EF Education First ESL Teacher Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

EF Education First ESL Teacher Reviews

Updated Dec 5, 2019

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2.6
42%
Recommend to a Friend
25%
Approve of CEO
EF Education First CEO Dr. Edward Hult
Dr. Edward Hult
26 Ratings
  1. "Just getting started"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Online ESL Teacher 

    I have been working at EF Education First part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The fact that they are based in the UK is amazing as there is no messing around with self-assessment and you can just crack on with things. They also offer a pension scheme.

    Cons

    Wage is only slightly above the national minimum and extremely low compared to what I can earn as a day-to-day teacher in physical settings.

    Advice to Management

    Consider further performance related bonuses/higher initial wage for teachers with proven years of experience.

    EF Education First2019-04-19
  2. "Fun job but zero hours contract and low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Online ESL Teacher 

    I worked at EF Education First part-time

    Pros

    The company provides some online training and mentoring. The teaching platform is quite user friendly and most of the students are serious about their English. There is good flexibility for teachers of adults, but less so on the kids' program. You can work from home. High expectations of teachers - professional environment.

    Cons

    The job is very badly paid - especially as 1) you provide your own workspace (heat and light, broadband, computer, headset and camera), 2) preparation for lessons is not paid for, 3) you are allocated private lessons, and the students very often don't show or cancel at the last minute, leaving you with wasted time. If you get 1 bad review a month that can seriously affect how much you're paid. Hours of work are not... guaranteed. You are paid the same even if you are very good and work on special programs under pressure to perform at a high level. This job pays less than cleaning or working in a store, despite expecting work at a high level, a university degree, professional qualifications, etc.

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    Advice to Management

    This is a good ESL company, but I don't think it's possible for teachers to live on this salary.

    EF Education First2019-12-05
  3. "Decent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher 

    I worked at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    Good for getting into China Sociable environment

    Cons

    Low Pay Poor Management Odd work hours

    EF Education First2019-08-22
  4. "Horrible Place"

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

    I worked at EF Education First

    Pros

    Your recruiter will be pretty helpful with your Visa application - although, they will omit to tell you legal and contractual aspects which would scare you off the job. They place you in a nice hotel for the first 2 weeks, and the woman who helped to set up the bank accounts was very nice and down-to-earth, unlike most people who work here.

    Cons

    Unpleasant Work Culture - there is a strange cultish, American vibe to the company which I find difficult to put into words, the only thing I can compare it to is the antagonist family from the movie 'Get Out' - expect many fake smiles, individuals who appear to be getting tortured behind the scenes but nevertheless promote EF's ostensible code of conduct, and individuals who are so married to their job they... exhibit similar traits to those of an obsessed stalker. Poor Management - one thing which was particularly alarming, was that the CEO (one of 2 sons) had an extremely poor reputation for managing the company amongst teachers. This seems to have trickled down into the lower branches of management, and as a result EF does, indeed, suffer from horrendous management problems. At my centre, the supervisor was suffering from an enormous power trip and behaved in the most unprofessional manner I have ever witnessed in the workplace. I have worked for 2 organisations before EF, both of which were far smaller, and the supervisor at EF was by far the worst - bullying, manipulation and racism were just some of the behaviours I was subjected to. Unfortunately, EF's management seems to be heavily influenced by the white-worshipping and hierarchical behaviours inherent in Chinese culture - expect to exclusively see white men in management positions, and when there is a problem with these individuals the Chinese workers who make up at least 70% of each centre's workforce will exhibit disgustingly sycophantic behaviors. It was no coincidence that the power-tripping, egotistical supervisor at my centre was left with 3 foreign teachers and 10 Chinese teachers. As a result, there seems to be nothing in place to actually regulate and evaluate supervisors and managers - and if there is, it is clearly ineffective. Leaving EF - the only advice I can give when leaving EF is to expect the worst. Upon leaving, my release letter was held hostage by the immigration department of the company - they demanded I pay back a 10,000 RMB loan up front and deducted this from my current wage which I would be paid at the end of the month. This meant I did not get paid for a whole month and, on top of this, had to pay a remaining 400 dollars to EF in order to get a release letter for further employment. In regard to your Visa, EF will cancel both your residence and work permits and apply for a 1 month stay/humanitarian Visa. To note for future employees: EF will NOT apply for a tourist/L Visa. EF will also try to keep hold of your TEFL in order to stop you from gaining further employment, so if you do leave it is important you transfer your work permit to a future employer if possible. Lastly, every single person I have met who has worked for EF eventually came to hate the job, and detest the company. "The worst thing to happen to me was to pass my probation." is just one of the many things I have heard. EF's only goal seems to be exploitation for financial gain. Most of the "teachers" at my centre, while friendly, were poor at teaching, including the senior teachers and supervisors. Chinese parents are understandably concerned about giving their child something to get them ahead in the hyper competitive education environment - EF (and much of the TEFL industry) exploits this concern and charges extortionate prices. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if EF actually cared about their students' learning and wellbeing, but this is not the case. Lastly, note that EF pays the worst of all TEFL organisations whilst forcing you to work the most hours. You could easily get a job paying 500 dollars more per month.

