Robby Kukurs

I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.

I couldn't learn to speak fluent English for 5 years - read about what I was doing to learn to speak fluently HERE - are YOU in the same situation?

Then, one fine day, after years of constant pursuit of English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!

If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.

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For those foreign English speakers whose English understanding, writing and grammar is already good but they're struggling with spoken English!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

Speaking in English Made Super Easy – Follow my Tweets and Just Stick Word Chunks Together!

I’ve been blogging for what seems forever about the importance of learning English collocations. I’ve been always saying that the basic components of English speech are word combinations and expressions rather than separate words. And I’ve also been repeating myself ad nauseam that English fluency can be acquired much quicker if you mimic, repeat, memorize and use all those idiomatic expressions used by native English speakers in your own speech instead of sticking separate words together and applying grammar rules as you speak. I’m even making effort to highlight idiomatic expressions in my blog posts in red so that you can clearly see which English word chunks are worth memorizing! Today, I’m going to make it even easier for you. I’ll start publishing on my Twitter account any English word combinations that are worth memorizing ! Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)

Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine

If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)

5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct

No matter what type of text you are writing, grammatical accuracy is a primary requirement. You might have great ideas to share, but they will lose their value if readers stumble upon spelling or grammar mistakes.  Luckily, nowadays it’s easier than ever to learn how to write and speak correctly. There are many online resources at hand. Let’s check out five top tools that will help you write properly! Grammarly Proofreader Grammarly is one of the most popular grammar checking apps. It is user-friendly and accessible. How does it work? You simply copy-paste the content in the proofreading window and follow the instructions that will pop up on the right. You will immediately see any grammar and spelling issues and suggestions on how to correct them. Grammarly comes in a free version that is available to anyone. For more benefits, you can also upgrade to the premium version that provides you additional features like Microsoft Word or Outlook Add-on. If you’re busy and always on the move, you can easily correct your discourse accessing this tool on your smartphone. In fact, there are many ways in which your mobile phone can help you improve your language. (more…)

Focus on What You CAN Say in English Instead of What You CAN’T!

“WELL…” – the Simplest English Hesitation Word!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWRsCjBdOds VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony Video Blog! In this video, I'm going to give you the simplest hesitation filler phrase possible, and here it is: "Well…" It's just a word - "well." And that's how you can begin sentences when you have to buy some time and when you can't really answer immediately. So, basically, a person asks you a question and then you begin your response with saying: "Well…" which buys you a few seconds during which you can actually think about the matter at hand and come up with a reasonable response. Whereas, if you're not saying anything, there's a bigger chance that you'll just get stuck for words. Imagine someone stopping you on the side of the road and asking you for directions to the local police station for example. If you just go like this, "Uh, Uh," it's very easy to get stuck for words. But, if you open your mouth and just say this simple word "well…" it kind of opens up your mouth and forces you to say something extra. And even though those extra bits that you're going to say may come out with a few mistakes, you know, they may come out a big erroneous, it doesn't matter because at the very least you would have said something, right? The word "well" gives you something to say, and it instantly makes you sound like a native English speaker, and do you want to know why? For the simple reason that all native English speakers use the word "well" to hesitate! (more…)

English Collocation: “In-depth Research”

Answering Questions: Can’t Practice Fluency, What to Do If My Fluency Dwindles When I Speak With Others and More…

I couple of days ago one of my YouTube followers asked me the following question: The problem is that I just can't practice fluency because I'm in my country where they don't speak English although I'm really good at writing I put great efforts on my essays and powerful vocab and idioms and sentence structure yet I panic when I travel out of my country and speak in little convos which my parents are pissed of me, cause they paid a lot for good education but the result of fluency speaking is bad, plus I struggle in reading books cause every sentence I have to stop for a quick google search the meaning of the sentence. IT's really complicated. Thank you for understanding! And here's my video response to the above question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmX5BO0gOnM Here's another question I got on YouTube: Hi Robbie, when I practice self-speaking I am very fluent but when I speak with people my fluency dwindles probably because I feel compelled to give neat responses when I can't. How can I deal with this problem? Thank you! And guess what? I also decided to record a video response and you can watch it below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohgjYHAZPiA I hope that you'll also find these videos somewhat helpful and I would love to receive further questions from you! Just post them in the comments section below and I'll do my best to respond to them ASAP! Cheers, Your English Fluency Coach, Robby ;-)

FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4DYW-hLyA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)

Do You Get Intimidated by Eloquent English Speakers? You Shouldn’t!

