Costa Rica ranked as the Central American country with the best English language skills, according to the English Proficiency Index 2022. In addition, the country ranks second in Latin America, just behind Argentina.
The study did not include countries whose official language is English, so nations such as Belize were not included.
“This report investigates how and where English proficiency is developing around the world. To create the 2022 edition of the EF English Proficiency Index, we have analyzed the results of 2.1 million adults who took our EF SET English tests in 2021,” the English Proficiency Index noted.
According to the English Proficiency Index, Costa Rica ranks in the moderate proficiency band.
Meanwhile, The Netherlands secured first place, and Laos was positioned at the bottom of the list.
Guillermo Madriz, Executive Director of the North American Cultural Center, said that country should strive to be fully bilingual.
“Costa Rica is a clear example that public and private investment generates positive outcomes. I think this is very positive, but there is a long way to go. The country needs to become 100% bilingual,” commented Madriz.
Andrea Centeno, Director of Communication and Marketing at CINDE, highlighted the importance of improving language skills.
“At CINDE, we have insisted that Costa Ricans should develop better English language skills. This would help more people get high-quality jobs. English language skills are one of the main elements that companies point out about the country,” she added.
In fact, the study points out that “over the past decade, our data increasingly shows that adults are developing their English proficiency in the workplace. Jobs that require English motivate ambitious professionals to study, and competition pushes forward-thinking companies to train.”
Additionally, the English Proficiency Index stressed the importance of enabling everyone to access high-quality education.
“English proficiency enables social mobility; however, education can only perform that function when everyone has access to it. Our data is not alone in pointing to the inequality-reducing properties of a good education, fairly distributed.
Countries with entrenched or emerging inequalities, whether between genders, races, or social classes, will find raising their average English proficiency level difficult without addressing the underlying imbalances,” they explained.