How to Develop Your Ability to THINK in English

RELATED ARTICLE: Don't Try JUST to Think in English - Speak It Out Loud! We all speak our native languages fluently, quite naturally. The speech formation happens instantaneously and we don’t actually differentiate between a number of subsequent processes taking place when we speak. If I asked you to draw a simple scheme of a speech process when you speak your native language, you’d probably come up with something like this: By and large it’s quite correct – we think in our native language and after a short while we produce speech in the process. If you think that it’s not true and you’re capable of producing speech at the exact time of thinking – read this article. You’ll find out that it actually takes 600 milliseconds for our speech producing organs to catch up with our brain! It’s not a huge lag, and in real life we all have an impression we can think out loud. Anyway, the scheme above represents what goes on when you say something in your native language, and thinking and speaking are two separate processes. But now comes the tricky part of the process. I think that we’re missing a link right before the thinking stage… Are you slightly confused? Are you thinking “What is Robby talking about? What other process takes place in my brain before I think? Surely thinking comes first and everything else follows it!” Well, I haven’t got any proof that my theory is correct, but I believe that an ABSTRACT CONCEPT comes first :!: It’s not verbalized. It’s an idea. It’s something that you kind of FEEL even before you start having actual thoughts in your language. It’s not easy to explain, but I’ll try to provide an example so that can understand what exactly I mean by this abstract concept. (more…)

You Don’t Have to Know a SINGLE Grammar Rule to Speak Fluent English!

In this article, you’re going to find out: Why English grammar ISN’T necessary to speak fluent English; Why the most complicated grammar constructs are actually quite SIMPLE; How to use your brain’s natural ability to absorb grammatically correct speech patterns without analyzing them; How to use all the above to improve your spoken English! I know for a fact that many of you, my non-native English speaking friends, are struggling with English grammar. You’ve been studying grammar for YEARS only to discover that it doesn’t really help you speak fluently. YET you’re sticking with it. You’re hoping that there will be a point in time where you start speaking fluently once a significant amount of English grammar has been acquired. But guess what? Such a time will never come :!: Read about my 5 year long journey to English fluency HERE to see that the moment I STOPPED caring about grammar was the moment I started speaking fluent English. And keep reading this article to see WHY you don’t have to know formal English grammar rules in order to speak fluently ;-) (more…)

Don’t Analyze the English Language Too Much – It’s Not Good for Your Fluency!

You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!

Speak Really LOUD and Get Your English Fluency Back in Check!

Over the course of the last few years I’ve come up with a great number of English fluency management strategies ranging from slowing down your speech to trying to speak as fast as possible and trying to make as many mistakes as you possibly can. There’s also such fluency improvement techniques as: Proving to yourself that you are in fact a fluent English speaker by way of logical argumentation Developing a certain degree of IGNORANCE towards other people’s opinions Accepting your current English fluency limitations Clearing your mind completely and speaking without any emotional involvement whatsoever …or even Speaking with a HARD foreign accent! And, to tell you the truth, up until recently I thought I’d looked at every possible angle of the English fluency issues leaving no stone unturned. I was under the impression you couldn’t possibly think of something fluency improvement related that I hadn’t already written on my blog or made a video about! But guess what? I proved myself wrong! A couple of days ago when I was doing my usual spoken English self-practice, I did something that radically improved my fluency with an immediate effect. And that SOMETHING was something so simple that it blew my mind! I mean – how come I hadn’t thought about it throughout all these years while constantly speaking with myself and trying out everything imaginable starting from speaking with a hard foreign accent and ending with focusing on certain key sounds to get my fluency back in check? Alright, let’s not try and keep the suspense going because the tile of this article gave it away anyway – basically what I’m talking about here is speaking LOUD. And I mean – REALLY loud, just like Rich Piana does in his YouTube videos! (more…)

Take Advantage of People Who Make You Really Fluent in English!

Importance of Improvisation When Speaking in English

- Video Transcript Below - Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today's video topic is IMPROVISATION. And let me tell you right off the bat that I'm not talking about the kind of improvisation whereby you would be coming up with random things to talk about. I'm talking about the kind of improvisation where you know exactly what you're talking about, you know the direction you're going but you're improvising within your speech. So basically you're improvising as you're going along. You know the main things you're going to touch upon but you haven't planned out your speech down to a T which means you haven't planned it out to the very detail. And that's exactly the way I'm speaking now! I know what my main topic for today's video is, I know the main points I'm going to touch upon. First of all, I was going to introduce the video as I normally do by greeting you guys and then next thing I was going to say what improvisation I'm not talking about. And then I was going to say what improvisation I am going to talk about and so on and so forth. So basically I know all the main things I'm going to touch upon but I haven't planned my speech out down to the very word. And that's how native English speakers would obviously speak! And that's how you would speak in your native language. You improvise the whole time. (more…)

Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!

