Czech Republic Drops Three Places In EF English Proficiency Index

The Czech Republic is still categorised among countries with ‘very high’ proficiency of the English language, but ranks below all its neighbours. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) – The Czech Republic has dropped down the rankings of English proficiency since last year, ranking 26th of 113 countries in EF Education First’s annual English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), down from 23rd in 2022.

The Czech Republic is still categorised among countries with ‘very high’ proficiency of the English language, but ranks below all its neighbours; Austria is 3rd, Germany 10th, Poland 13th and Slovakia 18th. Among European countries, the Czech Republic ranks 21st. The Netherlands tops the rankings, as last year.

Sabina Wyrob, from the Czech office of EF Education First, said Czech children have far fewer private language lessons than children in other European countries. She said the online teaching during the coronavirus pandemic also affected their English skills, as Czech children did not actively use the language and did not try to communicate. Schools and students are trying to catch up on what was missed, but are still not moving forward.

In the Czech Republic, schools were closed for many months during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the protective lockdown.

Wyrob pointed out that Slovakia had improved its position in the rankings despite the pandemic, even though English skills in Slovakia had been worse than in the Czech Republic until 2020.

2,400 people were tested in the Czech Republic for this year’s rankings. At the regional level, South Moravia is the best, ahead of Prague and Moravia-Silesia. Among Czech cities, Brno came top ahead of Prague.

English skills are the strongest in the 20s and 30s age groups. Improvements were recorded among people aged 21-25 and those above 40, while skills deteriorated for those aged from 26-30.

The long-term trend shows that the English skills of people aged from 18-20 have been deteriorating both in the Czech Republic and around the world, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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