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Blacklisted: Contract Details for EF Xi'anThe following is an excerpt from the EF Xi'an English Teacher contract.  They tried to scam me.  Read on.

The EF Xi'an contract is deliberately complicated so that teachers can be asked to teach ridiculous hours.  Essentially (and this was confirmed with the school) I could have been asked to teach up to 43.5 hours a week.  This is due to them counting 1 hour of teaching time as 40 minutes of 'real' time.  Therefore 29 'real' hours a week during peak season = 43.5 'teaching' hours a week.  Office hours are in addition to these teaching hours.  I didn't take the job, but see it for yourself.  Work there at your own risk.

2:0 Working Hours: (1)The Second Party will be required to work up to 40 real hours per week, of which, 24 to 29 real hours will be contact teaching hours, depending on the season. During the peak season (June through August or January through February), the Second Party will be required to teach from 24 to 29(inclusive) real contact hours per week, or 104-126 real contact hours per calendar month. Outwith the high season, the Second Party will be required to teach up to 24 real hours per week or 104 real hours per calendar month as contact/teaching hours. (2)Classes are calculated in academic hours. One academic hour equals 40 real minutes. One month equals 4.33 weeks. (One year (12 months) has 52 weeks.) (3)As part of the contact hours the Second Party is required to teach, occasional substitution may be required to cover unscheduled absences of other teachers.

Comments  

-5 # RE: Contract Details for EF Xi'anEnglish First 2011-05-11 03:23
There are those of us who take great offense in the negative portrayal of one of our sister schools. It didn't take too much work on the part of the Xi'an EF School's DoS team to sort out the identity of this Butterfly.

We will be entering the details of this person onto our worldwide teacher blacklist.
0 # UnbelievableRoss 2011-05-11 10:37
As an employee of English First Xi'an I am very dissapointed to see this post.

Whilst the school does indeed get busy during the 'peak / summer session' this is a totally manageable amount of work and decent, professional, committed teachers will duly apply themselves throughout this period to produce quality classes for their students.

Those who are looking for a 'doss' teaching job, where they put very little into their classes or career will find themselves at any number of poorly managed, under invested schools throughout China.

In my two year experience working for EF Xi'an (3rd school), I personally believe the workload is manageable and, during the busy periods, I think it is an acceptable compromise to work for a school which consistently invests in the development of the teaching staff - and pays a good monthly salary.

Ross
0 # BlacklistingTeachers First 2011-07-01 01:28
So, for a person to express an opinion, surely this is a terrible thing, and they should weep with their teeth gnashing about in great gobs and spites aye? T_T
+4 # Teachable HoursTeachers First 2011-07-01 01:26
A teaching hour is or should be 40 or 50 minutes.
This should count necessarily as one standard hour.
A teacher should teach no more than 20 - 25 hours per week, with a maximum of 5 - 10 hours of office time.
This allows for credible teaching quality and credible student learning. Initiative and teaching ability also play into this, but an average teacher can do a good job if s/he doesn't work to many hours, in any given length of time.
If EF is requiring such a large number of hours per teacher, I'd say this isn't acceptable. Which puts the onus on EF to fix the problem, by allowing for an acceptable number of teaching hours and for the teacher to develop and maintain a life outside of the school.
0 # Worked for EF XianZeenus 2011-07-01 09:43
EF Xian does have a high workload compared to other schools, but they are also the most professional, and treat their teachers light years better than any other school in the region. Contracts for any school in China unfortunately never look particularly good, and that is not how you should judge a school. I worked there for 3 years and happily recommend people to work there.
+3 # re: EF Englsih First Sucks 2011-07-07 20:17
Quoting English First:
There are those of us who take great offense in the negative portrayal of one of our sister schools. It didn't take too much work on the part of the Xi'an EF School's DoS team to sort out the identity of this Butterfly.

We will be entering the details of this person onto our worldwide teacher blacklist.


