No.1 Secret to speak English fluently and confidently
I receive messages and emails on a daily basis of people asking me if they should make a notebook where they can write down the list of useful idioms, sophisticated words and phraseology so they can learn and revise later. My plain and simple answer to your question which in itself is a question- Are you writing ‘The Joe's Dictionary’? (more…)
Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!
Don’t Waste Your Time Arguing About Subtleties Of The English Language!
80/20 Rule – You Have To Be Selective About What You Learn!
Why Should You Improve Your English Spelling Every Day?
Some language learners often say that English is one of the most difficult languages to master because of the spelling. Indeed, it is tricky to remember all those words that spell differently than they sound because the language is full of exceptions and contradictions. For example, the word “knight” sounds as it should begin with a “n,” and the world “psychology” does not sound like it should have a “p” in the beginning. Well, the rules are the rules, can’t break them. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of other words where it is simply difficult to apply logic when unsure how to spell them. However, by using the following learning tips, you can make a fast progress! (more…)
Best Tricks to Practice Your English Language with Native Speakers For Free
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
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! Related articles: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English Speaking Country What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about living in Ireland which, as you may already know, is an English speaking country. In hindsight, I can say that it’s been one hell of a transformation – I’ve gone from a foreigner who’s barely capable of speaking conversational English to an English fluency mentor who’s teaching other foreign English speakers. I’ve experienced all the ups and downs one can encounter while living in an English speaking country. I’ve been told I’m a useless English speaker. I’ve been in all sorts of embarrassing situations – starting from not being able to order a meal in McDonald’s and ending with screwing up job interviews because of my inability to provide a coherent answer. But the great thing is that now, with all that experience under my belt, I can tell my students with the utmost certainty what kind of an attitude they need to adopt in order to survive and thrive as English speakers living in an English speaking country. It feels so great being in a position to help out others, and frankly speaking, I don’t regret anything that’s happened to me while I was a struggling English speaker. I like to think that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I just HAD to endure all the hardship and suffering to emerge a fluent English speaker equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help others who find themselves in the same boat. But now, let me tell you what I’ve realized over the 14 year long stay in Ireland; as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about life in an English speaking country! (more…)
Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
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 my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free
English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!
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! In today's video I'm going to respond to a number of e-mails sent by my blog readers, and here's exactly what I'm addressing in this video: How heeding to my advice about using SIMPLE VOCABULARY helped one of my blog readers to succeed at a job interview which resulted in securing a job 1:00 - 3:15 Is trying to build huge vocabulary and phraseology going to help overcome an English fluency issue whereby the person in question keeps constantly second-guessing themselves when speaking in English? 3:20 - 9:50 Studying English grammar for 20 years - and still can't speak in English! 9:50 - 11:05 Struggling with English Tenses and modifying English sentences 11:15 - 13:05 Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys! Hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com obviously. And welcome – I was going to say velcome. This is one of those typical mistakes that some of us make. Instead of welcome we would say velcome. Basically instead of the “wa” sound we'd be saying “w” for some reason or another, you know. And it does happen to me on the rare occasion and now you actually witnessed that occasion but I'm not going to delete it out from the video. I'm just going to leave there on record just to prove you guys that making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a – I would even say an integral part of your development as a foreign English speaker, you know. Because getting rid of mistakes altogether is not possible, right? Anyhow, now I'm having my Saturday afternoon green tea. Cheers. And to a healthy lifestyle, right? Instead of coffee these days I'm rolling with green tea pretty much all the time, and especially when I'm at work, the workload is really, really big I would say. Sometimes even overwhelming so green tea keeps me energized and focused and I would really suggest you start doing the same thing, right? If you're drinking coffee, switch over to green tea and you're going to feel the effects of it immediately! (more…)
English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With Robby
Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion
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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today is Saturday and I'm having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it's actually not a cup, it's a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I'm not drinking beer, I'm having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn't be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that's an expression. So I would say that I'm not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That's what people would normally say. That's how people would understand you best, right? Anyway, cheers! And let's start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today's video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he's an Irish fella, right? I'm a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will. And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right? As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I'm so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak. So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your English good luck charm and it's all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right? (more…)
Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!
This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!