Way back in 2012 I published an article about the importance of thinking in English if you’re serious about your English fluency development. The reason I wrote the said piece was because one of the primary causes of foreign English speakers’ fluency issues is translation from one’s native language when speaking in English which is a direct consequence of the traditional English studies. You see, if you’re studying the English language the traditional way, you’re bound to start translating when trying to create an English sentence. You think of what words to say based on how you’d say the same thing in your native language. You also tend to copy the syntax of sentences from your native language simply because it’s the only know way for you to say or write anything in English. Basically it all boils down to you THINKING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE. Changing your life-long habit and starting to THINK IN ENGLISH, therefore, is an absolute must if you want to learn how to speak fluent English – as you can imagine, it’s not really possible if your head is full of thoughts in your native language while you’re trying to say something in English. (more…)

Thinking in English Happens With Your Mouth

This video is dedicated to Juhapekka’s last comment on my blog where he says that he’d really like to be able to think about the most sophisticated and complex subjects in English, but he’s not really able to. Juhapekka is a Finnish guy and he’s a frequent commentator on my blog - he’s posted a good few comments and they’re very profound and I really, really appreciate his contribution to my blog. So, thank you once more Juhapekka! ;-) But now let’s get down to the business and let me respond to the actual comment. Let me tell you right up-front that it’s going to be useful to everyone – not just Juhapekka – so just watch the video above (or listen to the audio file just above the video in case you can’t access YouTube content) and you’ll definitely find something useful for your own English improvement routine. (more…)

Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!

How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)

Hello my foreign-speaking friends and English learners and improvers from all over the world! Does the headline sound too ambitious and you think this time around I’ve definitely gone overboard with my hyped-up promises? You may think – “Well, it’s conceivable to develop one’s English fluency to a degree when one speaks quite similar to a native English speaker, but to speak even MORE fluently than a native speaker… It’s definitely not possible!” At first glance the above statement seems valid, and a couple of years ago I would have also been quite skeptical about anybody’s claims that it’s possible for a foreign English speaker to achieve more-than-native level of fluency. I mean – how is it even remotely possible to speak MORE fluently than a native English speaker if it’s their level of fluency that actually determines the standards? It’s the same way it’s technically not possible to do something at 110%, isn’t it? When you’ve done EVERYTHING there is to do, you’ve accomplished 100% of the job, and the very same way if you’ve developed your English fluency to the very highest standards, the best you could hope for is to speak JUST LIKE a native English speaker. Well… Assuming the native English speaker ALWAYS speaks at a 100% of his or her ability! And this is the key, my friend. Not even a native English speaker’s fluency is hitting 100% at all times. Even a native English speaker has bad fluency days. Even a native English speaker WILL struggle to get the message across on certain occasions – especially when they’re not familiar with the subject. That’s the perfect opportunity for you to surpass their level of fluency when speaking about something you know A LOT ABOUT, and here’s EXACTLY how it’s done: (more…)

3 Similarities Between Speaking in English And Driving a Car

You Have to EAT Well to SPEAK in English Well!

There was a time during this summer when I noticed my fluency wasn't what it used to be. Well, I would still speak very well, it’s just that I’d started spending more time on thinking of certain English words I wouldn’t be able to recall while having conversations with people which lead to more hesitation than normally. This wasn’t the end of the world situation for me – even after dealing with my severe fluency issues years ago I’d still experience a slump in my ability to speak without much thinking in English every now and then, and normally it would be gone in a day’s time or so. This time around, however, it was lasting for quite some time, and it got me thinking what was so different about all the various circumstances in my life and at work that would have made me go into this permanent mode of deteriorating fluency. (more…)

Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!

From: Robby Kukurs, Author of the English Harmony System My Fellow Foreign English Speaker! Millions of us - foreign English speakers - can read, write and understand English very well, yet when it comes to spoken English fluency, things are not looking that good. Traditional English education focuses on teaching English though our native language thus facilitating translation process as we speak; however, have you ever been told that natural English fluency is impossible unless you eliminate translation? The English language has loads of unique collocations, idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and if you want to sound like a native English speaker you simply need to learn to speak using these means of expression! Same goes with studying English grammar. Many of us, foreigners, are led to believe that we’ll achieve English fluency if we study English grammar hard. It’s nonsense! Wake up from the English grammar Matrix! If you learn English grammar rules separately  out of context, you’ll never achieve natural English fluency because you’ll be overwhelmed with analyzing your own speech and making sure that it corresponds with the respective grammar rules. Fluent English speech is supposed to be spontaneous, you have to speak automatically and it can be best achieved by spending an awful lot of time among other English speakers and mimicking what they say. Sure, you have to speak correctly, I’m not saying you have to disregard English grammar. What I’m saying is – you have to understand that English grammar is present in every correct phrase and sentence, and you don’t need to dissect the English language like a scientist to be able to speak fluently. (more…)

Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?

