NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

People in Flanders and Brussels speak better English than the Walloons

According to the latest annual ranking by Education First (EF) Flemings and people in Brussels generally speak better English than is the case among people in Wallonia.  Each year Education First compiles a ranking of non-English-speaking countries based on their respective populations’ abilities in English. The ranking is based on the result of Education First’s EF SET English language ability test. Over the past year more than 2.3 million non-native speakers of English have taken the test.            

This year Belgium fell back two places compared with the results for 2019. Belgium is now 13th with a score of 63.09. However, there are big differences between the regions.

Flanders does best with a score of 67.49. Brussels people that took the test also scored well above 60 with an average score of 63.56 for people in the capital that took the test. Bottom of the class is Wallonia with a score of 58.22. Furthermore, the gap between the results has widened over the past year.  

At the top of the ranking is The Netherlands that has leap-frogged over Sweden. The Norwegians and the Danes also excel in the language of Shakespeare. Our neighbour in Luxembourg are 9th in the list, just ahead of the Germans. France is 31st.