• Denmark's news in English

Danes world's best non-native English speakers

The Local · 12 Nov 2014, 16:26

Published: 12 Nov 2014 16:26 GMT+01:00

The Education First (EF) English Proficiency Index (EPI) ranked Danes as the best non-native English speakers in the world. 
Of the 63 non-Commonwealth countries included in the study, Denmark was one of just seven in the category of ‘very high proficiency’. Behind Denmark were the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland and Austria
Denmark’s proficiency score of 69.3 was enough to top the list and was significantly higher than the average EF EPI score of 56.92. Denmark’s proficiency score has risen by 2.72 points over the past seven years. 
That figure could very well continue to climb. With a reform of Denmark's public school system that took effect this year, Danish students are now taught English beginning in the first grade. 
“English is a very powerful platform for both commercial and cultural exchange. Language is a hugely important, but often overlooked, door opener. By mastering the English language at a world-class level, Danes have a clear advantage in the world. This is something to be proud of,” Christen Bagger, the head of EF in Denmark, said. 
Click the map for larger version. Story continues below. 
Click for larger version
Denmark returned to the top spot of the index after being topped by Norway, the Netherlands and Estonia in last year’s list. In 2012, Denmark was in second place behind Sweden. 
Globally, the report found that the world’s population is getting better at speaking English and that Europe’s English proficiency remains far higher than other regions’, and continues to improve.
“Worldwide, English proficiency among adults is rising, although this increase is far from uniform in all countries and all populations,” the EF EPI report reads. 
The report, the fourth of its kind, also found a significant gender gap when it comes to English skills. 
Story continues below…
“Women speak better English than men worldwide and in nearly every country surveyed.This gender skill gap is significant enough to have an impact in the workplace,” the report reads. 
This was also the case in Denmark, although the difference was not as pronounced as in most countries.  
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.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Danish economy set for ‘historically’ low growth
File photo: Scanpix DK

Reports from the Ministry of Finance and independent experts suggest that the Danish economy is likely to be one of Europe’s slowest growers over the coming years.

Aarhus named 'second best place in Europe'
Aarhus was named one of the top European destinations of 2016 by the Lonely Planet. Photo: Stan Shebs/Wikimedia

Denmark's second largest city was named among the best European destinations to visit in 2016 by influential travel guide Lonely Planet.

Danish family reunification laws discriminate: court
The court said that Danish rules unfairly discriminate against those who obtain citizenship later in life. Photo: Colourbox

Denmark’s family reunification laws discriminate against those who achieve citizenship later in life, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

Brit visits Copenhagen on Brexit fact-finding mission
Rebecca Sumner Smith plans to visit the 27 other EU countries before next month's referendum. Photo: Submitted

The Local caught up with British expat Rebecca Sumner Smith when she stopped in the Danish capital as part of her mission to speak to fellow Brits across the EU.

Copenhagen touts ‘organic food revolution’

An impressive 88 percent of all food served in the City of Copenhagen’s public institutions is organic, according to new figures released by the city.

SAS cancellations at Copenhagen to last days
The technical issues will leave SAS ten aircraft short. Photo: SAS

Technical issues with its flight of CRJ900 aircraft will leave SAS ten planes short through Thursday, causing the airline to cancel dozens of additional flights.

Danish teen jailed for Facebook terror threat
The man is a Danish citizen with a Lebanese background. Photo: Colourbox

19-year-old Aarhus man found guilty of encouraging terror by posting an Isis video.

'Inflatable refugee' visits Copenhagen on a mission
The 'Inflatable Refugee' is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen on Monday afternoon. Photo: Schellekens & Peleman

A project meant to symbolize the journey refugees go through to reach Europe will arrive in the Danish capital on Monday.

My Danish Career
'My goal is to get Denmark eating pies'
Wild Kiwi Pies owner Stuart Thrush. Photo: Melanie Haynes

In the newest instalment of My Danish Career, The Local speaks with New Zealander Stuart Thrush, who traded out the corporate life for a Copenhagen pie adventure.

Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
Copenhagen has world's highest transport prices
Analysis & Opinion
What's the deal with those 'wild' Danish kids?
Denmark prepares to take on 'hate preachers'
jobs available