Robby’s 5 Favorite Blog Posts of All Time on EnglishHarmony.com

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Over the years I’ve published well over 200 articles on this blog, and there are a few that have become hugely popular with my blog readers. Articles like English Small Talk Phrases and How to Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary are constantly topping the most viewed pages list, and I can see why they’re getting such good publicity.

A large number of my fellow foreigners are seeking information on the most commonly used English words and sentences, and those two articles are related to that subject hence their popularity!

Some of my creations, however, have limited exposure, and the purpose of this article is to showcase some of my blog posts I’m very proud of YET they’re not getting a lot of views because they don’t rank well enough in Google.

So, without further ado, allow me present you the top 5 blog posts I really, really like and I believe you’ll like them too because they touch upon subjects that are very relevant to us, foreign English speakers!

How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!

Fluent English readingAlthough I’m blogging about spoken English improvement and I’m practicing spoken English pretty much all the time, I’m also a vivid reader of English fiction!

I started reading in English at the early stages of my English fluency pursuit, and I’ve been reading ever since.

Initially I did it with English fluency improvement in mind. But even when I’d realized that reading won’t improve my spoken fluency, I still kept reading because I just got hooked on it and I also kept building my passive vocabulary which is not to be overlooked.

As you can imagine, the biggest problem for foreigners like us who want to start reading proper English fiction is the fact that we don’t understand 100% of what’s written in those books. To be more precise – we don’t understand 100% of all WORDS used in those books, and it’s not the same as to say ‘what’s written’ in those books.

Where I’m going with this?

Well, as the article’s headline clearly suggests – it is possible to infer meaning of the whole context and be able to read in English fluently while not knowing all the vocabulary!

To this day, I don’t use any dictionaries when reading. I simply allow the context to reveal meaning of this or that particular word, and over time those words simply imprint themselves into my passive vocabulary.

And you know why I enjoyed writing this blog post in particular? It’s because I’m mentioning excerpts from my favorite book in it, so it has kind of a sentimental value for me…

Respect Your Native Language in Order to… Speak Fluent English?

Respect native languageI like finding connections in seemingly unrelated concepts, and I think this article is a masterpiece when it comes to analyzing different English fluency issues and finding ways of dealing with them!

The headline is clear enough to give you an overall idea of what this blog post is about, and you have to admit that at first glance the connection between the two doesn’t seem to be making any sense.

Furthermore, considering that I’ve always maintained the importance of separating one’s native language from English in their head, it seems even nonsensical that I might suggest getting your native language involved when touching upon any English fluency improvement related topics!

Well, that’s why I like this particular blog post of mine even more!

I’ve connected the seemingly unrelated.

I’ve also made perfect sense (at least I believe so!) of the concept of paying attention to your native language (WHEN you speak it) and the affect it has on your overall ability to verbalize abstract concepts in any language – be it your native one or English.

Useful Tips on Improving Your English Using Google

Use Google to improve EnglishThis blog post is a very successful (prove me wrong if you can!) representation of how any foreign English speaker can utilize features of Google to find out how exactly native English speakers use certain English words, phrases and sentences.

Personally I use all techniques described in the article on a daily basis, and I have to tell you that it’s definitely helped me to improve my overall English skills.

One day, while writing yet another article for my blog, a thought crossed my mind – ‘Why not write an article about HOW I write? Specifically – how I make sure my choice of English words doesn’t fall short of standards maintained by native English speakers?”

And so I proceeded to create this set of instructions on how to use Google to make sure you learn natural English speech patterns.

I don’t really know why I like this blog post so much; maybe it’s just the ultragreen color of the image? Well, I’m just kidding – I actually DO know why. It’s because I remember where I was when I was writing a blueprint for this blog post.

I was sitting in a petrol station having a cup of coffee on a Friday morning, and it was one of those summer mornings you can feel onset of a very hot day… and it was last summer – yes, more than a year ago!

Are you surprised I remember how I actually wrote this particular blog post?

