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Rotterdammers are the best non-native English speakers in the world

About Holland



According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Rotterdam is the most adept at speaking English as a second language in, *drum roll*, the whole world! Rotterdam scores high at 71.68, Amsterdam is not too far behind at 71.35, and The Hague at 71.27. 

If you’re thinking that with these scores, the Netherlands was ranked as the best country for English where it’s not the native language, then you’re absolutely right. I mean, it does take only common sense to figure that out, but still!

What is the EF English Proficiency Index?

The results from this survey were derived from the EF SET: an online English test for reading and listening. So anyone with an internet connection was free to take the test. A total of 2.3 million people in 100 countries participated and took the online test.

But should we celebrate about these results? As they say themselves in the report, “test-taking population represented in this Index is self-selected and not guaranteed to be representative”. Therefore, the sampling bias would skew the scores depending on how many people are actually motivated to take these tests. Also, as their method of data collection is solely through an online test, it naturally excludes anyone without an internet connection, i.e., poorer people and anyone who is unable to access the internet. Not everyone in the world is online, and not everyone is online to take English tests.

How are those Rotterdammers so damn good at English?

Okay, the survey seems to be kind of designed to give the developed world a very easy pat on the back, but there’s no denying that the Dutchies are good at speaking English. Sure the Dutchies start learning English from a very young age, and they barely ever dub things into Dutch, but what makes Rotterdam so special?

The education institute believes that Rotterdammers have the Maas to thank for it. Thanks to the river that runs through the city, Rotterdam has been an important port city for centuries. It also attracts international companies that have English as their official language and boasts of universities like Erasmus University Rotterdam offering multiple programs in English.

Additionally, it seems that the province of South Holland has the best English speakers in the Netherlands, and the poorest being Drenthe.


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