A year after achieving a very high fourth place on its debut in the English Proficiency Index, Estonia has dropped to eighth and out of the top group.
The index calculates a country's average adult English skill level, using data from voluntary online tests and from tests conducted during enrollment to English courses.
Estonia scored 61.39 points, over four points less than a year ago. Denmark came top in this year's index with 69.30 points. Apart from Finland, which surpassed Estonia by improving its ranking from seventh place last year to fourth in 2014 with 64.39 points, all of Estonia's neighbors scored less.
Latvia was 14th (59.43 points) and Russia 36th (50.43). Lithuania did not figure in the 63-nation index. Iraq (38.02), Libya (38.19) and Cambodia (38.25) bottomed out the list.
The drop also means that Estonia is no longer listed as a nation with “Very High English Proficiency,” but will have to do with just a “High Proficiency” rating.
Generally, women have a better command of English in Europe and globally, but this is reversed in Estonia, with men scoring 62.31 compared to 60.52 for women. Looking at proficiency by age, far more young people in Estonia speak English, compared to older generations. There is a sharp dip in English skills among the people who are older than 40, or received a Soviet education.
The report can be read here.