English Harmony Highlights of January 2012
Hi my fellow foreigners, it’s been another month at English Harmony and here I am again to deliver another monthly highlights report to those of you who didn’t get a chance or were too busy to read my blog posts regularly. First of all, I’d like to tell you about a motivational poster I created on the New Year’s Day. Many of my mailing list subscribers and blog visitors have already printed it out and stuck it up on the wall, and you’re welcome to do the same. Just Click HERE to Open the Poster, and a large format image is going to open up so that you can conveniently send it to your printer. The poster consists of the main premises of the English Harmony project such as – “Focus on what you CAN say instead what you CAN’T” and “Don’t mind your mistakes. Even native English speakers make plenty of them!” and many more; and the whole point of having the poster printed out is to keep yourself motivated to improve and maintain your English fluency throughout this year. As you might have noticed, my approach towards English improvement is a bit different than you’d see elsewhere. I don’t preach grammar perfection and I don’t promote sophistication when it comes to speaking in English. Basically what I’m saying is – stop giving yourself a hard time, have an open mind and you’ll stand a much bigger chance to succeed as a foreign English speaker, and this poster is the essence of my English fluency philosophy. (more…)
Why Reading an English Newspaper is 100 Times Better than Studying a Grammar Workbook
It’s OK to Feel Like an Idiot – Sometimes Even Native English Speakers Get Tongue-tied!
FAQ: How to Improve My English?
At the moment of writing this article I’ve posted more than 150 posts on this blog, and they’re all dedicated to the topic of spoken English improvement. That’s why I find it slightly strange to receive e-mails asking a question “Robby, can you help me improve my English?” Normally I would reply with another one-liner – “Please feel free to browse around my website, there’s plenty of articles and videos and they’re all about improving your English fluency!” – because I just couldn’t fit everything there is to say about improving your English in one e-mail! Also, I was under the impression that such queries are most likely asked by those who haven’t bothered checking out my blog. After all, all the information is available right here, on my website, and all you have to do is just read a few articles to start seeing the big picture, right? Recently, however, I realized that it’s probably not as easy as it looks to me. First of all, I’m dealing with a host of English fluency related issues and I have to admit not all of them are relevant to those who just want to IMPROVE their overall level of fluency. For example, if you have the typical English fluency issue whereby you can’t speak on certain occasions but you’re perfectly find on others, your main concern isn’t spoken English improvement as such; in this case you want to learn how to manage your fluency and make sure you don’t get severe anxiety and lack of confidence when you experience reduced ability to speak properly. Secondly, I can also imagine that the abundance of information on my blog might be a bit overwhelming and it’s not that easy for someone having arrived here for the first time to figure out what EXACTLY they have to do to improve their English. That’s why I decided to write this 5 step plan with easy, to-the-point instructions on how to make sure your English is experiencing constant growth and improvement. Enjoy! ;-) (more…)
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
I have to make a confession to you, my fellow foreigners… Despite having struggled with English fluency myself, and despite making mistakes while speaking myself, I do sometimes make assumptions about other foreigners and their level of English … You see, the strange thing about it is that I’m fully aware of the fact that making mistakes and struggling for words is normal. I know only too well that there’s a multitude of different factors affecting one’s spoken English performance – starting with stress and anxiety and ending with such complicated English fluency issues as preparing speech in one’s head before speaking and a total information overload. After all, I have a first-hand experience of what it feels like when you know EXACTLY what you want to say, but your mouth suddenly disobeys you and says the wrong thing… So quite naturally I’d expect myself to be the last person to draw hasty conclusions about somebody’s level of English, yet it does occasionally happen! Of course, the moment I catch myself thinking something like – “All right, I have to choose slightly simpler words when talking to him because he just used a completely wrong English Grammar Tense, so most likely he won’t understand me if I speak the way I speak with native English speakers…” – I immediately say to myself: “Robby, common, don’t be such a meanie, are you always perfect yourself?!” Imagine, if it takes me so much effort to stop patronizing others, how must native English speakers feel when they hear me make some stupid mistake when speaking to them? Can I blame them for assuming that my English is poor just because I mispronounced a very simple word? I, for instance, stressed the wrong syllable in the word ‘monopoly’ the other day. I said [‘monopoli] instead of [mo’nopoli], and had my workmate Will not known me for years, he probably would have judged my English skills by that one stupid mistake! On another occasion, I made a mistake by misplacing a word in a phrase. I said “Fair done!” which is a mix of two phrases – “Well done” and “Fair play to you!” Once again, for someone who doesn’t know me this would be a reason good enough to extrapolate that mistake to everything I might say. It’s the so called reverse halo effect, and now let’s look at this phenomenon in depth! (more…)
How to Improve Spoken English While Entering Sales Orders on a PC
Isn’t It Weird That I Can Write In English Better Than Speak?
Short answer – “No, it’s not weird at all! It’s actually completely normal for any English speaker – be it native or foreign – to be able to write in English better than speak!” However, having said this, the reverse isn’t always true and I’m not claiming that all English speakers are better writers than speakers. It’s just that it’s NOT WEIRD if you happen to be a better writer than a speaker. Now, would you like to get a bit more elaborate answer to this question? Well, it’s going to take me more than just a paragraph or two to say all I have to say in this regard, so I’d better settle down in front of my laptop with a mug of coffee because writing this article is going to take me a little while. There are many aspects to the curious problem of differences between writing and speaking in English and who else would be more qualified to answer the above question than me? After all, I live in an English speaking country and I spend the biggest part of my day at work communicating with native English speakers; most of my evenings are spent writing articles for my blog and answering e-mails. Years spent on analyzing English fluency related issues have left me with a very good understanding of how one’s writing skills influence one’s ability to speak and vice versa, so let my long answer begin! So, is it weird that you can write in English better than speak? NO, and the reason number one is… (more…)
6 Reasons Why Mythbusters is the Best TV Program for Improving Your Spoken English
Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!
=== Click HERE to OPEN THE POSTER! === (Then print it out and stick it up on your wall!) :!: :grin: Happy New Year, my fellow foreign English speakers :grin: :!: The party is over, and now we have to go back to the grim reality… The holiday season is over, Christmas gifts have been unwrapped long ago, and now we have to go back to our daily routines. How depressing, isn’t it? Well, not everything is looking so gloomy! Despite the reality check we all undergo when the holidays are over, New Year is a time well known for the biggest aspirations and life-changing decisions! === Click HERE to OPEN THE POSTER! === (Then print it out and stick it up on your wall!) (more…)