By The Nation
The education company yesterday released the fifth annual edition of its EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the world’s largest ranking of countries by English skills.
The report identifies global and regional English-language learning trends and analyses the relationship between countries’ English proficiency and their economic competitiveness. This year’s EF EPI report profiles all 70 ranked countries, using test data from 910,000 adult English-language learners.
Thailand scored 45.35 out of 100, while Sweden (70.94) was on top, following by the Netherlands (70.58) and Denmark (70.05).
In Asean countries, Singapore ranked 12th with a score of 61.08, followed by Malaysia at 14th (60.30), Vietnam at 29th (53.81) and Indonesia at 32nd (52.91).
"The EF EPI shows the power of big data to inform education policy, investment decisions, and classroom practices," said Minh Tran, EF’s director of research.
"We are thrilled that this year the EF EPI has started incorporating data from the EF Standard English Test, which is revolutionising the testing industry as the world’s first free standardised English test."
This year’s report reveals for the first time the connection between countries’ English levels and their innovation metrics such as high-technology exports and expenditures on research and development.
Although the rankings shift every year, the correlations between countries’ English ability and gross national income per capita, quality of life, Internet connectivity, and a range of other indicators remain strong and stable.
Women speak English better than men in almost every country surveyed, the report said, but this gender gap is absent in the very high-proficiency countries in Northern Europe.
European countries, particularly the Nordic nations, continue to outperform other regions, claiming the top 10 slots in the ranking.
The Middle East/North Africa region was the only one to experience declining English proficiency in the latest analysis.