How about English level of Japanese people in the world?

English level of Japanese people is not so low?

Japanese people are believed bad English speakers and I think so in fact.

But it might be a typical image. I would like to discuss it on objective information.

I researched reliable literature about relative English ability of Japanese. It took 3 hours but I barely could find the report of a private association.

“EF English Proficiency Index” is the first index of its kind to give countries a benchmark against which to measure the average English competency of the working population. The index uses a unique set of test data from over two million adults who took free online English tests over a period of three years.


I’m surprised at this result, because the rank of Japan is not low. Japan is better than European countries such as France and Italy? Really?

The reasons are described in this report as below.

“A strong emphasis has been placed on English study in Korea and Japan, both in the public school system and through the thousands of private English training institutes in those countries.”

“We recognize that the test-taking population represented in this index is self-selected and not guaranteed to be representative of the country as a whole. Only those people either wanting to learn English or curious about their English skills will participate in one of these tests. In addition, since the tests are online, people without internet access or unused to online applications are automatically excluded. These biases would tend to skew scores higher than for the general population, excluding poorer, less-educated, and less-privileged people.”

Hmm, it might have a point.