3 Life Lessons For Foreign English Speakers to Learn From ARNIE
I grew up watching Hollywood action films starring actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude van Damme and most notably – Arnold Schwarzenegger, otherwise known as ARNIE :!: Well, I’m pretty sure I don’t have to be telling you that Arnie’s a former bodybuilding champion having won Mister Olympia title seven times. His acting career and his trademark catch-phrase “I’ll be back” from the Terminator franchise is also something that EVERY person on the planet has heard of. OK, I’ll admit he mightn’t be THAT popular nowadays among teenagers for the simple reason that new actors are constantly replacing the older ones and jacked up guys like Chris Hemsworth, Jason Statham, Hugh Jackman and dozens of others have claimed their place in the Hollywood action film scene. You can’t deny, however, that for as long as Arnie is alive and kicking – and also beyond - he’ll be known as one of the most successful and iconic people on the planet. And guess what? He’s a foreign English speaker – just like you and me! He’s been ridiculed because of his accent, he’s lost the count of times he’s been told to stop pursuing his unrealistic dreams and did you know that up until his early twenties he didn’t speak any English at all? It didn’t stop him to pursue his dreams, however. He didn’t give a damn about his lack of English skills or his terrible Austrian accent. He focused on his dreams and goals eventually becoming the Governor of California (which is, believe it or not, the ninth largest economy in the world!) – and all that despite him not being a native English speaker! Fair enough, me or you aren’t like Arnie, but there’s still a lot we can learn from him! :grin: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Needless To Say”
What Do Small Children, Pets & The English Language Have In Common?
English Idiomatic Expression – “Opportunity Presents Itself”
After a 3 month period (it’s got to do with getting my own place and doing loads of DIY over the summer period!) away from this blog, I’m back more determined than ever to keep publishing loads of English idiomatic expressions, sample sentences and ways of using them in your daily English conversations! Today’s video features the following expression - “opportunity presents itself” – and while it’s quite self-explanatory, you’ve got to repeat it many times over in the right context in order to be able to use it as part of a live speech. You’re welcome to watch the video above where I’m using the phrase “opportunity presents itself” quite a lot, and on top of that you can also read the following sample sentences, repeat them, and memorize them so that they become your second nature: (more…)
How English Idiomatic Expressions Helped Me Deal With a REALLY Stressful Conversation
I’d been mentally preparing myself for the upcoming conversation for DAYS. I’d gone through all the things I was going to say to my boss all over and over again. I’d wanted to talk to him on multiple occasions yet I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to do it and I just kept talking myself out of it (now it’s not the right time… now I’m too busy…) When I finally got around to talking to him, it all happened kind of suddenly and I had actually forgotten every little detail I wanted to talk about. Sure enough, I knew what I wanted to ask, but I hadn’t gone through the more detailed plan of the upcoming conversation which I’d worked out previously. So, when I stood right in front of him asking if he’s five minutes to spare, the stress levels in my body were hitting all-time heights! My heart was palpitating. Adrenaline was being pumped through my veins at an accelerated rate. Needless to say, I found it quite hard to start the conversation because the stress levels were most definitely affecting my ability to say what I wanted to say in English! Luckily my chat with the boss didn’t turn out to be a total failure because I’ve been learning hundreds upon hundreds of English idiomatic expressions over the years, and the accumulative effect of such practice is such that it enables you to speak in English automatically and without much thinking (the English Harmony System works based on the same principles, by the way!). Here’s how English idiomatic expressions helped me conduct the conversation in a fairly normal way: (more…)
Make It Impossible To Avoid English!
EH System for Mac Users Available NOW!
