Dutch and Scandinavians Top Worldwide English Proficiency Rankings
Written in News & Updates on Saturday, 12 July 2014 00:13

The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries are the most proficient speakers of English globally, outside those countries where English is an official language, according to the EF Proficiency Index. Universities in these countries offer the highest numbers of degree programmes, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, that are taught through English.

Economies are becoming more globalised, work more delocalised, and information more decentralised. A shared language is a necessary tool when communication is no longer tied to geography. English is that tool, now more than ever. Educational institutions, driven by the demands of society, are increasingly embracing English language learning, and English, as a language of learning.



A high percentage of the students registered on the English-taught programmes in these countries are non-native speakers of English, particularly students from the Netherlands, Germany and the Baltic states. UK students studying on programmes in the Netherlands and Scandinavia report that most students their age are fluent in English. The biggest foreign language challenge facing UK students is to get an opportunity to practice their Dutch or Danish language skills. 

At the other end of the European proficiency rankings are France and Italy, which have low English language proficiency rankings. English and Irish students in these countries, and Spain, report that a TEFL qualification proves a useful investment before they travel to study in Continental Europe, as English-language teaching can provide a useful income supplement while they are studying.

European English Language Proficiency Rankings

1. Sweden
2. Norway
3. Netherlands
4. Estonia
5. Denmark
6. Austria
7. Finland
8. Poland

Also:

12. Germany
18. Spain
21. Italy
22. France

For full results see http://www.ef.nl/epi/