There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than You!

Hi guys. Hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Welcome back to the New Year, 2016. Today is the 6th of January and I hope that you've gotten back into the normal rhythm after all the New Year’s festivities and everything. Now, what I wanted to tell you today is that even though you might be experiencing severe English fluency issues, even though you might feel at this particular moment in time as if your English is the worst English possible, that your fluency is total crap and that you're useless as an English speaker, bear in mind that there's always someone worse off than you! And please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to laugh at people whose English is like really bad, right? All I'm saying is that the very fact of you being aware that you're not the worst should give you that little bit of confidence boost, that little bit of comfort to carry you through those rough patches of your English fluency, so to speak, right? (more…)

Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?

In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby

Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!

Have you ever felt truly overwhelmed when trying to improve your English due to the fact that you’re trying to learn A LOT of new stuff over a short space of time? Well – you may want to stop putting yourself under such pressure because sometimes less is more when it comes to your English improvement! Related blog posts: Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW! Don’t Learn Complicated English Tenses TOO Soon! This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!

Did You Realize That Being Tired Affects Your Fluency?

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…)

Spent Years Learning English Words from Newspapers… Then Burned It All to Ashes!

Answering Questions: Can’t Practice Fluency, What to Do If My Fluency Dwindles When I Speak With Others and More…

I couple of days ago one of my YouTube followers asked me the following question: The problem is that I just can't practice fluency because I'm in my country where they don't speak English although I'm really good at writing I put great efforts on my essays and powerful vocab and idioms and sentence structure yet I panic when I travel out of my country and speak in little convos which my parents are pissed of me, cause they paid a lot for good education but the result of fluency speaking is bad, plus I struggle in reading books cause every sentence I have to stop for a quick google search the meaning of the sentence. IT's really complicated. Thank you for understanding! And here's my video response to the above question: Here's another question I got on YouTube: Hi Robbie, when I practice self-speaking I am very fluent but when I speak with people my fluency dwindles probably because I feel compelled to give neat responses when I can't. How can I deal with this problem? Thank you! And guess what? I also decided to record a video response and you can watch it below: I hope that you'll also find these videos somewhat helpful and I would love to receive further questions from you! Just post them in the comments section below and I'll do my best to respond to them ASAP! Cheers, Your English Fluency Coach, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “In Full Swing”

Hi guys and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video episode we're going to look at another English idiomatic expression. And this time around the expression in question is: IN FULL SWING And just let me tell you right off the bat that English Harmony video recording and production is in full swing now. I've been trying to record one video a day but obviously I don't always get around to do that but I'm trying. So basically, I'm trying to record one video at least every two days or so. So needless to say, at this particular moment in time I already have loads of videos ready to be edited, published on my YouTube channel and on my blog and it's just what I enjoy doing. I enjoy practicing my spoken English and at the same time passing the knowledge on to you guys, right? So the expression “in full swing” you might actually have already guessed what it kind of means just from the context when I told you that English Harmony video production and recording is in full swing. But if you're not a 100% sure what exactly it means, then stay with me for a few more minutes and everything is going to become a 100% clear to you, my friends! (more…)

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

Hello guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today is Sunday but you see - the thing is that I'm not really sure when this video is going to be published. Because what I do these days is I just record a video and then I just store it there and then I would edit it later on, probably a week or two weeks after that. And then eventually it would be uploaded on to my YouTube channel and published on my blog. But I've no way of telling when it will happen for the simple reason that on most days I'm really busy dealing with my Fluency Star clients. That is what I do pretty much the whole time these days, 90% of the time. And only on the rare occasion I actually get a chance to update my blog. I know it's bad, it's bad form but it is what it is, I just don't have enough time. I don't have enough hours in a day for the simple reason that I'm gone through the days. I'm studying in Dublin in a college. But anyway, I'm pretty sure that I will get back to posting on my blog more regularly because that's what I love doing. But at the same time I love teaching my students, you know. So it's really a tough one but it's my call at the end of the day so I will probably cut down the number of students and ideally I would only teach one student at a time, okay? But anyway, I'm just having my Sunday coffee, cheers. Lately, I've been drinking more decaffeinated coffee but this time around I'm affording to have a real coffee on a Sunday afternoon, right And the thing that I wanted to talk to you about today is – it actually slipped my mind. How could it happen? I knew exactly what I was going to talk about and now all – oh yeah, yeah! (more…)

