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.

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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!

How to Decide What New English Words to Learn?

I think that once past the learning stage and having large enough vocabulary to allow for free expression in nearly every situation, all foreign English speakers can call themselves fluent. Yet the process of improving one’s spoken English is lifelong, and it inevitably involves learning new English words and phrases on a regular basis. Bulk of that new vocabulary is picked up naturally during conversations with other English speakers, and to tell you the truth – anyone who spends a lot of time among English speakers will grow their vocabularies even if they don’t put much conscious effort into the process. If you’re eager to improve your English at a much faster rate, however, I bet you’re making sure to learn an extra number of new English words every now and then, don’t you? Well, if that’s the case, I’ll also hazard a guess that sometimes you’ve been wandering on what grounds you should choose new English vocabulary words to learn. Should you learn all new English words that come along regardless of how obscure they may be? Should you learn English word lists using online services such as Word Dynamo, for example? Or should you write down every new word you come across when reading English fiction and make sure you memorize them? If you often ask yourself such and similar questions, the rest of this blog post is definitely going to shed some light on the issue! (more…)

Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!

Recently I got contacted by one of my blog readers and she told me that the more she thinks about the various English grammar tenses, the more confusing the whole thing gets… On a lot of occasions it seems that you can use a number of different Tenses, for instance – “I’m going to the movies tonight”, “I’ll go to the movies”, “I’ll be going to the movies” – so how do you know which one is right? And the more you analyze all this kind of stuff, the more confusing it gets and eventually you start feeling that you know nothing about English grammar! Now, watch this video above where I’m giving precious advice on how to approach such a state of mind, and if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate to publish them in the comments section below! Robby P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Is It OK to Point Out Mistakes Made by Others?

“In this context you should have said “I’ve been meaning to do this” instead of “I was meaning to do this”…” “Sorry, but you got it wrong. It’s “Wellington boots” with “W”, not “Vellington boots!”” “I’m pretty sure you meant “coarse language” instead of “hoarse language”, which is not the correct way of using this word. You must have mixed up the two words – “coarse” and “hoarse” – they sound similar but mean different things!” All such and similar corrections are nice, but did you know that sometimes such well-intentioned advices can actually do more harm than good? It can happen indeed – especially when accompanied by arrogant behavior and that superior look in the eyes which says “I’m a much better English speaker than you are, so just listen to what I’m telling you and don’t you dare to speak such incorrect English in my presence!” Even if it’s not meant to sound condescending, it can still hurt :!: Most of us, foreign English speakers, are ALREADY AWARE of the small mistakes we’re making in our daily conversations. The thing is – it’s not so easy to stop making them and sometimes you just can’t help it! So when someone points out that you just said something wrong, and you already know it yourself, it might really upset you – and others, for that matter – if it’s you giving generous advice to someone else. Anyway, I’m not trying to sow hatred here against those genuinely desiring to help other English speakers to improve their English fluency. In this blog post I’m trying to explain to those who haven’t experienced all sorts of English fluency issues, how it feels when you are already mad AT YOURSELF for making a mistake :mad: … And then you have to hear it from others! (more…)

Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!

Fluency Star Case Study: Sergi and His English Fluency Improvement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lozg4xo2T8s

What’s the Best Way to Go About Shadowing English Videos?

English Idiomatic Expression: “Which Brings Us To The Next Point”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWEfrHaWSVc Hello my friends and followers! :grin: In today’s English Idiomatic Expression video you’re going to find out how to use the following phrase: “which brings us to the next point”. While there’s a good chance you’ve already been using this phrase in your conversations, there’s also a possibility you’ve only heard it used by others – in which case you should definitely make sure to learn this phrase off by heart! Why? Well, it’s simple enough – if you can use this particular English phrase automatically (which means speaking it out loud without much thinking), you can make smooth transitions from one point to another while having a conversation in English with someone! Not really sure what I’m talking about here? Here’s an example for you: let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re telling a work colleague of yours about an incident that happened the day before, and that it’s directly related to the lack of health and safety procedures in your company. (more…)

