Study: Malaysia Ranks 3rd Most Proficient In The English Language For Asia

Singapore and the Philippines narrowly edged Malaysia out to claim the first and second spot respectively.

Cover image via Flickr & Mary Taylor/Pexels

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Malaysia has come out as one of the top countries in Asia for a survey considering the proficiency of the English language for over 100 countries

EF Education First, a Swedish education company, recently conducted a survey which analysed the results of over 2.1 million non-native English speakers, who took the EF SET English tests in 2021 across 111 countries and regions.

Referred to as the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) 2022, the countries were divided into five different divisions based on their performance: Very high proficiency, high proficiency, moderate proficiency, low proficiency, and very low proficiency. All the countries in the index were ranked based on a dedicated score.

Here's a complete rundown of the ranking from first to 111th:

Global ranking for the EF EPI 2022.

Image via EF

Overall, Malaysia claimed 24th place and landed in the middle of the 'High proficiency' category.

Despite not landing in the top tier of 'Very high proficiency' countries, Malaysia still snagged the third highest spot of all the Asian countries

Edging out Malaysia for second place was the Philippines, who also landed in the 'High proficiency' category, ranking two spots above at 22nd. 

The top Asian country went to Singapore, who managed to clinch second place overall out of the 111 countries, ranking only below the Netherlands.

Ranking of all the Asian countries for the EF EPI 2022.

Image via EF

Rounding off the top five countries included Austria, Norway, and Denmark, who placed third, fourth, and fifth respectively. 

The bottom five countries of the lot were Rwanda, Libya, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Laos, in descending order.

Overall, Singapore was the only Asian country to land itself in the 'Very high proficiency' category, while Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong were the only three that made it into the 'High proficiency' threshold.

Using a distinct scoring system, Malaysia's ranking for 2022 is a new high compared to the past three years

Including every country's track record for the survey thus far, Malaysia's index consisted of rankings since 2011. Moreover, this year's score shows the nation's highest performance since 2019, having ranked 28th in 2021, 30th in 2020, and 26th in 2019.

Providing statistics for each state, Pahang holds the top score for most proficient region in Malaysia for English with a score of 592. Kuantan on the other hand, claimed the top score among the Malaysian cities, tallying at 607.

Furthermore, Malaysian men are reported to have a higher proficiency level of English than Malaysian women, with a score of 588 over the women's distribution score of 560.

The proficiency score according to the geographical location for cities and regions in Malaysia.

Image via EF

According to EF, the test is a "standardised, objectively scored test designed to classify test takers' language abilities into one of the six levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)."

The test is also available on the Internet, and users may try it for free. However, the outcome does affect the overall results of the ranking.

While the sample of test takers chosen was biased towards respondents who are interested in pursuing language study, and younger adults, the organisation said that their pool is roughly balanced between male and female respondents, which include a broad range of ages.

"In parts of the world where Internet usage is low, we would expect the impact of an online format to be strong. This sampling bias would tend to pull scores upward by excluding poorer and less educated people," read a portion of the explanation.

Malaysia's overall ranking and score, as compared to the global average.

Image via EF

Click here to read the full results of the EF EPI 2022 survey

Malaysia also ranked 18th for the most peaceful country in the world for 2022:

Awhile back, KL was ranked the third most overworked city in Malaysia for 2022:

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