Hello my friends foreign English speakers :!: This is the first video recorded in my new home office, and it coincides with a very important announcement I’m going to make right now… … English Harmony System de Luxe Edition is now available to MAC users! It’s something that many of my followers have been waiting for a long, long time, and I actually have to apologize for making you wait. Now that the MAC edition of the EH System is finally available, however, I don’t think you’ll be crying over the time lost; instead you should jump right into the action and start doing the unique speech exercising lessons RIGHT NOW! So, what are you waiting for? Just follow these simple steps: Click on the ORDER button below (alternatively click HERE to read more about the EH System and what it will do for your English fluency) Create your own member’s profile on my website so that you can access the speech exercising lessons Proceed with a payment using either PayPal or a Credit Card Start doing the speech exercising lessons immediately after that! Basically the MAC version of the product will avail you of the very same benefits that the downloadable version does; the only exception is that you’ll have to log into your own profile on my website to access all the content. Are you a dedicated Apple fan? Are you using a MacBook Pro, an iPad or some other Apple device meaning you can’t run .EXE files on it? English Harmony System de Luxe Edition MAC version is what you’re looking for then, and you can get it by either clicking on the ORDER now button below or heading to the main salespage! Any questions – just post them in the comments section below and I’ll respond to them ASAP. Regards, Robby ;-)
Why When We Stress Out Our Fluency Deteriorates?
New English DIY Terms I Learned This Summer While Redecorating My New House
To tell you the truth, my friends, this has been the busiest summer I’ve ever had in my life so far! I’ve been spending days in my 9 to 5 job, and my evenings and weekends were spent on redecorating my new house. And I’ve got to tell you – it was one hell of a job! Even though professionals got hired to do most of the heavy lifting, there was still a lot for me to do. And don’t get me wrong; the job isn’t anywhere near finished. Right now I’m sitting in my office staring out the window with no curtains and running my laptop on a battery because the socket hasn’t been connected to the mains yet! Anyhow, throughout all the stress and hardship I had to go through while dealing with the plumber, electrician, window repair men and a bunch of other folks, I’ve learned a thing or two about DIY and related stuff. Here’s a list of new English DIY related phrases and terms I’ve learned this summer while redecorating my house, and who knows – maybe you’ll find some of them handy when engaged in similar activities! (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: Create a Habit of Thinking of How Certain Things Might be Called in English!
Hello my foreigner friends from YearOfEnglish.com! (and everyone else, of course!) This time around let’s focus on building your English vocabulary and the related habits you should create for yourself. You see, the main problem is that many foreigner English speakers believe English vocabulary has to be built the following way: Learning abstract vocabulary lists; Learning meanings of individual words; Learning translations of words from your native language into English. Now, I can rubbish all these assumptions in an instant! First of all, vocabulary lists are abstract word compilations and they have very little – if anything! – to do with your life and things YOU have to talk about on a daily basis. Secondly, fluent English speech doesn’t happen just by sticking individual words together. Every English word is actually associated with other words creating word groups or the so-called collocations. Thirdly, if you keep translating from your native language, you won’t get rid of the habit of preparing the speech in your head prior to speaking it out loud and that’s not what I’d call true fluency! If you want to build your English vocab the natural way, you’re way better off by creating a routine of thinking of what new English words you should learn as you go about YOUR DAILY BUSINESS :!: (more…)
Why Learning Long English Phrases Is MORE Beneficial to Your Fluency!
I get this question asked quite often: Sometimes a single English word might have up to 20 different meanings; how do I know which one to learn? My answer is always the same: Never learn meanings of individual words; ALWAYS learn them in context! Let’s say for instance, you’ve come across a new word VIGOR. Here’s what TheFreeDictionary.com returns when you do a lookup on the word VIGOR: Physical or mental strength, energy, or force. The capacity for natural growth and survival, as of plants or animals. Strong feeling; enthusiasm or intensity. Legal effectiveness or validity. Now, try and learn this entire list, I and guarantee you won’t be able to use the word VIGOR in your English conversations! Why? It’s simple enough – if you learn these abstract descriptions, you won’t create any associations in your brain between the new word VIGOR and other English words you know. Human brain works based on associated content, and all you have to do in order to be able to use the new word VIGOR is learn a word combination RENEWED VIGOR, for example. RENEWED VIGOR = renewed energy – that’s all you have to learn in order to start using the new English word without ANY advance planning as to what and how you’re going to say this or that particular thing! Here’s another question that might quite naturally arise: How do I know what other words the new word goes together with? Well, I have an answer prepared for this one as well – simply use Google (read this article on how it’s done for the best results). But here’s the million dollar question: How do I know how LONG the phrase has to be? Is two words enough? Or maybe I have to learn a whole sentence? I just found this one on Google - COME BACK WITH RENEWED VIGOR – should I learn the entire sentence? Now, it’s worth looking into the subject a bit deeper so read the rest of this article to find out the ideal length of English phrases you’re learning! (more…)
Story About Not Being Able to Speak in English in the Morning and Speaking 100% FLUENTLY in the Afternoon!
My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences
A couple of days ago I had to make a phone call to my local airline company’s Ryanair support line to sort out a few queries over my family’s summer flight to our home country. I got through to the call center within a matter of seconds for the simple reason that it was one of those premium rate phone numbers. I doubt that would be the case had it been a normal phone line or a toll-free phone number; most likely I would have to spend at least five minutes on the line! Anyway, my customer support agent was a Russian girl so the first thought that crossed my mind was – “Cool! It’s going to be quite easy to speak with her because she’s also a foreign English speaker – just like me!” You see, the thing is that on some occasions it’s easier to speak with another fellow foreign English speaker than a native English speaker, so I thought this chat was going to be a walk in the park. A short time later, I realized it wasn’t the case with this particular conversation. I was having a hard time understanding if the person on the other end of the phone line actually understood me, so I constantly had to second-guess her replies which made the conversation not-so easy, to say the least! (more…)
Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!
4 Reasons Why You Can’t Compare the Average Foreign English Speaker With a Small Child in a Native Speaking Family
The English language teaching industry is awash with children vs adult comparisons. Statements such as: “Learn the English language just like babies do – simply listen, and let all the language sink in…” or “Small children are best at learning the English language, their brain is like a sponge! We adults don’t stand a chance…” are so commonplace that we tend to take them for face value and we don’t question them at all. Here at English Harmony I question all mainstream standards and practices, and more often than not I’ve found them to be totally wrong. I figured out a long time ago that you don’t need anywhere near as much focus on grammar as they’ll make you believe in any academic English teaching institution. I learned it the hard way that learning new English words via my native language – which is a typical industry standard – is actually bad for my English fluency because it creates a lot of unnatural vocabulary associations in my brain. And it took me a long, long time to define my personal problem – inability to SPEAK in English FLUENTLY – for the simple reason that no-one had ever said it to me during my English language studies at primary, secondary and college level which were 99% focused on developing my ability to read and write! Today I’m taking on another myth: “In order to learn the English language, we need to look at small kids in native English speaking families and copy what they do.” I say: “DON’T copy what little children do because you’re not comparing like with like!” (more…)
How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better English!
Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms
Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!
27 days ago – April 30, to be more specific, I published the first video featuring an American English phrase TELL YOU WHAT. It marked the start of a journey that saw me record 42 videos within 25 days learning 50 new American English phrases, expressions, collocations and grammar constructs. A few facts about this 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission: All American phraseology acquired during this mission has been sourced from GONE series dystopian fiction; I was recording 2 daily videos – one in the morning and the other one in the evening. The morning video got published on my Easy Idioms blog while the evening one went live on my Accent Adventure website. I was using my own Fluency Gym Coach Program and its Action Plan to set the overall goal and organize my spoken English self-practice sessions; I was making sure to use those newly acquired expressions also outside my video recording activities (extra self-practice sessions and also speaking with my work colleagues during the day) thus imprinting them into my active vocab permanently! And here are the videos published on this blog where I’m using all those newly acquired American phrases: American Phrases 1 – 12 American Phrases 13 – 24 American Phrases 25 – 38 American Phrases 39 -50 (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! I’m nearing the end of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and it’s been one hell of a ride :!: I’ve been recording videos day in, day out. I’ve been getting up at 5:40 AM so that I can record my morning video and publish it on Easy Idioms blog before I have to leave home for work. It’s been hard work, but at the same time I’ve also been improving my fluency and pronunciation (the evening videos got published on Accent Adventure blog where I’m working on my American pronunciation) and I don’t regret a single second of this mission! Today’s video, however, is different in that it’s created around the same concepts used in the English Harmony System, namely – spaced repetition and contextual speech pattern acquisition. Basically you can watch the video above and see me being engaged in English speech exercising in order to acquire the last 12 American English phrases/collocations/expressions: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 25 – 38 in a Self-Practice Session
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #37: YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Morning! Today’s American English phrase is YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?, and it’s a very handy phrase for situations when you’re approaching a group of people with an intent to tell them some news. And by the way, this phrase is a typical example of how we can omit words in conversational English, and while some perfectionists will consider such a grammar construct a mistake, in reality it’s exactly how people are speaking in real life! Obviously, grammatically correct way of wording this phrase would be the following: “Have you guys heard about?” or “Did you guys hear about?” – depending on context. In real life conversations, however, native English speakers quite often omit the auxiliary verbs from the beginning of sentences, and the resulting sentence is something of a crossbreed between a question and a statement. And if you think about it, this phrase YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT? doesn’t even follow any English grammar rules! (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Grammar Construct #35: COME + VERB
YearOfEnglish.com: 3 Reasons Why Enjoying Your Hobbies Through English is The BEST Thing You Can Do To Your FLUENCY!
I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve had moments when you’ve lost motivation to keep improving your English and working on your fluency. Vocabulary and phraseology acquisition. Spoken English practice sessions. Reading and listening comprehension. All is nice and well up until the moment when you just get bored for the simple reason that you don’t see relevance of all those activities in your personal life! Let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re a fitness fanatic and you live and breathe all things fitness. You go to the local gym every day, and you’re very conscious when it comes to your nutrition and lifestyle. Now, if that’s the case, then you spend pretty much your entire free time being engaged in fitness related activities, and while you may have a dream of achieving English fluency for professional reasons, you kind of find it hard to dedicate enough time to English improvement related activities. But guess what? The biggest problem is the following: You’ve separated your fitness life and English fluency improvement and you perceive them as two different aspects of your life! No wonder you find it hard to motivate yourself to engage in a lot of English practice if you’d rather hit the gym one more time instead of learning another couple of English phrases and doing some spoken English practice… Solution? Combine the two: YOUR HOBBY and YOUR ENGLISH IMPROVEMENT ROUTINE! And here are the three main reasons why combining your hobbies and interests with learning and improving the English language is SUPER-BENEFICIAL to your fluency! (more…)
GONE Series Finished: What I’ve Gained From Reading It
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #33: AT LOOSE ENDS
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #31: YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello boys and girls! :-) I’m still on my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and while the GONE series books have been finished by now (that’s where I’ve been sourcing all these American Phrases), the mission isn’t anywhere near completion! I still have 19 phrases to learn, and today I’m doing the 31st phrase which is the following: YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL? You see, the thing is, up until recently (or, to be more specific - until I came across this phrase in one of the GONE series books) I thought that the English collocation A BIG DEAL can only be used when referring to things and abstract concepts. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #28 GO SEE/WATCH/DO SOMETHING…
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning my friends! ;-) Did you know, by the way, that it’s totally fine to omit the word AND when saying things like: I’ll go AND check on my sister to make sure everything’s OK. I had to go AND watch a movie with an old friend of mine even though I didn’t like it! Let’s go AND see what food we can round up! Yes, in conversational English it’s 100% fine to omit the word AND so the above sentences become: I’ll GO CHECK on my sister… I had to GO WATCH a movie… Let’s GO SEE what food… (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #27: CALL BS ON…
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrasal Verb #18: See What We Can ROUND UP
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Currently I’m reading the last book in GONE series, and here’s a sentence I came across yesterday: “See what food we can ROUND UP!” The situation in the book was the following: a kids settlement near a lake had been attacked by a monster of extraordinary powers, and half of all humans got massacred (quite grisly for a teenage fiction, isn’t it?). When the monster was fended off by one of the human mutants (you must be thinking now – “What kind of books are you reading, Robby?!”), the girl in charge started organizing their retreat to the town. Quite obviously, when almost everything you own is destroyed, first you have to see what supplies you’re left with, so that’s when this phrase “See what we can ROUND UP” comes in really handy! The funny thing is, I knew the phrasal verb TO ROUND UP in quite a different context. It’s a mathematical term and it’s used when rounding up figures. Let’s say, for example, if you’re asked to round up the number 27, you get 30. You can also round figures down, in which case 27 becomes 25 – and I’m sure everyone having even attended a primary school is familiar with this concept! Today’s video, however, isn’t about rounding figures up or down. It’s about using the American phrasal verb TO ROUND UP in a much different context, namely – when rounding up… (more…)