What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language

The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation. Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it! (more…)

Can You Become Fluent in English if You Don’t Have a Talent for Languages?

Time and time again I’ve been told by all sorts of different people that I have a talent for languages. And when they find out I speak three languages fluently – Latvian, Russian and English – their opinion of my abilities is pretty much identical: “Robby, you’re naturally gifted when it comes to language learning! I wish I were like you!” And guess what? I think it’s a load of crap! I honestly believe that my ability to speak three languages fluently has nothing to do with my alleged talent for languages. And I also believe that ANYONE is capable of learning to speak English fluently regardless of whether you believe you have a talent for it or not. It’s just that most people don’t realize they have the potential to become fluent in English due to one or all of the following reasons: They think they’re not naturally gifted so they don’t WORK HARD on their English Deep down inside they know they’re too lazy to do something about their English skills so they use the lack of talent as an EXCUSE They’re using the WRONG METHODS to improve their English so the whole “I’m not naturally gifted at languages” thing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! Now, would you like me to prove to you that YOU DEFINITELY have what it takes to become fluent in English – and any other language for that matter? Then keep reading this article and don’t forget to leave a comment when you’re done! (more…)

Time Management Tips for English Learners

Everyone here wants to learn English and speak it fluently, right? The #1 problem of every learner is not vocabulary or grammar rules but finding time to learn English. So, the paradox appears: we all have the idea of how to learn English, but most of us don't have any idea of when to do it. As a result, we procrastinate. And big chances are, we procrastinate because we have no idea how to manage time. We have to work, eat, sleep, sustain a family... As they say, who want – do, who don't want – find an excuse. So, when is that time to use for English learning? There is always a solution, and there are many time management tricks for English learners to use and deal with procrastination once and for all. (more…)

It’d Be Great to Have English as the Only Language in the World…

Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again

Have you been following my blog for a while? Maybe even for a number of years? Do you think I sound a bit repetitive by discussing pretty much the same things all over and over again? Guess what? I do it for a very good reason :!: Just think about it for a minute. Imagine you’re someone who’s completely NEW to the whole English fluency issue and you’ve just discovered my blog. You start reading my latest blog posts and watching my latest videos, and all I keep talking about is advanced English grammar, for example. Now, tell me honestly – would you BENEFIT from it? I don’t think so!!! You see, as a new blog visitor you have to be exposed to the right kind of information that will allow you to go through all the following steps: Recognizing the English fluency issue; Realizing WHY it exists; Finding out HOW it can be dealt with. So, as you can imagine, if I didn’t touch upon the same topics in almost every article or video (you must have noticed I keep saying that it’s very important to practice your spoken English in almost every YouTube video!), the chances of my new blog visitors of understanding why they have these issues and how they can deal with them would be very, very small. (more…)

In Real Life Your English is Judged by Your SPEECH!

My Plans for English Harmony in 2015

So much has happened during the last few months in my life… I changed my job a couple of months ago... I re-opened my English fluency coaching program Fluency Star... And then I quit my new job having worked there for just over two months :!: You see, I realized I can’t really cope with such a massive workload and the only logical solution was to quit my new job so that I can do both – teach my students via Skype and maintain this blog. If you’ve been following English Harmony for a while you’ll notice that I haven’t been posting a lot of blog posts lately. To be more specific - it’s been 2 weeks now without posting a single blog entry! To put it in perspective – there was a time when I was publishing 3 articles every week. If you visited my blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you would always find a new article or a video, but during the last few months it’s been fairly irregular. I’ve published something whenever I could find enough time for it, but if I put myself in your shoes, I can definitely see that it’s not good enough. I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that you’d rather come to my blog with the sure knowledge of finding new content every couple of days, so it’s the first thing I’ve planned for the English Harmony website this year: (more…)

4 Reasons I Wish I Was Born a Native English Speaker

I don’t believe for a second that native English speakers would be superior to foreigners and those who hail from countries where other languages are used as means of communication of first choice. I’m very well aware, however, that people who are born native English speakers have an unfair advantage over non-native English speakers simply because they happen to speak the world’s language which avails them of more opportunities in life! What opportunities? Well, here’s a list of things English fluency has given me - only bear in mind that I’m a foreigner so it goes without saying that any native English speaker would avail of all the same PLUS a whole lot more because they've ALWAYS been fluent English speakers whereas I’ve acquired my fluency later in life. Sure enough, if you’re willing to work exceptionally hard, you can be extremely successful in life as a foreign English speaker – just think about people like Arnie, for example. Work like hell, never stop – and the world is your oyster, isn’t that right? It’s all nice and well, but the reality is a little bit different. We rarely hear about those non-native English speakers who are working really hard and still don’t achieve their ambitions just because they happen to come from a foreign background – it’s only the success stories that everyone hears about… So, here’s 4 reasons as to why I wish I was born a native English speaker, and if you feel that I’ve left something out – just post it in the comments section below! (more…)

English Has Brought the World Together!

Sachin, who is a customer of mine and a prolific contributor to my YouTube channel, inspired me to write this article, here's part of the comment he left on my YouTube video where I'm arguing against the prevalent view on Americans as being lazy language learners: One should accept that English language has contributed to the world more than any other language. English has brought the world together. English is not just British or American’s language anymore - it's the world’s language. Knowledge of the world got available to everyone only after converted in English! Well, we can all argue ad nauseam whether the English language is taking over the world, is it having a detrimental effect on smaller languages or not, and also accuse Americans for being lazy and ignorant when it comes to learning foreign languages. All that is actually IRRELEVANT when we consider the simple fact that the English language has indeed brought the entire world together in a lot of different ways and we, foreigners, are undoubtedly much better off learning it and speaking it as opposed to constantly moaning and complaining about the Evil Empire of English which is soon going to obliterate the smaller nations and countries! But in case my words are making your blood boil – consider this: We need to separate POLITICS from the LANGUAGE when discussing such matters! Just think about the German language and the activities that Germany was involved during WW2, for example. No sane person would condone what was done during those years – atrocities brought upon the world by the fascist regime were outrageous, to say the least. Do we hate the German language for the criminal past of the country that it represents, however? Of course we don’t! Same goes with the English language. A lot of people just follow the mainstream opinion of the US being the evil empire and tarnish the English language with the same brush :mad: Yes, there’s no denying that here’s a lot of controversy about the warfare the country is getting itself involved in – mostly when it suits its foreign policies (pursuit for energy sources, expansion of American companies and interests in the war-torn countries etc). The English language, however, BELONGS TO THE WORLD - just like Sachin pointed out. It belongs to anyone who speaks it! I love English, and when I go about my daily spoken English practice, I don’t considering myself as a traitor of humanity just because I happen to like a language that’s being spoken by people who are involved in activities that we mightn’t approve of. As a matter of fact, it’s also spoken by millions upon millions GOOD and BRILLIANT people all over the world! It’s actually ridiculous, when you think about it, that so many people associate the English language with something NEGATIVE or something that they believe to be a bad thing. If speakers of all world languages abandoned speaking them by virtue of tyrants and murderers having spoken them, there’d be not a single language left in the world! Or if you believe that the English language spreads like a virus amongst indigenous languages and brings all the bad things with it – fast food, crime and drug abuse then you must be seriously deluded… It’s not the language that does it. It’s the Western way of life, if you like, but it’s not the language that is to be blamed for it. Hadn't it been the English language that is spoken by the world’s superpowers linked to all the “bad” things (obesity and fast food culture, consumerism and using the third world for easy and quick profits), it could have just as easily been French, Dutch, Spanish or German! Anyway, as I said – we could be arguing about these matters till cows come home because it’s very difficult to change people’s opinion on a certain subject. Better let’s talk about how EXACTLY the English language has brought the world together :!: (more…)

4 PRACTICAL Things You Didn’t Know About the English Language

My Shocking Web-research Experiences Into English Fluency Related Websites

To be totally honest with you, during the last few years while I’m actively running this blog and also the Accent Adventure website, I haven’t been doing a lot of research into other English language teaching and learning websites. I have a fair idea as to what’s happening in the industry anyway because I’m actively participating on YouTube and I get to see plenty of English teaching videos published on other channels. I also take part in the YearOfEnglish.com project so I know who the other participants are and what their approach towards English teaching and learning is. A few years ago I did scour the Web and tried to find other websites to partner up with and to write content for, but soon enough I figured that quite honestly there weren’t that many people out there having figured out that spoken English is the most important aspect of the English language and focus on phraseology acquisition is pretty much the only way forward. Here are the websites which have embraced the importance of learning phraseology instead of cramming English grammar: PhraseMix.com is run by Aaron Knight, and his philosophy is pretty much the same as mine – fluent English can be learned most effectively through real-life phrases and word combinations. Aaron is creating engaging lessons for those who want to learn to use that phraseology, and they’re all illustrated by himself (I often wondered how he does that!). TweetSpeakEnglish.com was created by Nate Hill and the idea behind it quite an interesting one – tweets shared by millions of people are a fairly good representation of real-life spoken English, so phraseology taken from those tweets is used as a source for lessons where you can learn how to use those speech patterns in your English conversations. Fluentzy.com where you can buy plenty of books written by Professor Kev Nair and they’re all focused on developing your spoken English fluency – Prof. Kev Nair seems to be one of the few academics having grasped the concept behind true fluency and having realized why a large percentage of advanced English students still struggle to speak fluently. By the way – I found this rare website back in 2008, here’s a blog post I published in relation to that! And that’s all :!: Really? Yeap. (more…)

5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language

Are You Being Judged or Even Discriminated Against Because of Your English?!

Tonight I received an e-mail from a blog reader of mine and he painted a pretty dire picture on discrimination on the grounds of lack of English fluency. This particular e-mail illustrates situation in India where a lot of college students speak fluent English and those who don't are experiencing an awful lot of pressure to catch up with the rest, but I’m guessing the same kind of an attitude is faced by non-native English speakers all around the world 24 hours 7 days a week! The heck – even I’ve been sometimes treated as a less intelligent human being because of my poor English skills, so why should I be so shocked and appalled at this kind of a thing going on? Simply because I’ve forgotten how bad it feels when you’re treated like that! :mad: Now that I’ve achieved a certain degree of fluency in the English language I don’t really have first-hand experiences of discrimination on the grounds of lack of English skills, but there was a time in my life when I was getting such an attitude on a daily basis: (more…)

SHOCKING: Drinking Impedes Your Ability to Speak Fluent English!

Actually I don’t think that the effects of alcohol on your ability to speak in English fluently is any more shocking than the fact that drinking affects pretty much any area of your physical performance. Driving. Walking in a straight line. Picking something off the floor (and missing the item by an inch because you have an impaired ability to judge the distance between your hands and other objects…) Basically when you have a couple of drinks in you, your ability to perform physical tasks starts declining, I guess everyone will agree on that with me! “But surely my ability to socialize with other English speaking people should improve when I’ve had a couple of drinks!” – you may say. “In most social situations I’m on the shy side, so especially considering that I have problems with confidence when speaking in English, wouldn’t it actually make sense to be slightly intoxicated so that I’d get rid of any emotional hindrances preventing me from communicating with others in English freely?!” – probably this is what you’re thinking right now. Well… I don’t know about you, but here are my experiences with consuming alcohol and trying to speak in English: (more…)

What Do Small Children, Pets & The English Language Have In Common?

I’ve been speaking in English for the biggest part of my life, and by now I’ve achieved quite a comfortable level of fluency. I speak in English with my colleagues and customers at work. I speak with lots of other people in English as well – starting from sales-assistants in shops and ending with support staff in various companies. I also speak in English when engaged in routine activities – such as counting, for example. When I’m on my own, I also try to speak in English a lot so that my fluency is always maintained at a high enough level. Whenever I’m encountering a small English speaking child or a pet belonging to an English speaking owner, however, I feel a natural need to speak with them in my native Latvian! Sure enough, I wouldn’t start speaking with a four year old Irish child (I live in Ireland which is an English speaking country) – I’d just do it in English. Yet, for some reason or another it wouldn’t come 100% naturally to me; I’d still have the feeling that I’m supposed to speak with the child in Latvian. Isn’t that weird? I mean – how come that after all these years living in an English speaking country and speaking in English ALL THE TIME, I’m still having moments when I have to suppress the need to speak in my native language? After all – I can even think in English, so why speaking with small children (please bear in mind only children up to the age of 4 or 5 years make me feel that way) and pets would be any different? I’ve been doing some thinking on that, and if you keep reading this article you’ll find out all the theories I’ve come up with! (more…)

10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language

What Typing Has in Common With Spoken English Performance

Yes, in this article I’m going to draw parallels between using the keyboard to input text into your PC or laptop AND speaking in English as your second language. Do you think I’m mad? Do you think I’m trying to make all different sorts of connections between things that don’t really go together just so that I could publish more content on my blog? Well, you’re right – I have been finding commonalities between seemingly unrelated concepts. I published an article called 12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar. I created the Fluency Gym Coach Program where hundreds of parallels are drawn between our fitness performance and spoken English practice. If you think about it a bit deeper, however, you’ll realize I’m not such a nutcase as you might have thought when seeing this blog post’s headline. You see, all the previously mentioned activities – playing an instrument, using our body and also using a keyboard for text input purposes are PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES. Spoken English is also a VERY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY because you use your mouth to produce sounds and your brain constantly works in unison with your sound producing organs so that you can verbalize your thoughts. So read the rest of this article to find out exactly what the two types of physical activities – TYPING and SPEAKING in English have in common. (more…)

6 Types of Foreign English Speakers: Which One Are YOU?

7 Reasons Why Having Been Born a Foreigner Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to You!

I have a friend who’s made incredible achievements in terms of his professional life and he’s also very comfortable when it comes to his finances, but quite often he would tell me how much more he would have achieved if he’d been born in an English speaking country. While I can’t deny that there’s a lot of truth to what he’s saying, I can also tell you that being a foreigner isn’t always a handicap – especially if you know what you want to achieve in life! Here I came up with a list of things that should open your eyes and make you realize how lucky you actually are having been born a foreigner! (more…)

New Year’s Resolution in 2013 – Take Real Action & Become Fluent!

Do you know what’s the biggest curse preventing people from all walks of life achieving any kind of a goal they aspire to achieve? Procrastination. Not taking action. Now, ask yourself the following question – how many times have I committed to becoming fluent in English? And now, ask yourself this question – how many times I’ve failed to follow through with that commitment because my focus weakened over time and I simply stopped getting involved in English fluency improvement related activities? 2013 is going to be different. I recently joined a movement which is going to bring about massive change in foreign English speakers’ lives by helping them stay focused on their English improvement goals. It’s called YearOfEnglish.com! Many English language teaching enthusiasts and professionals are participating in it, and the idea behind the project is simple enough: Any foreigner who aspires to become Fluent in English, signs up for a DAILY e-mail notification; EVERY DAY throughout the year 2013 you are going to receive an e-mail containing action steps, things to-do and specific assignments; By the end of 2013 you’ll see a massive improvement to your English fluency, and provided you’ll have taken action, you WILL BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH :!: Isn't that a great idea, my friend? I think it’s one of the best things to do when starting a New Year – make a resolution, and then follow through with it instead of abandoning it a month into the New Year. YearOfEnglish.com is simply leaving you with no choice; you won’t have any excuses not to take action because once you’ve signed up for it, you’ll be given the EXACT advice and assignments to do, and the chances of you becoming a fluent English speaker are thus greatly increased! So, do yourself and also your friends a favor, let everyone know about YearOfEnglish.com and make sure to sign up for the FREE mailing list that’s going to blast 365 e-mails to you throughout the whole year and keep you motivated! Thanks for reading, Robby ;-)

What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos

There was a time when I published a video a day, and sometimes I would even upload two videos in a single day onto my YouTube account. The times have changed, and now you may be wondering why Robby isn't making as many daily English idiomatic expression videos as he used to! The answer is quite simple, my friends – I’m currently very busy preparing for my next big project called FluencyGym.com. I spend a few hours every day brainstorming and creating content for the upcoming English confidence program Fluency Gym Coach, and it’s going to consist of a lot of videos where I’m going to draw parallels between working out and speaking in English! Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the English idiomatic expression videos coming albeit not at such a frequent rate. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate now, and I simply have to change my blogging frequency so that I can work on my new project. To find out more about FluencyGym.com, please watch the video above! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

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

11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me

Now that I can communicate in English with ease, I take everything that comes with it for granted. Looking back in time, however, I can clearly see that many aspects of my life in an English speaking country AND my personal life in general weren’t as fulfilled as these days. Even such a simple task as asking for price of roast chicken in a supermarket would make my heart race with the prospect of stuttering and not being understood properly! :mad: Here’s a list I came up with when trying to list as many advantages of being a fluent English speaker as I possibly could. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does paint a pretty clear picture of what an average foreign English speaker can achieve when possessing good English communication skills! And please don’t get me wrong – I didn’t create this list to brag about my fluency and make those who haven’t achieved it yet, feel bad about themselves. This list is rather intended to serve as a reminder of what awaits you at some stage in the future IF you’re among those foreigners still struggling with fluency! (more…)

My 5 Year Long Journey to English Fluency

20 Random Thoughts on English Fluency, Foreign English Speakers and Life in General

1. The English language is for everyone to speak. It transcends national boundaries, it’s become our modern day ‘lingua franca’, and no-one can really use the argument of ‘proper English’ because it is spoken differently in different places on the planet! 2. There are no quick-fixes or shortcuts when improving your spoken English. Contrary to what some English teachers will tell you, you can’t just listen your way to fluency; you have to SPEAK, SPEAK and SPEAK a lot! 3. It’s quite hard for the average foreigner to achieve a high degree of English fluency in the English language without living in an English speaking country. 4. It’s very difficult to improve your English effectively if you don’t enjoy life through the English language. 5. You may be saying it every once in a while that you’d like to improve your English but you can’t really do it because you haven’t got enough time, money, whatever. The truth is - it’s almost impossible to learn how to speak English fluently if you’re not REALLY MOTIVATED :!: (more…)

Check Out the Most Popular Articles on This Blog!

One day I decided to check the statistics of my website and see which blog posts you’ve been reading the most. I selected the top 10 articles and I guess it provides a fair representation of what my average blog visitor is interested in, so you may want to check out the top 10 of English Harmony blog posts of all times! If you visit this blog frequently, you’ve probably read a good few of them, but I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of links you haven’t encountered before and they might just provide you with some English fluency related info you’ve been looking for to no avail. So, let the countdown begin! (more…)