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.

English Harmony System

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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!

English Idiomatic Expression: “To be more specific”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARZkO4JHPI I started this new blog EasyIdioms.com about two months ago; in fact, I published the very first Idiomatic Expression Video here on February 6, 2013, to be more specific! Today’s expression is “to be more specific”, and you just witnessed a typical way of using this English phrase. Basically you can add this useful hesitation filler phrase at the end of any sentence where you mention specific dates, numbers or figures. Here’s another typical example. I’ve posted slightly more than ten blog posts on this blog; the actual number is eleven, to be more specific! (more…)

How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English

When learning English, it’s important to practice as often as possible and to keep up with real-world use of the language. To this end, students can use their mobile phones to improve a great deal. Here are some ways to get help from a device that is with them every hour of the day! Read as much as possible You can download eBooks to your mobile very easily, so why not try it? Real beginners can try children’s books, as these are easier to read and will help with their rudimentary level of English. As their learning progresses, they can move on to young adult books, and finally to adult literature. It’s a good idea to choose a book that they are familiar with in their own language, too, as this will help comprehension flow more quickly and increase the pace of learning. If eBooks are not preferred, the student could download magazines or newspapers instead to practice with. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “In This Day and Age”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfrYCefkn1Q Today we’re going to look at the following English idiomatic expression: “In this day and age”. It’s very relevant when discussing various issues in connection with modern times such as technology or any other aspect of our lives that has seen rapid improvement. To see what exactly I mean by that however, you should definitely watch the video above because I’ve included a lot of examples in it on how to use this English phrase. In this day and age recording videos is easier than ever, and also publishing them on YouTube is very straightforward. It can be literally done with a push of a button, and it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of it! But if you’ve been reading this article, you surely noticed I already provided an example of the phrase “in this day and age” – the previous paragraph actually begins with this idiomatic expression. (more…)

English Words I Used to Mispronounce

Your English Has to Be Just Good Enough for You to Be Successful!

Check out the following videos (at the very least listen to 20 - 30 secs of how these foreign English speakers speak): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgbdNNfotwM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJolDZMM67Q What do you think all these people have in common except for being foreign English speakers? First of all, their English ISN’T PERFECT :!: If you’re one of those perfectionists out there who’s constantly watching out for mistakes made by other foreign English speakers, you’ll notice small flaws and imperfections in Dr. Coldwell’s and Wagner’s spoken English. Secondly, they’re 100% CONFIDENT :!: Lastly, they’re really PASSIONATE about what they’re doing :!: and they’re totally focused on the matter at hand when speaking about it. What does this all mean for you as a foreign English speaker? If you’re really dedicated to something, you can become very successful without focusing on perfecting your spoken English! You may spend your whole life trying to achieve a near-native level of English – but then it’s going to be too late to realize your dreams in terms of your professional and social life. Or you can SET YOUR GOALS NOW, start taking action and improve your English as you go along according to the specific needs and requirements of the particular industry or a different aspect of your life. Remember – your English has to be just good enough for you to be successful ;-) (more…)

Can You Speak Fluent English Without Learning Idioms?

Importance of Letting It Go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-MYxJDnVZQ Today I’ll tell you about a phrase I heard the other day on the radio and which got me thinking about how foreign English speakers are sometimes perceived among the native English speaking public. So I was listening to my favourite morning radio show and as usual listeners were sending in text messages and the DJ was reading them out. Among the other messages there was one that wouldn’t make a 100% sense to a native English speaker yet it was obvious what the listener had meant by it. I don’t really remember what exactly it was, to be honest with you. I just know that it was an awkward word combination not used in real life. It is, of course, quite natural for any native speaker to spot such an odd word combination. And indeed, any of us foreign English speakers having spent long enough time among other English speakers would also notice something that doesn’t sound right. Little that the radio DJ knew about how foreigners speak, he jumped to a conclusion that the person who had texted in that particular message hadn’t got a good command of English. You think it’s not a big deal? It is, and let me tell you why. (more…)

Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=371dNk05ziEU Aspiration to become a fluent English speaker is what brought you to my blog, isn't that right? Then let me take a wild guess - at least at some point in your pursuit after English fluency you've been engaged in a lot of English grammar studies, am I now right? Well, in reality you don't need to be a grammar genius to speak English fluently. First of all, only a few grammar Tenses are actually used in real life conversations. Secondly - phrases and expressions constitute large amount of spoken English. And thirdly... Well - watch this video to hear everything for yourself! Stay fluent, Robby ;-)

Do You Find Certain English Grammar Constructs TOO DIFFICULT To Learn? Try This Easy 3 Step Plan!

Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Have you ever found certain grammar constructs too difficult to understand and learn? Welcome to the club! I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that this is something that all foreign English speakers have in common, and even if you don’t feel that way now, there’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand, mimic and use in your own conversations. Let’s just take the sentence from the paragraph above and examine it a little: “There’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand.” Now, would you be comfortable with using a similar grammar construct in your own speech? Are you often saying things such as “There have been similar situations when I’ve…” or “There’s been only one time when I’ve…”? If your answer is positive – well done! Your spoken English is seemingly up to scratch and you may ignore the rest of this article because you don’t need my help splitting English sentences in order to make it easier for you to speak them out loud. If, however, you struggle to a smaller or bigger degree with delivering similar seemingly complex constructs when speaking and you find it hard to wrap your head around sentences similar to this one: “Why is it that when Martin’s been out partying you don’t say anything yet had I stayed out all night long you would have killed me?”, you definitely have to read the rest of this blog post! ;-) (more…)

Phrasal Verbs – Great Way To Improve Spoken English!

How to Talk About a Subject in English for a LONG Time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR0LrAGwgP8 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi, guys! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com with another video blogpost. Now, this time around, I'm going to be looking at the following question: “How to provide lengthy answers?” Say, for example, you are asked a question and the situation demands that you provide quite a lengthy answer. Normally, it's totally fine to answer using very simple, short sentences. Actually, it's one of the ways of getting your fluency back on track, and you may want to check out this particular article where I'm touching upon that subject, that there's nothing wrong with speaking in very short sentences because, for most foreign English speakers who are having these fluency issues, it's very challenging to speak using very long sentences. Oftentimes, those people will get very confused and it's all too overwhelming to handle that much information in one go. It's best to separate your thoughts into little, manageable pieces, right? But, other situations such as, for example, English exams, demand that you provide quite lengthy answers. Obviously, it just doesn't cut it in situations such as exams if you just provide one, short sentence as an answer, right? In most daily situations, that's totally fine. But, what to do if you find yourself in such a situation where you are actually required to provide quite a lengthy answer? And, as a matter of fact, this is a question asked by one of my blog commentators and here's the exact question, right? I'm going to quote: "I see you carry on for a long time discussing about a topic. How do you do this? Do you follow a certain method for a long time conversation on the topic? Please help me!” (more…)

3 Killer Tips on How to Write in English Like a Native Speaker!

English Idiomatic Expression: “To say the least”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXVwlh_trY4 Another day – another English idiomatic expression for you to learn! Today’s phrase is “to say the least”, and it’ll come in very handy whenever you need to make a sarcastic comment or you want to drop a polite hint without sounding openly confrontational. Want to listen to some sample sentences? Please watch the video above where I’m providing you with enough information so that you can use this idiomatic expression – “to say the least” – in your daily English conversations! And also make sure to repeat, memorize and use this phrase in your daily spoken English practice. It’s the only way you’ll add such and similar phrases to your active vocabulary. Why active vocabulary is so important for us, foreign English speakers? Read this article to find out more! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Want Solid Proof that Spoken English Self-practice Works? Check This Out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTNeyx3qAro

Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! 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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Currently I'm having my Monday morning tea. Cheers! You see how big, how huge this mug is? This is the kind of mug I like, you know what I mean? This is what I call proper tea drinking. You can make yourself almost a liter of tea and drink it, right? Anyhow, in today's video I'm going to look at the following topic: Simple Past versus Present Simple. And this is, as a matter of fact, a thing that confuses the hell out of so many foreign English speakers, right? And ironically enough I haven't actually recorded a video about this particular topic in the past which is kind of weird because I've been publishing my videos for years on end. At this stage it's actually 8 years since I'm running the English Harmony blog or actually 9 years. Yeah, going 9 years this year to be honest with you. I started it in 2007 if I'm not mistaken so next year going 10 years, you know what I mean? It is going to be a big anniversary. Anyhow, it's surprising that I haven't actually touched upon this particular topic comparing the simple past “I did it” for instance against present simple “I've done it” and when you use one or the other, you know what I mean? And the reason I'm saying that it confuses the hell out of so many foreigners is because I've had first-hand experience dealing with people who are not really sure on how to use these two tenses, right? As a matter of fact, one of my Fluency Star students served as an inspiration for this video because that person was kind of not really sure on how it's done and then I explained it to her and she was very happy about my explanation because it's pretty straight forward if you boil it down to the very basics, right? So first things first, “I've done it.” For instance “I've been to London” which is not really true in my case because believe it or not, I've never been to London, right? And it's very weird because I live in Ireland which is very close to England, so it's just one small hop with a plane, like a half an hour flight or something and you're in London, you know what I mean? And with these days’ prices where you can go to London just paying literally 20 or 30 Euros, you know what I mean? It's no excuse not to go there but on the downside obviously when you go there you have to book a hotel and so on and so forth. And then you have to go sightseeing and all those costs add up and eventually you end up spending a fortune, you know what I mean? So I guess I've just kept putting it off and off and off. And anyhow, I'm going to do it one fine day I would imagine but anyhow, going back to the subject; “I've been to London,” right? And then you can also say I went to London, okay? So what is the difference? First things first, you don't have to be kind of analyzing your English language – language? What did I just say? Language. See, I just made a mistake but it just goes to show that making mistakes is a crucial part of the whole fluency improvement thing, right? Anyhow, you see, today I'm all over the place. I just keep varying up the subject and touching upon random things. So “I've been to London, right?” It's a general statement. You're not specifying a specific point in time. And mark this guys, point in time. This is the crucial bit, right? Whenever there is a time mentioned, a specific time, a year, a day, month, week, whatever, that's when you use simple past. (more…)

English Collocation: May Have Been Led to Believe That…

My Honest Opinion on Developing English Listening Skills

I hate when I’m told what I didn’t ask for, and so do most people for that matter. Let’s say for instance, I walk into a drug-store and ask for slimming pills because I’m fed up with my extra weight and I want to look more masculine. The pharmacist starts telling me that I should start engaging in some physical activities, eat a balanced diet and use the pills only as a supplement. Would I listen to him? Nope! All that rant about a balanced diet and a workout regime simply wouldn’t register with me because I want the damn slimming pills which will give me the kind of a body I’m dreaming of, right? Same goes with most advice we get in life – it’s very hard to change our beliefs and opinions just because someone tries to convince us of something. Basically it boils down to this – we often hear what we want to hear, and we just screen off everything else - unless we’re really trying to analyse the matter at hand and we have an open mind while doing so :!: For example, I’ve been blogging about English fluency development for years on end, and I always point out the following things: To speak fluent English we need to engage in HEAVY SPEAKING PRACTICE, there are no magic shortcuts! Passive English immersion will mostly develop our understanding – NOT OUT ABILITY TO SPEAK! You can’t listen your way to fluency, you need to speak in order to train your mouth and mind to work together! Still there are many English teachers out there preaching the importance of English listening practice. Some even claim that first we have to spend all our time listening just like babies do, and then we’ll be able to start speaking… Now I’ll adopt the role of the pharmacist trying to tell you something you probably don’t want to hear – but I’ll give it a shot nonetheless! (more…)

Another 3 Reasons Why Learning English at School Sucks!

Speaking in Short Sentences? It’s Normal!