My Opinion on Who the English Language Belongs to…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQNENbvt2s I don't think that anyone can claim ownership to the English language and tell foreign English speakers what to do. And that's exactly the impression I got while reading this article the other day! :mad: I was thinking that I should probably leave it, but I just couldn't because I'm a foreign English speaker AND a blogger, I represent my fellow foreigners and I think someone should say something about views expressed in this article. Basically this is how I understand it: we all foreigner bloggers are the same - bad English, hard to read articles etc; we're less fortunate than native English speakers having been born in the US; we'd better stop struggling with English writing - leave it to native English speakers! To be honest with you, I didn't believe I was reading it! (more…)

4 PRACTICAL Things You Didn’t Know About the English Language

Even if you’ve been learning and using the English language for years, I can assure you that there are some quite practical things about this language that you’re not really aware of :!: “Ah well, this is just another article about English word origins, historic facts or funny things about the English language…” – you may have been thinking when reading the headline. If so, then let me tell you – you're in for a very pleasant surprise! In this article I’m actually going to reveal a good few things about the English language that will HELP you in your fluency improvement routine by making it easier to learn new vocabulary, pronunciation and a whole lot more. Are you ready? Then what are we waiting for – let’s get started! ;-) (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 25- Offense

13 Music Idioms- Learning with Theme

I love music, who doesn’t? Isn’t it? It has a soothing and healing power which helps us relax and free our mind from the worldly negativity. It also has served as a universal language between people, which could not be restricted by the boundaries of a nation or religion. (more…)

6 Reasons Why Mythbusters is the Best TV Program for Improving Your Spoken English

Accelerated American Slang Learning: Watching all 7 Seasons of Desperate Housewives in Less than 3 Months

Can you improve your English JUST by watching TV programs? Yes, sure. You can learn a great deal of new English words and expressions thanks to visual associations created when you see a scene on the screen and hear a certain phrase or expression. Also, it’s much easier to understand meanings of new English words if you see all the action unfold before your eyes. Can you make a CONSIDERABLE difference in your English fluency by watching TV shows in English? Yes, but it will require some effort because by listening alone you’ll mostly develop your passive vocabulary. Your active vocabulary – the one you use when speaking – is developed when you USE those new English phrases and expressions in your own conversations. So, while I was watching the Desperate Housewives box-set I got my wife for Christmas, I did all the following: I shadowed the characters with the subtitles turned on; I took notes of new English phrases and American slang expressions; I purposefully used those new expressions in my English conversations at work and also when practicing spoken English with myself. It all started quite innocently. I didn’t mean to spend the whole month of January, February and a week in March glued to the screen watching a TV soap loved mostly by members of the opposite sex. I simply watched one episode of Desperate Housewives with my family during last Christmas Holidays – I guess, I just wanted to see what all the fuss is about! And that, my dear friends foreign English speakers, was it… I was literally sucked into it! I couldn’t have imagined that Desperate Housewives was so intriguing and interesting! Illicit affairs, murders, scheming and dark secrets – and it all wrapped up as a comedy. Awesome! So, what I learned while watching around 160 episodes of Desperate Housewives within a matter of 10 weeks? I learned loads of American slang expressions, new vocabulary, phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions – and that’s not all :!: I also tried to speak like an American while shadowing the actors and I realized that I’m not too bad at speaking with an American accent! Here’s just a few of the idiomatic expressions and American slang phrases I added on to my active English vocabulary: (more…)

Prepare for Important English Conversations by Speaking With Yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C86xe0-Cg2c Hello YearOfEnglish.com subscribers! Have you got an important event coming up any time soon such as: Job interview College presentation Meeting at work… … and you’re stressing out over your ability to deliver during that event in terms of your spoken English? Well, my years long experience dealing with various English fluency related matters tells me that by far the most effective way to prepare for such and similar events is by doing some spoken English practice with yourself! The plan is quite simple (the more complicated you make it to be, the smaller the chance you’ll take the action, so keep things simple to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed!): Make a simple list of things to be discussed during the conversation; Plan your answers by writing them down on a piece of paper; HIGHLIGHT the key phrases and words; Learn those key phrases off by heart so that you can deliver them AUTOMATICALLY throughout the interview, presentation or a meeting! Here’s an example of a typical work-related meeting: (more…)

