Malaysia ranks third in Asia for English proficiency

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has demonstrated its prowess in the English language by ranking third in Asia, according to the 2023 EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI).

The Education First (EF) English Proficiency Index (EPI) is the largest international survey of adult English skills as it evaluates the English language proficiency of 2.2 million non-native English speakers in 113 countries and regions.

In the 2023 edition, Malaysia placed itself among the top three countries in Asia, with Singapore rolling in at first place followed by the Philippines. On a global scale, Malaysia has earned the 25th spot.

Kuala Lumpur was also categorised as a city with high English proficiency, obtaining a score of 564 in the EF EPI 2023 City score.

The 2023 EF EPI also puts Perak as the top region in Malaysia for English proficiency, securing a score of 587.

Similarly, Kuantan takes the spotlight as the top city, achieving a score of 603.

Individuals within the age range of 26 to 30 exhibit the highest level of English mastery in the nation, showcasing an average score of 582.

Overall, Malaysia secured a total score of 568 in the 2023 index, marking a slight decline of six points compared to last year.

The EF SET is an online, adaptive English test of reading and listening skills. It is a standardised, objectively scored test designed to classify test takers’ language abilities into one of the six levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The index also reveals a concerning decline in youth English proficiency over the past five years and a growing gender gap.

Founded in Sweden in 1965, EF provides culturally immersive education through language, travel, cultural exchange, and academic programmes in over 100 countries.

The EF EPI is an annual ranking of countries and regions by English skills. The EF EPI is based on test scores from the EF Standard English Test (EF SET), used worldwide by schools, companies, and governments for large-scale testing as well as individual test takers.

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