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When it came to Japanese Cartography, we found out that Japan lagged behind a bit. So what about other things, like English Language Proficiency? Education First recently released their report on worldwide English language proficiency, showing some interesting results. Instead of talking about the Japanese language today, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the English language in Japan (and the rest of the world). How does Japan compare? Let’s find out.

How They Tested “English Proficiency”

One of the main challenges faced was that there’s not “standard” way across every country to test English Proficiency. They used data from two million adults who took free English tests over a three year period. They think (and generally I agree with them) that over time and with enough data, these tests should give a fairly accurate depiction of a country’s English abilities. If you look at the countries (and read through their study) I think this generally holds true and seems accurate enough (at least when it comes to comparing countries with each other).

One thing to note is that they tested adults. They wanted to see how good the adult population was at English (as in, people who have gone through the standard education programs). This also makes sense to me, because then this way it helps to show how the English education program as a whole works out, rather than testing people who are in middle school vs high school (where the English gap would be a lot bigger).

Where Japan Stands

One thing to take into  consideration is the test itself. I couldn’t see anything that specified what the test actually tested, but I think it’s safe to assume it wasn’t an oral test, meaning depending on what a school system studied, people are going to do better on the test (or worse on the test). The Japanese system, for example, really focuses on reading and text-based things. Speaking, overall, isn’t that important, which is one of the reasons why it’s so hard for Japanese people to speak / understand English, even though their reading / writing is pretty good.

Overall, compared to the other countries tested, Japan was number 14 out of the 44 listed. Not too shabby.

Click for bigger view (or download the study, link at the top of this post)

As you can see, Europe did pretty well on these tests, which makes sense. Most of the top countries, apparently, require English as your first second language, and of course English is pretty widely spoken in Europe. Most of Europe has had English as a part of their education curriculum since the 1980s, as well, meaning there’s been a chance for enough people to get through the entire program, increasing the number of adults who can do English overall.

Japan has also has had an English language program for a long time (definitely since the 80s, probably before that a bit too, but I’m not absolutely sure), though they’re 14 on the chart. South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia are the two Asian places ahead of Japan (and Malaysia is the only Asian country in the top 10, and the only one with a “high proficiency” rating). China has a “Low Proficiency” rating, but this will definitely change as more people get through the English education program. English learning in China has hit a boom in recent years, so all it’ll take is some time for China to get into the Moderate Proficiency, and then maybe into high.

If you changed the test to be an oral test, I think these numbers would change drastically, though. Japan would probably go down to a low proficiency score (along with many other places as well).

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of English education in Japan (not English education in general, but rather how it’s done). Everything feels so mechanical and old school, and so much (if not all of) the focus is on preparing to take tests that for some reason decide your entire future.

So where did you think Japan stood in English proficiency compared to the rest of the world? I would have thought a bit lower, though apparently I’m a bit sarcastic when it comes to Japan and their English education programs. Also, take a look at the entire study if you’re interested. Lots of cool tidbits of information on English being learned throughout the world, what’s worked for certain countries, and why people are learning English. For those things, at least, I thought it was pretty interesting.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6ICXLAFPSWZCM5R47N6W3VX3PA Sebastian

    wow thats interesting! but Japan did really good compared to all these other countries! well done Japan!

  • www.cassandraland.com

    I expected Europe to be high on the list. Japan’s results didn’t really surprise me. The one that really surprised me was Mexico. A lot of people here in the southwestern US are very… prejudiced against Mexico and Mexicans. I hear a lot of talk about how Mexicans (especially once they have immigrated here) need to learn English. I guess a number of them have already proven they know it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001725691237 Brandon Buckley

    The US doesn’t have any (joke, Iknow it’s for a second language)

  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    Well there’s no English in China, so… not sure what ‘moderate’ means? I guess ‘none’? And I’ve been to Seoul a few times, I’d recommend at least 3 years of Korean before going, or you’re hooped. I figure Japan is the same.

  • http://flowershock.com Nadia

    Wow:) Japan did a really good job, but I am shocked when it comes to Norway -I didn’t know we were that good!!!! :) However, a country that doesn’t surprise me as much is probably Germany; because I’ve watched quite a lot of German television over the last few years, and every single English TV-show is dubbed…

  • kathryn

    I’m surprised SE Asian countries are so far down the list. When I’ve been there, everyone seems to speak English – maybe that’s because their business is dealing with tourists though or maybe they are good at spoken English but don’t have the same formal education.