Types of Phrasal Verbs- Transitive, Intransitive, Separable, Non-Separable

Hey there everyone, How are you all doing? Today I want to share with you how phrasal verbs can help you improve your English vocabulary and how you can easily learn them. Here's an example: " I don’t like if someone cuts in while I talk". In the sentence above, phrasal verb ‘cut in’ means to interrupt in between. Phrasal verbs are undoubtedly one of the most crucial parts of our daily conversation. Hence, I thought why not shed some light on their types and what they are. So before we jump to their types, let’s see in brief. What is a Phrasal verb? A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and another word or two, usually a preposition or an adverb. They are very important in English as they help you sound more natural when you speak or when you write. Natives usually don’t find it hard to understand them (of course, because it’s what they have been listening to since birth), but when it comes to a non-native, it is definitely not a piece of cake to understand and use in their spoken English, especially if you are a beginner. TYPES OF PHRASAL VERBS Some say there are two types of phrasal verbs, while others four. It has always been a topic of discussion and different English teacher explain it depending on the sources they learned from. I don’t say books or sources they learned from were wrong. I went through many of the English books, blogs, and resources and found a different answer at every place which can make a learner even more confused with the concepts and types. So without beating around the bush, let’s see their types and what they are. Phrasal verbs are basically of two types : Intransitive phrasal verbs Intransitive phrasal verbs are the phrasal verb that does not require a direct object. Examples- • Hurry up! • Robert dropped by at my place yesterday. • I didn’t do that good; I am just expecting to get through. Many of you will comment that the second example is wrong because you see an object in the sentence. So before you all do that, let me explain what direct object means. “A direct object is the group of words that is acted upon by the verb. And as you can see, in the second sentence “at my place yesterday” is not acted upon directly by the verb ‘drop’, so the sentence doesn’t have any direct object and the phrasal verb is intransitive.” Transitive phrasal verbs Transitive phrasal verbs are the phrasal verbs that have a direct object. Examples- • I am going to throw these biscuits away because they have expired far before. • My boss turned down my leave for my brother’s marriage. • My mother came across my lost earphones while cleaning the house. Transitive phrasal verbs are of two types: Separable phrasal verbs- The phrasal verbs in which you can put a direct object in between and separate them, hence they are called separable phrasal verbs. Examples of separable phrasal verbs • You can’t even do the initial steps properly; you need to do it over. • He doesn’t want to let his mother down by failing this time. Inseparable phrasal verbs- The phrasal verbs in which you cannot put a direct object in between and separate them are called inseparable phrasal verbs. Example of inseparable phrasal verbs • I ran into one of my old colleagues yesterday on a bus. (CORRECT) • I ran one of my old colleagues into yesterday on a bus. (WRONG) • He can easily get the role as the lead artist in his brother’s absence; both brothers take after their father almost 100%. (CORRECT) • He can easily get the role as the lead artist in his brother’s absence; both brothers take their father after almost 100%. (WRONG) So that is it for today. I hope you have a clear understanding of their types and the difference between them. You can find here more articles and examples of phrasal verbs. See you soon with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye.

Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE

English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…”

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 yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter: I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT… Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter? Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about! Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat. In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right? Just open your mouth and tell him about it! In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE! (more…)

Do Headphones Improve English Listening Experience? (How to Stop Using Subtitles!)