I've been looking over the various forums the last couple of months and have heard almost ALL negative posts about EF English First.

Seems to me that if someone posts a negative post they are "blacklisted" by EF!

I know that slave labor has been outlawed here in the states for hundreds of years but appears to be the everyday case at EF English First!
+2 # SlavesDavid Barber 2011-10-24 15:55
Whenever a positive post is made about EF over at "Dave's ESL Cafe" or similar, people accuse the poster of being a DoS, wage slave etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Well, I am now a DoS. Nothing to hide. Just look at the emotive language here - "slave labor".

EF is not perfect, but what school is? As a franchise, I'm sure there are some that are badly run. Some have been closed. More have been opened.

Are they a business making money? Yes. What school isn't? Are they good value for investors? Who cares.

All you should care about is finding a school that matches your requirements. "No lesson plans and no office hours" - go for it, and why not? I'd rather not do lesson plans.

However, most teachers in the real world, in any country, plan their lessons and work to a timetable. They are professional and have an interest in teaching and seeing results. If you are like that, then perhaps, just perhaps, a school like EF is appropriate. That's what they aim for.

Again, I say make local inquiries. Any good school will let you speak to the local teachers in private.
+3 # RE: SlavesEF-reputation 2011-10-24 16:11
As a franchise, EF is successful because it is a brand that Chinese folks trust. But, it's also a name used by many local Franchise owners to abuse foreign teachers. Now, by abuse, I don't mean physically assault, or even verbally harass.
No, I refer to violations of contract on a regular basis , loss of pay, or vacation, simply because the boss needs a new car, VISA or residential permit violations. (this happens a lot with the buxibans in China) EF schools as a whole, treat their teachers in a poor manner, and this is a step up from many other mills. But, the end result is, that the foreigner will get shafted, preferably as often as possible by management, and shouldn't even consider any form of retribution towards management, loss of face and all.
+1 # Prrof - or Urban LegendDavid Barber 2011-10-24 16:37
Again repeating crap ad-nauseam.

I was a teacher, now I am a DoS. Come and see my school. You can find teachers who work(ed) for EF and say they are or were happy, but nobody wants to listen. Gossip is much juicier than truth.

Provide evidence, or stop spouting rubbish because you believed what somebody said or wrote, or heard from some bloke who heard from some bloke who read the same crap on the internet etc.

So, if you can prove an EF school has shafted someone, please post - with names - anonymous doesn't cut it. Better still, go to the authorities. I know of foreigners who have successfully sued local schools; again not EF.

Any visa violations can be reported to the relevant authorities.
+1 # Sojuking 2011-10-25 00:31
That's sweet, until they bring someone in on a L visa, and don't properly convert it, leaving someone working illegally for 7 months. Seriously quit being a ham.
0 # David Barber 2011-10-25 01:41
"Being a ham" - well done sir. (Or Madam?)

What do you call the anonymous people who post unsubstantiated attacks on schools? Are they not seeking attention? If I had a complaint against a school I would post with my name.

The school I worked for in Thailand, and another later in China, had people working illegally. They were not bad teachers, and the school needed people. Some could not, for legal reasons, obtain the necessary visa. Was it right? Strictly, no. Was it a violation of the Chinese rules or the teachers who knew the risks but wanted the work?

Now, if you have specific knowledge of a school abusing a teacher, then let the authorities know. If a teacher is tricked into working on a tourist visa, they can refuse to work and report the school, with proof by way of emails, contracts etc. I really doubt there are many cases of people being imprisoned and/or frightened into working illegally.

There are, however, many cases of disgruntled employees acting like drama queens because their western egos have been slighted when their abilities as a teacher were found wanting or their hedonistic lifestyle outside of the classroom was brought into it. Living a better lifestyle than they do in the west, working less hours and walking around as if they are somehow superior, with no attempts to understand and integrate into their host countries. I would bet, based on experience and reading the language of the complainants, that most (but not all) of the negative posters fit into this category.