  • http://xoxobra.com/blog/ Rob

    As someone living in Japan, I find it hard, impossible even, to believe that Japan would be considered moderate, and especially that they outrank countries like Turkey and India. I just went to Turkey, and while the bulk of my experience was in Istanbul (and some in Cappadocia, a more remote but still touristy area), there was never a time where any person I spoke to didn’t speak at least some English. I’ve never had that experience even in the most tourist-loaded areas of Japan. I’d really like to know more about how they tested this.

  • Foozlesprite

    I can verify that Norway teaches English very well. I have an online friend from Norway who speaks Norwegian, English, French, German, and some Swedish and Finnish. Her English is native-level. I’ve NEVER seen her make a single tiny mistake, even in spelling. It’s insane. I wish I’d grown up in a place like that, where so many foreign languages were available to learn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1372476926 Crystal Eio

    Really Malaysia is rated 9?? O_O my chinese cousins can’t even talk to properly in english dunno how they are rated 9…

  • Ezsda

    Japan is 14th… Hungary is 20th… I’m kind of proud!!!!

  • Vandr3ad

    where is Singapore? : (( i am very sure we are more proficient in English then Malaysia

  • http://www.facebook.com/MollyHouse Molly House

    When I was there 2 years ago, it seemed like NO ONE spoke ego =

  • yvanism

    Wait. It’s either I’m missing something here, or the above article is missing a country — Singapore.
    English’s our first language! Perhaps Education First had somehow thought that Singapore’s a part of China or some other country? If that’s the case, it won’t be the first time geographically uninformed people think that.

    See? I can write in English; and speak it too. It’s the result of the formal education system we have here. (-_ – ;)

  • http://nihonamor.wordpress.com/ ビッキ

    Mexico Ganbatte!! haha no but really not surprised. There are so many American/Bilingual private schools over there. The company I work for sells english reading software to schools in Mexico.

  • D-bloodalchemist

    I’m from Guatemala, I’m surprised that we are on the list :)
    And at a higher level than countries like Chile and Turkey.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Interesting! I didn’t notice that until you pointed that out.

    Well, they may know English, but they can’t speak AMERICAN. Obviously that’s the big problem jkjk

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Obviously we’re so far down we couldn’t fit on the paper.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Lots of people from Norway using TextFugu to learn Japanese, actually. I’m always surprised when I look at the map stats. Also get a lot of emails from Norway. You folks are good at English… probably better than I am and it’s what I grew up with! :(

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Yeah, doesn’t seem super scientific in terms of how they tested. I imagine people who are already “goodish” at English were more likely to take the test (in all countries, though, so perhaps the actual rank of the country is somewhat accurate) inflating a lot of the scores. I agree with you though… if somehow you could test every Japanese adult, they’d have a much lower score, though I wonder if their rank would be approximately the same (if all countries somehow had every single adult tested).

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I agree with that :( It would be so cool to grow up knowing 4-5 different languages.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I bet they could read / write sorta, though. They do a bad job learning to speak in school :( Seems like the most important thing, no?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I’m probably wrong, but isn’t English one of the official languages of Singapore? I think only English as a second language countries were rated.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I think you guys got left off the list _because_ English is your first language ;) Same reason why UK and USA aren’t on this list. If you folks were on the list, though, pretty sure you’d win!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Nice! I didn’t know Mexico was so into English.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    You tell that long skinny country who’s boss!

  • ofutrecht

    I’ve met Dutch and Danish transfer students at my campus in California, at least as far as those individuals go, I can vouch for their high proficiency. They spoke English perfectly. How? Their reply: American Sit-coms.

  • http://yonasu.com/ yonasu

    Looks right to me overall, seeing Malaysia in the top 10 is a bit of a surprise though!

  • Lisa Smillie

    If R and L were closer together on the keyboard I might believe that was an accident.
    http://www.engrish.com/
    Why isn’t there a HUGE demand for native English speakers to proofread?

  • Jerry

    I don’t know about other countries, but really, I doubt it all boils down to the educational system of a country (I’m super biased towards education though :P). Here in The Netherlands we have English everywhere. Turn on the tv and it’s there. Turn on the radio and it’s there. Look at a billboard or some other kind of advertisement and it’s there. We’re such a small country that it’s usually not worth translating things (for example, there are a lot of games that you can play in German, French etc. but I have yet to see one that you can play in Dutch) so we’re “stuck” with English. Basically, it’d be hard NOT to pick up at least a decent level of English if you live here.

