Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!
If you can't watch the video below - listen to the audio version above! ;-) There are a lot of ways you can practice your spoken English in situations when you don’t have plenty of opportunities to speak with real people in real life: Speaking with yourself Shadowing English movies Watching all sorts of YouTube videos and repeating what you hear Doing English Harmony System’s speech exercising lessons There’s another way, however, to get your spoken English practiced in the comfort of your own home while at the same time speaking with another human being. Namely – speaking with someone over the phone! But hold on, what if you don’t have any English speaking people you could call? And surely if you know someone you might call, you wouldn’t be calling them every day now, would you? And that’s when the utility company support phone lines step in :!: Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: Brought to My Attention
3 Easy Steps of Dealing With Fear of Public Speaking for Non-native English Speakers
English Collocation: The Worst Case Scenario
Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers :!: In today’s English Idiomatic Expression video we’re going to look at the following collocation: THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. It’s a way native English speakers (and also fluent foreign English speakers, of course!) refer to the worst possible turn of events, and traditionally we discuss such possibilities when: Trying to persuade someone to do something (Common, why are you afraid to go to the event, the worst case scenario is you being asked a question, and it’s no big deal really!) Discussing the various eventualities and trying to prepare for the worst (So, the worst case scenario is the whole computer network going down, see we need to buy another backup server!) Want to find out more about this particular English collocation? Then watch the video above (or listen to the audio just above the video!) and don’t forget to use this new English collocation in your own English conversations! Regards, Robby ;-)
How to Improve Your English if You’ve Very Little Time?
Hello my dear blog readers! Recently I’ve been getting a few e-mails and also blog comments asking me how it’s possible to develop and improve one’s English if one has very, very little time to do so! Here’s a typical scenario. You have to get up very early to catch the bus to work, and you’ve virtually no time to do anything in relation to your English improvement. Then you’re working long hours in an environment where there’s no English involved whatsoever, and your working day is really hectic with a couple of quick tea breaks in between. Now, by the time you arrive back home, have your dinner and take a shower, the day is almost over and you have to go to bed to get some sleep before getting up the next morning and starting your 8 AM – 6 PM rat race again. So, it kind of begs the natural question: Is it possible at all to work on your English and also improve it considering you’re really, really busy during the entire day and by the time you can sit down in the evening you’re so tired you find it very hard to be motivated to do anything that requires mental exertion? Well, here’s the simple answer – “Yes, it is possible!” (more…)
Idiomatic Expression: “In a spur of the moment”
My Shocking Web-research Experiences Into English Fluency Related Websites
To be totally honest with you, during the last few years while I’m actively running this blog and also the Accent Adventure website, I haven’t been doing a lot of research into other English language teaching and learning websites. I have a fair idea as to what’s happening in the industry anyway because I’m actively participating on YouTube and I get to see plenty of English teaching videos published on other channels. I also take part in the YearOfEnglish.com project so I know who the other participants are and what their approach towards English teaching and learning is. A few years ago I did scour the Web and tried to find other websites to partner up with and to write content for, but soon enough I figured that quite honestly there weren’t that many people out there having figured out that spoken English is the most important aspect of the English language and focus on phraseology acquisition is pretty much the only way forward. Here are the websites which have embraced the importance of learning phraseology instead of cramming English grammar: PhraseMix.com is run by Aaron Knight, and his philosophy is pretty much the same as mine – fluent English can be learned most effectively through real-life phrases and word combinations. Aaron is creating engaging lessons for those who want to learn to use that phraseology, and they’re all illustrated by himself (I often wondered how he does that!). TweetSpeakEnglish.com was created by Nate Hill and the idea behind it quite an interesting one – tweets shared by millions of people are a fairly good representation of real-life spoken English, so phraseology taken from those tweets is used as a source for lessons where you can learn how to use those speech patterns in your English conversations. Fluentzy.com where you can buy plenty of books written by Professor Kev Nair and they’re all focused on developing your spoken English fluency – Prof. Kev Nair seems to be one of the few academics having grasped the concept behind true fluency and having realized why a large percentage of advanced English students still struggle to speak fluently. By the way – I found this rare website back in 2008, here’s a blog post I published in relation to that! And that’s all :!: Really? Yeap. (more…)
Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?
Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages
Hello my fellow foreign English speakers :!: In today’s video we’re going to look at the following questions: Can English be held responsible for the demise of smaller languages? Does the English language has a lack of appreciation for other world languages? Are all English speakers ignorant and don’t want to speak other languages? Is English going to be the only language in the world in a couple of thousand years? You see, all such and similar questions are quite important to certain categories of people – especially those who represent smaller languages on the verge of extinction. Oftentimes, for example, English is blamed because of its historical connection with the British Empire and its world dominance. Also, people associate English with the United States of America and blame Americans for being ignorant and living in their own language bubble. To find out what I think about the whole thing – please watch the video above or listen to the audio file in case you can’t watch the video content for some reason or another. And of course – you’re really welcome to participate in the discussion and express your own opinion in the matter! :-) ANY comments are welcome! ;-) Regards, Robby RELATED ARTICLES: Is English Language Taking Over? Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society 10 Reasons Why English is the World’s Language 11 Things English Fluency has Given Me 5 Reasons Why I Love American Accent
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…)
You’re Not Fluent in English If You Can’t Construct a Subjected Indirect Object Locative Double Passive!
