People from Flanders and Brussels better at English than Walloons
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    People from Flanders and Brussels better at English than Walloons

    The overall Belgian score hides a big gap between Dutch-speaking and French-speaking participants. Credit: Pixabay

    People from Flanders and Brussels are better at English than Walloons, according to the yearly Education First English proficiency ranking.

    The ranking of best English speaking countries in which English is not the native language, is based on the results of the EF Standard English Test (EFSET). The 2019 ranking is based on data from 2018, when over 2.3 million non-native English speakers took the test.

    Belgium, with a ‘Very High’ English proficiency score of 63.09, ranks 13th of the 100 countries that took part worldwide, and 11th of Europe. However, the overall Belgian score hides a big gap between Dutch-speaking and French-speaking participants.

    If Flanders and Wallonia would be ranked separately among the 100 countries and regions that took part, as the Regions have different native languages, the results would look very different.

    Flanders, the native Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, with a ‘Very High’ score of 67.49, would rank in 5th place worldwide, right after Denmark. Wallonia, the native French-speaking part of the country, with a ‘High’ score of 58.22, would be ranked 29th after Nigeria.

    Brussels, the capital city, with a ‘Very High’ score of 63.56, would rank 12th, just above where Belgium is ranked now.

    The Netherlands is number one on the list, with a score of 70.27. Sweden, Norway and Denmark are ranked second, third and fourth respectively. Singapore is in fifth place.

    Belgium’s other neighbouring countries, Luxembourg and Germany, are in ninth and tenth place, still earning a ‘Very High’ proficiency score. France, however, is ranked ‘Moderate’ in 31st place.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times