Passive English Immersion is Good for Keeping Your Vocab Refreshed

It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents

Hello my dear foreign English speakers and also of course any native English speaker who happens to be watching my video or listening to my English Harmony podcast! Anyway, no matter what your background is, you're all welcome back to English Harmony. And in today's episode I'm going to talk about listening comprehension and the related issues. And to be more specific, it's going to be about foreign English speakers' ability to understand what native speakers are saying. And as you can imagine this is where the accent comes into play, right? But before we start actually getting into the nitty gritty of the subject, let me just share some of my latest experiences with you. As you may know, I've been attending a computer course for the last 6 weeks or so and just to let you know, the course is based in Dublin and I live in a region called Kildare. It's actually a county. That's how regions are called in Ireland, right? I live in Ireland, just for those unaware. And I have to travel about 60 kilometers from Kildare to Dublin every day. And the thing is, Kildare people speak differently from the Dubliners, right? Dublin people have a very distinct accent, right? The fact of the matter is - even Kildare people have accents on their own but it's just that I've been living among them for the last 13 years, so I am very well used to their ways of speaking, right? So it doesn't present me any difficulties whatsoever to understand what Kildare people are saying. (more…)

Funny Experience When Switching Between English and My Native Lingo

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…)

Using Native Language in the English Class? Non-sense!

Video Transcript Below: Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! I'm Robby and I'm bringing you another video episode in the English Harmony video blog. And today's topic is teaching English via native language which is something that totally blows my mind at this stage in my life because now I know for a fact that English can be taught successfully only using English as the medium. Well, obviously in the very early stages of learning the language you would have to use your native language to understand the basic concepts of English, right? But as you progress through your learning curve and you get to know a whole lot more English words and phraseology and all that, there is no reason why you couldn't do away with the native language altogether, right? And here's a funny thing. Here in this country – I live in Ireland – and in this country when they teach foreign languages at school, at least to the best of my knowledge, they still use English during the lessons which doesn't make any sense at all. Because in other countries, such as Germany for example, when they learn English they only use English in the classroom which is something that makes a whole lot of sense! (more…)

English Grammar is Like the HTML Code

Video Transcript Below: Hello, my dear fellow foreign English speakers and also any native English speakers who happen to be watching my video right now! And welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Obviously, I'm Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and in today's video I'm going to draw parallels between English grammar and HTML code. And in case you're wondering now what's English grammar got to do with HTML code, surely, these two things don't have anything in common whatsoever – well, my friend, you're actually wrong because these two things have more in common than you can think of! And the reason being – actually I have to start with a story to introduce the whole matter so that everything is clear to you. Recently I've been attending a computer course. If you've been following my blog lately for the last 6 weeks or so, you will definitely remember a few references here and there I've been making to the fact that I'm doing the computer course during the day now because my aim is to start a career in the IT industry, right? So as it happens I'm meeting a lot of different people in the college. Well, it's actually called adult education center or something along those lines but I just refer to it as a college for the sake of simplicity, right? So I'm mixing with a lot different people, we get talking about other courses that are available out there and the courses that my classmates have been doing previously. And oftentimes we talk about web building because it's a very hot subject. A lot of people are into web design, web building, whatever you want to call it, right? And they always refer to the fact that creating websites is actually a science because of all this HTML code and you've got to be learning to code. There's thick books, thousands of pages covering the HTML code and all that. To me it's nonsensical. And here is why. (more…)

Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge!

Different Types of English Speakers

Related blog post: 6 Types of Foreign English Speakers: Which One Are YOU? VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video, I'm going to draw your attention to the fact that not all native English speakers are the same. So basically, speaking with one person might actually be completely different from speaking with some other person and more often than not, it is the case. Basically, all people are not the same and here's an example so that you can actually understand better what exactly I'm talking about, right? I'm doing the PC course in the college currently and there's a guy whose mind is constantly wandering when he speaks. He just - I'm under the impression that he actually finds it very difficult to stay on the same topic for some reason or another! (more…)

How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?

How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!

Video Transcript Below: Hi guys! Hello boys and girls and welcome back to my video blog! I'm Robby, obviously, your English fluency mentor from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog on YouTube, in case you're watching this video on YouTube, or on my blog at EnglishHarmony.com. You see - the thing is every video that I put up on YouTube, I actually put up on my blog as well with the transcript and everything so that it's easier for you to follow it, in case you're struggling trying to understand what I’m saying here, basically, alright? But I make the point of pronouncing all the words clearly and speaking at a reasonable speed so that you can understand pretty much everything I'm saying, right? And in this video I'm going to tell you how to pronounce words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in English so that you would sound more like a native English speaker. At first it might sound a bit surprising, you may be thinking, "Hold on a second - yes, no.... what's the big deal? They're very straightforward words, right?"  'Yes', 'no' - they're the simplest English words, as a matter of fact, so what other way could I be pronouncing them, right? Other than yes and no? But here's the thing my friend foreign English speaker - native speakers, more often than not, actually pronounce 'yes' as ‘yeah’, conversationally, right. (more…)

Don’t Use Subtitles in Your Native Language!

