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…)
How to Develop Your Ability to THINK in English
Is Learning English grammar not important for speaking?
Don’t Analyze Your English – Part 2: Why Questions Beginning With WHY Are the Worst!
You Don’t Have to Know a SINGLE Grammar Rule to Speak Fluent English!
In this article, you’re going to find out: Why English grammar ISN’T necessary to speak fluent English; Why the most complicated grammar constructs are actually quite SIMPLE; How to use your brain’s natural ability to absorb grammatically correct speech patterns without analyzing them; How to use all the above to improve your spoken English! I know for a fact that many of you, my non-native English speaking friends, are struggling with English grammar. You’ve been studying grammar for YEARS only to discover that it doesn’t really help you speak fluently. YET you’re sticking with it. You’re hoping that there will be a point in time where you start speaking fluently once a significant amount of English grammar has been acquired. But guess what? Such a time will never come :!: Read about my 5 year long journey to English fluency HERE to see that the moment I STOPPED caring about grammar was the moment I started speaking fluent English. And keep reading this article to see WHY you don’t have to know formal English grammar rules in order to speak fluently ;-) (more…)
Don’t Analyze the English Language Too Much – It’s Not Good for Your Fluency!
You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!
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! If you were to find out I live in Ireland, which is an English speaking country, would you automatically assume all the credit for my fluency goes to me living among native English speakers? Well, guess what? Nothing could be further from the truth! I’d say that 90% or my success as an English speaker can be directly attributed to constant spoken English self-practice and if you doubt that – just check out this link HERE where my blog visitors and customers are providing hard proof that spoken English self-practice works indeed! You see, the way I see it, the major problem that we, foreigners, have is that most of us live in foreign countries where English isn’t spoken on the street. As a result you may be under the wrong impression that it’s next to impossible to become a fluent English speaker when living abroad. I say – it’s just an excuse! (more…)
Speak Really LOUD and Get Your English Fluency Back in Check!
Take Advantage of People Who Make You Really Fluent in English!
Hello guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today is Sunday but you see - the thing is that I'm not really sure when this video is going to be published. Because what I do these days is I just record a video and then I just store it there and then I would edit it later on, probably a week or two weeks after that. And then eventually it would be uploaded on to my YouTube channel and published on my blog. But I've no way of telling when it will happen for the simple reason that on most days I'm really busy dealing with my Fluency Star clients. That is what I do pretty much the whole time these days, 90% of the time. And only on the rare occasion I actually get a chance to update my blog. I know it's bad, it's bad form but it is what it is, I just don't have enough time. I don't have enough hours in a day for the simple reason that I'm gone through the days. I'm studying in Dublin in a college. But anyway, I'm pretty sure that I will get back to posting on my blog more regularly because that's what I love doing. But at the same time I love teaching my students, you know. So it's really a tough one but it's my call at the end of the day so I will probably cut down the number of students and ideally I would only teach one student at a time, okay? But anyway, I'm just having my Sunday coffee, cheers. Lately, I've been drinking more decaffeinated coffee but this time around I'm affording to have a real coffee on a Sunday afternoon, right And the thing that I wanted to talk to you about today is – it actually slipped my mind. How could it happen? I knew exactly what I was going to talk about and now all – oh yeah, yeah! (more…)
Importance of Improvisation When Speaking in English
How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!
You ARE What You DO!
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby, obviously, and in today's video we're going to talk about a very simple matter indeed. Namely – YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO. I know - this may sound very simplistic – “You are what you do.” Well, what's the big deal? It's common sense! What you do determines what you are, who you are, right? But, just think about this guys. I still keep receiving plenty of emails on a daily basis asking for one basic thing: “Robby, tell me how I can start speaking fluent English? How do I improve my spoken English fluency? Basically, how do I speak in English?” So the basic need, the desire that is the common denominator among all those people, maybe including even you, is your desire to speak fluently. Basically, that's WHO you want to be. You want to become a FLUENT ENGLISH SPEAKER. So, if we go by the equation - you are what you do - going by that logic, it's not difficult to draw a simple conclusion: (more…)
Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!