One evening while on my way home from work I was listening to an evening chat show where some Irish-American was analyzing the aftermath of the last American presidential election and its effect on the Republican Party. And here’s the funny thing: Even though I understood EVERY SINGLE WORD he was saying, I couldn’t really figure out what exactly he’s trying to say! Every sentence he uttered was very vague; it was as if he was saying EVERYTHING AND NOTHING at the same time… After his interview, I realized that he was basically trying to convey the following: the Republican Party are still slow to embrace the fast-changing ethnic composition of the American population, and in his view it was one of the decisive factors as to why Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to Barack Obama. It took him 5 minutes or more to explain something so simple, and I can’t think of a more fitting English idiom to describe what he was doing than the following: he was beating around the bush! :grin: He was using super-sophisticated industry lingo. He was rephrasing a single concept many times over and he was repeating the same things all over and over again. I was starting to feel lost while trying to make sense of the tangled mess that his speech was! :mad: Some time ago such an experience would have made me feel very bad as a foreign English speaker because I would have started doubting my own English skills: “My English isn’t good enough because I can’t make out what he’s saying…” “He speaks so fluently and he’s using all these means of expression so professionally… I’ll never be able to speak like him!” Such and similar thoughts would be crossing my mind, but now I know better than start beating myself over not being able to replicate such a seemingly eloquent speech. In fact, now I wouldn’t even want to be able to speak like that, because not only would I be confusing people who are listening to me but also myself! I’d rather say a lot with fewer words than use a never-ending cascade of verbal content which is going to overwhelm my conversation partner or listener and make them acutely aware of their inability to match up to my train of thoughts. How about you? Are you often feeling inferior to some very eloquent English speaker? Are you admiring their ability to use sophisticated language? Is it making your English skills pale in comparison? Then keep reading this article and you may just change your mind! ;-) (more…)

Incredibly Powerful and Super-Simple Way Of Using Google to Find the Right English Words to Say

Easy Guide on Omitting English Relative Pronouns “Which, Who, and That”

Do you ever think English grammar is just trying to confuse you? If you’re trying to learn English, all the grammatical rules and exceptions can be overwhelming. Heck, even as a native English speaker, I often feel like English was designed specifically to be as complicated as possible! For example, why is it that both of the following sentences are great...         The dog that Mary is petting is very fluffy.         The dog Mary is petting is very fluffy. ...but only the first of the following two sentences is acceptable?         The dog that has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is fine!)         The dog has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is bad!) In this article, I’ll be talking to you about sentences in which you can (and can’t) omit relative clauses, such as who, that, or which. These are called contact clauses, because they consist of two clauses that are right next to each other, and therefore they come into contact with each other. By the end of this article, the sentences above will be confusing no more - and you’ll be forming contact clauses of your own :!: (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 11- Science and Reasearch

My Honest Opinion on Developing English Listening Skills

I hate when I’m told what I didn’t ask for, and so do most people for that matter. Let’s say for instance, I walk into a drug-store and ask for slimming pills because I’m fed up with my extra weight and I want to look more masculine. The pharmacist starts telling me that I should start engaging in some physical activities, eat a balanced diet and use the pills only as a supplement. Would I listen to him? Nope! All that rant about a balanced diet and a workout regime simply wouldn’t register with me because I want the damn slimming pills which will give me the kind of a body I’m dreaming of, right? Same goes with most advice we get in life – it’s very hard to change our beliefs and opinions just because someone tries to convince us of something. Basically it boils down to this – we often hear what we want to hear, and we just screen off everything else - unless we’re really trying to analyse the matter at hand and we have an open mind while doing so :!: For example, I’ve been blogging about English fluency development for years on end, and I always point out the following things: To speak fluent English we need to engage in HEAVY SPEAKING PRACTICE, there are no magic shortcuts! Passive English immersion will mostly develop our understanding – NOT OUT ABILITY TO SPEAK! You can’t listen your way to fluency, you need to speak in order to train your mouth and mind to work together! Still there are many English teachers out there preaching the importance of English listening practice. Some even claim that first we have to spend all our time listening just like babies do, and then we’ll be able to start speaking… Now I’ll adopt the role of the pharmacist trying to tell you something you probably don’t want to hear – but I’ll give it a shot nonetheless! (more…)

Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!

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! Transcript Below: Hello everybody and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. It's been a while guys since I recorded my last video for the simple reason that I've been really, really busy at work and I have to study on top of my daily duties at work as well so it's really hectic lifestyle to say the least. And then when I'm coming home at night it's quite late as well and then I have to do all the other stuff, prepare for the next day, pack my food, prepare my clothing, walk the dog, whatever, respond to my emails, right? You guys are asking a lot of questions on a daily basis! So unfortunately my video recording days when I used to record at least one video a day or every few days are over. But it doesn't mean that I'm stopping it altogether. Not at all. It's quite the opposite actually, right? I'm actually enjoying this process immensely and for too many reasons. First of all, I love helping you guys. I love talking to my audience and obviously you love it, too. And secondly, it helps me improve my own spoken English, right? That's the way it goes. Anyhow, I'm having my morning coffee. Morning to you all! Cheers! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: Brought to My Attention

Hello everyone who’s eager to improve their spoken English! ;-) Has the importance of learning English phrases and expressions ever been brought to your attention? If you’ve been following my blog for a good while, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the concept of natural fluency acquisition via English phrases and idiomatic expressions. If, on the other hand, this is the first time you’re visiting my blog, let me explain to you in simplistic terms why idiomatic expressions are very important to you as an English student. Now, let’s take today’s phrase – BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION. Imagine yourself having a conversation with someone, and during that conversation you want to say that something has been brought to your attention, in other words – something has been pointed out to you. If you conjugate the verb “to bring” every time you speak and you create the sentence from scratch in your head while speaking – BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION – the resulting speech is going to be somewhat slow and hesitant. (more…)

Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!

Shame Is The Enemy #1 Of All Foreign English Speakers!

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! How many times you HAVEN’T SAID something in English because you’ve been ashamed? I bet it’s too many to count, my friend foreign English speaker, and that’s the prime reason why your fluency isn’t at the level you’d like it to be. Well, of course, it could be the case that you’re quite happy with your level of English fluency, but the chances are – if that were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this blog, am I not right? Anyway, let’s not get side-tracked from the main subject which is all about being ashamed of your level of English and NOT speaking enough. Imagine the following scenario. Two foreign English speakers move to an English speaking country, take up jobs and settle down to live in that country for a good few years. The first foreigner takes every opportunity to open his mouth and say something in English. Every time his boss, co-workers or customers ask him something, he always tries to say something extra, something to keep the conversation going. And he also doesn’t miss a chance to start a chat with others. Now, the second foreigner is also doing alright, however, unlike the first one, he will only say the bare minimum that people ask him. He will never start a conversation, will never say anything extra, and it’s all because he’s ashamed of making mistakes and sounding stupid. You think the first foreigner isn’t making any mistakes? Oh boy, of course he is! We all do, it’s an integral part of being a foreign English speaker – you are bound to make lots of mistakes before achieving a decent level of fluency. Yet, the first guy just DOESN’T CARE. (more…)

English Schwa Sound [ə] – What It Is & How To Get It Right!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Ftz-cnjJ4

Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjT-stTQipU 27 days ago – April 30, to be more specific, I published the first video featuring an American English phrase TELL YOU WHAT. It marked the start of a journey that saw me record 42 videos within 25 days learning 50 new American English phrases, expressions, collocations and grammar constructs. A few facts about this 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission: All American phraseology acquired during this mission has been sourced from GONE series dystopian fiction; I was recording 2 daily videos – one in the morning and the other one in the evening. The morning video got published on my Easy Idioms blog while the evening one went live on my Accent Adventure website. I was using my own Fluency Gym Coach Program and its Action Plan to set the overall goal and organize my spoken English self-practice sessions; I was making sure to use those newly acquired expressions also outside my video recording activities (extra self-practice sessions and also speaking with my work colleagues during the day) thus imprinting them into my active vocab permanently! And here are the videos published on this blog where I’m using all those newly acquired American phrases: American Phrases 1 – 12 American Phrases 13 – 24 American Phrases 25 – 38 American Phrases 39 -50 (more…)

English Improvement Trend & Inevitable Fluency Fluctuations – Why Is It Happening to Me?

Because it happens to every foreign English speaker, my friend, that’s why! Do you think you’re unique in that your English fluency fluctuates? Common, you’re not the center of the world; there are millions of others who experience ups and downs of the ability to speak English fluently and effortlessly. The only difference between you and others might be that you’re being very conscious of your English fluency problems, whereas others would paraphrase, use small talk phrases and simply not get embarrassed if they get stuck in the middle of a sentence. But if you think that you’re not capable of mastering the aforementioned techniques and you’re doomed for a lifetime of constant struggle with spoken English…you have to understand that any process where a person’s learning and performance is involved is subject to fluctuations. Yes, ANY process involving human beings! We’re not machines and we can’t guarantee perfect performance at all times, and speaking is no different. Why, have you not noticed that you can’t even speak your own language every day at an identical performance level? Haven’t you noticed you have days when you just can’t seem to gather your thoughts and express yourself properly even when speaking with your native speaking friends? I definitely have, but it’s not because I would spend so much time speaking English that I’ve started forgetting my own lingo! It’s because of the simple reason I stated above – any human performance is going to have ups and downs. Even now, years after dealing with the English fluency issue, I do experience days when I’m a bit slow to respond. I do have moments of hesitation and inability to put my thoughts into the exact words I would want in English. Hey, the other day I even confused two words – “to reward” and “to award”! So instead of “contracts are being awarded to…” I said “contracts are being rewarded to…” A silly mistake, but then – who doesn’t make mistakes? As far as your overall English fluency is fit for the purpose – be it doing your job, studying, or socializing – you should not be overly concerned about your odd days when you feel a bit slower to respond. In other words, unless your English fluency is heavily affected and you don’t experience total blackouts when speaking (read a full list of English speech anxiety symptoms here), you’re fine. Anyway, let’s get to the matter of today’s article which is about the English improvement trend. So, what is it all about? (more…)

Are You Being Judged or Even Discriminated Against Because of Your English?!

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…)

What’s the Best Way to Go About Shadowing English Videos?

English Idiomatic Expression: “I would have thought…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt0luGKPcP4 Are you often analyzing spoken English phrases and expressions and asking questions such as: “Why do they say it like that?” If you are, then you’ll definitely ask the very same question upon finding out what today’s English idiomatic expression is! So, here you go – “I would have thought”. Now, are you wondering why it’s “I would have thought” instead of “I would think” or simply “I thought”? STOP DOING IT! Just the very fact that native English speakers use such a phrase is sufficient enough to justify its very existence. As far as we’re concerned, that’s how they say it, and that’s all there is to it! So, if you want to sound like a native English speaker, use the idiomatic expression “I would have thought” whenever you find out that something is quite the opposite to what you believed. As for more sample sentences involving this phrase – please watch the video above and let me know what you think about it! ;-) Chat soon, Robby

Just to Let You Know I’m Still HERE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFloterSVOc Hi Guys! ;-) Just to give you a quick update on what I'm doing now and why I haven't published any videos lately - I'm busy as hell preparing new content for the website, and I want to make sure there's plenty of articles lined up for publishing. Soon enough you'll start hearing more often from me, and I promise you this - all the videos and articles I'm preparing are going to be really useful and actionable! Chat to you soon, Robby