EF English First Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
79 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. International Teacher's Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - International Teacher
    Current Employee - International Teacher

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

    Pros

    EF does a nice job training new teachers and providing on-the-job training. I've gained a lot of knowledge and learned many different approaches to teaching ESL. The company culture is alright. I think HQ provides a better culture and work life balance. What I appreciate most about my center is the laid back environment and teamwork among the teachers. The loyalty bonus and retention bonus is decent.

    Cons

    For such a small center, there is still an obvious division between the departments. GM is unapproachable and rarely speaks to the Education Team. The salary is comparable to other English learning centers, although I've heard the pay difference between International Teacher and Local Teacher is quite significant. My raise was about 5%.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lead by example and dont' be afraid of your own team, including Education Team. Offer better compensation and benefits. Continue to offer Christmas Day as a paid holiday.

  2. A huge company, which provides stability when travelling the world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreign English Teacher in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China)
    Current Employee - Foreign English Teacher in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China)

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

    Pros

    Being a huge company they have international standards, so provide contributions to health insurance whilst working in China, and a large support network to help with issues surrounding visas, residence permits, and social events.

    Office hours are relatively low most of the time. I think I spend around 30-35 hours in the school each week, with around 25ACH.

    The salary is very fair compared to the living costs. I am easily able to save money whilst having a very comfortable lifestyle here.

    Cons

    It is a business first and a school second. Therefore, teachers must be aware that other staff members have sales targets, retention targets, and 'customers' to keep happy.

    Behaviour and discipline of the children is very poor in some classes, but as a business it's difficult to enforce the rules, because the sales staff want to keep the money coming in. The children rarely show respect to teachers, and ignore them, due to their being no repercussions.

    DOS's (Director of Studies) are not good. The ones I've met are poor communicators and terrible managers, usually due to a lack of people skills. These are usually people who stick with the company a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication is the key. If staff members are not doing what they need to do then 'man up' and tell them directly, rather than using blanket phrases like, "Let's all try to do XYZ... etc..."

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Okay for one year

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denpasar (Indonesia)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denpasar (Indonesia)

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Fairly easy work, good colleagues, okay if you just get on with it and enjoy living in Bali. 2 days of every week, possibility for overtime

    Cons

    Takes a while to process work visa. Management not really helpful. Have to add pressure to do your work permit and not work illegal

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Great, stable school for teaching abroad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign English Teacher in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Former Employee - Foreign English Teacher in Beijing, Beijing (China)

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

    Pros

    The classes are pedagogically pretty spot on, and facilitate a very effective learning / teaching experience. The salary was very competitive and benefits / vacation were great.

    Cons

    It was becoming a bit corporate when I left, lots of new rules (clean desk rules), and classes that students loved were getting replaced by newer, more generalized topics.

    Recommends
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great yet horrible employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreign Teacher in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Current Employee - Foreign Teacher in Beijing, Beijing (China)

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Easy to get into a position abroad with no prior experience
    Great on-boarding program and welcome team
    Pay always on time
    Far more stable and reputable than most other companies in the same business

    Cons

    Horrible management
    Constantly squandering the talents of their staff
    Extra hours required to be successful
    Rampant favoritism and no potential for career advancement
    Treated as a presenter, you will not be treated like a teacher
    Sales is the only thing important to management, they lie, you pay the price, no one cares

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more involved at the center level, hire service managers to manage the teachers as all they are is service providers, reign in the sales team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. EF ENGLISH FIRST Qingdao (Shandong)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - TEFL Teacher in Qingdao, Shandong (China)
    Former Employee - TEFL Teacher in Qingdao, Shandong (China)

    I worked at EF English First full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great, friendly, professional staff, excellent DOS (Director of Studies), great teacher training sessions and certification opportunities through Cambridge Uni. Cool high tech classrooms. Lots of wonderful students, great kids. Good management. Competitive salary. Excellent EF Co. class books and lesson plans + lots of additional resources. Qingdao is a beautiful coastal city + mountains with comparatively clean air and water. If my family commitments weren't keeping me in other places i would definitely consider working at EF Qingdao again. I had a very happy 5 years there. My only big complaint was that Private training centers like EF work during Summer and Winter holidays. If it hadn't been for that i might still be working there (except for the 5 year rule (see Cons). I miss the foreign and Chinese staff/teachers and students. Everyone was very nice and friendly. I wish EF Qingdao continued success!

