A report ranked countries in the region and found that the generation gap in English proficiency in Latin America is the highest in the world
Yalilé LoaizaFrom Quito
Argentina leads the regional ranking with a very high level of English language proficiency, according to EF. (Getty Images)
Latin America is one of the world's regions with moderate level of English language proficiency, as revealed by the latest report by the firm Education First (EF), which evaluated 111 countries in the world and scored them according to their ability to communicate in that language.
According to the report, most countries in the region raised their scores compared to the study from the previous year.
In Latin America, the country with the best command of the English language, within the “Very high proficiency” category is Argentina. The nation ranks 30th in the world and tops the list of countries in the region.
The second country in the regional list is Costa Rica, which in the overall rating is seven positions below Argentina. This country falls within the category of “high domain”.
Of the 20 Latin American countries, only two have been qualified with a “very low” level. and seven with "low" English proficient.
Cuba, Paraguay and Bolivia, are in the third, fourth and fifth positions of the regional ranking. In addition, they occupy positions 38, 43 and 44 worldwide, respectively.
After the top 5 countries with the best domain in Latin America, in sixth position is Chile, which registers as the 45th country in English language proficiency in the world. Honduras (48th in the global ranking), Uruguay (49), El Salvador (50) and Peru ( 51) complete the table of the top 10 in the region.
Dominican Republic, Brazil and GuatemalaThey are the last three Latin American countries in the category of “high command” of the English language.
Ranking of command of the English language in Latin America. (Education First)
There are five countries in the region that have been rated “low level”. These are Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, which rank between positions 67 and 82 in the world list.
Only two Latin American countries were rated as “very low”: Mexico and Haiti. They are in positions 88 and 98, respectively, of the global ranking of 111 countries.
English is learned at work and not at school
EF's report not only assessed and ranked countries, but also investigated where English language learning is encouraged. As the study revealed, schools are not the places where Latin Americans develop their communication skills in that foreign language: “As in Europe, workplaces lead the increase in the level of English in Latin America, and not educational centers”, the document reads.
According to the Education First report, English is encouraged in the workplace and not in educational centers. (EFE/Jose Jacome).
Referring to the generation gap in the English language, EF rates Latin America as the region with the “deepest generation gap in the world”.
The report explains that since 2015, young adults ages 25 and older have shown gains in their English proficiency. However, the 30-year-old population is the one “that has progressed the most”.
Likewise, in the last seven years, young people between 20 and 25 years of age have remained stable in their qualifications , but the group between 18 and 20 years old “decreased their score by 60 points”.
Women in Haiti reported greater improvements in their level of English compared to men. (EFE/Orlando Barría)
According to this year's report, men in Latin America obtained better grades than women. Despite this, EF highlighted in the report that “the gender gap narrowed slightly” in the region and both gender groups improved their level of English: “The gender gap in the region presents little homogenization usual: men's qualifications remain between 10 and 25 points above those of women in most countries”, it reads.
The only countries in Latin America where more women improved their level of English compared to men were Haiti and Uruguay.