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.

English Harmony System

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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!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 30- Talking about a Celebrity

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Helloooo everybody out there, How are you all doing today? I am so pumped up that it’s the 30th day of our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” and I am damn sure so are you. I have a hell lot of things to say and tell, but let’s not get carried away at the moment and put it off for the time being (that just means we do it in the next article). Today I am gonna teach you some extra expressions than how much we used to learn daily, as it’s the last day of our course (and I am so excited), so take your seat and be ready to learn and pick some awesome vocabulary. Context Medha- Hey, What’s up Shiv? Shiv- Nothing much! I am just done with my college assignments. Medha- Let's go outside to have some coffee and toast. Shiv- I am sorry Medha, I just had a hunk of bread right now so I don’t feel like to eat anything. By the way, you can go if you want. Medha- No, it’s alright. I was just getting bored at home so I wanted to go somewhere outside. Shiv- Did you see the premiere of Robin’s new TV series yesterday? Medha- Yeah, I did. It is doomed to fail for sure; I mean there was not even a flicker of emotion in the entire episode. One can clearly notice a yawning gap between his previous TV series and this one. I just can’t believe he did it. Shiv- I completely agree with you on that one. His previous series does not bear any comparison with this one. That was so good. Medha- Exactly! The director can just pin his hopes on Robin’s die-hard fans now to make it a hit; else there is just a glimmer of hope that it will even cross a million in its earning. Shiv- I agree! By the way, you said you wanna go outside. Would you like going for a long drive? Medha- I would love to. Let’s go! Vocabulary to Acquire Today Put it (something) off Meaning- To procrastinate or delay something for other time. Example- We decided to go for an outing this Wednesday, but as John was so sick we put it off until next weekend. Even a flicker of emotion Meaning- It is a colloquial way of saying 'even a little emotion'. Example- There was not even a flicker of emotion when he was apologizing for his mistake. I just can't believe how can a person be so emotionless. A glimmer of hope Meaning- Just a little hope. Example- There is just a glimmer of hope that the council will re-examine the case, else the career of these sportsmen is completely finished now. A hunk of bread Meaning- Thick slices of (bread, cheese or meat). Example- I cannot eat even a single bite now as I just had a hunk of bread at café. Yawning gap Meaning- An enormous difference. Example- There was a yawning gap between his sayings and his actions. Doesn’t bear comparison with Meaning- Can’t be compared with. Example- His policies just don’t bear comparison with our ex-director. He was way too good. Pin your hopes on Meaning- To rely on. Example- He can just pin his hopes on his previous achievements, else there is just a glimmer of hope that he won't get fired this time. Doomed to fail Meaning- sure to fail. Example- With such an undedicated staff member and no financial support, the company was doomed to fail. How did you find today’s chapter? I hope it added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they will become your second nature. See you tomorrow in a new article where we can draw some conclusions from what we learned, so I would definitely expect your attendance. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye. This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz"));

English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. That's me, obviously Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and you are very welcome back to my video blog! Now, today I decided to record a video dedicated to a particular English idiomatic expression, namely “to take something for granted”. And the reason why I decided to record this particular video is because I got a comment on my blog recently. To be more specific it's only 6 minutes old, right? And here is what it says. As a matter of fact, it was published on another English idiomatic expression page, The Big Picture and the commentator says this is an incredible video, really got the meaning very quickly and here's the request: Robby, can you make a video for this idiomatic expression “to take something for granted”? Thank you. And guess what? You're lucky, my friend, tonight I'm in a good mood so I decided hey, why not? You know what I mean. And as a matter of fact, I wanted to record a video anyway so I was like okay, I'll do a video about this particular idiomatic expression. So if you are interested in finding out how to use this particular one and what kind of situations it can be used in, please bear with me for a few more moments. Did you hear how I kind of started stumbling upon words? Bear with me for a few mo - mo - mo more moments or something like that? It's all part of the English Harmony philosophy, my friends. Even if you make a little mistake, even if you stumble upon words a little bit it doesn't matter. Just keep pushing on, you know what I mean? Keep pushing the envelope and keep speaking with yourself because that is the surefire way to English fluency. (more…)

Spoken English Topics and Technical Aspects of Spoken English Exercising

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TULSesfUYJs Find It Hard to Do Spoken English Practice? Write It Down First! This video is a follow-up to the last video episode which was about the importance of practising spoken English with yourself in case you’ve got no-one to talk to! After the last episode I received quite a few e-mails asking what topics you can discuss with yourselves. I’ve come to realize that it’s not that easy for everyone to think of something to talk about so I decided to dedicate today’s video episode to various topics you can use as source of inspiration to kick-start your English practicing routine. But before you even attempt practicing English with yourself, you should remember the following. Don’t try to talk about something that is detached from reality. Don’t try to convince yourself that you should speak about something that you don’t actually take any interest in :!: A typical example of this would be taking some English learning material and reading a certain topic and then trying to create a monologue around that topic. Well, you may succeed and have a nice chat with yourself about, say, concepts of time and distance, and similar. On most occasions however, if you try to create a monologue around something that isn’t relevant for you personally, the chances are that you’ll find the very idea of such speech practicing very boring and you’ll give up after a while! :-( So the most important piece of advice to anyone who decides to engage in regular English monologues is the following – talk about something that reflects your interests, your personal and professional affairs, generally speaking – your life! And now let’s look at particular spoken English topics you can always count on not be become boring! (more…)

Unnatural Collocations and Wrong Mental Associations

Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!