    Cons

    From what I've heard many EF Franchise locations are not run very well, especially from the perspective of the expat foreign teachers, but EF Qingdao is NOT one of those! Some of the students can be terrors and can spoil the class for the rest, trying the most patient teachers' patience. The city of Qingdao has become too strict in its requirements for Foreign teacher's paperwork, sometimes making it hard for them to stay. Also a 5 years at a time rule is being enforced there (and many other cities in China. Cold, biting wind in winter to rival Chicago or New York's. Only 10 days paid holiday (+ National Holidays). Intensive Summer and Winter Courses left me only one day of per week during those times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work. More than 10 days paid holiday per year would be nice!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. It was a good experience in helping me adjust to life in China.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Expert in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Former Employee - Foreign Expert in Beijing, Beijing (China)

    I worked at EF English First

    Pros

    The work is easy and well laid out for those new to teaching. For more experienced teachers, there are many opportunities to advance within the company or to take on more leadership responsibilities.

    Cons

    Summer and Winter sessions are really busy with little to no compensation for overtime hours given. Schedules can change frequently with little advance warning, including notification for days given as vacation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The English programs developed are great for prescriptive learning. Also, the recent developments made to the various English programs are changing in some positive ways that accommodate different learning styles. However, there are some issues with benefits and salary for staff. I noticed the pay for foreign hires was much different to local hires (in that foreign hires predominantly are paid more), despite the fact that both local and foreign employees have the same work responsibilities. The salary could be more competitive and schedules could be more consistent. (For example: An employee's "weekend" days could be taken away for meetings and school events and because employees have different "weekend" days, it was often too difficult to give a day in lieu of having one of your days off taken; no monetary compensation was given when this occurred. Summer and Winter academies on paper did not require any overtime hours; however, the reality of the situation from my experience was that you did have to come in before and/or after your scheduled work hours to keep up with the work load.) There is definitely room for improvement in these areas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. EF Qingdao

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Teacher/Assistant DoS in Qingdao, Shandong (China)
    Former Employee - Foreign Teacher/Assistant DoS in Qingdao, Shandong (China)

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    EF Qingdao was great. As a teacher, anything I needed for class was gotten for me. Communication was professional and well understood. Training sessions were weekly, in-depth, and often followed up with additional certifications paid for by the school. The Director of Studies has established a very professional but laid back atmosphere in the teachers office and the other staff members take the job very seriously.

    Cons

    Working nights and weekends made socializing with other expats a little difficult, even in a city as international as Qingdao.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    I've liked it so much I've spent four years within the EF franchise, moving from a teacher, senior teacher to DoS..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director of Studies in Qingdao, Shandong (China)
    Current Employee - Director of Studies in Qingdao, Shandong (China)

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

    Pros

    The possibilities of promotion are very real and for a teacher with a real interest in making a career in the ESL world EF is a good place to be.

    Cons

    One minor issue for new teachers is adapting to higher hours in the winter and summer intensives but I have found once you've done one the others come easily.

    Recommends
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Excellent Career Change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreign Expert in Changzhou, Jiangsu (China)
    Current Employee - Foreign Expert in Changzhou, Jiangsu (China)

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent teacher training before you start working and great development opportunities (e.g. TKT exams & Trinity Dip). Only planned to stay for 1 year, but now I'm singing my 3rd year contract. Best place to be if you are looking for a language teaching career.

    Cons

    You have to work extra days especially during the peak Summer or Winter courses. But the company tries to accommodate various bonuses or company activities to balance work & leisure.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

Work at EF English First? Share Your Experiences

EF English First

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.