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English Proficiency

Categories: English

Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language. As theories vary among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency,[1] there is little consistency as to how different organizations classify it. Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects. In predominant frameworks in the United States, proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies.[2] Thus, native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient.




The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) distinguishes between proficiency and performance. In part, ACTFL’s definition of proficiency is derived from mandates issued by the US government, declaring that a limited English proficient student is one who comes from a non-English background and “who has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such an individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society.

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” ACTFL views “performance” as being the combined effect of all three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. ————————————————-

Proficiency frameworks

Note that test scores may not correlate reliably, as different understandings of proficiency lead to different types of assessment: * FSI Test (Foreign Service Institute) Scores range from 0 to 5+.[3] (deprecated) * Interagency Language Roundtable Scores range from 0 to 5.[4] (evolved from FSI) * Language Proficiency Index

* ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines ACTFL recognises ten different levels of proficiency: “novice”, “intermediate”, “advanced”, and “superior”, of which
the first three are each subdivided into “low”, “mid”, and “high”.

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* Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CEF recognises six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

Proficiency tests
* CELPE-Bras (Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners)
* Defense Language Proficiency Tests
* DELE (Diplomas of Spanish as Foreign Language)
* Examination for Japanese University Admission
* General English Proficiency Test
* Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (汉语水平考试)
* IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
* iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency
* Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験 Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken)
* Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers
* The European Language Certificates (telc – language tests)
* TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language)
* TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)
* TEPS (Test of English Proficiency developed by Seoul National University)
* Test of Russian as a Foreign Language
* Test de français international
* Test de connaissance du français
* TOCFL(華語文能力測驗 Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language)
* UBELT (University of Bath English Language Test)
* University of Cambridge ESOL examination
See also: Language tests category
[edit]Professional organizations
* Alliance française
* American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
* Association of Language Testers in Europe
* Foreign service institute
* Goethe-Institut
* UNIcert
* Instituto Cervantes
1. ^
2. ^
3. ^
4. ^
English proficiency is the the ability to speak, read and/or write in English. To be considered truly proficient, one should have advanced abilities in all three areas of communication.

English Proficiency In The Philippines

I recently read that 80% of teachers failed their English proficiency exam and that some CallCenters are closing because of a lack of applicants who have a level of English fluencydemanded by the industry.I am a Native Speaker (Canadian / UK) with over 20 years experince presenting Englishlanguage programs for the Canadian federal and provincial governments, several colleges and auniversity. After moving to thePhilippinesI continued my presentions and teaching to foreigners in ESL schools.Recently I decided to change my ESL students. Why should I be teaching foreiners English whenwhat I should be doing is giving the Filipno a chance to improve their chances of having achallenging and rewarding career?.

It makes more sense to me, to help them to improve their English to a level of fluency that most companies both here in the Philippines and abroaddemand………….Lets give the Filipino a chance to improve their position in lifeMy first opportunity was to present my English fluency program to English teachers in the private school sector. 80% failed the initial testing, However, later 80% achieved a much higher level of fluency after completing the program. The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) is a report which attempts to rank countries by the average level of English skills amongst adults. It is the product of EF Education First, a global language training company, and draws its conclusions from data collected via online English tests available for free over the internet. The report was published for the first time in March, 2011 based on the results of over 2 million test takers.[1] The most recent ranking was released in October, 2012. ————————————————-


The 2012 index is compiled from the results of 1.7 million adults who took one of three short online English tests between 2009 and 2011. The test takers were self-selected and no demographic information was collected on them. The tests are used by the company for marketing and placement purposes. 52 countries and 2 territories appear in the 2012 index. All other countries did not have enough test takers to be considered valid. In order to be included a country was required to have at least 400 test takers total.[2] ————————————————-


The report is composed of a country ranking table, several pages of analysis with graphs correlating other economic and social factors with English proficiency, and regional analyses of Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. The 2012 report includes data for the first time comparing women to men, and comparing different age groups by English proficiency. The website displays portions of the report and has in-depth profiles of the role of English in 15 countries [3] which are not contained in the report. Eleven country factsheets are presented separately from the report. These provide data on how cities and regions scored within the country.

