ELS Educational Services Reviews

Updated July 15, 2015
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Pros
  • Health benefits for full time work (in 9 reviews)

  • Meeting students from around the world (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Also, there is an insane amount of work (in 6 reviews)

  • Very low pay for the quality of work that you are doing (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

101 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great colleagues, benefits, and curriculum

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

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    After working at a university-based Intensive English Program for several years, I transitioned to ELS Language Centers and couldn’t be happier. I work with a talented group of instructors and administrative staff who care deeply about their students. Students are motivated and there’s a strong sense of community. Excellent benefit package (even if you only teach 20 hours per week) with many opportunities for professional development. It's a fast-paced work environment yet extremely rewarding.

    Cons

    Four-week sessions can be stressful at times for teachers, staff, and management. New initiatives have been rolled out too close together which can be hard on centers. The quality of management can vary between centers.


  2. Helpful (2)

    A nice place to work with great students.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Instructor in La Verne, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Instructor in La Verne, CA

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very supportive and helpful administrators, motivated students, friendly colleagues. The administration here is the best I've seen in my teaching career. They really take good care of new hires and won't leave you flailing about to your own devices.

    Cons

    Pays well below industry averages for similar work, some classrooms are lacking in adequate technology, no real personal workspace available.

    Advice to Management

    Ask corporate to offer more competitive salaries to new hires.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Not worth the time investment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Instructor in Bronx, NY

    I worked at ELS Educational Services (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting students, quality co-workers, culturally-rich atmosphere

    Cons

    Upper management is greedy and unrealistic. Corporate Education at it's worst

    Advice to Management

    Pay what your employees are worth.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    Great People, Great Center Management, Poor Upper Management, cheap owners.

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

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Great local management. Good vacation. Good benefits. Diverse people.

    Cons

    Instructor pay is low. The pay is $23-26/hr if you have an MA in TESOL or CELTA. However, pay is significantly less if you don't have TESOL/CELTA - even if you have MA in something related and many years of experience. Additionally, you are not paid for the time needed outside of class for prep and grading. (avg 2hrs/week.) The part-time instructors get jerked around pretty bad, they have no clue what (sometimes even 'if') they'll be teaching until the first Monday of each session. At times a 20hr/week instructor will get knocked down to getting 20hrs for the entire month. If you teach anything k-12 or at the university level, going to ELS will likely be a pay cut, and may increase your preptime and stress level (teaching ESL is very mentally draining each day). Much of the curriculum varies wildly in difficulty for the levels they're designed for. Quality varies wildly as well - SSP classes are clearly planned and outlined, vocab classes are junk.

    Advice to Management

    TO ELS: Your current payscale is under-market at all levels. $2/hr raise across to even come close to market. (Half of the centers are at universities, yet you pay less than the lowest adjunct faculty while requiring the same specialized training/experience - and the adjuncts get better benefits) Give FT/20hr instructors just one extra hour of extra pay per week as a symbolic 'prep' time and 90% would be happy. Updating the computers won't solve the problems with grading/prep time. The time management ideas proposed in the online class are unrealistic and utopian. Pay for the ISAs should not be lower than the lowest instructor. They do just as much work (or more, to be honest) interacting and guiding the students as the instructors do. They're also harder to replace than the instructors are, because a good ISA has to have ridiculous patience, a good-natured personality, and be very culturally open.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at ELS Educational Services

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Other teachers were cool and hung out together. Paid to do training. Monthly reviews and benefits package.

    Cons

    ELS operates on 4-week sessions. This means there is high turnover of students and a lot of pressure on students to pass to the next level before their funding runs out. A slow start to the session means that you may not get a student until a week into the session. Most teachers have little time to socialize at the school. You're all working with the same students but there's not much time to discuss them or get on the same page. ELS is always in a big rush and there's no time to catch your breath. The session ends and the next one begins. New employees are thrown in the deep end. You're gonna be doing your best and still not performing well for a few sessions. That's just how it works. The ones that make it usually find a system that works for them by talking with other teachers and just getting a few months of experience.

    Advice to Management

    Give some breathing room for the teachers. It will help the whole school improve performance, from the teachers to the students and management.


  7. Helpful (1)

    A Great Place To Work

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

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    A great company to work for. Such a positive environment. Like with any company, you get what you give to an organization. You work hard and are rewarded by working with extraordinary colleagues. ELS is truly the master in their field. Great potential for growth and advancement.

    Cons

    We could have more communication with our parent company, Berlitz.


  8. Helpful (4)

    MISLEADING SALARY INFO

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Students, colleagues of course. Good Center admin staff where I teach -- I think we just got lucky. 4 weeks vacation. You'll need it.

    Cons

    ELS corporate response to a negative review somewhere below: “Our salary structure is competitively based on a combination of levels of education, overall experience and cost of wages at each specific location. “ This is misleading. Let’s say you have a Masters in TESOL. ELS pays you a higher salary than if you don’t. However, if you have a Masters in TESOL + YEARS of teaching experience, you’ll get the same salary as a new teacher who has just finished a TESOL Masters. ELS does NOT factor experience into your starting salary.

    Advice to Management

    A corporation demonstrates how much it values employees by paying decent salaries, not lip service. Just do it. If not for us, then for your Glassdoor reviews.


  9. Helpful (4)

    part time instructor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor in Johnson City, TN
    Former Employee - Instructor in Johnson City, TN

    I worked at ELS Educational Services part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Finished by 4PM Good insurance Sick days & vacation days In house management is great but corporate SUCKS

    Cons

    No break; no holidays; low pay; unpredictable hours; in house management is great but corporate sucks

    Advice to Management

    Have large subbing pool and small teacher pool For corporate: CARE about your employees and LISTEN to them about curriculum!!!!!!! We know what we're talking about!!!! Pay for planning period; increase hourly pay more


  10. Helpful (9)

    Only as a last resort

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at ELS Educational Services full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits including health insurance and ample vacation days.

    Cons

    Headquarters is very out of touch with the way each center runs. Processes vary wildly and center directors can easily undermine their suggestions and protocols. There are no proper channels for HR. Center managment was a terror, but no one could figure out a way to alert higher management that wouldn't backfire. Instead, the center just saw alarmingly high turnover as everyone realized what they'd gotten into and jumped ship. Pay was abysmal compared to similar jobs in the industry. You could say this is part of why benefits are so good, but taking a vacation day or sick day was nigh impossible because of the way centers are set up. I felt terribly sorry for the teachers who worked many, many unpaid hours all the while not knowing if they would have work the next month.

    Advice to Management

    Take a closer look at the system you have in place for centers; hire admin more carefully. Stop letting SACM overly bloat your company - eventually, their numbers will dwindle and you'll have to let people go/shut down centers left and right.


  11. Helpful (8)

    Worst Job EVER

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

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some nice teachers and great students. Interesting environment because many countries are represented in the student population.

    Cons

    Horrible local management, top heavy national management with completely unrealistic expectations of students and teachers. Antiquated technology and grading process (can't call grading process a system because it is so complicated and torturous!) Totally unrealistic teacher evaluation process that relies in large part on anonymous student evaluations. Students have told me they only use the evaluation opportunity as a chance to hate on teachers they don't like, and talk up the teachers who are fun and games. Salary sucks. Admin support nonexistent (they hurt rather than help).

    Advice to Management

    Retire or leave because it is clear you don't know what you are doing or how to support centers and teachers.



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