Fail ka: Thailand ranks near the bottom for English language proficiency, says EF

Bangkok young adults get their daily dose of English by taking a class with Sunny Burns, often shirtless model and hottest English teacher in Thailand. Photo: Private English Tutoring by Sunny

Thailand is one of the worst countries for English proficiency in the world as the nation was ranked number 62 out of 70 countries in the recent EF English Proficiency Index.

Thailand continues to perform poorly in the EF English test with the country showing the steepest decline in Asia since last year and remains in the lowest proficiency band, sending it to 14th place out of 16 Asian countries, the report said.

“Despite investment in English training throughout the region, most Asian countries, including the wealthiest ones, have not seen significant changes in their EF EPI scores from last year. Thailand is the only country that declined significantly, while India, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam all showed significant improvements,” the report said.


The results, which were based on test data of almost a million adults worldwide who took the EF test last year, gave Thailand a score of 45.35, the second worst in Southeast Asia if it wasn’t for Cambodia (39.14).

“Thailand’s school system performs poorly on international assessments across all subject areas. Adult English proficiency in Thailand is also weak despite the demand for English skills in the country’s tourism industry,” it said.

In Asia, Singapore (61.08), Malaysia (60.30) and India (58.21) are the only countries who were given “very high proficiency.”

Globally, the average level of adult English proficiency in the world has risen slightly since last year, but this increase is far from common across countries, regions, and age groups. Many countries have seen no significant change, and a few have declined.

The test scores state women speak English better than men worldwide, in every region surveyed, and in almost every country. The gender gap is widest in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa and largely absent in the very high proficiency countries of Northern Europe.

Europe continues to dominate the index, filling the highest proficiency bands. Sweden topped the list, followed by Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Finland respectively.

Read the full report here.


OPINION: Why international kids who grew up in Thailand don’t speak Thai


Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on