Primary conclusions

1. Exports per capita, Gross National Income per capita and average number of years of schooling all correlate positively with English proficiency. That is to say wealthier countries speak better English. 2. The factor that correlates best to English proficiency is Internet usage. 3. Europe as a whole speaks the best English, Latin America the worst. 4. Starting English education younger in school does not necessarily improve adult proficiency. ————————————————-


The EF English Proficiency Index has been criticized for its lack of representative sampling in each country.[4] The report states that participants in the tests are self-selected and must have access to the internet. This pushes the index towards the realm of an online survey rather than a statistically valid evaluation. However there are few alternative comparisons available of countries by their English skills, and those that exist are smaller in scale, as is the case with a reported British Council study,[1] or they have other sampling flaws, as is the case with rankings of countries by standardized English test scores such as the TOEFL.[5] The European Commission performed a language survey, SurveyLang, which tests a representative sample of 15 year old European students on their foreign language skills. The first report and data sets were released for 13 European countries in June 2012 [6] ————————————————-

1. ^ a b English: Who speaks English?. The Economist. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. 2. ^ EF English Proficiency Index – Comparing English skills between countries – EF EPI. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. 3. ^ English around the world – Country profiles – EF EPI. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. 4. ^ The English Blog: EF English Proficiency Ranking. (2011-03-30). Retrieved on 2011-05-29. 5. ^ TOEFL: Test and Score Data Summaries. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. 6. ^ [1]. European Commission. Retrieved on 2012-09-20. Communicative Competence and English as an International Language

Language is used for expressing our thoughts , and for verbal thinking, problem-solving, and creative writing, but it is used essentially for communication. What makes it difficult to grasp the language user’s systems of representation for communication with others is the fact that the capability of individuals to interact with others through language is a unique quality and at the same time a universal human quality. The successful language use for communication presupposes the development of communicative competence in the users of that language and that the use of language is constrained by the socio-cultural norms of the society where the language is used.

The use of English in Britain is influenced by the British socio-cultural norms which underlie individual differences. So are American English, Indian English, Nigerian English, and Singaporean English. That holds true in areas where English is used daily either as a native language or as a second language. In the use of English for international communication, however, what society’s or societies’ socio-cultural norms should be observed? Should they be the Anglo-American norms because speakers use American or British English as the model? Or would they be the socio-cultural norms of speakers’ native societies, which are not conspicuous nevertheless inevitably ooze out? Or is there what might be called pan- human or universal socio-cultural norm(s) overarching individual societies and cultures?

In this paper, I would first review communicative competence briefly, then discuss what English as an International Language (EIL) is, and lastly argue that communicative competence, especially socio-cultural competence, of EIL speakers does not necessarily need to be that of native English speakers.

English Proficiency

English nowadays is considered as the universal language; for which it is understood by almost all countries around the world. It is used by most people as their second language. First, it is a way of communication in business, negotiations & especially in academics. It plays an important role in the basic education, particularly to speaking and writing (Kumar, 2009). English proficiency must be treated as an additional skill. In reality, a country needs to build familiarity, friendship and collaborate with other countries as well. It is the government’s obligation to give good quality of education to be able to work and communicate in a wider and competitive world (Alave, 2006).

English proficiency pertains to the ability to speak, read and write in English. To be considered as truly proficient, you should have an advanced skill in this. We know that English is the universal language, to communicate to those people in other countries; you have to speak in English so they will understand what you are saying.

We all know that lately, our country, Philippines is known for being English proficient of its citizen. But, this advantage is being eroded by other rising competitions with declining mastery of some college graduates. Just recently, a language test was taken by IDP Education Pty. Ltd. Philippines which showed that our country is no longer the top English-speaking country in Asia. This may be so because some students nowadays do not even try to enhance their English skill. LOW ENGLISH PROFICIENCY; CAUSES AND EFFECTS TO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS The low levels of English proficiency among university students nowadays becoming a hot issue among academic thinkers. This is because the students’ English language skills are not being developed during their higher education experience.

Thus, reflects negatively on the quality of higher education and its graduates. The factors low English proficiency among most learners are due to two factors; internal factors such as no confident when using English, negative attitude towards the English language and external factor like the limited opportunities to use English outside the classroom. Most learners have lack of confidence when using English language. For example, the person that has low self-confidence may refuse to use the language in publics. Anna Freud once said “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” This shown that confident levels are decreasing when the learners are lack of self-confidence to use this language. They are afraid to be wrong and prejudiced about it.

The second reason is the negative attitudes towards the English language. For information, attitude has been defined as the inclination to act or to be in a state of ‘readiness’ to act (Gagne, 1985). The learners just learnt English for pass the examination not using it as their second language. Students in university generally find it difficult to maintain their interest in English language learning as English is not seen as important for their immediate needs other than to pass their examination. A lot of negative attitudes build up from unfamiliarity with the culture of the target language (Tucker and lambert, 1973). Malay students from small towns or rural places usually grown up in a situation that English is unimportant language, not like their speaking homes language, Bahasa Melayu.

English Proficiency for Global Competitiveness

For some years, the Philippines was well-known as the only English-speaking country in Southeast Asia. The fluency of the English language came from the Americans who once occupied our coasts. In that period of time, we stood at an advantage from our neighbor countries. We got a lot of profits because we could speak the language that most developed countries use. Filipinos had already been capable of persuading foreign investors to set in our country even before other Asian countries realized the need to train their citizens in utilizing the English language to be able to converse with other countries and increase their economies. That is why we held a great promise of development during those times.

