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Improve Spoken English

VIDEO SCRIPT BELOW:

Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I’m Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and I’m your friend and mentor.

Today, we’re going to talk about the following thing:

You should never judge other people if they don’t know particular English words!

Say, for example, you’re talking to someone, whether a native speaker or a foreign English speaker, and you’re using a specific English word that that person doesn’t know. You should never judge them for it because there’s around a million words in the English language. Well, some sources quote two million words but I think it’s a stretch.

I think a million would probably be the most realistic figure that we could put on the English vocabulary so just think about it: there’s a million words in the language. Now, the average adult English speaker, if he or she is a native English speaker and they’re well educated, then they might know around twenty-five, thirty thousand words, right?

So, just think about the chances of them not knowing some very obscure English word that you’ve just learned and you’re using it, right? The chances are that that person probably doesn’t know that word and even if you think that this scenario whereby you, as a foreigner, say something and a native speaker doesn’t understand it is VERY unlikely to happen, you are wrong, my friend!

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English Has Brought the World Together!

by Robby on August 11, 2014

English has brought the world together

Improve Spoken English

Sachin, who is a customer of mine and a prolific contributor to my YouTube channel, inspired me to write this article, here’s part of the comment he left on my YouTube video where I’m arguing against the prevalent view on Americans as being lazy language learners:

One should accept that English language has contributed to the world more than any other language. English has brought the world together. English is not just British or American’s language anymore – it’s the world’s language. Knowledge of the world got available to everyone only after converted in English!

Well, we can all argue ad nauseam whether the English language is taking over the world, is it having a detrimental effect on smaller languages or not, and also accuse Americans for being lazy and ignorant when it comes to learning foreign languages.

All that is actually IRRELEVANT when we consider the simple fact that the English language has indeed brought the entire world together in a lot of different ways and we, foreigners, are undoubtedly much better off learning it and speaking it as opposed to constantly moaning and complaining about the Evil Empire of English which is soon going to obliterate the smaller nations and countries!

But in case my words are making your blood boil – consider this:

We need to separate POLITICS from the LANGUAGE when discussing such matters!

Just think about the German language and the activities that Germany was involved during WW2, for example. No sane person would condone what was done during those years – atrocities brought upon the world by the fascist regime were outrageous, to say the least.

Do we hate the German language for the criminal past of the country that it represents, however?

Of course we don’t!

Same goes with the English language. A lot of people just follow the mainstream opinion of the US being the evil empire and tarnish the English language with the same brush :mad:

Yes, there’s no denying that here’s a lot of controversy about the warfare the country is getting itself involved in – mostly when it suits its foreign policies (pursuit for energy sources, expansion of American companies and interests in the war-torn countries etc).

The English language, however, BELONGS TO THE WORLD – just like Sachin pointed out. It belongs to anyone who speaks it!

I love English, and when I go about my daily spoken English practice, I don’t considering myself as a traitor of humanity just because I happen to like a language that’s being spoken by people who are involved in activities that we mightn’t approve of. As a matter of fact, it’s also spoken by millions upon millions GOOD and BRILLIANT people all over the world!

It’s actually ridiculous, when you think about it, that so many people associate the English language with something NEGATIVE or something that they believe to be a bad thing.

If speakers of all world languages abandoned speaking them by virtue of tyrants and murderers having spoken them, there’d be not a single language left in the world!

Or if you believe that the English language spreads like a virus amongst indigenous languages and brings all the bad things with it – fast food, crime and drug abuse then you must be seriously deluded… It’s not the language that does it. It’s the Western way of life, if you like, but it’s not the language that is to be blamed for it.

Hadn’t it been the English language that is spoken by the world’s superpowers linked to all the “bad” things (obesity and fast food culture, consumerism and using the third world for easy and quick profits), it could have just as easily been French, Dutch, Spanish or German!

Anyway, as I said – we could be arguing about these matters till cows come home because it’s very difficult to change people’s opinion on a certain subject.

