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!

Why learning with a purpose is important?

How To Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary!

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…)

How to Practice English for FREE? Make Phone Calls!

SUPER Important for English Fluency: SLOW Down Your Speech!

I can’t stress enough how important it is NOT to try and speak very fast! I’ve been doing it myself for a long, long time – mostly to impress others and HERE you can read why trying to impress others is a really stupid idea. You know yourself how it goes – you’re speaking with someone and you want the other person to feel how good your English is. It’s as if you are COMPELLED to speak as fast as native English speakers, which is also a very stupid idea on two accounts: First – people will notice that you’re a foreigner ANYWAY, Second – you should NEVER COMPARE your English with that of others because it will always make you feel inadequate! I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that speaking too fast is one of the BIGGEST mistakes all foreign English speakers are making all over the world :!: It’s the reason #1 why non-native speakers get stuck for words in English. It’s the reason #1 why we mispronounce words when speaking in English. And it’s the reason #1 why we think we suck at speaking in English. The solution to this issue is quite obvious, as a matter of fact – it’s staring right in your face: SLOW YOUR SPEECH DOWN! In real life, however, it’s easier said than done. Unless someone tells you: “Hey, just slow down a bit and you’ll be able to speak so much more fluently!”, for some strange reason you’re unable to figure it out for yourself. And even when you know you should be speaking slower, you still catch yourself trying to speak faster than your natural ability allows you. It’s like a vicious circle that you find very, very hard to get out of. So, keep reading this article and you’ll learn: Why you’re trying to speak in English very fast; Why fast speech is very detrimental to your fluency; What you can do to overcome this problem! (more…)

Improving Your English is Simpler Than You Think!

If you’re a non-native English speaker working in an English speaking company, you may have gotten the impression by listening to those with better English than yours that you have to learn loads of specific English vocabulary in order to be able to fully function in your work environment. If you’re preparing to sit an English test or an exam – such as IELTS or CAE – you may believe that you have to dedicate all your efforts towards English grammar, syntax and irregular verbs. And if you aspire to learn to speak in English fluently so that you can simply communicate with other English speakers out there, you may also have this notion that you have to be able to discuss hundreds and thousands of various topics which would quite logically require you to learn a massive amount of new English vocabulary. All in all, you may believe that English improvement is: Super-hard, Inevitably based on studying textbooks, Demands exceptional intelligence and analytic mind! Is that so? Not really, my friend! ;-) In reality, while requiring lots of hard work, English improvement is MUCH EASIER than you think :!: (more…)

Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!

If you can't watch the video below - listen to the audio version above! ;-) 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!

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…)

FAQ: How to Improve My English?

How to Improve Spoken English While Entering Sales Orders on a PC

Sometimes I find it hard to believe myself that I run this blog part-time. Yes, in case you didn’t know it yet, I have a full-time job and all the writing and video production I have to do for this website is done in evenings, at night, or early mornings. Anyway, I don’t regret any of it because I’m surrounded by English speakers while at work and it provides me with full English immersion. What better conditions can a foreign English speaker wish for in order to constantly improve and maintain English fluency? When I came to Ireland first, for instance, I had a warehouse job working with other foreigners and most of the time I was speaking with myself, so I really don’t think I should be complaining now! Even my current job, however, entails duties and responsibilities which see me spend a lot of time on my own – such as organizing and counting stock and entering data on a PC. Quite naturally, I’m not involved in any lengthy conversations with my colleagues when performing those duties and a few times a year there are periods of a few weeks straight when I’m sitting at the PC and entering new sales orders. Do I miss out on my full English immersion sessions when it happens? Not at all! I keep speaking English with myself even when entering new product specifications on the computer and it helps me greatly to constantly stay in the English speaking mindset. (more…)

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

How Robby Improves His Spoken English

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…)

Improve Spoken English Fast – Focus On English Around You!

Sacrifice Grammar To Improve Your English Fluency…?

Hello, how you doing? I’m fine, thanks for asking! By the way – did you notice anything unusual about the first sentence? Read this again – how you doing? Oh, yes – I can hear you say – there’s a word missing! The grammatically correct sentence is – how ARE you doing? Well, if I were your English teacher, you’d get A+ from me. The real spoken English though, can be quite different from the formal one and it’s not uncommon to drop some words when speaking just for the sake of simplicity. So for instance, when you write an essay, use the ‘how are you doing?’ phrase which is grammatically correct. But when you meet up your friends at work in the morning – you can use the spoken English equivalent – ‘how you doing?’ It’s easier and faster to say, it sounds more native and most importantly – it’s not going to do any damage to your English grammar at all! When you speak and write, two different areas of our brain are engaged, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget correct English if speaking more colloquial English. And that, by the way, is the reason why many foreign English practitioners find it difficult to speak fluently although their written English is perfect. It’s all down to the lack of practicing spoken English phrases – and here’s another example for you - how’s things? The grammatically correct phrase is ‘how ARE things?’ But in spoken English you can simply say ‘how’s things?’ – that’s two syllables instead of three! Shorter, easier and handier – don’t you agree? So here are the two greeting phrases you can use – how you doing? And – how’s things? It will cut into English grammar perfectionists’ ears, but you better not try being one of them. Being perfect and communicating with ease can sometimes prove to be quite the opposite! Happy speaking, 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?

