Philippines tops in the world in business English, says report

/ 01:08 AM April 28, 2012

We speak the same language as the international trading community and this has earned us plus points in English-speaking business circles.

The Philippines recently topped a global index measuring business English proficiency in the workplace, according to a study released on Wednesday by GlobalEnglish Corp.


With a score of above 7.0, the country’s Business English Index is “within range of a high proficiency that indicates an ability to take an active role in business discussions and perform relatively complex tasks.”

Joining the Philippines in the top five were Norway (6.54), Estonia (6.45), Serbia (6.38) and Slovenia (6.19)


Threat to productivity

GlobalEnglish Corp.’s annual Business English Index (BEI) also showed that the lack of Business English proficiency was “threatening the productivity of companies, industries and country-specific economies.”

“With a growing number of companies operating across 10, 15 or even more than 20 countries with different native tongues, the majority of the world’s business conversations now take place between nonnative English speakers in English,” GlobalEnglish Corp. said in a release posted on its website,

The average 2012 BEI score across 108,000 test takers worldwide was 4.15.

A BEI score of 1.0 indicates an ability to read and communicate using only simple questions and statements, and a score higher than 10.0 represents an ability to communicate and collaborate in the workplace much like a native English speaker.

“There was an overall decrease in the average BEI score from last year’s inaugural index, which dropped from 4.46 to 4.15,” the company said, adding that the low score “confirms that current Business English skills are not sufficient enough to meet the performance demands of today’s global economy.”

The index also revealed that nearly two in every five (38.2 percent) global workers from 76 represented countries were ranked as Business English beginners—those who, on average, “can’t understand or communicate basic information during virtual or in-person meetings, read or write professional e-mails in English or deal with complexity and rapid change in a global business environment,” GlobalEnglish Corp. said.


Majority of global workers (60.5 percent) from the represented countries scored between a 4.0 and 7.0, below an intermediate level, indicating an inability to take an active role in business discussions or perform relatively complex tasks such as presentation development and customer or partner negotiations.


“Struggling economic powers” Japan, Italy and Mexico as well as “fast-growth emerging markets” Brazil, Colombia and Chile scored below a 4.0 in Business English proficiency, “placing them at a disadvantage when competing in a global marketplace,” GlobalEnglish Corp. said. India earned a BEI score of 5.57, placing it within the top 10 countries. The BEI score for global workers in the United States declined from 6.9 to 5.09.

GlobalEnglish Corp. is a California-based provider of cloud-based, on-demand software to advance Enterprise Fluency for global organizations. It has offices in 30 countries and more than 500 partner enterprises, including GlaxoSmithKline, Hilton and Procter & Gamble, among others.

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