The Netherlands still has the world’s best non-native English speakers, according to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) released today by EF Education First. This year’s EF EPI results were first announced at a reception in the U.K.’s House of Commons.
“Given the vast sums that parents, governments, and companies invest in English training, the EF EPI serves as a valuable resource for sparking a discussion on the best ways to improve a country’s English level,” said Minh N. Tran, EF Senior Director of Research. “In today’s global economy, the advantages of learning English transcend borders.”
The EF EPI 2017 ranks 80 countries and territories based on data from more than one million adults who took the EF Standard English Test (EF SET), the world’s first free standardized English test. The EF SET provides language learners access to a high-quality, standardized English test. The EF SET has been used worldwide by thousands of schools, companies, and governments, where large-scale testing was previously cost prohibitive.
Highlights of the EF EPI 2017 include:
- For the first time, Africa is included in the EF EPI as a distinct region with nine African countries represented. The region has the largest gender gap, with African women outperforming men and scoring above the global average.
- Europe leads the world in English proficiency, with eight European countries in the top 10. The Middle East occupies the lowest ranks.
- Asia has the world’s second best proficiency, but the largest gap between individual country scores.
- Colombia, Guatemala, and Panama all improved enough to break out of the Very Low Proficiency band. Despite significant spending on education within Latin America, the region still performs below global averages.
- Worldwide, women speak English better than men, although the gap is narrower for some world regions than in previous editions of the EF EPI.
- English proficiency is linked to economic competitiveness, social development, and innovation. Countries with higher English proficiency tend to have higher average incomes, better quality of life, and greater investment in research and development.
The EF English Proficiency Index for Schools (EF EPI-s), a companion report to the EF EPI, was also released today. The EF EPI-s examines the acquisition of English skills by secondary and tertiary students from 26 countries.
The EF EPI and EF EPI-s reports and country fact sheets are available for download at http://www.ef.com/epi. The full EF EPI 2017 ranking is below.
About EF Education First
EF Education First is an international education company that focuses on language, academics, and cultural experience. Founded in 1965, EF’s mission is “opening the world through education.” EF has more than 500 schools and offices in over 50 countries.
EF English Proficiency Index 2017:
Rank Country EF EPI Proficiency Band 1 Netherlands Very High 2 Sweden Very High 3 Denmark Very High 4 Norway Very High 5 Singapore Very High 6 Finland Very High 7 Luxembourg Very High 8 South Africa Very High 9 Germany High 10 Austria High 11 Poland High 12 Belgium High 13 Malaysia High 14 Switzerland High 15 Philippines High 16 Serbia High 17 Romania High 18 Portugal High 19 Hungary High 20 Czech Republic High 21 Slovakia High 22 Bulgaria Moderate 23 Greece Moderate 24 Lithuania Moderate 25 Argentina Moderate 26 Dominican Republic Moderate 27 India Moderate 28 Spain Moderate 29 Hong Kong Moderate 30 South Korea Moderate 31 Nigeria Moderate 32 France Moderate 33 Italy Moderate 34 Vietnam Moderate 35 Costa Rica Moderate 36 China Low 37 Japan Low 38 Russia Low 39 Indonesia Low 40 Taiwan Low 41 Brazil Low 42 Macau Low 43 Uruguay Low 44 Mexico Low 45 Chile Low 46 Bangladesh Low 47 Ukraine Low 48 Cuba Low 49 Panama Low 50 Peru Low 51 Colombia Low 52 Pakistan Low 53 Thailand Low 54 Guatemala Low 55 Ecuador Low 56 Tunisia Low 57 United Arab Emirates Low 58 Syria Very Low 59 Qatar Very Low 60 Morocco Very Low 61 Sri Lanka Very Low 62 Turkey Very Low 63 Jordan Very Low 64 Azerbaijan Very Low 65 Iran Very Low 66 Egypt Very Low 67 Kazakhstan Very Low 68 Venezuela Very Low 69 El Salvador Very Low 70 Oman Very Low 71 Mongolia Very Low 72 Saudi Arabia Very Low 73 Angola Very Low 74 Kuwait Very Low 75 Cameroon Very Low 76 Algeria Very Low 77 Cambodia Very Low 78 Libya Very Low 79 Iraq Very Low 80 Laos Very Low
SOURCE EF Education First (EF)
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