I came across an interesting article on indiatimes.com that reports on the English proficiency among Indians.
To my surprise I found out that according to a survey carried out by Education First, a language training company, proficiency on the subcontinent in only moderate.
I guess, we in the Western world often get mislead by the impression English was omnipresent or at least widely spoken in India, as almost all of the call-centers and agents are based over there as well as services for personal assistants and increasingly also teaching/tutoring companies.
Reality seems to look a bit different with India not even ranking in the top 10 countries when it comes to proficiency in English, even scoring weaker than some Asian neighbor countries, namely Singapore and Malaysia.
The survey is fairly large-scale with 1.7 million people from around the world taking the test.
Unsurprisingly, the four Scandinavian countries occupy the top spots. Differences in performance and language capacities between Europe and Asia are explained by the different education systems with European countries focusing on comprehension and not rote learning.
This year, India does however rank better than China which is credited to the better English listening skills of Indian’s compared with Chinese.
India did also score better than any other of the BRIC countries. The comparison with Brazil and Russia seems to be the most interesting here when we think about other implications like economic aspects.
What’s your take on the story? As non-native English speakers, do you think the education system in your country provides you with the necessary skills?
Also, do you think English is the world language and will probably get even more dominant or are other languages gaining more importance?