  • Fredi

    Hello, pretty doubtful data desu ne.

    Here is a list of all asian countries ordered by English proficiency (according to TOEFL scores):
    http://www4.synapse.ne.jp/seikeikyou/news/sinbun3.html

    Japan goes number 24 out of 24, the worst in Asia.

    You don’t really need a fancy research to realize it. Japanese can’t talk English. Most can read, but a very few can actually produce anything (countries in Africa or SE Asia with almost no education structure, no materials, no native speakers to practice with, are much more fluent than japanese).

  • yvanism

    oh.. なるほど。 Now that makes sense! But I’m not sure if we’d win though. :)

  • http://twitter.com/SuperNoonim Ko

    Haha I’ll be honest, I might’ve put Japan a little farther down on the list. But it’s nice to know that I’m wrong. If this is based on writing/reading, I kind of want to know how native English speakers would do on it.

  • Even

    Hey hey! 8D Norway is on the top, yeeey!

  • Lekos

    What is cool to see is that Portugal is right below Japan, and I always had the ideia Japan and Portugal have the same problems with english. So I guess my ideia about this wasn’t so bad at all.

  • Apfelmarmelade

    How did Germany get 8th place?! I’m German, but I often hear from friends visting Germany that people on the streets can’t even give directions…I don’t have good experience with Germans in combination with English…and I guess it can’t be just the difference between the written and spoken language…?

  • http://profiles.google.com/shahiirosan shahiir mizune

    hehe….malaysia top top……..Malaysia bole~h!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hahahahahahahah…..my country(MALAYSIA) is better…………………..

  • Tybel2010

    They tested adults, but at least in my country, teenegers are much much beter than adults in English. I’m from Brazil and I agree that our level is very low, but they should have tested teenagers instead of adults, because teenagers (from the 90’s) are the ones who started to learn English at school. Adults in my country didn’t have the chance. I also agree with the first four ones. It’s almost unbelievable their English level (source: my own experience).

  • Mac @ JLPT Boot Camp

    I definitely find it hard to believe that Japan is ‘moderate’ especially with Thailand being Very Low. It seemed like everyone in Thailand was at least willing to try to communicate with you.

    I would say South Korea’s rating is pretty accurate though. I happened upon a group of high school kids and I was able to have a pretty decent conversation with them. I can’t say the same about high school kids that I’ve bumped into in Japan.

    The English teaching system here (in high school and junior high) is well completely out-dated, but it is getting at least a minor face lift in 2012. I here some districts are taking an axe to any English teacher that can’t speak the language by 2012, which is a good sign. I remember one of my friends saying he had to learn Japanese, so he could talk to the English teacher about the day’s lessons :(

  • Mac @ JLPT Boot Camp

    Most Germans I’ve met speak English extremely well. Of course, I’ve met them outside of Germany :)

  • Mangun

    this report is incomplete and ridiculous. Why? because the third largest English speaking nation, with 90+ million people is excluded. Where English is one of two official languages, where English is the official medium of instruction in all schools for English, math, and science. where ALL local daily broadsheet newspapers are in ….English. Where the Constitution and all laws passed by the Congress and Senate are in English. Try the PHILIPPINES

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I don’t think any countries that have English as an official language are
    included in this list – just English as a second language … er… English
    as a second non-official language.

  • Jimilegolas

    The survey is completely inaccurate and excludes countries tha could get in the top 15 easily. Like Cyprus, Greece, lots of african countries.
    And Koichi you said that countries like Singapore are not included because of the official status of English in these countries.
    But if you look, India is included(!!)

    Anyway this survey is absolutely crappy, misleading and i think Koichi you should replace it with a much better one:)

  • Johannes

    I have been to some scientific event once – the Japanese speakers must have memorized their talks without any understanding for what they said in English. They could not answer any question.
    Germany on rank 8 is really bad. They should skip the bad dubs on TV and give us original language with subtitles.

  • Johannes

    Oh, and even worse, Austria is on 6.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I think English in India is a “subsidiary official language” which I’m guessing didn’t count to the people doing this study. I agree this study isn’t perfect, but I don’t know if there’s (any?) way to make one that’s much better and more accurate than this.

