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What is the difference between the Skills Builder framework and the British Council core skills?

Although there is a synergy, there are distinct differences between the Skills Builder framework and the British Council core skills.
Secondary student sitting at table smiling and building with small wooden blocks
© British Council

The Skills Builder framework is all about breaking down core skills into ‘teachable’ chunks, which it calls steps. These steps are used to easily teach and assess the skills in question. The Skills Builder framework covers four of the six British Council core skills, so there is an overlap.

The skills outlined in the Skills Builder framework, and their corresponding British Council core skills (where applicable) are:

Listening: The receiving, retaining and processing of information or ideas.
British Council core skill: Communication and collaboration.

Speaking:
The oral transmission of information or ideas.
British Council core skill: Communication and collaboration.

Problem solving:
The ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.
British Council core skill: Critical thinking and problem solving.

Creativity:
The use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.
British Council core skill: Creativity and imagination.

Leadership:
Supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.
British Council core skill: Student leadership.

Teamwork:
Working co-operatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.
British Council core skill: Communication and collaboration.

As you can see there are slight differences in naming and language, but there are also many similarities between the two.

British Council core skill Skills Builder Framework terminology
Critical thinking and problem solving Problem solving
Communication and collaboration Listening, Speaking, Teamwork
Creativity and imagination Creativity
Student leadership Leadership
Citizenship Not part of the skills builder framework
Digital literacy Not part of the skills builder framework

 

The main difference betwen the two is in the ‘communication and collaboration’ core skill. In the Skills Builder framework this has been separated into three different skills, which can be taught and assessed more easily: listening, speaking, and teamwork.

The skills can be used together and can reinforce one another. For example, teamwork often includes effective listening, and problem solving. However, it is still helpful to try to separate these skills for the purposes of building them.

Two of the British Council core skills are not included in the Skills Builder approach – these are citizenship and digital literacy.

© British Council
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