- 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 or, alternatively, if you're not watching this as video, but if you're listening to his as an audio, welcome back to English Harmony podcast for those of you who can't access YouTube video content, right? To the best of my knowledge, China is pretty much the only country where people aren't allowed to access certain YouTube channels, or something like that, but there might be more countries on the list which I'm not really aware of because I've only received requests from Chinese people to start the English Harmony podcast version, which would be just audio instead of video content, right And that's the reason why I actually started recording the audio files. Well, not really recording - I simply convert all my videos into audios, right? That's how it happens. You can find them on top of every video blog post that I publish on my blog. Anyway, today's subject is should you - that's a question, right? Posed, actually, to me by one of blog readers, should - well, he didn't actually pose the question this exact way; he was actually asking me. If I'm not mistaken, that person was 'him', it was male, right? A man. And he was asking me a question about finding English videos, right? And he said that he's finding it hard to find videos with subtitles in his native language and then that question poses another counter-question: should you actually be looking for videos with subtitles in your native language? (more…)

Seeing Forgotten English Words the Next Day & the “Gut Feeling”

- Video Transcript Below - Hi guys and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Or, in case you can't actually watch this YouTube video, welcome back to my podcast! Right? Because as a matter of fact, I'm publishing every single video in two formats. One as a traditional video format which gets uploaded onto YouTube, and the other one is the audio file, mp3 file which gets uploaded onto the server and it's accessible on my website. I post it right above the video or, alternatively, you can actually access all those podcasts on iTunes or the other website is called Stitcher. Alright? But anyhow, today's topic is vocabulary, right? And I'm just going to tell you a few things that happened to me within the last few days, right, in terms of vocabulary acquisition and actually remembering words that you, kind of, know but you might've forgotten them, right? (more…)

English Idiom: “Wrap Your Head Around Something”

You’ll Never Need Legal English Terms and Vocabulary – Way Too Specific!

- Video Transcript Below - Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog or alternatively in case you're listening to this as an audio file on iTunes or on my blog, welcome back to English Harmony podcast! You see, the thing is that not all countries can view YouTube content. I know one of such country which is China where YouTube isn't actually accessible, but any blog visitors from China can actually read my blog and listen to the podcast. So the podcast is the alternative to watching a video. But the content is the very same. What I'm doing is I'm recording a video and then I'm producing a video file for YouTube and then, after that I'm producing an audio file for iTunes. Simple as that! Anyhow, today let's talk about legal language. And let me tell you right up front that legal language is very much different from normal English that you would use on the street when speaking with people at work, and at school and so on and so forth. And why is it different? (more…)

Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!

Beware! I’m a False Fluency Expert & I’ll Con You Out of Money!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, hello everyone and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby and I'm a fluency expert, an English fluency expert. And obviously some people - and to be more specific, it's a commentator called Dry Dead, right? Some people reckon that I'm not an expert. And there's been a little commotion going on on this particular video I published last night which is an interview with one of my students, Sergi from Catalonia. And then Dry Dead pointed out that I made a mistake during that video where I said “so much more fluent.” In fact I should have said “so much more fluently,” right? It's a mistake. Yeah, so he was laughing at the fact that an English fluency expert made such a terrible mistake, right? SIDE-NOTE: Eventually I had to ban this person from my channel because he resorted to insulting everyone and he just couldn't be reasoned with. Here's the thing, Dry Dead. I responded to many of your comments before. I was trying to get through to you. I was trying to convey the message that in my reckoning an expert is not necessarily someone who is perfect at it. For me an expert is someone who helps other people and does a good job at it. And he is capable of bringing out the best in other people as learners, right? For example, this computer course I'm attending right now, okay? I'm not a very technical guy and personally I go to the teacher and I go to smarter guys in the class for advice. But despite all that I'm quite capable of helping other guys with certain things. Other guys who might not be as knowledgeable as me at that stuff. So in those terms I would call myself an expert because I'm capable of helping those guys. (more…)

Don’t Look for Specific Audio Material for Improving Your English Listening Skills!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! Today let's talk about improving your English listening, right? Basically your comprehension. And the biggest mistake, by far the biggest one that all foreign English speakers make, is they search for specific listening material. Very specific audios or whatnot specifically created with a single purpose of improving English learners' comprehension. But it's a big mistake and here’s why. First of all, those materials, well, they are obviously designed in order to improve specifically your listening but then again it's not necessarily something that you would be interested in, right? The way I like to approach things is if you are serious about your English improvement, there's no reason on Earth why you wouldn't surround yourself with English in your daily life. Watch English movies. Watch English TV programs. Listen to English radio. Basically whatever you do, do it in English and then you won't have to search for specific audio material for listening! And if you've been following my blog for a good while, you'll definitely remember that my main approach towards English listening is that you don't have to train your listening separately. It all has to go hand in hand with your spoken English improvement. Basically, you do it all together, right? (more…)