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!

Common mistakes I see from students (through the eyes of a teacher)

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…)

No.1 Secret to speak English fluently and confidently

I receive messages and emails on a daily basis of people asking me if they should make a notebook where they can write down the list of useful idioms, sophisticated words and phraseology so they can learn and revise later. My plain and simple answer to your question which in itself is a question- Are you writing ‘The Joe's Dictionary’? (more…)

Common English phrases used in speaking

Is Learning English grammar not important for speaking?

English grammar is not necessary for speaking fluently; you only need to focus on idioms, phraseology, and slangs in order to communicate like a native. It is for this reason that even after years of learning English grammar at school you can’t speak fluently. Well, that’s somewhat you read when you hit up my personal blog, or be it English Harmony or any other English learning blog. (more…)

How To Improve Your Spoken English Without A Speaking Partner?

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make Starting to Learn English

What are the mistakes you can make when learning a foreign language? You will find that there are many answers to this question and interestingly, all of them are true in a way. Everyone struggles with a new language at the beginning. You may have problems with bad pronunciation, cannot find the right word to express yourself, or simply keep messing up the grammar no matter how many times you repeat the rules. These are all common mistakes, but they should not hold you back. The biggest reason why people make such mistakes is because they spend all the time studying and memorizing, and forget about immersing in the language. It is very simple – if you do not put what you have learned into practice, you will hardly succeed. (more…)

Can I Become a Fluent English Speaker at the Age of 34?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5syGAQ3J3Tw Hello guys and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog! Obviously, I'm Robby and I don't even know why I'm saying this every time I start a new video. It's just one of those things I say, "Welcome back to my video blog and I am Robby." Obviously, all of you who have been following my blog will know that I am Robby. Who else could I be? But, it's just that on the off chance that there's someone new to my blog and to the whole English Harmony thing who might be watching this video and they don't know what my name is, I'm greeting you guys by letting you know my name - Robby Kukurs. Write it down. Bookmark my website - EnglishHarmony.com - because it's one of the best resources out there for those foreign English speakers who want to improve spoken English fluency, right? And also bookmark my YouTube channel, of course ;-) So, anyway, today's video is about whether - what was the question? It was a question asked by one of my blog visitors I'm pretty sure because that's where I gain most of the inspiration for creating new videos and articles. And these days, people asking me questions - whether it was an email or a comment, I'm not really sure, but it's irrelevant anyway. I remember now. The question was: “How successful can I expect my fluency improving attempts to be provided that I'm 34 years old or something like that, something along those lines, 34 or 35, basically mid-30's”. (more…)

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…)

Improving Your English is Simpler Than You Think!

Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!

If you can't watch the video below - listen to the audio version above! ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvRCSSXdWZs There are a lot of ways you can practice your spoken English in situations when you don’t have plenty of opportunities to speak with real people in real life: Speaking with yourself Shadowing English movies Watching all sorts of YouTube videos and repeating what you hear Doing English Harmony System’s speech exercising lessons There’s another way, however, to get your spoken English practiced in the comfort of your own home while at the same time speaking with another human being. Namely – speaking with someone over the phone! But hold on, what if you don’t have any English speaking people you could call? And surely if you know someone you might call, you wouldn’t be calling them every day now, would you? And that’s when the utility company support phone lines step in :!: Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)

Can Understand Everything But Can’t Reply in English?

Counting in English Helps Your Fluency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR14ygdJkWg Believe it or not, aside from running the English Harmony blog, I have a full time job! I work in a knitwear manufacturing company, and my job involves packing customers’ orders so there’s a lot of counting going on. Sometimes I spend entire days looking at order printouts and calling out product codes and quantities to myself while I’m packing the respective garments. Can you guess where this is all leading to? Yes, I do all counting and number crunching in English :!: “Is it a big deal?” you may ask. “Why should I bother myself with counting in English while working in similar conditions? I use English when I need to talk to someone, but other than that I’m happy to use my native language when being on my own and doing mundane tasks at work!” With all due respect, my dear blog reader, but I have to disagree! Partially it's because I always tend to disagree with popular beliefs and assumptions, but for the most part it's because it's very IMPORTANT to develop one's ability to THINK in English. So read on to find out WHY counting merchandise at work or calling our product codes to yourself in English is beneficial to your English fluency :!: (more…)

