Shanghai leads the mainland in an international standardized test of English language proficiency, according to the British Council's inaugural white paper on mainland test takers' IELTS performance.
The white paper shows people on Chinese mainland have been making progress in their ability to listen, read, write and speak English in the past five years.
People who took the IELTS Academic test showed the least progress in speaking English. The test takers' total score from the four-part test are below the world average, with the largest gap in the speaking category.
Shanghai, which achieved respective total scores of 5.87 points and 5.95 points in the academic and training categories, led the mainland in the listening, speaking, reading and writing tests.
Barry O'Sullivan, head of assessment research and development at the British Council, said Shanghai stood out against the other provinces and cities because it is an international city, where students have a better environment and stronger motivation to learn and use English.
The average score of Shanghai test takers in reading is higher than the world average, and their listening and writing scores are on par with the world average. Shanghai's speaking score is, however, below the world average.