English is the world’s most widely spoken language but is unusual in the fact that the vast majority of speakers are not ‘native’. In my country Sweden, most people speaks English since we start already in first grade of elementary school at the age of 6 to learn it. So this is another list where Sweden is at the top.
Of the approximately 1.5 billion people who speak English, less than 400 million use it as a first language. That means over 1 billion speak it as a secondary language.
The English Proficiency Index has published its latest research on where English is learned around the world and quality of teaching in each country to find the places with the highest proficiency of English as a second language.
The Netherlands has emerged as the nation with the highest English language proficiency, according to the EF English Proficiency Index, with a score of 72. It is ahead of five other northern European nations at the top of the chart.
In fact, the only non-European nation in the top ten is Singapore at number six.
It is not surprising that Europe has so many nations near the top of the Index given historical trade links with the UK and the fact that it is one of three ‘working languages’, along with French and German, of the European Commission.