How to Develop Your Ability to GUESS New English Word Meanings

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! May I ask you a question – what do you do when seeing an unfamiliar English word? Here’s what people normally do: Look up the new word in a dictionary Ask someone what it means Forget about it and only look it up if seeing it for the second or third time But have you ever tried to GUESS the meaning of the unfamiliar word? Well, not that many people try to do that, but it’s worth to give it a shot! Don’t be immediately looking up the meaning of the new word, try and think a little bit if you can find any connection between the new word and some other English word that you’re already familiar with! Let’s imagine for second that you’re not familiar with the following word – “enclosure”. If you just tell yourself – “I haven’t got a clue what “enclosure” is!” – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’re not going to figure out what it means simply because you’re not even trying to do it. If, on the other hand, you’re thinking along the following lines: “Hold on, “enclosure” – it might have something to do with the word “close”, right? So there’s a good chance it defines something that is closed…” – you’re opening your mind and tapping into your brain resources. This type of thinking will develop a more thorough understanding of the English language and its vocabulary and will provide a small boost in all areas of your English development – comprehension, reading, and speaking. And on top of that, I truly hope that this article will serve as an eye-opener and make you realize that a lot of English words are related! ;-) (more…)

You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!

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! If you were to find out I live in Ireland, which is an English speaking country, would you automatically assume all the credit for my fluency goes to me living among native English speakers? Well, guess what? Nothing could be further from the truth! I’d say that 90% or my success as an English speaker can be directly attributed to constant spoken English self-practice and if you doubt that – just check out this link HERE where my blog visitors and customers are providing hard proof that spoken English self-practice works indeed! You see, the way I see it, the major problem that we, foreigners, have is that most of us live in foreign countries where English isn’t spoken on the street. As a result you may be under the wrong impression that it’s next to impossible to become a fluent English speaker when living abroad. I say – it’s just an excuse! (more…)

FAQ: I’m Afraid My English Fluency Isn’t Coming Back!

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! Listen guys, I've had a crazy week and that's the reason why I haven't responded to your blog comments in case you're wondering where has Robby gone, why he isn't responding to the blog comments that I've made, right? Rest assured, I'm going to do it right now. I just came home from college today and to be honest with you, college ends a bit sooner on Friday so that's a good thing. I can catch up on the things that I haven't done during the week. And to be honest with you, I'm very busy with my Fluency Star students so that takes up pretty much my entire time and I have very little time left for dealing with the comments and your emails and so on and so forth. So I'm really, really sorry for not being able to get back to you sooner but now I'm going to rectify that mistake and I'm going to respond to one person's comment, Indrajeet's comment. And he commented on my blog post a couple days ago there. And his comment definitely merits a video response. So I'm going to read it out so you can clearly see what the whole thing is about, right? (more…)

I Have to Learn to Write Grammatically Correctly First and Then I’ll Be Able to Speak Well!

English Idiomatic Expression: “The Fact of The Matter Is That…”

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! Hello boys and girls! In today’s video you’ll learn how to use the following English idiomatic expression: THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT… And the fact of the matter is that a week ago I published a video about quite a similar English idiomatic expression “as a matter of fact” - but please don’t confuse the two! While AS A MATTER OF FACT can be used as a replacement phrase for the word “actually”, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT is used in a different way. You could say that it means pretty much the same thing as the phrase “Here’s the thing”, but if you want to learn more about using it – please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby ;-)

Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE

English Idiomatic Expression: “As A Matter Of Fact”

Hi guys. Hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speaker and also any native English speaker that might happen to be watching this video on my blog at EnglishHarmony.com or on my YouTube channel! Now, in today's video we're going to look at the following English idiomatic expression “as a matter of fact,” right? And the fact of the matter is that I thought that I had made a video about this particular idiomatic expression. And if you were listening attentively, you definitely realized that I used a very similar expression there a few seconds ago. I said the fact of the matter is, right? And it's funny because these two phrases “as a matter of fact” and “the fact of the matter is” they almost sound the same, but not quite. They're not the same because “as a matter of fact” is used in different situations. But let's not get confused guys because if you're trying to learn these two expressions at the same time, you will end up having created a very wrong vocabulary association in your brain. Because those two phrases will kind of go together so whenever you want to use one or the other, the other phrase will just come barging in and then your speech will get very hesitant and interrupted and you will say the wrong thing at the wrong time. So that's how typically you would be experiencing these fluency issues when you're trying to say something and then some other thing just pops up in your brain and comes out of your mouth without actually you wanting to say that particular thing. So this would be a typical example. If I were to give you both of those phrases “as a matter of fact” and “the fact of the matter is”, then we would end up with even bigger fluency issues. So we will look at the other phrase, “the fact of the matter is” some other time but today we will be a 100% focused on the first one, “as a matter of fact”. Yeah. And just like I said I thought that I had made a video about it and it turns out that it's not the case, right? And I was a bit surprised, I was taken aback because I thought that definitely I would have made a video about this one because it's a very simple idiomatic expression. It's one of the basic ones, as a matter of fact, right? It's something that you would probably learn on the second page of an English phrase book or something. But anyway, if you are interested in how exactly this phrase is to be used, when to use it, how to use it, please bear with me for a few more minutes and I will explain everything to you in every detail my friends! (more…)

Differences Between Your Active and Passive English Vocabulary

You must have heard the terms ACTIVE and PASSIVE English vocabulary, right? Chances are, however, that you’re not entirely sure what exactly these terms represent! I decided to draw up a simple algorithm based on which you’ll be easily able to determine whether a specific word or term is part of your ACTIVE or PASSIVE English vocabulary! So, just pick a random English word and answer the questions below – I’m absolutely certain that you’ll have a pretty clear picture of what ACTIVE or PASSIVE means in terms of English vocabulary when you’re finished with this :!: So, have you a better idea now what ACTIVE and PASSIVE English vocabularies represent? Let me just recap it here for you so that you can rest assured you got it right! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”

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. Here's the funny thing. I've been meaning to record this particular video for a while now but finally, when I got around to it yesterday, all sorts of weird thing started happening. I tried to record it two times in a row but every time when I connected the camcorder to the laptop, there was nothing there. There were no files to be found and it was very weird to say the least! And as you noticed guys, I actually used today's phrases in this sentence. So this was the first sample sentence actually. “I've been meaning to do something” and the second one is “to get around to doing something”. And depending on whether you refer to a past event or things in general, you will say either “got ‘round to doing something” or “get ‘round to doing something”. And you will also notice that I don't say “get around,” I said conversationally. I shortened the word “around” to just 'round basically. I omit the “A” letter, just stick an apostrophe there and it becomes 'round. That's what native English speakers say conversationally and that's what I'm sticking with. So do you want to find out more about these two idiomatic expressions “I've been meaning to do something” and “to get 'round to doing something”? Well, bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends! (more…)

7 Best Radio Stations for English Learners

11 Reasons Why the English Language Is Super-Easy to Learn and Speak

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! I’ve been an English speaker for the better part of my life, and I’ve always found this language quite easy to learn and speak. Now, when I’m saying “easy to learn and speak”, I don’t mean to say that nobody has any problems when learning and speaking in English. I’m only too well aware that millions of foreign English speakers just like me are struggling with English. But guess what? We’re struggling for all the wrong reasons! We find it hard to learn and speak in English because we tend to use the wrong learning methods, we tend to over-analyze every single aspect of English from the grammar standpoint, and we focus too much on the irregularities of the language. I mean – show me a language that doesn’t have any irregularities except for artificial ones such as Esperanto? Any language on the planet has something unique about it, and the fact of the matter is that we can find all the reasons in the world why it’s very difficult to for us to learn English. There’s irregular verbs, irregular nouns, thousands upon thousands of phrasal verbs, hundreds of grammar rules and exceptions to those rules, spelling irregularities – the list goes on and on, and if we choose to go with this perceived difficulty of the language, then I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t write an article called “Why English is the most difficult language on the planet to learn and speak”! Except that I choose to look past those perceived difficulties which can all be easily overcome once you embrace contextual learning of the English language. Instead, I choose to see how easy English is, so keep reading to find out why English is super-easy to learn and speak! Also, please bear in mind that I’m not claiming that English is THE EASIEST language to learn. I’m not making any comparisons here, I’m merely going to list facts about English that illustrate how easy it is to learn and speak it. (more…)

How to Learn English Synonyms and Antonyms Effectively

How to Decide Which Tense and Which Verb Form to Use?

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys. Hello boys and girls. Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers. It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Today I'm going to respond to a particular question that I received from one of my blog readers. And let me read it first and then we're going to address it. Okay? So “When I speak in English without translating from my native language...” which is the right way to do it, right? If you translate, you just can't speak normally. So rule number 1; stop translating! So “If I speak that way, I face the problem of tenses. Basically I cannot decide immediately which form of the verb should be used and all of that. So please let me know how I can deal with it. If you have any articles posted on your blog and if yes, send me the links or else please let me know of the solution.” (more…)

My Own Struggling With English Fluency is What Drives Me!

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 my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Here's the thing my friends - I've been struggling with my English fluency for the last couple of days and what I wanted to tell you is despite the fact that is happens I don't regret it. I don't really wish to have been a completely fluent English speaker at all times. And guess why? It's quite simple. If I didn't have these fluency issues I wouldn't have created the blog EnglishHarmony.com in the first place, right? So I wouldn't be able to help you guys! I wouldn't be in a position to create all these blog articles and videos and whatnot and helping thousands and millions probably of other foreign English speakers worldwide. So basically if not for my fluency issues, none of this would have happened! (more…)

Want Solid Proof that Spoken English Self-practice Works? Check This Out!

Check out these comments made by foreign English speakers who practice spoken English by themselves - just goes to show how effective the strategy of speaking with yourself is when improving your English fluency! (more…)

Your Body Constantly Changes – And So Does Your English Fluency!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Out of the Question”

Hello my friends, and welcome back to yet another English idiomatic expression video! In today’s video we’re going to look at the following expression: OUT OF THE QUESTION This expression is typically used when you want to say that something is totally impossible, that you can’t do it, or that some other person can’t do something. And here’s an example: "Robby, we’re going out tonight, are you coming with us?” – “Sorry guys, but I have to hand in the assignment tomorrow, so I’m staying in and doing some serious writing!” – “Common Robby, just come with us for an hour or so!” – “Guys, seriously, it’s OUT OF THE QUESTION so just drop it.” But now watch the video above to see me use this English idiomatic expression in a number of different scenarios, and don’t forget to do some spoken English practice with yourself by incorporating this phrase in your speech! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Why It’s So HARD to Accept Spoken English Can Be Practiced?

How to Practice English for FREE? Make Phone Calls!

Hi Guys! :-) How about getting out of your comfort zone and practice your English by calling people you don’t know? Does that sound scary? Well – it is! But that’s the thing about real life conversations – they’re always a little bit scary because there’s always a certain amount of stress involved. And where there’s stress, there’s always the chance you’ll be making some mistakes, start hesitating a bit or maybe you’ll even forget a very simple word in the middle of the conversation. But it’s alright because guess what? If you do it by calling random companies, you’ll be speaking with PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW so you shouldn’t care of what they think of your English :!: They may think you’re the worst English speaker out there, but who cares? The moment you drop the phone, that person is gone from your life! So, watch this video where I’m showing you how I contact some random company and speak with their sales agent. You may notice that I’m slightly stressed out when speaking and I’m making a few small mistakes here and there, but it’s all part of the game! You can’t expect to speak fluently with real people in real life if you don’t PRACTICE this skill, and calling some random companies and making inquiries is one of the best ways of doing it! Related articles: Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English! Read This if You’re Dreading Making Phone Calls in English! My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Passive English Input Isn’t Going to Improve Your Ability to Speak!

This is another one of those videos where I’m responding to a YouTube comment, and this time around the person in question commented on a video where I was talking about what to do if you’re living in an English speaking country without any opportunities to speak with locals. So here’s the comment: And obviously – if you’d like to hear what I have to say about it, please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby

There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than You!

Hi guys. Hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Welcome back to the New Year, 2016. Today is the 6th of January and I hope that you've gotten back into the normal rhythm after all the New Year’s festivities and everything. Now, what I wanted to tell you today is that even though you might be experiencing severe English fluency issues, even though you might feel at this particular moment in time as if your English is the worst English possible, that your fluency is total crap and that you're useless as an English speaker, bear in mind that there's always someone worse off than you! And please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to laugh at people whose English is like really bad, right? All I'm saying is that the very fact of you being aware that you're not the worst should give you that little bit of confidence boost, that little bit of comfort to carry you through those rough patches of your English fluency, so to speak, right? (more…)

What to Do If I Find Spoken English Self-Practice Boring…

Best Videos and Articles on English Harmony in 2015 + Happy New Year!

Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s been another year in business for me, and to be honest with you – this year has just flown by! It only feels like yesterday when I published a blog post about the advantages of using headphones when consuming audiovisual content in English. Guess what though? It was back in January – 12 months ago! And when I look at the article where I’m discussing the merits of recording your speech on a camcorder, I actually find it hard to believe it happened in February! But while we’re at it, we may as well look at other interesting articles I’ve published this year, and the next one I want you to read is the 25 English sentence starters. Starting sentences is something that a lot of us, foreigners, are struggling with, so it goes without saying that being able to use a number of sentence starters will come in handy for you you as a foreign English speaker! Next up – an article from the month of April is about trying to impress other people with your English skills and how it can quickly turn against you. To be honest with you, I still have to fight the urge to impress others at times, and I know for a fact that plenty of other foreigners are finding themselves in the same situation, so you should definitely read this article – especially if you’re among those having this issue! (more…)

Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?

Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!

Have you ever felt truly overwhelmed when trying to improve your English due to the fact that you’re trying to learn A LOT of new stuff over a short space of time? Well – you may want to stop putting yourself under such pressure because sometimes less is more when it comes to your English improvement! Related blog posts: Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW! Don’t Learn Complicated English Tenses TOO Soon! This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!

Spent Years Learning English Words from Newspapers… Then Burned It All to Ashes!

A while ago I published an article called Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge!  and it was all about the widespread misconception of English textbooks and other printed materials making people “own” that knowledge. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! For the most part, English learners would collect all sorts of English books to create an illusion for themselves that they’re doing something in order to learn the language. And so it happens that a couple of days ago Sachin, who is one of my long-term blog readers, posted the following comment on that blog post: Robby in my school/ college days I was hopeless in my language skills, my native language, 2nd language (Hindi) and English... all of them. I had flunk in last two languages 2-3 times and could barely manage to cross 40% in my native language (35% was passing). During that time I was told to read Editorial of English newspaper and mark difficult words from it, practice it and you will be fluent in English...:=O I did that religiously for a long period of time, hoping that at some point God will see may efforts and will have mercy on me and turn on the language button which was in off mode since birth. Honestly I was waiting for miracle to happen but nothing happened for long time...:'( I had a big file of those editorials and word power. I never heard those words in my daily life....and finally a few years ago I burned those files to ashes... :D (more…)