Accordingly, more than one million people from 80 countries and territories completed three different versions of the EF Standardised Test of English in 2016, 200,000 of whom are Vietnamese people.

Vietnamese participants scored an average of 53.43 points, decreasing 0.63 points on-year and dropping three ranks, to the 34th position. In the Asia region, Vietnam ranks seventh out of 20 countries joining the test.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two cities with the highest English proficiency index across the country.

“Vietnam saw improvement in the English proficiency index over the years. Starting from a low proficiency lever, within only seven years, the country fought its way into the average proficiency level bracket. Thus, Vietnam needs to focus on reforming the curriculum as well as improving the quality of education to maintain this ranking and score better in the future,” said Minh Tran, senior study director of EF.

“The slight drop in ranking compared to 2016 showed that Vietnamese people improve their English skills slower than people in other countries. However, on a positive note, having more countries and territories joining the seventh edition of the standardised test also impacted the results of the survey,” Minh added.

The EF English Language Proficiency Index is increasingly cited as a reliable source of information by journalists, educators, officials, and business leaders. EF is pleased to contribute to the on-going exchange of English language training.

The 7th edition of the index included an addition of seven countries, including Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Cuba, Greece, Nigeria, and South Africa. Besides, the number of participants was also larger than last year.

The survey was conducted on more than one million people, 47 per cent of whom are female. The average age of adult participants is 26 years, and 79 per cent were under 35 years old.

In general, there were only slight improvements in English language proficiency scores. Only four countries—Panama, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand—have achieved remarkable results.

The scores for most countries remain unchanged. Although no country has declined significantly in absolute terms, the addition of new countries and the tightening of scores had led some countries to drop more than ten levels.

Besides, eight of the top 10 countries in the index are in Europe, including the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway (the top four).

EF was founded in 1965 as an international education company that focuses on language, academics, and cultural experience. It provides local English language training courses for both kids and adults, with the same goal shared across all schools in the EF system: providing excellent teaching in an immersive environment. At present, EF has over 500 schools in 107 countries.

Vietnam Investment Review - November 19, 2017