Japan ranked 22nd of 54 countries in the second EF Education First (EF) English Proficiency Index (EPI), EF Education First Japan Ltd announced Friday at an event in Tokyo attended by leading figures from industry and academia.
According to the results, Japan recorded an EPI score of 55.14, below the average of 58.58 among OECD member countries. In the Asian region, Singapore and Malaysia scored the highest in 12th and 13th positions respectively, with South Korea in 21st place, Hong Kong in 25th, and China 36th.
This second edition of the index combined a unique set of data gathered from 1.7 million adults in 54 countries worldwide using free English tests over a period of three years, from 2009 to 2011. This is the first time the results have been disclosed and discussed in detail in a Japanese context.
The findings for Japan showed differences by region, gender and age group. Scores from Tokyo and the wider Kanto region exceeded those of other areas of the country, likely due to the greater concentration of international business operations and opportunities to use English.
The index also found that women in Japan scored slightly higher than men, while by age group, young people between 18-25 had the highest scores, with English proficiency then gradually declining for middle-aged and older people.