School Review: EZ English School

EZ English School review

Since there is very little information on this school on the net, I thought it would be helpful to write a short review. Up front I would like to say that I have reason to dislike the school and I was there for less than 1 month, which I will get to later, but I will try to give an objective report.

What they are looking for

They are looking for native English speakers who have at least minimum competency in Chinese, are experienced as teachers, will be strict and severe with students, and above all, are willing to exactly follow instruction from the head master.


PAY the best thing about the school is the pay. Starting salary is around $900NT (about US $29) per hour. Like other schools in Taiwan, this is only per teaching hour not actual hours you work. You will work more hours than that outside of class for preparation. At first this will effectively more than halve your salary, but I would assume that as you work there longer the time spent in preparation and grading will become more reasonable.

STAFF In my experience, the whole staff is very friendly and are quite helpful. They don’t all speak great English, but if you speak decent Chinese (and this job requires Chinese ability) then you will find them very engaging and kind.

PHONICS This school is really good at teaching children correct pronunciation. If you are serious about accomplishing something worthwhile for these kids, then correcting the basic pronunciation problems children have can be what you do here.

FACILITIES The furnishings, desks, white board, etc. are all nice and new.

GOOD STUDENTS The headmaster actively kicks out what he deems to be poor students, and the rest of the students will behave (or else). You won’t have discipline problems.

GOOD WILL The school does try to be fair. I was terminated from the school with little real warning, but only after a few days in training, and they gave what I felt was a fair amount of compensation for the trouble that this is causing me.

CHINESE The job offers a good chance to practice using Chinese at work.


GETTING FIRED Technically, I guess I wasn’t fired as I had to voluntarily release them from their contract. But when you sign a one-year contract that doesn’t mention any sort of trial period and then are suddenly terminated after moving into a new apartment that also has a 1-year contract, it can cause major trouble. Considering this happened to another teacher just a month earlier, this may be worth mentioning.

[color=red]NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT [/color]The headmaster’s way of instructing uses heavy doses of negative reinforcement with rare glimpses of positive reinforcement. This means some kids will get screamed at for very little, even when they are trying or when they don’t really know what the teacher wants from them. It is an effective method for keeping the kids in line, but gives them very high stress and stifles creativity.

CURRICULUM OVERLY-NARROW The teaching style is 99% teacher-centered with students parroting the teacher. Even replacement drills are few and far between, instead students repeat by rote exactly what the teacher says or what they have memorized from their CD. The course of instruction does not attend to students who learn visually, kinesthetically, or spatially. Learning only occurs by repetition of aural media and transcription of writing.

NO ENGLISH ENVIRONMENT The classroom is not a place for the children to use English. It’s only an assessment of how well they have memorized the CDs of the headmaster’s voice. Classes are conducted in over 50% Chinese. Students do not learn fluency in these classes.

OUT OF CLASS WORK Teachers are expected to put in a lot of out of class work. Experienced teachers who have a streamlined system put in at least an hour grading homework (including checking tapes) for each class. Preparation time for each lesson goes on top of that. Inexperienced teachers will have to do a lot more. This seems to be far above what other schools will expect.

THE CONTRACT The contract includes hefty penalties for things and requires a huge deposit. It also forbids you to do any work teaching children English while you work for their school. This is understandable, but still makes for a harsh contract.

RIGID TEACHING STYLE On a scale of 1 to 10 on how rigid the style is, the school gets a solid 11. If you don’t do things exactly like they want you to, there’s a problem. Even the English language is the province of the headmaster to determine what is right or wrong. If it isn’t how he’d teach it, even if it is used by other native English speakers, it’s a mistake.

TRAINING While the pay for training is fine, the actual training is terrible. It consists of observing the boss teach, listening as he interrupts the class to make comments to you in the middle of class, and teaching while the boss criticizes you. You are expected to ask how to do things instead of being trained on how to do them.

[color=red]THE BOSS!! [/color] :fume: Honestly, before I was terminated I was looking at job boards simply because of him. Were it not for the promised pay I would have quit on my own because of the headmaster. He does not know how to deal with people unless he’s yelling at them or dictating what they should do and how they should do it. He has no capacity to deal with people as equals and doesn’t seem to comprehend how to encourage people.

He is constantly in competition and incites competition between others in an attempt to motivate them. Basically, he treats employees and any other adult the same way he treats the children he is teaching. When he ‘corrects’ you, the only acceptable answer is to say “I’m sorry, I’ll change” as if anything else is said he will take it to be an argument against him. I’ve worked for many bosses, and of them all this guy was far and ahead the most obnoxious of them all.

My comments about the headmaster of the school are a personal dislike. He is not the devil incarnate, and he may even have been reacting to perceived arguments from me. (There were times when I was accepting his comments, but he acted as if I was arguing against him). But his attitude and personality were far and beyond the worst aspect of the job for me, and I strongly suspect for many others.


