Asking for And Giving Directions in English – So Trivial Yet Essential!
Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself! Asking for directions in English when you’re not sure where a particular object is located while travelling or helping out some stranger who stops you in a passing-by car and asks for directions to some spot – these could be called textbook English scenarios. Meaning – directions is one of the basics that you’d have to learn as a beginner English student, right? That being said, I have to admit that not every advanced English speaker’s phraseology is up to scratch when it comes to these relatively simple English phrases. The heck, recently even I used to get a bit stuck sometimes when asking for directions or when I had to give someone directions in English, and it’s only when I started coaching other foreign English speakers on Fluency Star that I compiled a list of relevant phrases and also cleared up the whole thing once and for all for myself. So, would you like to tap into Robby’s personal knowledgebase? Then what are you waiting for! Just keep reading and you’ll find the most relevant direction asking and giving English phraseology – just make sure you actually memorize those phrases by way of speaking out loud multiple times and then repeating them over the course of a few days to make sure these speech patterns get imprinted into your brain and most importantly – your mouth muscles! And by the way - don’t forget that you would also sometimes have to describe directions when talking about past events and telling stories, so these sorts of situations aren’t just limited to giving and asking for directions specifically! (more…)
Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right?
5 Memory Improvement Tips for Language Learners
English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers. That's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. And this is going to be one of those question and answer sessions whereby I'm answering to emails that my blog visitors have emailed me obviously. Reader’s Question: I’m Fluent, but Not Fluent Enough! What to Do? So the first email is about a particular problem faced by this person and he described the problem the following way. So he can have conversations with anyone and he can understand and reply but he is not as fluent as he would like to be. And in his own words “I'm not able to use a lot of vocabulary because it's very difficult for me to memorize words, therefore my written skill is also very bad. I commit a lot of mistakes in spelling when I write something.” So he basically requests me to give some advice. So first things first, it's of the utmost importance not to perceive all aspects of the English improvement at a same time. So you're saying that you are not as fluent, meaning you can't speak as fluently as you would like to and then you kind of make the connection between that and your written skill, right? So you're saying that therefore my written skill is also very bad, right? So I've got to let you know that there is no direct correlation between your overall fluency and your written fluency. Obviously, obviously, if you can't speak at all for instance chances are that your written fluency is also going to be very bad and vice versa. But what I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of people who can speak no problem while at the same time they struggle with writing and quite the opposite which is actually the most typical case scenario. (more…)
The State of “The Flow” and Its Importance When Improving Your English
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! 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! Today let's talk about THE FLOW. And I read about the concept of flow or should I say THE flow? Because it's a particular state of mind. And I read about that concept a while ago while I was doing a little bit of research into the subject of procrastination. We all – I suppose – have that quality to procrastinate sometimes. You know, it's a vice because it's a terrible feeling, you know? You know exactly what you've got to do but you just can't do it for whatever reasons. You just find yourself constantly getting distracted. For instance if I had a task of writing an article for instance I would find myself making cups of coffee every 15 minutes and checking my email and checking my website’s stats and whatever. And then 5 or 6 hours later the article still wouldn't be even started. I would have only 1 or 2 paragraphs. And so that's the typical case of procrastination. And I've been guilty of that at certain stages in my life. And I was doing a little bit of research into it and I found out that people who don't procrastinate they can achieve the state of mind whereby they are fully immersed into the activity at hand so their mind doesn't even wander. And that's the so-called state of THE FLOW. (more…)
What’s the Best Way to Go About Shadowing English Videos?