Stop Preparing Speech In Your Head Beforehand!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqAgLOL0NYU Do you often catch yourself thinking of what exactly you’re going to say a few moments before you say the actual thing? Do you frequently make mistakes such as saying the wrong word or mixing up letters in words because you constantly think of a number of different ways to say the particular thing? If you recognize yourself from my description, don’t worry, you’re not unique. There are thousands of other foreign English speakers who speak following the same pattern – they prepare speech in their head beforehand and then try to say it out loud. As you already know, it creates all sorts of English fluency issues with the most noticeable being hesitation, stuttering and using wrong words or wrong grammar constructs. In other words, you sound very uncertain and your conversation partner may get the impression that you don’t really know what to say although in reality it’s quite the opposite… You know exactly what you want to say, and you know how to say it in five different ways, and all those sentences are right here, in your mind, it’s just that when you speak out loud you kind of want to say it all at once! :mad: I’ve been in the same boat, my friend. I know exactly how it feels and I also know what causes this problem. Would you like to understand the reasons behind this issue so that you can start dealing with it? Then stay with me for a few more minutes and I’ll explain everything to you! (more…)

Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech

Whether you’re a Chinese exchange student heading off to do some studying in Massachusetts, a Russian construction worker getting on a plane having secured a contract in Australia or just another Latvian like myself coming to Ireland to try out luck in finding a job to save up some money – we all have one thing in common. Namely – we haven’t had much experience with speaking English in everyday situations. We may have been academically tutored at quite high standards yet our capability to start and maintain a simple conversation may be limited simply because it’s not normally taught in schools. By far the biggest problem is that you don’t have much time to consider what you’re going to say. When you’re having a conversation, you’re quite naturally expected to answer questions or make your point within a short period of time – and it will prove difficult for many foreign English speakers. Many of us will be more comfortable writing than speaking and it’s quite understandable – when you write you have all the time in the world to plan exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You can construct grammatically perfect sentences, edit them if need be, and take your time finding the best fitting words to convey the message. It’s a different story altogether when you speak – you have to say what’s on your mind and for some it may present a serious challenge because their mind just goes blank. It’s the so-called information overload when your mind is attempting to process way too much information because all you keep thinking is what grammar tense to use, what are the best fitting words for the given situation, how to say it correctly so that you don’t make a mistake… The key aspects of fluent English speech is the ability to think in English and speak using plenty of collocations and idiomatic expressions; it enables you to speak automatically because nearly every word you say will trigger the next one. It’s the best place to be because you don’t even have to think about what you say – you can just speak as if you’re speaking in your native language. Anyway – this article is about how to use a certain shortcut in situations when your fluency is hindered and you’re desperate to get the message across successfully. So here we go! (more…)

Retelling Stories Is a Perfect Way of Improving Your Spoken English!

How Robby Improves His Spoken English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/rF8ZZt20Me8 I've been going on about improving spoken English for years and given you countless advice on how to become a better English speaker. If you're a bit tired of it all, watch this video where I'm telling about my own spoken English improving routine and what I do on a daily basis to maintain a high level of English fluency. In this video you'll find out the following things: why I still keep practicing spoken English with myself despite having a full time job in an English speaking environment; why I threw away all my English - Latvian pocket dictionaries and now I'm having a pocket phrase book; how playing a guitar helps me have real English conversations with friends and work colleagues; why I read fantasy fiction in English during my breaks at work! If you've any questions to ask in relation to this video or if you want to share your own English improving experiences - use the comments box below! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

How To Get Involved When Speaking English

Have You Got the Guts To Improve Your English?

