Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya?

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Make effort to improve your English

Improve Spoken English

I’m sick of repeating that the English Harmony blog is all about improving your SPOKEN English and your ability to SPEAK, so by now at least those of you following my blog on a regular basis would have realized you’re not going to find any grammar exercises or downloadable worksheets on my website.

As a result, the number of e-mails about grammar related questions is dwindling which is an overall positive development, and I’m only happy to see it!

Yet a surprising number of people ask me all sorts of questions which clearly show their unwillingness take ANY action in order to improve their spoken English and overall fluency!

Here’s the impression I’m getting:

The school’s over – English grammar is not in the spot-light anymore.

The teacher’s gone – you’re not doing grammar textbooks.

The kids are free to do whatever they want – you’ve just realized that the English language isn’t only about doing tests sitting in a classroom.

Just like kids you choose to do NOTHING – browsing the Web and asking questions on how to speak better or why you can’t speak better instead of actually doing SOMETHING ❗

The simple fact is that I can’t really help you unless you help yourself, ain’t that right, my friend?

Going Against Mainstream Ideas Doesn’t Mean Doing Nothing!

Just because you’ve realized working hard on your grammar theory and building massive vocabulary alone won’t make you fluent, doesn’t mean you can just sit back, revel in your realization, and your English is going to come along just because you’ve changed your perception.

Nothing could be further from the truth, my friend!

You still have to do A LOT OF HARD WORK in order to improve your English:

  • speak a lot with others and yourself;
  • learn, repeat and memorize plenty of new phraseology and vocabulary on a REGULAR basis;
  • engage in your hobbies through English;
  • do ANYTHING you possibly can through the English language!

Just because you don’t have to spend a lot of time cramming grammar rules into your brain and memorizing vocabulary lists with the respective translations in your language, doesn’t mean you don’t have to REPLACE those activities with something that’s more effective and more relevant to your end goal which is English fluency.

Lack of English grammar and traditional vocabulary studies leaves vacuum that has to be filled with all sorts of activities (just like the ones I’ve mentioned above)!

There’s no Excuse for not Doing Any Research & not Taking Any Action!

I hate to be this harsh, but I think I’d better say what I think instead of beating around the bush.

The problem is that a lot of those people coming to my website asking questions such as:

“Robby, I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and it feels like you’re reading my mind. Can you tell me please what I have to do in order to deal with all those problems you’re clearly describing?”

…haven’t bothered doing some real research on my blog. It’s simply impossible NOT to find the exact advice on what one has to do in order to deal with English fluency issues!

I say it in almost every single blog post of mine – the key to fluency is spoken practice whereby you learn a lot of naturally occurring speech patterns. ONE HAS TO OPEN THE MOUTH AND SPEAK. That’s all.

I don’t deny there’s a whole lot more to it, but the essence of one’s English fluency development routine is really that simple.

And it’s not that I would have written just one article about it.

I’ve countless videos about it, hundreds of blog posts, free eBooks and what not.

Read what I have to say. Watch what I’m saying to you. TRY TO DO WHAT I’M SUGGESTING YOU DO.

If it doesn’t work, or you’ve some questions about it – I’ll be more than happy to help you out!

But I can’t help being a bit annoyed when receiving an e-mail from someone who’s JUST downloaded my free eBook “Truth about traditional English studies” where EVERYTHING is actually explained:

  • why traditional English studies don’t really contribute to your oral Fluency;
  • why English collocations are the basic units of the English language;
  • why you have to stop translating from your native language;
  • why spoken English practice is CRUCIAL in your fluency development…

… and that e-mail says – “Robby, can you please help me to improve my English?”…

Arghhhhh!

If you don’t bother reading anything from the free eBook where everything is explained, then what do you expect from me to tell you? Some magic formula that will simply transform your brain into that of a native English speaker within a matter of minutes?

Stop Feeling Helpless & Take Some ACTION!

The teacher’s gone home, and there’s no-one to tell you what to do. Well, there’s me – but even I can’t take you by the hand and help you on every step of the way!

Feels kind of helpless, doesn’t it?

Well, guess what? You’ve got to motivate yourself! 😀

You have to create a routine around your English improving efforts, you’ve got to do it regularly, and then ask me questions regarding specific things that don’t work out or you’re not sure of!

