English First
3.2 of 5 23 reviews
www.englishfirst.com Beijing, China 1000 to 5000 Employees

English First Reviews

Updated Apr 19, 2014
English First – Daqing – “Teachers Office”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 23 reviews

                             
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English Teacher

Foreign English Teacher (Former Employee)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China)

I worked at English First as a contractor for more than a year

ProsWorking with a diverse staff from all over the world. Lots of trainings through out the contract, its great because you share activities that you can use in your class! Lots of fun work events. You get to be creative in the classrooms.

ConsLots of administrative work online. Having to always please the parents just to get your bonus! The parents pay a lot of money for these kids' English classes so they have a huge say on our bonus.. sucks cuz you cant even talk to them since they dont speak English.

Advice to Senior ManagementShould have parent meetings with a translator.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Not a bad entry level job.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsTeaching can actually be quite rewarding. The job itself is not difficult and the pay is good relative to the work.

ConsFrustrating management decisions and tedious administrative work. Conflicts between foreign staff and local staff. Extremely bratty kids that make you want to strangle them, then strangle their parents for raising them.

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Travel Asia!

Foreign English Teacher (Former Employee)
Shenzhen, Guangdong (China)

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

ProsLiving and traveling in China! Made enough to travel A LOT! Great way to see the world and meet new people. The schedule is super nice, too. Only worked evenings and weekends with two consecutive days off.

ConsInconsistent expectations across EF schools. My school was very demanding and had a very high standard for its teachers which was great for me professionally. But all teachers make the same and some teachers at other schools did significantly less work. It was frustrating to see that I was paid the same for doing more work and being held to a higher standard.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay what people are worth.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Easy way to get into China, mostly good for the visa

Foreign English Teacher (Former Employee)
Beijing, Beijing (China)

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

ProsAs long as you work for EF, you don't have to worry about your work visa.
Pay is decent and competitive for China.
Lesson plans are mostly pre-made.
Easy to get job abroad.
An most of all, teaching is actually a lot of fun and the kids are great!

ConsWorking hours (especially for Kids centers) are opposite of, well, the rest of humanity.
Management is extremely poor, bureaucratic, and ineffective (Mgmt. is often hired from within. Turnover rate is extremely high, therefore, pickings for good candidates are slim. Thus, the lack of caliber within the company).
You must cater to the parents' every whim as EF's bottom line is money and not the students' learning progress.
There is a lot of divide between local/foreign staff, as well as teachers, sales team, and parental advisers (PAs).
There isn't much opportunity for career growth unless you want to stay within the company (in which case, it is quite simple and easy as long as you keep your head down and show up to work on time).

Advice to Senior ManagementPlace more value on your teachers.
Listen to your teachers/employees.
Listen to your teachers/employees and then do something about the problem.
Listen to your teachers/employees and then do something about the problem in a timely manner.
Hire better management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Slave market

English Teacher (Current Employee)
Bandung, West Java (Indonesia)

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

ProsAn easy to get job teaching English abroad

ConsPoor pay, substandard housing options, long hours, poor working conditions, at site I was at the roof leaked when it rained and the air conditioning was substandard. I was disciplined for being sick when it was related to a workplace injury.

Advice to Senior ManagementThink about the needs of your workers not just the customers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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good working environment, but lack of career advancment, the package is below the average

Coordinator (Former Employee)
Shanghai, Shanghai (China)

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

Pros-good work and life balance
-friendly working environment

Cons- no long term career advancement
- the package is below the market price

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Good for short-term employment

Foreign English Teacher (Current Employee)
Shanghai, Shanghai (China)

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

ProsReliable at paying salary and have strong connections to get your work visa sorted out.

ConsMake you work more than the 40 hr week in your contract. Have to cover for colleagues who take leave. Salary does not rise much. Summer course is exhausting with 9am - 8pm schedules a possibility and only get 1 day off a week during that 2-month long course.

Advice to Senior ManagementConsider the high turnover rate of staff at EF and try to listen to their needs more to avoid bringing in new teachers who constantly need to be trained and end up staying only a year anyway.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great starter company, no growth.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Shanghai, Shanghai (China)

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

ProsColleagues, living abroad, freedom to do different projects

ConsNo structure, cliquish upper management. While having freedom on so many projects was nice, when it came to an emergency management panicked. I rarely felt the person I worked for set a good example.

Advice to Senior ManagementMore structure and guidance.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Quality of experience varies greatly from location to location.

Foreign Teacher (Former Employee)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China)

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

ProsEF provides high quality resources and competitive perks like a flight bonus and housing. Work hours are generally consistent and you will usually know what to expect every week.

ConsSummer and winter sessions are extremely busy and can leave you drained by the end. While there may be a foreign manager, he/she is often little more than a mouthpiece for local management.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhere it applies, hire more teachers instead of overloading a few good ones, and you will improve the quality of your product.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Not great, not terrible

Foreign English Teacher (Current Employee)
Moscow (Russia)

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

ProsNot a bad first job - most coworkers are fun and friendly, you have the ability to work in different countries, and seasonal bonuses are given based on student retention rates.

ConsI wouldn't recommend choosing this as a long term career unless you plan on moving up in the company and away from teaching. Pay isn't great, there is little respect for teachers, and the management is clearly more motivated by sales than quality of education.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your teachers better to avoid the extremely high turnover rate

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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