|In Europe, English proficiency skills are rising|
The Dutch are the most proficient English speakers in the world, a global study of English skills has found.
Swedish education company Education First used an online language proficiency test to rank countries where English is not the most spoken language. They tested 2.3 million people across the world.
France improved its position in this year's report, but Spain and Italy fall behind the rest of the EU, the report says, a finding consistent with other reports.
Of the Eurozone's four largest economies, only Germany "speaks English well".
|The Ranking of Countries and Regions by English Skills|
English is widely spoken around the world with the third most native speakers after Chinese and Spanish. Over a billion people speak it as a first or a second language, according to Education First.
However, those who took the test were "self-selected" in that they were people interested in learning English or curious about their language skills.
The entire format was also online and tested reading and listening skills.