Better let’s talk about how EXACTLY the English language has brought the world together :!:

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Things you didn't know about English

Improve Spoken English

Even if you’ve been learning and using the English language for years, I can assure you that there are some quite practical things about this language that you’re not really aware of :!:

“Ah well, this is just another article about English word origins, historic facts or funny things about the English language…” – you may have been thinking when reading the headline.

If so, then let me tell you – you’re in for a very pleasant surprise!

In this article I’m actually going to reveal a good few things about the English language that will HELP you in your fluency improvement routine by making it easier to learn new vocabulary, pronunciation and a whole lot more.

Are you ready?

Then what are we waiting for – let’s get started! ;-)

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Improve Spoken English

FIRST OF ALL READ THE ARTICLE BELOW where I’ve explained everything about how irregular English verbs should be acquired:

Learn English Irregular Verbs Through Collocations, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs!

In that article you’ll learn why it makes no sense to learn the typical irregular verb word strings consisting of 3 words such as: “blow – blew – blown”.

And not only it doesn’t make sense – it’s even bad for your fluency :!:

Why?

Well, simply because instead of USING those verbs (which happens when you learn them as part of phraseology) you’d be desperately trying to think of HOW and WHEN to use them…

Needless to say, that’s when fluency goes out the window!

Anyhow, let’s stop beating around the bush, and let’s focus on today’s English irregular verb “TO BLOW”.

Here are the phrases from the video above you’re going to learn containing all three forms of the verb “blow – blew – blown”:

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Improve Spoken English

The concept of WRONGNESS of making mistakes while speaking or writing in English is something that’s permeated the English teaching industry and it’s lead so many non-native English speakers to believe that they suck at English unless they can make their speech and their English writing style PERFECT.

Just picture the typical English class.

The teacher (who speaks perfectly, of course!) is standing at the front of the class and the poor students are crouched over their desks DREADING to hear the test results.

Why this fear?

Simply because their ability to perform as English speakers is judged based on their MISTAKES!

It’s so wrong that I want to start screaming just thinking about it!!!

They’re looking closely at your mistakes while at the same time almost dismissing your achievements, and what do you think this kind of approach results into?

Yes, that’s right – ANXIETY, LACK OF CONFIDENCE and total DISBELIEF that one they you can actually become a fluent English speaker.

I’ve figured it out a long time ago, and ever since I’ve been adopting quite the opposite approach when speaking in English myself and providing advice to others who want to better their spoken English fluency and also writing.

MAKE AS MANY MISTAKES AS YOU CAN!

That’s the mantra I’m going by, and while you might be skeptical about it at first, you’ll definitely realize there’s a big wisdom behind it – especially when reading the following articles:

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Write in English first - then speak!

Improve Spoken English

I’ve been going on about the importance of doing spoken English practice for years on this blog, and here are the 3 main benefits of doing it regularly:

  • You develop your ability to speak spontaneously and fluently
  • You prepare yourself for conversations with real people in real life
  • You deal with your anxiety and fear of speaking in English

But what if you find it hard to get your creative juices flowing when trying to verbalize your thoughts?

What if you don’t engage in spoken English self-practice for the simple reason that you don’t even know where to begin to produce a monologue on a specific topic?

Well, there’s an easy solution to this problem – you have to kick-start your spoken English self-practice routine by going down the easiest road possible, namely – reading a certain piece of writing out loud, and then repeating it without looking into the text.

You simply have to WRITE IT ALL DOWN first, and then speak it all out loud!

Well, the best case scenario, of course, is to completely separate writing from speaking in your mind; after all, the typical English fluency issues originate in English studies that are centered around writing and reading and so your mind has adopted this funny “writing mode” whereby you try to speak as if you’re creating English sentences on paper (as a result you hesitate and get stuck for words when you have to speak in real life.)