This is a school that may be worth looking at if you meet their requirements, you want a good paying job, and you feel you can get along with the boss. But it’s a risk, and getting hired does not mean you really have a job. Go to the job with your eyes wide open on this one.

That, my young Jedi, was great. That is how we would like school “reports”. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you but a person with your sort of character will soon find something.

Simply otustanding. I am going to whip out my magic wand, twirl it and say the magic words, and make this sticky.

What’s a Jedi Master doing in Greyhawk?

Anyway, thanks for stickying the post. I hope the next people who go looking for a job there will at least have a better picture of what they can expect.

[quote=“puiwaihin”]What’s a Jedi Master doing in Greyhawk?

Anyway, thanks for stickying the post. I hope the next people who go looking for a job there will at least have a better picture of what they can expect.[/quote]

It sounds as if you had a rotten time there but did give the school credit where you felt it was due. That says a lot of things about you…good things. Your report was well written and thoughtful.

A Jedi Master in Grehawk is doing what any swordsman would do. Hook up with the Grey Mouser and steal jems, drink strong mead, and tussle with the ladies. … 9b9#216773

My views on the school, as well as a comprehensive discussion, can be found here.

There are lots of schools like that here in Taipei. They all follow the same syllabus (roughly). Parents sit in the back, students parrot the teacher. Grammar patterns are drilled. Teachers make more money than they’d make in any other school.

The results after a few years aren’t too bad–when compared with other schools.

Teachers interested in improving their Chinese ability can make progress in such schools.

But if you’re interested in really teaching students, these schools don’t offer much, in my opinion.

Just read through the Dave’s ESL thread…

Yep, this guy’s a legend in Taoyuan, for his in house Nazi tactics and rather loose moral values.

Ran into him once about 10 years ago at a Mcdonalds in Neili and he straight away asked me to go to work for him. 900NT per hour and all the hours I could ever want. At the time I was on salary at another school and making more than he could ever hope to pay me. I blew him off.

I also read in the Dave’s ESL forum that he had a woman sign a contract saying she couldn’t seek employment in the Taoyuan area for 3 years after leaving his school?.. :loco:

[quote=“MJB”]Just read through the Dave’s ESL thread…

I also read in the Dave’s ESL forum that he had a woman sign a contract saying she couldn’t seek employment in the Taoyuan area for 3 years after leaving his school?.. :loco:[/quote]

Yep, it’s in the contract.

I’ve been teaching at EZ English for over two years, and I’d like to make a few comments to the users who’ve posted criticisms on this site and Dave’s ESL Cafe.

To puiwaihin: You struck me as a very bright and nice person and I was sorry that the job didn’t work out. Given the circumstances, what you’ve written is pretty fair and balanced. I agree with the positive points you make. Presumably these were what attracted you to the school in the first place. As for your opinion about the boss, I don’t think anything I write is going to change that, so I won’t even try. What I will say is that he and I have consistently got along well. And you do note that he gave you compensation for the inconvenience of having to find another job. Someone with your qualifications will, I’m sure, have no trouble finding an excellent job in the Taoyuan area. I wish you all the best.

To Taoyuan Steve: Since moving to Taoyuan you’ve been a vocal critic of EZ English. It’s something you and I have discussed on quite a few occasions over the past couple of years. Before, I’d always felt that your criticisms had a constructive element. But now it has become a personal vendetta. The picture you paint is impossibly negative. Were it even half as bad as you say, I wouldn’t be there, and neither would anyone else.

To squid: We worked together at EZ for two years and always got along very well. In fact, you got along well with everyone and left on good terms. Until I read your post, I had no idea you had such a deep resentment toward the school. Considering how you felt, you shouldn’t have renewed your contract for a second year.

To Aristotle: EZ English is not affiliated with the Ministry of Education except for being a registered school as all legal bushibans are. The summer camp the school runs in the U.S. is, I believe, also registered with the Ministry. The school’s curriculum isn’t based on that of the public school system, and we don’t prep students for their tests at school. The Chinese staff are not public school teachers. Your trace of the school’s U.S. phone number led to Saskatchewan because you got the area code wrong (it’s “360”, not “306”). And the number (03) 336-1277 isn’t disconnected. It’s the number of the main Taoyuan location.

What’s clear is that EZ English isn’t a typical organization. To some who have worked there for years, it’s a positive experience. Others disagree. This alone should be enough to arouse a certain curiosity in forum readers. People should check out the school for themselves and form their own judgments. One thing is certain: it isn’t your average bushiban.

I’m glad you posted David. It is good to get a balanced perspective on things.

