EF English First Foreign English Teacher Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

EF English First Foreign English Teacher Reviews

Updated Jan 18, 2019

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3.9
44%
Recommend to a Friend
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
0 Ratings
  1. "Foreign English Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign English Teacher 
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent compensation. There's also excellent support from local staff for help with visas, settling in, housing, healthcare and more.

    Cons

    The workload is too high. Teachers very often teach more than 24 contact hours each week, which is exhausting and unfortunately makes teaching quality lessons to all students impossible.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more teachers, both foreign and local, so that the teachers can have a more manageable workload and not be overworked. Invest more in training support staff (teaching assistants) so that they feel confident when working in the classroom.

    EF English First2019-01-18
  2. Helpful (4)

    "Chinese University English Tutor - Shnaghai"

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

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    It gets you in the door. Into China. Into a University setting. It also is good for beginner teachers of ESL, as you repeat your lessons frequently.

    Cons

    Bad pay. Lots of hours. Eben though your teaching time seems low and they advertise the role as this. You have to travel for nearly 6 hours a week unpaid. You also have huge breaks in the day because it's a university. Whilst you may only teach 6.5 hours a day you will be there for 10 or more.

    Advice to Management

    Don't tell people they will only be teaching a certain number of hours. Calculate the amount of hours someone is on point for you and your organisation and pay accordingly.

    EF English First2016-10-14
  3. Helpful (9)

    "They lie, and will ask you to lie. Don't join them."

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

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

    Pros

    I worked at English First full Time (more than 1 year) It's an ok company to learn the ropes with (by that I mean it’s 100% legal and easy to get hired), but it's dubbed ''The Training Camp''and the ''Walmart of ESL Teaching'' for a reason. The vast majority of teachers (70%) either quit or do not renew their contracts * Friendly helpful colleagues are great (with the exception of management) * New teachers... will learn a lot (through necessity, not training) * They provide you with legitimate visas, residence permits and pre-arrival support. * You get paid on time.

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    Cons

    They word contracts so vaguely that the can argue anything in their favour. Example: EF says you have a maximum of 20 teaching hours, but that doesn't include demos, marketing events, or Summer and Winter Course (Summer and Winter Course teaching hours can go as high as they want, because there is a clause that states there is no limit on Teaching Hours during Summer and Winter, so I was working over 30 teaching... hours). Example: EF says you have a maximum of 40 working hours, but that only counts as actual working hours. So if your first class is at 9am and your last class finishes at 7pm (typical weekend day), but only have 6 hours of classes that day then you have only worked 6 hours even though you've been in the school lesson planning, preparing materials and teaching for 10 hours. So you end up working 50/60 hours because EF argues that because you only have 33 teaching hours, you only have worked 33 hours in total. And woe upon you if you don't complete the extra administration and other unpaid tasks, as they will dock your salary. Bad pay. The base salary may look ok, but if you factor in all the hours you work (usually a lot more than what is in your contract) the pay is actually quite poor. Overtime is not a thing. There are 100 EF teachers in my city. No one has gotten overtime, ever, despite working more than 40 hours a week. EF only considers teaching hours to be working hours, so despite all the administration, lesson planning and other office hours, you will never get paid overtime. EF also looks for any reason to dock your pay and not pay your bonuses. Profit is King, learning is secondary. This leads to kids with no English being placed into running classes. When one kid is talking about what they did at the weekend, and another can't even respond to ''what's your name?'', it leads to very frustrating classes and clashes with management. I've been asked outright to lie to parents about various things. From test results, to student performance, to Summer and Winter course content .EF is a very dishonest company. No vacation time. You get two days off a week (usually Monday/Tuesday), except in summer and winter, where you work 6 days a week. 10 days of holidays a year, and your sick days are deducted from your holidays. Work/Life Balance: Awful. You work very unsociable hours, will little to no time off. During Summer and Winter you work 6 days a week with significantly more classes. It's just awful. Senior Management: The worst management imaginable. They treat their staff so badly that they have to hire outside of the company for management, because very few people stay long enough to become management. They were incompetent and outright hostile when I tried to discuss problems. When I tried to address these concerns with more senior branch managers, I was simply told there was nothing they could do, and to stop complaining.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop lying to staff. Stop lying to parents. Focus on teacher retention. Pay your staff a real salary, and stop working them like dogs.

    EF English First2016-08-22
  4. Helpful (3)

    "Ther"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign English Teacher 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There's a real career here if you want it, plenty of opportunities for promotion within the EF network. Training workshops. Support network

    Cons

    The half hour catch up classes for students of other teachers who missed their previous class (you can't do anything in half an hour) Money at times seems to be the most important thing to the company.