Way back in 2012 I published an article about the importance of thinking in English if you’re serious about your English fluency development. The reason I wrote the said piece was because one of the primary causes of foreign English speakers’ fluency issues is translation from one’s native language when speaking in English which is a direct consequence of the traditional English studies. You see, if you’re studying the English language the traditional way, you’re bound to start translating when trying to create an English sentence. You think of what words to say based on how you’d say the same thing in your native language. You also tend to copy the syntax of sentences from your native language simply because it’s the only know way for you to say or write anything in English. Basically it all boils down to you THINKING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE. Changing your life-long habit and starting to THINK IN ENGLISH, therefore, is an absolute must if you want to learn how to speak fluent English – as you can imagine, it’s not really possible if your head is full of thoughts in your native language while you’re trying to say something in English. (more…)
Thinking in English Happens With Your Mouth
Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!
A few days ago I received the following comment on the English Harmony Facebook page: Your method, learning English through idioms, phrases, proverbs, etc. is so much fun! It’s like playing with Lego bricks! Really! You see, you took most of the grammar (which for most is a party-breaker) out and made it so much less intimidating. You completely changed my view on English. Now I don't see sentences as complex structures (teeming with grammar lawfulness) but rather as different ready-to-go pieces (that is idioms, phrasal verbs, etc.) put together. Just like Lego bricks! That's why I find it like playing with it. You take on brick/part which is at your disposal and then choose which one will go along (with the same method: see what you have and try to make the best combination to convey your message). Thank you for that! I really, really liked this comment – not just because its author agrees with me on the effectiveness of contextual English learning, but also because it puts a completely different spin on the whole thing and makes you realize that English learning and improvement has to be perceived as a fun game rather than a boring chore! (more…)
How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)
3 Similarities Between Speaking in English And Driving a Car
I’ve been a driver for a good few years – since 2006, if I’m not mistaken, and nowadays driving comes just as easy to me as walking or running! There was a time, however, when I wasn’t comfortable while sitting behind the wheel. As you can imagine, any learner driver has their bad moments, and when I look back at my first attempts to drive a car, I can only be thankful to God I didn’t cause any accidents because there were too many opportunities for that to happen! “What’s driving got to do with speaking in English?” – you may ask. “This is a blog for foreign English speakers – not drivers!” For starters, both processes are life-skills you have to LEARN, so no matter which one you’re looking at – spoken English performance or driving a car – they both involve a great deal of learning before you get any good at it. Furthermore, both driving and speaking in English can be easily affected by a multitude of mental and emotional factors, and that’s where it gets really interesting, my friends foreign English speakers! ;-) (more…)
Planning Your Answer Goes a Long Way: How to Answer Unexpected Questions
Here’s one of the biggest problems I’ve been facing myself over the years when dealing with other English speakers: Sometimes they ask you a question you don’t really expect or you don’t have an opinion on, and as a result you struggle to deliver an immediate response! What’s even worse – more often than not your inability to deliver an immediate answer to that question will be mistaken for inability to find the right words to say (basically they’ll assume your English vocabulary isn’t sufficient), but it’s obviously not the case if you simply haven’t thought about that subject before! Let’s assume for argument’s sake you’re walking down the street and you’re suddenly approached by some charity worker trying to talk people into signing up for a monthly direct debit in aid for a particular charity organization – it has happened to me on numerous occasions and I’m sure you’ve fallen victim to those agents as well! Well, not that I have something against charity as such, it’s just that I don’t like the idea of signing up for yet another monthly payment from my bank account! I always tell those people I wouldn’t mind donating a fiver for a good cause, but the answer is always the same – “We can’t accept any cash, it’s not how our organization works and so on.” Anyhow, let’s say you’re suddenly stopped by one of those fellas or girls and you’re being bombarded by a substantial amount of information at once: “Hello mister, do you have a few moments to listen me out? I’m representing organization X – have you ever heard of us? - and we’re helping Y – I’m sure you’ve heard about problems surrounding Y lately - and we depend on people just like you to keep providing these essential services, and…” At this moment in time there’s a number of different lines of thoughts starting in your mind: “Do I have time to talk to this person or I don’t? Do I actually feel comfortable speaking with him?” “Organization X? Yeah, I kind of recognize the name, but I’m not sure…” “Helping Y? That’s a really good cause, but should I ask him if all my money would go towards Y or organization X are keeping some of it for themselves?” … and so on and so forth. All these thoughts happening at once might make your response almost impossible, let alone allowing you to deliver a well thought-through answer! You might start saying something nonsensical, you might make some really stupid mistakes and the agent might think that your English is so bad that you can’t come up with anything reasonable to say! Well, not that you should care too much about others’ opinion anyway, it’s just that I guess you’d wish you could manage such situations better and form logical answers, wouldn’t you? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll find out how EXACTLY you have to PLAN your answers on occasions when you’re bombarded with all different types of questions or you’re asked something unexpected very suddenly! (more…)
Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!
