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EDUCATION

Italy ranked worst in the EU for speaking English

A new study suggests Italians are making very little progress when it comes to mastering English, with Italy ranked worst in the EU for its citizens' English language skills.

Italy ranked worst in the EU for speaking English
A new study confirms that speaking English is not Italy's strong point. Photo: Depositphotos
While Italians may display good English language skills in some tourist hotspots, a new international ranking shows the country overall is far behind many neighbouring European nations.
 
The English Proficiency Index (EPI) from global language training company Education First (EF) ranked the Netherlands top out of 100 countries which don't have English as a national language, based on test results taken by nationals in each country.
 
 
Down in 36th place, Italy placed just behind Spain in the “moderate competency” group of countries and behind all other countries in the European Union.
 
In Europe as a whole, those performing worst were Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
 
 
As with so many things, Italy's regions showed big differences when it comes to English language proficiency, and the differences between northern and southern regions were marked.
 
The region ranked highest was Emilia-Romagna, known for being home to Bologna's famous university and student life. Meanwhile, Basilicata ranked lowest, followed by Puglia and Molise.
 
 
In terms of cities though, Milan was ranked Rome – though both only placed in the “moderate proficiency” category – with a score of 57.12 while the capital scored a slightly lower 56.28.
 
 

Member comments

  1. And so what? Will the superpowers and political elite not be happy until every city speaks English and every town looks like each other with chain department stores, specialty stores, and restaurants, selling mediocre at best goods, most of it made in china and awlful factory-made foods? They preach diverstiy while flooding our countries with people who share nothing with us yet desire us to all accept their version of the future where we are all in lock-step with each other buying the same shit and speaking the same language! Sorry that is not the future I want for my children.

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EDUCATION

IES chain blocked from opening four new schools

Sweden's Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) chain has been denied permission to open four new schools in Gothenburg, Huddinge, Norrtälje, and Upplands-Bro, after the schools inspectorate said it had not provided pupil data.

IES chain blocked from opening four new schools

According to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) has denied permission to the chain to open a new planned new school in Norrtälje, north of Stockholm, even though the building that will house it is already half built. The inspectorate has also denied permission to three other schools which the chain had applied to start in 2023. 

In all four cases, the applications have been rejected because the school did not submit the required independent assessment for how many pupils the schools were likely to have. 

Jörgen Stenquist, IES’s deputy chief executive, said that IES has not in the past had to submit this data, as it has always been able to point to the queues of pupils seeking admissions to the school. 

“The fact that Engelska Skolan, as opposed to our competition, has never had the need to hire external companies to do a direct pupil survey is because we have had so many in line,” he told DN.

“In the past, it has been enough that we reported a large queue in the local area. But if the School Inspectorate wants us to conduct targeted surveys and ask parents directly if they want their children to start at our new schools, then maybe we have to start doing that.”

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According to the newspaper, when the inspectorate had in the past asked for pupil predictions, the chain has refused, stating simply “we do not make student forecasts”, which the inspectorate has then accepted. 

However, in this year’s application round, when IES wrote: “We do not carry out traditional interest surveys as we simply have not had a need for this,” the inspectorate treated it as grounds to reject its applications. 

According to DN, other school chain have been complaining to the inspectorate that IES gets favourable treatment and was excused some requirements other chains have to fulfil. 

Liselotte Fredzell, from the inspectorate’s permitting unit, confirmed that the inspectorate was trying to be more even handed. 

“Yes, it is true that we are now striving for a more equal examination of applications. Things may have been getting too slack, and we needed to tighten up.” 

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