10 EFL Language Schools You Should Know
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When you think of teaching English as a foreign language, you probably see yourself teaching a class of thirty ten year-olds in a Beijing primary school. It’s true that the majority of EFL positions are teaching English to children in a non-English speaking country, but a lot of people don’t realise there is more to TEFL than that. Many EFL students choose to learn English when they are adults through EFL language schools.
EFL Language Schools
A language school is a private company that offers classes to English language learners. The classes range from General English to Business English to English for Academic Purposes. The classes run all day and sometimes in the evenings too. The students can be full-time language school students who are at the school for a week or six months or a year, or they work and attend language lessons in their free time.
Before we dive in let’s cover the difference between EFL classrooms and ESL classrooms. There are language schools in non-English speaking countries but also in English-speaking countries. In fact, there are probably more English language schools in the world than there are pubs in England! The main classifying factor is the location of the language school. Is English being learnt outside an English speaking country or is it English learnt within an English speaking country? An EFL classroom is one where English is not the primary language, for example a language school in Thailand. On the contrary, an ESL classroom is one based in a native English speaking country like the United States, where English is the predominant language.
A Level 5 TEFL qualification can be used in EFL language schools as well as ESL schools. Some language schools are boutique independent schools while others are massive international chains. It is highly likely that you will come into contact with a language school at some point in your EFL career so it’s best that you know who you are dealing with.
10 EFL Language Schools You Should Know
Wall Street English
Wall Street English has over 420 language centres in 29 territories, with a total student enrollment of 180,000. There are language schools in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Some of the centres are owned by the Wall Street English company while others are franchises, so they can be run differently. The biggest perk of teaching in a Wall Street school is that your lesson materials and lesson plans are provided to you. On the downside, you can find yourself teaching the same lesson over and over again. Wall Street English integrates a natural acquisition method with a blended learning approach. This method allows students to focus on learning English through listening and speaking through trial and error. They also provide a variety of class sizes to suit students’ needs, including online lessons, small group instruction, conversational lessons, and social activities.
Wall Street English offers competitive packages and benefits for their staff. If EFL teaching is your long term goal you may be interested in their career development opportunities both on a local and global level. With a promote-from-within policy there are opportunities to progress into management positions.
EF English First is one of the biggest EFL language schools in the world. There are 612 EF schools in 107 countries – they are everywhere! There are especially a lot of openings in EF schools in China, Indonesia and Russia. In China alone, there are now over 200 EF English First schools across 60 cities. The different EF centres can be run quite differently depending on the management team so your experiences at EF Shanghai could be totally different to teaching at EF Cape Town. Not only do teachers have the option to teach kids or adults in one of their centres, but they also operate online schools to teach from home. EF’s online platform offers one-to-one lessons for English language learners in China. Students are between the ages of 6 and 10. Teachers teach through an interactive learning platform and lesson plans are provided.
To teach with EF you must be a native English speaker with a university degree. New teachers receive full support and training upon joining the EF team, as well as professional development throughout their contract. Most positions begin at entry-level, however, once teachers are part of the EF network they can begin to look at English First academic positions such as director of studies and center education manager roles, or teaching positions across the globe in other parts of their company.
International House was founded in 1953 and now boasts 160 EFL language schools in over 50 countries. IH is a language school where students can learn not only English but a range of other languages as well. They provide a variety of English language courses for all ages and levels, including IELTS preparation courses, junior summer programs and English courses for adults. Classes have a maximum of 16 students and teachers receive support from academic managers. IH puts a strong focus on teacher development.
Disney English is a language school for students ages 2 to 12 in China. It is a relatively new chain, having first opened in 2008. Disney English’s first EFL language school opened in Shanghai and has expanded throughout China; they now have centres in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Shenzhen. English language teachers are paired with a native speaking Chinese teacher to help communicate and engage with children and parents. The EFL teacher will be responsible for measuring the progress of each student. The school’s curriculum is known as the Disney Immersive Storytelling Approach (ISA), which uses real life experiences and observation. New teachers are given training in the Disney teaching techniques and are expected to use a variety of fun interactive teaching methods in the classroom. If you have high energy and enjoy using songs, role playing, movement and activities in your teaching then Disney English might just be the magical place for you.