Are you often frustrated by the fact that despite being quite a well-spoken foreign English speaker you can’t always speak in full sentences? Are you even getting stuck in a middle of conversation because you WANT to finish a sentence but for some reason you just CAN’T? Let me tell you – you’re not alone. It’s quite normal! By the way – hadn’t you noticed that even native English speakers sometimes hesitate when they speak? When we write, we have all the time in the world to think over the word placement in a sentence. We can scribble out what we wrote and re-write it so that it sounds much better. As we write, we can formulate our thoughts precisely as we intend because we can take extra time to pick the most fitting words. And most importantly, we can compose nice, complete sentences to create an easy-to-understand message! When we speak, it’s a bit different story. Unless you’re a very eloquent foreign English speaker, your speech will be quite different from a written piece of text. Well, I've always held the opinion that the best way to write is to actually speak about the subject aloud and put it all down on paper. Still, when we speak, quite often our mind drifts away and we can’t articulate our thoughts exactly as we want. Especially – when we have to talk about something we’re not really familiar with! If it’s becoming a real issue, it has to be dealt with. But no matter what situation you find yourself in, it always helps to be aware of the fact that in real life English communication people often speak in short, often unfinished and broken sentences :!: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J55UL0JgECQ When it comes to speaking fluent English, there’s no better way of getting your speech going that learning idiomatic expressions and using them in your real life conversations! Today is no exception, and what I want to draw your attention to is the very first sentence of this article. “When it comes to…” is a very handy English expression, and I decided to make a video about it to tell you guys how to use it best. This expression – “When it comes to…” – has many equivalent English phrases and expressions. “As for…” “In relation to…” “Speaking of…” … and many more phrases can be used the same way you’d use the one I’m looking at in today’s video. Still, I believe that “When it comes to…” is the most informal and friendliest of them all, and that’s why it’s my personal favorite. But what about you? Have you heard other English speakers use it a lot? Or maybe this is the first time you actually hear this particular expression? Let me know about it in the comments below! Talk to you soon, Robby ;-)

You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY26OWULGvo

English Idiomatic Expression: “We’ll Take It From There!”

Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypcr9LWwkjA Are you facing a situation where even after a longer period of time you’re not seeing any significant English fluency improvement? Are you doing everything imaginable in order to develop your English fluency but it just doesn’t seem to be happening? Are you: Watching TV series and documentaries Reading English newspapers and fiction Learning a lot of English idiomatic expressions Speaking in English with others for at least 1 hour a day… …only to discover you still run into all sorts of fluency related issues? RE-EVALUATE. Look at your fluency improvement routine and ask yourself a single question: (more…)

Read This if You’re Dreading Making Phone Calls in English!

Nonsense of Learning English by Listening to Fast English Spoken by Locals

Back in the day, when I’d just come to Ireland and was still struggling with my spoken English, I was working in a massive warehouse offloading trailers all day long while at the same time trying to understand what my Irish supervisors and managers wanted from me. Why did I just say “TRYING” to understand? Well – guess what? – it’s not that easy to figure out what you’re told in English if the person in question speaks very fast AND with a distinct accent! Needless to say, over the next few years I did learn to understand the local speech, and nowadays the Irish accent has become so familiar that I’d pick it out in a crowd immediately. The heck, I can even imitate English spoken in Ireland a little bit myself now, so I have to admit that over time things have gotten much, much better in terms of understanding English spoken by people from all over the world. The reason I’m writing this article isn’t to conclude that you can just listen to fast English spoken by heavily accented local speakers and you’ll be just fine in a few years’ time down the line. It’s quite the opposite actually – not only it could very well be that you DON’T learn to fully understand the local slang (and please bear in mind it’s not just limited to English spoken locally; all these problems may occur when you’re listening to FAST English in general!), but also you could pick up quite a few psychological issues along the line! You may constantly strive to speak just as fast as natives and as a result you constantly stumble upon words and hesitate when speaking in English. You may develop a habit of comparing your English with theirs which has a detrimental effect on your fluency. And you may also find it very difficult to learn the English language to proficiency if you’re constantly forcing yourself to listen (or read) to something you only half-understand. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to persuade you that: Under no circumstances you should be exposed to English the way it’s spoken by natives in real life; You should only be exposed to English you understand 100%. If that were the case, you’d never learn anything because by the very definition LEARNING implies acquiring something NEW, something you don’t know yet. There’s a huge difference, however, between learning English by listening and repeating words, phrases and sentences that are EASY to understand AND listening to something you can only remotely recognize! (more…)

Passive English Input Isn’t Going to Improve Your Ability to Speak!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhepN3ZIQCY 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