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! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)

Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!

How Words Hook Up With Each Other in Spoken English

IMPORTANT! Please grab a piece of paper and a pen before you start reading this article as you'll be required to write down a few English words if you decide to participate in a small experiment! In this article we’ll look at how important it is to acquire new vocabulary in context, and how much time you may be wasting learning new words separately, just by learning meanings of new words or even worse – learning them through a translation in your native language. I've been discussing it on my blog and in my videos quite a lot, but I’ve never actually brought up certain examples to show you the effectiveness of learning new English words through context. So, let’s do an experiment first. It’s very important you participate in this because if you don’t, you won’t be able to feel the difference between learning new vocabulary with and without context, so please follow my instructions, all right? ;-) Basically you'll have to make effort to memorize a few quite sophisticated English adjectives but in case you know a few or even all of those words, please don’t be offended! I’m not trying to insult your intelligence by making assumptions about your English vocabulary; I’ll be doing my best to pick out a few English words that aren’t heard that often in normal daily conversations or in media. Now, please read the following five English words with the corresponding explanations and try to do your best to memorize those words and their meanings: (more…)

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…)

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…)

You Don’t Have to Learn the EXACT Meaning of New English Words!

13 Music Idioms- Learning with Theme

I love music, who doesn’t? Isn’t it? It has a soothing and healing power which helps us relax and free our mind from the worldly negativity. It also has served as a universal language between people, which could not be restricted by the boundaries of a nation or religion. (more…)

Don’t Look for a Silver Bullet when Improving Your English!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 5- Striking Appearance or Resemblance?

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Hey there everyone, I know you are enjoying this series. I know that. . . . It is for this reason I bring a new chapter every day of this Free course called “30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where we learn some vocabulary daily about a topic with context and examples, and that’s we are going to do today too. (more…)

7 Reasons Why Having Been Born a Foreigner Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to You!

I have a friend who’s made incredible achievements in terms of his professional life and he’s also very comfortable when it comes to his finances, but quite often he would tell me how much more he would have achieved if he’d been born in an English speaking country. While I can’t deny that there’s a lot of truth to what he’s saying, I can also tell you that being a foreigner isn’t always a handicap – especially if you know what you want to achieve in life! Here I came up with a list of things that should open your eyes and make you realize how lucky you actually are having been born a foreigner! (more…)

How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!

For those foreign English speakers who are big into reading, but still haven’t started reading English literature. If you think achieving English reading fluency requires building huge active English vocabulary first – you’re in a nice surprise! Although I’m generally discussing all things about improving spoken English on my blog, I’m a keen reader too. I have loads of English literature sitting on my book shelves. It covers different topics starting with yoga and meditation and ending with political and economical writings. The biggest part of my books, however, is taken up by historical and fantasy fiction and these genres are my favourite ones. Initially I started reading English in order to improve my overall knowledge of the language. I made a mistake in that I didn’t actually define which aspect of English I needed to focus most on. For some reason or another it wasn’t clear to me that different aspects of English language – reading, understanding, writing and speaking aren’t merged into one big thing called English. I achieved complete English reading fluency but I was perplexed about the fact that my spoken English wasn’t coming along. I haven’t had any regrets for a single second, though, having mastered English reading skill. During the last years I haven’t read a single book in my native language. For the most part it’s because I’ve fallen in love with David Gemmell’s fantasy fiction so much that I’ve read all his books and I re-read them every now and then. And also taking into account I live in an English speaking country it’s not hard to understand why I choose to buy books in the local bookstore. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Due to the risks involved”

Paraphrasing – A Brilliant Method Of Improving Your Spoken English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCPJAzEVRLY On a daily basis, we all find ourselves in situations when we can’t find the correct word to say. You know what you want to say, but it just won’t come out! Many people refer to the phenomenon as being 'tongue-tied'. For foreign English speakers, this problem can be even more pronounced. You might have heard some news or read an article in a newspaper, and you want to tell the story to others. The problem arises when you just can’t remember the news word-for-word. Let’s look into the problem by using an example. The news on the previous evening announced: - The president issued a warning to all opposing his bill. You want to discuss the implications of the Presidents warning with your work colleagues, but you can’t remember the exact words. The solution is to PARAPHRASE the statement. Paraphrasing is defined as: -verb: express the meaning of something using different words. -noun: a rewording of a passage. Therefore, if we paraphrase the statement above, it can be said in many different ways e.g.: - The president issued a warning to those against his bill, or -The President warned those opposing the bill. All three statements convey the same message in different words. The statement has been somewhat simplified but does not lose its meaning! No one to whom you speak will correct you to say that's not EXACTLY what they said on the news! No one will even notice that the words have been changed. Paraphrasing means you don't have to be tongue-tied. You won’t have the feeling of knowing what you want to say, of having a word on the tip of your tongue, and not being able to say what you want. (more…)

Great Topic for Spoken English Self-Practice: Daily Events & Planning Next Day!

