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?
But here is the pitfall that you may unknowingly fall for. Just because you recognize it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can actually use it in real life. No matter how simplistic a specific English speech pattern may sound, let’s take for argument’s sake the following one: “How are you getting on?” Right? That would be a typical phrase used when greeting someone. It’s a typical English small talk. So you’re basically meeting someone and that person says to you “Oh, hi Frank, how’s things? How are you doing?” And you’re responding with saying “Hi Mark, how are you getting on?” Right?
A phrase as simple as that may actually present a lot of difficulties to you if you don’t actually repeat it, don’t memorize it and don’t become very comfortable with using it in real life. Yes. It may seem very simplistic and it is simple in its nature, right? By its nature. I’m not really sure which one is right. In it – by it’s nature I suppose, yeah. That’s the proper way of saying it.
You see, I’m still making mistakes and I’m correcting myself as I go along but that’s the right approach my friends. If I were to dread making mistakes and if I were to get every single detail just right I wouldn’t be able to speak as fluently as I do now, right?
Anyway, going back to the original subject, no speech pattern is too simplistic. “How are you getting on?” has to be learned, has to be repeated many times over, has to be memorized and only then you’ll become familiar with it and only then you can use it comfortably without much thinking, right?
So that’s the whole point I’m trying to get across today!
If you happened to be one of my customers for example and you just started doing the English Harmony lessons, yes, the first lessons are quite simple. They focus on very simple phraseology. But still, provided that you have all these typical fluency issues whereby you can’t speak with real people in real life, you have to start with the simple things and then progress on to more difficult ones.
And then again, the whole concept of difficult versus simple is all a matter of perception. Once you become familiar with something, it stops being difficult or complicated or whatever way you want to refer to it, right? So I would rather do away with the whole difficult and complicated and simple thing and I would rather go with terms such as speech patterns and phrases and idioms and collocations that you can use, right?
For as long as you can use it, that’s fine. You can then start learning something else, something new which doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t necessarily have to go by this structured way; beginners, intermediate, advanced levels of difficulty that the traditional English teaching system wants you to go with when learning English.
And you may want to check out this article where I’m actually touching upon that particular subject in the very depth where I’m actually debunking the myth that English can be divided into beginners, intermediate and advanced. You don’t have to perceive it that way!
Yes, it can be divided artificially but it doesn’t have to be perceived that way. It’s all about something you know and you can use versus the stuff that you don’t know yet. But it doesn’t have to be perceived as something complicated because if you start attaching such qualities onto things, they may actually – it may hamper your improvement because subconsciously you may perceive something that’s difficult, that’s labeled as difficult, as something that you will find much harder to learn and you will actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You will believe that and it will actually be harder to learn. Any grammar construct is easy for as long as you repeat it, memorize it and use it, right?
So going back to the very original subject that I started this video with, “Give me more difficult stuff. This is too easy!” You don’t have to approach English learning and improvement that way. Even if something is really easy and simple, you still have to be able to use it in your speech.
Even simple phrases such as “How are you?” “It’s a fine day. The weather is nice, isn’t it?” All these small talk phrases., they’re very simple but still a lot of people can’t use them because I suppose a lot of it is accounted for this particular phenomenon. They would think that well, they’re too easy, what’s the point in getting bogged down and repeating them and memorizing them because they’re very simple phrases, right? So what’s the point? You’re wasting my time. But actually, more often than not you can’t use those phrases for the simple reason that you haven’t memorized them. Simple as!
So no stuff is too easy. If you can’t use it – basically your ability to use it is what determines your approach towards that particular grammar construct or collocation or phrase. If you can’t use it comfortably, learn it. It’s not too easy. And then on the other hand, nothing is too complicated either, right?
So that was my message for you my friends. And if you have any comments and any questions in relation to this, please feel free to post them in the comment section below. And cheers and have a nice day or evening or whatever the time of the day is in the country where you are at the moment my friends. Chat to you soon. Bye Bye!
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!