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English Harmony Highlights of August 2011

English Harmony Author Personally for me the whole month of August just flew by because of a single reason – I was MAD busy at work! The moment I would come in and the moment I finished work in the evening felt like just a couple of hours apart because of the massive workload! It’s a good complaint though, considering the way things are at the moment on the jobs front in Ireland, and I hope that whatever your personal circumstances are, you’ve managed to keep your job and hopefully you’re getting plenty of spoken English practice in it!

All right, I think I just veered off topic so let’s cut the rant and get down to discussing this month’s blog posts! Yes, despite being extremely busy and tired I still managed to find enough time to write quite a few articles, and if you haven’t got round to reading them – now is the perfect time to invest a couple minutes of your time into reading some stuff about improving English fluency.

The main blogging topic this month was English collocations, and I wrote three articles dedicated to this very important aspect of English fluency.

I started off with a blog post called Unnatural English Collocations and Wrong Mental Associations. It’s probably the most important article in the whole month of August because it sheds light on issues like saying the wrong English word despite being aware of what the correct word is. It’s all about having created wrong associations between English and also your native language’s words, so it’s extremely important for you to know what to avoid in order to stop creating unnatural English collocations in your mind!

I continued on the same note in one of my most recent articles called 3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain. This blog post adds to the previous one and elaborates on the main related issues, so I’d suggest you to read it – especially if you found the first one relevant to your personal circumstances!

The third blog post is called 5 Ways of Learning Natural English Collocations and Creating Useful Vocabulary Associations. I think it’s obvious from the headline that I was trying to be a bit more positive this time by not focusing on the negative aspects, namely – what happens when you learn English the wrong way. In this article you’ll find useful advice on how to effectively build your English vocabulary by learning collocations and using Google in the process, and also how to create strong visual and other associations between English words and phrases so that you can use them naturally and with ease.

Just in case you’re wandering why I’m dedicating so many of my blog posts to English collocations – well, it’s just to give you maximum exposure to the simple fact that you can’t speak fluent English if you just try to stick separate words together. You simply need to develop the so called ‘gut feeling’ for natural English and it is best achieved by learning word chunks and phrases – otherwise known as collocations.

Anyway, let’s move on to another article I posted early this month and it’s called The Single Biggest Culprit Causing Foreigners’ Speech Anxiety. I have to admit that when I started writing this blog post I was very emotional after reading a certain blog post on another foreign English speaker’s blog.

I managed to calm myself down a bit so while I was writing I decided to keep some of my sentiments to myself. Still I expressed much of my anger and frustration towards certain group of people who, in my opinion, are responsible for many foreign English speakers being embarrassed and even terrified when they have to speak English with others.

If you’re having or have had similar English fluency issues – you’re definitely going to find this blog post intriguing or even controversial, so give it a read and if you’ve a strong opinion on it – leave a comment below the article as well.

August has been busy for me not only in terms of my 9 to 5 work and writing for my blog; I’ve also been reading a lot after discovering new series of fantasy fiction. I’m mad into fantasy fiction, and my latest discovery is called Mistborn series. You may not be a fantasy or even a sci-fi fan, and I’m all right with that. Different strokes for different folks – as they say!

Nonetheless, I believe that whatever type of fiction you’re into, you’ll only benefit from reading it in English, so I think you should read one of my August articles called 4 Reasons Why Any Foreign English Speaker Should Read English Fiction. I’ve made a few strong points in this blog post as to why reading fiction – or indeed any other written English material, magazines and newspapers included – is going to benefit you in your pursuit after English fluency.

And by the way – if you’ve always believed that you’d be no good at reading English fiction because you need to take your English to the next level before you even attempt to read – you should read this old article of mine How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary! After reading it you should realize once and for all that your level of English is most likely good enough to enjoy English fiction!

All right, that’s it for August highlights!

Thanks for reading my blog and make sure you grab the free eBook on the top-left corner of this website to be added onto my mailing list – if you haven’t already done so!

Best Wishes,

Robby 😉

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Well… I’ve reiterated it many times on my blog that being a perfectionist may actually impede your fluency.nnReal fluency is about improvizing and despite making an odd mistake here and there I’m getting 95% of what I say correct. If I was so determined to get everything I say and write 100% correct, I would still be writing this article! ;-)nnThanks for pointing it out though, you learn something new every day, as they say! 😉

  • Thanks!

  • That doesn’t mean I don’t like the post. Very interesting.

  • “in your pursuit after English fluency”. That is redundant. The correct preposition is “of”, “in your pursuit of English fluency”.

  • Hasangamethmal

    good job robby.keep it up