Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The World's Top 60 Countries in English

5 Nov 2013 10:30 Africa/Lagos

The World's Top 60 Countries in English According to the EF English Proficiency Index  

ZURICH, November 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Scandinavian Countries Continue to Lead Rankings, as Asia Races Ahead of Latin America and the Middle East in English Ability.

EF Education First, the global leader in international education, today published the results of this year's EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) - the world's most comprehensive ranking of English ability.  In addition to ranking 60 countries and territories by their English skills, the EF EPI for the first time includes an analysis of English proficiency trends over a six-year period that has seen intense investment in English language learning.  The EF EPI also finds correlations between the English skills of a nation's workforce and the country's economic outlook.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:
"Comparison of countries with their neighbours, trading partners, and rivals provides a fascinating study in divergent national priorities and educational policies worldwide," said Dr.Christopher McCormick, Head of EF's Academic Affairs and Research Network. "We found that by engaging in a national dialogue about English, stakeholders can help align goals, improve incentives, and focus on teaching English for communication.  The economic impact of such a coordinated program is clear."

This year's country rankings are based on tests taken by 750,000 adults from 60 countries in 2012.  The analysis of evolving English proficiency over a six-year period (2007 to 2012 inclusive) uses test data from nearly five million adults.

Key findings include:
  • Some Asian countries, in particular Indonesia and Vietnam, have transformed their English proficiency over the six-year period.  China has also improved, although less dramatically.  Japan and South Korea, despite enormous private investments, have declined slightly.
  • Across the board, English language skills are improving in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).  This year, India and Russia have moved ahead of China, and Brazil is closing in fast.  
  • While the rest of Europe is already proficient in English or steadily working towards that goal, France is on an entirely different trajectory. The seven countries with the strongest English are all small European nations, whose size compels them to adopt an international outlook.
  • The Middle East and North Africa are the weakest regions in English. These oil-rich nations have staked their futures on developing knowledge economies before their oil production peaks. An exception to the region's lackluster performance is the United Arab Emirates, which has improved significantly.  
  • Turkey has improved the most of any nation over the six-year period. This is a positive trend, coming as the country continues to develop according to a number of economic factors.
  • Poland and Hungary have made tremendous progress in learning English. These new English skills are an important step towards building the knowledge economies they aspire to have.
  • Poor English remains one of the key competitive weaknesses of Latin America. Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Chile have improved, but they still lack the large base of competent English speakers necessary for a globalized workforce. Some countries in the region, including Mexico and Guatemala, have declining English proficiency.
Published by EF Education First, the world's leading international education company, the EF English Proficiency Index is the largest ranking of English skills.  The full EF EPI ranking for 2013 is below. Additional analysis and graphs are available at: http://www.ef.com/epi/
Future editions of the EF EPI will feature data from the EF Test of English -the world's first free standardized English test available online to any English learner.

EF Education First (http://www.ef.com) was established in 1965 with the mission to break down barriers of language, culture, and geography. With 460 schools and offices in over 50 countries, EF specializes in language learning, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs. EF served as the Official Language Training Supplier of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and is currently the Official Language Training Supplier of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

EF English Proficiency Index Third Edition
    Rank Country
     1   Sweden
     2   Norway
     3   Netherlands
     4   Estonia
     5   Denmark
     6   Austria
     7   Finland
     8   Poland
     9   Hungary
     10  Slovenia
     11  Malaysia
     12  Singapore
     13  Belgium
     14  Germany
     15  Latvia
     16  Switzerland
     17  Portugal
     18  Slovakia
     19  Argentina
     20  Czech Republic
     21  India
     22  Hong Kong SAR
     23  Spain
     24  South Korea
     25  Indonesia
     26  Japan
     27  Ukraine
     28  Vietnam
     29  Uruguay
     30  Sri Lanka
     31  Russia
     32  Italy
     33  Taiwan
     34  China
     35  France
     36  United Arab Emirates
     37  Costa Rica
     38  Brazil
     39  Peru
     40  Mexico
     41  Turkey
     42  Iran
     43  Egypt
     44  Chile
     45  Morocco
     46  Colombia
     47  Kuwait
     48  Ecuador
     49  Venezuela
     50  Jordan
     51  Qatar
     52  Guatemala
     53  El Salvador
     54  Libya
     55  Thailand
     56  Panama
     57  Kazakhstan
     58  Algeria
     59  Saudi Arabia
     60  Iraq

Video: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/62435-ef-education-first-top-english-speaking-countries
CONTACT: Media Inquiries: adam.bickelman@ef.com or Tel: +852-2111-2370

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