You’re speaking English with someone. You try to pronounce the words like they stand in the Oxford dictionary. You suddenly mispronounce one word, then another. Then you get confused and can’t speak fluently at all! Does this scenario sound familiar? It was happening to me all the time before I hadn’t realized a simple thing… This may sound really strange, but if you don’t force correct English accent when speaking English, you will feel that you can speak much better and more fluently! :shock: Don’t get me wrong – correct English pronunciation is important to speak the language and, of course, make others understand you. What I meant here is - don’t try make yourself sound like a native English speaker by all means – most likely it will hamper your speech even to a greater extent. Instead of focusing on the correct pronunciation and native English accent just speak and if you allow your native accent to surface a little bit – there’s nothing wrong with that! Remember - the key factors for improving spoken English and English fluency are to maintain a successful mindset and not try to use artificial vocabulary – just go for simple words you’ve learnt a long time ago! Personally I find that speaking with a slight native accent of mine I can maintain the fastest and most fluent English speech. Isn’t it odd? Well, I think it is! And here are a couple of tips on how to forget about sounding like a grammar book and focusing on live English speech instead! :idea: Next time you speak English try to use your own language’s pronunciation when speaking English. Just let it go and don’t try to force the super-correct English accent. It may sound really funny – like Italian mobsters from mafia movies – but you’ll discover that this way your fluency increases! :idea: Nothing else counts now but your confidence, don’t bother yourself with thinking what your speech sounds like. The most important thing is that now you can speak fluently and your mind is being exercised in a similar way you exercise your muscles in the gym. :idea: When you’ve spoken in this manner for a while, just stop and forget about English fluency and anything related to English. Do something you like for a while. When you speak with native English speakers next time you’ll discover that oddly your fluency has improved a bit! 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 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!

The Harsh Reality About Improving Spoken English

Improve English Fluency… Have A Coffee Break!

I’d like to share a funny story with you this time. As you already know, I’m not a native English speaker – and I live in a country called Ireland. I’ve been here for quite a long time and I’m not planning go back to my own country in the near future. And now I’m feeling like I’ve become a part of this whole culture, Irish traditions and everything else. But the first thing that struck me when I just arrived here was the local accent. Yes, I had studied English at home – but the way Irish spoke was something completely un-understandable! I always had to apologize and ask to repeat the same question again and again until I was able to get it! And I guess you may have experienced similar feelings having gone abroad or living in a foreign country, haven’t you? But today’s story isn’t about how well we can understand other accents and ways of pronunciation. It’s about how well the native English speakers can get what WE say. And here goes the funniest thing I’ve been telling my friends over and over again – and now it’s your turn! Whenever I go to some eatery to have a meal with my wife and daughters, or just myself, and order coffee, I don’t get coffee straight away. And please don’t think I’m being discriminated in any way – no, Irish folks are very friendly and today around 10% of the whole country population is non-nationals. And we’re very welcome in this country! No – it’s not that I’m ignored or anything similar. It’s just that Irish don’t understand I’m asking coffee… Yes, it’s really weird! The word ‘coffee’ is very simple. The pronunciation: [kofi:] – am I not right? Yes – and everyone pronounces the word this way. Imagine if you were an English national and someone asked you in a heavily distorted accent: [kofe:], or [ko:fe:] or whatever else – would you not get it? I guess – yes. But you see – I have to repeat the word around three times until the girl behind the counter says: ‘Ohh, right, you want coffee?!?’... But am I getting annoyed by this? You think I’m giving out about how unfairly I’m treated? Of course, not! It’s just another story about how different we people are and that our distinct accents and pronunciations are a part of the nature! No matter if it’s the Irish girl behind the McDonalds counter, or it’s you who has to ask someone to repeat what they just said – it’s COMPLETELY OK! It’s absolutely normal sometimes to get a bit confused, not to understand, mispronounce words and make similar mistakes. After all, we’re all humans, and humans do make mistakes, don’t we? ;-)