Is Learning English grammar not important for speaking?
English grammar is not necessary for speaking fluently; you only need to focus on idioms, phraseology, and slangs in order to communicate like a native. It is for this reason that even after years of learning English grammar at school you can’t speak fluently. Well, that’s somewhat you read when you hit up my personal blog, or be it English Harmony or any other English learning blog. (more…)
20 Common English Mistakes Made by Indian People
Shame Is The Enemy #1 Of All Foreign English Speakers!
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
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. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)
Should We Make Sure Everything We Say Is Grammatically Super-correct? My Opinion on Correct 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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, it's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video we're going to discuss the correctness of the English language. And the fact of the matter is that there's so many things that we say in our English conversations that would be considered as incorrect if we went by the textbook English grammar rules. And if you paid particular attention to the last sentence - I said something incorrectly! I said “there's so many things” whereas in reality I should have said “there are so many things” because the noun “things” obviously is in plural in this case so the verb “to be” should have been conjugated to reflect that, I should have said “there are so many things”. And this is just one of those examples where something that's incorrect, it has been accepted in the general public and everyone speaks like that and there's nothing wrong with it. So it begs the question and as a matter of fact this particular phrase “it begs the question – to beg a question” has also been criticized as being incorrect English, right? In reality we should say “it raises a question”. But this phrase “it begs a question” is also used by everyone. And I would say that it actually makes it correct. (more…)
Funny Experience When Switching Between English and My Native Lingo
Dealing With Criticism When Making Mistakes in English
Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here and welcome back to English Harmony video blog. In today's video we're going to discuss something that I've touched upon many times before, namely - making mistakes when speaking in English. And before I actually give you a full account of what happened to me the other day at the college, let me just remind you what the official English Harmony stance in relation to the whole making mistakes thing is. So the bottom line is the following. You don't have to be freaking out over making mistakes. You don't have to make sure you don't make a single mistake when speaking because guess what? More often than not, you will end up making more mistakes than before, just because you keep analyzing your speech, so it's some sort of a reverse psychology. The more you're trying to make sure you don't make any mistakes, the more mistakes you actually end up making. So what you have to do is give your fluency free reign and just take a mental note of any mistakes that you might be making, just to correct yourself at a later stage and learn from your mistakes. That's the intelligent approach and that's pretty much the only approach that works, right? So here's what happened to me the other day at the college. For those who are not aware, I'm spending my days away at a college because I'm studying currently to become a PC maintenance and networking engineer. (more…)
Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!
How I Said “Check” Instead of “Receipt” in a Hardware Store (And What You Can Learn From It!)
I’ve been an English fluency mentor for a good few years now, but it doesn’t mean I speak in English perfectly at all times. You see, I’m an active proponent of letting it go when speaking in English which invariably involves making a few mistakes here and there, and there’s nothing wrong when a person capable of speaking fluent English says something wrong. In this particular situation I was paying for goods in a hardware store, and I wanted to ask the cashier for a receipt. Instead of using the word “receipt”, however, I worded the request the following way: “Can I have a check, please?” Needless to say, I corrected myself immediately after saying the wrong phrase – “Can I have the receipt, please?” is the proper way of asking for a proof of purchase at a till (the word “check” is used when you’re in a restaurant). Was a feeling bad about confusing the cashier though? Not at the slightest! :-) (more…)
If Someone Keeps Asking “Do You Understand Me?” – You May Indeed Run Into Fluency Issues!
Speaking in English is Like FIGHTING (Trick to Overcome Perfectionism)!
I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?
Guess what happened to me during the last weekend while I was having a dinner with some Latvian friends of mine? I got stuck for words during one of the conversations! I wanted to point out the importance of something, and all of a sudden I couldn’t remember the word “important” in Latvian… despite it being my native language! :mad: You’d think that something like that would never happen to a native speaker, right? You’d think that the worst case scenario would involve forgetting a famous movie actor’s name, for example, and I’m pretty sure you’ve also have had such experiences when a person’s name is on the tip of your tongue yet you can’t remember it. Strangely enough, I couldn’t utter the word “important” in Latvian which is a pretty common word, and I got stuck in a middle of a sentence for a couple of seconds at least. Now, why am I telling you this on an English fluency improvement related blog? Well, it’s pretty straightforward! (more…)
Don’t Even TRY Watching Common English Mistakes Videos on YouTube!
