EF English First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First Reviews

Updated Sep 16, 2019

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Found 380 reviews

3.2
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56%
Recommend to a Friend
66%
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EF English First CEO 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
144 Ratings
  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 (19)

    "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
  3. Helpful (6)

    "Great opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Project Manager 
    Recommends

    I have been working at EF English First

    Pros

    Great opportunities, cool working environment with international colleagues. You have the chance to choose and conduct projects that interest you since they believe employees will perform better when they like what they are doing.

    Cons

    Sometimes working hours can be long, but well valued and compensated

    EF English First2018-08-17
  4. Helpful (5)

    "Great Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    EF takes care of all your visa needs. I really like the hours and this company provides great opportunities!

    Cons

    It's not the highest paying training center and not that much annual leave when you start out.

    EF English First2018-03-28

    EF English First Response

    April 26, 2018Vice President

    Thank you for your positive feedback!

  5. Helpful (1)

    "English Teacher and School Activity Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    A lot of advancement opportunities and great experience if you want to have a career in TEFL or School management.

    Cons

    Sometimes the cultural difference in running a company can be a little difficult

    EF English First2017-11-10
  6. Helpful (7)

    "Worked for me"

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

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

    Pros

    Relatively good pay, solid support for Visa process and getting around.

    Cons

    Intensives period is harsh, home office meddlesome, may require office hours just to keep you busy.

    Advice to Management

    Let people go home if there is nothing to do. Trust me, we are better teachers if we can rest.

    EF English First2017-03-30
  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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!

    EF English First2017-01-21
  8. Helpful (8)

    "English Teacher in China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.

    EF English First2017-01-06
  9. Helpful (5)

    "Online English Teacher"

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

    I worked at EF English First part-time for 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!

    EF English First2016-08-24
  10. "Great Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Education Manager in Guangzhou, Guangdong
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Great Environment - Great Company Culture - Friendly Co-Workers (I would call them my brothers-in-arms) - A lot of training (optional, not mandatory ) -

    Cons

    - Promotion Structure is by seniority - Managers never leave so harder for people to get promoted

    Advice to Management

    Create more vertical & horizontal job opportunities

    EF English First2019-09-16
Found 380 reviews