I have worked with many capable, adaptable, intelligent and confident teachers whose social life includes drinking, partying and having fun. I have also seen many jerks who are misfits in their own country and are lucky to be living the life they do here rather than the life they can live in their own country. Guess which don't survive in a school like EF?

Here I am, not anonymous,sayin g it like I see it.
+3 # Bebop-Jazz King 2011-10-25 08:18
Again, schools like EF are fine, about 1 out of five franchise schools using the EF moniker are probably B or BB level schools, I consider those kind of schools to be quite acceptable.
What I don't consider to be acceptable is your attempt at social media manipulation, by continuing to post disparaging remarks about people who post concerning bad or terrible conditions that they've experienced while working for EF schools.
Those who have nothing to hide from the police, show the police everything? Hardly so, I come from a country with a rich free speech heritage, and this includes posting anonymously.
Now Please stop with the campaigning and accept that a certain percentage, say 30 - 40 percent of EF schools are horrid horrid little things, that create and cause undue tension within their teaching staff by either : A not adhering to the contract properly, B outright lying to staff, in order to achieve staffing or enrollment goals, or C simply bypassing the contract completely and abusing the staff as they deem proper.
Now quit playing the Hidy Ho neighborino bolsch and get on with managing your smallish school.
Those of us who were tricked, have learned that EF isn't English First, it's Enslavement Forced.
+1 # Tetley 2011-07-09 05:44
I have worked for EF schools three times in the last 11 years and infact at first when you read the contract it does feel a little like they are messing with you. However, I know from my own experience and agreeing with zeenus that they have their advantages too.

Its hard for EF employees as they are a franchise school so it makes it difficult to have a local boss and a company system to follow at the same time. Most school find a happy middle ground but there are some that just end up fighting with each other all day everyday.

In all I think EF offer the correct visa and great teaching resources and training support. The standard of education and resources are good enough to make life easy for new teachers with the right franchisee.

If you want a good EF school try the one in Xiamen as the two bosses there do their best to make life as easy as possible under hard conditions with sticking to a system that is always changing.
0 # EF HoursDavid barber 2011-10-24 15:40
Despite initial reservations because of all the crap said about EF and other "mills" I was reluctant to work for them. In my last city (Shenyang) they were recommended as "an OK school", but the school I worked for offered more overtime and, with the apparent bad rep. of Ef) I stayed.
In Suzhou, having spoken to a happy teacher who didn't look like the sort of guy who would take crap, I joined because they offered the best overall package.
I call BS on the poster. I am now DoS here in Suzhou. The poster says "I didn't take the job" and is entitled to do so. However, the standard EF contract is not "40 teaching hours" a week, but 40 office hours. It's not an easy read, but the DoS would have told the teacher the teaching hours are approx 20 hours a week (rounded down from 87 per month). In my school, we were averaging 15-18 per week. (Now back up to 20 as a teacher was dismissed for being drunk too often.) Summer is different as it's our busiest time and requires a 6-day week and approx 27 teaching hours.
Perhaps it wasn't explained properly, or perhaps the poster is paranoid. I, personally, have declined teachers who are too paranoid or insecure. I need confident, capable, professional and adaptable teachers. All applicants can contact existing teachers or, if in Suzhou, meet them. It's far too easy to write a bad report (or even libel) on the internet when anonymous. My name is here and anyone savvy enough can work out how to contact me. On the whole, EF is quite a good school to work for. Of course, they do require teachers to teach, do lesson plans and act professionally. If we were bad, then we wouldn't have the retention rate we have: most teachers sign for a second year, and some are on their 4th and more. My advice: check with teachers who work at the school and clarify any questions you have. The internet is too full of disgruntled people who have an axe to grind. I've met them, drank with them, and then seen the crap they spew when they are dismissed - not yet at EF, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
Finally: The blacklist would not be for criticising EF. Despite the crap that is said about EF, and I accept some may be true for some schools, the blacklist would be used for people who really should not be teaching at an EF school. I'm guessing that when they identified this "butterfly", they took the view that his/her name should be on the list so that all EF schools could be aware of potential problems. As an EF DoS, I'm happy that we share this information as it saves time and effort.
+1 # re: David Barber 2011-10-25 10:04
Quoting Bebop-Jazz King:

What I don't consider to be acceptable is your attempt at social media manipulation, by continuing to post disparaging remarks about people who post concerning bad or terrible conditions that they've experienced while working for EF schools.


