EF English Proficiency Index

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) is a report which attempts to rank countries by the average level of English language skills amongst adults. It is the product of EF Education First, a global language training company, and draws its conclusions from data collected via English tests available for free over the internet. The report was published for the first time in March, 2011 based on the results of over 2 million test takers.[1] The most recent, fifth edition was released in November, 2015.[2]

Methodology[edit]

The EF EPI fifth edition was calculated using test data from 900,000 test takers in 2014. The test takers were self-selected and no demographic information was collected on them. The tests are used by the company for marketing and placement purposes. 68 countries and 2 territories appear in the fifth edition of the index. In order to be included a country was required to have at least 400 test takers total.[3]

Findings[edit]

The report is composed of a country ranking table, several pages of analysis with graphs correlating other economic and social factors with English proficiency, and analysis of each region or continent. The 2015 report and accompanying country fact sheets include a retrospective look at evolution in English proficiency over the period from 2007 and 2014, English proficiency levels by gender, age group, and region, within countries, and some English proficiency scores by city. The website displays portions of the report and has analysis of English skills in many countries and territories.[3]

Primary conclusions[edit]

  1. Exports per capita, Gross National Income per capita and Ease of doing business all correlate positively with English proficiency.
  2. English proficiency levels are evolving at different rates in different countries around the world, including a few countries with declining English skills.
  3. Europe as a whole speaks the best English, the Middle East the worst.
  4. The size of the investment in English training does not necessarily correspond to the amount of progress made over time.

2015 Rankings[edit]

Map of the results of the 2015 EF English Proficiency Index.
Country 2015 Rank 2015 Score 2015 Level 2014-2015 Trend
 Sweden 1 70.94 Very High Proficiency +3.14
 Netherlands 2 70.58 Very High Proficiency +1.59
 Denmark 3 70.05 Very High Proficiency +0.75
 Norway 4 67.83 Very High Proficiency +3.50
 Finland 5 65.32 Very High Proficiency +0.92
 Slovenia 6 64.97 Very High Proficiency +4.37
 Estonia 7 63.73 Very High Proficiency +2.34
 Luxembourg 8 63.45 Very High Proficiency
 Poland 9 62.95 Very High Proficiency -1.31
 Austria 10 61.97 High Proficiency -1.24
 Germany 11 61.83 High Proficiency +0.94
 Singapore 12 61.08 High Proficiency +1.50
 Portugal 13 60.61 High Proficiency +3.78
 Malaysia 14 60.30 High Proficiency +0.57
 Argentina 15 60.26 High Proficiency +1.24
 Romania 16 59.69 High Proficiency +1.06
 Belgium 17 59.13 High Proficiency -2.08
 Czech Republic 18 59.01 High Proficiency +1.59
  Switzerland 19 58.43 High Proficiency +0.14
 India 20 58.21 High Proficiency +4.67
 Hungary 21 57.90 High Proficiency -0.66
 Latvia 22 57.16 Moderate Proficiency -2.27
 Spain 23 56.80 Moderate Proficiency -0.38
 Dominican Republic 24 56.71 Moderate Proficiency +3.05
 Slovakia 25 56.34 Moderate Proficiency +0.38
 Lithuania 26 55.08 Moderate Proficiency
 South Korea 27 54.52 Moderate Proficiency +0.90
 Italy 28 54.02 Moderate Proficiency +1.22
 Vietnam 29 53.81 Moderate Proficiency +2.24
 Japan 30 53.57 Moderate Proficiency +0.69
 Taiwan 31 53.18 Moderate Proficiency +0.62
 Indonesia 32 52.91 Moderate Proficiency +0.17
 Ukraine 34 52.61 Moderate Proficiency +4.11
 Peru 35 52.46 Low Proficiency +1.00
 Chile 36 51.88 Low Proficiency +3.13
 France 37 51.84 Low Proficiency -0.86
 Ecuador 38 51.67 Low Proficiency +0.62
 Russia 39 51.59 Low Proficiency +1.15
 Mexico 40 51.34 Low Proficiency +1.51
 Brazil 41 51.05 Low Proficiency +1.09
 United Arab Emirates 42 50.87 Low Proficiency -0.93
 Costa Rica 43 50.53 Low Proficiency +2.00
 Uruguay 44 50.25 Low Proficiency +0.64
 Pakistan 45 49.96 Low Proficiency
 Guatemala 46 49.67 Low Proficiency +3.90
 China 47 49.41 Low Proficiency -0.74
 Panama 48 48.77 Low Proficiency +5.07
 Sri Lanka 49 47.89 Very Low Proficiency +1.52
 Turkey 50 47.62 Very Low Proficiency -0.18
 Yemen 51 47.60 Very Low Proficiency
 Morocco 52 47.40 Very Low Proficiency +4.97
 Jordan 53 47.33 Very Low Proficiency -0.49
 Kazakhstan 54 47.04 Very Low Proficiency +4.07
 Egypt 55 46.73 Very Low Proficiency +4.60
 Iran 56 46.59 Very Low Proficiency +4.76
 Colombia 57 46.54 Very Low Proficiency -2.01
 Oman 58 46.34 Very Low Proficiency
 Venezuela 59 46.14 Very Low Proficiency +0.02
 Azerbaijan 60 46.12 Very Low Proficiency
 El Salvador 61 45.52 Very Low Proficiency +2.06
 Thailand 62 45.35 Very Low Proficiency -2.45
 Qatar 63 43.72 Very Low Proficiency -4.10
 Mongolia 64 43.64 Very Low Proficiency
 Kuwait 65 42.65 Very Low Proficiency +0.85
 Iraq 66 40.69 Very Low Proficiency +2.67
 Algeria 67 40.34 Very Low Proficiency +1.83
 Saudi Arabia 68 39.93 Very Low Proficiency +0.45
 Cambodia 69 39.15 Very Low Proficiency +0.90
 Libya 70 37.86 Very Low Proficiency -0.34

Criticism[edit]

The EF English Proficiency Index has been criticized for its lack of representative sampling in each country.[4] The report states that participants in the tests are self-selected and must have access to the internet. This pushes the index towards the realm of an online survey rather than a statistically valid evaluation.

However, there are few alternative comparisons available of countries by their English skills, and those that exist are smaller in scale, as is the case with a reported British Council study,[1] or they have other sampling flaws, as is the case with rankings of countries by standardized English test scores such as the TOEFL.[5] The European Commission performed a language survey, SurveyLang, which tests a representative sample of 15-year-old European students on their foreign language skills. The first report and data sets were released for 13 European countries in June 2012.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b English: Who speaks English?. The Economist. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  2. ^ Study Offers Snapshot of Global English-Language-Learner Trends. EdWeek. Retrieved on 2015-11-13
  3. ^ a b EF English Proficiency Index – Comparing English skills between countries – EF EPI. Ef.com. Retrieved on 2015-11-10.
  4. ^ The English Blog: EF English Proficiency Ranking. Jeffreyhill.typepad.com (2011-03-30). Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  5. ^ TOEFL: Test and Score Data Summaries. Ets.org. Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  6. ^ SurveyLang project. European Commission. Retrieved on 2012-09-20.

The official webpage of the ranking