Is English First Co. a Threat to New Oriental?

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I noticed this “English First Co.”, which is 2008 Beijing Olympics language training partner, because of their ubiquious ads (outside and inside) Cloud 9 building. I understand there are at least 2 levels of Olympics partners. Lenovo, Haier and Coke Cola, etc are exclusive sponsors (in its product category). In other words, they gave more money to Olympics committe and they got more exposure in return. MengNiu (diary product), “English First” and others are product providers. As the name implies, they gave products to Beijing Olympics. But still, I was puzzled why New Oriental did not go for it? I can think of two reasons: 


1) New Oriental is not strong in Oral English training. Their home turf is test preparation. Note the English training in China is highly fragmented, for instance, in “Oral English”, I saw another provider named “Learning”, and they are fairly popular in Shanghai.

2) New Oriental does not need the exposure. They already got enough publicity from “listing in NYSE”. They want to save money to open more schools.

This may be a good thing in terms of: 1) They focus on their main business; 2) Fiscal conservative, spend the money wisely.


  1. They are profit oriented. They don’t care about really improving the oral English skills.

    Get this in one classroom at New Oriental, they had over 50 students in one room. They can do this by themselves than going to New Oriental.

    I know of students who went to English First that they only learn is mostly playing games. Not Oral English. What’s Oral English is more conversational style.

    There are a lot of foreign teachers teaching in universities and colleges. The students just don’t want to talk English in the classroom. But why they are willing to spend the money to learn in an English Training Centre where they can get it with their Foreign Teacher.

    One thing, I find English Training Centres are racial bias when hiring foreign teachers. Oversea Chinese are the last on the list no matter if they are born in a western country. They would hire somebody from Europe whose second language is English rather Oversea Chinese whose first language is English.
    This is why I say they are profit oriented. Money is the King

  2. Which is really better? I think we can determine that through the exam passers?

    How many TOEFL takers are from New Oriental? Would you know that? Thanks.

  3. I am not going to get into contentious debate on which one is better.

    But from my observation and experience in 1990s, New Oriental is better. They are probably the biggest provider in English language training in China, and the best in my humble opinion.

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