In a survey conducted by the Swedish company EF (Education First) Cuenca ranks second behind Quito for English language proficiency. The survey was taken among high school and university students but its administrators say that it also represents English usage in the community at large.
In notes that accompany the survey results, EF says that it is no surprise that English is a well-established second language in Cuenca. “The city is home to thousands of English-speaking foreigners and it attracts many more as tourists. On a per capita basis, Cuenca probably has more English speakers than any other location in Ecuador.”
More than 300 students, representing 12 high schools and universities, participated in the study through online testing. “It was a very comprehensive test, measuring verbal communication and grammar,” says Montserrat Coello, director of Cuenca’s EF academy. “We are pleased with the result.”
Montserrat added that that good English proficiency in Cuenca is an important factor in the employment market. “Because of all the expats and tourists in the city, there are many more job opportunities for young people who can speak the language. Students recognize this and work harder to gain proficiency.”
Guayaquil ranked third, behind Quito and Cuenca, in the survey.