If you find yourself in a situation where you constantly dream of speaking fluent English, but haven’t achieved any noticeable improvement yet, you have to ask yourself the following three questions: “Am I really going to use and PRACTICE English or is it just wishful thinking?” “Am I aware of English improving methods that WORK or am I just relying on old-school approach?” “Am I putting off English learning and improving because it’s boring and I'm not good at studying anyway?” (more…)

English Fluency Issue Explained

Hello my friend foreigner! Even the most advanced foreign English speakers can be faced with hesitation in speaking English at some stage of their lives. And most surprisingly – there’s seemingly no rational explanation for that! Years long studies of English have perfected your overall English understanding. You can read English fiction and enjoy watching English speaking TV programs. And you’ve probably been living in an English speaking country for a good while already! But you still keep experiencing this weird hesitation when speaking English and it drives you mad! So why the issue is there, and how to deal with it? Is there a solution or it’s something you’ll have to bear for the rest of your life? Luckily for you I have just the right explanation – and it’s quite simple! ;-) First of all – it’s al down to traditional English studies. They focus way too much on reading and writing aspects of the English language. You see – spoken English fluency is developed when you learn how to use English in live conversations naturally, using small talk phrases and expressions, and also naturally occurring English phrases! Traditional English studies, on the other hand, have created and reinforced a very bad habit of trying to speak as if you’re writing text in your head and then reading it out. And you also may have tendency of translating from your native language first because that’s how English is traditionally taught in most schools – using your language as reference medium. All the above mentioned have created this phenomenon of hesitating a lot when speaking English because you just can’t form a natural, fluent speech! The solution? Rebuild your English from the ground up by learning small talk, phrasal verbs, idioms and collocations – in other words, all the stuff that makes up spoken English! Sounds fairly complicated? Well, then check out the English Harmony System and its specifics – you’ll be in a nice surprise it’s got exactly what you need to stop hesitating when speaking English!

Improve Spoken English – Stop Translating While Speaking!

Once you’re speaking fluently and confidently using your mother tongue’s accent it is the right time to start minimizing the accent and gradually move into a state of speaking English as you normally would. The most important factors to watch out for are – slowing the speech down, the clearness of thoughts and simplicity of speech. :!: Because of the traditional English studies you first form the English sentences in your head (unlike native speakers who use word combinations instead!) and you also try to use the native English accent thus completely messing up your English speech! On top of that your mind which is very well trained in the English classroom to do the translation job keeps on doing it the same when you speak in the real life! Real English speech isn’t the grammar-book-English you’ve been studying for years, right? There’s a huge difference between English class stuff and colloquial English you have to speak when facing native English speakers… The result – inability to speak fluently! :evil: I know this feeling very well myself and it feels so uncomfortable!!! It destroys your confidence, drains away your self esteem and you feel like you are some complete beginner English student despite having been studying and speaking it for years! So at this stage it is very important to get rid of all the thoughts in your own language and leave only pure English. But how to accomplish this goal if your mind works in a mode of looking up the words from your virtual vocabulary as you’ve been doing for years when passing English tests and exams? :idea: Here’s the trick – you have to slow down when speaking English, control the speech and allow yourself time to think of the right word and eventually your English fluency will improve and you’ll slip into a perfect fluent English speaking mode! And while you’re doing so, remember the thing I’ve already told you about - don’t you ever be afraid of using simple words! Way too often people feel embarrassed about that and will try to put in a word that sounds more professional. Let’s say, you speak and you want to say that “playing soccer is something that really ….” and then you stop for a split second not being able to find the appropriate word. Well, don’t hesitate to finish off the sentence by saying “…makes me happy” or “…is so enjoyable for me” if you can’t find the right word “…excites me”. I have often noticed that people whose native language isn’t English will try to say things using more sophisticated words. It will sometimes be hard for even native speakers to understand, so don’t be afraid of speaking simply. Yes, your mind makes wonders and is capable of nearly everything so the less you worry about something the better you will perform – that’s for sure!;-) Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Do You Force Native English Accent When Speaking?

