EF English First ESL Teacher Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

EF English First ESL Teacher Reviews

Updated 5 Jan 2020

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2.6
40%
Recommend to a Friend
45%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
15 Ratings
  1. "Little training, confusing invoice system, and limited support."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at EF English First for less than a year

    Pros

    They have a fun interact system which makes it easier for students and teacher to use. They booked you up.

    Cons

    They trained you once and then you are on your own. There are no videos on how to invoice properly. They do not have a good technical support system and you have to send them an email which they take days to reply. If you are stuck with a student who has a technical issue you will be on your own until they reply to your issue days after. The quality of their teaching platform is bad. I get delays and their software freezes in the middle of the classes and it is not my connection or the student's connection but the EF system that it is bad. If you need help of any kind you are stuck waiting for them to reply you by email a few days later even for simple questions. If you do not keep track of your classes you are not going to know how to get the class information because the way they built their software does not offer many options and you have learn how to search for things or otherwise you wont find your classes. They booked you months ahead so if you want to change your schedule you will have to cancel every single class they have booked you because they booked you for months in advanced which makes it difficult to keep a flexible schedule and change your schedule week to week. You get paid once a month and by check. I have not yet seeing any option to get my payment through automatic payment. This is old style!

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    Advice to Management

    You guys need to work on the way you do things online starting by having good technical support and videos that can teach teachers on how to use the system. The teacher is basically learning everything by himself and there is limited support when having a question on how to do something in your platform. YouTube videos do not help! Also, you need to fix the lags in the video quality within the classroom is very bad quality in comparison to other companies that much newer. Please make the invoice easier to understand using an invoice is old style and getting a physical check is old style too.

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    EF English First2020-01-05
  2. "English first"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - ESL Teacher in Chengdu, Sichuan

    I worked at EF English First for less than a year

    Pros

    They fulfill all their promises, will help you get the correct visa to work in China , reimburse you for all your fees and they do get you an apartment.

    Cons

    Unless you're very disciplined and can wake up everyday before work at 7 am or earlier to hangout with friends , see a bit of China and exercise or whatever you like doing then you're life will be balanced...If not get ready to not have a life , you'll work 3 pm to 9pm usually office and teaching hours included...And once you got more than 18 classes on your plate you'll have to come in earlier to work to plan your classes or stay later..Lots of surveillance and recording in class so you really never feel free or have the space to be yourself with the kids. Parents constantly complain and blame you for everything, toxic coworkers who love to gossip with the exception of a few . Kiss Weekends goodbye too, you'll be at work from 9 am to 8:30pm teaching back to back classes with not much time to eat a decent meal or even breath because you'll be scrambling the office grabbing materials , printing stuff, while dodging all your stressed out coworkers and constantly being yelled at by PA parent advisors about making videos , doing open lessons , and grading papers.. they have summer and winter fun which isn't fun at all. You better bring a sleeping bag to work you'll be there all day and only get on day off in that time and extra classes. Unless you're a cheerleader , flamboyant , and super social , you're going to have to attend many extra events and activities after work, you're life is basically for the company and they want to absorb as much as they can with pretty low pay. You're constantly yelled at for speaking Chinese to the kids and are told to tell the kids they can't speak Chinese lol the classes are tense and the PA are tense... No fun at all

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    Advice to Management

    None, it's a business business is business..

    EF English First2019-12-16
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Racial Bias"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - ESL Teacher in Yantai, Shandong
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First for less than a year

    Pros

    EF students are amazing! They're always willing to learn, and they are very respectful of their peers and the staff. It was also great living in a coastal city; great seafood options. Teaching abroad is a great way to see the world.

    Cons

    • If you're a person of color, I would not recommend working here. They prefer working with people of a certain race (blond hair/blue eyes). • The management team is non-existent and lacks proper leadership/ managerial skills; amongst other things. • They are understaffed, which causes an uncomfortable environment, for teachers in the office. ***I would urge everyone to be wise when making a decision to work for this franchise.

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    Advice to Management

    All EF franchises need to be monitored and held to a higher standard. It's extremely disheartening to see racism in this type of environment; especially when you're teaching a "foreign language". You should allow everyone who works for EF an opportunity to grow within the company.

    EF English First2020-01-03
  4. "Great Experience in Shanghai"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It's an international city in China. You may find people working here from all over the world. The company provides great support to all the teachers. I made many friends working here.

    Cons

    Because the city is so fast paced, some people may need some time to get used to the life in Shanghai. You may find some different rules working in different school. Mostly it's quite nice and well organized.

    Advice to Management

    There are many opportunities for people who want to improve themselves. But I think if we can provide the staff more chances would be even better.

