Czechs Have Improved in English, but Their Neighbors Are… Doing Better

A 2022 survey by the Swiss international education company EF Education First, which measures the English proficiency of people in 112 non-English speaking countries and regions, found that over the last year Czech had improved their English, most notably those in their forties.

The Czech Republic ranked 23rd with 575 points.

The survey gathered and analyzed data from free tests taken online by a total of 2.1 million people worldwide for EF’s English Proficiency Index. By region, 35% of test takers were from Europe, 24% from Asia, 20% from Central and South America, 20% from Africa, and 12% from the Middle East. The median age was 25.

After a significant drop from 19th place last year to 27th, Czechs have returned to the level they have been at since the first survey. This shows that they have been stagnating in English for at least the last eleven years.

The level of proficiency is still generally high, so Czechs can present themselves in English at work, understand TV programs, or read newspapers without particular difficulty.

However, all neighboring countries rank significantly higher than the Czech Republic, with Austria ranking third. Slovakia ranks 15th, – just one step away from moving into the group of countries with a very high language level.

The country with the highest English proficiency was the Netherlands and the majority of countries classed as having “very high” (1–13) or “high” (14–31) proficiency were in Europe.

Prague is above Berlin

The survey also looks at how the big cities are doing. Interestingly, Prague has climbed to 16th place among the cities with the highest level of English, ahead of Berlin.

In comparison with all participating countries, men perform better than women. However, the gap is shrinking yearly and is virtually non-existent in countries such as France, Italy, Russia, and Ukraine.

A somewhat negative surprise comes from the survey for the 21 to 25 age group, whose level has not changed since last year, and especially for the youngest group tested, 18 to 20.

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