SPAIN ranks worst among all EU countries when it comes to learning English, a new report has found.

The country has swapped bottom place with Italy, which climbed three places in the annual table.

Only a handful of Eastern European countries, including Albania, Ukraine and Turkey, fare worse.

The Dutch came top of the survey, with many of the Lowlanders speaking better English than those from the UK.

They were closely followed by the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Sweden and Norway – with their Baltic neighbour Finland grabbing third place.

The survey is called the English Proficiency Index (EPI) from global language training company Education First (EF), which tests natives from each country to evaluate basic competency.

British-born Valencia resident and teacher Tash Aleksy remained optimistic seeing the fashion to learn English in the city.

“I am optimistic the numbers will improve, particularly as the teaching style in Spanish schools is changing,” she said.

“English lessons have always been grammar focused rather than communication focused, but this dynamic is shifting to put the emphasis on spoken English.”

• Read Tash Aleksy’s brilliant new column in the new Valencia edition of the Olive Press, launching tomorrow and distributed throughout Valencia City and the Valencian Community…

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