Recently, I have gotten quite a few emails asking if I do private tutoring. Some have asked if I am a business or run the page with a team. While our readers know we publish English learning posts, what exactly is it that we do?
To be completely honest, I am not sure if there is a category suitable for our page. My current position is a doctoral student and an educational consultant for online companies. In addition to hosting my classes, I use the page mainly to provide free resource and perform charitable functions.
I started the page in 2012 as a lecturer and general manager of an overseas study company in order to share information with my students. I would occasionally compile information online, edit them, and publish them for free. I started investing more time around 2014 and 2015, and we had about 20K fans at this point. I did not commercialize the page, so people did not know what I was doing (they literally wrote and asked me). I left my position as the general manager of the overseas study company, and I was unsure of my next move.
I did not want to open a test prep center, as many had suggested to me. I did not want to sacrifice my ideals to meet business goals, and I felt I could do more to make use of my experience and strengths as a curriculum writer and teacher. I started consulting educational organizations and worked on my own online classes. It was a difficult path because there was simply very little demand for “educational consultants” in Taiwan. I had to carve my own path, and I worked with numerous organizations such as ETS-Taiwan and the British Council to do so. Meanwhile, I kept writing and compiling information on our page, and it became arguably one of the biggest databank of free bilingual learning resources in Taiwan.
It was around late 2016 when I started regularly posting news in English (https://bit.ly/36o3Z1e). I felt that students need to be aware of current events and think in other perspectives rather than focusing only on linguistic features. While vocabulary and grammar are undoubtedly important to second language learners, there are already ample resources in these domains.
Given my interest in international news and years of experience living and working in both Taiwan and the US, I aim to offer language learners a unique perspective in learning. My posts began to cover the news, social issues, and educational viewpoints. We reached about 30K subscribers around 2018 with this approach.
Early 2020, we broke 50K fans, and I knew it was time for me to post more regularly. I added two people to my team of one, and we started posting bilingual news, education editorials, posts on empathy, and of course, free English learning resources. We also have periodic giveaways of books and educational materials. Our subscribers now include students, parents, and teachers primarily from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the US.
Some have advised me to just completely turn the page into a business since we have significant following. However, I have held back from doing so because I view myself as a teacher and not a business owner or a social media influencer. It is not all about traffic flow and commercialization. In fact, I place many restrictions on commercial cooperation, turning down opportunities to advertise and work with many large language edu companies.
Currently, Eric’s English Lounge is not a company. I do have online classes through VoiceTube and I do have a team of two editors. However, all other sources of income from collaboration with businesses and influencers are donated to charities in a transparent manner: https://bit.ly/3fKytik. I started this project (http://bit.ly/3990snT) this past year and plan to move the page in a sustainable, non-profit direction.
目前，Eric’s English Lounge 並不是公司。雖然我在 VoiceTube 確實有線上課程，也有一個團隊（我與兩位小編），但其餘與企業或具有影響力的人（influencers）合作所帶來的收益，均以透明的方式捐贈給慈善機構：https://bit.ly/3fKytik。
I hope to provide as much free resource as I can. You might have noticed that I am in my 40s, a tad older than most online influencers. I come from a low-income, single-parent family, and I started working when I was in junior high. I became independent when I turned 18, and took numerous jobs just to make ends meet. I am already fortunate compared to many, as I had some remarkable teachers and received aid and scholarship from the government. Nevertheless, it has been a long climb, and this has allowed me to empathize and connect with those who are without resources and guidance in life.
Thus, this is the general background of the page. In all honesty, our page is still growing and evolving. It is used to provide free resources, to spread ideals of empathy, to do charity, and to sustain myself as well. I aim to continue using the page to provide educational resources, raise awareness of social issues, and offer students different perspectives. These are my current goals for this page. After eight years, Eric’s English Lounge is still going strong. May we all continue to learn, think, and grow together.
以上便是粉專的基本背景。老實說，我們的粉專仍在持續成長。粉專旨在提供免費的資源、提倡同理心、做慈善，並維持我個人的生活。我的目標是繼續藉由粉專為各位提供教育資源，提升社會議題的關注度，並為學生帶來不同的觀點。這些都是我當前對粉專的期許。歷經八年的風風雨雨，Eric’s English Lounge 仍屹立不搖。願我們繼續學習、持續思考，並且共同成長。
P.S. You know that ERIC stands for Education Resources Information Center, right?
It is an online digital library of education research and information sponsored by the US Department of Education: https://bit.ly/2TzYF5L
Vision & Mission 宗旨與目標: https://bit.ly/2Uo9sAK