Nearshore Americas
English proficiency

LatAm English Proficiency Grows, but Some Countries Lag Far Behind: Study

Many countries across Latin America are steadily improving their English proficiency, with some countries, such as Bolivia, in particular, taking the language lessons even to remote rural areas.

The proficiency in the English language has helped many countries in the region to attract foreign investment and reduce poverty, according to an English Proficiency Index developed by the European Learning Institute EF Education First.

Bolivia, for example, has reduced its extreme poverty by half in the past decade and dramatically improved access to schools in rural areas. “Literacy rates have risen accordingly, and our data shows that English proficiency is also on the rise,” EF stated.

Uruguay is making giant efforts to raise English proficiency. It even encourages teachers to upskill themselves through online courses.

English education is mandatory in many countries. Nevertheless, access to English classes has remained uneven. In some regions of Mexico, less than 10% of schools offer English lessons.

At the same time, there is a high demand for English in workplaces. Therefore, young graduates are trying to learn the language outside their schools. “A 2015 study in Brazil found that 87% of adults surveyed had paid for English courses since completing their education,” says the report.

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Considering the report, the LatAm country with the highest English proficiency is Argentina, and at the lowest rung of this ladder is Ecuador. The Andean country lacks both resources and skilled English teachers.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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