EF English First Employee Reviews

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Fun and friendly work environment
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF STUDIES (Former Employee) –  Zhengzhou, ChinaSeptember 20, 2017
EF is a multinational company from Sweden, but headquartered in Shanghai, China. It offers continuous training to all of its staffs; promotion to hardworking and talented teachers depends on how quickly regional schools develop, but tends to be on the fast side. Most of the schools I visited had very amiable staffs, starting from the management.
Pros
career building
Cons
schedule is not family-friendly
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Honest Company
English Trainer (Current Employee) –  Hangzhou, ChinaSeptember 8, 2017
This company is very upfront and honest about things. If they know something, they will tell you. Before joining the company I was told that I would be working more than if I chose to work at a university, but my visa would be legal and my pay would be a little higher.

A typical day at this company is teaching 5 different classes and speaking with students about their lives. It is a lot of fun, and a lot of customer service for ESL. The students enjoy practicing their English with foreigners.
Pros
Good environment, good management, room for you to grow and be creative.
Cons
Little notice on some changes (mostly due to government regulations
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unique opportunity but lacks structure
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 11, 2017
This could be a decent opportunity but structure is severely lacking and the work environment is unprofessional. I would recommend teaching elsewhere.
Pros
professional development opportunites
Cons
unprofessional work culture
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Must fight for everything
English Teacher (Former Employee) –  East JavaJuly 10, 2017
My school provided none of the training they promised when I accepted the position:
- No cultural training
- The company provides classroom books that the students must purchase to be in the classes, my training/introduction to the materials consisted of the Director of Studies telling me how much he hated the materials and that I shouldn't use them

I was led to believe that I would be teaching older students, EF knew my experience was exclusively with adults, when I arrived I discovered that it was all kids classes, the oldest students were in high school.

After voicing my concerns that I didn't have any experience or training in working with 5 year-olds, the senior teacher consistently put those classes on my schedule as a power play, just to let me know that she could. She claimed that I was a natural at teaching young children even though I continuously requested to not have those classes because I felt uncomfortable with the students.

The company consistently displays various amounts of disrespect for their teachers:
- The office staff lost forms containing my personal information
- Teachers paid for rooms in company-owned houses that were entered without notice or permission
- Upkeep of housing was awful, rooms have peeling paint and mold
- I was picked up from the airport and dropped off at a house, there was no introduction to the city or the surrounding area. I didn't have basic things like toilet paper or a towel. I was not given directions or even told which school to go to my first day of work, that responsibility was left to my roommates.
  more... Why did my roommates know what school I was teaching at before I did?
- I was invited to a welcome brunch 12 hours after arriving in the country but was not picked up from the house, was expected to find my way across town without speaking the language.

The school was very gossipy, even the upper management would participate in spreading rumors. It was impossible to voice any concerns without everybody whispering about you within a matter of an hour.

You have to fight for everything that was previously agreed upon. Specifically your flight home that the company is supposed to pay for. They will find the most ridiculous flight path and tell you they will book that flight or you can take the cash value and book your own flight. They tried to send me from Surabaya - KL (8 hour layover), KL - Singapor (9 hour layover)...I would have been traveling for an entire day and end up a 2.5 hour plane ride from where I started. When I replied to the email and said this is unacceptable, I got a response confirming that I could take this flight or take the money and book my own. I sent another strongly worded email about how awful this was, pointing out that not a single one of them would ever book this flight for themselves. It wasn't until after my second email, which I CC'd the corporate office, that upper management wanted to talk to me and apologize about the 'miscommunication'. During that meeting they told me that they hadn't looked at the flight before responding and confirming that this was my flight home. Nobody is held to any accountability of job performance except the foreign teachers who are expected to teach 17 classes per week with only a 10-minute break in between each class.

The people in charge have no common sense or consideration of the fact that teachers are moving to a new country to work for them. They try to act like only an employer but they need to take more responsibility for the safety and comfort of the foreign teachers. I felt truly awful working for this company and would never recommend it to my worst enemy.
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Great Environment, Little Pay
English Language Teacher (Former Employee) –  RemoteJuly 3, 2017
I liked working for EF during the time I was there but the pay was minuscule considering the work you did and all of the things asked of you. I would recommend that they do less micro-management, be fairer with their compensation and pay raises, and try to bring in more at-home instructors to the company.
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Okay for a summer job
English teacher (Former Employee) –  Suzhou, ChinaApril 18, 2017
It was an okay job. They gave me a chance when I was really down on my luck and I needed somewhere to work.

The money wasn't great but I felt like I was rich because I had been so broke there.

