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!

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

English Idiom: “Steer Clear”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiBNlMg6pdc Hello my friends non-native English speakers! Today we’re going to look at the following English idiom: STEER CLEAR and how to use it in your daily English conversations. So, first of all let’s do some Google search to validate this English expression and make sure that it actually exists. To accomplish that, we just need to enter the phrase STEER CLEAR into the Google search bar in quotation marks (it’s very important!) and hit “Enter”: As you can see, there are more than 6 million search results returned containing the phrase STEER CLEAR which means it’s a very valid English expression. Next, have a look at the top search results: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s one thing I can say for sure”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdQGseq6Fc Using the expression “There’s one thing I can say for sure” is a very handy and convenient way of letting your conversation partner know that you’re about to say something they don’t have a reason to disbelieve. There’s a couple of similar expressions you can use to convey pretty much the same message: There’s no doubt aboutI know for a fact that… If you learn this particular expression, however – “There’s one thing I can say for sure” – you’ll have another English phrase added onto your active English vocabulary and you’ll have more phrases to choose from! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Run the Risk of…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6URoB2eVnY If you’ve been ignoring the power of English idiomatic expressions, you’re running the risk of not being able to express yourself in a native-like way! Today’s expression is “to run the risk of”, and I’m sure you noticed that I used this phrase in the previous sentence, didn’t you? ;-) When you learn this idiomatic expression, don’t try to analyze it too much, don’t try to make mental notes of this phrase being yet another one of those featuring the verb ‘to run’ (similar to “to run off” or “to run out of something”) and definitely don’t try to put all those idiomatic expressions containing the verb ‘to run’ under the same category! If you’re anything serious about your English fluency, you must look at every new phrase and expression individually, so this one – “to run the risk of” – is ONLY EVER to associate with words that it would go with in a natural conversation: (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bayxGBITl8o Have you ever noticed that when you study English on your own, you tend to make fewer mistakes and you can speak much clearer and more eloquently than if you speak with another person? Well, it mightn’t necessarily be the case – after all, there are some people who bring out the best in you as a foreign English speaker - but I’m sure that it has happened to you on more than just one occasion that you struggle a bit to get the verbal message across to the other person. And guess what I realized one day? It’s pretty much like fighting a real life fight if you’re a martial arts practitioner or a boxer! (more…)

WILL and GOING TO English Future Forms: How to Use Them in Conversations

4 PRACTICAL Things You Didn’t Know About the English Language

Even if you’ve been learning and using the English language for years, I can assure you that there are some quite practical things about this language that you’re not really aware of :!: “Ah well, this is just another article about English word origins, historic facts or funny things about the English language…” – you may have been thinking when reading the headline. If so, then let me tell you – you're in for a very pleasant surprise! In this article I’m actually going to reveal a good few things about the English language that will HELP you in your fluency improvement routine by making it easier to learn new vocabulary, pronunciation and a whole lot more. Are you ready? Then what are we waiting for – let’s get started! ;-) (more…)

Why Can’t I Use All Those English Phrases and Collocations?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu71FfBmuFU VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hello, everyone! I'm Robby from English Harmony and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video, I'm going to address a particular issue that has been raised by a number of my customers and some of my Fluency Star coaching clients. And, to be honest with you, what prompted me to record this particular video was a comment I got from one of my blog readers, and that particular person says that he or she - I'm not really sure - they have been practicing their spoken English for around four years, half an hour a day at least, which is quite a lot! It's quite sufficient to improve your English to a great degree over the period of four years to be honest with you my friends, right? So, basically, they've been doing that, but they still find it difficult to implement the phraseology and collocations they learn in those practice sessions. So, the basic issue is: How to make sure that you can actually use all those collocations as you go about your daily spoken English practice? And, furthermore, for those who might be finding themselves in situations where they have to speak with other people on a regular basis, it begs another question: How you can actually use all those collocations and phraseology in real life conversations? And let me tell you right up front - this is something I haven't I guess specified previously on my blog and on my videos, which is quite surprising considering I've been running this YouTube channel for a good few years, right? So, basically, the thing I have to mention is that there's two types of collocations, right, two types. (more…)

