Employees across the globe see English as key to a successful career

  • New research shows that the main drivers for learning English are job promotion and higher earnings
  • Pearson English launches tailored learning objectives for professional English to help learners reach their full potential

Employees across the globe see English as a crucial tool to advance their careers, according to leading learning company Pearson. In particular, job promotion and higher earnings were reported as key drivers for learning English.

New research from Pearson shows that learners in China (71%), South America (45%), the rest of Asia (42%) and Europe (39%), see job promotion as a key driver for learning English and, on average, feel they can earn almost 5,000 US$ more per year with improved English. Almost a third (27%) also said that they expect their jobs to require ongoing improvement in English if they want to advance and 86% want to become completely fluent in English.

Looking at whether learning English helps to improve job prospects, learners in most emerging markets, such as Brazil (99%), India (94%) and Russia (88%) agree, while those in countries such as Germany (69%) and Japan (57%) perceive less benefit in learning English to improve career chances.

To help employees progress their professional English skills effectively, Pearson is launching a suite of tailored learning objectives to meet the needs of Professional English learners. These objectives are part of the Global Scale of English (GSE), a granular, numeric scale from 10-90 that provides a far more precise measurement of the learner’s ability across each of the four language skills - reading, listening, speaking and writing - than any existing methods which tend to categorise proficiency in broad bands.

The GSE is a tool that helps learners understand their English capability and identify the specific skills they need to improve in order to perform their role successfully. The GSE learning objectives are rooted in real life, practical every-day business English. They allow professionals wishing to develop their English to plan a path to greater English proficiency. For example,

  • a Chief Executive who faces complex discussions and problems, may want to strive for a GSE score of 75 in spoken English to be persuasive and convince others
  • a lawyer who fulfils key responsibilities such as questioning witnesses during trials, would be advised to aim for a score of 68 in spoken English to ensure questions are asked politely in potentially difficult or sensitive situations
  • an accountant who reports to management on finances, may want to aim for a score of 75 in writing to effectively produce detailed structured reports

Tas Viglatzis, Managing Director, Pearson English, said: “It’s in everyone’s interest to ensure that learning a language isn’t seen as just a ‘training opportunity’, but a solid investment in personal growth and career development. Now more than ever, English is the common language of multinational businesses and candidates compete in a global talent market. Having a global scale will not only help them to be more efficient, it will also give learners direction on the specific English skills they need to develop in order to perform their role successfully.”

English skills are considered key for learners, no matter where in the world they are applying for a job. Around a third of learners in global markets such as Asia, Europe and South America, are learning English to apply for a job in their own country and about the same amount of people said they were learning the language to work overseas.

However, the research suggests that global businesses could do more to develop their employees’ English skills. While 92% of global employees report that English is important for their career progression, only 7 % of non-native English speakers in global companies believe they can communicate effectively at work. For example, when using English in emails, conversations, phone calls or participating in meetings.

As a result, businesses are missing out on crucial benefits to the bottom line: Pearson found that on average, improved English skills save businesses the equivalent of one working week per year, per employee, of improved productivity.

How can I find out more?

Visit www.english.com for more information on the Global Scale of English or www.linkedin.com/company/pearson-english.




For more information please contact:
E: Liz.Tudball@pearson.com
D: +44 (0) 207 873 3002
M: +44 (0) 771 439 5577

About Pearson

Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

Pearson English is a division of Pearson and more than 1.5 million teachers and 35 million students use our English language learning resources and tools each year. We offer dynamic and effective learning solutions to individuals, institutions and corporations in over 150 countries.

Our key businesses include: Wall Street English (centre based learning for consumers); Pearson English Business Solutions (online business English learning solutions formerly known as GlobalEnglish) and ELT (institutional English language publications including brands such as Longman). In 2013, Pearson acquired Grupo Multi, the leading adult English Language Training company in Brazil.

About GSE

The Global Scale of English (GSE) is a standardised, granular scale which measures English language proficiency. Unlike some other frameworks which describe attainment in broad bands, the Global Scale of English identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

The scale is designed to motivate learners by accurately demonstrating step-by-step progress. Using the Global Scale of English, teachers can match a student to the right course materials to suit their exact level and learning goals.

The Global Scale of English serves as a standard against which English language courses and assessments worldwide can be benchmarked, offering a truly global and shared understanding of proficiency levels. Visit English.com/gse to learn more.