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Austria improves in English language skills

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Sprechen Sie Englisch? Photo: APA/epa
16:28 CET+01:00
Austria has increased its position in the world rankings as a global leader in English language proficiency, according to a report released this week.

The Education First (EF) English Proficiency Index (EPI) placed Austria in seventh place out of 63 countries. Austria’s EPI score has increased by 4.63 points in the past seven years, to 63.21.

Denmark was the number one nation for English language proficiency (EPI = 69.3), Holland was second (EPI = 68.98) and Sweden, third (EPI = 67.80).

Austrians in every age group outperform European averages, with those aged 18-24 speaking the best English, suggesting that the country’s average English proficiency will continue to rise.

In Austria children start learning English at primary school, usually aged seven. 

The report shows Austrian women speak significantly better English than Austrian men, and the gender gap is greater than that in most European countries.

EF EPI 2014-English from EF Education First on Vimeo.

Some Austrians will be pleased to see that their English language skills are ranked higher than those of their larger neighbour, Germany, which places tenth. 

This Index is in its fourth edition and shows the performance in 2014 of 63 non-Commonwealth countries worldwide. The major trend highlights that Europe’s English proficiency remains far higher than in other regions, and continues to improve.

The study also concluded that there are strong correlations between English proficiency and income, quality of life, ease of doing business, Internet usage, and years of schooling. These correlations are remarkably stable over time, stated EF in its findings.

EF is the world's largest educational company, specializing in language learning, academic programs and cultural exchange. The company was founded in 1965 and today operates 500 schools and offices across 52 countries.

How The Local's nations fared:

1st Denmark

3rd Sweden

5th Norway

7th Austria

10th Germany

18th Switzerland

20th Spain

27th Italy

29th France

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