EF English First 157 Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First Reviews

Updated March 27, 2017
157 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.0
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Jacob Toren
51 Ratings

157 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Excellent pay and fun working environment (in 15 reviews)

  • You're paid on time and there are a lot of development opportunities (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Summer and winter school full on and can be exhausting but doesn't last too long (in 8 reviews)

  • Long hours and very sales oriented (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Love the teaching, hate the platform/policies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at EF English First part-time

    Pros

    I love meeting new students and helping them with their English.

    Cons

    While I understand there will be technology issues for an online platform, it really disturbs me that the teachers are penalized for deficiencies in the platform. Not only are teachers knocked for missing a class or arriving late when there are EF server issues, but we also lose out on pay for something we have no control over. From a business perspective, it is also harmful because students spend their time in class trying to solve technical issues and not learning English.

    Advice to Management

    Address your policy around technology. If there are technical issues where a teacher cannot enter class, they should not be penalized for that. If there are technical issues affecting classes, students should also be made aware so they are not losing time. Please address/upgrade your platform.


  2. "The knife that keeps lodging deeper"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Prearranged lessons but that's also possible to be a negative.

    Cons

    On top of all the other reasons not to work in their online program: you get charged double taxes at tax time because you're considered both the employee and the employer and on top of the tiny salary for a bachelor's degree, you get hit again when they take even more money away from you than if you were paid through normal means. You get no benefits when you teach English online and in truth you're actually probably going in debt for working there, no matter how hard you work, you will never break even.


  3. "Great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    I had the freedom to plan a lot of my own classes. The people you meet are amazing. People are generally ready to learn.

    Cons

    There were long meetings sometimes. The workload was heavy at times, but if you prioritized effectively, you could easily get through it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "English Teacher in China"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    The company is well established and they know what they're doing. You can always expect to get paid on time, the company culture is unique in the sense that everyone is quite friendly and communicative, and there are opportunities for development if you actively seek it.

    Cons

    I've known of some in-center managers who have not been ideal or fair. I imagine the same thing happens at other companies too but at the end of the day, no company is perfect and there are downsides to every organization. I mean, you are in a foreign country so you need to be adaptable anyway. I never had any problems with my direct manager and felt I was always heard and respected.


  6. "No future"

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

    I have been working at EF English First full-time (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.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pros and Cons"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people and great experience. Working as a teaching experience increased my interpersonal skills significantly.

    Cons

    Pay was just okay. Also managing class discipline can be a bit tricky when there are naughty kids in the classroom.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Online English Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Online English Teacher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Online English Teacher in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at EF English First part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is an amazing company to work for. The management team is great, always ready to help
    if you need it. The training was good too. You can pretty much work as much as you want.

    Cons

    I don't have any complaints about this company.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  9. Helpful (12)

    "A Mess."

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

    Pros

    Great students, great (mostly) co-workers, paid usually on time and as promised.

    Cons

    Everything else. Money, money, money- indeed, the company should be called Business First or Money First. I understand that corporations want to make money, but many of them offer a quality product, at least. EF does not. The curriculum is jam-packed with too much for students to retain or develop any sort of fluency. The management, in my experience, was so worried about upping the numbers and sales, they were content to driver their staff into the ground- NO CONCERN FOR STAFF WELLBEING whatsoever. As others have noted, the admin is absurd- there's no time to compete all the online, progress binder, parent updates AND create a different lesson plan for every class you have coming up. You have to work at home (unless you give up, like I did). The training is indeed a joke, the chances to earn EF certificates always flying at you frequently and fast. Which is funny... because who has time?? This company just made me feel like the star of my own absurdity play.

    I'm now recovering from acute anxiety, depression, and burnout. EF should be ashamed of themselves. All that fancy, glossy marketing can't make up for the terrible experience of working in one of their schools. I'm embarrassed that I was taken in by it.

    Advice to Management

    Focus, communicate, set some realistic goals that take your people's wellbeing (and, I don't know, teacher retention?) into account. Less is more! And... who are you? A fast food joint? An English factory? Or an EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION?

    EF English First Response

    Oct 23, 2016 – Vice President

    Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience with the school. As you know, EF has over 200 schools in China. It would be helpful for us to know which school you were in so ... More


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Corporate Mcdonald's of English teaching"

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

    Pros

    First the pros. They pick you up from the airport in Shanghai, and give you hotel accomodations for the next month while your work visa is being processed. The pay is decent for China. There are some good, friendly people who work for the company. Most of the students are great, and I became friends with quite a few of the adult students.

    Cons

    It's a giant multinational corporation who puts profits first. The educational materials and style are extremely corporate. EF is the largest private educational company in the world. Coming from the United States, where corporations have destroyed the economy and the middle class, I went to China to get away from this but instead was immersed in a cold, business first culture that doesn't care about students or teachers. EF is preposterously proud of itself, and designs thousands of products that have the EF logo on it (many of which are sold to students). What is called teaching is really corporate regurgitation- lessons are preplanned by layers of educational bureaucracy and "teachers" are merely expounding upon this prepackaged material. I have a lot of experience teaching, and many students praised me as a teacher. However, I received poor performance reviews from management, whom I had more experience teaching than. They are strict enforcers of the EF teaching method, which has some positive merits but anyone who has ever taught knows there are more than one way to teach. Management was wretched- negative, non-supportive, unfriendly, sticklers to thousands of rules. It's an unfriendly company that doesn't care about teachers- I was told flat out they would rather hire new teachers than assist or care for the ones that are currently there. Most of the adult teachers, especially the older ones at the school I worked at, were extremely unhappy and stressed. EF spends most of it's energy recruiting new students, and is extremely expensive- the students are being ripped off. Mostly this is to pay for the huge layers of management and the army of salespeople and recruiters it employs. Another thing I dislike about the company is that it does nothing to teach it's teachers about Chinese culture- we are living in China, yet EF is a bubble of English teaching without telling teachers anything about the ancient culture (and language) of the country we live in. I was forced to resign after being threatened with being fired. When I told my students I received a tremendous outpouring of support from them. I was totally committed to working for one year, but had to leave early because of the wretched conditions of this company. A huge disappointment- I'm glad I got to live in China, but would not recommend this company to anyone (I will say they prefer young people with very little experience).

    Advice to Management

    No advice- it's a horrible company that should be avoided at all costs- all the worst of private corporate education

    EF English First Response

    Aug 17, 2016 – Vice President

    EF is a large, multi-national company with offices and schools all over the world. We also employ staff from all of the world, resulting in a multicultural workforce. While some may see our size as ... More


  11. Helpful (3)

    "A good place to start!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    A great place to learn as a teacher and get your feet wet when teaching ESL. Also, they provide training for you.

    Cons

    Long hours and very sales oriented.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to balance education and sales.



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