Have You Ever Thought About Your MOUTH As a MUSCLE?
How many years have you been working on your English? Two? Five? Ten? Guess what – I’ve been receiving e-mails from folks having been trying to achieve English fluency for TWENTY YEARS to no avail :!: And I can see exactly why it’s happening – the heck, years ago I was among those struggling English speakers myself! – it’s because most foreign English speakers don’t perceive their mouth as a muscle. Are you confused? What I mean by saying – perceive their mouth as a muscle? Well, it’s EXACTLY what I mean – your mouth for you as a foreign English speaker is just like muscles for a bodybuilder or just about any other athlete or indeed for any person on this planet who’s using their body to move their arms and legs to lift things and move around. You’re using your mouth to produce English words, phrases and sentences in order to communicate with other English speakers, and there’s actual body movement involved in every step of the way – your lips, tongue, jaws and a whole array of facial muscles are actively involved to help you with the task! (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: Create a Habit of Thinking of How Certain Things Might be Called in English!
Why Learning Long English Phrases Is MORE Beneficial to Your Fluency!
Story About Not Being Able to Speak in English in the Morning and Speaking 100% FLUENTLY in the Afternoon!
I woke up on a Thursday morning. I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for some reason or another, and I wasn’t feeling as energetic and ready to roll as usually. I poured my morning coffee and started dealing with Fluency Gym Coach Program customers’ queries in my inbox, but I was too exhausted to do any spoken English practice which is how I’d normally start my day. To cut a long story short, when I’d driven to work, entered the premises and got engaged in my work related activities, I hadn’t uttered a single word in English for the simple reason that I was really tired and I just didn’t want to do any spoken self-practice at all… Normally I would speak with myself in the car while driving to work in order to get my English speech going, but this particular morning was an exception. And I think it would be fair to say that I hadn’t actually spoken at all – even in my native Latvian - because all I’d said was a couple words to my daughters while dropping them off to school that morning. Anyway, shortly after starting work my boss walked up to me and asked where my work colleague was (he wasn’t aware he’d taken half a day off). I opened my mouth to provide the answer (which was not only the first verbal human contact for me that day but also the first English word SPOKEN that day!) and I realized to my dismay that I could barely put my thoughts into the right words… (more…)
My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences
A couple of days ago I had to make a phone call to my local airline company’s Ryanair support line to sort out a few queries over my family’s summer flight to our home country. I got through to the call center within a matter of seconds for the simple reason that it was one of those premium rate phone numbers. I doubt that would be the case had it been a normal phone line or a toll-free phone number; most likely I would have to spend at least five minutes on the line! Anyway, my customer support agent was a Russian girl so the first thought that crossed my mind was – “Cool! It’s going to be quite easy to speak with her because she’s also a foreign English speaker – just like me!” You see, the thing is that on some occasions it’s easier to speak with another fellow foreign English speaker than a native English speaker, so I thought this chat was going to be a walk in the park. A short time later, I realized it wasn’t the case with this particular conversation. I was having a hard time understanding if the person on the other end of the phone line actually understood me, so I constantly had to second-guess her replies which made the conversation not-so easy, to say the least! (more…)
Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!
4 Reasons Why You Can’t Compare the Average Foreign English Speaker With a Small Child in a Native Speaking Family
The English language teaching industry is awash with children vs adult comparisons. Statements such as: “Learn the English language just like babies do – simply listen, and let all the language sink in…” or “Small children are best at learning the English language, their brain is like a sponge! We adults don’t stand a chance…” are so commonplace that we tend to take them for face value and we don’t question them at all. Here at English Harmony I question all mainstream standards and practices, and more often than not I’ve found them to be totally wrong. I figured out a long time ago that you don’t need anywhere near as much focus on grammar as they’ll make you believe in any academic English teaching institution. I learned it the hard way that learning new English words via my native language – which is a typical industry standard – is actually bad for my English fluency because it creates a lot of unnatural vocabulary associations in my brain. And it took me a long, long time to define my personal problem – inability to SPEAK in English FLUENTLY – for the simple reason that no-one had ever said it to me during my English language studies at primary, secondary and college level which were 99% focused on developing my ability to read and write! Today I’m taking on another myth: “In order to learn the English language, we need to look at small kids in native English speaking families and copy what they do.” I say: “DON’T copy what little children do because you’re not comparing like with like!” (more…)
How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better English!
Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrYKYEgJOgI Hello my dear fellow foreign English speaker from YearOfEnglish.com! I’m back again with yet another funny English phrase video, and in this particular installment I’ve done a role play around sports-related conversations people would normally have when discussing last night’s game or while watching a live baseball or football match. You might and you might not be a sporty person, but whichever is the case, some of these sports-related English idioms will definitely come in handy for you at some stage in life. Especially considering the fact that many of those idioms can be used in figurative speech to describe completely different concepts – it doesn’t necessarily have to be sports :!: Want to see it for yourself? Then watch the video above, and you can also refer to its transcript below: (more…)
Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 25 – 38 in a Self-Practice Session
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZloj4PWjFQ Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi Boys and Girls! I’m almost 4/5 through the mission to learn 50 new American English expressions, and since the last video I published ten days ago I’ve added another 14 expressions onto my active vocab, here they are: I JUST…, IS ALL! TO DRAW A BLANK CALL BS ON… GO SEE/WATCH/DO SOMETHING… RUN THROUGH A LAUNDRY LIST OF… TRY + AND + VERB YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL? GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF GLORY AT LOOSE ENDS To FALL OUT OF Use COME + VERB GET PAST THE FACT THAT… YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT? WHAT FELT LIKE… You’re welcome to watch the video above where I’m using all these phrases in a spoken English self-practice session, and I hope you’ll be also trying to copy what I do and apply onto your own spoken English practice! And by the way, here’s the Activity Sheet for today’s spoken English practice session: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #37: YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dtTbuc2lLo Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Morning! Today’s American English phrase is YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?, and it’s a very handy phrase for situations when you’re approaching a group of people with an intent to tell them some news. And by the way, this phrase is a typical example of how we can omit words in conversational English, and while some perfectionists will consider such a grammar construct a mistake, in reality it’s exactly how people are speaking in real life! Obviously, grammatically correct way of wording this phrase would be the following: “Have you guys heard about?” or “Did you guys hear about?” – depending on context. In real life conversations, however, native English speakers quite often omit the auxiliary verbs from the beginning of sentences, and the resulting sentence is something of a crossbreed between a question and a statement. And if you think about it, this phrase YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT? doesn’t even follow any English grammar rules! (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Grammar Construct #35: COME + VERB
YearOfEnglish.com: 3 Reasons Why Enjoying Your Hobbies Through English is The BEST Thing You Can Do To Your FLUENCY!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kOM44ztGZY I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve had moments when you’ve lost motivation to keep improving your English and working on your fluency. Vocabulary and phraseology acquisition. Spoken English practice sessions. Reading and listening comprehension. All is nice and well up until the moment when you just get bored for the simple reason that you don’t see relevance of all those activities in your personal life! Let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re a fitness fanatic and you live and breathe all things fitness. You go to the local gym every day, and you’re very conscious when it comes to your nutrition and lifestyle. Now, if that’s the case, then you spend pretty much your entire free time being engaged in fitness related activities, and while you may have a dream of achieving English fluency for professional reasons, you kind of find it hard to dedicate enough time to English improvement related activities. But guess what? The biggest problem is the following: You’ve separated your fitness life and English fluency improvement and you perceive them as two different aspects of your life! No wonder you find it hard to motivate yourself to engage in a lot of English practice if you’d rather hit the gym one more time instead of learning another couple of English phrases and doing some spoken English practice… Solution? Combine the two: YOUR HOBBY and YOUR ENGLISH IMPROVEMENT ROUTINE! And here are the three main reasons why combining your hobbies and interests with learning and improving the English language is SUPER-BENEFICIAL to your fluency! (more…)
GONE Series Finished: What I’ve Gained From Reading It
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #33: AT LOOSE ENDS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acB-JzCzXbE Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Have you ever been AT LOOSE ENDS? Not sure what it means? Well, no wonder you find it impossible to guess the meaning of this phrase; it’s a typical English idiom and you simply have to know what it means in order to understand the meaning of it! Still, it’s quite easy to infer the meaning of any idiomatic expression from context alone, and now I want you to give it a shot. Have you ever been unable to find your place after a break-up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend? That’s when most people find themselves AT LOOSE ENDS, and that’s when it’s of the utmost importance to engage in some other activities to take your mind off the problem at hand! Now, have you got a general idea of what the idiom AT LOOSE ENDS might mean? Are you still not sure? Then here’s another example. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #31: YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #28 GO SEE/WATCH/DO SOMETHING…
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #27: CALL BS ON…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4iLutqdvUY Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Do you know what you have to do when you clearly see that someone’s been lying? You have to CALL BS ON that! And even if that person strongly believes in what they’re saying, you can still CALL BS ON their claims and statements because you have all the rights in the world to disagree with their opinion! Obviously, you have to bear in mind this is a slang phrase and it’s is used in highly informal situations only :!: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ztvsgZl1L8 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4DYW-hLyA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #21: FOR MY MONEY
