English proficiency survey puts Malaysia as ‘high’ but still below Singapore

07-Dec-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Malaysia is considered to have “high” non-native command of English, according to a report by international education firm EF Education First.

Out of 100 countries and regions rated in the EF English Proficiency Index 2019, the top four were the Netherlands (ranked first, 70.27 score), Sweden (68.74), Norway (67.93), Denmark (67.87).

The same index found Singapore to have “very high” English proficiency. The republic was fifth globally with a 66.82 score, above the “high” proficiency nations of Philippines (20th rank, 60.14 score) and Malaysia (26th rank, 58.55 score).

The report said men did “significantly” better than women in the tests but did not elaborate.

Malaysia came in above Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Macau that were considered “moderate” and Vietnam (52th rank, 51.57 score), Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia (61st rank, 50.06 score), Nepal that were rated “low”.

Others in the Asian region were categorised as “very low”. These include Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand (74th rank, 47.61 score), Sri Lanka, Myanmar (86th rank, 46 score), Mongolia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Cambodia (94th rank, 43.78 score), Uzbekistan and Kyrgysstan.

According to the index, “very high” proficiency meant the non-native speakers understood the nuances of the language, could read difficult texts easily, and converse fluently with a native speaker.

“High” proficiency meant the ability to read an English language newspaper, understand a show in the language, and deliver a work presentation in English.

The 2019 EF EPI index is based on the results from 2.3 million participants globally of EF’s free online test of reading and listening skills or its English placement tests in 2018, with the proportion of respondents being 59 per cent female and 41 per cent male.

EF acknowledged that those who took the online test would tend to be younger adults and those interested in pursuing language courses, but said the survey sample that had a median age of 23 for adult respondents still had a broad range of ages.

It also acknowledged a possible self-selection bias in its results.

It noted that a minimum of 400 test takers was required for a city, region or country to be included in the index.

The latest annual index is the ninth edition carried out by EF, which carries out programmes for language learning, cultural exchange and study abroad around the world.



Category: Malaysia

Print This Post