≡ Menu

Start Improving Your Spoken English Today! Sign Up NOW!

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Hi Guys!

Today I’m bringing you a quick update on what I’ve been up to this summer, and you wouldn’t believe how busy I’ve been doing all the following:

  • Finishing my IT certification;
  • Organizing my work experience;
  • Preparing for a job interview;
  • Starting in a new job;
  • …and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night!

[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Master English auxiliary verbs

Learning how to use auxiliary verbs in English (do, don’t, doesn’t, etc.) is one of the trickiest aspects of the language. It’s not at all intuitive and it’s only used in very particular contexts. Misusing an auxiliary verb is a costly error, yet even high-level English students tend to commit it. In a best case scenario, making such an error would expose you as a foreign speaker, which inherently invites judgment. In a worst case scenario, you could communicate something that is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to say.

Fear not! Below is an exercise that will solve all of your auxiliary issues. And the best part about it is that all levels of English speakers from beginner all the way up to upper-intermediate can benefit from it. Here’s how it works.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

Today I decided to bring another English idiomatic expression video to you and this time around the video in question is – no, not the video in question, the phrase, the expression in question!

Sorry guys for making this mistake but I’m just going to leave it here on record so that you can see that Robby is not really afraid of making mistakes, he practices what he preaches and that’s the path that you should be going down as well if you’re anything serious about your English fluency improvement that is, right?

So basically don’t be afraid, don’t be embarrassed of making mistakes, saying something wrong, going back, correcting yourself, it’s all part of the game.

Anyway, going back to the original subject, the expression in question for today is “to the best of my knowledge”, right? So if you’re interested in learning how to use this particular English idiomatic expression, just bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends!

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

What not to expect when learning foreign language

The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation.

Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it!

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

One of my blog readers posted a piece of English writing on my blog here and asked me what was wrong with it. Having taken a closer look, I quickly realized that the author of that piece had used quite sophisticated language, but the words just didn’t go together which was a telltale sign of lack of contextual English learning!

So here it is:

What happens when you don't learn English contextually

Now, it’s no secret that in order to learn to speak and write in English in a native-like fashion you have to embrace the concept of contextual English learning.

Well, I guess I should put it this way – it’s no secret to those who’ve been following my blog and watching my videos.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Improve Spoken English

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Now, in today’s video I’m going to give you two new English idiomatic expressions which is somewhat unusual because normally I’d be giving just one.

The reason being, if you learn a number of expressions all at once, especially if they describe a very similar concept, oftentimes you would get confused when we learn them all at once and then we try to speak all those expressions would mix together kind of.

So that’s why I normally suggest only focusing on one particular expression at a given time.

But in this particular case the topic that I want to touch upon today is discussing past events, all right? The reason being, a lot of my blog visitors have contacted me in the past asking me “Robby, can you tell me ways of simplifying my speech when I talk about past events because I oftentimes get confused about using the different tenses or whatever?”

And on top of that, a lot of my Fluency Star coaching clients have also expressed the same wish that we incorporate some storytelling basically into our programs. And by saying storytelling don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about some old style storytelling whereby the storyteller gets in front of the crowd and entertains everyone by telling entertaining stories. It’s not about that. It’s just about talk about past events, right?

So basically provided all this I have a pretty clear picture basically. A lot of you guys are struggling with talking about past events and that’s exactly the reason why I’m going to be touching upon that subject today.

And the two phrases will come in very handy because the first one “there was this time when…” is a great way of initiating the story, right? And then the phrase “next thing I know…” is a very handy way of making the transition from the past tenses into the simple present.

The reason being, you can use simple present when talking about past events. Surprise, surprise, a lot of you guys probably didn’t know that, right? And chances are that you didn’t because nobody really tells you that. You wouldn’t find that information in an English grammar book. Nobody would write in it that simple present can be used to talk about past events, right? But in reality it happens a lot. Native English speakers use this strategy a lot but nobody – I suppose nobody really thinks a great deal of it. You know what I mean, people just speak that way, okay?

But if you want to learn exactly how to use these two phrases “there was this time when…” and “next thing I know…” and how to make the transition from past tenses back to simple present to simplify your speech and get your story going, please bear with me and you’ll find it all out, my friends in a couple of moments!

[click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

Essay writing tools for non-native English speakers

If you are an international student, attending college or university in the English-speaking country, you might know that this language can be quite tricky. The necessity to write your papers and communicate with peers in the Shakespeare’s language is something you have to face over and over again. However, even if you make mistakes on your way – it’s natural to feel uneasy and lose your self-confidence. But remember, dear non-English speakers, there is no result without mistakes!

Below we have gathered some tips and tools to help you improve your English academic writing skills. Hopefully, this links will come in handy!

