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EF English First

EF Education, founded by Bertil Hult in Lund, Sweden, in 1965, claims to be the world's largest private educational organization and a multi-national group of companies and non-profit organizations in 50 countries. TEFL training programs are offer at certificate and diploma level. For the TEFL Certificate, EF has multi-located training centres such as in UK, Spain, Italy, South Africa and Czech Republic, and the certificate courses feature a subsidized recruitment to all trainees who commit to contracts in China, Indonesia or Russia. Practicing teachers of English or candidates with a TEFL certificate can apply for the TEFL Diploma course either in UK for 800 or other counties for 800 / $1,450.

Head office in China
Add: 17/F Silver Tower, No. 218 South Xizang Road,Shanghai, China 200021
Tel: +44 161 256 1400
Email: recruitment@englishfirst.com 

Other's review
Reviewer: Mary Haycox  Rating:: 1
EF Urumqi doesn't honor teacher contracts and in general treats their foreign teachers as disposable commodities. Don't be the next victim. If you contract with EF, be sure to have a personal escape plan to return to your home country.

Reviewer: aijiang  Rating:: 1
I agree with Mary. Even if you finish your contract with EF you will not receive your bonus and you will have to fight for flight reimbursement. EF Urumqi management will lie to you from the moment you begin your recruiting process up until the bitter end. EF Urumqi management will change your peer and student assessments to assure that bonuses and flight reimbursement are not given. Basically they will treat you like an overworked king/queen until you finish your contract then they will withhold funds and not answer calls. The contract that teachers sign with EF is also changed according to the financial needs of EF Urumqi management. The education standards at EF Urumqi are crap and they care little about your development as a teacher or your happiness as a visitor to Urumqi. They are a business not a school and their only concern is making money.

Reviewer: Stephen  Rating:: 1
Well said

Reviewer: Katrina  Rating:: 1
They lie to you and manipulate you so much. Avoid EF Urumqi at all cost !

Reviewer: Francisco  Rating:: 1

Reviewer: Guest  Rating:: 3
this is a load of rubbish. EF is a good school - only bad teachers get a hard time

Reviewer: aijiang  Rating:: 1
In response to Guest, please be more specific as to what;where;which EF school you refer to. Good teachers also get treated badly ; The harder you work and kinder you are to them, they will give you more hours and exploit you every single bit which is not restricted to just teaching but other ad-hoc activities

Reviewer: Jackie  Rating:: 5
Hi guys, good to hear from you all and glad you are all still communicating with each other. Friendship is good. How go the plans for the Alps trip Stephen? Still hear some news of you here in Urumqi and really enjoyed the postcards you sent to Bob. Hi Francisco, I'm sure you heard the big news before me ...the path is now clear. Good luck.
Guys, I'm sure you all remember that my Chinese is crap. so help me out, who is aijiang? I only ask because I don't know if this person ever worked for me in Urumqi?
Anyway, I don't know how this rating system works...you know me and computers.... but I'm going for excellent, simply because I've enjoyed your excellent comments and marvel at how you have time to find these places. I wish I had the time to simply peruse without it being drawn to my attention. Oh well all in a day's life.
I hope you all find a good one someday.
Love, Jackie.

Reviewer: Carl  Rating:: 5
I really don't get you guys. You got a much higher than average salary while you were in Urumqi compared to other teachers such as me who work in the state system. You also got good quality apartments and free return airfares. Despite all of your complaints, the books you used, in particular the teachers books, are of good quality. As a trained language teacher who has been in the game for more than 25 years, I know what I'm talking about. You also had small classes compared to what you would have in state schools here, or in your own countries, and good support staff. You were very lucky to have a foreign English teacher as a teacher leader - Jackie. For me, I'm totally on my own and its sink or swim.

What I don't understand is why you complained after you left. You socialised all the time with Jackie and appeared to have good communication with her and to be having a good time, at the same time giving the impression that you were a very superior bunch of teachers compared to the likes of a non-EF teacher like me. I would ask what the point is of going on the internet with your not very substantive complaints and warnings. My advice is to get on with your lives away from China doing whatever it is that you are doing. You are gone and forgotten here.