Video Transcript Below: Hi guys and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! And currently I'm having my evening coffee. As you may know by now it's decaffeinated coffee. That's the way I roll. I only have two cups of real coffee during the day. One in the morning, one for lunch and then I roll with the decaf coffee because that's better for my health. Anyway, today's subject is something that was brought to my attention by one of my customers when he contacted me and he said that this whole English stuff that I'm giving him – basically it's all the English Harmony System's content that he was referring to – he says that “all this stuff is too easy. Give me something more difficult!” And I think that this kind of approach highlights a specific type of issue that a lot of foreign English speakers have. Basically, you may think that just because you can easily understand something that you read or something that you hear, you may think that that's something that you already possess, that that's the knowledge you possess, and there's no reason to dwell on it and there's every reason to move on to something more complicated, more difficult, something that you don't know yet. Okay? (more…)
What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country
How to Become a Good English Interpreter and Translate TV Shows Into Your Native Language
How to Talk About a Subject in English for a LONG Time
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi, guys! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com with another video blogpost. Now, this time around, I'm going to be looking at the following question: “How to provide lengthy answers?” Say, for example, you are asked a question and the situation demands that you provide quite a lengthy answer. Normally, it's totally fine to answer using very simple, short sentences. Actually, it's one of the ways of getting your fluency back on track, and you may want to check out this particular article where I'm touching upon that subject, that there's nothing wrong with speaking in very short sentences because, for most foreign English speakers who are having these fluency issues, it's very challenging to speak using very long sentences. Oftentimes, those people will get very confused and it's all too overwhelming to handle that much information in one go. It's best to separate your thoughts into little, manageable pieces, right? But, other situations such as, for example, English exams, demand that you provide quite lengthy answers. Obviously, it just doesn't cut it in situations such as exams if you just provide one, short sentence as an answer, right? In most daily situations, that's totally fine. But, what to do if you find yourself in such a situation where you are actually required to provide quite a lengthy answer? And, as a matter of fact, this is a question asked by one of my blog commentators and here's the exact question, right? I'm going to quote: "I see you carry on for a long time discussing about a topic. How do you do this? Do you follow a certain method for a long time conversation on the topic? Please help me!” (more…)
Improving English? TOO General! Sometimes You Gotta Be More SPECIFIC!
This website is all about improving your ability to SPEAK in English, I’m pretty sure you’ve realized it by now! ;-) You see – traditionally most foreign English speakers struggle with speaking because writing, reading and listening is something you’ll learn at school. It’s only the speaking part that’s being neglected. Usually my advice is – speaking comes first (simply because you’re already quite good at other aspects of English) and that’s what you have to be focusing upon – writing, reading and listening won’t contribute into your spoken fluency. So the basic issue here is that nobody really tells you that being engaged in a specific English related activity doesn’t develop other aspects of your English. If you spend most of your time reading, it’s not going to develop your ability to understand other English speakers. If you mostly write essays, its’ not going to make you into a good English speaker. And if you’re good at speaking, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can write just as well! And this illustrates another issue that some English learners are facing. Namely - all four aspects of English – speaking, reading, writing and comprehension – have kind of been merged into one thing, and instead of working on ONE aspect of their English that requires the most attention, they’re under the impression that they have to do EVERYTHING which becomes too overwhelming :!: (more…)
English Learning Principles for Total Beginners
5 Ways to Practice Your Spoken English if You’re Desperate For English Conversations!
If you’re a foreign English speaker and you don’t get a lot of opportunities to speak in English with real people in real life, it’s quite understandable you’re going to be really desperate for some spoken practice. Well, it doesn’t have to be so doom and gloom! ;-) With a little bit of effort and imagination you can find plenty of opportunities to practice your spoken English, so without further ado please start familiarizing yourself with 5 ways to practice your spoken English that are especially relevant to those non-native English speakers who don’t work in an English speaking environment :!: (more…)
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
Nonsense of Learning English by Listening to Fast English Spoken by Locals
Back in the day, when I’d just come to Ireland and was still struggling with my spoken English, I was working in a massive warehouse offloading trailers all day long while at the same time trying to understand what my Irish supervisors and managers wanted from me. Why did I just say “TRYING” to understand? Well – guess what? – it’s not that easy to figure out what you’re told in English if the person in question speaks very fast AND with a distinct accent! Needless to say, over the next few years I did learn to understand the local speech, and nowadays the Irish accent has become so familiar that I’d pick it out in a crowd immediately. The heck, I can even imitate English spoken in Ireland a little bit myself now, so I have to admit that over time things have gotten much, much better in terms of understanding English spoken by people from all over the world. The reason I’m writing this article isn’t to conclude that you can just listen to fast English spoken by heavily accented local speakers and you’ll be just fine in a few years’ time down the line. It’s quite the opposite actually – not only it could very well be that you DON’T learn to fully understand the local slang (and please bear in mind it’s not just limited to English spoken locally; all these problems may occur when you’re listening to FAST English in general!), but also you could pick up quite a few psychological issues along the line! You may constantly strive to speak just as fast as natives and as a result you constantly stumble upon words and hesitate when speaking in English. You may develop a habit of comparing your English with theirs which has a detrimental effect on your fluency. And you may also find it very difficult to learn the English language to proficiency if you’re constantly forcing yourself to listen (or read) to something you only half-understand. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to persuade you that: Under no circumstances you should be exposed to English the way it’s spoken by natives in real life; You should only be exposed to English you understand 100%. If that were the case, you’d never learn anything because by the very definition LEARNING implies acquiring something NEW, something you don’t know yet. There’s a huge difference, however, between learning English by listening and repeating words, phrases and sentences that are EASY to understand AND listening to something you can only remotely recognize! (more…)
Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya?
