From zero to hero – the journey of an aspiring English teacher

For many English learners, eJOY is not only an ordinary English learning app, but also a tool to help them change themselves and pursue their career goals. This is also the case of Duong Hieu, a friend who has been with eJOY since the early days. From a limited amount of vocabulary, after 2 years of using eJOY, Hieu has become fluent in English and is now ready to pursue his dream of becoming an English teacher in the future.

Let’s chat with Hieu today to learn about his learning journey.

The journey of learning from zero

Hi Hieu, so nice to talk to you today. Do you still remember the day you started using EJOY to learn English from zero?

Yes, Of course. Back then, I could only pronounce a few simple words. When I started taking English seriously, I went to some “popular” apps like Duolingo first, but the content in those apps are pretty repetitive, so after a while I gave up. Then I found out about eJOY. At that time, eJOY was freshly launched and didn’t even have YouTube Connect feature yet.

When you first started using eJOY, how did you self-study?

When I first used eJOY, I didn’t put much emphasis on grammar but focused on listening, pronunciation skills with vocabulary instead. There are many different courses on eJOY App, and I focused on practicing listening skills with courses on simple topics for a few months before moving on to another topic. I listen to each video in a course over and over in a week. I also practiced speaking from the beginning with Shadow and Roleplay features until I was comfortable enough to start chatting with foreigners.

Having been studying hard for over two years like that, I know you are very different now. Where do you see yourself at the moment, and has your study method changed?

Listening skills are the most developed. I listen and understand foreigners much better. As eJOY doesn’t focus on a specific accent, I can practice with many different accents and am no longer afraid of difficult accents. I also have a broader vocabulary. Now, when talking to foreigners, I can communicate very confidently. I can talk all night instead of running out of vocabulary after only a few minutes of chattiNG.

As for pronunciation, when I first started, for each sentence I read, the accuracy rate on eJOY was only 20, 30%. But after practicing with Role-playing a lot, the score gradually increased to 70, 80%, even 100% sometimes.

In general, I can communicate effectively and use a rich vocabulary today thanks to eJOY. At the moment, I’m focusing on grammar instead, as knowing 10,000 words is enough to communicate, I suppose.

Recently, I just learned how to learn grammar through context with eJOY. So this time, I will try to study Grammar for IELTS course, save the relevant grammar sentences to my wordbooks soI can practice regularly. In addition, I will also experience learning grammar through video context on eJOY EPIC.

Why did I choose eJOY?

After two years of using eJOY, what advantages do you think our app has?

Like I said, as there are many courses and video topics on EJOY, I can easily learn with what actually interests me. For example, if I like football, I just learn the vocabulary in that topic before expanding to another related topic. In college, sometimes the topics can be boring or feel irrelevant, which kind of unmotivates me to study. I find eJOY much more effective here.

Also, in English class, sometimes my English teacher doesn’t have time to correct my pronunciation word by word. With AI-powered speech recognition in eJOY App, I can have my pronunciation assessed anytime,  then I can always look up the dictionary to learn the correct pronunciation.

Another advantage is that eJOY is always by my side. When I have break time, I can always pull out my phone and quickly review my due words or watch a new video. At English centers, each student only has about 5-10 minutes to talk with a foreign teacher. With eJOY, I can study with content from native speakers at any time.

I remember that at first, you bought a 6-month package, then switched to a 2-year package and then a Lifetime package later on. Why such a change?

I did some calculations here. The lifetime package at eJOY is only nearly 4 million Vietnam Dong, almost the price of a 3-month course at any English center, which is much cheaper. After studying for 6 months, I found it effective to move on to a 1-year plan, and then again, I felt like I can still learn a lot more with it, so I thought I would stick with it for life. That’s when I decided to become a Lifetime user

That is compared to the centers, but compared to other English learning products, do you find eJOY expensive?

I have never spent money on any English learning product except eJOY, so I can’t compare.

So, have you ever regretted your decision?

My eyes can feel sore sometimes, but no, I don’t regret it. (laugh)

Since I want to become a teacher in the future, I also want to try some online training courses in English, and I will need to use eJOY to look up technical terms in those courses. As long as I still learn English, I’m not bored of eJOY.

Striving to become an English teacher in future

As you have shared, you want to become an English teacher. eJOY is happy to be by your side as you pursue your dream. Can you share more about your plan to become a teacher?

I plan to study to get at least 7.0 IELTS, and probably register for a dual degree to get a teaching degree. If I get a good score in IELTS, I will definitely go teach, if not, I will continue to study and use eJOY until I get a good score.

Does the fact that eJOY does not have an IELTS study schedule cause you difficulties?

Currently, there is also a 200 video course about IELTS on eJOY, which I think is fine. Besides, there are a lot of IELTS on YouTube, I just need to use YouTube Connect and bring those videos to the eJOY app to learn, so it’s not a problem at all.

I have a suggestion, though. If there is a button to contact an instructor or teacher on the app, it will be more effective for learning. You will not only take advantage of the student resources on the app, but loyal users who have learned a lot with eJOY. They can definitely become instructors and support novice learners on how to use the app more effectively, or why a word means this but not that.

Thank you for your suggestion, we will look into it. If you become a teacher in the future, do you plan to use ed-tech apps like eJOY in teaching?

Sure! I don’t know how to use eJOY in teaching yet, but I will suggest my students use eJOY after class. If there is a feature that you can use to post writing corrections for students, that would be great.

One last question. Do you have any advice for those who are also starting from zero with eJOY like you did before?

Focus on listening skills, and practice with videos for children: from colors, objects, to simple sentences.

Listening to one video over and over again. Do not skim, but listen to it repeatedly and carefully until you understand everything.

Thank you, Hieu, for this wonderful interview. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Learn Vocabulary in context with eJOY