I was browsing YouTube the other day, and I came across some video where an English teacher talks about common English errors made by foreign English speakers. It wasn’t that teacher’s only video – not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, there were LOADS of videos of this nature on that particular YouTube channel – let alone other channels where different teachers are talking about pretty much the same things: Most commonly made English mistakes; Things not to say when speaking in English; English mistakes made by Spanish people; English mistakes made by Russians… … and so on and so forth. And you know what? I think this illustrates a terrible trend in the English teaching community! :mad: Everyone is focused on the aspect of making mistakes. Mistakes this, mistakes that, you can’t say this, you can’t say that… The only thing that these videos achieve is the following: THEY FREAK ENGLISH STUDENTS OUT! (more…)
How I Made a Nonsensical English Mistake 3 Times in a Row!
We’re All Capable of Correcting Our English Speech Ourselves!
One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve ever come across over the years is the following: You can’t engage in spoken English self-practice because there’s no-one to correct your mistakes! I’ve received feedback of such nature from quite a few of my fellow foreign English speakers, and it clearly goes to show that the average foreigner is so afraid of making mistakes and letting them go unnoticed, that they’d rather remain unable to speak fluently! In today’s video I’ve debunked this myth, and here’s exactly what you’ll find out if you watch the video above: (more…)
Improve Your Spoken English Upon Success!
Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine
If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)
Car Video #3: Spontaneous Speech vs Slow Speech
Two Kinds of Mistakes Made by Foreigners When Speaking English
You’re Not Struggling With Your Fluency – You’re Struggling With Perfection!
Oftentimes we foreigners feel we struggle to say the right thing during a conversation with other English speakers. Or – we struggle TO SAY THINGS RIGHT which isn’t the same exact problem as the aforementioned one. In the first situation you don’t how WHAT to say, but in the second one you’re struggling to say in RIGHT. Nonetheless, the problem of struggling to have a fluent, free conversation in English with someone is often just a matter of perspective. While inside your head you’re all confused and frustrated by your inability to speak just as fluently as you’d write, your conversation partner mightn't actually see your seemingly flawed speech in the same light! So why not just cut yourself some slack, and speak without worrying about mistakes you might be making or things you might be saying in a way natives don’t normally speak? I believe you’re much better off feeling free and make mistakes rather than struggle every time you have to speak in English… and still make mistakes! (more…)
Put Yourself in a Position of Power: Don’t Be Sorry for Your Mistakes!
I receive regular inquiries about English fluency improvement, and many of those e-mails contain the same sentence “I’m sorry for my bad English” or “I’m sorry for my mistakes”. And the funny thing is, not all of those e-mails are riddled with errors, some of them are written in very good English, so obviously it’s the writer’s confidence that needs a little bit of an improvement, not so much their English! Of course, I’m also getting inquiries from beginning English learners and in some of those e-mails it’s obvious where that person has struggled to pick the right word and where the sentence structure isn’t probably as good as that of an intermediate or an advanced English speaker. Still, it’s not a reason good enough to apologize for your English. No matter what level you’re at, you have to focus on what you CAN say or write instead of focusing on what you CAN’T! (more…)
Is It OK to Point Out Mistakes Made by Others?
Reverse Psychology – Make Yourself Stutter, Hesitate and Get Tongue-tied in order… NOT TO!