Reviewer: efl teacher  Rating:: 2
What I do not understand.. on the Net anyone can complain and any cram school can make their rebuttals. as a efl teacher for 17 years in asia. I know what cram schools and teachers do to each other. and since I want to move to Xinjiang it would be very good to find out more....
goldenpeace2u at yahoo com au

Reviewer: efl teacher  Rating:: 3
i give a 2 and now a 3 .. since I have no idea who is who...

Reviewer: Mark  Rating:: 4
I have also been at EF Urumqi. I had no problems whasoever and the support for the teachers was very good. the accommodation was comfortable, the admin staff were great.

Reviewer: bebe  Rating:: 3
Hi, I will have a telephone interview soon and am getting a bit concerned, especially after seeing some of these very unprofessional comments from the staff! Wow. Any more information the teachers could provide would be greatly appreciated. I am just blown away by the fact that several of the staff actually jumped into this blog, but then the things they said...wow again...I think from that alone I will send out other resumes and skip EF...but would like to hear more from people who have taught there. Also, could someone compare the two markets: companies vs schools and then the subdivisions of understanding the different school markets.
Thank you so very, very much!

Reviewer: rob  Rating:: 2
Nanning China
Beware of scheduling . They will pile classes on you . Do not be afraid to speak up. the contract is just a piece of paper . make sure you have a return plane ticket.. in case ..
I was never told the ages of my students until after i went to work for them

I am not trained to teach very young children and find myself in jclassess with up to 30-35 children .. ages 6-8 . I then teach the lesson 3x over to different classes within 2 hours .. I have receive dlittle training and I am a teacher novice .

Reviewer: Roger  Rating:: 5
EF Urumqi provides the highest educational training currently available to our students. Our organization is
provides excellent career opportunities. You will be evaluated and trained on a constant basis. Our facilities are excellent and our teachers have access to huge resources and we provide constant care and attention to our teachers both academically as well as personally.

Reviewer: Toni  Rating:: 1
I don't know who is worse. On the one hand, we had foreign teachers who messed around. One guy arrived the first day, got drunk and jumped of the apartment. One guy got drunk and dived into a shallow swimming pool. One guy got beaten up for refusing to pay for the services of a prostitute.
Teachers arguing and swearing in the teachers room. Teachers turning up for meetings half drunk. Teachers bringing students to bars DURING lesson time.
Now that are the teachers. As for the management of the school, it is summed by aijiang here ! Way to go EF Urumqi !!! Fun and games !

Reviewer: Roger  Rating:: 5
EF Urumqi Nanmen School
Absolute rubbish ! Our teachers are carefully selected and trained to the highest standard possible. I don't know why these people lie and make up these unprofound accusations. We look after our teachers. The accomodation we provide is excellent.

Reviewer: Harold  Rating:: 1
You have no one to blame but yourself. You have been warned about EF!

Reviewer: Mark  Rating:: 3
In response to ROGER.

Personally knowing staff at EF, and having the inside scoop, you either A - don't see what goes on, or B - can't keep your staff quiet.

I've never worked there, but knowing people who have, I can assure you I would need a severe head injury to want employement from you.

Cultural differences in business are one thing, and understandable. Misleading, lieing, exploiting, and abandonment are not.

Reviewer: gen  Rating:: 1
i have a telephone interview in 2 days. i have yet even to do my tefl course but in consideration of what has been said on here i may not even pick up the phone! talk about a bad reputation

Reviewer: Matthew  Rating:: 5
I loved my 2 years at EF Urumqi and will be returning in the future. By the way, hi everyone!

Reviewer: peter  Rating:: 4
wow, so much has changed and yet nothing has changed ... some of the once inexperienced teachers of Urumqi EF have gone on to super stardom in a multitude of fields, some even as teachers. in the very long ago good old days Tonia was reputed to be a hard nut but she mellowed as it slowly dawned on her just how fragile (not to mention just plain odd) some TESL teachers can be. in the just very long ago good old days she even developed a sense of humour but those 'teaching computers' beat that out of her after we left i'm sure ... do you think they would have us back?

