EF English First ESL Teacher Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First ESL Teacher Reviews

Updated Sep 8, 2019

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2.4
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50%
Recommend to a Friend
56%
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EF English First CEO 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
13 Ratings
  1. "Worth the experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in China, ME
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great employee benefits such as furnished apartment, monthly team building,end of contract bonus, medical aid options.

    Cons

    You don't get a weekend or school holidays off as those are actually peak times :(

    Advice to Management

    DOS was really amazing. Very accomodating and flexible.

    EF English First2018-11-17
  2. Helpful (15)

    "The Good and the bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will get plenty of classes working with EF. I was teaching 70 classes a week. The lesson plan is good. The pay is good.

    Cons

    After working 6 months with EF I was fired. The day that I was fired my lesson plan did not fully loaded up. I left the class and re-entered the class, I hoping the second time I would be able to see the lesson plan. However, this caused me to be 30 seconds late to class. EF was quick to terminate my contract and was unwilling to listen to me. I think they view their employees as disposable .

    Advice to Management

    Not to be so quick to fire and respond to your emails about tech problems.

    EF English First2019-06-25

    EF English First Response

    July 30, 2019Vice President

    We very much value the independent instructors on our platform and want to preserve these relationships for the benefit of the students on the platform, many of whom take lessons with the same teachers for several months in a row. For this and many other reasons, we strive to make sure that all teachers understand the platform set-up before they begin teaching, as well as student expectations that teachers arrive on time to the lesson. Though we always try to be flexible, given the young age of many of our students, we do need to make sure that lessons begin on time very consistently. If a teacher runs into a problem, we certainly would like to discuss the problem individually and try to understand it from all sides. We certainly regret that you feel that this did not happen in your case

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  4. Helpful (16)

    "Don't waste your time working a month without pay..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Online ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, work-from-home, exposure to unique people from around the world

    Cons

    You have to work two months before pay because they only pay monthly and you have to wait until the following month for your first paycheck. It started off nice and I felt like I was doing well when all of a sudden, they stopped adding classes to my schedule and my friend's despite us having high-scores as teachers even though classes were available, they just decided to phase us out. My friend and I opened EVERY... time slot on both of our calendars and not one class was given to us for a full month. When we reached out, people stopped responding to us, acted like we didn't exist and then pretended like we were fired, when we were flat-out ignored. I attempted to reapply recently, as now I am even more qualified than when I worked there (teaching classes) for 7 months in 2017, but on paper, it was about a year. They denied that I was eligible and did not offer an explanation, even though they were hiring and I have a bachelor's degree, former experience with EF, high student remarks, 120-hour TEFL certification, and I have taught ESL for 3 years in total. What a joke! Do NOT WASTE YOUR TIME for two months before pay and to be treated like you are replaceable.

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    Advice to Management

    Management needs to care about employee retention as much as they do student retention.

    EF English First2019-05-15

    EF English First Response

    June 3, 2019Vice President

    Thanks for leaving a review of your experience working online with EF. Regarding your comments about pay, it’s required that teachers teach for a month, then submit their invoice after that month closes and teachers are paid thereafter. Class assignment is contingent upon student demand, which can vary. Teachers are always welcome to pick up subclasses or schedule classes directly with their repeat students to supplement the classes that go onto their schedule via the assignment process, which is performed by an automated tool that matches teacher availability with student demand for classes.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Online teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You can work online from home.

    Cons

    You get paid next to nothing, and if a student doesn't show up for class, you only get paid about 15 minutes of your wait time, meanwhile, there is no way to recoup your lost time, and thus you lose big time money. Minus that from your low wage, and I averaged about 28 classes a month with student no shows. Bye Bye!

    Advice to Management

    You line your pockets with money that teachers deserve, while providing a horrible classroom that your students forever have tech issues with. Tech issues result in low feedback from teachers with a never ending threat of losing your job. Don't study here, and don't work here.

    EF English First2018-10-17
  6. Helpful (26)

    "Luck of the Draw"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you get lucky, unlike me, you could be at a very productive and professional center. Other teachers I know feel very supported by management, have all the supplies they need, and feel prepared for class each day. You will also always be paid on time, which can not always be said for ESL teaching companies. There is also a huge amount of opportunities and venues both in and out of teaching, all within the EF brand.

    Cons

    If you get unlucky, like me, you can end up in an absolutely awful center. Management is inexperienced and untrustworthy and every day will be a challenge to prepare for classes. You may never know how many kids to prepare for in a class (happened to me yesterday morning: my class tripled in size with no warning). Your PA's will throw you under the bus at any opportunity to cover themselves. Entire classes may... appear on your schedule with no notice. Once a safety issue arose and we were told to lie to the parents about their students' safety to not incite a panic. The pay, while on time, is low for the standard you see amongst other companies. With the insurance they provide, you pay all your doctor bills up front and have to submit a claim to get reimbursed, but no one I know has ever gotten reimbursed. You get very little annual leave. And all those other job opportunities, you have to make it at least through your year to get to them. If you're struggling like I am, that year could feel like 5.

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    Advice to Management

    The standard of centers needs to be the same across the board. Many other teachers I know have fabulous centers that are very productive and have a good working environment. Other centers are almost famously underperforming and the entire staff is unhappy. Every manager higher and higher that I've spoken to is acutely aware of which centers are the "problem centers", but nothing is being done to correct it.