Human is a creature of conditioning – the more often you find yourself in situations when your English fluency is compromised, the deeper your mind gets wired to make sure it happens when such conditions are met next time. For example, if you’ve found it a bit harder to speak in English with a particular person on a couple of occasions, it’s highly likely that this person will cause the same English speech difficulties for you every time they’re around. If you let it happen for long enough time, you get conditioned to stutter, mispronounce words and find it difficult to verbalize your thoughts whenever you speak to that person or even when speaking with someone else in that person’s presence. Sometimes the English fluency issue manifests itself in so seemingly random situations that it may look like a totally out-of-hand problem. You may find yourself making plenty of mistakes when speaking in English having had very fluent conversations with other English speakers the day before, for instance, and there’s nothing you can think of that should trigger such behavior. In order to overcome such issues I recommend different fluency management strategies - starting from speaking slower and pronouncing words clearly, and ending with such non-standard approaches as speaking with a harder accent. There will be moments, however, when you find it quite difficult to get back to your normal English speech regardless of what strategy you apply. You may have tried to speak in English in a number of different ways – slowly and fast, with a hard accent and without, but your mind just can’t seem to work properly! If that is the case, there’s one more trick up my sleeve – reverse psychology! (more…)
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
What’s The Worst That Could Happen If You Make a Mistake When Speaking in English
Hi my fellow foreigners – tonight is the Halloween night and I think it would be only fair if I gave you a fright! I’m going to use the biggest fear of all foreign English speakers, and I’ll do my best to scare the hell out of you! So what is this fear I’m so certain will have such an effect on you? Well… We all fear making mistakes when speaking English, don’t we? We fear it so much that we become very conscious of our speech thus making even more stupid mistakes. It’s a self-perpetuating mental state and personally I’ve gone through these issues countless times in the past and I know how depressing, annoying and scary it is. Are you ready? So here it goes – a list of 20 things that might possibly happen if you make a mistake when speaking English! You’d better brace yourself because as you’ll see it’s safer not to open your mouth at all than trying to say something in English and face the dire consequences… (more…)
Shocking: Native English Speakers Don’t Always Spot Your Mistakes!
3 Grammar Mistakes Which Are OK in Spoken English
Do You Really Suck At Speaking English?
I’ve received countless e-mails saying basically the same thing – “Robby, I’m a useless English speaker, when I try to speak with other English speakers – especially native ones – I get very nervous. I’m struggling to say the right words and I hesitate a lot when speaking…” Well… Maybe you’re right… to a point. You’re useless as far as you believe you are, and the more you convince yourself of it, the deeper the conviction gets ingrained into your mind. It’s the so called self-fulfilling prophecy when something happens just because you believe it will happen :!: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you should turn a blind eye to the problem and just ignore it. While ignorance may be bliss on some occasions – such as ignoring strangers’ opinion of your level of English simply because they can’t possibly know how well you speak just because you’ve made a mistake when speaking with them – you still have to deal with your emotional and mental issues preventing you from fully enjoying English conversations. So what I’m saying is – even though the issue is there, you have to change the way you view it. You have to analyze the nature of the issue, make conclusions and see if you really are as useless as you think. Subsequently, you should come to realize that the issue isn’t as bad as you believe it is, and that conclusion in turn should make you into a more confident English speaker. Essentially it’s the same self-fulfilling prophecy – only now you have to get it to work to your favor! Now, are you ready to turn your assumption that you suck at speaking English on its head? (more…)
Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes when Speaking English!
If you’re a foreign English speaker – there’s a 90% chance you are because you’re reading my blog! – you’re most likely familiar with anxiety of making mistakes when speaking English. You know – it’s the feeling when you’d gladly say something when chatting in English with someone, but you hold it inside because you’re not sure you’ll get it right. In the most extreme cases you might even be avoiding communication only not to experience embarrassment and humiliation! That’s when it gets really serious because no matter how badly you fear making mistakes, you’re not going to improve your spoken English simply because you’re not speaking enough :!: So how to deal with this anxiety and how to overcome your fear of making mistakes? Watch the video above and you’ll find out how to change your mindset when it comes to making mistakes; alternatively you can read this video’s script below! (more…)