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Finland bottom of the Nordic English class

Finland has dropped to eighth in the world in the latest version of a ranking of countries according to their English language skills.

Kangastaululla värikkäitä opetustauluja, joissa klovni ja eri määrä numeroita englannin kielellä.
Image: Elisa Kinnunen / Yle

Finns are now the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. The 2018 version of the ranking puts Finland in eighth spot, with western neighbour Sweden topping the comparison.

This year’s result is the weakest Finland has achieved in the ranking, which has been published every year since 2011. Finland’s top score in the ranking was fourth, achieved in 2012 and 2014.

The index is based on mapping 1.3 million adults’ English proficiency, and covers 88 countries. Of the top ten countries in the ranking, eight are situated in Europe. The ranking is limited to adults who do not speak English as a mother tongue.

Finland has debated improved English language schooling, with the Education Ministry looking at introducing the chance to take the high school matriculation exam in English. A recent report suggested that municipalities should be able to make English an official language if they choose.

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