Why Don’t I Learn Other Languages By Applying English Harmony Principles?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lehne_NkgYQ VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog! In today’s video, I’m going to address a question asked by one of my YouTube commentators whose name is Shamil. Hi, Shamil! How are you getting on? Thanks for asking the question, it’s a very valid one. Let me read it out first. “Robby, are you currently learning any new language? It’s just that you’ve figured out how to efficiently learn English and reach fluency in English so why limit yourself with English only? Why not apply all of your experience on, for example, French? Surely you can apply the same way of learning techniques and become fluent in French or in any other language in no time. Maybe we’ll see you in the future on your new channel in French! Regards, Shamil”. Thanks for the question. It’s a very valid one. Indeed, I’ve figured out that I can actually learn and improve my English by using all these colocations and phrases and a lot of self-practice by repeating the phrases and memorizing them all over again, using in my self-practice sessions then using them in real life conversations with people. So, all of these methods and techniques together coupled with fluency management techniques whereby I monitor my fluency all the time and whenever I feel that my fluency goes down a bit, I apply all these methods, right, and there’s a number of them. The simplest one is to slow your speech down, right. There’s more techniques. If you feel that you’re really stuck, you actually try and speak much faster as some sort of a reverse psychology. Basically, you’re trying to make as many mistakes as you actually can and sometimes, it actually helps you to get through the plateau, so to speak. You actually start speaking much better for some reason or another, and then there’s a technique whereby you just try to empty your mind and basically get rid of all those negative thoughts and you just basically speak about whatever comes into your mind. You just don’t care whether what you say might be a bit erroneous, maybe there’s a few mistakes in it, whatever. You just don’t care about that, you just lose yourself basically and distance yourself from other people’s opinions, emotions, what they might think, whatever. I’ve discussed all of these strategies in great depth on my blog throughout the years, so obviously… (more…)

Why Desire to Translate is Irresistible & How to Deal With It

English Idiomatic Expression: “Come As a Surprise”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aAp_P0pjAE

3 Things ANY Foreigner Can Implement To Boost Their English Communication Skills!

Useful Sophisticated English Words & Phrases

When I arrived in Ireland 15 years ago, I went onto a mission of learning English vocabulary because I thought it was going to help me overcome my fluency issues. As a result, I acquired hundreds upon hundreds long English vocabulary lists also containing plenty of words that even native English speakers don’t use and they simply didn’t have a clue what they meant when I tried using them in real life! I like to call such English vocabulary “sophisticated”, and I’ve also written extensively on this topic on my blog, here’s a couple of articles: Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW! Simple vs Sophisticated Vocabulary? It’s All Just Semantics (Interpretation)! Now I know better than to learn English words that nobody uses in day-to-day communication; I’d rather use to learn the vocabulary I already know in DIFFERENT WAYS thus enabling me to speak about virtually any topic. Sometimes, however, knowing how to use certain sophisticated English words comes in handy and as it was pointed out by one of my YouTube commentators, some English tests and exams may include such vocabulary. So, without further ado, let’s learn some useful English expressions containing words that you may not have heard before – or maybe you’ve heard them a few times and wondered what they actually mean. Needless to say, it’s strongly advised you acquire this sophisticated vocabulary by learning the entire word combination thus ensuring you’ll be able to USE the word in question! (Read this article to understand what exactly I’m talking about here) (more…)

English Grammar vs Spoken English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/NyVWa3Y2J48 Grammar is extremely important in any language. Nonetheless, it can sometime be a hindrance when learning to speak a language. When learning English (or any language) at school, there is a huge emphasis on the grammar and on the written word but not enough emphasis is placed on speech! Trying to learn hundreds of grammar rules and then learning how they are used is sometimes unnecessary and boring! It also means that most of the time is taken up in this way so it’s almost impossible to spend enough time on the spoken word. I have personally spent days, weeks and months reading and studying and re-reading books on grammar. I have had a huge interest I in the English language since I was very young. I found out when I got older that reading all those books and studying for days didn’t really help me when it came to speaking English. I figured out that I actually only needed to learn a small percentage of the grammar rules to speak fluent English! When writing in English, grammar tends to be slightly more important than in the spoken word - and that's probably why most people focus on improving grammar instead of improving their spoken English. (more…)

Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!

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 my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)

Common English Phrases to Use at Home & With Kids

Develop Your English Fluency by Helping Others!

Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve been working on my English. Truth be told, my English learning methods didn’t do much good to my fluency because I spent most of my time learning English grammar, reading and writing and as a result I developed something I like to call a “writing mode” of my mind (read more about it HERE). Nonetheless, I was constantly striving to improve my English and whenever one of my friends would ask me to help them to translate something from English or to make a phone call and talk to an English speaker on their behalf, I never said NO. Helping others became a whole lot more frequent when I moved to Ireland back in 2002 because there were a lot of things to be done in order to settle down in the foreign country – starting from opening a bank account and ending with renting a house – and plenty of my fellow Latvians asked for my assistance when dealing with native English speakers in various institutions or via the phone. During the Celtic Tiger boom years there was a never-ending stream of Latvian immigrants coming to Ireland many of which happened to be my friends or relations, so needless to say I had to help many of them to deal with local authorities, utility companies and the like. And guess what? As a result of all those countless hours of helping others to write correspondence in English, translate from English and also acting as an interpreter on quite a lot of occasions, I immensely improved my own English! Fair enough, I was constantly struggling with my spoken English because I still kept resorting to traditional English learning methods when studying the language at home, and it’s only 5 years after I arrived in Ireland that I finally realized what I had to do in order to speak fluently. Having said all this however, I have to admit that by helping others I was doing myself a really big favor because I was constantly exposing myself to real life English and it did contribute into my personal English fluency development big time. Was I annoyed a lot of times for being constantly asked for help? Hell yes! Do I regret it now? Hell no! :grin: Now I fully understand that by constantly being out there and helping my fellow Latvians deal with daily problems in an English speaking country I was improving my own English, and there’s no reason, by the way, why you couldn’t do the same thing. So here’s what I’ve been doing throughout the years for others in terms of helping them to deal with the English language related issues (and there’s no reason in the world why YOU couldn’t start doing the same thing!): (more…)

Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?

How to Give Weight to Your Opinion? Use Smart English Phrases!

I’ve blogged extensively about the importance of being able to conduct English small-talk and get involved in simple, everyday chats with other English speakers as opposed to trying to sound smart using sophisticated expressions because there’s always a chance you’ll get tongue-tied. Also I’ve stressed how important it is not to lose your head when you can’t remember a certain word or a phrase in English but paraphrase instead. Let’s say for instance, you’re having a chat with your friend and you’re trying to explain that you weren’t aware of a particular fact, but then it slowly became obvious to you. The phrase you’re trying to remember is “it dawned on me” – which means that you started to realize the truth. But if you can’t remember the exact word ‘dawned’, there are still dozens of ways to convey the same message – “I suddenly realized”, “and then I got it”, “I started to understand” etc. While it’s important not to get too hung up on using the exact same phrase you can’t remember – or else you risk constantly getting stuck in the middle of conversations! – it’s also important not to ignore specific English phrases or so called idiomatic expressions that might just help you make your point more effectively and also would help you sound more like a native English speaker. Just imagine that you’re watching news and they’re showing the latest developments in the world which unfortunately way too often involve natural and man-made disasters, atrocious crimes and other bad news that normally make the headlines. You’re watching the news with a couple of your friends, and halfway through the news your own worries and problems that were so pressing a mere ten minutes ago, all of a sudden seem to have become ridiculously unimportant. Compared to what people are going through in North Africa and Middle East at the moment, your life is actually a walk in the park! Now, you can express your feelings to your other family members in a couple of sentences just like I did in the paragraph above, OR… you can use a single phrase – “Yes, it really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?” That’s the beauty of such and similar English phrases – they allow you to express your feelings in a single phrase! Moreover – they can be used in many different situations so a handful of smart English phrases can indeed help you explain yourself like a native English speaker! But now I’m going to give you some more examples of smart English phrases so that you can clearly see the importance of learning them. (more…)

9 Friday Expressions You Can Use… Guess When? On Fridays!

There are plenty of phrase-lists published on this blog – starting from phrases using the word “thing” and ending with small talk phrases which has actually turned out to be the most popular article on this blog! This time around let’s look at something that would come in handy for every single foreign English speaker out there. Well, it’s not that those other phrases wouldn’t be useful for everybody, it’s just that I’m trying to point out the fact that the phrases we’re going to look at today can be definitely used by all of us at least once a week! Why once a week? Well, guess what – Friday happens once a week, and for as long as you’ve got some work colleagues to talk to, you can always make sure to use this Friday phraseology to the best of your ability! So, without further ado, let’s start looking at the different Friday expressions you’ll be able to use at work – and not only! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Come in Handy”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoOdmAEccVQ Hello everybody! This is the first blog post in this blog called EasyIdioms.com, and it’s going to be run by me - Robby Kukurs from EnglishHarmony.com! :grin: I made the decision to start a new blog dedicated to the English Idiomatic Expressions exclusively since my English Harmony blog started getting a bit cluttered up with all sorts of blog posts and videos. I had to choose between ditching the idiomatic expression videos altogether or finding a new platform to feature them, and it goes without saying I went for the latter. After all, judging by my visitors’ comments, all these videos come in handy for those foreign English speakers out there who are working on their fluency, and I also have to admit that I’m kind of used to creating these videos on a regular basis. (more…)

6 Types of Foreign English Speakers: Which One Are YOU?

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…)

What to Do If I Find Spoken English Self-Practice Boring…

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1rMxAYbNVM 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…)

Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/b6hVnUtL7DU Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!