In the latest edition of the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) for 2023, Thailand finds itself in the 8th position within the ASEAN region, garnering a classification of “very low” proficiency. On the global scale, the country is ranked 101st among 113 countries and territories evaluated. The comprehensive index, compiled by EF, a renowned international education company specializing in language training, cultural exchange, and academic programs, serves as a significant benchmark for assessing English language skills worldwide.
EF’s annual ranking, the EF EPI, aims to measure the equity of English language proficiency among adults who voluntarily undertook the EF test. The 2023 edition utilized data from 2.1 million test-takers in 2022, with participation criteria requiring at least 400 test-takers per country for inclusion in the index.
Thailand’s position in the proficiency hierarchy places it behind not only regional powerhouses like Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia but also Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Cambodia, according to the index findings. With a score of 416, Thailand’s proficiency level is classified as “very low,” illustrating a notable gap compared to its regional counterparts.
In the ASEAN region, eight countries participated in the assessment, with Brunei, Laos, and Timor-Leste being exceptions. Singapore emerged as the leader within ASEAN, securing the top spot with a score of 631, signifying “very high” proficiency and earning the second position globally among the 113 countries and regions evaluated. The Philippines follows closely as the second in ASEAN and 20th worldwide, boasting a score of 578, indicating “high” proficiency. Malaysia claims the third position in ASEAN and the 25th spot globally with a score of 568, also achieving a “high” proficiency level.
Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Cambodia trail in proficiency rankings within the ASEAN region, each exhibiting distinct levels of English language skills. Vietnam secures the fourth spot in ASEAN and 58th globally with a score of 505, denoting “moderate” proficiency. Indonesia holds the fifth position in ASEAN and 79th worldwide, scoring 473 and registering as “low” proficiency. Myanmar stands at the sixth position in ASEAN and 90th worldwide, with a score of 450, reflecting a “low” proficiency level. Cambodia occupies the seventh spot in ASEAN and 98th globally, scoring 421 and categorizing as “very low” proficiency.
Remarkably, Singapore clinches the second top spot globally in English proficiency, with the Netherlands securing the first position. The Netherlands is credited with a “very high” proficiency level, showcasing the diversity of linguistic skills on the international stage.