    EF English First2018-08-15

    EF English First Response

    August 28, 2018Vice President

    Thank you for leaving your feedback regarding your EF experience. We take all comments seriously and would like to follow-up with you regarding your work schedule and the safety issue you mentioned. Please email us at teacher.feedback@ef.com to clarify.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Makes the process of transitioning to a new country easy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online ESL Teacher in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I get to work with amazing people and make new friends for life. Living and staying in China allows me the opportunity to travel to other countries cheaply and easily. The actual work is easy and not stressful at all. The teaching environment is well-done, usually very well thought through and provides people with a very nice experience here.

    Cons

    poor management as so far

    EF English First2018-04-05
  8. Helpful (23)

    "Good way to get your feet wet in China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    ESL Teacher 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First for more than a year

    Pros

    Easy work, Management stays off your back

    Cons

    Some serious ageism going on

    Advice to Management

    I arrived at the company almost a year ago. My manager trained me for two hours on my first day on the job...and then a few months later - he chatted to me for ten minutes because he wanted to interview each member of the team individually. That has been the extent of my interaction with my manager. In all the months since, I have never had my work reviewed or commented on. He has never asked me about my classes. I... was never rebuked or praised in my ten months with the company. About the only meaningful conversation I had with my manager as of late was when he asked me to falsify his CertDiptesol paperwork. To be honest...if it weren't for the headache of finding someone to cover my classes, I don't think management would notice if I were alive or dead. I was never given one of those nifty pink lanyards and it took them six months to get my picture on the wall. However, during my time with the company, my EEAs have always been well attended, I have never been late for a class and have always been prepared. I have also worked very hard on the Corporate Solutions side of the business and have done quite well there...so well in fact that I was being interviewed for a promotion. I turned it down because I have had enough of working overseas and wish to return to America. The pay is mediocre, but that is fair enough since the work is quite easy. I did state as a con that I believe there is a lot of prejudice against people over forty years old. Everyone on the Shanghai management team seem to be in either their late twenties to early thirties. Having said all that, I have always been paid on time and the on-boarding process made the transition to China a relatively pleasant experience. There are many opportunities to be found in China and I would recommend EF as a way to explore the landscape and put your ambition to work.

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    EF English First2017-11-27

    EF English First Response

    December 26, 2017Vice President

    Hello, thank you for your feedback and honest advice. It is not normal to only have 2 hours of training once you've finished with the on-boarding process and have arrived at your center. Please email teacher.feedback@ef.com and we can follow up with management about your experience.

  9. Helpful (4)

    "No future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher 
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    flexible schedule, wonderful students overseas

    Cons

    low pay, sometimes you have to create lessons yourself and not get paid for it. There's no further advancement. No benefits either

    Advice to Management

    Be more salary competitive.

    EF English First2017-01-30
  10. Helpful (68)

    "EF is a scam!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The school I worked for provided me with housing and picked me up from the airport. They paid me on time.

    Cons

    This is a terrible company! They are the Walmart equivalent of ESL teaching. They are a very large international company that makes most of its money in China because it is able to take advantage of the lack of workers' rights and the Chinese population's fascination with white faces. They also have ties with the government because it is illegal for a foreigner to teach in China without a Bachelor's degree, but... I knew quite a few teachers with EF that did not hold a degree. It is quite sad because the parents pay $1,000s for these courses because they want their children to have an edge, as their children are their only retirement plan. These classes are taught completely unprofessionally from many unexperienced teachers (most of the good teachers leave) who are tired from 50 – 60 hours of work each week. The students are not receiving quality teaching. The material taught to the students (books and online components) allows the students to progress very slowly, so that the school can make as much money as possible from the parents, and there is a lack of support for the teachers. When I started I was thrown into many classes without even knowing what I was doing. Throughout the year I taught there, I was never trained on many facets of the job, even though I frequently asked for help. The courses are a joke and would never work in many countries, but because China is obsessed with white faces, the school is able to scam the parents, the foreign teachers, and the students.

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    Advice to Management

    Be honest in the interviews and don't treat your employees like indentured servants

    EF English First2015-12-20
  11. Helpful (31)

    "Horrible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    ESL Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Meet and learn about people from different parts of the world. It's a joy to be able to communicate with different people and know that you created an impact on their lives.

    Cons

    Low pay, staff unwilling to help. They make you feel worthless and they make it seem like it's bothersome to even ask for help. there was one day that I couldn't enter class for some reason and I created a case and emailed one of the support staff emails in the handbook we received during orientation. They apparently sent a mass update email on a new support number and said ''well, you should have known about the... update because we send emails with our newsletters all the time." Everything is your fault and not theirs. I also called the sub number once as I couldn't enter class another time and the person that answered said "well, you're supposed to call 24 hours ahead of time before calling." I really wanted to say that I didn't know I wouldn't be able to enter class until that day of class. She just cut me off like that. Rude staff and like I said.."It's your fault." They also require you make custom slides on your free time without pay. Please look elsewhere where they will not treat you like a slave and like a human. Only apply if you absolutely need a job. -heed my warning, please.

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    Advice to Management

    Be willing to help those who ask questions without being irritated and rude about it. We ask questions to do better, to better your company, to serve our students better, but instead we get a lashing. Who would be happy to work for such a company?

    EF English First2015-12-04
Found 42 reviews