Recently I’ve been getting a few e-mails and also blog comments asking me how it’s possible to develop and improve one’s English if one has very, very little time to do so!
Here’s a typical scenario.
You have to get up very early to catch the bus to work, and you’ve virtually no time to do anything in relation to your English improvement.
Then you’re working long hours in an environment where there’s no English involved whatsoever, and your working day is really hectic with a couple of quick tea breaks in between.
Now, by the time you arrive back home, have your dinner and take a shower, the day is almost over and you have to go to bed to get some sleep before getting up the next morning and starting your 8 AM – 6 PM rat race again.
So, it kind of begs the natural question:
Is it possible at all to work on your English and also improve it considering you’re really, really busy during the entire day and by the time you can sit down in the evening you’re so tired you find it very hard to be motivated to do anything that requires mental exertion?
Well, here’s the simple answer – “Yes, it is possible!”
I have a fair idea as to what’s happening in the industry anyway because I’m actively participating on YouTube and I get to see plenty of English teaching videos published on other channels. I also take part in the YearOfEnglish.com project so I know who the other participants are and what their approach towards English teaching and learning is.
A few years ago I did scour the Web and tried to find other websites to partner up with and to write content for, but soon enough I figured that quite honestly there weren’t that many people out there having figured out that spoken English is the most important aspect of the English language and focus on phraseology acquisition is pretty much the only way forward.
Here are the websites which have embraced the importance of learning phraseology instead of cramming English grammar:
PhraseMix.com is run by Aaron Knight, and his philosophy is pretty much the same as mine – fluent English can be learned most effectively through real-life phrases and word combinations. Aaron is creating engaging lessons for those who want to learn to use that phraseology, and they’re all illustrated by himself (I often wondered how he does that!).
TweetSpeakEnglish.com was created by Nate Hill and the idea behind it quite an interesting one – tweets shared by millions of people are a fairly good representation of real-life spoken English, so phraseology taken from those tweets is used as a source for lessons where you can learn how to use those speech patterns in your English conversations.
Fluentzy.com where you can buy plenty of books written by Professor Kev Nair and they’re all focused on developing your spoken English fluency – Prof. Kev Nair seems to be one of the few academics having grasped the concept behind true fluency and having realized why a large percentage of advanced English students still struggle to speak fluently. By the way – I found this rare website back in 2008, here’s a blog post I published in relation to that!
The reason why I recorded this video is simple enough.
I published the previous video where I voiced my opinion on the dominance of the English language and concluded that we can’t really blame English for decline of smaller languages in the world – after all, it’s the PEOPLE who make countless choices as individuals driven by their social and economic needs that determine if speakers of a particular language are going to decline in a long run.
Then I got a sudden realization – “Hold on, does losing a native language NECESSARILY mean losing one’s national identity? The moment anyone mentions languages dying out it’s perceived as a terrible and tragic event, but do those people really lose their native characteristics and heritage just because they’ve started speaking in English?”
And so I recorded this video where I’m revealing what I actually think about the whole thing, and here’s the exact script of it:
Do you see the small podcast widget on the very top of this blog post – just above the video?
There’s a playback button for listening to the audio file (which is an EXACT replica of the video just below it!), and there’s also a link to open the file in a new window. Also, there’s a link which says “Download”, and you can simply download the file onto your PC or laptop and then drag and drop it into your MP3 player or smartphone to listen to later on.
Handy, isn’t it?
I’d say it definitely is!
You see, I’ve had a few people saying they’ve been converting my YouTube videos as MP3’s and listening to them in a car; also, I’ve had people from China tell me YouTube videos aren’t accessible over there.
So to cater for all of my followers’ needs, I decided to take some action and start doing the podcast!
It took me half a day to set it all up, but from now on it’s going to be a walk in the park, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to my audio podcasts – if that’s your cup of tea, so to speak!
They focus mostly on writing, reading and learning grammar rules – needless to say, spoken English fluency gets neglected big time and so hundreds of thousands of English students keep struggling with their English without even realizing why it’s happening.
That’s why I started this website, and that’s why I created the product – English Harmony System - which is the only product out there that uses the spaced repetition approach and video technology in order to imprint natural English sentence structures into people’s minds so that they can start speaking natural, more fluent English.
One day I got an e-mail from Francisco, however, in which he asks me to be a bit more ethical when talking about the issues mentioned above.
He thinks that:
Not ALL schools are bad and that there are plenty of good schools where English is taught in a way that facilitates English fluency;
Conversational fluency is fine, however, there’s more than that – one may want to acquire an academic, deeper English knowledge and why would I claim it’s all bad?
There are so many needs for foreigners – passing English tests and exams, business English etc., and surely my English Harmony System doesn’t cater for those needs!
I’m taking advantage of those who are let down by the traditional English teaching system by shoving my product in their faces and taking their money;
I’m claiming my product to be the BEST one in the market but there are more products like mine out there; why am I not being honest?
Your ability to produce fluent English speech, however, isn’t going to come along at the same pace for the simple reason that you wouldn’t have trained your mouth to speak, and that makes an awful lot of difference when it comes to one’s ability to deliver a verbal message.
It’s pretty much the same as if you were trying to learn to drive a car by watching other people drive without attempting to sit behind the steering wheel yourself!
Not all listening activities, however, are a waste of your time.
As a matter of fact, you can’t actually separate listening to English and speaking in English because these two activities are quite naturally interlinked.
Being fluent means one can construct a subjected indirect object locative double passive in the past habitual progressive, and following it with a wh-fronted cleft with the subject moved to object position along with an optional topicalization and postmodified adjective restricting the sentence focus, AND having no idea what the heck the above means!
Personally I think it’s a BRILLIANT representation of everything that’s wrong with the traditional English studies and how it’s affected most English students’ thinking!
So, do you recognize yourself from the description above?
Don’t worry, it’s nothing unusual, as a matter of fact, most foreign English speakers are struggling with similar communication problems for the simple reason that we tend to compare our English with that of the other person when we speak.
As a result, we become acutely aware of shortcomings in our speech and we’re just afraid of opening our mouth in case we say something completely stupid…
Is there a solution to this problem of not being able to respond to when you’re spoken to?
If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.
I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.
Then, one fine day, after years or constant pursuit for English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!