Skype Based English Teaching – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZu2eY5jMcA Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! :-) A few days ago I re-opened my Skype-based English fluency coaching program Fluency Star and needless to say, the available places filled in quickly enough and I had to close it down for another 2 months while I’m working with my new students. But wait… I don’t actually like the term “students”. It sounds too traditional – almost as if I’m putting myself on a pedestal and forcing those who I teach to look up to me. That kind of an approach has never worked in favor of those who are being taught no matter what discipline we look at – math, science or English – you name it! Why? First and foremost – it’s because the teacher is just showing off his or her superior skills and knowledge thus leaving the poor student in the same position where they were previously. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It slipped my mind”
Antonio Banderas’s Spanish Accent – So, Is His English NOT Fluent?
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…)
Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE
You may not have thought about it, but the fact of the matter is that the English word CASE is used in an awful lot of different English phrases that are applicable to a wide range of situations in life! Don’t believe it? Well, if that’s the CASE, I’m going to have to try and convince you, in which CASE there’s no better way of making a CASE than giving you a sentence just like this one! Now, did it work? Or maybe you’re not convinced? Well, in either CASE you have to admit that whatever the CASE may be, the word CASE is indeed quite useful in making your point. And by the way – the phrases I used in the above examples just barely scratch the surface :!: There’s a whole lot more useful English idiomatic expressions containing the word CASE worth knowing, and in CASE you’re wondering what they are, just keep reading this article and you’ll find it all out! (more…)
How to Decide What New English Words to Learn?
English Idiomatic Expression: “The Fact of The Matter Is That…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSOdpUeFEkU 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! Hello boys and girls! In today’s video you’ll learn how to use the following English idiomatic expression: THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT… And the fact of the matter is that a week ago I published a video about quite a similar English idiomatic expression “as a matter of fact” - but please don’t confuse the two! While AS A MATTER OF FACT can be used as a replacement phrase for the word “actually”, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT is used in a different way. You could say that it means pretty much the same thing as the phrase “Here’s the thing”, but if you want to learn more about using it – please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Don’t Translate Directly When Speaking English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qthVRtOSh4w Hi Boys and Girls! I’m back with the second video episode – and I hope you enjoyed the first one! I’m still getting a hang of the video recording equipment in my home studio – so you may spot some small glitches here and there. But I think the video quality is decent enough for you to understand what I’m saying, what you think? So this time I’m covering a few seemingly unrelated topics – direct translation to English from your native language and English collocations. However, it just takes a few minutes to grasp the connection between those two. (more…)
Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again
Don’t Try to Figure Out What Something Means in English Grammar Terms – It Serves NO Purpose!
Improving Your English is Simpler Than You Think!
If you’re a non-native English speaker working in an English speaking company, you may have gotten the impression by listening to those with better English than yours that you have to learn loads of specific English vocabulary in order to be able to fully function in your work environment. If you’re preparing to sit an English test or an exam – such as IELTS or CAE – you may believe that you have to dedicate all your efforts towards English grammar, syntax and irregular verbs. And if you aspire to learn to speak in English fluently so that you can simply communicate with other English speakers out there, you may also have this notion that you have to be able to discuss hundreds and thousands of various topics which would quite logically require you to learn a massive amount of new English vocabulary. All in all, you may believe that English improvement is: Super-hard, Inevitably based on studying textbooks, Demands exceptional intelligence and analytic mind! Is that so? Not really, my friend! ;-) In reality, while requiring lots of hard work, English improvement is MUCH EASIER than you think :!: (more…)
Wake Up from the English Grammar Matrix!
