Philippines drops further in global English proficiency rankings | Inquirer News

Philippines drops further in global English proficiency rankings

By: - Content Researcher/Writer / @CeBacligINQ
/ 12:46 PM November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines dropped from the 20th to the 27th spot in this year’s English Proficiency Index (EPI), according to the international education company Education First (EF).

The country fell seven spots in the recent global ranking based on a report released this week by English First which is based in Switzerland.


The English Proficiency Index (EPI) ranking is based on the results of the EF Standard English Test (EF SET) administered in 2019 to 2.2 million individuals from 100 countries. The English proficiency levels are sorted into five proficiency bands: from Very High to Very Low.

Despite the drop in rankings, the country received a “high proficiency” level in the English language. Based on scores gathered from last year’s test, the Philippines got 562 out of 700. This means that Filipinos are able to make a presentation at work, understand TV shows, and read newspapers.


The Netherlands placed first globally with a score of 652.

The Philippines meanwhile ranked second highest among countries in Asia. Singapore, which is 10th in the global ranking, placed first with a total score of 611.

In a separate list, Manila ranked 21st among participating cities with a high proficiency score of 582. This is two spots lower compared to the city’s ranking in 2019. Davao City also dropped from 15th to 24th place this year with a score of 578.

Consistent drop

The data showed a consistent drop in the country’s ranking since 2016. From 13th place in 2016, the Philippines slid to 15th spot in 2017, to 14th place in 2018, and then to the 20th spot in 2019.

In 2018, A Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also revealed that the Philippines was the lowest in reading comprehension among 79 countries. Results showed that the Philippines only had an average reading score of 340 – 100 points short of the OECD average of 487.

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in April also claimed that some senior high school (SHS) students struggle to write in English.

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TAGS: English First, English language proficiency, English Proficiency Index, PIDS, PISA
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