    I don’t know a whole lot about English in places like Greece / Africa / etc, but since this study was testing adults, I imagine that would lower their scores quite a bit. I feel like it’s the younger generations in Africa (don’t quote me on this, I really don’t know that well!) that are better at English. I also wonder if lack of access to internet also meant that a lot of African nations didn’t have enough data to be included in this study.

    Anyways, I agree the study isn’t perfect, but not sure what else they could (realistically) do to make it better. Did you have another survey in mind that you thought was better?

  • Mangun

    Not True. English is an official language of India which is included as mentioned below but also Hong Kong.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I think India has English as a “subsidiary official language” – not sure if that played a role in their decision. Hong Kong does have English as an official language, so I don’t know why it’s on there. I wonder if it’s because China now owns Hong Kong, and China’s official language isn’t English? Just speculating here, but sort of fits.

    Anyways, not my study, so you’ll have to ask them why they did that (also, might be in their study pdf, though I don’t remember seeing it).

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    haha, I’ve seen that too (memorizing a speech, not knowing what is being said). Always good stuff :/

  • Jimilegolas

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_Europe

    Well i found this, which seems pretty accurate.
    (Only Europe is included)

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I believe the data from that study comes from survey results (i.e. people just filling out a questionnaire on their language levels) rather than taking an actual English test. It might be better data, it might be worse … but I think in general people don’t tell the whole truth when they’re asked how good they are at something.

  • Jonadab the Unsightly One

    One potential problem with the described methodology, or at least something to be aware of, is that it introduces a bias toward countries whose people tend to wait to take the test until they feel they are very prepared for it, as opposed to going ahead and taking it just to see how you do (and then maybe going back later after you study some more).

    The only way to avoid this bias, really, would be to construct the sample differently. For example, if you were to get people to agree to participate in a study first (without telling them what the study is about) and then give them the test, the results might be somewhat different. Admittedly, such a study would be more difficult to design and more expensive to conduct.

  • Jonadab the Unsightly One

    To the best of my understanding English is a full-fledged official language in India, but they have, like, fifteen or twenty official languages. It’s a little different from, say, Nigeria (where English is _the_ local lingua franca). In India if your first language is Gujarati and you travel way on over across the country and meet someone whose first language is Konkani, you might find that you both also speak Hindi.

    In Africa there is very little chance of that sort of thing: if you travel even fifty miles the only languages you have any significant probability of being able to use to communicate with any of the locals are the various European lingua franca (mainly English and French) or perhaps Arabic. Consequently, virtually everybody (well, everybody who travels very far outside their home village) has to learn at least one of these languages. Which one(s) they learn generally depends on exactly where in Africa they live, but in the Anglophone areas the percentage of people who speak English more or less fluently is high. (Granted, they have a rather pronounced accent in many areas, but it’s just an accent. If you listen to it for half an hour or so you learn to hear right through it.)

  • Jonadab the Unsightly One

    It should be noted too that the playing field is not entirely level.

    English is almost as easy for Mexicans to learn as Spanish is for English-speaking Gringoes. Not _quite_ as easy, because the orthography for English is inherently more complex than for Spanish, so there’s a little more work for them to do there. The amount of vocabulary that must be acquired for basic fluency is probably larger, as well. Still, the extensive similarities in the grammar of the two languages and the vast quantity of cognates works equally well in both directions. Of course, they’d have an even easier time studying any of the other Romance languages, but on the whole English is a fairly easy language to pick up if you’re already fluent in Spanish — much easier than, e.g. Hebrew or Chinese.

    Contrast that with the Japanese, whose first language is so different from English that it’s difficult to believe both languages were both developed by humans. Among other things the phonology is completely different; the grammar is totally alien; and cognates are mostly limited to quite recent loanwords. If the Japanese are anywhere _near_ as good at English as the native Spanish speakers, it’s got to be because they put significantly more effort into it. I can’t see any other explanation.

    I’m not saying this to diminish Mexico’s high rank. Setting Asian countries to one side for a moment, Mexico’s rank is also significantly higher than Italy or Spain or a number of other countries whose denizens also speak Romance languages natively, so apparently Mexicans *are* putting some significant effort into learning English.

    But when you look at where Hong Kong and South Korea and Japan stand, I think this is an interesting factor to keep in mind. I doubt if there are any native-English-speaking countries whose citizens would do so well on a test of Chinese or Korean or Japanese. (Granted, none of those languages has the same degree of global importance as English. Still, that only makes learning the language more _desirable_, not _easier_.)