I’m sick of repeating that the English Harmony blog is all about improving your SPOKEN English and your ability to SPEAK, so by now at least those of you following my blog on a regular basis would have realized you’re not going to find any grammar exercises or downloadable worksheets on my website. As a result, the number of e-mails about grammar related questions is dwindling which is an overall positive development, and I’m only happy to see it! Yet a surprising number of people ask me all sorts of questions which clearly show their unwillingness take ANY action in order to improve their spoken English and overall fluency! Here’s the impression I’m getting: The school’s over - English grammar is not in the spot-light anymore. The teacher’s gone - you’re not doing grammar textbooks. The kids are free to do whatever they want - you’ve just realized that the English language isn’t only about doing tests sitting in a classroom. Just like kids you choose to do NOTHING - browsing the Web and asking questions on how to speak better or why you can’t speak better instead of actually doing SOMETHING :!: The simple fact is that I can’t really help you unless you help yourself, ain’t that right, my friend? (more…)
Developing Your Ability to Use All Those Phrases & Idioms in Real Conversations
Phrases, idiomatic expressions and collocations are the basic units of the English language and if you make sure you learn lots of them, you’ll develop your ability to speak automatically and without much thinking. Quite often, however, foreign English speakers may face the following problem – all those phrases have been memorized but it’s very hard to use them in real life! So, the million dollar question is – how to ensure you can actually use them in real life instead of JUST KNOWING them? (more…)
Is It a Problem if Your English is Too Simple, Plain and Lacking Smart Words and Expressions?
Your English Has to Be Just Good Enough for You to Be Successful!
Check out the following videos (at the very least listen to 20 - 30 secs of how these foreign English speakers speak): What do you think all these people have in common except for being foreign English speakers? First of all, their English ISN’T PERFECT :!: If you’re one of those perfectionists out there who’s constantly watching out for mistakes made by other foreign English speakers, you’ll notice small flaws and imperfections in Dr. Coldwell’s and Wagner’s spoken English. Secondly, they’re 100% CONFIDENT :!: Lastly, they’re really PASSIONATE about what they’re doing :!: and they’re totally focused on the matter at hand when speaking about it. What does this all mean for you as a foreign English speaker? If you’re really dedicated to something, you can become very successful without focusing on perfecting your spoken English! You may spend your whole life trying to achieve a near-native level of English – but then it’s going to be too late to realize your dreams in terms of your professional and social life. Or you can SET YOUR GOALS NOW, start taking action and improve your English as you go along according to the specific needs and requirements of the particular industry or a different aspect of your life. Remember – your English has to be just good enough for you to be successful ;-) (more…)
Check Out My First EVER Interviews – All About Me, English Fluency & How To Stop Struggling When Speaking in English!
Relax Your Abs to Get Your English Fluency Rock-Hard!
When you speak in English with someone, there’s more than just your mind and mouth involved. You’ve probably rarely given it a thought, but when we speak, our WHOLE BODY participates in the verbal and non-verbal communication. Your body responds to stimuli emitted by your brain. That’s why you tense up in stressful situations – your embarrassment, anxiety and stress translates in real body reactions. So far nothing new, right? Let’s keep going! The feedback between your body and mind actually goes both ways. Not only your emotions influence your body reactions – the opposite is also true! Basically I’m talking about how you can influence your mind and mental performance in terms of English communication by controlling your body. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s another useful strategy to be added onto a number of English fluency management techniques I’ve spoken about in the very detail on this blog. (more…)
3 Basic Rules of Effective English Communication
3 Lessons Learned While Living Among Native English Speakers for 10 Years
Is it OK to Pretend to Understand What an English Speaker Says When You Don’t?
The other day one of my Irish workmates was telling me a joke. He started off speaking the way he normally does and I could easily make out what he was saying. After all – I’ve spent nearly ten years in Ireland and by now I’ve managed to understand different regional accents and also different types of speech – muffled, very fast, with word endings dropped and so on. It’s not always possible, however, to understand native English speakers, especially when they throw in some slang words and expressions you haven’t heard being used before, and the indistinct speech makes it every harder to figure out what they’re saying :!: As you can imagine, I had to pretend that I got the joke my workmate Louis was telling me and I just gave a short laugh as a sign that his joke was really good… Please, don’t blame me! I know that it’s not quite right to pretend to understand what native English speakers tell you because you run the risk of making a fool of yourself. In fact, you shouldn’t pretend regardless of the speaker’s national background. It should never be a problem to admit that you didn’t get what was being said, even if it’s another foreigner trying to explain you something! You see, denial originates in fear of being perceived as a poor English speaker, but then you can get yourself in even more embarrassing situations trying to conceal the fact that you didn’t understand something. Admitting the truth almost always pays and you should treat such moments very casually; don’t make a big deal out of them. If you radiate confidence, few people will ever think of associating the fact that you asked them to repeat what they just said or to explain what they meant with bad language skills. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to end the conversation quickly and avoid discussing the same topic, it might give an impression of someone who’s not very comfortable using the English language. So how do you know when you should definitely tell your conversation partner to repeat what they just said or say it slower and when it’s OK to pretend you understood them? (more…)