    EF English First2019-11-28
  5. Helpful (2)

    "Ef Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Guangzhou, Guangdong
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    great support for visa application

    Cons

    low salary and un reasonable contract demands

    EF English First2019-11-18
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Stress"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get paid on time and your visa is sorted

    Cons

    Extremely stressfull environment to work in. Incredible staff turnover. One of the biggest problems was the course consultants demanding you do exactly what the parents wanted. Even if this demand went against the student's best interests, e.g. Putting a student in a class that was not suitable for their level because their parents think their child is a wunderkind or because they didn't like a certain teacher. This was done a number of times without the students being tested. I protested this to no avail. This of course led to all sorts of problems in class. Another problem was as soon as the ccs/ management find out you are a good/ popular teacher you will find your schedule jampacked and your classroom filled up with students. This would not be a problem if you didn't see other bad/ unpopular teachers sitting back in the office with fewer classes and getting paid just as much if not more depending on how long they have been there. One of the other problems was the staff rooms for teachers, they used to be so cramped, uncomfortable and hot in the schools I worked in. This led to teachers having arguments with each other and ccs, etc. I saw so many arguments in different schools, and a good few local/foreign managers fired. During an open door the parents will come and observe your class if you do well most parents will pay for another course if not your cc will be very unhappy with you because they get commission for every student that stays for another course. You as a teacher get nothing extra. The pressure some new teachers are under during these open doors is huge. The pressure coming from management and ccs. Summer and winter courses are intense. Be prepared to work from 9:00 AM to 9:00 even 10:00 pm on weekdays and your normal 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekends. But don't worry you will have no office hours during morning and evening classes during summer course. This is just management saying we don't have to pay you between morning and evening classes because you have no office hours. You are still expected to do lesson plans, correct tests etc. It's a complete joke. In one school I worked in 80 percent of teachers quit just before summer course. They couldn't take it anymore.

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    Advice to Management

    I'm surprised you guys are still around to be honest. One of the reasons I guess is that you can always replace a teacher once they've left with a new one. Teacher turnover must be 80 to 90% per year. I've seen a good few managers get fired/ leave/ resign in my time there too. A lot of the problems are easily fixable in the company but they never are because you must still be making a profit and your turnover rate doesn't really concern you. I guess the only headwind for you in future will be the fact that you expanded so rapidly in China and the economy there is slowing down, along with the yuan depreciating and increased anti foreigner sentiment.

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    EF English First2019-09-08
  7. Helpful (1)

    "2+ years in and would still probably recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Shenzhen, Guangdong
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Can't speak for everyone, but I had a well-organized and professional onboarding process. Actual teacher training. They give you support to integrate in China more effectively (whether everyone makes use of it is another story). The products and materials to teach are useful and well-structured. Opportunities to study further within TESOL are prominent.

    Cons

    The workload can be heavy at a rate that's not really proportional to the pay. Especially during busy summer and winter periods. At a larger school, opportunities for career progression/promotion have been painfully slow, though this always depends. School operations tend to be more sales focused; sometimes requiring teachers to put aside academic quality.

    Advice to Management

    Excellent teachers do not necessarily make excellent managers. Show concern for the work-life balance. Also would be nice to have more career pipelines available other than just becoming a manager, more on the 'academic' side.

    EF English First2019-08-25
  8. Helpful (22)

    "The Good and the bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You will get plenty of classes working with EF. I was teaching 70 classes a week. The lesson plan is good. The pay is good.

    Cons

    After working 6 months with EF I was fired. The day that I was fired my lesson plan did not fully loaded up. I left the class and re-entered the class, I hoping the second time I would be able to see the lesson plan. However, this caused me to be 30 seconds late to class. EF was quick to terminate my contract and was unwilling to listen to me. I think they view their employees as disposable .

    Advice to Management

    Not to be so quick to fire and respond to your emails about tech problems.

    EF English First2019-06-25
  9. Helpful (3)

    "Don't do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - ESL Teacher in Beijing, Beijing

    I have been working at EF English First for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Mediocre pay. Other than that there are none.

    Cons

    *Crappy salary. *Hostile work environment. *Double standard. Native speakers get paid a little bit more than local teachers, but are treated ten times worse. *No appreciation. *Lots of classes with no time to prepare. *Management never helps answer questions. *People there are fake. *If you are a native speaker and aren't "teacher of the year", then management goes out of their way to get rid of you. *Waste of your life. *McDonald's of the ESL industry. *They lay off most of their employees after 6 months.

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    Advice to Management

    Don't sit around all day and actually try to help teachers when they need it.

    EF English First2019-08-25
  10. Helpful (2)

    "Can be good or bad, depending on where you are placed."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Efficient system Very clear career ladder Legal visa process Paid for lesson planning time

    Cons

    You don't always have a TA Summer and Winter course Relatively low pay compared to other TEFL jobs

    Advice to Management

    In some centers promotions happen within weeks, and in others promotions take years. You need to set a standard for this to manage expectations.

    EF English First2019-07-17
Found 46 reviews