After some years, we shifted to use our national language as the medium for instruction in school, government facilities, and everywhere with our belief that people would learn better and they would become more nationalistic. The advocates of the English language, then, suddenly had to give way to those who are in favor of our native language. Language, indeed, became an issue.

Well, it does not mean that if we use the English language, we are less nationalistic. We have been using Filipino in our lives for several years already and we have actually seen its effect. We could say that it had not really made a significant difference in terms of the students’ rate of learning and development in our country. I think, it is about time that we embrace the use of the English language once more so we could be more competitive globally.

Surely we have to move back to square one as we try to regain the edge that we lost. Right motivation and proper attitude towards the acquisition of the English language will undoubtedly help us become confident and adept in the language. Stop neglecting the English language, let’s use it. English Proficiency in the Philippines


Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a “world language”, the lingua franca of the modern era, and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language.

The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders – mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from England and their language was called Englisc – from which the words England and English are derived.

Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language. English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. However, when combining native and non-native speakers it is probably the most commonly spoken language in the world, though possibly second to a combination of the Chinese languages (depending on whether or not distinctions in the latter are classified as “languages” or “dialects”). Countries such as the Philippines, Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from an English-based creole to a more standard version of English.

Ways to Improve English Proficiency

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information. By Gregory Hamel, eHow Contributor 1.

o English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Gaining English proficiency can be an important aspect of education in many fields from business to aviation to science. Even native English speakers can benefit from increasing knowledge and improving writing skills. There are many accessible ways to improve English proficiency effectively without taking formal classes.

Speak Regularly

o One of the most important aspects of gaining proficiency in any language is speaking it regularly. Self-study can improve reading and comprehension skills, but interacting with other English speakers is essential for boosting real-world comprehension and practical use of the English language. If you live in a bilingual home, designate a certain amount of time each day for speaking only in English. Making English-speaking friends, perhaps those interested in learning a different language that you speak, can help increase proficiency. Living in an English-speaking country will help immerse you in the language and increase all aspects of your English knowledge.


o Watching or listening to media in English is a way to improve English comprehension without feeling like you are studying. Watch popular English movies and listen to English music. Avoid watching dubbed films in favor of those with English voice and subtitles.


The definitions of the five limited-English language proficiency levels, as well as Level 6, one of two fully-English language proficiency levels, are from PI 13.08(3)(1)-(6), Wisconsin Administrative Rule. Level 7, the other fully-English language proficiency level, is used for purposes of state reporting/state testing. Level 1—Beginning/Preproduction [WIDA level = Entering]:

A pupil shall be classified level 1 if the pupil does not understand or speak English with the exception of a few isolated words or expressions. Level 2—Beginning/Production [WIDA level = Beginning]: A pupil shall be classified level 2 if all of the following criteria are met: (a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational and academic English with hesitancy and difficulty. (b) The pupil understands parts of lessons and simple directions. (c) The pupil is at a pre-emergent or emergent level of reading and writing in English, significantly below grade level.

Level 3—Intermediate [WIDA level = Developing]:
A pupil shall be classified level 3 if all of the following criteria are met:

(a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational and academic English with decreasing hesitancy and difficulty. (b) The pupil is post-emergent, developing reading comprehension and writing skills in English. (c) The pupil’s English literacy skills allow the student to demonstrate academic knowledge in content areas with assistance. Level 4—Advanced Intermediate [WIDA level = Expanding]: A pupil shall be classified level 4 if all of the following criteria are met: (a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational English without apparent difficulty, but understands and speaks academic English with some hesitancy. (b) The pupil continues to acquire reading and writing skills in content areas needed to achieve grade level expectations with assistance.


For many of us, the state of education in a country speaks volumes. Where English is spoken and taught as a second language, fluency is deemed a basic requirement for proper communication and propagation of ideas and connotes success. Does this fluency actually translate to a country’s economic success and overall standing in the world of nations?

Back when American influence on teachers was still strong in the 1950s, I recall instances where all of us, pupils then, were required to speak English in English class or be fined five centavos per instance of speaking in Ilocano, a major dialect of northern Philippines. Five centavos then was a hefty sum. Tagalog, now Filipino, was not commonly in use at the time. Each one of us would try to catch anyone who committed the “sin” and report it to a classmate assigned to collect the fines who, in turn, would submit the list of offenders to the teacher. We never asked where those collections went. Teachers were the bosses and their word was law. No one questioned them. They stood on pedestals and we looked up to them with much respect. Teaching was a very respectable profession.