Reviewer: Benny (EF Rizhao)  Rating:: 5
The thing to bear in mind is that almost all EF schools are franchises and all are different. A lot of the complaints that appear on these websites come from whining students who have been asked to do a little bit of work when they thought that they were just going to have fun whilst on a gap year. If you are considering working for anyone in China then the safest and best network to go for is one of the EF schools. Then, if you have any problems with your school, you have a huge network and support staff to fall back on, right across the country. If, on the other hand, you have a problem with your school, which is justifiable, and you wait until after you get home to whinge on a website, then you probably are better off not teaching anyway. If you have a problem with an EF school you always have the option to complain.

Reviewer: Balance  Rating:: 1
Ok, I don't usually comment online but here we go. I will deal in the first instance with the ah, teachers. Most of the foreign teaching staff were not qualified. The one's that came with experience and qualifications, were chased away. I know of at least two teachers with excellent teaching skills, vast experience and commitment to teaching, but were considered a threat to those other foreign teachers who were eyeing certain positions within the system. One of these teachers to his detriment, was not white enough, the other, made the mistake of being good friends with the colored one. The others, and here I agree with Roger, were abusing high school girls who simply didn't know any better. Keith was making videos with 10 year-old girls and distributing them. It appears clear that someone dislikes jackie, if that person is who I think it is, then the sentiment is deserved. Jackie had no call treating him as she did, that was simply an evil thing to do, particularly when he was sincerely supporting her ambition in the DOS position. I myself tried on many occasions to convince this young, articulate, professional and polished young man to take the DOS position which he was offered by Tonia, yet this young man refused. His words brought tears to the eye, that the staff would never accept a man of color in the DOS position, and that Jackie would be better suited to the position and that we should all strengthen her position. So yes, shame on you Jackie, this man was the only one who supported you and look what you did to him. For this you will pay one day. And the others? With few exceptions, very few of you were there to teach, most of you are there because you have no jobs in your home countries and you resent the few real teachers who want to teach, and do not screw their students. The local management have their issues but ask yourselves, do you deserve to be treated any better? Are you worthy of the respect that you demand? The colonial thoughts simply do not go away, you still prance around as though the world worships you. If you don't like it, then go back to where you came from. I mean the trailer parks and the like. A school is what the teachers make of it. If EF Urumqi is the hell you say it is, then the devil is at home, wouldn't you agree?

Reviewer: Pete (PTG)  Rating:: 3
I worked for EF Urumqi from Npvember 2008 to feb 2009, in that tmie I was treated extremely well by everyone! I was welcomed in to the fold by everyone, teachers, admin, D.O.S, Management!
At no point was I mistreated, the only reason I left was to resolve some personal problems in the UK.
EF Urumqi was extremely supportive, offered excellent training workshops and lesson feedback. The only thing I can fault the school for was the stairwell, it would have been nice to have had an elevator.
I am planning on returning to Urumqi to work for the fantastic Jackie, the wonderful Tonia and the rest of the hardworking profesional team that makes the school what it is!
Never in 3 months have I experienced such a family atmosphere and feeling that I felt at EF Urumqi!

Reviewer: Pete (PTG)  Rating:: 5
I worked for EF Urumqi from Npvember 2008 to feb 2009, in that tmie I was treated extremely well by everyone! I was welcomed in to the fold by everyone, teachers, admin, D.O.S, Management!
At no point was I mistreated, the only reason I left was to resolve some personal problems in the UK.
EF Urumqi was extremely supportive, offered excellent training workshops and lesson feedback. The only thing I can fault the school for was the stairwell, it would have been nice to have had an elevator.
I am planning on returning to Urumqi to work for the fantastic Jackie, the wonderful Tonia and the rest of the hardworking profesional team that makes the school what it is!
Never in 3 months have I experienced such a family atmosphere and feeling that I felt at EF Urumqi!

Reviewer: jessie  Rating:: 3
I am planning to teach at EF Urumqi Youhao this Sept 2009.any advice anyone?

