ELS Language Centers

www.els.edu
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5 people found this helpful  

Weigh it our for yourself

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

I worked at ELS Language Centers part-time (more than a year)

Pros

I worked for ELS for two years as an instructor. It was my first job after graduate school and the teachers were all wonderful and always willing to share their experience with me. I will probably never have such a pool of high level ESL instructors to tap into. The students overall, are great. What gets sticky is that some of the students are accepted into the program and they do not have the academic capacity to make it in such an intensive language program. You can work yourself to death trying to get all of your students to pass your classes because it is easy to become very attached to their success AND you are evaluated by this. I saw some teachers pass students, not because they qualified but because it's easier to pass them than work with them or fail them. I would spend as much as three hours of my own time for every hour I taught so that the students learned all the material required within a month's time. I have never been part of such an intensive program and I don't feel it is fair to the student or to the teacher because the amount of material is so great. I did learn to become a great instructor because you either rise to the challenge, try and stay under the radar (and the rest of the staff will have to carry your load and not appreciate it) or you quit. I made up all of my own quizzes and worksheets and that took hours. I shared these with some of the other teachers but ELS will claim the material as theirs if you share it at a staff training. You don't get paid to share your work and I feel this is really unprofessional. Again, the people I got to work with and the students I had were the things that kept me there as long as I stayed.

Cons

The academic material is very good but the curriculum is unrealistic for the amount of hours of instruction. The workload is unfair if you want your lessons to cover all the material you are supposed to get through. I spent every afternoon and evening preparing for my classes. The paper chase is ridiculous and almost insulting considering how much time you already spend putting your lessons together. You have to fill out a mountain of paperwork. Additional work, such as creating staff presentations and training is not compensated and therefore one has little incentive to put personal time into organizing these. There seems to be a real disconnect between high level management and the centers' day-to-day operations. Staff do not seem to be encouraged to stay with the company, it seems to have a revolving door culture. Sessions are only one month log therefore, at least at my center, your classes and hours changed every month. It's hard enough to be refining classes, but when you are given new classes every month it can really lead to burnout. I taught for nine months before I ever repeated a class and since I was putting much of the material, quizzes and test together on my own time, it's hard not to get a little resentful as well as protective of all your work.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Why can't sessions run longer than four weeks? The time frame is unrealistic for the amount of material the OECs state is being covered. These are false claims. Reward your excellent instructors and pay them to train others and share their material.

Neutral Outlook

76 Other Employee Reviews for ELS Language Centers (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    I hate my job

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

    I have been working at ELS Language Centers part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The students are wonderful and there is the ability to learn a lot from them and their culture. This is the only pro and honestly it is not worth the pay.

    Cons

    The management is unorganized and unprofessional. I find out what I am teaching 15 minutes before the first class of the session. I have no time to prepare and I am seriously unprepared and behind for the whole first week of the session. I am forced to put in more hours of preparation time than I actually teach and I am not compensated for this extra work. If I break it down, I am barely making minimum wage, which sickens me considering how much education I have. Management does not care and expects that you put in this effort. There is an incredible amount of arrogance and misogyny and competition among some teachers. However, there are teachers who don't care and do less than their share and everyone has to pick up the slack. There are no consequences for shitty performance and those that are capable end up being given extra responsibilities. Management doesn't care what is going on in your personal life and expects you to handle it. There are favorites who always get time off and then there are those who are too "valuable" to leave for a few weeks. There is the expectations that the students don't want to be here or that they don't want to work or even that they will cheat or are spoiled brats. The students feel this disrespect and in turn accuse the school of being prejudice. Regardless, I have been searching for another job where I am respected and compensated more for my talents. It's unfortunate that I am stuck here until I can find something else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    clean house

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Extremely stressful although the students make it worth it.

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

    I worked at ELS Language Centers full-time

    Pros

    The benefits package. The students are truly incredible-Ive taught models, professional athletes, diplomats, screenwriters, pre-k, and everything in between. You will never ever have the chance again to truly teach to the entire world in one room. The students are the only reason people stay around...the benefits package is just how they survive. The only other positive is that it gives those fresh out of school a chance at an adult job.

    Cons

    Stress....un-neccessary stress. So much work that is completely unpaid. You are required to do an intense amount of work, preparation, curriculum creation, and presentation without proper compensation, adequate time, adequate support. It really is amazing to me that this company is still surviving. They need to completely re-prioritize. I have taught multiple classes without books and without any materials whatsoever. This was not abnormal. The center I worked at how 6 parking spots total for the over 200 staff and students. No security. Only 2 teacher computers (how they get away with this in 2013 is unbelievable to me, especially when they had at times 15 teachers) No drinking water source for students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Evaluate how you plan to keep students coming back to your center...they are talking and your reputation is going down quickly but quietly. Treat your teachers better...they are the only ones selling your product. Give them better salaries, adequate supplies, efficient technology. Fulfill your promises and don't expect your staff to do an impossible amount of work at the drop of a hat. Start considering the value of business integrity instead of the worth of what is going in your pockets.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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