    EF English First2016-07-14
  5. Helpful (3)

    "Not a bad starting point for the 'new' teacher and living abroad"

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

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

    Pros

    Supportive staff and training opportunities. Correct visa's and support pre-arrival. Great accommodation provided. Pay OK and on time, incentives for following procedures eg lesson plans on time etc. Curriculum provided for outline so allows for creative additions particularly for the younger classes and the oldest!

    Cons

    Political at times - just avoid it! Summer and winter school full on and can be exhausting but doesn't last too long. Lot of reports and parent teacher meetings... could be less! Curriculum for the 'Trail Blazer' classes is awful... you have to be REALLY creative to enhance it and make it beneficial.

    Advice to Management

    Value the teachers, teachers feeling valued will provide you with staff who may hang around longer.

    EF English First2016-05-02
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Supportive & Innovative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Foreign English Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    I have been with EF for nearly 2 years and have found the company and the school I work in particularly supportive. If you want to develop as a teacher they will help you get onto one of the many courses that EF offer. The resources available to teachers for the classes are always changing and they try to use technology that makes the classes not only fun for the students but also very easy for teachers to teach... and adapt if they want. They are willing to change things and the courses change and adapt often on feedback. Most of all, I enjoy the fact that I feel like I'm part of a family in my school and we all support each other!

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    Cons

    EF is a big company so you sometimes feel far away from the people who make the big changes so things seem to take a while to filter down or suggestions to go up to the top. Be patient!

    Advice to Management

    Make available better communication links between teachers and those nearer the top. Maybe a regular meeting where teaching representatives can talk to the managers and air the views of teachers in their region.

    EF English First2016-02-17
  7. Helpful (4)

    ""No experience required""

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

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

    Pros

    The kids you meet are great. They come to the school very enthusiastically and participate easily in the games that you create.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, that's where the positives end. Once I had arrived in China my first two weeks were my "training". However, this only consisted of sitting in a room with a senior teacher and them telling me very obvious advice. Some of this advice consisted of "Get the kids to like you then they will be more willing to learn." The other part of the training was somewhat helpful as I watched experienced teachers... teaching a class which was way more interesting and helpful. After these two weeks I began to teach my first classes, however it only seems as if the most difficult classes to teach are the only ones that count if they want to hire you for the entire year. These difficult classes consisted of 15+ kids who are between 9-13. Due to this difficulty and my lack of experience the classes got out of control as the rooms are not big enough to accommodate some of my games that I had planned. Ultimately it was decided that I did not impress enough while teaching these classes and I was let go. Lastly, I was informed that I had to leave the country in less than a week. However, they must have known this for over 2 days as I did not teach any classes during that time. This decision to have to meet with me to let me know that I needed to leave the country left me with buying a very expensive plane ticket as it was only a week away.

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    Advice to Management

    Don't waste time "training" people. All that I learned from 1 on 1 sessions with senior teachers is the most obvious stuff. They seriously spend hours telling me stuff like "Create fun games so that the children will participate more."

    EF English First2015-12-21
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Some great co-workers but thats about it!"

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

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

    Pros

    Lessons planned for you Some great international staff

    Cons

    Low salary Minimum holidays Try underhand tactics to avoid staff leaving to better paid jobs by refusing to provide letter of release, even when contract is finished (a major issue in China) Antisocial hours - evenings and weekends.

    EF English First2015-11-09
  9. Helpful (1)

    "ESL Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Foreign English Teacher in Ningbo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Salary is good. Director of Studies tries hard to help where she can.

    Cons

    Management is unreliable. Policies are not followed.

    Advice to Management

    Need to be more professional, honest and follow through with what was promised.

    EF English First2015-10-10
  10. Helpful (7)

    "Working for EF in China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign English Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They are immensely helpful through the entire process. From the beginning and all the way through. The visa process, the housing and the big move abroad; they make the whole process easy and helpful. I also love all of the opportunities you get to travel, socialize and grow with EF as a company. It is indeed a family like atmosphere and they take care of you as if you were family. EF gives you the opportunity to... meet people from all different walks of life. It also offers free Chinese lessons so that you can live more comfortably.

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    Cons

    Working in kids and teens, it can sometimes get overwhelmingly busy and you do not have time to get a break on busy days or months. It seems that they try to get as many classes as possible filled but there aren't as many teachers. It can get frustrating at times. I think EF should really work on balancing the schedules a bit more.

    Advice to Management

    I think that it would be very cool and important to add career counseling services for EF teachers. We should have someone we can directly talk to about questions, concerns and career advancements.

    EF English First2015-05-30
Found 17 reviews