads up research into creating audience-specific learning objectives aligned to the Global Scale of English, working with Content teams to ensure that these learning objectives underpin all new products and services. On leaving university, Mike worked as a teacher of English in France before entering the world of publishing as a lexicographer. Mike joined Pearson in 2003 and headed up the Longman dictionaries list until his move to the Global Scale of English in 2013. Mike has a BA (Hons) in French Language and Literature and an MPhil in English and Applied Linguistics from Cambridge University.