  • Christopher

    As a Swede, I have to say we get much for free. Since our languages are very similar to English, it’s much easier for us to learn it than it is for a native Japanese speaker.

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  • http://twitter.com/SereneHo99 Serene Ho

    I’m thinking that countries where English is taught as first language may not have a good data set or be included in the list. I was looking through the full report and the ‘tests’ they’re gathering data from are placement tests of sorts to enroll in English classes. Take Singapore for example, English is taught as a first language, we don’t take TOEIC, TOFEL etc and pretty much don’t enroll in English classes…

  • http://twitter.com/SereneHo99 Serene Ho

    Even if we were included in the list….anyway, I think the sample set they have is probably skewed towards people who needed to take some kind of English placement/proficiency test for work or entry to schools etc. Have a look at the full report. I think the test info is listed in the last page.

  • http://twitter.com/SereneHo99 Serene Ho

    Just read your link…surprised Singaporeans even take TOEFL O_O…is that a requirement to enter American universities or something?

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  • Pingback: Worldwide English Proficiency « Oz Eigo()

  • http://jeffowick.blogspot.com Jeff

    I’ve actually worked for EF. They operated an international ‘summer camp’ where high school kids came to live in America for about a month. They spent four hours a day learning English M-F and the rest of the time exploring NYC or Boston or smoking on campus. The kids all had to take a placement test (which did not involve speaking) to determine which class/level they would be placed in. I’m pretty sure this is the data they are using for this list.

  • Luminarygal

    what happened to the phillipines and singapore? when it comes to asian countries, these two are supposed to be at the top of the list.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I think both of them have English as an official language, so they don’t get
    counted

  • Madbeanman

    I think what you’ve said in this post is really spot on. First time poster and I’m loving your blog. I’m training to be a Japanese Language Teacher in Irish secondary (high) schools and we’ve always been told that English is taught in Japan through the Grammar Translation Method. This basically means that the emphasis is like youve said on reading and writing and students can barely speak or understand the aural aspects of the language.

    Keep up the good work koichi san!

  • Andy_Megara

    Oh! My country placed in the very low proficiency range T_T… Though that`s not a surprise really… I hope someday it will change. ^_^!

  • Phudi

    India is in low proficiency and Japan is placed in moderate? I think that isn’t true. India is the the biggest provider of outsourcing services in the world and Philippines as the second. One of this outsourcing services is the call center industry and it requires talking to customers mostly from the US, Australia and Britain. Now, these countries can’t be dominating the outsourcing business if their people isn’t good in English. Many Koreans and Chinese study English in the Philippines because it is cheaper there than going to a “native” English speaking country which many Japanese do but unfortunately learn nothing.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    You’re right that India dominates the telephone support industry, but that’s
    a pretty small portion of the population. When you look at the big picture
    with almost a billion people, such a small percentage are actually
    proficient in English. I think it’s pretty polar where higher educated folk
    have some proficiency but a vast majority of the people hardly / don’t speak
    English at all. That’s what I’ve heard anyways, not sure if it’s 100%
    correct or not since I don’t really know much on India.

  • http://twitter.com/LeafyTangram Leah

    I find this interesting compared to my own experiences. I struggle to communicate with the Japanese people at my university. Professors, adults involved in helping foreign exchange students, and, worst of all, the students themselves. The students seem to be so afraid to mess up that they won’t even try. It’s extremely frustrating. They also show the least improvement during their stays. They make fewer friends because they won’t leave their comfortable circles of fellow Japanese students. The few Japanese friends I’ve gotten close enough to talk to online have grating spelling and grammar.

    That China is so far down will change over time, I believe. Graduating college students must complete some amount of English proficiency to receive a full degree. So whereas the older population (i.e. the tested population) may exhibit low testing results, current college students would yield a much higher score. The Chinese students at my university have excellent English, and they’re a lot more willing to correct their mistakes.

  • Carlos

    you must be joking. did you ever come to Portugal or are you just joking? Portugal obviously sucks compared to Japan in most situations, but we do speak english with high proficiency. japanese do not. 