Looking back, I now realize that our teachers in elementary and high school, then spoke or at least taught us proper English and with much enthusiasm. Perhaps my siblings and I had the added advantage of being raised by parents who happened to be teachers. Several of their brothers and sisters were graduates of the Philippine Normal School. Books we used were brought in by the American teachers and ministers–from readers, to hymnals, to almanacs. There were practically no Filipino authors that we knew of. American influence gave us a decided advantage over our Asian neighbors. The country enjoyed a privileged status in the region as a consequence of this. Engish is the standard form of communication. It’s used worldwide by people who are from different countries but need to communicate with each other.

English is also seen as the business language, as for reasons mentioned above.

We study it also for the reasons we study any language-we need to have a way to articulate the things we need and desire.

English is also used primarily on the internet-which today connects millions of people world wide.

English is used in many different countries also because curing the Colonial and Imperial Age, Britain proved to be “successful” at gaining colonies on different continents around the world. MUCH has been said about the importance of English in our schools and here is another to add to the sum total. There is a saying that if you have something the world wants, it will beat a path to your door wherever you may be; but if the world has something you want, then you have to go out to get it. As of now, what we want from the outside world is the latest knowledge in all fields of human endeavour. Undeniably, most of these are couched in English and to acquire them we have to be proficient in the language. Having acquired and returned with new knowledge, the need is to disseminate it through learning institutions for the benefit of the country.

Teaching it to those proficient in English is straight forward. But to recipients who are monolingual in Bahasa Malaysia, translations will be required, and this can be slow and time-consuming. Depending on translations alone is hardly an efficient way to keep up with the latest advances. Perhaps that is why our government is encouraging bilingualism – English and Bahasa Malaysia – in our national schools. But individual proficiency in English will differ and it may require enhancement depending on one’s career leanings. If one wishes to engage in local business or to take up more mundane occupations, then perhaps knowing Bahasa Malaysia alone will be adequate, but of course, a smattering of English will always help.

But if one aspires to be a diplomat, a scientist or to enrol in an English university, then a greater depth in English is required. Since Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, it has to be taught in schools. It is the glue that binds our people together for national betterment. English, on the other hand is the currency for international discourse, without which we would be isolated. Hence, until such time when we are an advanced country and our national language is brought to a wider and impeccable level and our people can invent things the world will want, then the world will indeed beat a path to our shores to learn from us and in our national language. C.P.B.,

Kuala Lumpur.

Today, there are many people all of the world study English. Most of people think that maybe english becomes their second language. But have you ever wondered:” Why do we need to learn English”. Why don’t we searching about it? First, English helps you to improve friendship and maybe include our knowledge around the world. Nowadays, many people have a wider friendship around the world. So learning English is an important way to communicate with friends from another countries. Absolutely, learning English can help you to make more friends, we can exchange with a lot of people, improve our relationships. From that, we can learn more, open our knowledge world. Every year, there are lots of teenagers go overseas to learn for themselves, to improve every important, to bring every new thing from another countries to our country. Second, English helps you to connect our country to the world or we can learn more about another countries’s tradition.

Learning English, we can introduce every beautiful things, places,… to internaional friends from another countries. Foreigners wil be curious and they will travel to our country. On the contrary, we can understand more special traditional foods, cultures,… from another countries. I think it’s great so we need to learn English Finally, we can find jobsmore easily. Today, all companies need their wokers know at least on language, especially English. In some international companies, every person have to know English well. So we need to learn English in other to have a good job for you. You can see. Learning is very important way to climb on our future stepladder. I hope that people wil learn English for themselves and for their future.

English is one of the legacy`s examples that was left by the British colonial rule in Malaysia long time ago. It is one of the most crucial foreign languages in Malaysia and even around the world nowadays, and is used widely and quite extensively in all aspects of daily life. English and the national language of Malaysia, `Bahasa Malaysia`, both play a very important role in tighten together our multicultural nation. English and `Bahasa Malaysia` helps to unite people and to create a unique national awareness. Instead of its history, Malaysia has recently showed a sharp decline in the English language proficiency.

According to Murugesan (2003), the decline is largely due to a backwash effect from a change implemented in the early 1960s and 1970s when `Bahasa Malaysia` replaced English as the medium of instruction in schools and as the language used for official matters. On the other hand, according to Lee (2002), the drop in proficiency of English has not been due so much to the emphasis on Malay, but it is primarily the result of bad attitudes to language and poor approaches to the teaching of language. The decline of English language proficiency will lead to other side effects that will someday give out various major problems to us. Due to the decline in our country, it might be a step backward from other country around the world from the information and technology aspect and other related aspects.

In this essay, I will critically response about the topic, `English Language Proficiency Should Not Be Taken for Granted` based on the three articles that have been chooses. The first article that I have chooses is mainly about the importance of English language proficiency. The second article talks about the steps that will be taken to enhance the English usage, while the third article discuss about suggestions to strengthen the students English language proficiency.

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English Proficiency. (2016, Dec 29). Retrieved from

English Proficiency

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