A couple of months ago I received a really funny comment on a blog post called Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!, and here’s what Jacque said: Being fluent means one can construct a subjected indirect object locative double passive in the past habitual progressive, and following it with a wh-fronted cleft with the subject moved to object position along with an optional topicalization and postmodified adjective restricting the sentence focus, AND having no idea what the heck the above means! Personally I think it’s a BRILLIANT representation of everything that’s wrong with the traditional English studies and how it’s affected most English students’ thinking! (more…)
Can Understand Everything But Can’t Reply in English?
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!
English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”
Do you know what people generally mean when they say IT’S NOT TO BE SNIFFED AT? More often than not, they say this kind of thing when a certain amount of money is offered, for example, and the person in question perceives it to be worth considering. In theory you can also say IT’S NOT TO BE SNIFFED AT in relation to just about anything you perceive worth risking for or taking any other type of action. (more…)
Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!
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…)
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)
Can You Learn American English by Learning American Phrases & Idioms?
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
Must-Follow YouTube Channels by Foreign English Speakers!
I’ve been publishing videos on my English Harmony YouTube channel for a good few years now, and there was a time when I thought I was pretty much the only foreign English speaker publishing videos on YouTube. Sure enough, I’d seen some videos made by beginner and lower-intermediate English learners in a bid to exercise their spoken English skills, and it’s all nice and well, but what I’m talking about when saying I thought I was the only foreigner publishing videos is a well-established YouTube channel with massive following! Needless to say, I proved wrong. It turns out there are more non-native English speakers publishing on YouTube on a regular basis, and their videos are really interesting and engaging :!: Well, you see – probably the biggest obstacle in finding such YouTube channels was the fact that initially I was looking only in the English learning and teaching niche. And I’ve got to tell you that in this niche I’m indeed pretty much the only foreigner. Once I started looking beyond English learning and improving though, I started finding well-established YouTube channels where other foreign English speakers were sharing their thoughts and expertise on various other things. And it only goes to show that pretty much the only way to achieve complete English fluency is by enjoying life and things you LOVE instead of focusing on English learning related materials! So, without further ado, let me introduce you to these YouTube channels run by foreign English speakers, and I’m 100% sure you’ll find at least one of them extremely captivating and relevant to your own interests as well as providing an extra motivation to keep improving your spoken English to a level where you could possibly start recording similar videos and who knows… maybe you’ll even start a YouTube channel of your own one day! (more…)
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 Idiomatic Expression “To Happen To (Be)”
Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! Have you ever heard anyone say things like: Thank God I HAPPENNED TO BE there – otherwise who knows how it all would have ended? You won’t believe me – I HAPPENNED TO BE in the same hotel as Justin Bieber! I don’t think it was a cosmic coincidence – he merely HAPPENNED TO have gone to the same college with her sister… … and you’ve been wondering why people use the English verb “to happen” in this particular context? Why don’t they just say: Thank God I was there… I was in the same hotel… He went to the same college…? (more…)
Traditional English Teaching Industry Instils Anxiety and Lack of Self-Confidence!
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?
Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech
If you’re a keen English student, there’s a good chance you dedicate a considerable amount of your time to learning new English vocabulary. If you’re a SMART English student, you’re learning new English vocabulary in context (basically I’m talking about phraseology here) because that’s pretty much the only way to ensure you can use that vocabulary as part of live, fluent English speech. If you’re REALLY SERIOUS about your fluency improvement, however, you’re also being selective about the way you choose which phrase containing this or that particular English word you assign the most importance to! Let’s take, for example, the word BOG. I guess you know the word, but in case you didn’t know what it means (nothing wrong with that!) – it’s land covering an area of an overgrown lake where there’s plenty of soggy, moist soil and people have been known to get sucked into bog sinkholes because it’s pretty much impossible to get out of one. So, let’s say you just learned the word BOG, and you’re going to learn the most commonly used collocations containing that word to make sure proper mental associations are created in your mind: I was walking on a bog Walking on a bog may be dangerous Sucked into a bog sinkhole Bog oak woodwork (specific type of hardwood that’s being recovered from a bog having been there for thousands of years) If you learn these collocations (it’s just a fancy way of referring to word combinations), you’re so much more likely to be able to USE the word BOG as part of a live conversation for the simple reason that the word BOG is going to be connected with other words so they’ll all come out of your mouth without you having to construct a sentence from scratch. (more…)
Job Seeking for Foreigners: Talking About Your Past, Present and Future
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…)