Passive English Input Isn’t Going to Improve Your Ability to Speak!
This is another one of those videos where I’m responding to a YouTube comment, and this time around the person in question commented on a video where I was talking about what to do if you’re living in an English speaking country without any opportunities to speak with locals. So here’s the comment: And obviously – if you’d like to hear what I have to say about it, please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby
There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than You!
What to Do If I Find Spoken English Self-Practice Boring…
Best Videos and Articles on English Harmony in 2015 + Happy New Year!
Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s been another year in business for me, and to be honest with you – this year has just flown by! It only feels like yesterday when I published a blog post about the advantages of using headphones when consuming audiovisual content in English. Guess what though? It was back in January – 12 months ago! And when I look at the article where I’m discussing the merits of recording your speech on a camcorder, I actually find it hard to believe it happened in February! But while we’re at it, we may as well look at other interesting articles I’ve published this year, and the next one I want you to read is the 25 English sentence starters. Starting sentences is something that a lot of us, foreigners, are struggling with, so it goes without saying that being able to use a number of sentence starters will come in handy for you you as a foreign English speaker! Next up – an article from the month of April is about trying to impress other people with your English skills and how it can quickly turn against you. To be honest with you, I still have to fight the urge to impress others at times, and I know for a fact that plenty of other foreigners are finding themselves in the same situation, so you should definitely read this article – especially if you’re among those having this issue! (more…)
Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?
In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby
Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!
Did You Realize That Being Tired Affects Your Fluency?
You might not have thought about it before, but the simple fact of the matter is that your mouth is a muscle and as such it’s prone to you being tired. When you’re tired, your physical performance suffers – but you don’t see it as something weird because it’s just natural, right? Now, when you find it harder to gather your thoughts and verbalize them properly, does it ever occur to you that it could also be related to your energy levels and physical ability to perform? Probably not! You see – the thing is that if it happens when we speak in our native language, we don’t even realize it’s happening and even if we do, we don’t give it any conscious thought. When it happens when we speak in English, however, we immediately start blaming ourselves for that, we start freaking out, as a result our fluency goes down the drain and we end up feeling miserable without any realization as to why it’s happening! In reality EVERYONE, yes – even native English speakers! – find it a bit harder to express themselves when they’re tired, so if you want to find out more about it, watch the video above! Cheers, Robby, Your Fluency Gym Coach
This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!
Spent Years Learning English Words from Newspapers… Then Burned It All to Ashes!
A while ago I published an article called Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge! and it was all about the widespread misconception of English textbooks and other printed materials making people “own” that knowledge. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! For the most part, English learners would collect all sorts of English books to create an illusion for themselves that they’re doing something in order to learn the language. And so it happens that a couple of days ago Sachin, who is one of my long-term blog readers, posted the following comment on that blog post: Robby in my school/ college days I was hopeless in my language skills, my native language, 2nd language (Hindi) and English... all of them. I had flunk in last two languages 2-3 times and could barely manage to cross 40% in my native language (35% was passing). During that time I was told to read Editorial of English newspaper and mark difficult words from it, practice it and you will be fluent in English...:=O I did that religiously for a long period of time, hoping that at some point God will see may efforts and will have mercy on me and turn on the language button which was in off mode since birth. Honestly I was waiting for miracle to happen but nothing happened for long time...:'( I had a big file of those editorials and word power. I never heard those words in my daily life....and finally a few years ago I burned those files to ashes... :D (more…)
Answering Questions: Can’t Practice Fluency, What to Do If My Fluency Dwindles When I Speak With Others and More…
Terrible English Fluency Issues? You’re Not Alone In This!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt”
Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, and this time around the expression in question is a true English idiom: BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT Well, to be honest with you, it’s quite possible to deduce the meaning of this idiom from the words “beyond” and “doubt” alone; however, you couldn’t be 100% sure what it means until you actually learn that it means “without any doubt”. That’s the nature of true English idioms, my friends – you just have to learn their meaning so that you can use them without running the risk of using them in the wrong context. And now you can go ahead and watch the video above where I’m providing a number of example sentences with this particular English idiomatic expression. Watch the video, repeat the phrase “beyond the shadow of a doubt” a good few times so that it gets “wired” into your mouth as a permanent English speech pattern, and you’re good to go! Cheers, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “In Full Swing”
Hi guys and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video episode we're going to look at another English idiomatic expression. And this time around the expression in question is: IN FULL SWING And just let me tell you right off the bat that English Harmony video recording and production is in full swing now. I've been trying to record one video a day but obviously I don't always get around to do that but I'm trying. So basically, I'm trying to record one video at least every two days or so. So needless to say, at this particular moment in time I already have loads of videos ready to be edited, published on my YouTube channel and on my blog and it's just what I enjoy doing. I enjoy practicing my spoken English and at the same time passing the knowledge on to you guys, right? So the expression “in full swing” you might actually have already guessed what it kind of means just from the context when I told you that English Harmony video production and recording is in full swing. But if you're not a 100% sure what exactly it means, then stay with me for a few more minutes and everything is going to become a 100% clear to you, my friends! (more…)
Take Advantage of People Who Make You Really Fluent in English!