Reviewer: I BEG your pardon?  Rating:: 1
To Pete. You mention training workshops-who at EF is qualified to do that? Also, it may be worth mentioning that your comments regarding Tonia and Jackie in the same sentence are at best risible. Were you paid to write that, or is it simply Jackie pretending to be someone who likes her? She is evil. All the comments regarding her are understatements of the decade. She revels in the misery she causes those who do not sit beneath her pulpit and sing songs of praise. Nasty woman. If there is hell, she has a place reserved.

Reviewer: Guest  Rating:: 3
10 08 09. I'm in my third year of working for EF in Daqing, Wenzhou and now Hangzhou. I've always been paid on time, got my flight money and any bonuses offered. The teaching hours have been reasonable. It's just a matter of getting experience and it becomes easy. There are lots of EF franchises, some get negative feedback, just pick one with positive feedback. Ask for the e~mails of all foreign staff there and ask for feedback at random. If you can't get references from several teachers, don't go. But remember it's a job, you have to work and deliver a reasonable quality level of teaching. People are paying a lot of money for you to teach their children.

Reviewer: Rudo  Rating:: 5
I worked for EF Urumqi from 2008 to 2009 and I had no problems whatsoever. Jackie is awesome, so is Tonia and all the Chinese staff. I would def recommend working for EF Urumqi.

Reviewer: Noidea  Rating:: 1
Hieveryone how are things in EF Urumqi? Has things changed for the better? Thank you

Reviewer: prison break  Rating:: 3
lots about EF urumqi,but why just this one..the whole chain's just a load of cr*p as the head office is interested in the numbers to be the leading cr*p of macburger education. they've never pulled a license of a cr*ppy EF center anywhere, have they? so, cr*p's everywhere when you mention EF, isn't it? and, don't forget the EF centers' owners and their fine (educational) background. come on guys! they're in to clean (not their cloths)up what they've earned dishonestly elsewhere.

Reviewer: Ilja  Rating:: 1
Hey Rudo,in only one year you get to know the whole 9 yeards, don't you? :)
On EF over all, I've heard they're so desperate they're advertising that the centers are OWNED BY THE FOREIGN COMPANY. Looks like teachers'offices in EFs are empty.

Reviewer: Julian  Rating:: 2
I feel a lot of sympathy for EF Urumqi and EF.
They really don't deserve such negative opinions.
We are not perfect but do our best to accomodate you.

Reviewer: Paul  Rating:: 1
I recently worked for the Nanmen school. Avoid Tonia.
Just go to work and leave. Don't do anything else for them

Reviewer: ESLguy  Rating:: 3
Wow...so much about the drama of EF Urumqi. Long ago, I was there....back in "The Day". There are/were good points about being at that school (for three months). I worked with a great staff, Jackie included (before she was the DoS). However, I don't have too many good things to say about the management (then) and I have even less good things to say about the ADoS back then....ask Jackie, she'll know. Sadly enough, that school lost three GREAT teachers, before I even left. Why? Well...I'm not going to create a spin zone but I will say that left for good reason(s) regarding the changes that were taking place at the school and with the contracts. But, as I said the staff there was great. We had a decent resource library and a training system that actually focused on teaching methods and classroom management. My co-workers shared a bit of passion for the job, which was quite unique considering most expat teachers don't know their asses from a hole in the ground. For anyone thinking about teaching for ANY EF, I advise to read the contract carefully and make sure you are prepared for what you get yourself into. EF does not have its repuation in China for false reasons, mind you...please keep that in mind. Also, please realize that you will run into just as many scum bag expat teachers as you will Chinese management. They, in my opinion, are worse....and will sell out anyone just to have the idea of "getting ahead".

Best of luck...from one who was actually there.

Reviewer: GPrince  Rating:: 3
A big hello to all my friends at EF Urumqi, past and present! I had a great year working here with a really supportive, proffessional and friendly team. I trust anyone reading this and wondering whether or not to go to Urumqi will not take these disgraceful comments seriously and take a chance with this awsome city and great people.

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