I have an impression that the majority of foreigners who want to improve their English are obsessed with English grammar. And mind this – I’m not using the word “obsessed” lightly. I’m using the word’s “obsessed” most extreme meaning! Now I'm going to draw a typical profile of someone who wants to improve English – and don’t be offended if you recognize yourself by my description. I’m doing it for your own good, and you’ll find out why I’m doing it in a few paragraphs! So here’s the typical foreign English speaker talking about his/her English fluency issues: “I want to improve my English. My grammar is very bad and I feel embarrassed when I speak English with others. I can understand English very well when I read newspapers and when others talk to me, but when I start speaking I make many grammar mistakes. I know that I should improve my English grammar to start speaking better, and I’m desperate to become more confident. Can you suggest a good English grammar book or software that would help me improve my English grammar?” Whenever I get to read or hear something like this, it makes me angry. No really, putting all jokes aside, it makes me really angry :mad: “Why don’t you understand that English grammar has nothing to do with your spoken English confidence! Arghhhhhh!!!” (more…)
SHOCKING: Drinking Impedes Your Ability to Speak Fluent English!
Check Out the Most Popular Articles on This Blog!
One day I decided to check the statistics of my website and see which blog posts you’ve been reading the most. I selected the top 10 articles and I guess it provides a fair representation of what my average blog visitor is interested in, so you may want to check out the top 10 of English Harmony blog posts of all times! If you visit this blog frequently, you’ve probably read a good few of them, but I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of links you haven’t encountered before and they might just provide you with some English fluency related info you’ve been looking for to no avail. So, let the countdown begin! (more…)
Written English is from Venus, Spoken English – from Mars!
3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain
When fluent English speakers speak, they don’t stick separate words together. Every word they pronounce automatically triggers the next one; the whole sentence is rather a chain of words linked together. Let’s say, for example, you’re asked a question “Would you like to come along to a party on Saturday night?” Most likely your response would begin with words “Thanks for…” and then you’d follow it by either “…asking” or “…inviting”, and come to think of it, when you pronounce the first words “thanks for…” the rest of the phrase kind of comes out of your mouth by itself, doesn’t it? That’s a typical example of collocating English words – they would normally go together in spoken and also written English, and foreign English speakers find it much easier to speak if their vocabulary has been built based on collocations as opposed to memorizing separate words. Well, the aforementioned phrase was a very simple response, and most likely you’d be able to respond using such a simple phrase even if you didn’t memorize it as a single unit of spoken language. Yet I’d say you picked it up by mimicking other English speakers because you surely must have heard someone say “Thanks for asking” or “Thanks for inviting” and that’s why the phrase got imprinted into your mind. Of course, by listening alone you won’t become fluent, you need to speak to add new phrases to your active English vocabulary, but I can’t deny that it does work to some extent. Anyway, when the wrong methods are used and wrong associations between English words are established, you may unwillingly create unnatural collocations. They manifest themselves in the following way – you start speaking by saying a word or two, but instead of continuing with a word that logically complements the phrase, you say something completely unrelated, something out of context, so to speak. OR, such out-of-place words may start pushing themselves into your mind even before you speak, and you may get a feeling as if someone else has taken control of your mind. Freaky? That’s how I used to feel and that’s how many other foreign English speakers feel if they use the wrong English learning methods. But now I’m going to list the worst of them so that you can avoid them like the plague! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Which Brings Us To The Next Point”
English Idiomatic Expression: “In Full Swing”
English Idiomatic Expression “This Time Around”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpeIvaFau8A This time around we’re going to look at how to use the following English Idiomatic Expression in your daily English conversations: THIS TIME AROUND. Did you just notice something odd, by the way? The above sentence begins and ends with the same expression, and it’s all because today’s expression THIS TIME AROUND can be used whenever: You’re meeting someone for the second or any subsequent time and letting them know that something is happening differently; You’re telling someone about what other people are doing differently this time; You’re communicating with a larger audience – just like me! – and you’re starting yet another presentation! Now, is it 100% clear to you how this phrase is used? (more…)
Did You Realize That Being Tired Affects Your Fluency?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRwccbDaYTQ 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
3 Situations When It Might Be Easier For You To Speak in English With Your Fellow Foreigners
What Books Would You Suggest to Improve My Spoken English?