Aspiration to become a fluent English speaker is what brought you to my blog, isn't that right? Then let me take a wild guess - at least at some point in your pursuit after English fluency you've been engaged in a lot of English grammar studies, am I now right? Well, in reality you don't need to be a grammar genius to speak English fluently. First of all, only a few grammar Tenses are actually used in real life conversations. Secondly - phrases and expressions constitute large amount of spoken English. And thirdly... Well - watch this video to hear everything for yourself! Stay fluent, Robby ;-)

Don’t Make Conscious Effort When Improving Your English

English Fluency Doesn’t Mean Being Able To Speak About EVERYTHING

I’d be totally lost if you started talking with me about herbal medicine, carpentry or car tuning and modification. On the other hand, I’d have a comfortable conversation with someone who’s dealing with knitwear because I’ve been working in a knitwear factory for well over three years now and I know the manufacturing process inside out! Do you see where I’m coming from? You can’t expect anyone to speak equally well about any given topic in English because every person’s profile is different :!: I would find it difficult to name but a few popular flowers such as roses, daffodils and tulips. Some other foreign English speaker working in a flower farm could probably name any possible flower that can be seen in a flower shop! And it’s not just limited to specific industry terms. If you started bombarding me with the latest news from the English Premier League, nearly all of that information would be lost on me because I’m not into soccer. Well, if you were patient with me and took time to explain little details and everything, then yes, of course I’d understand. It’s just that when I hear other guys discuss soccer at work, I don’t even try to follow their conversations – let alone trying to take part in the discussion! I mean – what’s the point in pretending to be a know-it-all if I actually don’t know much about this or that particular subject? (more…)

How to Develop the Gut Feeling for Correct and Natural English

Is it Possible to Achieve English Fluency While Living in a Non-English Speaking Society?

Personally I’ve been living in an English speaking country for ten years now, and during this time I’ve gone from a struggling to a fluent English speaker. Has living in an English speaking country helped me to achieve spoken English fluency? Well, there’s no doubt about that! Has being part of an English speaking society been the crucial element in the process of my fluency acquisition? Would I never have achieved my current level of English fluency if not speaking with native English speakers for hours day in, day out? Well… I’m not so sure of that. You see, I haven’t always worked among English speakers, and I’ve also spent quite some time out of work. But did I stop improving my English skills during those times? No way! There’s plenty of ways you can improve your spoken English skills without living in an English speaking country, so let’s analyze the importance of being part of an English speaking society and its impact on your fluency. (more…)

English Fluency Monitoring & Management

If you’re anything serious about improving your spoken English - and I bet you are otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my blog! – your English fluency is inevitably experiencing growth over time, it just can’t be otherwise. Regardless of all ups and downs you may encounter while having conversations with other English speakers, your English fluency trend is always going up – even if you don’t notice it! Of course, your fluency trend may be steeper than that of someone else’s, and it’s only natural because not all foreigners are getting the same amount of passive and active English immersion. And it’s actually totally understandable because everyone has their own fluency requirements depending on how much they use the English language in everyday life. For many of us, foreigners, practical life determines if we’re going to develop our English fluency at a fast pace or stay on a plateau for years. Anyway, today’s article is about your English fluency management and it’s especially relevant to those who experience sharp drops in fluency resulting in the infamous English fluency issue. Getting tongue-tied and stopping in a middle of a sentence, getting a feeling as if your head is stuffed full with thousands of English words and you know EXACTLY what you want to say but you’re unable to say anything, making stupid mistakes… These are the typical symptoms of the English fluency issue and what’s really baffling is the fact that we, foreigners, often experience such terrible moments right after having been absolutely fluent. We’re hitting the heights of our English fluency graphs, our confidence is very high, we’re achieving a near-native level of spoken English, and then suddenly we experience a downturn in our ability to express ourselves! It may even become so bad that on certain situations we find it hard to say anything at all, and it can be very, very distressing indeed… So how do you manage these peaks of your English fluency trend? How do you prevent the drops from being so sharp? To find answers to these questions, please read the rest of today’s blog post! (more…)

Mad Stuff – Speaking With Hard Foreign Accent to Facilitate English Fluency

When I started EnglishHarmony.com back in 2007, the English Harmony System wasn't there yet. Instead I was offering an eBook to my website visitors explaining the English fluency issue and how to deal with it. Among such methods as elimination of translation and slowing down the speech, I was focusing on something more radical in the eBook. Namely, speaking with your native accent. I know it sounds really strange, and I can understand if you’re somewhat reserved when hearing that in order to get your English speech back on track, you need to do away with proper English pronunciation and start speaking using your native language pronunciation instead. Yet there’s great wisdom concealed within such a technique, and I suggest you keep reading this article if you also experience unexplainable drops in English fluency every now and then! (more…)

English Improvement Trend & Inevitable Fluency Fluctuations – Why Is It Happening to Me?