Vietnam’s English skills rank seventh in Asia

By VnExpress   November 15, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
But the ranking does not reflect accurately the quality of English in the country.

Vietnam ranks 31st among 72 countries in the world and seventh among 19 Asian countries in English proficiency, according to the latest annual English Proficiency Index released today by the Swiss Education First (EF), a global language training company.

Vietnam scored an average of 54.06 on a scale of 100, standing behind Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, South Korea and Hong Kong in Asia, according to the index.

Last year, Vietnam ranked 29th out of 70 non-native English speaking countries.

The level of English proficiency among Vietnamese people has increased considerably in the last five years. From 2012 to 2014, the country was classed among a group of countries with “low level” English skills, but has now moved up to a “moderate level”.

The southeast region and Red River Delta scored the highest points with 56.08 and 53.56, while the southern central coastal provinces scored 48.97.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City had marginally better scores compared to other provinces.

Regarding English proficiency, the state sector had the lowest scores while the consulting and professional services sector scored the highest.

In terms of gender, women scored higher than men by about one point on average. The most proficient age range was from 18-20.

Topping the chart this year were the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Luxembourg. On the other end of the rankings were Laos, Libya and Iraq.

The EF’s ranking is based on surveys conducted globally in the form of an online quiz with the participation of nearly a million adults from 72 non-native English speaking countries.

Some Vietnamese education experts have expressed their concerns regarding the accuracy of the ranking, saying it is based on randomly selected tests and the results might not necessarily reflect the real situation.

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