English proficiency on the wane, says latest EF survey

English proficiency on the wane, says latest EF survey

English proficiency among Thais ranks low globally and is the worst in Asean, according to the latest EF Education First (EF) survey.

Out of 113 countries in the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI), Thailand ranks 101 with a score of 416 while the global average score is 502.

According to EF, the index is calculated from the test results of 2.2 million non-native English speakers in 113 countries and regions. This year it reveals a concerning decline in English proficiency among Thai youth over the past five years and a growing gender gap.

"This year's index portrays an illusion of global stability -- where everyone's English stays about the same," said EF EPI author Kate Bell.

"Language is essential to sharing perspectives and sparking understanding. English is uniquely positioned to connect people across borders."

The EPI is an annual ranking of countries and regions by English skills. It is based on EF Standard English Test scores recorded globally by schools, companies and governments.

Top in this year's rankings is the Netherlands with a score of 647, followed by Singapore (631), Austria (616), Denmark (615), Norway (614), Sweden (609), Belgium (608), Portugal (607), South Africa (605) and Germany (604).

In Asean, Singapore came first, followed by Philippines (578), Malaysia (568), Vietnam (505), Indonesia (473), Myanmar (450), Cambodia (421) and Thailand (416). The Index does not include Brunei and Laos.

When the Thai score of 416 was broken down by city, Chiang Mai top scored with 464, followed by Bangkok (457), Phuket (456), Songkhla (437) and Rayong (433) while Prachuap Khiri Khan has the nation's lowest tally of 299.

Do you like the content of this article?