Even though nobody knows what EC actually stands for (English Centre? English course?), EC is still a popular language school. There are EC schools in Malta, South Africa, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US. EC offers academic, business or general English courses. With 30 years of English language experience their teaching methods focus on delivering engaging material inclusive to all students. You can teach young learners through EC’s summer language programmes or more mature students in their 30+ English schools. Teachers have access to National Geographic Learning materials to produce interactive lessons that help develop global competencies and English language skills.
Berlitz offers efl language training to children, teens, and adults, as well as business English for corporate clients and businesses. With over 500 locations in 70 countries and online lessons available, the teaching options are vast. Berlitz has been deverling language lessons for 140 years, so their method of total language immersion is proven through years of experience. They aim at teaching skills to empower and build students’ self confidence. Their extensive portfolio of programs includes language instructions for individuals and corporations, language assessment and testing services, business communication skills and children and teenage programs. Their Berlitz Virtual Classroom delivers the same lessons that would be conducted in the classroom, but are held online. Teachers can utilise online features such as a dynamic whiteboard, paint and text tool boxes, and creatives to enhance their lessons. Since each lesson is recovered students are able to go back and review their lessons, while teachers can playback their own lessons for personal appraisal. Berlitz is just one of the many esl language schools providing English language training online.
Inlingua is a language school which offers language training for kids, adults, business and groups worldwide. They cover two continents with more than 250 language centres in more than 30 countries around the world, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the United States of America. During their 50 years experience, Inlingua has created their own teaching style called ”The Inlingua Method” which is supplemented with language learning resources developed at their academy. Teachers receive training on the inlingua methodology and materials prior to teaching. Their learning management system includes the inlingua method, micro-skills of reading and listening, and activities to present in classes. Teachers are encouraged to think critically and be prepared to teach in different contexts such as one-to-one lessons and teaching business english learners.
Aeon is an EFL language school chain in Japan with over 250 branches nationwide. Founded in 1973, AEON is one of the largest private school chains in Japan. AEON offers conversational English classes, business english, and standardized test preparation to Japanese adults. Children’s classes are focused on teaching a strong conversational foundation. Teachers at AEON instruct both adults and children in a variety of group and private classes. AEON has a daughter company AEON AMITY which offers classes to children in over 85 branches.
English Centers for Children (ECC)
ECC is a large franchise of EFL language school within South Korea. ECC operations began in 1992 and now operate in over 75 centres. This private school chain focuses on teaching English to young learners and offers a variety of classes from phonics to test preparation. Since they are franchises teachers may find the quality of one school compared to another is vastly different.
The British Council
No list of EFL Language schools would be complete without the British Council. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. One aspect of the organisation is their language schools which can be found all over the world. They also have an astounding amount of English language learning resources for both students and teachers on their website.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of EFL language schools. Other notable names include Embassy English and Kaplan International. Though all of these schools are chains, this doesn’t mean that you can paint them all with the same brush. Each school is different, even within their chain.
If you are considering working for a language school, don’t forget to do your due diligence for that particular branch to make sure it is a school you really want to work in. If you can find a school that suits you, working in a language school can be a very rewarding experience, especially for teachers just starting out.
Read more: Which EFL School Is the One For You?
Disclaimer: These language schools are in no way affiliated with The TEFL Academy.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Where we use another organisation, we make sure that your personal information is protected and remains in our control.
- We also, in certain situations, share personal information with government bodies and law enforcement bodies. Where we do share personal information with these types of organisations we’ll make sure it’s protected, as far as it is reasonably possible.
We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
This means we’ll:
- create a profile about you to better understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you (including our marketing messages);
- tell you about other products and services you might be interested in;
- try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and
We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
- Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.
- Information from other organisations such as aggregated demographic data and publicly available sources like the electoral roll and business directories.
- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.