YearOfEnglish.com: Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C6n5KtSXCc Hello my friends from YearOfEnglish.com! If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve been following all those daily tips e-mailed to you by Aaron from Phrasemix.com (he’s the guy behind the Year of English project), and there’s also a good chance you’ve been heeding to all that advice which would have brought you closer to your goal of BECOMING FLUENT IN ENGLISH this year. But here’s a small problem which might actually result in quite a considerable setback for your English fluency. In the very beginning when you just committed to your goal of becoming fluent this year, the deadline for the goal was in a very distant future so you didn’t really have to worry about its completion. You just kept checking your inbox every day for a new e-mail from YearOfEnglish.com in sure knowledge that it was going to bring you another small step closer to English fluency. Now that the year has almost ended however, you may have started wondering: “The year is almost over, but have I become fluent in English? And after all – who’s going to tell me when I’ve become fluent?” Well, one thing is for sure – if you haven’t been doing a whole lot in terms of your English development during the year except for checking YearOfEnglish.com e-mails occasionally and reading the related content every now and then, the chances are – you haven’t become fluent. If, on the other hand, you’ve been engaging in a lot of practicing on a daily basis (including a lot of spoken English practice), it’s pretty hard to imagine as to why you wouldn’t have become fluent. Here are a few sure indicators of English fluency, and if you conform to at least one of them, I’d say you can definitely consider yourself being fluent in English: (more…)
Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya?
4 Reasons Why Studying English at School Won’t Make You a Fluent English Speaker
Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again
Update on My Personal Situation: Why I’m Doing a PC Course
Best Videos and Articles on English Harmony in 2015 + Happy New Year!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Out of the Question”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeVYmuxrXLQ Hello my friends, and welcome back to yet another English idiomatic expression video! In today’s video we’re going to look at the following expression: OUT OF THE QUESTION This expression is typically used when you want to say that something is totally impossible, that you can’t do it, or that some other person can’t do something. And here’s an example: "Robby, we’re going out tonight, are you coming with us?” – “Sorry guys, but I have to hand in the assignment tomorrow, so I’m staying in and doing some serious writing!” – “Common Robby, just come with us for an hour or so!” – “Guys, seriously, it’s OUT OF THE QUESTION so just drop it.” But now watch the video above to see me use this English idiomatic expression in a number of different scenarios, and don’t forget to do some spoken English practice with yourself by incorporating this phrase in your speech! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Fluency Issues Is a Blessing in Disguise!
Find It Hard to Do Spoken English Practice? Write It Down First!
I’ve been going on about the importance of doing spoken English practice for years on this blog, and here are the 3 main benefits of doing it regularly: You develop your ability to speak spontaneously and fluently You prepare yourself for conversations with real people in real life You deal with your anxiety and fear of speaking in English But what if you find it hard to get your creative juices flowing when trying to verbalize your thoughts? What if you don’t engage in spoken English self-practice for the simple reason that you don’t even know where to begin to produce a monologue on a specific topic? Well, there’s an easy solution to this problem – you have to kick-start your spoken English self-practice routine by going down the easiest road possible, namely – reading a certain piece of writing out loud, and then repeating it without looking into the text. You simply have to WRITE IT ALL DOWN first, and then speak it all out loud! Well, the best case scenario, of course, is to completely separate writing from speaking in your mind; after all, the typical English fluency issues originate in English studies that are centered around writing and reading and so your mind has adopted this funny “writing mode” whereby you try to speak as if you’re creating English sentences on paper (as a result you hesitate and get stuck for words when you have to speak in real life.) But if you have to choose between not speaking at all and reading off a sheet of paper (or computer screen), then it’s a no-brainer – you have to do whatever it takes to develop your ability to SPEAK in English :!: (more…)
“What Are the Most Commonly Used English Words?” is the Wrong Question!
