Italy ranks lowest in terms of English-language proficiency in EU

ROME, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- A new report from the English Proficiency Index showed that Italians are the least proficient speakers of English in the European Union, though the country is still well within the top half of the hundred countries measured by the report.


File photo: CGTN

The ninth edition of the report was released earlier this week, with the country-specific breakdown unveiled Friday.

The report showed that Italy, on average, is the 36th most fluent country when it comes to speakers of English in countries where English is not the national language.

Though there are 64 countries rated behind Italy on the list, Italy is still the lowest-ranked European Union member state on the list, just behind Spain (35th), Latvia (32nd), and France (31st). 

All four of those European Union member states ranked in the list's "moderate" section, the middle of the five levels from the English Proficiency Index report. 

The top-rated country on the list is The Netherlands, followed by three more European Union countries: Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Those three countries were among the 12 European Union countries in the "very high" section on the list.

At the bottom end of the list, from the "very low" section for English proficiency, are Kyrgyzstan and Libya.

In the breakdown released Friday, it was revealed that Emilia-Romagna, the central Italian region that includes Bologna, Parma, and Modena, has the highest proficiency in Italy, followed closely by Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the northeastern Italian region that includes the port city of Trieste, and Lombardy, the northern region that includes Milan. Sicily is the lowest-ranked Italian region. Lazio, the region that includes Rome, was in the middle of the pack.