The World: Who Speaks English?

This week’s Economist had an interesting article about “Speaking English”. Lots of interesting facts and demographics about which countries speak English well and which don’t.

Our feeling is that students in whatever country need the opportunity to get comprehensible input and at the same time practice comprehensible output. The output / input idea – at the right level. This will always increase fluency and EnglishCentral does have it in spades.

Some interesting tidbits from the article.

Wealthy countries do better overall. But smaller wealthy countries do better still: the larger the number of speakers of a country’s main language, the worse that country tends to be at English.

Export dependency is another correlate with English. Countries that export more are better at English (though it’s not clear which factor causes which).

Teaching plays a role, too. Starting young, while it seems a good idea, may not pay off: children between eight and 12 learn foreign languages faster than younger ones, so each class hour on English is better spent on a 10-year-old than on a six-year-old.

Finally, one surprising result is that China and India are next to each other (29th and 30th of 44) in the rankings, despite India’s reputation as more Anglophone.

Lots to digest and think about …. get the full article here.

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