New study analyzes why global communications is lacking across companies, industries and geographies and links it to high performance.


The Business English Index

Since 2009, GlobalEnglish has polled global workers to quantify their Business English proficiency and examine the resulting data in the Business English Index (BEI) study. Today, the BEI has become the benchmark of Business English competency in the global workplace.

“This year’s BEI results demonstrate a widening gap between high- and low-performing businesses, industries and regions,” says Tom Kahl, President, GlobalEnglish. “Companies that make Business English a priority are leaving the rest behind. These companies are making a deliberate investment in the improvement of company-wide proficiency—with an increasing number realizing they need targeted solutions for executive development, high potentials and the general workforce—and the impact can be seen through internal collaboration, sales, customer service and, ultimately, bottom-line performance.”

BEI Methodology

The BEI allows corporate leaders to benchmark their workforce’s skills against peers and competitors and can help multinational companies understand Business English competency across geographies and sectors. The 2013 BEI, GlobalEnglish’s third annual release of the index, is the result of a December 2012 analysis of the Business English proficiency levels of more than 212,000 individuals from around theworld. Countries with sample sizes smaller than 50 non-native English speakers were excluded from the total, resulting in an index based on 137,000 global respondents.

Employees\' proficiency level is based on two tests: the adaptive GlobalEnglish Business English placement test in grammar, reading and listening; and GlobalEnglish STEP™. The tests assess English skills in the context of business situations, and the scores are validated based upon GlobalEnglish proficiency levels, which correspond to the CEFR. Employees are not incentivized to participate, and employees surveyed in countries for which the official language is English (such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia) are non-native English speakers. As the only index focused on measuring Business English proficiency, the BEI is designed to quantify global workers’ competence in using English in the workplace.

The GlobalEnglish Globalization of English research qualifies the situation: Based on a survey of 124,000 global knowledge workers from more than 90 countries, it provides a measure of attitudes about English proficiency and its perceived importance in our global workforce. The GOE and BEI together give us a complete picture of the trends, achievements and challenges in business communication and the importance of Business English in the workplace.


What do BEI scores mean?

Based on a 10-point scale, the average 2013 BEI score across 137,000 test takers globally is 4.75, which represents a 14 percent increase from 2012.


A BEI score of 1.0 indicates an ability to read and communicate using only simple questions and statements, and a score higher than 10.0 represents capacity to communicate and collaborate in the workplace much like a native English speaker.


Employees View English Proficiency as a Crucial Skill; Viewing the BEI through the Globalization of English

According to the 2013 GOE research, nine in 10 (93 percent) workers communicated a sense of urgency about improving their Business English skills within the next two years. The GOE research also revealed that workers see English becoming a critical skill for career advancement. Ninety-three percent of respondents said that their managers would like them to improve their English skills, and 94 percent said that English is either a required or an important step toward career advancement.



About GlobalEnglish

Today’s business world is increasingly complex and virtual—causing Business English proficiency to be a critical job requirement. When only 7% of global employees say their English is good enough to do their jobs, communication problems can quickly become business problems. That’s why the world’s leading companies have turned to GlobalEnglish.

Achieve Unparalleled Success with GlobalEnglish, the Leader in Transformative Business English Learning Programs

Our cloud-based, on-demand Business English software and solutions are created with businesses in mind. GlobalEnglish software is a scalable and standardized answer to the complexities of global operations and a global workforce. Our Business English products enhance global performance and productivity by supporting and developing the Business English skills required to succeed in a global work environment.

We blend research on how adults effectively acquire language with the latest technology innovations to offer formal and informal Business English learning, instant on-the-job support for business tasks in English, enterprise collaboration, mobile productivity, adaptive Business English assessments, and the ability to measure usage and proficiency improvements across the company. Plus, GlobalEnglish experts are located throughout the world and help you maximize the value of your investment through custom analysis, coordinated program deployment and ongoing support in 15 languages.

Learn more about GlobalEnglish at