Many of my fellow foreigners arrive to my blog while searching for the most commonly used English words, and there’s a good chance that you may be one of them! ‘The top 100 most commonly used English words’, ‘top 500 English words’, ‘English word frequency lists’ – such and similar keywords are used by thousands of foreign English speakers eager to improve their English fluency. But are these English word lists any good? Do they offer good value in terms of improving one’s ability to speak fluently? Frankly speaking, such frequency lists don’t provide a lot of practical value – if any! Why? Fair enough – give me a few moments and I’ll show you exactly why! ;-) (more…)
How to Develop Good Ear for English Listening
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkJUWRRzJXU This video is a response to a question asked by one of my mailing list subscribers, and his main concern is the ability to UNDERSTAND what other English speakers are saying to him. When he reads some English text, his comprehension is way better, but it’s just that when he’s spoken to, his understanding isn’t that good. Well, guess what? It’s totally natural! ;-) When you read, there’s no way you can mishear words and not understand them because of the way they’re pronounced, or maybe because the person is speaking too fast. There’s a multitude of various factors contributing into one’s ability to understand spoken English, but here’s the main points I would like to stress: (more…)
In Real Life Your English is Judged by Your SPEECH!
Why It’s So HARD to Realize You Have to Speak in Order to Speak
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MySxtx-A5c Today's idiomatic expression is "Send the wrong message", and if you want to find out more about its usage - make sure to watch the video above! I'll keep making these daily English idiom videos for as long as I can, and it's all done with one thing in mind - to show you guys, that natural English fluency is all about phrases and expressions! You can take this phrase - "send the wrong message", combine it with a dozen of other expressions and - presto! - all of a sudden you can say things you mightn't be able to say after months long traditional grammar studies. And if you think I'mÂ exaggeratingÂ - believe me, I'm not! It's proven time and time again that if you try to apply grammar rules as you stick words together, the resulting speech is unnatural, broken and hesitant. If you learn phrases just like the one I published in today's video, you get all the benefits of learning grammar naturally and none of the drawbacks - simply because there's NONE! :-) Chat soon, Robby ;-)
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74JtLVYOhqg Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! I’m nearing the end of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and it’s been one hell of a ride :!: I’ve been recording videos day in, day out. I’ve been getting up at 5:40 AM so that I can record my morning video and publish it on Easy Idioms blog before I have to leave home for work. It’s been hard work, but at the same time I’ve also been improving my fluency and pronunciation (the evening videos got published on Accent Adventure blog where I’m working on my American pronunciation) and I don’t regret a single second of this mission! Today’s video, however, is different in that it’s created around the same concepts used in the English Harmony System, namely – spaced repetition and contextual speech pattern acquisition. Basically you can watch the video above and see me being engaged in English speech exercising in order to acquire the last 12 American English phrases/collocations/expressions: (more…)
My Shocking Web-research Experiences Into English Fluency Related Websites
To be totally honest with you, during the last few years while I’m actively running this blog and also the Accent Adventure website, I haven’t been doing a lot of research into other English language teaching and learning websites. I have a fair idea as to what’s happening in the industry anyway because I’m actively participating on YouTube and I get to see plenty of English teaching videos published on other channels. I also take part in the YearOfEnglish.com project so I know who the other participants are and what their approach towards English teaching and learning is. A few years ago I did scour the Web and tried to find other websites to partner up with and to write content for, but soon enough I figured that quite honestly there weren’t that many people out there having figured out that spoken English is the most important aspect of the English language and focus on phraseology acquisition is pretty much the only way forward. Here are the websites which have embraced the importance of learning phraseology instead of cramming English grammar: PhraseMix.com is run by Aaron Knight, and his philosophy is pretty much the same as mine – fluent English can be learned most effectively through real-life phrases and word combinations. Aaron is creating engaging lessons for those who want to learn to use that phraseology, and they’re all illustrated by himself (I often wondered how he does that!). TweetSpeakEnglish.com was created by Nate Hill and the idea behind it quite an interesting one – tweets shared by millions of people are a fairly good representation of real-life spoken English, so phraseology taken from those tweets is used as a source for lessons where you can learn how to use those speech patterns in your English conversations. Fluentzy.com where you can buy plenty of books written by Professor Kev Nair and they’re all focused on developing your spoken English fluency – Prof. Kev Nair seems to be one of the few academics having grasped the concept behind true fluency and having realized why a large percentage of advanced English students still struggle to speak fluently. By the way – I found this rare website back in 2008, here’s a blog post I published in relation to that! And that’s all :!: Really? Yeap. (more…)
Speaking With Yourself Isn’t As Different From Speaking With Others As You Might Have Thought!