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Is it normal to forget English phraseology

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!

Improve Spoken English

Has it ever crossed your mind that there’s certain English phrases you’ve stopped using?

Here’s what made me realize it – when I check back my older blog articles and videos, I come across certain means of expression I don’t really use these days!

For instance, when I watch my videos recorded back in 2011, I notice that back then I was using the phrasal verb COME ALONG quite often, and come to think of it, these days I don’t really use it anymore!

Here’s another example – when I was updating my Fluency Star website, I read a sentence I’d written a couple of years ago: “… students OUGHT TO be punished…” and it immediately made me remember the TV show Mythbusters where Jamie was using this English auxiliary verb quite often, and I’d picked up that habit from him.

Nowadays I don’t really watch Mythbusters anymore, and as a consequence I’ve actually stopped using OUGHT TO in my own English writing and conversations!

Now, quite naturally it might beg the question – is this a worrying trend?

Should I be concerned that I don’t use certain English means of expression anymore?

Is that indicative of worsening English skills?

Or maybe it means I have some sort of a memory problem and I should get checked out for an early-onset Alzheimer’s? 😉

Well, it’s not all that bad, my friends! I’m not developing dementia any time soon, and neither are you – forgetting certain English means of expression is totally normal, so please read this article to find out why it happens!

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Improve Spoken English

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

I’m obviously Robby, your English fluency facilitator. Yes, that’s the term that I came up with myself, facilitator means obviously someone who facilitates your fluency. I’m not a teacher, because I really hate the term teacher. It kind of implies a traditional setting whereby the teacher is looking down on their students, right? But I’m not looking down on you guys, I’m just merely facilitating your fluency and improvement!

I’m accompanying you on your journey to English fluency, that’s all I’m doing, I’m giving you the right advice, the right tools and then it’s up to you guys to decide whether you take my advice on board and take some action or you don’t in which case obviously your fluency won’t improve. It’s as simple as that!

As a matter of fact, I’m getting plenty of questions almost on a daily basis asking me to help people with their fluency. And the question is posed in a way that makes me kind of wonder whether that person actually realizes that it’s actually down to them to make all the effort, do the hard work and actually work on their fluency because they almost expect me to kind of magically transfer all my skills unto them but it just doesn’t happen like that in real life.

And it’s another one of those things that I blame the traditional English teaching industry for – basically they’ve created this notion out there that if you just attend an English class, you will improve just because you have attended the class. The teacher has all the qualifications and it’s enough to have that kind of setting and you will automatically improve. So it kind of takes away all the hard work and effort that you have to do. And it makes it look as if it’s very easy but in real life it’s quite hard, right? It’s hard work.

But a lot of people don’t realize that and they think that Robby will somehow make them fluent which is not the case. I’m merely facilitating your own journey to fluency. I’m giving you the right advice, the right tips and tricks, so that’s how it happens, right?

But anyway, today’s video is all about how I find all these English idiomatic expressions and collocations and phrases, you name it. How I come up with them. Because I’ve been cranking out all of these idiomatic expression videos – well, lately I haven’t published too many of them because of my high workload, I’m currently engaged with a couple of students that I took on. My Fluency Star students and I still had a few left from the previous round.

[click to continue…]

{ 9 comments }

Can we use base form verb as adjective in English

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!

Improve Spoken English

It was almost 5 years ago when I published an article about using past participles as adjectives – a typical example of that would be the following statement “the job is done”.

Prior to that I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around that concept, the reason being – I couldn’t figure out why there’s two ways of saying the same thing – “the job is done” and “the job has been done”.

Initially I just presumed “the job is done” is just a conversational version of “the job has been done”, but soon enough I realized that when you say “the job is done”, you simply use the word “done” as an adjective! It’s pretty much the same way you can say “good job”, but you just use the linking verb “is” to express the idea – “the job is good.”

Today’s topic is somewhat similar in that the role of an adjective isn’t only limited to a past participle form of a verb, it can be the very base form of the verb itself!

Just like you read in the title of this article, the word “roast” (it’s the base form of the verb “to roast”) can be used instead of the past participle “roasted” to describe the roasted nature of the chicken, thus “roast chicken” is a totally valid English collocation.

Hell, collocations such as “roast chicken” and “roast potatoes” are even MORE popular among native English speakers than “roasted chicken” or “roasted potatoes” which may be very confusing to a lot of foreign English speakers!

I mean – once you’ve gotten used to the traditional way of describing nouns by using the past participle:

  • Cancelled concert
  • Forgotten purse
  • Lost child

… you may think that this rule applies in all situations, so when you come across a collocation such as “open book”, you may get totally confused…

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }