How False Expectations Ruin Your Language Learning

How can teachers use social media to teach a language

There's lots of tools online that are designed specifically to help you learn a language. However, did you know that social media can be a powerful learning tool? Here's how you can use it to help you develop language skills, and where you should be looking to get started. (more…)

Submit a Guest Post to English Harmony

The English Harmony Blog has 10,000 subscribers and attracts 100K monthly visits, and we're always looking for brilliant contributors. (more…)

Tips on How to use Contextual Thinking to Gain a Native-Speaker Level

7 Ways to Improve Speaking a Foreign Language Online

Learning a new language is difficult at the best of times. Although it’s been proven that the best way is to jump straight in and start living in that country, this is always easier said than done. For some of us, there’s simply no time to start a class, or maybe it’s not what you want, and you just want to start learning your chosen language in your own time. However you want to learn, you’ve got the biggest information resource to ever exist at your disposal. Today, we’ll explore several ways you go approach learning a new language online, making it easy for you to learn fluently and in your own time. (more…)

The Most Frequent Speech Errors to Avoid

12 Tricks to Learn English From Movies

Learning a language that people are very fluent in can at times be intimidating. However, you can make it and one day become as fluent as them. Many people have succeeded in becoming very fluent in a language they did not know initially. Well, there are quite a number of ways to learn English. Watching and listening to conversations in movies is one of these great ways. Movies produced in English are a great resource if you want to improve your vocabulary. They have been a suitable option for many. If you love movies, you can use them to learn English today. Watching movies done in English is a perfect way to enhance your English particularly in your listening and speaking skills. If books are tiring for now, sit back and use the following 12 tricks to learn English from movies. (more…)

Becoming Fluent in English While Living in Your Home Country is Impossible… Or Is It?

If you spend about half an hour browsing articles and videos on this blog, you’ll learn pretty quickly that I’m all about doing loads of self-practice in order to improve the level of spoken English – this is the single biggest contributor to my own fluency improvement and that of my students as well. For most people, when coming across this approach for the first time, this may sound really weird, and it takes some time to get used to the concept of speaking in English without a conversation partner. Once they realize though, that this type of practice is in fact no different to speaking with others, they embrace it and their spoken English experiences a rapid improvement. (more…)

The Definite Guide to the Differences between American and British English

Have you ever wondered why American and British English were so different? The pronunciation, in particular, is quite different. It’s the same language, but an American doesn’t really feel comfortable among British speakers. And vice-versa. They might not understand every word, and the accent certainly sounds funny. (more…)

You Can Choose Your Own Selection of English Phrases!

Start Using English Contractions If You Haven’t Already Done So!

From time to time I encounter some sort of a written piece in English that’s hard to read for the simple reason that the author of that piece isn’t using contractions. The moment I start reading the letter, e-mail or an article – whichever is the case – the full verb in its entirety, where it should just read its contraction after an apostrophe, is just standing out like a sore thumb. Just compare the following two sentences which are just two versions of the same e-mail sent by Jimmy: “Hello Jane, I’m writing to let you know that I’ve managed to squeeze in the items that hadn’t been delivered so they’ll be arriving tomorrow.” “Hello Jane, I AM writing to let you know that I HAVE managed to squeeze in the items that had NOT been delivered so they WILL be arriving tomorrow.” (more…)

The 5 Most Common Mistakes in ESL Essay Writing (And How to Avoid Them)

Writing Perfection: 10 Steps to Correct English Grammar

The English language is indeed a very complex language. There are so many grammar rules that we abide by that, at times, it could be confusing for writers to keep in compliance with. It is very important that a writer knows the foundational grammar rules. Without this knowledge, ideas cannot be communicated effectively to your audience of readers. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Let Me Draw Your Attention to The Fact That…”

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! Hi boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. I welcome you to this video on this nice Sunday afternoon. However, let me draw your attention to the fact that it might not be a Sunday that this video is published on YouTube, simply because I tend to record a bunch of videos and then I publish them as I see fit, basically, right? And, if you notice that I used this phrase that we're going to be talking about today, “let me draw your attention to the fact”... I used it, previously, a couple of seconds ago there. And that was pretty much the first example scenario, how would you use it, right? It's simply to draw somebody's attention to a specific fact, right? And also, let me draw your attention to the fact that this phrase is somewhat more professional, formal, if you know what I mean. You wouldn't be, probably, using this phrase when chatting with your friends in a very, very informal setting, you know? You might use it, it won't hurt, you know? But, it's just that it's probably, typically used in a professional environment. Imagine giving a presentation, or giving a speech, and that's when you would use this phrase. But if you want to hear more example scenarios when this phrase is used, please bear with me for a few more moments and you will hear more from me, right? (more…)

How to Break Through the English Fluency Plateau?

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! Last night I received an e-mail from one of my blog subscribers asking me how to break through the fluency plateau. Basically the nature of the problem that the person in question has encountered is that they feel that the English fluency improvement has all but stopped and they’re just not progressing. Time is passing by, but it just feels that you’re spinning your wheels getting nowhere in terms of how well you can speak in English… Sounds familiar? Well, to be honest with you guys, this is nothing new to us – being the English fluency improvement blog that English Harmony is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I’ve discussed all such and similar issues before: How to deal with English fluency fluctuations; Why such sudden drops in fluency occur; How to manage your fluency and speak fairly fluently at all times; I have to admit though, that I haven’t touched upon this issue from this particular angle so far – namely, how to break through such a PLATEAU-LIKE STATE. So, I just recorded a video addressing this question, hope you’re going to enjoy it! ;-) 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!

Am I Forcing Myself To Speak With a Native-like English Accent?

Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right?

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. And today I'm going to respond to an email that was sent in to me 19 hours ago at this stage and I think that this particular email merits my video response because it kind of highlights a general issue that happens in the larger foreign English speakers’ community, right? So I'm not going to be reading the whole email word by word but I'm just going to kind of summarize the email in a few sentences. So basically this particular blog follower of mine says that he was one of the best in the class in terms of English literature when he was in high school and then he says “which evidently means that I should be able to write and speak the language.” But in his case he could write. It's the typical English fluency issue whereby you can write, you can understand, you can read but you cannot speak. And then he attributes certain percentages. So basically he says that he would be able to write at 80% in terms of efficiency or whatever and speaking would be only 20%, lagging behind big time, right? And the particular thing that I want to focus on in this video is, “which evidently means” so it kind of even goes without saying that once you are good at writing and reading and the literature lessons or whatever, it means that you should be able to speak full stop. There's no further discussion. There's no debates. No further investigation required so to speak, right? (more…)

English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency

The State of “The Flow” and Its Importance When Improving Your 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, hello boys and girls! Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today let's talk about THE FLOW. And I read about the concept of flow or should I say THE flow? Because it's a particular state of mind. And I read about that concept a while ago while I was doing a little bit of research into the subject of procrastination. We all – I suppose – have that quality to procrastinate sometimes. You know, it's a vice because it's a terrible feeling, you know? You know exactly what you've got to do but you just can't do it for whatever reasons. You just find yourself constantly getting distracted. For instance if I had a task of writing an article for instance I would find myself making cups of coffee every 15 minutes and checking my email and checking my website’s stats and whatever. And then 5 or 6 hours later the article still wouldn't be even started. I would have only 1 or 2 paragraphs. And so that's the typical case of procrastination. And I've been guilty of that at certain stages in my life. And I was doing a little bit of research into it and I found out that people who don't procrastinate they can achieve the state of mind whereby they are fully immersed into the activity at hand so their mind doesn't even wander. And that's the so-called state of THE FLOW. (more…)

English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”

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: Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today I'm bringing you another English idiomatic expression video but unlike other English idiomatic expression videos where I'm focusing on typical English idioms and phrasal words and collocations today I'm bringing you what I like to call a grammar construct. And the grammar construct in question is “couldn't have been”. At first if you just look at “couldn't have been,” it might confuse you. You might try and figure out what it means in grammar terms. What the English grammar tense represents and all that sort of thing but you don't have to do it. And you may actually want to read this article where I'm talking about it that you don't have to try and figure out what exactly something means in grammar terms, okay? All you've got to do is just repeat that particular grammar construct, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it in relevant situations without knowing what it represents, right? And the funny thing is that prior to recording this video I was kind of thinking to myself “Hold on, I have to look it up and see what it actually means, what kind of tense it is.” But I'm not going to get bogged down on these grammar terms just like I told you because it serves no purpose whatsoever, okay? So all you've got to do is just repeat it, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it. (more…)

Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!

