六都成人英語力 台南大躍升Tainan City leaps from bottom to 3rd in English proficiency among Taiwan’s six special municipalitie

2018-11-07

EF國際文教機構(EF Education First,以下簡稱EF)調查全球八十個非英語母語國家的成年人英文程度,結果於今(7)日公布,發現台南民眾英文程度高於全國平均,屬於中級程度。EF並以台灣六都做分析,2017年台南民眾英語程度原屬六都之末,2018年則躍居第三,僅次於台北與新北。為此,EF特別頒發「最佳進步獎」予台南市政府。

EF表示,全球英語能力指標( EF EPI)排行,台灣較去年退步0.16分,名次更一舉退後8名,排名往中後段位移一來到全球第48名,在亞洲則排名第10。瑞典則從荷蘭奪回世界冠軍的寶座,新加坡位居第三,也是EP有史以来,首度有亞洲國家進入世界前三名。

依據EF調查結果,台灣整體分數為51.88分,不僅低於全球平均53.34分,也落後亞洲整體平均53.49分,在EF英語力能力指標所評等的程度中,與去年相同,被歸類為英語初級程度。但推行英語為第二官方語言的台南市,表現亮眼,除了進步快2分外,更超過南部區域整體平均高達2.28分,此外,台南今年還擠入城市英語中級程度之列。台灣六都的英語能力的差距極小,即使居末位的城市,仍和名古屋的英語程度相當。

台南市政府表示,聽聞此項結果雖然感到欣慰,但仍持保留態度,因提升市民英語力是滴水穿石的工作,需要時間持續漸進,「能夠帶動市民學英語的風氣就是最大的進步」。這次的EF調查結果與日前多益普及(TOEIC Bridge)的測驗結果一致:台南市民英語力高於全國平均。顯示臺南市民普遍具備基本國際溝通能力,亦可見臺南市政府推動英語成為第二官方語言政策獲得初步成效。

市府二官辦分析,此調查是由民眾自行上網填寫、參與聽力閱讀測驗。台南市今年在EF英語力調查上表現優異、得到「最佳進步獎」,應是台南市民對推動英語政策感到認同,或是想提升英語力,願意主動上網參加測驗,方能在短短一年內,呈現顯著進步的調查結果。

市府進一步表示,雙北成年人英語程度較佳的因素很多,包含年輕就業人口多、英語程度原本就較好,加上英語資源較豐富、外籍人士多、市民使用英語需求高、學習動機高⋯等等,顯示英語力城鄉差距的存在。但台南推動二官語政策的經驗顯示,政府的鼓勵與帶動,可以帶動民眾學習英語的動機與意願。與都會型地區不同,城鄉型地區普遍英語力不佳,更需要政策的引導,提供學習資源、引導學習方法,以縮短城鄉英語力差距,「讓每個市民都可以說一點英語」。

International education company EF Education First (EF) recently conducted a survey of the English proficiency of adults in around 80 non-native English-speaking countries. The results were announced today (Nov. 7). According to the results, the English proficiency level of Tainan City’s adults is higher than the national average and can be classified as “moderate.” EF also conducted an analysis of Taiwan’s six special municipalities. In 2017, Tainan’s residents had the lowest English proficiency among the six special municipalities. In 2018, Tainan vaulted to third place, coming in after Taipei City and New Taipei City. EF therefore specially presented its “Most Improved Award” to the Tainan City Government.

 

EF said Taiwan’s score in the 2018 EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) fell by 0.16 points compared to 2017 and it dropped eight places to the middle lower section of the ranking to finish 48th in the world and 10th in Asia. Sweden regained the top ranking by dethroning the Netherlands, and Singapore finished in third place. This marked the first time an Asian country had broken into the top three since EF began ranking countries.

 

Taiwan scored a total of 51.88 points, which was lower than both the global average of 53.34 points and the Asian average of 53.49 points. It finished in the index’s “low proficiency” band, the same result as the previous year. Meanwhile, Tainan City, which is currently promoting English as the second official language, performed well. It not only improved its score by two points, but also exceeded the average for the southern region by 2.28 points. Tainan joined the ranks of cities with “moderate proficiency” this year. The difference in the English proficiency of Taiwan’s six special municipalities was minimal. Even the city at the bottom had a comparable level of English with Nagoya in Japan.

 

The Tainan City Government said although it feels gratified by these results, it will maintain a reserved approach because improving the English proficiency of residents is a continuous job that requires time for gradual progress. It added, “The greatest improvement is being able to spur residents to learn English.” Both the results of the EF survey and the recent results of the TOEIC Bridge test showed that the English proficiency of Tainan residents is higher than the national average. This indicates Tainan residents generally possess the basic skills needed for international communication, and the Tainan City Government’s policy to promote English as the second official language has achieved preliminary results.

 

According to an analysis conducted by the Tainan City Government’s Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL), the index was based on listening and reading tests that people voluntarily took online. Tainan performed exceptionally well in this year’s EF EPI, and was awarded the “Most Improved Award” for its hard work. It could be that Tainan residents endorsed the city’s English policies, or went online to take the test hoping to improve their English proficiency. In any case, in less than one year, Tainan made significant progress in the rankings.

 

The city government also said there are many factors for the higher English proficiency of adults in Taipei City and New Taipei City, including a large number of employed young people, longstanding good English proficiency, more abundant English resources, a higher number of foreigners, greater demand for English use, and higher motivation to study. This shows the existence of a gap in the English proficiency between the city and countryside. However, Tainan’s experience in promoting English as the second official language demonstrates that the government’s encouragement and impetus can drive people’s motivation and willingness to learn English. In difference with metropolitan areas, the English proficiency of areas that are both urban and rural is not good. This is why they need to introduce policies, provide study resources, and guide learning methods. In this way, the English proficiency gap between city and countryside can be narrowed and “all residents will be able to speak a little English.”