• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

France ranked 'worst in EU' at learning English

The Local · 3 Nov 2015, 11:50

Published: 03 Nov 2015 11:50 GMT+01:00

France finished 37th out of 70 countries in the new world ranking, carried out by international language training company Education First.
 
This was enough to see it finish ahead of only Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia among the 27 European countries measured.
 
The report noted that France, as well as neighbouring Spain and Italy were behind European averages. However, while Spain and Italy were on the up, France remained stubbornly stuck, well behind the likes of Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. 
 
"In fact, France is so far behind its neighbours that its English proficiency levels are akin to those of countries on the eastern edges of Europe," the company noted. 
 
"Whether due to a cultural aversion to English or an inability to reform its education system, France is on a different trajectory from its neighbours."
 
France finished with a "low proficiency" overall, dropping from 29th place last year when it was ranked with a "moderate proficiency".
 
 
Nenad Djokic, Country Manager for Education First in France, stressed that while France may have dropped eight places, things weren't any worse than usual.
 
"France is stagnating, it's not dropping," he told The Local. 
 
"The only reason we have lost ground is because we have added new countries to the study this year. But the trend is that France is not improving, not at all."
 
He said that the reasons France isn't keeping up with other countries that are on the improve, like Spain and Poland, could be blamed on the proud French-speaking culture, the lack of English as a required competency in schools, and overflowing classrooms preventing high school students from learning. 
 
Story continues below…
"The problem is that there is a split in France. Some people realize that it's important for business, foreign careers, and going abroad, while the intellectual elite think the primary focus should be expanding French everywhere."
 
"As long as we don't have a vision about where we want to go, then we are destined to stay at the same level," he said. 
 
The list, as usual, was dominated by the Nordics. Sweden finished first, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. 
 
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where property prices have risen most in France
Photo: AFP

You might just have been priced out of the market if you're looking to buy in Bordeaux.

Official Paris refugee camps to open end of September
Photo: AFP

Will this see an end to the squalid makeshift camps that spring up across the city?

Paris Metro takes on 'air hostesses' to promote safety
Photo: RATP/Screenshot

Did you see the "air hostesses" on the Metro this week?

Paris region doubles security budget for schools
Photo: AFP

France is prioritizing the protection of schools amid a heightened terror threat.

All you need to know about changes in French schools
All photos: AFP

School's back tomorrow, with a raft of new changes. Here's what you need to know.

Emmanuel Macron the next French president - Really?
Emmanuel Macron: The next French president? Photo: AFP

Can the 38-year-old maverick and former Rothschild banker really become the president of France in eight months' time?

€50 million of coke found in Coke factory in France
File photos: Owen Blacker/Flickr and Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Employees have sniffed out 370kg of coke in a French Coke factory.

Morocco's king drains water supply from French villages
King Mohamed VI of Morocco. Photo: AFP

King in town + 300-strong entourage = no drinking water for a French village.

Macron vows 'to transform France from next year'
Photo: AFP

Ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron sets his sights on the presidency albeit without saying so.

French PM suggests naked breasts represent France
A statue of Marianne at the Place de la Republique in Paris, with her left breast on show. Photo: AFP

Just as the burqini ban furore was dying down French PM Manuel Valls has stirred things up again for suggesting naked breasts were a stronger symbol of the Republic than a Muslim headscarf.

Culture
16 things you almost certainly didn't know about France
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Politics
Emmanuel Macron: The whizzkid who could shake up French politics
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
2,753
jobs available