EF English First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First Reviews

Updated Sep 19, 2019

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Found 382 reviews

3.1
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
55%
Recommend to a Friend
66%
Approve of CEO
EF English First CEO 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
144 Ratings
Pros
  • "Large company with schools all over China(in 67 reviews)

  • "I find my work environment to be positive and upbeat(in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • "make it very difficult to leave company for another job in China(in 44 reviews)

  • "Long hours, sometimes management is disorganized(in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Meh..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Teacher 

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Great experience within the country

    Cons

    The pay is very low

    EF English First2019-07-09
  2. Helpful (12)

    "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 ...

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  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to start in China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Teacher 

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

    Pros

    - late start on weekdays - good onboarding

    Cons

    - workload - salary on the low end of teaching jobs - make it very difficult to leave company for another job in China

    Advice to Management

    Pay your teachers more

    EF English First2019-06-07

    EF English First Response

    June 19, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your post. It's good to hear that you felt supported by our onboarding program and enjoy the late start on weekdays. Concerning salary we understand that expectations vary, however, we do review our compensation package annually to ensure teachers are able to live comfortably ...

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "EF Teaching Abroad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 

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

    Pros

    I had a great mentor and friendly coworkers

    Cons

    Long hours, sometimes management is disorganized

    EF English First2019-05-22
  5. Helpful (15)

    "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 ...

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  6. Helpful (6)

    "if you can do better then......shop around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher- Kids and Teens 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    reliable pay, and maybe alright for getting your first year of experience,- if thats the case then work with adults- kids and teens is way more of a hassle- open doors, extra summer classes that being said- wall street english prob pays more for your first year

    Cons

    if you aren't that zany corporate cheerleader type you will probably want to projectile vomit within the first week- They promise parents that if they give EF a lot of money that their curriculum and magical foreigner teachers will miraculously make it so the students don't have to take an active role in mastering the hundreds of vocabulary words they will be introduced to. I met so many parents who assumed that... the meager homework assignments and once a week classes was enough to guarantee their child would be using all the course language with comprehensive fluency.- It's like sorry folks- you gotta practice with your kids- review- and produce- review- and produce and review

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    Advice to Management

    keep it classy

    EF English First2019-04-01

    EF English First Response

    April 14, 2019Vice President

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We dedicate a lot of resources to ensure new teachers are brought to China with the right support needed for a new and successful career. We understand that the nature of teaching young learners requires a high level of energy and committment ...

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  7. "Descent pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online English Teacher in Decatur, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They always pay you on-time.

    Cons

    Recently I can't get enough hours.

    EF English First2019-04-12
  8. Helpful (20)

    "Beyond just teaching"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing opportunities for upward development. ESL is a tough industry and it's something you age out of, if you choose to, at EF you have more than a few directions into which you can develop and be promoted. I know people who started off as teachers with no previous relevant experience who are now senior content developers as well as Regional Managers etc As far as annual leave goes: For your second year you'll... get 12 days, 3rd year about 15 and after 5 years, you'll get 20 annual leave days per year. As mentioned if all you are looking for is to teach for a year or so and not worry about Visa arrangements, EF is a good starting block. You get paid on time, and Visa's are on the up and up which is more than a lot of other schools can say. EF also partners with Cambridge Trinity and you'll be able to sign a development contract to obtain the CertTesol, DipTesol, DeltM as well as distance learning courses which focus on Grammar, Teaching Phonology, Coaching, Reflective Practice etc. Annual leave is pro-rated so if you start early in the year you should get between 8-9.5 annual leave days for the year, this is excluding Chinese New Year, Summer Course Break (usually about 5 days) and other Chinese festival days off. Obviously, I am a bit biased as I am currently still employed by EF Kids and Teens but I can say that I have past experiences teaching in all facets of the industry and that EF weights heavily on both sides of the spectrum, you can either keep your head down and just teach for a year and get paid to do so whilst being provided with all possible resources or they will actively try to develop you should you show an interest in staying around for a bit. EF is a global company and they have HQ's and schools in China, Indo, Russia as well as offices in Aus, the US and UK, this makes travelling around a bit easier.

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    Cons

    If all you do is teach you might find the job a bit constraining as materials are overdeveloped to better assist new teachers so it will be up to you to adapt and change materials to suit your own style. It might at times feel like you are being spoonfed but again, more experienced teachers will probably be able to easily adapt materials and lesson aims to depend on student needs. Another con, especially, if you... are a first-year teacher with dreams of a 40K Shanghai job and lots of time off, you'll find that you probably won't have weekends off, however once you've stuck around for 2 years or so, you'll probably be able to negotiate at least 1 Weekend day off, an example, Sunday, Monday or split days off, ex: Saturday, Monday. In general, you'll have two consecutive days off during the week. A working day starts at 2 PM until about 8:15 PM during the week, weekends are 9AM-6PM. When it's summer or winter course you'll have a few days during the week where you'll teach morning or mid-afternoon classes outside of your regular schedule, but again, you usually get a bonus for every week of additional teaching you do and you'll get another bonus if you go over your contracted hours. As mentioned in other reviews on this site, your Dos and regional management will play a large part in how you experience your time here. If you have a manager who is intent on developing their teachers you'll be fine, unfortunately, that's not always the case and you might end up at a centre where you feel like your needs aren't being taken into consideration and that you are not being managed in a constructive way. The pay for a first-year teacher isn't super great, especially in a city like Shanghai where the cost of living is quite high, but it's still manageable and they are generally quite good about helping new teachers with cash advances for renting apartments. I should mention that all my comments only refer to the Kids and Teens Product as I don't really have any experience in the Adult's, Teens only, and Online products.

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    Advice to Management

    Keep focussing on teacher development and make sure you set expectations during the recruitment phase. Don't promise prospective teachers things which a CD or DoS can't deliver on. Also, make sure that PM's keep track of teachers satisfaction with management as unaired issues tend to build up and that causes some people to leave or to become disengaged.

    EF English First2018-12-31
  9. Helpful (1)

    "EF"

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

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Curriculum is good. Teaching the students is actually fun as you can develop your own style.

    Cons

    Depends on centers and management. Some werent the most capable and beat around the bush with everything, making problems difficult to solve.

    EF English First2018-12-27
  10. Helpful (11)

    "A Nightmare"

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

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    The kids are excited to learn.

    Cons

    You will be harassed at every corner. The company will treat you like a slave. you will be counting down the days until your contract ends.

    Advice to Management

    stop your illegal work practices.

    EF English First2018-12-21

    EF English First Response

    January 2, 2019Vice President

    Due to the serious nature of your post, we request that you contact us at compliance.china@ef.com so that a fair and thorough investigation can take place. Your experience with EF does not reflect our core values and EF’s commitment to providing the best possible work environment ...

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Found 382 reviews