EF English First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF English First Reviews

Updated Oct 19, 2019

To filter reviews, or .

3.1
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
52%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
Approve of CEO
EF English First CEO 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
150 Ratings
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Pros and Cons"

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

    I worked at EF English First

    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.

    EF English First2016-11-14
  5. 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
  6. Helpful (31)

    "Corporate Mcdonald's of English teaching"

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

    I worked at EF English First

    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).

    Show More

    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 First2016-08-13
  7. Helpful (4)

    "A good place to start!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I worked at EF English First

    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.

    EF English First2016-03-17
  8. Helpful (4)

    "EF Tours Former employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Account Services Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Recommends

    I worked at EF English First

    Pros

    international travel at least once a year, great company culture, awesome people

    Cons

    not a ton of room for growth, does not pay well

    EF English First2016-02-04
  9. 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.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

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

    EF English First2015-12-20
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Alright but there are better offers"

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

    I have been working at EF English First full-time

    Pros

    Its stable and they pay on time always. They handle all paperwork which i super nice and the pay is pretty good.

    Cons

    They treat you like a number and don't really care about the their employees too much.

    Advice to Management

    Put more money into employee retention and have more fair hours.

    EF English First2015-12-26
Found 393 reviews