Lost in Translation OR Why I Couldn’t Translate Gulliver’s Travels

I was watching TV the other day with my wife, kids and my sister-in-law. It was Gulliver’s Travels – a very nice family comedy, and as we settled down in the front of TV I was ready to translate it for my sister-in-law because her English isn’t as advanced as to understand every subtlety of English language. You’d think I was very comfortable with the task, right? So would I – until I realized it’s not easy at all given the fact I haven’t built my English vocabulary as direct translation from my native language. I’ve acquired the bulk of English that I use and understand by learning from context, mimicking native speakers and reading loads of English fiction. If you’re still wandering what it’s got to do with my inability to translate Gulliver’s Travels into Latvian for my sister-in-law, here’s a very detailed explanation. (more…)

English Collocation: “In-depth Research”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aX7Cy027jA If you’ve ever been attending an academic institution, you’ve certainly conducted an in-depth research into some matter – be it deep-sea volcanic activity, bird migration or the true causes of the American Civil War. I picked these topics totally randomly, and it just goes to show that you can do an in-depth research into pretty much ANYTHING. Some research, however, no matter how profound and comprehensive it is, is bound to return some imprecise and misleading conclusions, so I always like to question everything I hear, see or read in the mainstream media. Not that I’m some mad conspiracy theorist, it’s just that I’ve heard a lot of contradictory information about a wide variety of subjects over the years, and now I’m quite cautious when it comes to making important decisions in life. (more…)

What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language

The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation. Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it! (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 10- Happiness

Why So Many Foreigners CAN’T Speak Fluent English?

Are you a foreign English speaker? Is your overall English knowledge very good but you struggle to speak English fluently and sometimes you even get stuck for words in the middle of a conversation? Then you may be suffering from the so-called ‘writing mode’ syndrome which is widespread among those foreigners who’ve spent long years learning and studying English mainly by reading and writing! What happens when you spend most of your time learning grammar and filling in gaps in textbooks is the following: your brain gets used to constructing sentences by carefully picking the right English words and arranging them according to grammar rules. It works perfectly when sitting English exams and doing written tests, but when speaking with real people in real life, your mind works in the same ‘writing mode’ and it can’t keep up with the speed of a natural conversation! Lots of English reading won’t help to fix this problem either simply because it builds your passive vocabulary, but when you speak, you utilize your active vocabulary which consists of words, phrases and sentences you can speak without much effort – they have to come out of your mouth by themselves! Are you eager to find out how to make the transition from this terrible ‘writing mode’ into a ‘speaking mode’ and stop preparing speech in your head all the time? (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Come As a Surprise”

What Typing Has in Common With Spoken English Performance

Yes, in this article I’m going to draw parallels between using the keyboard to input text into your PC or laptop AND speaking in English as your second language. Do you think I’m mad? Do you think I’m trying to make all different sorts of connections between things that don’t really go together just so that I could publish more content on my blog? Well, you’re right – I have been finding commonalities between seemingly unrelated concepts. I published an article called 12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar. I created the Fluency Gym Coach Program where hundreds of parallels are drawn between our fitness performance and spoken English practice. If you think about it a bit deeper, however, you’ll realize I’m not such a nutcase as you might have thought when seeing this blog post’s headline. You see, all the previously mentioned activities – playing an instrument, using our body and also using a keyboard for text input purposes are PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES. Spoken English is also a VERY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY because you use your mouth to produce sounds and your brain constantly works in unison with your sound producing organs so that you can verbalize your thoughts. So read the rest of this article to find out exactly what the two types of physical activities – TYPING and SPEAKING in English have in common. (more…)

How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)

Hello my foreign-speaking friends and English learners and improvers from all over the world! Does the headline sound too ambitious and you think this time around I’ve definitely gone overboard with my hyped-up promises? You may think – “Well, it’s conceivable to develop one’s English fluency to a degree when one speaks quite similar to a native English speaker, but to speak even MORE fluently than a native speaker… It’s definitely not possible!” At first glance the above statement seems valid, and a couple of years ago I would have also been quite skeptical about anybody’s claims that it’s possible for a foreign English speaker to achieve more-than-native level of fluency. I mean – how is it even remotely possible to speak MORE fluently than a native English speaker if it’s their level of fluency that actually determines the standards? It’s the same way it’s technically not possible to do something at 110%, isn’t it? When you’ve done EVERYTHING there is to do, you’ve accomplished 100% of the job, and the very same way if you’ve developed your English fluency to the very highest standards, the best you could hope for is to speak JUST LIKE a native English speaker. Well… Assuming the native English speaker ALWAYS speaks at a 100% of his or her ability! And this is the key, my friend. Not even a native English speaker’s fluency is hitting 100% at all times. Even a native English speaker has bad fluency days. Even a native English speaker WILL struggle to get the message across on certain occasions – especially when they’re not familiar with the subject. That’s the perfect opportunity for you to surpass their level of fluency when speaking about something you know A LOT ABOUT, and here’s EXACTLY how it’s done: (more…)