But if you have to choose between not speaking at all and reading off a sheet of paper (or computer screen), then it’s a no-braineryou have to do whatever it takes to develop your ability to SPEAK in English :!:

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Improve Spoken English

Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog – or welcome back to my podcast in case you’re listening to this as an audio file on iTunes or on my blog.

In today’s video I’m going to tell you about English tenses, namely – what I think about them and how you should go about acquiring complicated English tenses.

You see, I strongly believe that way too many foreign English speakers are focusing on English tenses too early in their attempts to acquire English fluency. I’m getting plenty of comments and emails sent in asking the same questions: “I’m all confused about the tenses. Please, Robby, explain how to use this or that English tense” and questions like, “I need to prepare for this English test or for this exam” and “can you help me to understand the complicated English tenses” and so on and so forth.

Now, if it’s about an exam or a test, then yes, I admit, the traditional English teaching industry requires you to analyze grammar, to understand tenses and it’s a bad thing because that way you get all too focused on analyzing the language instead of speaking or writing spontaneously, right?

My approach is, you have to start learning the English language and then proceed forward with learning simple language, simple sentences, simple word combinations, simple tenses.

It’s totally possible to speak using only three English tenses – Present Simple, Present Continuous, and Simple Past – and I know for a fact that a lot of YouTubers, video bloggers who come from the foreign English speaking background actually don’t use complicated English tenses.

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Hello everyone! ;-)

Today let’s touch upon some English pronunciation related topic, namely – how you learn pronunciation of new English words and how to mimic the original pronunciation to the best of your benefit when you are trying to speak them out loud.

And here’s a very interesting situation I encountered a few days ago at work.

There’s a Polish girl in my workplace who’s only learning to speak English and she asks me questions through her friend whose English is much better and every day I have to answer a few questions in relation to how you say this or that particular thing in English or how you pronounce a certain word or phrase.

The other day, she asked me through her friend how to pronounce the word “drank” and then, to my big surprise, she repeated in perfect English “drank” and guess what happened?

I tried to think of why she didn’t make the typical mistake that so many foreign English speakers do when they read an English word letter by letter and then they would most likely say something like “drrrank” in case that particular language has the rolling ‘R’, as in my language.

In Latvian, we roll the ‘R’s and many native counterparts of mine would have said “drrrank” with a rolled ‘R’ sound!

So in this particular case Polish is a Slavic language, which is quite close to Russian. And it happens so that I speak Russian too and I know for a fact that all these languages have the rolling ‘R’s – so why did she not say, “drrrank”?

Why’d she say “drank” in perfect English?

Here’s why: she equated the English sounds to her native Polish sounds because she wasn’t looking at a written word but was simply trying to MIMIC what she heard!

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Don't just think in English - speak at the same time!

Improve Spoken English

Way back in 2012 I published an article about the importance of thinking in English if you’re serious about your English fluency development.

The reason I wrote the said piece was because one of the primary causes of foreign English speakers’ fluency issues is translation from one’s native language when speaking in English which is a direct consequence of the traditional English studies.

You see, if you’re studying the English language the traditional way, you’re bound to start translating when trying to create an English sentence.

You think of what words to say based on how you’d say the same thing in your native language.

You also tend to copy the syntax of sentences from your native language simply because it’s the only know way for you to say or write anything in English.

Basically it all boils down to you THINKING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE.

Changing your life-long habit and starting to THINK IN ENGLISH, therefore, is an absolute must if you want to learn how to speak fluent English – as you can imagine, it’s not really possible if your head if full of thoughts in your native language while you’re trying to say something in English.

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Have you ever found that you can’t speak normal, fluent English with people who speak your own language?

It may sound weird at first, but it happens more often than you may think :!:

The reason why I’m touching upon this phenomenon is the following comments I received on YouTube recently:

Cant' speak with my own language speakers in English

Well, I have written about the inability to speak with certain people in English.

I’ve also looked at various reasons as to why it might be easier to speak in English with native English speakers and why sometimes you’ll actually find that other foreigners provide better conversation partners than native English speakers.

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