From: Robby Kukurs, Author of the English Harmony System My Fellow Foreign English Speaker! Millions of us - foreign English speakers - can read, write and understand English very well, yet when it comes to spoken English fluency, things are not looking that good. Traditional English education focuses on teaching English though our native language thus facilitating translation process as we speak; however, have you ever been told that natural English fluency is impossible unless you eliminate translation? The English language has loads of unique collocations, idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and if you want to sound like a native English speaker you simply need to learn to speak using these means of expression! Same goes with studying English grammar. Many of us, foreigners, are led to believe that we’ll achieve English fluency if we study English grammar hard. It’s nonsense! Wake up from the English grammar Matrix! If you learn English grammar rules separately out of context, you’ll never achieve natural English fluency because you’ll be overwhelmed with analyzing your own speech and making sure that it corresponds with the respective grammar rules. Fluent English speech is supposed to be spontaneous, you have to speak automatically and it can be best achieved by spending an awful lot of time among other English speakers and mimicking what they say. Sure, you have to speak correctly, I’m not saying you have to disregard English grammar. What I’m saying is – you have to understand that English grammar is present in every correct phrase and sentence, and you don’t need to dissect the English language like a scientist to be able to speak fluently. (more…)
Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?
Don’t Make Conscious Effort When Improving Your English
Today’s article is dedicated to the importance of not forcing yourself when it comes to learning the English language and also when it comes to spoken English performance. Have you ever noticed that the harder you try to memorize new English vocabulary, the more difficult it actually becomes? Have you been trying to make certain English words part of your active vocabulary to no avail? And you certainly have had situations when you just can’t remember a word even though it’s right on the tip of your tongue! The funny thing is – the moment you stop forcing yourself to remember the word, it just pops up in your mind when you’ve stopped thinking about it… :grin: Similar things may have happened in terms of new English vocabulary acquisition – you remember odd words or phrases you’ve only heard a few times before and they’re stuck with you all the while you’re trying to drill some other words in your memory but they just keep evading you! (more…)
English Fluency Doesn’t Mean Being Able To Speak About EVERYTHING
How to Develop the Gut Feeling for Correct and Natural English
Are you familiar with the feeling when you can’t really explain WHY you know that you have to use certain words when you speak in English but you JUST KNOW IT? It’s the best feeling a foreign English speaker can have and it’s one of the surest signs that you’ve achieved English fluency :!: It simply means you have developed such a high number of contextual links between English words and phrases in you inner vocabulary that you can produce speech automatically and without thinking, and you also instinctively feel what words are the most fitting for the particular situation. It’s based on your past experience, hundreds of hours of spoken English practice, and dozens of other things you’ve been doing while being immersed in the English language. Want to know more about the “gut feeling”, its nature and how to develop it? Then read the entire blog post – you’ll certainly learn something new in it! (more…)
Is it Possible to Achieve English Fluency While Living in a Non-English Speaking Society?