The company culture seems to be to just sell the EF method instead of being actually about teaching anyone English, which is fine i guess.
Pros
you don't work very many hours
Cons
they don't pay very much but make you sign exclusivity clauses.
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Great company to make a career
ESL teacher (Former Employee) –  东莞市October 9, 2016
Whether you're a first time teacher or have 20 years experience, this company will most certainly provide you with great career opportunities unlike any other education company in China.
Pros
great training, great support staff, great benefits
Cons
starting pay is too low
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Not sure
Adjunct Professor and ESL Teacher (Former Employee) –  Miami Beach, FLOctober 7, 2016
Well sometimes it is just a really long day when you are teaching, and unfortunately that means only having a couple of computers to use when their are twenty teachers needing them at the same times. However everyone was friendly, but it a stepping stone
Pros
Some nice things
Cons
Some bad things
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It is overall good
Sales associate (Former Employee) –  深圳市February 10, 2016
English First treated employees good. Their salary is low, but it is an easy job. However, the employers is not very nice overall.
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Satisfying, but sometimes trying due to electronic problems
Online ESL Instructor (Current Employee) –  onlineJanuary 18, 2016
The work relies heavily on ESL experience, but there are tools offered by other teachers, as well as sessions, to help neophytes learn the ropes. Getting used to technical problems can be trying, but the students are usually worth it, as many of them will grow to be fast friends of yours and regulars. It's a job that requires dedication as well as getting up early, since most of the best hours to work are between 6-11am. The benefits are lacking, as this is a consulting position, but the pay is higher than average, so there's that.
Pros
Higher pay wages than others, on the job training and feedback, set your own hours
Cons
Very few benefits, often have to work certain hours unpaid to grade, technical issues.
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A place to learn
English Teacher (Former Employee) –  Qinhuang DongDajie, Qinhuangdao, Hebei, ChinaApril 22, 2015
EF English schools are fast paced because of the high turnover rate. You learn quickly, you work hard, and you have ample opportunity for advancement. After only a couple years, you can be a director of studies or the senior teacher. The turnover rate should not look poorly on the company, most employees only plan to teach for a year or two and move on.
It is a great way to experience a country and the people who live there without the tourist treatment. The company streamlines the visa process and are very professional.
The products are supported and updated to provide students with fresh material.
You have to do promotional tasks, but they can be quite fun.
Pros
Travel, immersion, experiences, pay
Cons
Long hours, long weeks, private school priorities
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Awesome Center
Senior Teacher (Former Employee) –  Xuzhou ChinaSeptember 27, 2014
Diverse Teachers. Good Management and Learn a lot from the System.
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A great time teaching and acting
Corporate English Teacher (Former Employee) –  Suzhou,ChinaSeptember 13, 2014
In my time teaching and acting in Asia it has been a great and enjoyable experience.
Pros
meeting new people
Cons
being away from family
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This is a good place to work
Administrative Supervisor (Current Employee) –  BALIMay 18, 2014
I'm working 5 days a week. I have 2 week days off each week.
it is open from 6am till midnight, but we work by shift. 8 hours each.
Every job I do in this company is so much fun. I can talk to native speakers, it improve my English so fast.
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Former English Teacher
English Instructor (Former Employee) –  Daqing, ChinaMay 6, 2014
This wasn't a corporate location, this was a franchise school in Daqing, China. Overall I'd say it was okay, occasionally you'd have to deal with some "corporate types" but most of the time it's a pretty independent job. There's a considerable amount of administrative work, but teaching is great and you can really develop a good relationship with coworkers and friends in the country where you live.
Pros
Steady work, not many surprises
Cons
Pay isn't great.
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Nice at home opportunity
Developer (Former Employee) –  Cambridge, MAFebruary 27, 2014
Worked athome composing tests, lesson content and so forth for online language school and softward developer. It was OJT in learning Java/HTML. Once I got the hang of it, it was easy. The job was fun, and I probably worked a lot more hours than I got compensated for.
Pros
fun job; left to work on own; patieence on part of higher ups in training you
Cons
relatively low pay
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An innovative and motivating workplace
English Language Teacher (Former Employee) –  San FranciscoDecember 22, 2013
I used to do part time teaching at the Cambridge East Foreign Language Institute in Shanghai from 2004 to 2009 and at EF for summer camp class. The students I taught are aged from 3 to 15 years old. The multicultural working environment provides me many opportunities to learn from as well as cooperate with teachers from different countries. In my classes, I tried my best to create an interesting as well interactive environment so that students could interact not only with teachers but also with other students through games and competitions. I find competitions quite rewarding for both teachers and students since students are usually highly motivated when they are aware that they are competing with other students or teams. Sometimes it is not easy to design a game that can interest all students at the same time, but this also encourage me to make more improvements and adjustments. In such cases, they are more willing to cooperate with their team members and participate in class activities. At the same time, I also set clear rules and expectations on my students. Regular homework and assessments were assigned and full participation was expected in order to let students realize their potential as well as to let me get to know better and better the level of each student, which helped me adjust my way of teaching accordingly. Also, in order to track the performance of each student, teachers were required to record their comments in the database after each class.
Pros
multicultural and innovative
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productive and interesting school with unique curriculum and teachers from around the world
Freelance Writer and Proofreader (Former Employee) –  Bali IndonesiaNovember 16, 2013
The culture of living in Bali and teaching children english was very rewarding. I wonderful experience and great to learn new skills to teach and communicate with another cultures youth.
Pros
free lunch, interpersonal communications
Cons
short breaks, bad coffee
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English Teacher
English teacher in China (Former Employee) –  ChinaNovember 13, 2013
It was a growing experience working there. And it was difficult but rewarding. Also, simply living in China was a blast.
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Good Company
Full-time English Teacher (Former Employee) –  Taiyuan, ChinaMay 23, 2013
Nice working environment at school but the outside environment was polluted. Loved my students and interesting colleagues.
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Overall rating

4.0
Based on 94 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.7
Compensation/Benefits
3.5
Job Security/Advancement
3.7
Management
3.8
Culture
4.0