My purpose in writing up my review was not to “blacklist” EZ or damage its reputation. I wanted to put up some information so that other people who may want to learn about the school before visiting will have some idea of what they are getting into.

I don’t think my situation would have been any different had I read my own post before going since I think of myself as an easy to get along with type of person and the lure of $900 an hour (plus raises) would make me go and check the school out. But there will be some qualified teachers who will not want to go into that situation.

Before my post I did a search on EZ English and didn’t find any information on the school except that it had a harsh contract and what the school’s website and advertisers listed. I think with this discussion and a permanent web page will make it better for teachers looking for work the next time someone tries to look up the school.

Dave, you really need to reread Squid’s post to get a sense of how serious the problems were for her at EZ. You can trash me if you want. Label me a hell-raiser till the cows come home. But, if your girlfriend comes home telling you how the boss (who has met you) just tried to pick her up, your views on a school–and the boss-- will change fast. And that is not mentioning the numerous valid criticisms of the place. I have valid reasons for disliking the school, David. We’ve been over them a million times. You can dismiss them as “personal vendetta” if you wish. However, you know me fairly well. You ought to know I’d have a good reason for saying anything.


Let’s look at exactly what I did say.

I said at some point in the past, teachers could clear 100k per month, but don’t now. True or not true David? I know how much Squid made and I know how much you made. The days of the high salaries are past.

I said the 900 per hour wage was misleading. It is. You are only paid for your classroom teaching. You spend alot of extra time doing all the marking and other duties, much more than most schools. My gf averaged almost a 1:1 ratio of paid to non-paid time while she was there. You do the math. She would go to work long before I would and come home long after I arrived home. I didn’t make “900 per hour” during the same period. But funny how I made as much and sometimes more while having nearly double the free time.

I said EZ has a 100k deposit. True or not? I know you got away with around a 60k one, but you were making less than 40k per month at the time.

I said I have met numerous who have worked there and hate the place. This is not a fabrication, either. In my time here, I have met quite a few former teachers, all of whom have nothing good to say about the place. You don’t really, either. I was there when you bolted out of the bar one night to send an email to the boss to express your desire to leave.

I said the school utilizes grammar translation as its main teaching paradigm. I got this from a professor at Yuan Zi university–whom I met at an acquaintance’s wedding-- that was involved in the school in its earlier days. Is anything I said there impossibly negative? Inaccurate?

I said the school utilizes an extreme discipline system. Is this not true? Was not one of your most constant criticisms–and for that matter Squid’s as well-- from mangement your inability to be meet their discipline standards?

This sums up everything I said about EZ over at Dave’s. You majored in the scientific field, David. Find some evidence to back up your assertion that I’m being unreasonable.


An exaggeration. I know you’ve been in Taiwan as long as the hills David–and a darn sight longer than I have (although you never taught before EZ)–but I was living in Taoyuan before you moved here. Not sure how I would have been complaining to you about EZ before you knew me. I had my reservations about the contract my gf signed from the start. But my vocal complaints did not start until I began to realize what she was dealing with at that place. They certainly intensified when I got wind of the boss’ inappropriate behaviour. But it certainly isn’t true to say I’ve been complaining about the place ever since I moved here.

I guess you didn’t read my post very well, David, because I did say I take total blame for staying so long. I thought my second year would be better. It wasn’t. YES, that was MY fault, I’m not denying it. I’m not changing my views, I REFUSE to deny my truth, I own it. You don’t. I stated what happened and I didn’t lie about it. Even if it weren’t true (and it is true), the place is still a terrible job to work at.

I didn’t enjoy screaming and yelling at the kids, do you?

I didn’t enjoy BEING yelled at, but I guess you wouldn’t know since you get on so well with the boss. And I thought I got on well with everybody, too?

I didn’t enjoy hearing all the negative criticism and comments on how I taught, and I didn’t even like the teaching method I was forced to use.

I didn’t like seeing my students cry because I screamed at them for their pronunciation. Do the kids really need to go through all that trauma just so they can say ONE word correctly? Yet they can’t even have a simple conversation like, “How are you?”

And how many times have I heard teachers saying that there was no point in it because the kids are never going to learn anyway. Well of course the kids aren’t going to learn anything if you yell and scream and punish them with the kind of methods used at EZ.

Need I say more? Because I can go on, but I hope you’re finally getting the point.

A school that is supposedly paying 900NT an hour and doesn’t have a very large student body is constantly looking for people. What else do we need to say about the school?


I’m not trying to dismiss your opinions or suggest that you don’t have valid reasons for disliking the school. I am, understandably, sensitive to seeing the school trashed in a public forum. It’s a place I’ve put a lot of time into, and I do take pride in my work.

