EF’s Global Ranking of English Skills Shows Netherlands Still on Top

Global Global   survey   of   over   one   million   adults   shows   worldwide   trends   in   English    proficiency

November   8,   2017:   The   rankings   for   the   world’s   best   non-­‐native   English    speakers   were   released   today   by   EF   Education   First.  The   EF   English   Proficiency    Index   (EF   EPI)   reveals   the   Netherlands   still   ranks   first   out   of   80   countries   in    English   language   skills.   The   EF   EPI   launched   at   the   UK’s   House   of   Commons,    where   Sebastian   Faulks,   CEB,   spoke   about   “Shakespeare,   Jeeves   and   Texting:   The    endless   adventure   of   English.”

“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.   Results   show   Africa   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   to   break   out   of   the   Very    Low   Proficiency   band,   but   despite   significant   spending   on   education    within   Latin   America,   the   region   still   performs   below   global   averages.

• 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,   quality   of   life,   and   investment   in    research   and   development.

The   EF   English   Proficiency   Index   for   Schools   (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   report   finds   that    students   do   not   improve   their   English   at   constant   rates   from   year   to   year.     The   EF   EPI   and   EF   EPI-­‐s   reports   and   country   fact   sheets   are   available   for    download   at   www.ef.com/epi.   The   EF   EPI   2017   ranking   is   below.

Ef EPI 2017 World Ranking_English