Pinoys still ‘high’ in English proficiency

Pinoys still ‘high’ in English proficiency

By Tracy Cabrera

DESPITE dropping from 20th to the 27th spot in this year’s English Proficiency Index (EPI), the Philippines maintained a ‘high proficiency’ level in the English language that shows Filipinos are able to make passable presentations at work, understand television shows and read newspapers.

This is based on the latest survey conducted by Education First (EF), which saw the country fall seven spots in the recent global rankings gathered by the international education company based in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Philippines scored 562 out of a possible 700 points, just 90 points shy of leading country the Netherlands which garnered 652 points.

The Philippines, however, ranked second highest among countries in Asia. Singapore, which is 10th in the global ranking, placed first with a total score of 611.

The English Proficiency Index (EPI) ranking is based on the results of the EF Standard English Test (EF SET) administered in 2019 to 2.2 million individuals from 100 countries. The English proficiency levels are sorted into five proficiency bands: from Very High to Very Low.

In a separate list, Manila ranked 21st among participating cities with a high proficiency score of 582. This is two spots lower compared to the city’s ranking in 2019. Davao City also dropped from 15th to 24th place this year with a score of 578.

On analysis, the data in EF’s listing showed a consistent drop in the country’s ranking since 2016. From 13th place in 2016, the Philippines slid to 15th spot in 2017, to 14th place in 2018 and then to the 20th spot in 2019.

In 2018, A Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also revealed that the Philippines was the lowest in reading comprehension among 79 countries. Results showed that the Philippines only had an average reading score of 340—100 points short of the OECD average of 487.

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in April also claimed that some senior high school (SHS) students struggle to write in English. (AI/MTVN)

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