  • Carlos

     ok, maybe it makes sense Portugal is even compared to Japan in English proficiency. maybe they tested on >40 year old portuguese adults dake. and btw, Japanese are really more proficient when writing, specially if the test is a TOIEC, for each they read the cheat book “how to score 900 in toeic”. but please try to have a simple conversation on the street with a japanese xD

  • Julio César Bedoya

    You HAVE GOT to be kidding me. The regular Japanese girl next door wont understand 4 English words together.  They seem to understand other things really well on the other hand….

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Yeah, they’re more into reading/writing when it comes to their proficiency

  • Abdurahman24

     wow Australia is a light grey(very low proficiency) on the map ,I am guessing we cannot speak English ;p ;p

  • http://nihonburp.com Michael Warren

     Well yep you can tell they didn’t test oral skills. Japan’s school system is good at producing grammar robots but they seem to lack on the practical English skills. 

  • http://captaindm.wordpress.com/ Victor Reeser

    Check this list again in 10 years and South Korea will be smoking by Japan. English is actually a focus in their curriculum as opposed to just playing games with people who speak English.

  • Kate

    Having English as a first language, I wonder what it would be like to take and English class in another country. I think that there are some things that aren’t focused as much on in English classes of native English speakers as much as in the English classes in countries where English is not one of the main languages.  I’m taking a Spanish class (currently a level 1 student) as a high school requirement and I’ve noticed that what I am studying is so simple and it’s common sense, but I still mess it up a lot.

  • Seline

    Well, think of it this way too. Western culture greatly influences the eastern world, so I think the Japanese think English is more important. Yeah, English to Spanish speakers is easier than English to Japanese speakers, but I think it’s the factor of importance that puts Japan higher than Mexico on this chart. Their culture is greatly influenced by the English language. I can’t name one Japanese band that doesn’t use an English word in any of their songs. I guess it’s cool there.

  • themrscribbler

    these countries were measured by using a written exam, not oral.  Personally, oral communication is much more important.

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  • Adam

    This is total BS and clearly the test is ineffective. Any English speak who has lived in Japan can attest to the shocking inability of the average Japanese person to speak English. Grammar scores and reading ability does not equate to English ability.

  • Patty

    HI Koichi

    I am going to make a obvious question for you haha. I want to start to study either Japanese or Chinese . PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG. I struggling with serious money issues therefore I want to work in order to get a better job. Next September I will start my Masters in Publishing studies but I also want to challenge myself in other language. I like Japan, well the things I know… I guess Japan is a good country to develop my further publishing skills, I think Japan is very creative country, mentally disciplined, and friendly. As for China I don’t know I hear everywhere is the language “of the future” .

    As you see my environment is quite confusing and I contacting you in order to get a objective point of view.

    Thank in advance Koichi for your time and consideration.

  • sparks

    As an American born Indian, I’m also skeptical at this as well. If this is a test that focuses on writing and reading instead of speaking then India would be placed here.But generally Indians speak English a lot with exception to some older generations.

  • Jhedrick Silayan

    Well.. Isn’t this great to here. I am from the Philippines and I do know quite a few people working in these call center industries. Surprise that Philippines isn’t on the list. I started learning English during my elementary school days but my family moved to Australia. :) I was in Grade 5 and was in a panic for the first week since I was scared to try my English orally afraid of making a mistake. I thought that I would ruin my first impression but I guess I was wrong, I felt really comfortable speaking in English. It’s also true how many Koreans and Chinese study English in the Philippines not just them I see quite a few white people too. Learning a third language is quite hard since you try to keep your first language. I started learning Japanese in school but I don’t think I’m learning enough. Like this article says most of the testing are done by writing and grammar. I found those quite easy and fun but when it came to the oral task I barely understood anything. That’s why I decided to take my studies online but so far no luck.

  • I like USA

    I watched this statistics.
    I strongly doubt this data.
    several reason for this.

    First
    France is too high.
    France is being inept for English.
    My acquaintances insuted by lot of French,because they spoke English.
    French English ability is extremely terrible.
    They shouldn’t deserve to human.
    I really hate France.
    Second
    India is much higher than this list.
    Of course India is English country.
    Moreover My German acquaintance said
    two third Indian can speak English as well as native speaker.
    Third
    Japan and Taiwan are so high.
    I’m Japanese. I know most Japanese can’t speak.
    Neither Japanese nor Taiwanese can speak English.
    These are the main reason why this data is not appropriate.

  • rajeem cariazo

    Where is Philippines?

  • Nelu S

    Too bad Romania wasn’t included in the test. Romanians too are highly proficient in english.