Blacklisted: Stay Away from TEFL AcademyThere is a school called TEFL Academy, based in Hangzhou, that I would advise any and all Foreign Teacher applicants to steer clear of.

I worked at a variety of TEFL Academy locations throughout Zhejiang Province for about 2 years. I held positions at Zhuji, Yiwu, and Hangzhou(Qingchun) and Hangzhou(Huanglong). The company\'s headquarters are located at the Huanglong center. While I enjoyed working with many of my foreign and Chinese colleagues, I must advise any and all potential foreign applicants to stay far away from TEFL Academy.

I left the company in good standing of my own accord, and I am now happily employed in Hong Kong.

There are three reasons for my recommendation.

1) The company is dishonest.

2) The company is disorganized and lacking a central management or any clear chain of responsibility.

3) The company is suffering in student numbers due to poor quality of instruction (largely due to reasons number 1 and 2).

TEFL Academy has little interest in actually teaching English - many of its Chinese tutors are barely capable of speaking coherent English, and they seem to simply provide the same failed-instruction that necessitated serious Chinese English students seeking instruction at a private school in the first place.

However, poor teaching materials, no time to prepare for classes, and an indifferent management have led to unhappy teachers and disappointed students. TEFL Academy's management is completely dysfunctional, and they have little concern for their teachers, Chinese or Foreign. They further have little to no concern for their own rules - unless the teachers themselves try to enforce the school's rules, which results in the teachers being penalized.

Excuse making and lies are rampant, as well as institutionalized racism against Foreign Teachers. TEFL Academy refuses to ever appoint a Foreign Teacher to be in charge of Foreign Teachers, and instead insists on only allowing Chinese Tutors to be in charge of Foreign Teachers - despite the fact that not a single one of their Chinese Tutors has ever been outside of China, and many have scarcely traveled outside of Zhejiang Province.

The contracts are wholly amateur, and the company will selectively enforce or abrogate parts of the contract at their whim. If no other reason effectively persuades one to avoid TEFL Academy, then perhaps the fact that their student numbers have dramatically fallen in the past year is enough to suggest that they may not continue to exist for very long. Their abysmal teacher retention rate (compared to other schools just in Hangzhou), coupled with precipitously declining student numbers, are enough to suggest that this company is not winning the game, nor is it deserving of the talents or sacrifices of Foreign Teacher applicants.

English First, Wall Street, Web International, Power, and New Oriental all offer better contracts and better job security.


Please do not review this article, review the company on the link below:

TEFL Academy - Company - Ireland


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Hangzhou Helen - Almost the worst agency in China - right behind China ESL!
4 years ago.
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I don't recall ever sending my resume to these a*s*o*es but somehow they got their hands on it and they started calling and emailing me with s*i*ty job offers they kept saying were "a great way to get your foot in the door". When I stopped answering their calls they started emailing me better paying jobs, and finally I got one that was for 20,000rmb per month training kids for SAT tests. So I re-opened communications just long enough to get a copy of their contract which had about ten different clauses about why they would fine me and another 10 clauses explaining why I would get reduced pay! There was nothing in the contract about the free appartment they promised me and a guy named Kevin told me that I should sign the contract and send it back with 5,000 rmb to cover the cost of the invitation letter and they would reimburse me after the first 90 days which is supposed to be the probation period. I asked him to put all of that in the contract and he said we'd make a new contract when I got to China. I then told him I was already in China and that my BF worked for SAFEA (he doesn't) but the silence on the phone must have lasted a full minute before Kevin said he was "late for a meeting" and had to go! My contact with them fortunately ended at that point.  Last week I saw this about them on the China Liar's List on
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