This is a question I get asked quite often when people contact me – “Robby, I want to improve my spoken English. What books would you suggest?” The moment I read the question, I just can’t help but to think: “Why on Earth are you looking for a BOOK if it’s your SPOKEN English you want to improve?” To me it’s quite obvious that no amount of books will help you on your journey to become a fluent English speaker. If you want, we can do an experiment. Just give me your address and I’ll send a trailer-load of books to you and I bet you’re not going to gain an ounce of spoken English fluency after reading them all :!: You don’t believe me? Well, I’m a living proof of that – there was a time when I was literally devouring English fiction books and as a result I achieved a complete reading fluency. And guess what? I was still struggling with basic communication for the simple reason that reading books didn’t train my MOUTH :!: Basically the issue is the following: You may have the BEST English learning books and textbooks in the world, but they’re not going to make any difference to your ability to speak unless you PRACTICE YOUR SPOKEN ENGLISH… …which brings us to the REAL question: (more…)
Check Out My NEW Blog AccentAdventure.com!
Don’t Analyze Your English – Part 2: Why Questions Beginning With WHY Are the Worst!
Why Reading an English Newspaper is 100 Times Better than Studying a Grammar Workbook
Easy Guide on Omitting English Relative Pronouns “Which, Who, and That”
You Have to SUCK at Spoken English Fluency in Order to SUCCEED!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgRLgi7OoTM You know what I think was one of the crucial factors determining my personal English fluency development? BEING SUCKER AT IT for a long time. How come? Well, it’s fairly simple and straightforward: I struggled with my English fluency and it made me really DRIVEN to succeed; I worked the HARDER to achieve my goal of fluent English; As a result, I ACCELERATED my spoken English improvement and made real gains in the ability to communicate in English properly :!: So all the while I was being really unhappy about my limited ability to speak without interruptions and hesitations, in reality all that struggling made me into a FASTER and more EFFICIENT English learner. If I had the power to change the past and learn English the proper way without too much focus on writing and reading, would I do it? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt! Do I regret my past with all its fluency issue related trials and tribulations? NO! :grin: As I already said, I believe that all this struggling with my fluency provided me with even MORE motivation and hunger to achieve a complete spoken English fluency one day! And here’s what’s in it for you, my fellow foreign English speakers. (more…)
Get Rid of Monkeys in Your Mind!
Speech management and confident English go hand in hand with managing yourself and your thoughts. Do you often have this feeling of a racing mind? Do you feel you have hundreds of different thoughts constantly crossing your mind, repeating all over again and making you anxious and irritated? In Zen Buddhist philosophy such a state of mind is described as a room full of jumping and screaming monkeys running wild! This state of mind is very closely related to all kinds of anxieties, worries, fears – and among them the English speech anxiety. No matter how well you’re trying to speak English, you head is full of English words, phrases, sentences, grammar rules – all at the SAME TIME! You’re trying to say something – but regardless your toughest attempts you get the English grammar wrong, misspell and mispronounce words and notice this at the very moment of speaking them out! To deal with this issue of inability to speak English normally you first have to deal with monkeys in your head. Here I’ve written a few basic steps to calm down your mind and start thinking just ONE THOUGHT at a time instead of trying to encompass EVERYTHING at once. (more…)
How to Talk About a Subject in English for a LONG Time
Robby is Back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiU__kPihHc Hi guys! ;-) I've been away for a good while because I had to do a lot of video editing for my new product Fluency Gym Coach Program, and I simply couldn't handle it all. I tried to do both blog posting and video editing at the same time, but I failed miserably for the simple reason that multitasking requires you to be able to quickly switch between different tasks. Well, it’s not really a problem when it comes to performing relatively simple, technical tasks; content creation, however, is a whole new ballgame. It requires a great deal of inspiration and creativity, and it’s not that easy to switch it on and off at your will. Basically I’d gone into a totally different mindset for the last two weeks because I focused solely on editing Fluency Gym Coach Program videos and creating the final product. Now that the work is almost complete and I only need to put the final touches on the Fluency Gym website, I’m back to create regular articles and videos for this blog – and not only! (more…)
7 Reasons Why Having Been Born a Foreigner Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to You!
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…)
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers
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…)