Learning English is a tough, long journey which requires perseverance. Have you ever felt that however hard you studied, you still couldn’t communicate with native speakers? What has hindered you? In our eighth story of the series, we’’ll dive deep into how Mai Hong has overcome the limits to achieve English fluency.
Hi Hong! How have you been studying English? And what is your current English level?
I have been learning English since I was around 11 years old. I can watch English movies without subtitles now. And I can read English documents and newspapers as well as native speakers. With my English level, I am quite confident about the upcoming solo trip abroad.
How did you learn English?
At school, I was taught only English vocabulary and grammar. In the summer of 11th grade, I was offered a trial English lesson with a foreign teacher. I found myself unable to communicate with the native speaker even though I always passed tests in class at school with the highest score. This motivated me to change the way I learned English after graduating from high school.
When I was a freshman at the university, my grandmother gave me a laptop. With the laptop and the internet, I felt like I was entering a whole new world. I came to know about the Effortless English method by A.J Hoge and was very interested. I had practiced listening to slow audio on the Spotlight English site for 3 years. After that, I was finally able to comprehend the basic English conversations.
However, I still couldn’t manage to handle a conversation in real life. I still couldn’t take my English to the next level even though I studied very hard. When I talked with my foreign friends, I was only able to understand some basic sentences like: “Where’re you from?” “What do you like?”I felt scared whenever I tried to read English books, newspapers. I was stuck at my English level, felt overwhelmed and frustrated, and not sure how to progress beyond this stage.
How did you overcome my English language problems?
Two things helped me overcome the challenge of learning English. First, facing the challenge of my job In addition, I’ve received a great deal of support from my colleagues and English learning tools.
How did facing the challenge of your job help you overcome your English problems?
It happened when I was in the 3rd year at university. At that time, I applied for an internship at eJOY English company and was lucky to get accepted.
As a customer support intern, I had to read many English documents and learn to use advanced technology so that I could support our users more effectively.
One of the biggest challenges I had faced was that: reading such documents, I’d encountered so many new English words.. Also, I had to learn how to have natural English Conversations with foreign users.
At that time, I was quite overwhelmed and wanted to give up. But then I knew that if I gave up, I wouldn’t have the chance to develop my skills and might lose my job. With that thought in mind, I tried to overcome this problem.
I see… Could you share the support you received?
I feel so lucky when I have the opportunities to work at eJOY company. My colleagues are very enthusiastic, making non-stop effort each and every day. I am inspired by my colleagues. They show me what I need to improve when learning English.
Moreover, the learning tools that eJOY developed have helped me a lot in the journey of self-learning English.. eJOY eXtension helps me to look up and save new words with just one click. With eJOY eXtension, I can easily understand English documents. After spending a lot of time reading English documents, my fear of reading disappeared.
How do you study with eJOY every day?
After work, I spend time practicing listening and speaking on eJOY App. I study vocabulary with eJOY eXtension and eJOY App. I spend more time reading English books such as Delivering Happiness, The Thank You Economy,…
About listening skills: I practice listening to short videos at my English level. I learned that to be able to keep up my practice, , I need to listen to videos that I find interesting. Therefore, I choose the Travel and Event topic to listen to every day. When watching a video on eJOY, I can tap any new word to get definition quickly. This helps me easily understand the video content.
Recently, I always practice with Active Listening game. I listen to each dialogue carefully. After that, I’ll
- Repeat the dialogue when the video is paused
- Check my results when the subtitles are displayed.
About reading skills: I use eJOY eXtension to look up words when reading. I can easily understand the content. I save the new words and study on eJOY eXtension
About speaking skills: I usually practice speaking with Shadowing and Role Play games on eJOY App. My English communication skills have improved so much. I am able to remember interesting expressions when watching videos, for example”no way”, “it’s none of your business”, …Then I use them when talking with my foreign friends. My English speaking is getting more natural.
Work pressure is a motivation for you to overcome all difficulties. However, for some people, they don’t have such motivation to learn English. Do you have any advice for them?
With the development of technology, we have a lot of tools to support our English learning. I believe perseverance, proactive goal setting and facing challenges are the most crucial things to help you achieve English fluency. Even though I feel scared, I still read documents and listen to videos in English like native speakers. Gradually, when I get used to it, that fear will disappear.
With the right attitude and learning method I think it’d have taken me only 2-3 years to become fluent in English. I believe you guys absolutely can do it and master English even faster than me.
To keep learning English every day, you should listen to your favorite videos, read documents and books you like. Your journey of learning English will be more interesting. You can use English to explore different cultures and the world around you.
I agree with you. Thank you for your sharing. I believe you will always overcome the limits and succeed on the next journey,. I wish you will have interesting experiences in discovering new cultures, new countries on your upcoming trip.