Let’s put it this way: anyone who’s interested in EZ English should keep in mind the issues that you and others have raised. There is an underlying accuracy to much of what has been written. However, this shouldn’t prevent people from going to the school, meeting the teachers who work there, observing the environment, and forming their own opinions.

I do agree that EZ isn’t for everybody. I would even say that it isn’t for most people. But that shouldn’t deter teachers from checking it out for themselves. One encouraging development is that the era of $100K+ salaries appears to be back. With the second location now active, enrollment is up and available hours are increasing. (My own salary at EZ isn’t a good point of reference because I’ve never wanted many hours.)

It is true that there are former teachers out there who dislike the school. Squid is not alone in this. But it isn’t universally true that everyone has had a bad experience.

I’d like to avoid a back-and-forth debate with you on this subject. The purpose of these forums, after all, is for people to raise issues, supply information, and express opinions. You’ve done that thoroughly, and anyone considering a job at EZ will, I’m sure, keep everything you’ve written firmly in mind. Yet despite all that’s been said, I don’t think people should completely exclude EZ English as a potential employer. And that’s my fundamental point.

Not interested in a back and forth scrap either, David. It’s the gf who’s more pissed than me, for obvious reasons (and though you may have gotten the impression otherwise, that has always been the case). I’ve contributed to discussions started by others–here and elsewhere. I don’t seek to trash the place. However, if someone is looking for information on a place, I’ll share my opinion, for whatever its worth. While I have a low opinion of the place and its methods-- that’s obvious-- I agree that both sides should be represented. Wish you well in the future.

I really appreciate this discussion. I currently have a decent job and am in the middle of negotiating my contract for next year. I am fluent in Mandarin and have extensive teaching experience in Taiwan. I recently saw the EZ ad on Tealit and I had just sent off a resume the other day. I of course was attracted to the slightly higher salary and the opportunity to live outside of Taipei. I will now proceed more carefully.

Deposits are illegal in Taiwan. Even in Taiwan, an illegal clause in a contract voids the contract. I will see what they say about it, if it is brought up. I will mention to them that it is hard to start a relationship with a school if it starts with illegal activities.

It is nice to know about the amount of extra time the school requires. I am currently at a school where I almost spend two additional hours per hour in the class. I was hoping to lessen that.

Finally, the contract about not teaching in the Taoyuan area for three years after leaving EZ is hilarious. I know that anything (excepting illegal activities) can be put into a contract, but will it be enforced? Will EZ sue me if I teach at another school after ending my employment with them? If so, I am curious to know how much they will win in a Taiwan court and then how they will collect. That would be an interesting story :wink:

One thing to keep in mind, they’ll require you to move to Taoyuan if you’re not here yet and put a little pressure on you to do it before signing the contract. Sign the contract and get settled in the school before you move here. Personally, knowing what I know now, I’d wait until I observed more than a couple classes (and make sure you watch the boss teach a few times) before commiting to signing a contract.


Finally, the contract about not teaching in the Taoyuan area for three years after leaving EZ is hilarious.[/quote]

Hilarious is putting it mildly. I’m sure that a quick visit to the Taoyuan FAP/MOE would confirm that the school has no rights whatsoever to restrict your job search once you’ve stopped working there, no matter what you’ve signed. Frankly, I’m amazed that anyone would be dumb enough to sign a contract with this clause included.

But on the other hand, being an ex-EZ is not something most reputable schools down here look for. I doubt the forced gestapo tactics would look good on a teaching resume back home either.

Finally I leave you with this: Would you feel comfortable with your own child in this learning environment? :s

Hilarious is putting it mildly. I’m sure that a quick visit to the Taoyuan FAP/MOE would confirm that the school has no rights whatsoever to restrict your job search once you’ve stopped working there, no matter what you’ve signed. Frankly, I’m amazed that anyone would be dumb enough to sign a contract with this clause included.[/quote]
Rich English in Taipei required their teachers to sign something like this, and even went to court to sue a foreigner over it. I forget the outcome, but I could find out. :s

Hmm, someone named Squid on Dave’s ESL cafe was aggresively hit on by the owner. I also know a girl who used to work there…she slept with the owner and then when his wife came to visit she had a nervous breakdown. Not to mention the fact that he fled the country a few years back because there was a warrant for his arrest for molesting a 16 year old girl.

That’s why for a period of about 2 years he never visited his school.

Other than that he’s a nice guy. I know of him giving fairly large amounts of cash to people he’d fire to help them do visa runs and look for new jobs.

His wife is fairly attractive and about 15 years younger than him…and considering his behavoir…she’s probably available (for the short term anyway).


Other than that he’s a nice guy. I know of him giving fairly large amounts of cash to people he’d fire to help them do visa runs and look for new jobs.

And he’s a nice guy because he gives money to people to help them do visa runs? The molestation charge must be like getting hit with a bike to you then. :s