English Idiomatic Expression “Good Night’s Sleep”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below Hi guys, that's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Currently I'm having my morning tea. As a matter of fact, it's green tea with lemon. One smart person suggested a while back that I drink green tea with lemon as a way of boosting my immune system and whatnot and it actually helped, you know what I mean? So that was a very wise suggestion on that person's part. Anyhow, today we're going to look at the following English idiomatic expression. As a matter of fact, I forgot what the expression was. Seriously, what's wrong with me? It just slipped my mind. I cannot believe that, it's unbelievable. I remember it now but it just goes to show that my head is full of different thoughts and everything and it's all too easy to me to forget the stuff that I actually wanted to put in this video, right? So today's idiomatic expression is a “good night's sleep”, right? And it may sound very simple. In fact, it's super simple, a good night's sleep, right? When you've had a good night's sleep obviously you slept very well. However, there's a reason for me to creating a whole video dedicated to this particular idiomatic expression. And if you want to find out what the reason is, please bear with me for a few more minutes and everything is going to become crystal clear to you, my friends. (more…)
English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself! Related articles: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English Speaking Country What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about living in Ireland which, as you may already know, is an English speaking country. In hindsight, I can say that it’s been one hell of a transformation – I’ve gone from a foreigner who’s barely capable of speaking conversational English to an English fluency mentor who’s teaching other foreign English speakers. I’ve experienced all the ups and downs one can encounter while living in an English speaking country. I’ve been told I’m a useless English speaker. I’ve been in all sorts of embarrassing situations – starting from not being able to order a meal in McDonald’s and ending with screwing up job interviews because of my inability to provide a coherent answer. But the great thing is that now, with all that experience under my belt, I can tell my students with the utmost certainty what kind of an attitude they need to adopt in order to survive and thrive as English speakers living in an English speaking country. It feels so great being in a position to help out others, and frankly speaking, I don’t regret anything that’s happened to me while I was a struggling English speaker. I like to think that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I just HAD to endure all the hardship and suffering to emerge a fluent English speaker equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help others who find themselves in the same boat. But now, let me tell you what I’ve realized over the 14 year long stay in Ireland; as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about life in an English speaking country! (more…)
Reading Aloud – Perfect Way of Practicing Your Spoken English!
Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. That's me, obviously Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and you are very welcome back to my video blog! Now, today I decided to record a video dedicated to a particular English idiomatic expression, namely “to take something for granted”. And the reason why I decided to record this particular video is because I got a comment on my blog recently. To be more specific it's only 6 minutes old, right? And here is what it says. As a matter of fact, it was published on another English idiomatic expression page, The Big Picture and the commentator says this is an incredible video, really got the meaning very quickly and here's the request: Robby, can you make a video for this idiomatic expression “to take something for granted”? Thank you. And guess what? You're lucky, my friend, tonight I'm in a good mood so I decided hey, why not? You know what I mean. And as a matter of fact, I wanted to record a video anyway so I was like okay, I'll do a video about this particular idiomatic expression. So if you are interested in finding out how to use this particular one and what kind of situations it can be used in, please bear with me for a few more moments. Did you hear how I kind of started stumbling upon words? Bear with me for a few mo - mo - mo more moments or something like that? It's all part of the English Harmony philosophy, my friends. Even if you make a little mistake, even if you stumble upon words a little bit it doesn't matter. Just keep pushing on, you know what I mean? Keep pushing the envelope and keep speaking with yourself because that is the surefire way to English fluency. (more…)
Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. Welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog and tonight I'm going to record a video as a video response to one of my YouTube commentators. But just before that, allow me to take a sip of my evening decaf coffee, right? Cheers my friends! So this person, Triple H and he is as a matter of fact, one of the most prolific commentators on my channel and I really hope that you don't mind Triple H me reading out your comment because it's going to help everybody, the whole audience for that matter. So Triple H shares a very embarrassing moment that happened to him at the embassy. So basically the woman or personnel asked him who was going to collect his passport. And basically he didn't get her accent, her pronunciation so she had to say it 4 times over and he couldn't get it. And she pronounced basically the word “when” as “wha” and “who” as “he”. Yeah, well, there are certain distinct accents whereby native English speakers pronounce words completely differently to what you would have expected, right? So after that incident his fluency went down the drain, out the window and afterwards he couldn't say one word. So the question is do you think it's common? (more…)
Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!
Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Currently I'm having my Monday morning tea. Cheers! You see how big, how huge this mug is? This is the kind of mug I like, you know what I mean? This is what I call proper tea drinking. You can make yourself almost a liter of tea and drink it, right? Anyhow, in today's video I'm going to look at the following topic: Simple Past versus Present Simple. And this is, as a matter of fact, a thing that confuses the hell out of so many foreign English speakers, right? And ironically enough I haven't actually recorded a video about this particular topic in the past which is kind of weird because I've been publishing my videos for years on end. At this stage it's actually 8 years since I'm running the English Harmony blog or actually 9 years. Yeah, going 9 years this year to be honest with you. I started it in 2007 if I'm not mistaken so next year going 10 years, you know what I mean? It is going to be a big anniversary. Anyhow, it's surprising that I haven't actually touched upon this particular topic comparing the simple past “I did it” for instance against present simple “I've done it” and when you use one or the other, you know what I mean? And the reason I'm saying that it confuses the hell out of so many foreigners is because I've had first-hand experience dealing with people who are not really sure on how to use these two tenses, right? As a matter of fact, one of my Fluency Star students served as an inspiration for this video because that person was kind of not really sure on how it's done and then I explained it to her and she was very happy about my explanation because it's pretty straight forward if you boil it down to the very basics, right? So first things first, “I've done it.” For instance “I've been to London” which is not really true in my case because believe it or not, I've never been to London, right? And it's very weird because I live in Ireland which is very close to England, so it's just one small hop with a plane, like a half an hour flight or something and you're in London, you know what I mean? And with these days’ prices where you can go to London just paying literally 20 or 30 Euros, you know what I mean? It's no excuse not to go there but on the downside obviously when you go there you have to book a hotel and so on and so forth. And then you have to go sightseeing and all those costs add up and eventually you end up spending a fortune, you know what I mean? So I guess I've just kept putting it off and off and off. And anyhow, I'm going to do it one fine day I would imagine but anyhow, going back to the subject; “I've been to London,” right? And then you can also say I went to London, okay? So what is the difference? First things first, you don't have to be kind of analyzing your English language – language? What did I just say? Language. See, I just made a mistake but it just goes to show that making mistakes is a crucial part of the whole fluency improvement thing, right? Anyhow, you see, today I'm all over the place. I just keep varying up the subject and touching upon random things. So “I've been to London, right?” It's a general statement. You're not specifying a specific point in time. And mark this guys, point in time. This is the crucial bit, right? Whenever there is a time mentioned, a specific time, a year, a day, month, week, whatever, that's when you use simple past. (more…)
5 Ways International English Students Can Start Writing Like Natives
How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hey guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! This is me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Today I wanted to tell you something interesting in relation to English fluency obviously because this whole project is about English fluency so what else could I be possibly telling you about, right? Other than English fluency related matters. Anyhow, the particular thing that I wanted to bring up today was the phenomenon of you being able to perform quite well when it comes to spoken English performance on days when your English is kind of suffering a little bit but still you have those particular situations during those days when you're capable of performing very well. And here's a typical example just to make it a 100% clear to you what exactly I mean by saying all this, right? Let's say for argument's sake I go to work in the morning and for some reason my English is not a 100%. My brain is not firing on all cylinders for whatever reason, you know, and my English is kind of sluggish. So it's basically one of those bad fluency days. (more…)
Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!
5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
When learning English, it’s important to practice as often as possible and to keep up with real-world use of the language. To this end, students can use their mobile phones to improve a great deal. Here are some ways to get help from a device that is with them every hour of the day! Read as much as possible You can download eBooks to your mobile very easily, so why not try it? Real beginners can try children’s books, as these are easier to read and will help with their rudimentary level of English. As their learning progresses, they can move on to young adult books, and finally to adult literature. It’s a good idea to choose a book that they are familiar with in their own language, too, as this will help comprehension flow more quickly and increase the pace of learning. If eBooks are not preferred, the student could download magazines or newspapers instead to practice with. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “The Big Picture…”
What do the International English Language Examinations Give You?
English language exams have to be taken by the majority of people who are interested in working and living in any English-speaking country. The first one that was established was International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in 1989. It was created by several organizations from different countries and it requires serious preparation. The other important international English language exams are TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication). The former is designed specifically for people who want to enroll universities where English is the language of teaching, while the latter measures general communication and everyday skills of English language. Here is a list of benefits that you will have once you decide to take up one of these tests and do well at them! (more…)
English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free
English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi Guys! In today's video I'm going to respond to a number of e-mails sent by my blog readers, and here's exactly what I'm addressing in this video: How heeding to my advice about using SIMPLE VOCABULARY helped one of my blog readers to succeed at a job interview which resulted in securing a job 1:00 - 3:15 Is trying to build huge vocabulary and phraseology going to help overcome an English fluency issue whereby the person in question keeps constantly second-guessing themselves when speaking in English? 3:20 - 9:50 Studying English grammar for 20 years - and still can't speak in English! 9:50 - 11:05 Struggling with English Tenses and modifying English sentences 11:15 - 13:05 Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With Robby
Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!
Recently I got contacted by one of my blog readers and she told me that the more she thinks about the various English grammar tenses, the more confusing the whole thing gets… On a lot of occasions it seems that you can use a number of different Tenses, for instance – “I’m going to the movies tonight”, “I’ll go to the movies”, “I’ll be going to the movies” – so how do you know which one is right? And the more you analyze all this kind of stuff, the more confusing it gets and eventually you start feeling that you know nothing about English grammar! Now, watch this video above where I’m giving precious advice on how to approach such a state of mind, and if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate to publish them in the comments section below! Robby P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello boys and girls, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here obviously from EnglishHarmony.com and today I'm bringing you another daily English idiomatic expression video. Well, I guess by now you would have noticed that these idiomatic expression videos are not being published on a daily basis. That was the original intention a few years ago but as you can imagine I just haven't been able to keep up with that production schedule, publishing one video a day simply because of my Fluency Star students and everything but I just stuck with the name daily English idiomatic expressions, right? So I'm just going to give you a new one today, right? Because God only knows when is the next one going to come up, when I decide to publish the next one. But to tell you the truth I have a bunch of them recorded and then I publish them as I see fit, every now and then I would publish another one for you guys. Anyhow, today we're going to look at the following English idiomatic expression “along the lines of”, right? And obviously if you want to find out what exactly it means, when you can use this particular phrase then bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends! (more…)
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
This Exercise Will Help You Finally Master Those Annoying English Auxiliary Verbs!
Learning how to use auxiliary verbs in English (do, don’t, doesn’t, etc.) is one of the trickiest aspects of the language. It’s not at all intuitive and it’s only used in very particular contexts. Misusing an auxiliary verb is a costly error, yet even high-level English students tend to commit it. In a best case scenario, making such an error would expose you as a foreign speaker, which inherently invites judgment. In a worst case scenario, you could communicate something that is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to say. Fear not! Below is an exercise that will solve all of your auxiliary issues. And the best part about it is that all levels of English speakers from beginner all the way up to upper-intermediate can benefit from it. Here’s how it works. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “To The Best of My Knowledge”
What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language
The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation. Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it! (more…)
What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?
Past Events in English: “There Was This Time When… Next Thing I Know…”
How to Master the Art of Essay Writing: Tips and Tools for Non-Native Speakers
If you are an international student, attending college or university in the English-speaking country, you might know that this language can be quite tricky. The necessity to write your papers and communicate with peers in the Shakespeare’s language is something you have to face over and over again. However, even if you make mistakes on your way – it’s natural to feel uneasy and lose your self-confidence. But remember, dear non-English speakers, there is no result without mistakes! Below we have gathered some tips and tools to help you improve your English academic writing skills. Hopefully, this links will come in handy! (more…)