My Plans for English Harmony in 2015
So much has happened during the last few months in my life… I changed my job a couple of months ago... I re-opened my English fluency coaching program Fluency Star... And then I quit my new job having worked there for just over two months :!: You see, I realized I can’t really cope with such a massive workload and the only logical solution was to quit my new job so that I can do both – teach my students via Skype and maintain this blog. If you’ve been following English Harmony for a while you’ll notice that I haven’t been posting a lot of blog posts lately. To be more specific - it’s been 2 weeks now without posting a single blog entry! To put it in perspective – there was a time when I was publishing 3 articles every week. If you visited my blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you would always find a new article or a video, but during the last few months it’s been fairly irregular. I’ve published something whenever I could find enough time for it, but if I put myself in your shoes, I can definitely see that it’s not good enough. I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that you’d rather come to my blog with the sure knowledge of finding new content every couple of days, so it’s the first thing I’ve planned for the English Harmony website this year: (more…)
English Has Brought the World Together!
Using Perfect Simple And Passive Voice In Spoken English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/0d2vKh7YwLA Hello everyone who watches my video blog – thanks for tuning in and finding time for watching my next video! I can assure you – your time won’t be wasted because today I’m going to highlight important aspects on using different English grammar tenses in live English conversations. First of all I want to give you an example. Here’s a simple phrase you’d use when you’d have finished doing something – I’ve done it. This is Present Perfect Simple – a grammar form to describe an action that has been finished at some time in the past but the actual time of its completion isn’t known. Well, so far it’s all fairly simple and understandable, and you shouldn’t have any difficulties with using a simple phrase like I’ve done it. But now let’s take it one step further and look at the same phrase only in Passive Voice this time. Just a quick reminder for those not sure what Passive Voice is – it’s a way of describing an event without mentioning who did it. (more…)
Importance of Improvisation When Speaking in English
Great Topic for Spoken English Self-Practice: Daily Events & Planning Next Day!
Crash Course in American English Pronunciation & Slang: Interview With Anthony from AmericanAnthony.com!
I’ve been fascinated with all things American since my childhood and it’s also one of the reasons why I started learning the English language at the age of 10. To this day, however, I haven’t mastered the American English pronunciation and I don’t think it’s that important for me personally. Well, considering that I’m living in Ireland it’s hardly surprising I wouldn’t find a practical application for an American accent! :grin: Anyhow, I haven’t made it my goal to speak with a near-native Irish English pronunciation either. You see, I’ve been struggling with my English fluency for years and I’ve actually found that when I try to speak with a native English accent, it may have a detrimental effect on my ability to speak English fluently. Having said that, I often speak with different English accents when I’m on my own. And, truth be told, I’m getting better at it! Still, when I’m speaking with others in real-life, I revert back to my normal foreign accent because it’s easier for me to speak that way. Many foreign English speakers, however, aspire to adopt a certain native English accent such as British or American, and many of them are very successful in doing so. If your dream is to sound like natural American speaker and you believe it’s what you have to do, there’s a person I’d like you to meet – Anthony Krese! He’s an English teacher and on his website called AmericanAnthony.com he focuses on teaching foreign English speakers American slang and accent. In other words – he makes foreigners sound like native American English speakers! In many ways mine and Anthony’s approach to English learning and improving is very similar. We both understand that real-life English is different from the one you’ll learn in textbooks. We also realize that plenty of foreigners lack in the department of socializing skills when it comes to speaking in English in informal settings. And while I believe that my foreign origin is actually an advantage when it comes to advising other foreigners on overcoming English fluency related issues in terms of mental aspects, Anthony has a natural edge of being a native English speaker when teaching how to speak like an American. Therefore I think it’s only fair that I turn to a professional for advice on how to speak with an American accent so that we all can learn some new tips and tricks and take Anthony’s advice on board! So let’s get started! Anthony, here’s the first question for you… (more…)
Focus on Your Achievements & Ignore Perfectionists if They Make You Feel Worse!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRbhtJtOWIg If you focus on grammar aspects of your language when you speak, you may experience the following problems: * feeling overwhelmed; * constantly analyzing you own speech; * lacking self-esteem :mad: All this in turn may result in terrible English fluency issues whereby you feel like all your achievements in terms of your ability to speak in English are for nothing! You may feel like you’re back to square one, you may feel as if you’re never going to be a decent English speaker – and it definitely doesn’t help if someone is constantly trying to point out your mistakes in the process! The reason why I recorded this video is because I was contacted by one of my blog readers and he asks me if it’s OK to do spoken English self-practice instead of speaking with people online who are focused way too much on the grammar aspect of the English language. Basically he says he reads a lot, and then he summarizes each chapter by speaking out loud and developing his fluency that way. He feels much better and more confident while engaged into that exercise than speaking with smart-arses who are hell-bent on getting his grammar right without being aware of what they’re doing to his confidence and fluency. (more…)
How To Learn A New Language In Super-short Time!
