Innovation in ELT
Brookemead Associates Ltd
Educational Publishers
London, UK - San Francisco, USA

QSE and the CEFR

The structure and approach of the QSE course are based on the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Like the CEFR, QSE takes a very broad view of what language students need to learn in order to use a foreign language and what knowledge and skills they need to develop so as to be able to communicate effectively.

QSE aims to provide the widest possible cultural context, using examples from the great cultural diversity of global English (British, American, Australian, South African and others including non-natives speaking high level English).

QSE helps to equip students to deal with communicating in English, not only in English speaking countries, but also in using the language as a lingua franca in other countries. QSE helps students to exchange information and ideas and to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Its wide range of topics, many of which are unusual in EFL courses, help students to achieve a wider and deeper understanding of the way other people live and think and of their cultural heritage.

The course is above all student-centred. The language learning activities are based on action-orientated tasks and relevant authentic texts (oral and written). The topics (including the CLIL materials) help students to face the modern challenges of international mobility and closer co-operation, in education, culture, science, trade and industry. QSE aims to promote mutual understanding and tolerance, respect for identities and cultural diversity through more effective international communication.

The course visits all four domains identified by the CEFR. The Public Domain, for example, is represented in many units including environmental, social and economic issues. The Personal Domain is visited in discussions of young people's home lives, relationships, behaviour and growing independence. The Educational and Occupational Domains feature throughout.

The CEFR is a framework not only for language learning, but also for assessment. QSE is compatible with preparation for a variety of international English ESOL examinations. QSE Teacher's Guides feature exam preparation materials for the Cambridge ESOL suite of exams - PET (Preliminary English Test), FCE (First Certificate in English), CAE (Certificate in Advanced English), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). Trinity College London recognises that QSE makes a valuable contribution to preparation for the Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) and Integrated Skills Examination (ISE).

Full details of the CEFR and the Can-do Statements in the four skill areas available at: