You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!

The fact of the matter is – you can’t listen your way to English fluency no matter how hard you’d try. To consider yourself being fluent in English, you have to be able to SPEAK. To develop your ability to speak, you have to SPEAK. If most of your English improving related efforts are geared towards listening to: Specific English learning audios; Films and videos in English; Podcasts on various websites… … then you will greatly develop your English listening and comprehension skills, there’s no doubt about that! Your ability to produce fluent English speech, however, isn’t going to come along at the same pace for the simple reason that you wouldn’t have trained your mouth to speak, and that makes an awful lot of difference when it comes to one’s ability to deliver a verbal message. It’s pretty much the same as if you were trying to learn to drive a car by watching other people drive without attempting to sit behind the steering wheel yourself! Not all listening activities, however, are a waste of your time. As a matter of fact, you can’t actually separate listening to English and speaking in English because these two activities are quite naturally interlinked. (more…)

Power of Memorizing English Sentences, Paragraphs and even Poems!

The traditional English teaching methods mostly rely upon grammar studies whereby the student is required to learn grammar rules. Next step is to learn new English vocabulary and then construct sentences by a way of sticking words together and applying grammar rules at the same time. Here at English Harmony we all know by now that such methods are ineffective to say the least; most foreigners never learn to speak fluent English because they try and construct sentences in their head instead of simply MEMORIZING NATURAL ENGLISH SPEECH PATTERNS. Memorization is the most natural way of acquiring a language, and while some people may think it’s too robotic and you don’t really learn anything because of the lack of analysis – here’s the deal: Analysis actually hampers your progress! (more…)

Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!

Are you following my advice on learning loads of English idiomatic expressions and collocations and applying them onto your speech and also writing? Great! Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of those expressions and does it make you feel as if the more you’re learning the more there is to left to learn? It’s only natural! We’re all human beings, and feeling overwhelmed and feeling that whatever we’re saying and writing falls short of our own expectations is something that many of us do. But guess what? (more…)

English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”

Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!

I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos a couple of days ago, here’s the full text of it: Thanks a million Robby for the time and efforts you dedicate to help us. My biggest lifetime mistake was that I always underestimated the importance of watching movies in achieving the desirable command of English; because I used to think that it's not very SEXY for well-educated persons to waste their time on movies! What happened then? Now, I am a doctoral student who writes impressive formal law review articles but he sucks at speaking! This is really a shame: when I am invited to give a presentation as if I am invited to be hanged... Once, when I was doing my LLM in Sweden, our course coordinator called me into her office and told me this article cannot be yours! You can imagine how that could be disappointing! So, heed my advice everyone and NEVER IGNORE MOVIES...use it or lose it! Now, first of all, I can totally relate to the fact that this person has developed their WRITTEN English to a very high degree while at the same time neglecting the SPOKEN language. (more…)

What You Think is Your WORST English Performance May Just Turn Out to Be Your BEST One Ever!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”

Are you familiar with the math term COMMON DENOMINATOR? You may, or you may not be familiar with it, but the fact of the matter is that this English math term has long surpassed the boundaries of science :!: Nowadays COMMON DENOMINATOR is widely used to describe any of the following: Traits and characteristics certain people have in common; Features that certain things have in common; Something that is present in a number of different situations. Are you confused? (more…)

Look Among Young Adults Fiction for Easy-to-read Books!

Not so long ago I was totally hooked onto dystopian fiction and I thought that I would never read anything else other than dystopian fiction such as GONE series, for example. This Holiday Season, however, I proved myself wrong because I got hooked onto something different – namely, vampire fiction! I thought that vampires aren’t my cup of tea, so to speak, and I was looking at my daughter reading vampire books as something that only teenage girls would do. How wrong was I! ;-) The moment I picked up a booked called THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa (it’s all part of the Blood of Eden novels), I just couldn’t put it down! It got me hooked completely, and I often found myself reading late into night… Well, I actually should have known better than to dismiss vampire books because not so long ago I started reading books about angels, and the whole vampire concept is not so dissimilar from angels after all. One way or another, it’s all YOUNG ADULTS FICTION, and that’s the common denominator of all English fiction I’ve been reading for the last few years :!: (more…)

How to Develop Good Ear for English Listening

This video is a response to a question asked by one of my mailing list subscribers, and his main concern is the ability to UNDERSTAND what other English speakers are saying to him. When he reads some English text, his comprehension is way better, but it’s just that when he’s spoken to, his understanding isn’t that good. Well, guess what? It’s totally natural! ;-) When you read, there’s no way you can mishear words and not understand them because of the way they’re pronounced, or maybe because the person is speaking too fast. There’s a multitude of various factors contributing into one’s ability to understand spoken English, but here’s the main points I would like to stress: (more…)

Must-Follow YouTube Channels by Foreign English Speakers!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Hello Everybody! ;-) This year has finally drawn to an end, and I have to tell you my friends that it's been one hell of a ride :!: I've created a couple more products on top of the English Harmony System, namely - Fluency Gym Coach Program (helping my fellow foreigners with confidence and goal-setting when it comes to English improvement) and Accent Genie Program (focusing on American Pronunciation); I've started a couple of new blogs - EasyIdioms.com and BestEnglishFiction.com (I haven't been updating them as often as I'd like though...); I've finally bought my own house (well - 90% of the money is borrowed from the bank anyway, so technically it won't be mine for another 30 years...) and the redecoration work kept me busy during the summer months - having said all that, however, I never stopped delivering articles and videos on my blogs EnglishHarmony.com and AccentAdventure.com! On top of that, I've been going to my 9 - 5  job on a daily basis so as you can imagine I've been busy as hell but I've truly ENJOYED every single second of it! Why? Because receiving e-mails and comments such as this one, for example, makes it all worthwhile: That's right my friends. It's only thanks to YOU that I'm sitting here in my home office behind the laptop and making all these videos and articles. If not for YOU, there'd be no-one to read it all, there'd be no-one to watch my videos, there'd be no-one to leave comments on my YouTube channel and my blog. And if not for those who've committed with their money and dedication - namely, my CUSTOMERS, I wouldn't be able to run my operation because - let's face the truth my friends - I wouldn't have the financing necessary to run my websites, create the products and produce the videos! So I'd like to take this opportunity and THANK YOU ALL VERY, VERY MUCH for staying with me throughout this year, and may all your wishes come true in the New Year 2014!!!

5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language

Happy Christmas to Everyone!

Hello my dear followers, blog visitors and YouTube subscribers :!: I’m wishing you all the Happiest Christmas ever, and may your Holiday Season bring cheer to your family and your friends! I would also like to take this opportunity and thank you for being my loyal followers throughout this year, and I’m very hopeful you’ve enjoyed the articles and videos I’ve been publishing on both of my blogs – EnglishHarmony.com and also AccentAdventure.com! Have a good one! Robby ;-)

English Idiom: “To Your Heart’s Content”

Hi everybody! The year is drawing to an end, Christmas is upon us, my Holidays have begun in earnest, and I can record videos just like this one TO MY HEART’S CONTENT! Today’s video is dedicated to an English idiom TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT, and first of all let’s validate it to see if it’s indeed a valid English word combination by entering this phrase into Google search (don’t forget to use quotation marks!): As you can see, it’s a totally valid English idiom as indicated by over 2 million search results and also the fact that the first search result clearly says: “to heart’s content” – idioms and phrases. Now, as to what this idiom means – well, it’s simple enough indeed! (more…)

Is It OK to Use Conversational Phrases in Formal English Writing?

I got a comment on my blog post Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech from Binh Thanh asking the following question: “Can we use these phrases in formal writing?” Now, for those who’re not familiar with the concept of idiomatic expressions and English collocations, here’s a very brief intro: English language actually consists mostly of word GROUPS; Phrases, expressions and idioms (otherwise known as collocations) form a big part of those word groups; If you learn new English vocab as part of every-day expressions and idiomatic language, you’re so much more likely to speak fluently! Now, Binh Thanh’s comment highlights a very long-standing myth, namely -formal, written English is a completely different beast altogether, and when you write formal correspondence or reports, for example, you have to write in a completely different way you speak. Personally I call BS on that! (more…)

Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech

Job Seeking for Foreigners: Talking About Your Past, Present and Future

So you’re a non-native English speaker, and you’d like to do one of the following: Move to an English speaking country and find a job there; Find a better job while living in an English speaking country; Find a job in an international company while living in your own country; Get promoted in your current job in an English speaking environment. Congratulations :grin: With making this decision to find a better job you’ve already made the first step towards it, and I can only salute you for your aspirations to further your career and make better life for yourself and your family! Now, tell me what’s the next step you’re going to take in order to follow through with your goal? Update your CV and go for the job interview? Well, sounds like a plan to me – but you can do a little bit more than that to increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams. Remember – most likely you’ll be competing with native English speakers (or other fellow foreigners of yours who’ll be speaking very good English) for the position you’re going for, so you may want to make sure you can talk about virtually ANYTHING you may be asked during the job interview. Having an up-to-date CV and doing some preparation for the interview just won’t cut it, and that’s when preparing to talk about your past, present and future comes into play. (more…)

YearOfEnglish.com: Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!

English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!

A couple of days ago I got a comment from one of my YouTube followers asking for advice on how to deal with a situation when English fluency deteriorates in the presence of another foreign English speaker whose English isn’t as fluent as yours. I provided a helpful comment and I also touched upon the phenomenon of deteriorating English fluency when another non-native English speaker joins a conversation between a foreigner and a native English speaker. After that I got a response to my comment reiterating the fact that it’s very odd such situations occur at all – considering that speaking with the native English speaker doesn’t present any difficulties whatsoever; it’s only when you have to address the other foreigner whose English isn’t as developed as yours that you start experiencing problems with speaking in English clearly. Long story short, I recorded this video where I’m looking at this phenomenon in the very depth, so if you’ve been experiencing similar issues during your English conversations, you definitely may want to watch this video to understand the very nature of this problem and also find out how to deal with this inability to speak with somebody whose English is worse than yours :!: (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Death & Dying Related English Idioms

This is the last funny English phrase video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers… The reason being – the year is drawing to an end, and so is my commitment to keep publishing new videos for you guys every couple of weeks! :-( That’s why I decided to publish death and dying related English phrases video today – to mark the end of the year and your journey to English fluency. Every end, however, is just a beginning to something new, so don’t get sad while watching this video – instead make sure you listen to the dialogues carefully and REPEAT the phrases you hear. Needless to say, many of those death related idioms can be used in various situations in life – not just when someone is close to passing away, so watch the video above, use the transcript below for better understanding and start using those death related English idioms in your daily conversations! (more…)

You Won’t Fool a Native English Speaker During a Job Interview So Better Stop Trying!

On certain occasions when you think native English speakers will spot every single one of your mistakes, it’s not really the case for the simple reason that people don’t always pay the utmost amount of attention to what you’re saying. Yes, you may be having a conversation with a native English speaker so you think they’re listening to every single word you’re saying while in reality they may be dwelling upon their own problems and they’re not 100% focused on what you’re saying. If that’s the case, there’s simply no reason for you to be too worked up about your mistakes and other English speech imperfections and you may as well just allow yourself to experiment and improvise during a live speech because there’s nothing really at stake. When you have a very important conversation with a native English speaker, on the other hand, there’s also no point in trying to outperform yourself and sound a whole lot more fluent than you are. When a native English speaker is 100% focused on what you’re saying which would be the case during a job interview, for example, you won’t fool them into believing your English is much, much better just because you’re trying really hard to sound as if you’re speaking just like a native English speaker. Yes, there are certain techniques and methods you can employ in order to sound better during a very stressful conversation such as: Speak in short sentences Focus on what you can say instead of what you can’t Plan your answer instead of jumping right into answering the question The point I’ll be making during this article, however, is the following: As hard as you may try, you won’t fool a native English speaking job interviewer into believing you’re a native English speaker! You’re much better off FOCUSING on talking about your professional background and previous job experience! (more…)

Speaking in English is Like FIGHTING (Trick to Overcome Perfectionism)!

I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?

Guess what happened to me during the last weekend while I was having a dinner with some Latvian friends of mine? I got stuck for words during one of the conversations! I wanted to point out the importance of something, and all of a sudden I couldn’t remember the word “important” in Latvian… despite it being my native language! :mad: You’d think that something like that would never happen to a native speaker, right? You’d think that the worst case scenario would involve forgetting a famous movie actor’s name, for example, and I’m pretty sure you’ve also have had such experiences when a person’s name is on the tip of your tongue yet you can’t remember it. Strangely enough, I couldn’t utter the word “important” in Latvian which is a pretty common word, and I got stuck in a middle of a sentence for a couple of seconds at least. Now, why am I telling you this on an English fluency improvement related blog? Well, it’s pretty straightforward! (more…)

How to Speak During a Job Interview If You’re a Non-Native English Speaker

English Idiom: “Steer Clear”

Hello my friends non-native English speakers! Today we’re going to look at the following English idiom: STEER CLEAR and how to use it in your daily English conversations. So, first of all let’s do some Google search to validate this English expression and make sure that it actually exists. To accomplish that, we just need to enter the phrase STEER CLEAR into the Google search bar in quotation marks (it’s very important!) and hit “Enter”: As you can see, there are more than 6 million search results returned containing the phrase STEER CLEAR which means it’s a very valid English expression. Next, have a look at the top search results: (more…)

Collocation “Scour the Web” & Why the Word “Scour” on its Own is Useless!

Hi Guys! It’s another Friday night, and I just recorded a video for you where I’m providing a great example of how English collocations work and most importantly – why it’s of the utmost importance to learn new English words in combination with other words instead of memorizing their individual meanings! So, watch the video above and if you have ANY questions in relation with: English collocations; building English vocabulary effectively; best ways to practice your spoken English… … just post it in the comments section below and I’ll respond to the comment ASAP! Enough said – click on the PLAY button above, sit back and watch the video :!: Chat soon, Robby ;-)