GoBuddy believes everyone could start an online business for free. Our team is dedicated to provide a one-stop cloud platform solution to transform your business. Today we are honoured to have Angela from EEK Limited to talk to us about her entrepreneurial journey!
Easy English For Kids (EEK Limited) is a teaching playgroup and a tutorial centre for children that focuses on teaching kids through interactive play. Recently, we had a little chat with the founder of EEK, Angela Comer Lam, to understand more about her business and her experiences in the education industry.
Angela Comer – Lam
Owner of EEK Ltd
What inspired her to start EEK?
When asked what inspired her to start EEK back in 2009, Angela talked about her experience as a local kindergarten english teacher and how she felt that the kids were learning as ‘robots’ and wanted to make learning a fun and interactive experience for the children. This prompted Angela to start her own teaching playgroup where she could teach children in the ways she thought was best for them.
What was the largest obstacle she faced?
Angela expressed her concerns and difficulties when she initially started the playgroup and discussed how quite a few children come from her village in the New Territories and the problem was that parents would send their two to three years old child to Angela’s playgroup for perhaps, a year, and send them to school by the age of three. Since Angela only conducts playgroup with a maximum of seven children so that she is able to give individual attention to every child and they all left after a year to go to school, Angela felt that she had to start over every year and find new children which wasn’t very easy. We asked her how she overcame the challenge and she discussed how it was primarily word-of-mouth. There have been many instances where children leave after the age of three but still take tutoring lessons from her and have continued to take it for a long time now.
Difference in Education between the East and West
Since Angela is from the UK, she discussed with us the major differences in education styles between UK and HK and she explained that the HK education style is similar to how the UK’s education style was back in the 40s/50s- “We teach, you learn.” However, the education style is now more evolved in the UK and they understand that all children learn differently and it is important to cater to every child’s learning style rather than just using one way to teach all of them. In Hong Kong, Chinese is taught in a “drill and kill” way which means children are taught by memorising because there isn’t any other way to teach, however, english is taught in the same way and English does not have to be taught like that. Angela explained that one of the primary things she teaches at her tutorial centre is phonics and she teaches children not only the phonics sound but also how to use it. She further explained that once the children have learnt the 42 phonic sounds, they can read almost anything. In the UK, schools allow more interactive learning and students are allowed to question things rather than just accepting it.
Transformation story of two students
Two of her students (brother and sister) came to her for tutoring lessons when they were in year 5 and year 6 respectively and could only read words they had been taught. They were unable to read words they have never seen before and Angela spent a lot of time and effort on them to ensure they could read everything they were given and much more. Fast forward a couple years and both of them took their DSE’s last year and are now in college.
Education Business in 2020
We further asked Angela whether she could foresee the education business moving online in 2020 to which she responded that it is not something she wants to go down the route of doing and since her tutorial classes are very personalised and interactive, she does not believe that she would be willing to change her teaching to online lessons.
Story between GoBuddy and EEK
Angela was introduced to GoBuddy by HK Momtrepreneuers Founder, Lena Wong, who encouraged Angela to list some of her products on GoBuddy’s online shop. GoBuddy helped develop Angela’s website and are further planning to help her with marketing. Angela also has a youtube page (Angela’s Story Time) where she reads english story books for children. Apart from EEK, Angela owns an online business y2squared selling accessories like jewellery, hair scrunchies and hand-made handbags.
Any words for Future Entrepreneurs?
When asked if she had any tips for entrepreneurs who would like to start a similar business, she discussed how it is important to research and look for business opportunities in your local community and see if there are any similar businesses in your area. Although most students who come to her tutorial session and playgroups live in the same area as she does (New Territories), there are a few students who come from Hong Kong Island and she believes it is primarily because of word-of-mouth.
If you are thinking of starting a business, or if you need a digital solution for your business, simply send us an email, let GoBuddy transform your business journey!
是甚麽讓Angela萌生創立EEK的念頭呢？當被問到這個問題的時候，Angela 告訴我們 —- 一切都是從她在香港的幼稚園任教開始的！
教育大不同：英國 VS 香港
而在香港，雖也在跟上各地不同的教育模式，但大多數傳統本地學校都是採取 ‘drill and kill’ 的方法，把一大堆知識塞給學生，甚或令他們失去學習本應有的動力和求知慾。
Angela提到一對在EEK學習的姐弟的故事：他們在初中時只能讀懂非常基本的單字，而且不能讀出很多陌生的字，Angela在教會他們一些拼音並一邊提升他們的學習與趣後，他們在 DSE 取得不錯的成績，並已入讀大學呢。