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EDUCATION

Italy ranked worst in the EU for speaking English

A new study suggests Italians are making very little progress when it comes to mastering English, with Italy ranked worst in the EU for its citizens' English language skills.

Italy ranked worst in the EU for speaking English
A new study confirms that speaking English is not Italy's strong point. Photo: Depositphotos
While Italians may display good English language skills in some tourist hotspots, a new international ranking shows the country overall is far behind many neighbouring European nations.
 
The English Proficiency Index (EPI) from global language training company Education First (EF) ranked the Netherlands top out of 100 countries which don't have English as a national language, based on test results taken by nationals in each country.
 
 
Down in 36th place, Italy placed just behind Spain in the “moderate competency” group of countries and behind all other countries in the European Union.
 
In Europe as a whole, those performing worst were Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
 
 
As with so many things, Italy's regions showed big differences when it comes to English language proficiency, and the differences between northern and southern regions were marked.
 
The region ranked highest was Emilia-Romagna, known for being home to Bologna's famous university and student life. Meanwhile, Basilicata ranked lowest, followed by Puglia and Molise.
 
 
In terms of cities though, Milan was ranked Rome – though both only placed in the “moderate proficiency” category – with a score of 57.12 while the capital scored a slightly lower 56.28.
 
 

Member comments

  1. And so what? Will the superpowers and political elite not be happy until every city speaks English and every town looks like each other with chain department stores, specialty stores, and restaurants, selling mediocre at best goods, most of it made in china and awlful factory-made foods? They preach diverstiy while flooding our countries with people who share nothing with us yet desire us to all accept their version of the future where we are all in lock-step with each other buying the same shit and speaking the same language! Sorry that is not the future I want for my children.

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EDUCATION

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules

Around three-quarters of French teachers plan to go on strike onThursday to protest the government's shifting rules on Covid testing for students, forcing the closure of half the country's primary schools, a union said Tuesday.

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

The strike led by the Snuipp-FSU union, the largest among primary school teachers, comes after the latest of several changes on testing and isolation requirements for potential Covid cases announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex late Monday.

After seeing long lines of parents outside pharmacies and labs in recent days to test children in classes where a case was detected, Castex said home tests could now be used to determine if a student could return to school.

But teachers say class disruptions have become unmanageable with the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

“Students cannot learn properly because attendance varies wildly, and a hybrid of in-house and distance learning is impossible to put in place,” the Snuipp-FSU said, adding that absent teachers are not being replaced.

It is also demanding the government provide facemasks for staff, including the more protective FFP2 masks, and CO2 monitors to check if classrooms are sufficiently ventilated.

“Not only does the current protocol not protect students, staff or their families, it has completely disorganised schools,” the union said, claiming that classes have effectively been turned into “daycare centres.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has said the government is doing everything possible to avoid outright school closures that could cause havoc for parents and jeopardise learning for thousands, especially those in low-income families.

“I know there is a lot of fatigue, of anxiety… but you don’t go on strike against a virus,” Blanquer told BFM television on Tuesday.

As of Monday some 10,000 classes had been shut nationwide because of Covid cases, representing around two percent of all primary school classes, Blanquer said.

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