Culture & Society Czech Republic Hungary News Poland Slovakia

Poland leads Central Europe in English skills

Warsaw, Poland – Mastering the English language is as important as it has ever been. So what are the best and worst countries in the world in terms of English proficiency? How does Central Europe compare?

Poles most proficient in English in Central Europe, Czechs improving rapidly

According to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), a ranking of 88 countries based on their population’s proficiency in English language, Poland was the best performing country in Central Europe.

The data gathered by educational firm EF Education First is based on over 1.3 million test takers who took the EF Standard English Test (EF SET).

Ranked 13th worldwide, Poland is ahead of its three Visegrad neighbours: the Czech Republic (20th worldwide), Hungary (21st) and Slovakia (24th) are nonetheless all positioned within the “high” proficiency category, the second best in the index.

english-language-europe
English proficiency ranking for European countries

Although trailing slightly behind their Polish counterparts, Czechs’ English skills appear to be improving, rapidly: the Czech Republic reported the biggest improvement among European countries compared to last year’s ranking, with the average test scores increasing by over 2 points in one year.

Moreover, Prague topped the city English proficiency ranking for Central Europe (and 10th worldwide), right ahead of Budapest (11th) and Warsaw (14th). Amsterdam, Stockholm and New Delhi are ranked as the three most English-friendly and proficient cities in the world.

In Central Europe, women usually score better than men, in line with a global trend identified by the authors of the study. “Research into how boys and girls learn foreign languages has shown that female students are more motivated, use a wider variety of strategies to retain new information, and are more willing to make mistakes”.

english-language-europe-change
Change in English language proficiency compared to last year’s index

Moreover, young people between 18 and 30 years old reported higher proficiency levels than older generations in almost all countries taken into account.

Other CEE countries that performed fairly well in the ranking are Romania (16th worldwide), Croatia (17th), Serbia (18th), Bulgaria (25th) and Lithuania (26th).

Sweden ranked best country in the world for English skills, France worst in the EU

According to the 2019 edition of the EF EPI, the (non-native English speaking) country with the best English skills in the world is Sweden, followed by the Netherlands, Singapore, Norway and Denmark.

The rest of the top 10 most proficient nations is also largely dominated by European countries: South Africa (6th), Luxembourg (7th), Finland (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Germany (10th).

english-language-europe-map
English language proficiency in Europe

Among EU countries, French speakers were ranked last (and 35th worldwide), along with Latin-language Italian and Spanish counterparts.

At the last spot, Libya stands out as the worst English-speaking country in the world, alongside Iraq, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Algeria and Kazakhstan.

1 comment on “Poland leads Central Europe in English skills

  1. Pingback: Why do students from Central Europe study business in Western countries? – Kafkadesk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: