omniture

Dutch Pass Danes to Become World's Best English Speakers

EF Education First
2016-11-15 15:18 1531

ZURICH, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Global survey of 950,000 adults across 72 countries and territories links English proficiency with income, innovation, and quality of life 

Adults in the Netherlands are the best non-native English speakers in the world, followed by those in Denmark and Sweden, according to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) released today by EF Education First. Laos, Libya, and Iraq occupy the bottom of the rankings.

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"In a volatile global economy, English proficiency is one of the few skills with proven ability to generate opportunities and strengthen employability," said Minh N. Tran, EF Director of Research. "It takes a great deal of effort and investment to steer a country or company towards a future with an English-speaking workforce. The EF EPI addresses these challenges and prompts global discussions about the best practices of language education."

Highlights of the sixth edition of the EF EPI include:

  • For the first time, an Asian country, Singapore, is in the highest proficiency band. Malaysia and the Philippines are also in the top 15 countries worldwide.
  • English proficiency in Europe remains the strongest in the world by a wide margin, while countries in the Middle East and North Africa continue to occupy the lowest ranks.
  • Of all the regions surveyed, Latin America is the only region that experienced a decline in English proficiency in the past year.
  • Countries making the most progress in English proficiency include France, Qatar, and Singapore; countries with the steepest declines include Iraq, Japan, and Peru.
  • Young adults aged 18-25 have the strongest English proficiency worldwide, although some countries have markedly different national trends.
  • Women have stronger English skills than men in almost all countries and age groups.
  • English proficiency remains a key indicator of economic competitiveness at both the individual and national levels. Higher English proficiency correlates with higher incomes, better quality of life, greater connectivity, and more dynamic business environments.

A companion to the EF EPI, the EF EPI for Companies (EF EPI-c), was also released today. The EF EPI-c is an evaluation of global workforce English skills, surveying 510,000 professionals from 40 countries and 16 industries. The report finds that executives lag behind their employees in English skills, and that countries' workforce English scores correlate positively with indicators of global innovation, government transparency, and ease of doing business.

Millions of participants took part in this year's research by completing the EF Standard English Test (EFSET), the world's first free standardized English test. The EFSET was launched in order to serve the world's two billion English language learners, who previously lacked a free, high-quality self-assessment tool. The EFSET also provides schools, companies, and governments with convenient, large-scale testing solutions.

The full reports and country fact sheets are available for download at http://www.ef.com/epi.

About EF Education First: 

EF Education First (http://www.ef.com) is an international education company focusing on language, academics, education travel, and cultural experience. Established in 1965 with the mission of opening the world through education, EF has more than 500 schools and offices in over 50 countries.

EF English Proficiency Index Sixth Edition 

Rank

Country

EF EPI Proficiency Band

1

Netherlands

Very High

2

Denmark

Very High

3

Sweden

Very High

4

Norway

Very High

5

Finland

Very High

6

Singapore

Very High

7

Luxembourg

Very High

8

Austria

High

9

Germany

High

10

Poland

High

11

Belgium

High

12

Malaysia

High

13

Philippines

High

14

Switzerland

High

15

Portugal

High

16

Czech Republic

High

17

Serbia

High

18

Hungary

High

19

Argentina

High

20

Romania

High

21

Slovakia

Moderate

22

India

Moderate

23

Dominican Republic

Moderate

24

Bulgaria

Moderate

25

Spain

Moderate

26

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Moderate

27

South Korea

Moderate

28

Italy

Moderate

29

France

Moderate

30

Hong Kong

Moderate

31

Vietnam

Moderate

32

Indonesia

Moderate

33

Taiwan

Moderate

34

Russia

Low

35

Japan

Low

36

Uruguay

Low

37

Macau

Low

38

Costa Rica

Low

39

Mainland China

Low

40

Brazil

Low

41

Ukraine

Low

42

Chile

Low

43

Mexico

Low

44

Morocco

Low

45

Peru

Low

46

United Arab Emirates

Low

47

Ecuador

Low

48

Pakistan

Low

49

Colombia

Very Low

50

Panama

Very Low

51

Turkey

Very Low

52

Tunisia

Very Low

53

Guatemala

Very Low

54

Kazakhstan

Very Low

55

Egypt

Very Low

56

Thailand

Very Low

57

Azerbaijan

Very Low

58

Sri Lanka

Very Low

59

Qatar

Very Low

60

Venezuela

Very Low

61

Iran

Very Low

62

Jordan

Very Low

63

El Salvador

Very Low

64

Oman

Very Low

65

Kuwait

Very Low

66

Mongolia

Very Low

67

Algeria

Very Low

68

Saudi Arabia

Very Low

69

Cambodia

Very Low

70

Laos

Very Low

71

Libya

Very Low

72

Iraq

Very Low

Source: EF Education First
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