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    Advice to Management

    Get a HR department Train your managers and supervisors properly and regularly - some seem to have forgotten how to act in a professional manner

    EF Education First2019-06-05
  5. Helpful (4)

    "Corporate teaching"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    ESL Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF Education First for less than a year

    Pros

    Lots of hours to work in the summer. Central location in London

    Cons

    No teacher support. Zero hour contract so schedule and hours change weekly . Administration can be hostile.

    Advice to Management

    Pay teachers more! Don't fixate on weird EF corporate stuff because that's not how students will learn.

    EF Education First2017-12-15
  6. "Poorly managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - ESL Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF Education First for less than a year

    Pros

    I was always busy so the time went quickly. I could do what I liked in the classroom - no one checked.

    Cons

    They work you very hard and pay you below industry standard.

    Advice to Management

    Come out of your little glass offices and interact with your staff a lot more.

    EF Education First2017-05-23
  7. "Hard working staff who care about the students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Salaried ESL Teacher in London, England

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are great and very welcoming Management is understanding when teachers have concerns

    Cons

    Long hours Cover teaching is required frequently and at short notice

    EF Education First2016-03-06
  8. Helpful (6)

    "EF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    ESL Teacher in Manchester, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EF Education First

    Pros

    Students are lovely and thats it!

    Cons

    EF is the worst company I have ever worked for, it is an adhoc and disorganised 'organisation' that rips off its clients and pays its worker a pittance. There is no incentive to work for a company that is only profit orientated and has a total lack of respect for its staff. I used my time there as a stop gap as i had just returned to the UK and needed a job quickly. However it was most stressful and unpleasant work... environment I have ever known. The lack of professionalism and respect the management (and overall the whole company)have for their staff is astounding. Coupled with the unrealistic experience of a personalised and professional service the students expect is a toxic mix of disappointment and chaos. I now warn any local EAL teacher or potential pupil in Manchester to stay away from that EF. I would also never trust a company who are so greedy that they base their payroll and financial dept. in Holland to avoid paying any REASONABLE amount of tax, something I also share with your potential clients. Should you require any further feedback, dont hesitate t email or call me. Thank you.

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    Advice to Management

    see above... pay REAL taxes

    EF Education First2016-04-02
  9. Helpful (3)

    "AVOID EF Hastings like the plague"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First

    Pros

    You get to live like a homeless local if you don't have independent source of income

    Cons

    Low pay Long hours Pay not received weekly as stipulated in contract, but weeks late School is not accredited AVOID AVOID AVOID at all costs!

    Advice to Management

    Shame on you! Just remember, what goes around, comes around!

    EF Education First2015-07-31
  10. Helpful (5)

    "Good place to start your career, but that's about it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Salaried ESL Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at EF Education First

    Pros

    - a very international environment - you are encouraged to take on as many challenges as possible, and are entrusted with many responsible tasks, which helps you build a good portfolio

    Cons

    - contract teachers are overworked, under-compensated and not appreciated by management - while you are indeed entrusted with many responsible tasks that can help you grow as a teacher, you are given very little if indeed any support from the management - thus all the growth that's happening is a result of you learning by trial and error, from your own mistakes and sadly, sometimes, to the detriment of your... students.

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    EF Education First2015-01-06
Found 92 reviews