Learn Pronunciation by Equating English Sounds to Your Native Language!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzs2YgGuwFk Hello everyone! ;-) Today let’s touch upon some English pronunciation related topic, namely - how you learn pronunciation of new English words and how to mimic the original pronunciation to the best of your benefit when you are trying to speak them out loud. And here's a very interesting situation I encountered a few days ago at work. There’s a Polish girl in my workplace who's only learning to speak English and she asks me questions through her friend whose English is much better and every day I have to answer a few questions in relation to how you say this or that particular thing in English or how you pronounce a certain word or phrase. The other day, she asked me through her friend how to pronounce the word "drank" and then, to my big surprise, she repeated in perfect English "drank" and guess what happened? I tried to think of why she didn't make the typical mistake that so many foreign English speakers do when they read an English word letter by letter and then they would most likely say something like "drrrank" in case that particular language has the rolling ‘R’, as in my language. In Latvian, we roll the ‘R’s and many native counterparts of mine would have said "drrrank" with a rolled ‘R’ sound! So in this particular case Polish is a Slavic language, which is quite close to Russian. And it happens so that I speak Russian too and I know for a fact that all these languages have the rolling ‘R’s - so why did she not say, "drrrank"? Why'd she say "drank" in perfect English? Here’s why: she equated the English sounds to her native Polish sounds because she wasn’t looking at a written word but was simply trying to MIMIC what she heard! (more…)
What’s Wrong With Traditional English Studies?
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
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! Hi Guys! Today I'm bringing you a quick update on what I've been up to this summer, and you wouldn't believe how busy I've been doing all the following: Finishing my IT certification; Organizing my work experience; Preparing for a job interview; Starting in a new job; ...and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night! (more…)
How to Break Through the English Fluency Plateau?
Why Can’t I Speak With My Fellow Native Speakers in English Fluently?
Do You Really Suck At Speaking English?
I’ve received countless e-mails saying basically the same thing – “Robby, I’m a useless English speaker, when I try to speak with other English speakers – especially native ones – I get very nervous. I’m struggling to say the right words and I hesitate a lot when speaking…” Well… Maybe you’re right… to a point. You’re useless as far as you believe you are, and the more you convince yourself of it, the deeper the conviction gets ingrained into your mind. It’s the so called self-fulfilling prophecy when something happens just because you believe it will happen :!: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you should turn a blind eye to the problem and just ignore it. While ignorance may be bliss on some occasions – such as ignoring strangers’ opinion of your level of English simply because they can’t possibly know how well you speak just because you’ve made a mistake when speaking with them – you still have to deal with your emotional and mental issues preventing you from fully enjoying English conversations. So what I’m saying is – even though the issue is there, you have to change the way you view it. You have to analyze the nature of the issue, make conclusions and see if you really are as useless as you think. Subsequently, you should come to realize that the issue isn’t as bad as you believe it is, and that conclusion in turn should make you into a more confident English speaker. Essentially it’s the same self-fulfilling prophecy – only now you have to get it to work to your favor! Now, are you ready to turn your assumption that you suck at speaking English on its head? (more…)