Disney English

Disney English


Disney has been publishing children's books and developing English Language Learning materials for more than 70 years. Drawing upon this knowledge, Disney has created Disney English, an innovative form of English Language Learning that will inspire your child to learn English more effectively.


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Yes, I recommend this program

VoluntEARS are volunteer opportunities offered by the Walt Disney Company around the world. I have been able to experience many different aspects of China by volunteering my time! The best experience was painting a It's a Small World mural on the wall of a local primary school! I am not an artist, but they planned for this by tracing the images for us! Definitely a great part of my time in China!

What would you improve about this program?
I have very few negative things to say about this experience, but I would say the adjustment to the Chinese culture took longer than I thought it would. If I could go back, I would prepare more for the differences before I arrived!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I've currently on my 3rd contract with Disney English. I've worked in two different cities for the company.
I've so many stories I don't really know where to start....Ok...Well before I joined Disney English I taught in a few secondary schools in England, I was never given my own tutor group and I was never in the schools long enough to see the students develop etc. This has to be the foremost reason why I've stayed so long at Disney English (and not because my manager threatened to steal my passport and hide it if I ever said I was leaving) Having the students renew and keep coming back to class, having parents demand that one spare seat in your class because they want their child to make up in your classes only and noone elses really strikes a cord. Having the parents message you in the group chats whilst your on holiday saying that their child is asking when you are coming back and they send you voice messages too. Knowing that a family really can't afford the price increase but they want the best for the child and still renew anyway.

I've just come back from my home leave and one of my students saw me in the corridor, ran down it and jump hugged me. I swear that my heart skipped a beat and tears filled up my eyes. I don't think I could ever find a job that would produce the same array of emotions that I've found here.

There are of course the usual low moments, but they are to be expected when you are away from home and the host countries rules aren't what you are used to. But they make you a better person and much more flexible for future positions where ever your next journey might be.

What would you improve about this program?
As I stated in my main review, you will be working in a country where rules are slightly dated or obscure. Disney has come to China - please note that Disney English is not a reflection on the Disney company but its own separate identity, and it wants to fit in and be recognized. There will obviously be some bumps in the road, but the company does listen and it's always looking to improve and adapt the best possible way. There are yearly reviews and some great things have come out of it. Such as; online training modules that you can do in your own time vie D-Elearn - I've used this a lot, some of the courses are done via Harvard.
The content does need updating - this is an ongoing process and has taken some massive leaps forward already this year.
Read my full story
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No, I don't recommend this program

I will make this very short and straight to the point! Disney english compensates very well;the only positive they get from me. IF you are a true educator,this job is not for you! This is not a school,its consider a center;which i like to call a daycare center. You are more of an actor than a teacher(educator)! you have to put on a show in front of parents;which they call demos! If you like bouncing around and acting a fool with children,then you found the perfect job!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Coming to China can be a challenge. Just going through the application process can be difficult. But the experiences you will have both teaching and learning about the culture are worth the effort. Disney English is a growing company. They have only been around for about 3 years and have grown enormously in that time. With growth comes challenges, people who are open minded, flexible and willing to make an effort will go far. There is a lot of potential to move up in the company and to grow with them.

They have a fun and energetic atmosphere to teach in. The children are adorable, smart and willing to learn. Most employees of Disney get to know each other on a first name basis, which helps make everyone feel more comfortable and welcome. You have an interactive board and curriculum to help keep the kids attention. Fellow trainers are willing to lend a hand when needed or advice. Be prepared to share a classroom, you may not have one all to yourself.

Overall, working for Disney is a great experience. Starting from the training provided when you on board to the support that you get from your fellow trainers and center staff. One downside is that because of growth, things change and sometimes those changes aren't fully explained in a timely fashion. Being flexible and understanding are very important when this happens. This also goes for ordering supplies and sharing w/ other trainers when there are shortages.

Most employees work either thurs-mon or fri-tues. This gives everyone wed off to meet people from other centers and time to take day trips together during the week when places are less crowded. The downside is you won't have much of a life on the weekends. But you will get to know your fellow trainers well and make some good friends.

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Yes, I recommend this program

At Disney English I work with advanced technology, unique teaching content, and energetic people on a daily basis. Disney provides its language teachers with digital ELL content, but everyone is expected to create their own lesson plans to support the week’s target language. The kids who come to DE are adorable and extremely smart, and we usually have full support from the parents of our learners. Overall, the working environment is great and I have fun every day.

Things at Disney English are constantly changing, so this is a good job for someone who is flexible and spontaneous. Because of the rapid changes, new employees often hear a variety of advice or instructions from different people (the one downside to the job), so some of the new teachers come to China with negative experiences about the recruiting and application process. Do not despair – it all gets better once you get to China!

Working at Disney English is not difficult, but it is tiring. There is a lot of singing and dancing involved, and we often work overtime to cover other people’s lessons if they are sick (no substitute teachers). As far as the social scene, most Disney employees become good friends and Disney offers fun social events from time to time. There is a lot of room for growth with the company, and it’s a great job to add to your resume. :)


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you pick this program?

Disney English fell into my lap, I remember saying to my dad 'there's a job working for Disney in China, teaching' I applied and the next day I got an email inviting me to the next stage. I think the whole process took like 2 weeks and I'd accepted the job. Disney English seemed like a perfect fit. I grew up with Disney films and I love teaching. I also love exploring and getting involved with different cultures in different countries so I got all 3 in one go.

The ethos of the company and the opportunities that they offered were amazing, I don't think I could have found another job that fitted so well.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I tell them to do it. We are young with little attachments to keeping us rooted to one spot. Life is there for exploring and having adventures. Growing up in a small town certainly has its downsides because people get stuck in their ways. I say 'get unstuck and explore the rest of the map!'

I would tell my students the same thing, there is so much more to life than watching tv, playing video games or eating roast dinners. There are temples, animals, foods that yes you can see on TV from the comfort of your sofa but you can't replicate the smells, tastes, noises from being there first hand.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Disney English isn't for everyone, and that goes for all jobs. The weekends are either Tues/Weds or Weds/Thurs and this can be hard to adjust too. However in the expat communities you can find something to do every night of the week.

It's hard to be away from home. I've made my apartment my little sanctuary with photos and hobbies I did back home. I found immersing myself into my surroundings, thinking and eating like the locals made it so much easier. I was a super fussy eater before I came here, now I'll at least try anything once.

I know from experience that some people want to still live their Western lifestyle and they find it hard, its expensive and its limited.

So yes the one piece of advice I'd give is - try to live like a local for at least a week/a month.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

I have some many stories, it's impossible to choose just the one. I have met so many friends, in this line of business people do come and go either quickly or slowly overtime. But the friends I've made here are more like family to me. I know that wherever I end up or wherever I go on vacation I'm bound to know someone there.

I've had some many different adventures here in China that when I look back in years to come I'll know that it was worth every second.

What's a typical day like at Disney English:

Work starts at 1330 on a weekday and usually finishes around 2030. In that time you have time to plan, see friends at work and teach between 2-3 classes. Weekends are usually crazy because all the cast members are in and using classrooms and there are demos slotted in there too. After awhile the craziness of the weekend becomes second nature.

Now that I've been with the company and I've taught all the classes I tend to spend less time planning or getting ready for classes and this frees up my time to do more personal things like extra training courses or observing other cast members.