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #19: TELLTALE SIGN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spJ-dEwMMHM Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi guys! This morning I’m bringing you a new American English phrase – TELLTALE SIGN. Have you not heard this one before? Well, I hadn’t come across it either until one fine day I encountered it while reading one of the GONE series books and decided to add it onto the fifty American phrases I’m learning as part of this Fluency Gym Coach Program goal! So, what is a TELLTALE SIGN? Well, this time around I’m not going to reveal a single bit of information to you in writing; you’ll have to watch the video above to find out what a TELLTALE SIGN is! Am I being mean? :-( Well, maybe, but then again, why couldn’t this blog post be different in that you simply HAVE to watch the video to find out the meaning of the phrase? Robby :grin:
FGC Goal #1: American Phrasal Verb #18: See What We Can ROUND UP
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…
FGC Goal #1: American Idiomatic Expression #14: IT STANDS TO REASON
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv7kr3EeaeA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi my friends foreigners! :grin: Here’s my fourteenth American English phrase, and IT ONLY STANDS TO REASON I’ve started feeling a bit overwhelmed by this whole 50 American phrase mission for the simple reason that pretty much my entire time is taken up by video recording and editing! Now, the above sentence is probably going to merit some criticism by perfectionists because the word “reason” is repeated a couple of times in it. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 1 – 12 in a Self-Practice Session
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FYYtI5X1pY Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my dear friends foreign English speakers! I’ve spent the last 6 days learning new American phraseology taken from English fiction I’m currently reading - GONE series – to be more specific! I’ve been also recording videos all of my spoken English self-practice sessions so that you can see EXACTLY how such spoken English practicing is done in real life! Here are the 12 phrases I’ve learned so far: TELL YOU WHAT IT SPELLS TROUBLE ZONED OUT HAVE YOU A BEEF WITH ME? IT HAS WRONG WRITTEN ALL OVER IT IT WAS A LONG SHOT RINGED WITH CHAIN LINK, TOPPED WITH RAZOR WIRE IN THE RIGHT ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE TO CALL SOMEONE OUT ON SOMETHING GOT A THING FOR SAY WHAT? They’re all quite American (although most of them would still be used worldwide anyway!) , and I’m choosing these phrases depending on how relevant they might be in my personal life. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #11: GOT A THING FOR
FGC Goal #1: American Collocation #9: ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnsbzJXjunE Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning on this wonderful Saturday morning! :grin: Saturday mornings are ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE the same as working day mornings for me. I still have to record a video and publish it on my YouTube channel and write a blog post for this blog, so there’s no real difference in terms of my morning routine – getting up at 5:40 AM, having a breakfast, recording a video… The simple fact, however, that I don’t have to be ready to get into the car at 8:00 AM and go to work makes a world of difference to my mental state! Not that I wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to do the right things every day, it’s just that when you don’t have to go do work, it almost feels as if there’s something big and exciting going to happen! You mightn’t even have planned anything in particular for your day off, but it still gives that added dimension to your life! I, for example, don’t even get to sleep much longer on weekend mornings than on working day mornings; I wake up before 6:00 AM no matter which day of the week it is, yet it’s always easier for me to get out of the bed on a weekend morning for some reason or another. Anyway, today’s American English phrase is ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE and it’s one of those self-repetitious sayings that don’t necessarily make sense yet they’re handy to use in conversations for the simple reason that they sound good! (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Collocation #7 – RINGED WITH CHAIN LINK, TOPPED WITH RAZOR WIRE
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #5 – IT HAS WRONG WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEXh59NTBnY Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good Morning on this wonderful Thursday morning! I got up at 5:30 AM, had my breakfast and my morning coffee while reading a few pages out of my current book (which is the source of all these American phrases I’m learning at the moment), and then I recorded another video for you, my friends! This time around the American phrase in question is IT HAS WRONG WRITTEN ALL OVER IT, and it’s a handy way to describe a situation when you have a premonition about something and you feel at an instinct level that the situation it going to spell trouble if you don’t stay away from it! Here’s the last time I had such a feeling about something. It happened early this year – mid-January, to be more specific. I was having slight problems with my website loading time; my English Harmony blog just wouldn’t load quickly enough. It would take good two minutes for the site to load fully, so I started considering moving the entire website to a different server. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Learning 50 American English Phrases in 25 Days!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeQklHAyybA Hello guys! :grin: As you may have heard, I recently launched a brand new English fluency coaching product called Fluency Gym Coach Program (FGC Program) , and it’s mostly centered around confidence building and creating an English fluency improving routine (as opposed to purely technical speech pattern building which is the scope of the English Harmony System). The Action Plan – a file outlining the goal setting and execution - is an integral part of the FGC Program, so I decided to showcase it by setting a goal for MYSELF. And, as you can guess by the headline of this blog post, my goal is to acquire 50 new American English phrases within the next 25 days! (more…)