Happy New Year 2017 my friends foreign English speakers and all my followers! I’m wishing you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year! Personally for me this last year has been very challenging and full of surprises, but I can proudly say that I accomplished what I set out to do and I secured a job in the IT sector as a foreign English speaker. Have you got similar dreams and ambitions? Do you feel like you’re kind of stuck and you would really like to change things? Do you plan to move to an English speaking country to study? Do you finally want to find a better job where you can realize your full potential and also use the English language? Or maybe you want to start your own YouTube channel about a specific topic and publish videos as a foreign English speaker? Everything is possible. EVERYTHING! Just set your goal for the year 2017, come up with a simple action plan and follow through with it. It really is THAT simple my friends! Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Your English fluency coach, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”

Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! 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 foreign English speakers. Welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog and tonight I'm going to record a video as a video response to one of my YouTube commentators. But just before that, allow me to take a sip of my evening decaf coffee, right? Cheers my friends! So this person, Triple H and he is as a matter of fact, one of the most prolific commentators on my channel and I really hope that you don't mind Triple H me reading out your comment because it's going to help everybody, the whole audience for that matter. So Triple H shares a very embarrassing moment that happened to him at the embassy. So basically the woman or personnel asked him who was going to collect his passport. And basically he didn't get her accent, her pronunciation so she had to say it 4 times over and he couldn't get it. And she pronounced basically the word “when” as “wha” and “who” as “he”. Yeah, well, there are certain distinct accents whereby native English speakers pronounce words completely differently to what you would have expected, right? So after that incident his fluency went down the drain, out the window and afterwards he couldn't say one word. So the question is do you think it's common? (more…)

Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!

Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! 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. Currently I'm having my Monday morning tea. Cheers! You see how big, how huge this mug is? This is the kind of mug I like, you know what I mean? This is what I call proper tea drinking. You can make yourself almost a liter of tea and drink it, right? Anyhow, in today's video I'm going to look at the following topic: Simple Past versus Present Simple. And this is, as a matter of fact, a thing that confuses the hell out of so many foreign English speakers, right? And ironically enough I haven't actually recorded a video about this particular topic in the past which is kind of weird because I've been publishing my videos for years on end. At this stage it's actually 8 years since I'm running the English Harmony blog or actually 9 years. Yeah, going 9 years this year to be honest with you. I started it in 2007 if I'm not mistaken so next year going 10 years, you know what I mean? It is going to be a big anniversary. Anyhow, it's surprising that I haven't actually touched upon this particular topic comparing the simple past “I did it” for instance against present simple “I've done it” and when you use one or the other, you know what I mean? And the reason I'm saying that it confuses the hell out of so many foreigners is because I've had first-hand experience dealing with people who are not really sure on how to use these two tenses, right? As a matter of fact, one of my Fluency Star students served as an inspiration for this video because that person was kind of not really sure on how it's done and then I explained it to her and she was very happy about my explanation because it's pretty straight forward if you boil it down to the very basics, right? So first things first, “I've done it.” For instance “I've been to London” which is not really true in my case because believe it or not, I've never been to London, right? And it's very weird because I live in Ireland which is very close to England, so it's just one small hop with a plane, like a half an hour flight or something and you're in London, you know what I mean? And with these days’ prices where you can go to London just paying literally 20 or 30 Euros, you know what I mean? It's no excuse not to go there but on the downside obviously when you go there you have to book a hotel and so on and so forth. And then you have to go sightseeing and all those costs add up and eventually you end up spending a fortune, you know what I mean? So I guess I've just kept putting it off and off and off. And anyhow, I'm going to do it one fine day I would imagine but anyhow, going back to the subject; “I've been to London,” right? And then you can also say I went to London, okay? So what is the difference? First things first, you don't have to be kind of analyzing your English language – language? What did I just say? Language. See, I just made a mistake but it just goes to show that making mistakes is a crucial part of the whole fluency improvement thing, right? Anyhow, you see, today I'm all over the place. I just keep varying up the subject and touching upon random things. So “I've been to London, right?” It's a general statement. You're not specifying a specific point in time. And mark this guys, point in time. This is the crucial bit, right? Whenever there is a time mentioned, a specific time, a year, a day, month, week, whatever, that's when you use simple past. (more…)

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…)