Don’t be!

Mental associations play a crucial role in human behavior, and I’ve actually written a blog post about associations in the context of English learning and improvement:

4 Pieces of Evidence That Past Experience, Context and Mental Associations is Everything When it Comes to Spoken English

Mental associations and EnglishI wrote this blog post inspired by a book I’d read at the time called Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind.

The author doesn’t reveal anything I didn’t already know about the way our minds operate; however, he puts it all in an eye-opening context which I’d never heard of before.

Basically he explains why humans are so irrational and why we make wrong choices all the time in terms of lifestyle etc. The key, it appears, is our ancestral reflexive mind’s inability to catch up with the ever increasing complexity of our modern lives during the last millennia.

How is it any relevant in terms of English improvement?

Simple enough – our minds are built to function in environment where practical things bear the biggest importance, and associations and context lay the foundation for our learning processes.

As far as language acquisition is concerned, it means that we have to learn languages contextually because it makes most sense from the evolutionary point of view; it’s the most effective way of making certain language patterns your second nature.

Well, maybe you do find it a bit difficult to wrap your head around what I just told you because it is a somewhat complex topic. Read the blog post, however, and it will make sense to you – at least I did my best to convey the message in an easy-to-understand manner!

The Single Biggest Culprit Causing Foreigners’ Speech Anxiety

English speech anxietyThis is one of my favorite blog posts because I can still remember how angry I was when writing it.

And rightly so, because the blog post which inspired me to create my article was the ultimate form of arrogance and superiority displayed by an academically tutored foreigner having achieved a very high level of literacy in the English language.

Yes, there are folks who think that just because they’re perfect at all times, others have to follow their suit. Just because their vocabulary is so sophisticated and they’re used to speaking using elaborate means of expression – anything lesser is clearly a sign of bad English skills!

What those people don’t consider is – how they make others feel.

It creates massive confidence and fluency issues for those who’ve stopped believing in their ability to speak fluent English due to the totally misplaced assumption that anything less than perfection is not going to land you into the realm of fluency.

Conversational fluency just isn’t good enough for those academically minded perfectionists, but they’re obviously missing the point that millions of native English speakers speak using simple sentences, basic grammar tenses and simple vocabulary!

And you know what?

They will also gloat over their superiority over native speakers whose imperfections in terms of the English language will be stupendously scrutinized and laughed about!

Better check the article out for yourself – you’ll see what exactly I’m talking about and you’ll also understand why it’s one of my favorite blog posts.

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

 

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  • Francisco Javier

    Yes, you know me, so don’t take it the wrong way 😉

    I’m not naming and shaming anybody here.I just find it a bit annoying to see such mistakes creeping up so often. If I can get it right myself, surely a native speaker should as well. Besides, I’m not talking about typos, I mean people who don’t seem to know the difference between certain words which look similar.

    We all make mistakes, even professors of English. The thing is some people don’t seem to be aware that what they are writing is a mistake. That happens in any language and it is usually due to poor education.

  • Are you not being just a little bit patronizing here?

    Knowing you I understand this was just a well-intended remark; however I can’t help but to feel slight irritation at being told that I should know better that that.

    Given the amount of written content I’m cranking out it’s not surprising that some mistakes inevitably creep in, and in this case that’s all it was – a mistake. I’m fully aware of differences between the two words, and to say that one should NEVER make such and similar typos is unrealistic, to say the least.

    Thanks for your contribution anyway!

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Francisco Javier

    Interesting compilation, Robby.

    But please, do not write “affect” (verb) when you mean “effect” (noun). That’s common even with native speakers (I’ve seen it countless times), which doesn’t mean it is OK to make that mistake. It simply shows lack of knowledge regarding English spelling, and anybody who has had some education should know better than that.

    These are some words which should be clear for native speakers and advanced English learners:

    affect – effect
    lose – loose
    it’s – its
    they’re – there – their
    witch – which
    who’s – whose