I wrote: "...that most (but not all) of the negative posters fit into this category."

That's what the "(but not all)" is for. I'm sure there are genuine cases, and never denied it.

Isn't posting repeated and untrue allegations against a school or, particularly, a whole group of schools social media manipulation? Look what happens when people try and post positive comments? On other boards they are ridiculed as idiots, slaves, lapdogs etc. etc.

You have your experience, and I feel for you if you were duped. I have experience of a lot of good teachers that I have worked with, and many whiners as mentioned before.

This OP seems to have misunderstood, and I very much doubt the school, or anyone who knew what they were doing, confirmed 40 teaching hours. We are working 17-20 hours and consider ourselves busy!

Why shouldn't people who work for EF be able to defend their brand and schools? Like I said before, I was reluctant because I read the crap that is out there. I re-signed, and most of our teachers are on their second or more years.

I would treat EF as any other school - look at the local situation and ask around. To tarnish the whole group because of isolated incidents is to accuse all Muslims of being terrorists, all British of being arrogant, all Chinese of being stupid etc. etc.
0 # re: David Barber 2011-11-26 12:09
For some reason my last post didn't publish.
Quoting Bebop-Jazz King:
What I don't consider to be acceptable is your attempt at social media manipulation,....

So, what are the anonymous complaints about EF, or any school, that spread through social network sites? The good schools can't defend the attacks on the EF name that attempt to defeat all their hard work? That's a rather one-sided view of free speech.
Quoting Bebop-Jazz King:
Now Please stop with the campaigning and accept that a certain percentage, say 30 - 40 percent of EF schools are horrid horrid little things,

I reject your percentage as it is without evidence and based on subjective experience. It's also damaging to the business. It's far too easy for a disgruntled ex-employee to spread misinformation under various anonymous and bogus accounts and cause immense damage. When a school tries to defend the name, it gets attacked, as here.
Quoting Bebop-Jazz King:
Now quit playing the Hidy Ho neighborino bolsch and get on with managing your smallish school.

Personal attacks? Really?
Quoting Bebop-Jazz King:
Those of us who were tricked, have learned that EF isn't English First, it's Enslavement Forced.

Again with the emotive words. "Enslavement" — vb - to make a slave of; reduce to slavery; subjugate "Forced" -adj - enforced or compulsory: forced labor. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery
You are doing a disservice to the word and the people who genuinely suffer worldwide.
I'm not saying you didn't have a poor experience, and I'm not naive enough to suggest that all EF schools are perfect; the vast majority are way better than a lot of the very, very poor schools one hears about. "Teacher beware" is surely a mantra for teachers in China. However, tarnishing the many good EF schools and criticising the teachers that work there that may simply want to say they are happy is rather disingenuous. So, please say "EF in XXXX City is/was (schools change) bad if you wish, but kindly refrain from tarnishing us all with the same brush. God forbid you ever run a business and try hard to get it right, only to have it unfairly trashed! That's all I'm saying.
I trust you are enjoying your current school, wherever you are. =)

David.
+3 # Reply DavidAnti-ESL-Slavery 2011-11-26 12:21
:love: T_T

David,
EF schools exist to make money.
Often times, as I've said before, 30 - 40 % of the schools that I've known of, at least in China, subject their teachers to a rather belligerent attitude throughout their daily lives at school.
It isn't to much to ask that EF be held accountable for their crimes, and yes as a whole an organization should be accountable for the crimes committed by it's franchisees, one franchisee screws up, the rest should stop him.
They don't, so EF must suffer as a whole, for it's mismanagement and gross mistreatment of it's teachers, both Chinese and foreign.
0 # re: Reply DavidGuest 2011-11-26 17:00
Quoting Anti-ESL-Slavery:
:love: T_T
David,
EF schools exist to make money.

