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
Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?
This is a follow-up on the previous blog post where I touched upon a related concept - Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages. The reason why I recorded this video is simple enough. I published the previous video where I voiced my opinion on the dominance of the English language and concluded that we can’t really blame English for decline of smaller languages in the world – after all, it’s the PEOPLE who make countless choices as individuals driven by their social and economic needs that determine if speakers of a particular language are going to decline in a long run. Then I got a sudden realization – “Hold on, does losing a native language NECESSARILY mean losing one’s national identity? The moment anyone mentions languages dying out it’s perceived as a terrible and tragic event, but do those people really lose their native characteristics and heritage just because they’ve started speaking in English?” And so I recorded this video where I’m revealing what I actually think about the whole thing, and here’s the exact script of it: (more…)
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
Welcome to English Harmony Podcast!
Is English Harmony GOOD and All the Rest is BAD?
If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m all against the traditional, mainstream English studies. They focus mostly on writing, reading and learning grammar rules – needless to say, spoken English fluency gets neglected big time and so hundreds of thousands of English students keep struggling with their English without even realizing why it’s happening. That’s why I started this website, and that’s why I created the product – English Harmony System - which is the only product out there that uses the spaced repetition approach and video technology in order to imprint natural English sentence structures into people’s minds so that they can start speaking natural, more fluent English. One day I got an e-mail from Francisco, however, in which he asks me to be a bit more ethical when talking about the issues mentioned above. He thinks that: Not ALL schools are bad and that there are plenty of good schools where English is taught in a way that facilitates English fluency; Conversational fluency is fine, however, there’s more than that – one may want to acquire an academic, deeper English knowledge and why would I claim it’s all bad? There are so many needs for foreigners – passing English tests and exams, business English etc., and surely my English Harmony System doesn’t cater for those needs! I’m taking advantage of those who are let down by the traditional English teaching system by shoving my product in their faces and taking their money; I’m claiming my product to be the BEST one in the market but there are more products like mine out there; why am I not being honest? Now, here’s my take on the whole thing: (more…)
You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!
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!
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!”
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!
Do you sometimes get the feeling that you’re a really crappy English speaker and that your English sucks? Well, I also get this feeling sometimes, and despite having dealt with my main fluency issues a long time ago there are days when it kind of feels as if it’s not even worth opening my mouth. There are occasions when I have to record a video for my YouTube channel, for example, but I just can’t stand the way I sound on that particular day, and I can’t get rid of the feeling that I should rather stay away from it and get back to it the following day. Do you think I do that and just keep my mouth shut? No way! I simply ignore the fact that I’m feeling bad about my ability to speak in English properly, and I proceed with recording the videos. More often than not the result is quite surprising – when I watch the video I can clearly see that my English speech is by far better than I thought it was! So here’s the simple conclusion I can draw: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”
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!
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!
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 New Year Everyone!!!
5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language
Hi Guys! ;-) Today's article is brought to you by Dusty Fox from a website called Listen & Learn, and in this blog post she will look at some of the most popular English words having emerged or re-emerged in the mainstream society. You'll also find out about the background of those words - such as "hipster" or "locavore", so without a further ado, it's over to you - Dusty! * * * The English language is an evolving one with new words popping up year after year. It seems like pop culture, social media, and our need to be constantly plugged into an electronic and hyper-connected world is in overdrive. This means new words appear and spread like wild fire, reaching countries in every corner of the world in no time at all. Some words are instant classics, embraced by all and seamlessly blended into our everyday dialogue. Usually, we don't even realize the moment we adopt these words and phrases into our vocabulary, but nonetheless, they somehow work their way into conversations, posts, and tweets before we know it. There are plenty of words that are handy to know before striking up a conversation with an English speaker. Test your English level before trying out the new entries in the English vocabulary - here's a look at some of the trendiest English words that have made headlines over the last several years: (more…)
Happy Christmas to Everyone!
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”
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
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!
Hello my friends from YearOfEnglish.com! If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve been following all those daily tips e-mailed to you by Aaron from Phrasemix.com (he’s the guy behind the Year of English project), and there’s also a good chance you’ve been heeding to all that advice which would have brought you closer to your goal of BECOMING FLUENT IN ENGLISH this year. But here’s a small problem which might actually result in quite a considerable setback for your English fluency. In the very beginning when you just committed to your goal of becoming fluent this year, the deadline for the goal was in a very distant future so you didn’t really have to worry about its completion. You just kept checking your inbox every day for a new e-mail from YearOfEnglish.com in sure knowledge that it was going to bring you another small step closer to English fluency. Now that the year has almost ended however, you may have started wondering: “The year is almost over, but have I become fluent in English? And after all – who’s going to tell me when I’ve become fluent?” Well, one thing is for sure – if you haven’t been doing a whole lot in terms of your English development during the year except for checking YearOfEnglish.com e-mails occasionally and reading the related content every now and then, the chances are – you haven’t become fluent. If, on the other hand, you’ve been engaging in a lot of practicing on a daily basis (including a lot of spoken English practice), it’s pretty hard to imagine as to why you wouldn’t have become fluent. Here are a few sure indicators of English fluency, and if you conform to at least one of them, I’d say you can definitely consider yourself being fluent in English: (more…)
English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!
If Someone Keeps Asking “Do You Understand Me?” – You May Indeed Run Into Fluency Issues!
In today’s video I’m discussing a particular experience I had with my plumber recently. So, here’s the setup. I’m a foreign English speaker having some issues with my heating system at home. I’m ringing the company who delivered my stove to come over and inspect the heating system. A native English speaking plumber arrives the next day and we’re having a conversation about the issues I’m having. As you know, I’m a fluent English speaker (no bragging – I’m merely stating a fact!), so you’d think there would be no problems with getting the message across and being understood by a native English speaker, right? Well, that’s right – everything I was saying, the plumber understood perfectly! The main problem of the communication, however, was him saying at the end of each sentence: DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? :mad: (more…)
Do I Speak at the Same Speed in Real Life as in My Videos & How to Maintain Optimal Speed of Speech
Funny English Phrases: Death & Dying Related English Idioms
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…)