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EF English First ESL Teacher Reviews

Updated 1 Aug 2020

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3.3
54%
Recommend to a Friend
46%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
19 Ratings
  1. "Good first job teaching English"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good training/support for first time teachers. Help get you established in new country. opportunities for advancement.

    Cons

    working hours can be long with lower pay compared to other ESL jobs. Pretty standard for training center teaching though

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  2. "Awful Management"

    2.0
    Former Contractor - ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First for less than a year

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule Can work from home

    Cons

    Pay often comes one month late Requirements for teacher to enter the classroom three minutes before the start of a lesson means that if the former lesson ended a bit late, you have almost no time to make it to your next lesson on time Support staff often replies to cases late, if at all, and give off the impression that they haven't actually read what you wrote

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  3. Helpful (2)

    "An American company with harsh treatment"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Online ESL Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    An organised software system for teaching

    Cons

    Pay is very low, constant reviews and dishonest comments to try and oust staff. Staff are rude and judge British people by American standards (change your voice etc).

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    EF English First Response

    May 15, 2020Vice President

    Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us. As a company that services students from all over the world we understand the need for cultural awareness and sensitivity. At times we do have learners requesting teachers with specific accents or who’ve learned in a specific curriculum, and we do our best to meet those needs where possible. While we’re happy to hear that you enjoyed the teaching software, we’re sorry to hear that your experience with EF in the UK wasn’t positive.

  4. "Teaching is like performing"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great camaraderie among coworkers.

    Cons

    Challenging workload at times. Difficult for newcomers to get a steady work; opportunities are based on a teacher's seniority.

  5. "Little training, confusing invoice system, and limited support."

    2.0
    • 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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  6. Helpful (1)

    "English first"

    2.0
    • 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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    EF English First Response

    February 17, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback. Teaching can be a very stressful job with high demands from parents, and unsociable hours. During the recruitment proces we are quite clear with all candidates that teaching in China requires evening and weekend teaching as these are our peak operating hours.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Racial Bias"

    1.0
    • 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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    EF English First Response

    January 17, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for taking the time to post. EF is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits all forms of discrimination. We are concerned by your allegations and want to ensure they are properly addressed. We kindly request that you contact compliance.china@ef.com so that a thorough review can take place.

  8. "Great Experience in Shanghai"

    5.0
    • 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.

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    EF English First Response

    December 8, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your 5+ years of dedication to EF. We are happy to hear that you've had support along your journey and have made many friends as well. In regards to further opportunities, we have implemented several new career development initiatives over the past 3 years, including our Academic Career Ladder. We understand, however, that more work could still be done in this area. We would love to hear more about your EF career goals and how we could better support you. Please feel free to reach out to me at Mario.Bermeo@ef.com.

  9. Helpful (2)

    "Ef Teacher"

    3.0
    • 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 First Response

    December 1, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank your for sharing your feedback. We're pleased to hear that you felt supported throughout the visa application process. At EF, we do offer a generous compensation package, which in addition to base salary, includes airfare reimbursement, national holidays and vacation days, health insurance, performance pay, and qualification bonuses. We would be interested in learning more about your specific experience, and any areas of your contract that you feel should be reviewed. Please feel free to reach out to us at Teacher.Welfare@ef.com

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Stress"

    2.0
    • 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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    EF English First Response

    September 16, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for the post. I wanted to take the time to address some of the concerns you had about your experience at your EF school. Effective communication is especially important when working with different teams. Therefore, it is unfortunate to hear there were some challenges with this. With respect to Summer/Winter Courses, in addition to contracted salary, teachers receive a bonus based on the amount of Summer/Winter Courses they teach. Centers work hard to make the schedules as balanced as possible including, but not limited to, a reduction in lesson planning and admin time. Again, we will continue to work to improve our communication. Thank you for reaching out, we appreciate your feedback.

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