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2022-02-06 12:37:57

English is still the main language in the world. What has changed in it over the past 5 years?

English is still the main language in the world. What has changed in it over the past 5 years?

English is considered an international language and is widely used all over the world. Indicators such as GDP (gross domestic product) and national income also depend on the level of English proficiency of representatives of different countries.

Assists in the EF English Proficiency Index, which reports on the results of testing of 2 million adults in 112 countries. The report is based on the results of the EF SET test, which is able to classify language proficiency into six levels recognized by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Testing takes into account the interest of students and employees of firms in learning the language, tries to maintain gender balance and includes different age groups.

Zoomers and Millennials

In 2018, English proficiency among the 26–30 age group was much higher than that of young people aged 21–25. In 2021, fashion changed and groups of 18-20 years old lost in the ranking to people over 40 who, although moderately knew English, but demonstrated high performance. The reason for this change is the difference between generations: millennials studied the language from an early age and still continue to improve it, while zoomers have little interest in learning a foreign language.

Gender gap

In 2017, it turned out that in many countries women are superior to men in education and knowledge of English. In 2020, the situation stabilized slightly, while for the first time men bypassed the fair sex in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Now the skills of communication in English in men are constantly growing, while women maintain stable indicators. Only in Africa are women 11 points more proficient than men.

Position in society and firm

There has been a tendency for middle managers to perform better in language skills than their managers. This is due to the fact that employees are directly faced with the need to know the terminology of their profession and have good oratorical skills in a foreign language for the client's interest.

Since 2012, the situation has not changed much. But the gap between professions has decreased by 20%, which means the introduction and increase in the importance of foreign language proficiency for most vacancies. Knowledge of English expands geographical opportunities, and new technologies allow you to work remotely for foreign entrepreneurs. A foreign language also contributes to an increase in orders for those who earn on freelance exchanges.


Modern science and technology do not stand still and are constantly evolving. That's just all the programs and works most quickly appear in access in English. Knowledge of a foreign language allows you to gain access to world information resources that can be implemented in companies of other countries and acquire contacts with foreign colleagues.

At the moment, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark have the strongest English skills, which increases their international talent competitiveness index. For example, knowledge of English helped Jack Ma to found his IT company Alibaba. His experience as a foreign language teacher and translator made him an Internet entrepreneur.

Impact on performance

In modern companies that work in the international market and hire foreign specialists, knowledge of the language helps to unite the team and increase the efficiency of groups. It is also noted that the economic growth of the company is influenced by gender and ethnic diversity. The absence of language barriers and balanced selection of employees helps to raise profits by 25%, compared to other firms.


The demand for a foreign language increases competitiveness between services that provide services for its study - now on the Internet you can find many free courses. There is also a relationship between the level of knowledge of a foreign language and the introduction of new technologies.

A sense of freedom

English helps to communicate with people from different countries of the world, expand horizons, travel and constantly learn something new. In 2021, there is a clear correlation between the level of knowledge of a foreign language and the concept of freedom and democracy. The international exchange and study of the lives of residents of other countries with their political and social structure allows people to answer questions related to civil liberties and political rights.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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