Show me a school that doesn't; including universities in our own countries.
Quoting Anti-ESL-Slavery:
It isn't to much to ask that EF be held accountable for their crimes, and yes as a whole an organization should be accountable for the crimes committed by it's franchisees, one franchisee screws up, the rest should stop him.
They don't, so EF must suffer as a whole, for it's mismanagement and gross mistreatment of it's teachers, both Chinese and foreign.

No. Life's not that simple, and "accountable for the crimes committed" is again an emotive phrase.

EF have investors. They operate under the terms of the contract. Due to the nature of different countries and cultures, and even within countries, there has to be some flexibility.

EF have closed franchises. Not an easy task when you are talking about large investments and enforceable legal contracts.

Your insistence that EF is bad, and your desire to libel the company as a brand, is rather sad. My experience with EF is different, as is the experience of many people I have encountered. We have teachers on 3rd, fourth and more contracts. We don't put a gun to their head and to suggest that they are slaves is an insult to them. Past teachers who have moved on are happy to confirm they enjoyed their time here.

Regardless of your personal experience, and perhaps additional 2nd and 3rd hand support from the internet, most EF schools are doing OK. I've tried to show in my posts an understanding of the industry, and acknowledge that not all EF franchises will be good, yet you continue to berate one brand. A search for bad experiences in EF shows very little. In fact, on the first two Google search pages I found, many had positive comments.

EF is a franchise. It is growing and it is changing. I'll be leaving China next year and hardly likely to work for EF again. I hate all this crap about "EF" not being a good school. A school is only as good as its teachers and we have good teachers who can actually teach, and want to.
My advice to anyone wanting to teach at EF is interview with the DoS and ask questions. Use your own judgement. This is no different to the advice for any school. Of course, a personal visit is also a good idea if you can.

David.
+2 # The Best AdviceThink out of the Ordinary 2011-11-27 05:24
You said check out the school, and talk with the teachers.
That's the best advice you've offered.
EF still is a horrible horrible little school, but if it's checked out, and seems ok in person, then so be it.
Teaching is an emotional thing, and EF seeks to drain away the emotional support from the teacher, by requiring a strict and hierarchical teaching method.
Flexibility in China, exists as to much flexibility, often times the contract doesn't even matter, MOST times the contract doesn't matter.
+2 # Remarks from parentsEdward 2012-05-18 08:49
I've lived here a few years now with my Chinese wife and her family and our friends. I have chosen to distance myself from the American community here for the most part except for a couple of very dear, close friends.
I must add my comments on this subject having heard from some of our Chinese friends and their experiences with EF.
We have heard mixed reviews from friends who are parents and their children who are students at the dif. EF schools in Xi'An. The majority, say 55%+ at least, are not satisfied with the progress of their children in learning English for the tuition paid. The children themselves are afraid to use their English language skills and have very poor skills at that when they do, even after a couple of years of attending EF.
Most of the debate here is regarding EF's treatment, fairness and integrity in its realtions with its teachers/employ ees. Yes, there are some qualified, dedicated teachers at work for EF but commenting on a different aspect of EF, I believe there is something missing, intentionally or otherwise when the end result is that the students do not learn what they are paying $$$ to learn. But then again the bottom line is that EF is a for profit corporation that makes money from running schools which is their #1 goal. Now we must be honest here and admit that.
Alright, I'm ready to receieve the insults and rebuttals from EF staffers now, but I know what I say is true because it comes from the consumers of EF's product-student s and their parents.

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