Anger Management as Part of Your Overall English Fluency Improvement Plan
The Illusion of Elsewhere – How to Clear Your Mind and Achieve Complete English Fluency in 4 Easy Steps
I love reading English fiction and there are some books I’ve re-read many times because they’ve helped me to grasp very important concepts. One of my favorite fictional characters, for instance – Skilgannon the Damned – is at his best when it comes to fighting when he slips into a special state of mind called the Illusion of Elsewhere. Basically his mind wanders and he allows his body to relax. Surprisingly, this state of mind doesn't make him less of a fighter; it’s actually quite the contrary – by clearing his mind he actually heightens his senses and allows his body to do the fighting automatically. So the key is to allow a process that’s been practiced for years to happen without much of conscious consideration thus eliminating any emotional restraints that might hinder your performance. Over the years I’ve come to realize the very same applies when you engage in English conversations – which essentially is quite an automatic process that you’ve been practicing for years. The only difference is that your mouth and lips have to do the verbal fighting instead of your arms and legs beating the living daylights out of some villain! (more…)
English Fluency Monitoring & Management
If you’re anything serious about improving your spoken English - and I bet you are otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my blog! – your English fluency is inevitably experiencing growth over time, it just can’t be otherwise. Regardless of all ups and downs you may encounter while having conversations with other English speakers, your English fluency trend is always going up – even if you don’t notice it! Of course, your fluency trend may be steeper than that of someone else’s, and it’s only natural because not all foreigners are getting the same amount of passive and active English immersion. And it’s actually totally understandable because everyone has their own fluency requirements depending on how much they use the English language in everyday life. For many of us, foreigners, practical life determines if we’re going to develop our English fluency at a fast pace or stay on a plateau for years. Anyway, today’s article is about your English fluency management and it’s especially relevant to those who experience sharp drops in fluency resulting in the infamous English fluency issue. Getting tongue-tied and stopping in a middle of a sentence, getting a feeling as if your head is stuffed full with thousands of English words and you know EXACTLY what you want to say but you’re unable to say anything, making stupid mistakes… These are the typical symptoms of the English fluency issue and what’s really baffling is the fact that we, foreigners, often experience such terrible moments right after having been absolutely fluent. We’re hitting the heights of our English fluency graphs, our confidence is very high, we’re achieving a near-native level of spoken English, and then suddenly we experience a downturn in our ability to express ourselves! It may even become so bad that on certain situations we find it hard to say anything at all, and it can be very, very distressing indeed… So how do you manage these peaks of your English fluency trend? How do you prevent the drops from being so sharp? To find answers to these questions, please read the rest of today’s blog post! (more…)
Mad Stuff – Speaking With Hard Foreign Accent to Facilitate English Fluency
English Improvement Trend & Inevitable Fluency Fluctuations – Why Is It Happening to Me?
Because it happens to every foreign English speaker, my friend, that’s why! Do you think you’re unique in that your English fluency fluctuates? Common, you’re not the center of the world; there are millions of others who experience ups and downs of the ability to speak English fluently and effortlessly. The only difference between you and others might be that you’re being very conscious of your English fluency problems, whereas others would paraphrase, use small talk phrases and simply not get embarrassed if they get stuck in the middle of a sentence. But if you think that you’re not capable of mastering the aforementioned techniques and you’re doomed for a lifetime of constant struggle with spoken English…you have to understand that any process where a person’s learning and performance is involved is subject to fluctuations. Yes, ANY process involving human beings! We’re not machines and we can’t guarantee perfect performance at all times, and speaking is no different. Why, have you not noticed that you can’t even speak your own language every day at an identical performance level? Haven’t you noticed you have days when you just can’t seem to gather your thoughts and express yourself properly even when speaking with your native speaking friends? I definitely have, but it’s not because I would spend so much time speaking English that I’ve started forgetting my own lingo! It’s because of the simple reason I stated above – any human performance is going to have ups and downs. Even now, years after dealing with the English fluency issue, I do experience days when I’m a bit slow to respond. I do have moments of hesitation and inability to put my thoughts into the exact words I would want in English. Hey, the other day I even confused two words – “to reward” and “to award”! So instead of “contracts are being awarded to…” I said “contracts are being rewarded to…” A silly mistake, but then – who doesn’t make mistakes? As far as your overall English fluency is fit for the purpose – be it doing your job, studying, or socializing – you should not be overly concerned about your odd days when you feel a bit slower to respond. In other words, unless your English fluency is heavily affected and you don’t experience total blackouts when speaking (read a full list of English speech anxiety symptoms here), you’re fine. Anyway, let’s get to the matter of today’s article which is about the English improvement trend. So, what is it all about? (more…)