EF English First English Teacher Reviews

Updated 22 Jun 2020

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3.0
47%
Recommend to a Friend
28%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
33 Ratings
  1. "Great company for part-time work."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online English Teacher in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Easy to use teaching platform with a supportive team on hand to help.

    Cons

    The work can be repetitive.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Kind of like being in an abusive relationship."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Chongqing, Chongqing
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good place to get started when you really want to teach/live abroad and no one else will take you or you don't know better. They will take pretty much anyone regardless of experience/ability as their turnover rate is so high. They are always hiring. Most teaching materials are relatively well made. If you really enjoy working 70+ hours a week, they have good opportunities for advancement.

    Cons

    They will tell you it's a 40 hour a week job, which it is not. Closer to 60+ hours a week to finish everything they expect you to do. You are not a human being to EF, you are a disposable beast of burden. Most of their teachers are fresh out of college and come over to China for a "fun" year abroad, so they don't expect you to stay for longer than that. Anyone who sticks around longer than a year is a workaholic. Extreme pressure from management: nothing you do is ever good enough for them. All "training schools“ in China are essentially the same: for-profit organizations that masquerade as institutions of learning, but EF is the worst of them. You will generally make about 12k RMB a month, which is typical for training schools in China and which, if you aren't in a major city such as Shanghai or Beijing, is more than enough to live comfortably on. The problem is that the amount of work they claim you will be responsible for is not the same as the amount of work you will actually end up doing. Save yourself the exhaustion and stress and go work for Meten, you'll earn 50% more for half the work. The "Kids and Teens" program is comprised of about 90% children between the ages of 2-6, so you end up dancing and singing and generally acting like a clown for your paycheck most of the time. EF acts like they are the best of the best when it comes to English schools in China, and will make you feel like you will never be able to get a decent/well-paying position in China if you leave them. Yet I worked for three different training schools in China and they had the lowest salary for the largest amount of work. EF had this cute little tagline they liked to use while I was there that I think really exemplifies what they are all about. The tagline was "From 'hello' to Harvard," and this perfectly encapsulates what they do. EF, as well as all other for-profit English training schools for children in China, operate by selling Chinese parents this "dream" that, if their kid spends 2 hours a week attending their English class and does a bit of homework, they will become fully bilingual speakers who will grow up and go to attend a prestigious foreign university. The harsh reality is that this isn't how second language acquisition works, and a lot of these kids are being raised by their grandparents, who often do not even speak Mandarin, let alone a single word of English. So although it's a nice little slogan, shelling out thousands of RMB a year for your kid to go sing English songs and interact with native speakers is not really going to lead to them being Harvard grads in the future.

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    EF English First Response

    June 29, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your review. We regret to hear that you had a negative work experience. At EF, we work hard to provide a positive work environment for all teachers and staff whether someone is looking for a one year experience or a life-long career.

  3. "A good company for a beginning teacher"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Jakarta
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will gain lots of experience in a low-pressure environment. The students are motivated and fun to teach. Materials are good and pre-made.

    Cons

    Some EFs will send you off to elementary/high schools in the morning, split shifts can be tiring. Some teachers work insane hours without many breaks, but it depends on the school.

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  4. "Surprisingly Good"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Online English Teacher in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Good pay, work with kids, teach in pajamas

    Cons

    Difficult to deal with tech support sometimes

    EF English First Response

    May 15, 2020Vice President

    Thanks for reaching out to share your experience with us. We love to hear that you enjoy working with the kids and that our “business on top, pjs on the bottom” dress code appeals to you. All jokes aside we know that technical issues can be frustrating, and we’re continually working to improve our internet connection and server issues. In the meantime, we are working to make sure replies are prompt and helpful. Thanks again for sharing and we hope that you continue with EF long into the future.

  5. "Not Bad"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing people and great travel experience. This will vary a lot depending on your location. The staff around you and the way your building is managed will make all the difference and it will vary tremendously from office to office. I had the luxury of an amazing Boss.

    Cons

    Can be isolating depending on your language skills. If you teach adults, the pay is lower and your expenses to get there are not covered. They come out of your pocket. If you aren't used to traveling, there will be culture adjustment to get over.

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    EF English First Response

    April 23, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    It's great to hear you were able to travel while working at EF, it speaks to our mission of opening the world through education. Also great to know that you felt you had an amazing manager supporting you. Thank you for your review.

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Exploitation First"

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

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

    Pros

    none there is nothing but bad things to say

    Cons

    they lie to everyone about everything all the time

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    EF English First Response

    May 29, 2020Vice President

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. It’s unfortunate that you weren’t able to find any positives after working with us for one to two years. Companies never want to be perceived as being dishonest, and your lack of detail won’t allow us to investigate this more seriously. If you care to share more about your experiences, please feel free to contact us. Thanks again for reaching out.

  7. "A Good Company for spring boarding into ESL Teaching"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Ningbo
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good training for teachers working in this company.

    Cons

    Restrict curriculum and lack of freedom of course structure.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Best job in the world!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Online English Teacher in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First

    Pros

    Everything, management, platform, training, you need to be certified in teaching English as a second language which is a plus because it helps you prepare for the job. Best job in the world. Students are awesome and so is the company. Their platform is easy to work with. IT department fixes anything immediately. Plenty of training and help with anything. The parents are great. I truly love my job.

    Cons

    None, I have zero problems with the early hours and late hours, you know this when you apply so there’s no need to complain about it!

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    EF English First Response

    May 15, 2020Vice President

    We are happy to hear such positive feedback! We really strive to make sure that both teachers and students have a great experience at EF and we are glad to see all that hard work paying off. Thanks again and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.

  9. COVID-19

    "Poor pay, support and compensation"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Home-based Online English Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First for more than a year

    Pros

    I liked the flexibility of the job and the ability to adjust your schedule every week.

    Cons

    This company continually seeks to look for ways to cut teacher's pay. The owner of this company, Bertil Hult, is a billionaire but the teacher's salary is only $12 an hour (you can make more doing restaurant work) and the maximum you can make is $15.60. However, in order to keep the $15.60 pay (which is still ridiculously low considering the company is raking in billions every year), you must maintain above a 4.84 student rating. If you drop to 4.83, they will knock your pay down to 13.20 an hour. Obviously, if you are consistently scoring above a 4.5, you have a really high student approval rating. This approval rating also does not take into consideration that the student just doesn't like EF. One time a student rated the class a 1 because he said EF teachers were taking away jobs from Chinese teachers. Also, EF lets students decide their levels so you have elementary students in upper intermediate classes and then they blame the teacher for not understanding the lesson. Of course, this does not directly affect Bertil Hult (as he is rolling in money) but it affects the teacher even though this is not the teacher's fault. It is never their goal to pay you more money or keep you for a long time. You are just a number and they want a high turn over rate so they can keep most of the money in the owner's pocket while not appropriately compensating staff. This is why EF teachers in Boston formed a union.

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  10. "Great culture and coworkers"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They really make you feel like you are at home despite living in a new country. They have a great on boarding and training program. I loved the coworkers and friends I met through the company.

    Cons

    The hours are rough, having to work weekends and till 8pm on weekdays.

    EF English First Response

    March 19, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thanks for the great review. We want all teachers to feel at home while teaching and living in China. Things have been challenging with the Caronavirus but good co-workers and trusted friends make things a little easier.

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