How To Always Maintain Fluent English

First of all (and probably most importantly!) – always have a successful mindset! :!: This is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed with achieving English fluency. When you think positive and don’t allow little mistakes and failures during your speech irritate and annoy you, you’re already one step closer to improving your spoken English! When you worry you self-program yourself in a subconscious level that you speak poorly and that creates a vicious circle that is very hard to quit. It is difficult to maintain a positive outlook on something that is an issue for you, there’s no doubt about that. However, you must try. Let it go. Don’t reproach yourself and don’t start frantically thinking – what’s wrong, what’s wrong with me? The first thing you have to program in your mind instead is – I KNOW that I CAN speak very well, and I don’t allow anyone and anything make me feel embarrassed when I speak English! Once you’ve programmed yourself that way you have done some 30% of the job! The next thing you have to do to make your English speech more natural and easy - forget about words you have to force yourself to look up in your virtual vocabulary. Most of them will be some difficult words you’ve learnt by memorizing. You can learn hundreds of words by heart but when it comes to a real life chat – we can’t just speak those words out because they haven’t been learnt as a part of a live language. In fact the language doesn’t consist of words – it consists of word combinations! When a natural English speaker says: “How could you do that to me?” he doesn’t think about the separate words making up the sentence and how to stick them together. The whole sentence comes into parts – “how could you”, and “do that to me”. These things have been heard in the very childhood when mom told her child “How could you?” and the child’s mind memorizes the whole thing as one – “howcouldyou”. When we, non-native English speakers speak English, we tend more to think about the things before we speak them out, we organize them into our mind, unwillingly translate from our native language (here I’m talking about us who haven’t learn the language the natural way and experience lack of English fluency!). This is why it is very important to learn new words as part of a live conversation. I’m not telling here that all the vocabulary you have learnt by self-studies is useless, of course, it isn’t. Your mind is going to put everything in its places and the more time you spend in an English environment, the better the words will settle in your consciousness and will be associated with an abstract meaning rather than with a word from your own language. What I’m telling is that while you experience the English fluency problem stick with simpler words which don’t require much of your will to speak out and don’t give a damn about how simply it sounds and what others might think about you. So – when speaking English, feel completely free to use “go up” instead of “increase” and “drop” instead of “reduced”. By the way, it sometimes is quite surprising how simply some things can be said by a natural English speaker! At work on many occasions the e-mails sent by my Irish boss sound as if written by a non-national worker and vice versa. Remember it and never feel embarrassed when choosing a simple way to explain something. The two things mentioned above are very important if you really want to improve your English fluency! :!: Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

How English Fluency Issue Manifests Itself

English Fluency Problem

Let’s first talk about this English fluency problem so that you can analyze it a little bit and understand its nature. Let’s say, you wake up in the morning and while doing something you just have an odd thought in English in your mind. And…you realize that you just can’t express yourself in English language as you’d normally do! You try to say something in English to yourself and you feel that you can’t stick the thoughts together – your mind is full of different words and images floating and messing… Another example. You go to work and greet the first person you meet. “How are you! I’m fine, what was the weekend like?” – And then you suddenly feel that you have to force yourself to get even these simple things right! And when you start chatting to your workmate at your desk, you feel that you can’t speak normally as you could before, although only yesterday you could speak fluently as a native speaker! The usual mistakes you make when experiencing the speech problem are the following:  Not being able to find the right words  Mispronouncing words  Not being able to say the thought clearly! You start a sentence, and then the very thread of the thought vanishes, and something like a blackout takes place in your head. And then you get really anxious and nervous and it affects your whole day – your mood drops below zero, the self-esteem is gone, the confidence… well, it’s a disaster! I don’t exaggerate, I know the feeling all too well and I guess, so do you. The most baffling thing in this all is that no matter how often you speak, no matter how long you’ve been living among English speaking folks, the things don’t change! It keeps on repeating constantly and with no obvious reason at all! :cry: I remember myself being a job-seeker at one stage and I attended many job interviews. One day I could speak perfectly creating a really good impression about myself. The next day going to a different place I’d experience the issue described above – and, of course, I’d feel really low because the interviewer most likely thought – well, this guy can’t get the English right in the first place, what job is he dreaming about then? And I know you have gone through a number of really embarrassing situations similar to previously described and you’d be more than happy to deal with the issue once and for all, wouldn’t you? So first let’s list all the characteristics of this English fluency issue so that we can clearly see what we are trying to get resolved here! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!