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Italy ranks lowest for English-language proficiency in EU

Rome, Nov 9 (IANS) A new report from the English Proficiency Index showed that Italians were the least proficient speakers of the language in the European Union (EU), though the country was still well within the top half of the hundred countries measured by the report.

The ninth edition of the report was released earlier this week, with the country-specific breakdown unveiled on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The report showed that Italy, on an average, was the 36th most fluent country when it came to speakers of English in countries where it was not the national language.

In the breakdown , it was revealed that Emilia-Romagna, the central Italian region that includes Bologna, Parma, and Modena, has the highest proficiency in Italy, followed closely by Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the northeastern Italian region that includes the port city of Trieste, and Lombardy, the northern region that includes Milan. Sicily is the lowest-ranked Italian region.

Lazio, the region that includes Rome, was in the middle of the pack.

Though there are 64 countries rated behind Italy on the list, Italy was still the lowest-ranked EU member state on the list, just behind Spain (35th), Latvia (32nd), and France (31st).

All four of those EU member states ranked in the list’s “moderate” section, the middle of the five levels from the English Proficiency Index report.

The top-rated country on the list is The Netherlands, followed by three more EU countries: Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. These three were among the 12 EU countries in the “very high” section on the list.

At the bottom end of the list, from the “very low” section for English proficiency, were Kyrgyzstan and Libya.




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