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Country's English language ranking improves
Published on: 2017-11-10
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060The English proficiency of people in China has reached its highest level since 2011, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The proficiency ranking rose three places to 36th among 80 countries and regions, according to the 2017 English Proficiency Index of the Swedish education company Education First, which has produced the report for seven years.

Proficiency in English among residents of Shanghai has ranked first in China for four consecutive years, followed by Hong Kong and Beijing, the report said.

062The report is based on the EF Standard English Test results of more than 1 million people from 80 non-English-speaking countries and regions around the world.

Nine out of 10 people who took the test, which was developed by the company and consists of reading and listening, were not clients of Education First. The median age was 26; 48 percent were women.

Another notable finding is that the English proficiency of people in Fujian province has risen steadily over the past few years and entered China's top five for the first time.

Cai Jigang, a professor of English at Shanghai's Fudan University, said the great investment made in English education by the Chinese government and society since 1978 has been key. However, the test-oriented teaching approach remains, resulting in weak spoken English among many Chinese people, he said.

To change that, Lam suggested that English education in China should focus on communication rather than on mastering grammar. Constant exposure to English in daily life and technology-assisted learning are strongly recommended, she said.

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