Passive English Immersion is Good for Keeping Your Vocab Refreshed
= Video Transcript Below = Hi guys and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video I'm going to be telling you why exactly reading in English, listening to the radio in English and watching TV in English – basically I'm going to telling you why all that is important. Why it's necessary to expose yourself to the English language. And contrary to most people's expectations it's not important because it kind of makes you soak up all that knowledge, right? But it's quite the opposite. It's important because you can refresh your vocabulary, your vocabulary that you've already learned by way of spoken English practice. (more…)
It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents
Funny Experience When Switching Between English and My Native Lingo
- Video Transcript Below - Hello boys and girls, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! To tell you the truth guys, I haven't had a chance to record any videos for the last couple of weeks for the simple reason that I've been mad busy dealing with my students. You see I'm coaching my own students as part of the Fluency Star coaching program. And on top of that I'm away during days at the college where I'm learning to become a computer maintenance guy and a networking guy. That's my aim, that's my long term career goal basically to get into the IT field. And on top of that my family from Latvia visited me last weekend. My mom and my sister and her husband, all of them came over on Thursday, stayed here till Monday. So as you can imagine I've been extremely busy to catch up with everything that I didn't get a chance to do over the weekend. Anyhow, finally I'm getting a chance to record a video now and the topic is switching between English and your native language. And what prompted me to record this video is something that happened to me the other day when my mom and my sister who were still here, we were at the pub one night, having a few drinks and then we decided to order some food and the waitress came over and I was speaking with my mom and with the waitress. (more…)
Importance of Improvisation When Speaking in English
Difference Between Struggling English Speakers & Those Who Don’t Experience Fluency Issues
Dealing With Criticism When Making Mistakes in English
Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here and welcome back to English Harmony video blog. In today's video we're going to discuss something that I've touched upon many times before, namely - making mistakes when speaking in English. And before I actually give you a full account of what happened to me the other day at the college, let me just remind you what the official English Harmony stance in relation to the whole making mistakes thing is. So the bottom line is the following. You don't have to be freaking out over making mistakes. You don't have to make sure you don't make a single mistake when speaking because guess what? More often than not, you will end up making more mistakes than before, just because you keep analyzing your speech, so it's some sort of a reverse psychology. The more you're trying to make sure you don't make any mistakes, the more mistakes you actually end up making. So what you have to do is give your fluency free reign and just take a mental note of any mistakes that you might be making, just to correct yourself at a later stage and learn from your mistakes. That's the intelligent approach and that's pretty much the only approach that works, right? So here's what happened to me the other day at the college. For those who are not aware, I'm spending my days away at a college because I'm studying currently to become a PC maintenance and networking engineer. (more…)
Using Native Language in the English Class? Non-sense!
Video Transcript Below: Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! I'm Robby and I'm bringing you another video episode in the English Harmony video blog. And today's topic is teaching English via native language which is something that totally blows my mind at this stage in my life because now I know for a fact that English can be taught successfully only using English as the medium. Well, obviously in the very early stages of learning the language you would have to use your native language to understand the basic concepts of English, right? But as you progress through your learning curve and you get to know a whole lot more English words and phraseology and all that, there is no reason why you couldn't do away with the native language altogether, right? And here's a funny thing. Here in this country – I live in Ireland – and in this country when they teach foreign languages at school, at least to the best of my knowledge, they still use English during the lessons which doesn't make any sense at all. Because in other countries, such as Germany for example, when they learn English they only use English in the classroom which is something that makes a whole lot of sense! (more…)
English Grammar is Like the HTML Code
Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge!
Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog or if you're listening to this as an audio file, welcome back to English Harmony podcast. Now, today's subject is English books: textbooks, grammar books, reference books, collocation compilations, phrasal verb compilations, all sorts of English books, right? And you may possess dozens of them, but just because you have all those books doesn't mean that you possess the knowledge. And moreover, it doesn't mean that you can actually use all that knowledge when speaking with other people in real life. Nothing could be actually further from the truth! If you believe that just by buying a new fancy book will somehow magically make you better English speaker, it's just not working like that in real life. And here’s why. You see, language learning is a quite unique discipline and it's definitely something that I've been touching upon in my previous videos and articles on my blog. And why it's unique? Here’s why. When you learn any other abstract humanitarian subject at school, for example history or geography or psychology - you name it - it's all based on you acquiring information, processing the information, understanding what's – what it is that you actually are being told, right? And being able to produce those facts in a written format, more often than not, right? Basically you have to do tests to show your teacher or whoever could be assessing your test that you actually know the stuff, right? And it's all passive. It's you memorizing things, knowing what it's all about and being able to reproduce all that knowledge in written format, sometimes orally. (more…)
Different Types of English Speakers
How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?
Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog, and also my podcast - in case you're listening to the podcast instead of watching the video. In today's video episode, I'm going to respond to a question asked by one of my blog readers, and the question basically is the following: “How do I force myself to read English fiction if I'm not into reading?” And let me just tell you before I get into the actual topic that I've been suggesting that you get into young adult fiction in case you find it difficult to read something in English, right? So young adult fiction is very easy to read and those writers use very easy, simple and conversational English. It's not like academic English that you would probably encounter if you picked up some classic, right? Which I've never done before, myself - well, I have picked up some classics and then I read a few paragraphs and I just couldn't wrap my head around what's being said there, OK? And that's why I'm into young adult fiction and before that there was a period of my life when I was reading fantasy fiction, it lasted for about three years or something and I read dozens upon dozens of books and the language used in those type of books is pretty much the same - it's very easy to understand, very easy to read, very friendly and very conversational, OK? (more…)
How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Run It By Someone”
What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country
- Video Transcript Below - Hello there, my fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog or my podcast, depending on which source you're using to acquire this message! If it's video on YouTube, or my blog, that's my video blog, obviously. In case you come from countries such as China where YouTube content is not really accessible, then you're listening to this as a podcast, right? So, today's topic is living in an English-speaking country in your own community, basically a community consisting of your own native counterparts, people who speak your native language. And why I chose this topic for today's video? The reason is quite simple, right? I got contacted by one of my blog readers; that person actually expressed her concern of her English improvement or, to be more specific, the lack thereof. Because, just like I said, that person described her situation which is pretty much the same as I just described, living in a community consisting mostly of people speak your language and basically you don't get a chance to practice your English because of that, right? And what was happening in that particular case? That person was quite good at understanding English, reading, so that part of that aspect of the English language didn't actually present any issues whatsoever. But it was the spoken aspect, which is totally understandable because this is actually the same thing that happens to so many foreigners who experience the fluency issue, right? (more…)
Don’t Use Subtitles in Your Native Language!
- Video Transcript Below - Hi Guys! Hello boys and girls! Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog or, alternatively, if you're not watching this as video, but if you're listening to his as an audio, welcome back to English Harmony podcast for those of you who can't access YouTube video content, right? To the best of my knowledge, China is pretty much the only country where people aren't allowed to access certain YouTube channels, or something like that, but there might be more countries on the list which I'm not really aware of because I've only received requests from Chinese people to start the English Harmony podcast version, which would be just audio instead of video content, right And that's the reason why I actually started recording the audio files. Well, not really recording - I simply convert all my videos into audios, right? That's how it happens. You can find them on top of every video blog post that I publish on my blog. Anyway, today's subject is should you - that's a question, right? Posed, actually, to me by one of blog readers, should - well, he didn't actually pose the question this exact way; he was actually asking me. If I'm not mistaken, that person was 'him', it was male, right? A man. And he was asking me a question about finding English videos, right? And he said that he's finding it hard to find videos with subtitles in his native language and then that question poses another counter-question: should you actually be looking for videos with subtitles in your native language? (more…)
Seeing Forgotten English Words the Next Day & the “Gut Feeling”
English Idiom: “Wrap Your Head Around Something”
Hi guys and welcome back to another installment of the English Idiomatic Expression videos! :-) This time around we’re going to look at the following English idiom: WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND SOMETHING and how it’s used in real life English conversations. Now, let me tell you right off the bat – more often than not, this particular idiom is used in a negative context. Basically it means that you’ll be most likely saying that you CAN’T wrap your head around something as opposed to saying that you can or you find it easy to wrap your head around something. Are you curious as to what exactly this phrase means? Would you like to be able to use it in your daily English conversations? (more…)
You’ll Never Need Legal English Terms and Vocabulary – Way Too Specific!
Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!
- Video Transcript Below - Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! In this video I'm going to address the matter of me making mistakes while recording these videos. You see, the thing is that some people may hold to the opinion that once I'm positioning myself as an authority in the English teaching field here on YouTube and on my blog, that my English should be impeccable (my spoken English). And there are certain people who are watching my videos and then they're pointing out where I should have said things differently, they're providing actual time stamps and everything, the exact time down to the very second where I'm saying things wrong. Here's the thing - I have to actually go back to the very origins of how I started running the blog and why I did it in the first place and what the whole English fluency issue is all about. (more…)
Beware! I’m a False Fluency Expert & I’ll Con You Out of Money!
Fluency Star Case Study: Sergi and His English Fluency Improvement
Update on My Personal Situation: Why I’m Doing a PC Course
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Tonight is Monday night. I had to give it a thought because I was going to say almost Sunday night but it's not Sunday, it's Monday. But the thing is - today is Bank Holiday Monday and it almost feels like Sunday! But to tell you the truth guys, I'm not sure when this video is going to go live for the simple reason that I'm recording a number of videos and then I'm editing them and publishing them as I see fit, as my schedule permits because I'm quite busy nowadays. And one thing you might not actually know and to tell you the truth you definitely don't know that because I haven't actually mentioned it on my blog yet - I've started a computer course... (more…)