Or even feel free to be critical of my approach and tell me why you think my methods don’t really work for you. I’m open to any exchange of opinion as far as it’s done in a civilized and polite manner!

But please understand I’m not in a position to help you if you’re not doing something to help yourself in the first place.

And if you think it’s easy for me to say all this because I’ve already achieved a decent level of English, please bear in mind that I was struggling with my English for YEARS, but I NEVER stopped taking action.

Sure enough, I did all the wrong things – grammar, vocabulary via my native language and all that sort of stuff – but I never stopped doing something, my need to achieve English fluency kept driving me on the whole time.

Now, if you’re the one who’s been always procrastinating, maybe it’s time to take some real action towards your English fluency improvement?

How about doing some spoken self-practice? DO IT RIGHT NOW – then post a comment here on this blog post and tell me how it went, at the very least we’re going to have some discussion going on about something SPECIFIC, something you can adjust, something you can fix, something you can improve upon!

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!

 

English Harmony System

End
  • Of course there is, but it’s not the point we’re discussing here, is it? We’re discussing how a child’s language acquisition stacks up to that of an adult, and my argument is that everything else being equal, a foreign English speaking adult will learn much faster than a toddler in a native English speaking family simply because he/she is fully capable of operating with abstract concepts while a child has to learn it first!

  • There’s a lot more to acquiring a language than just speaking.

  • I never said that! My point is – you can’t compare a 5 year old period in an adult foreign English speaker’s life with a 5 year old period from the age 0 – 5 of a child living in a native English speaking family. The adult brain is fully developed so there’s nothing to deter us from speaking from day one while the child has to fully develop his ability to speak IN THE FIRST PLACE!

  • Just because the child cannot speak the language yet doesn’t mean that he is not listening and watching everything around him, while trying to make sense of that information.

  • Are we looking at a 5 year old native English speaking child? In that case it’s only really taken him a couple of years to develop his/her speech to that level because in the early stages of a child’s development their brain simply hasn’t developed yet to handle abstract concepts/speak so that time doesn’t count!

  • That’s a new one for me (to hog something)!

  • No pain, no gain – exactly! The single biggest reason why people want to avoid pain is because they haven’t tried to savor it; once you get a taste of it, you want more – whether it’s pumping iron or speaking in English.

  • Hi Rahul,

    I just recorded a video and wrote a blog post to address your comment, please read/watch is here: http://englishharmony.com/reevaluate/

    Best Regards,

    Robby

  • Second language acquisition is indeed a very slow process.

    Bear in mind it takes a native child about 5 years to acquire their mother tongue (and that doesn’t mean he/she can express himself/herself like an adult).

  • rahul

    I am trying to do whatever can be done in my personal capacity. I note down new English words and idiomatic expressions, write their meanings ( from meriam webster online dictionary and cambridge advanced learner’s dictionary ), try to use them in conversations. I regularly watch CNN-IBN, Times now debates, TV series (Friends, South Park), movies. I have some English speaking colleagues, though they speak it as their 2nd language ( so I am not sure about any improvement in accuracy albeit a small increase in speed). So, I can safely assume I speak the language for at least 1 hour a day. Despite putting in so much of effort, I can not see any noticeable change in my speaking fluency and accuracy over past 6 months. That reinforces my belief that English as the language of instruction in school is reason why some non-native speakers are fluent in English. Although English is the language of instruction at university level in my country, the void created due to 10 years of vernacular medium education is very hard to be filled. This also makes me jump into the conclusion that 2nd language acquisition is a very slow process.

  • Yes, we can’t let Robby hog the camera!

  • Perhaps your best article yet..?

    Btw Francisco I also want to get a video camera and start posting mini-lessons or chats. I think it’s a great thing to do too from a personal point of view – if you do enough videos, you never know, you might end up doing training sessions on presentation skills or somehow extend your existing work. I know it’s something I want to develop.

  • That’s a great article, Robby.

    It’s very true that some people don’t even bother to make the effort. No pain, no gain.

    As soon as I get my webcam, I will start posting some videos too. I will probably begin by reviewing the webcam I bought!