How to Develop Your Ability to THINK in English

RELATED ARTICLE: Don't Try JUST to Think in English - Speak It Out Loud! We all speak our native languages fluently, quite naturally. The speech formation happens instantaneously and we don’t actually differentiate between a number of subsequent processes taking place when we speak. If I asked you to draw a simple scheme of a speech process when you speak your native language, you’d probably come up with something like this: By and large it’s quite correct – we think in our native language and after a short while we produce speech in the process. If you think that it’s not true and you’re capable of producing speech at the exact time of thinking – read this article. You’ll find out that it actually takes 600 milliseconds for our speech producing organs to catch up with our brain! It’s not a huge lag, and in real life we all have an impression we can think out loud. Anyway, the scheme above represents what goes on when you say something in your native language, and thinking and speaking are two separate processes. But now comes the tricky part of the process. I think that we’re missing a link right before the thinking stage… Are you slightly confused? Are you thinking “What is Robby talking about? What other process takes place in my brain before I think? Surely thinking comes first and everything else follows it!” Well, I haven’t got any proof that my theory is correct, but I believe that an ABSTRACT CONCEPT comes first :!: It’s not verbalized. It’s an idea. It’s something that you kind of FEEL even before you start having actual thoughts in your language. It’s not easy to explain, but I’ll try to provide an example so that can understand what exactly I mean by this abstract concept. (more…)

Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggHds15I-HQ I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos a couple of days ago, here’s the full text of it: Thanks a million Robby for the time and efforts you dedicate to help us. My biggest lifetime mistake was that I always underestimated the importance of watching movies in achieving the desirable command of English; because I used to think that it's not very SEXY for well-educated persons to waste their time on movies! What happened then? Now, I am a doctoral student who writes impressive formal law review articles but he sucks at speaking! This is really a shame: when I am invited to give a presentation as if I am invited to be hanged... Once, when I was doing my LLM in Sweden, our course coordinator called me into her office and told me this article cannot be yours! You can imagine how that could be disappointing! So, heed my advice everyone and NEVER IGNORE MOVIES...use it or lose it! Now, first of all, I can totally relate to the fact that this person has developed their WRITTEN English to a very high degree while at the same time neglecting the SPOKEN language. (more…)

Easy Guide to Proper Arguing for Foreign English Speakers

If you read this blog or any other website dedicated to foreign English speakers and their language improvement, I’m sure of one thing – you wouldn’t find much advice on how to express yourself during times when you’re annoyed, angry, agitated or arguing with someone. Well, there might be a certain amount of phraseology and vocabulary given, however, there’s one thing I can say for sure – it would be still somewhat toned down and wouldn’t really resemble the kind of English language you’d be facing in real life. And it’s kind of understandable because English teachers probably don’t want to be teaching too much of the bad language. Especially considering that cursing and using profanities tends to be one of the first things you’d pick up when learning a foreign language, so I would imagine that people just assume that cursing, swearing and expressing your anger or dissatisfaction is something that foreign English speakers are familiar with anyway, so it’s not really worth focusing on. Well, I tend to disagree! Being familiar with and being able to USE something in real-life spoken English are two different things altogether! The only way you’ll be able to use such expressions yourself is if you repeat them and learn them by way of spoken English practicing, there’s no other way around it. And if you think that you’ll never need such expressions anyway because you’re a nice person – think twice my friend. There comes a time when even the nicest person needs to blow off some steam and get the negative emotions out of their system, let alone having a confrontation with another English speaker. And do you know what happens when you are having that argument having never actually practiced the related phraseology yourself? Well, it’s pretty simple – during the heated conversation all of a sudden you find yourself unable to say a word because the added adrenaline rush will make you even more prone to saying something wrong, so some prior practicing is definitely advisable here! So without further ado let’s look at a number of relevant English phrases that will definitely come in handy in extreme situations such as arguments and confrontations with other English speakers. (more…)

Respect Your Native Language in order to… Speak Fluent English?

Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English

Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)

Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!

It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X9qAhhPFq4

English Idiomatic Expressions: “Correct Me if I’m Wrong” & “If I’m not Mistaken”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrPZxW9MLms Correct me if I’m wrong, my dear fellow foreign English speaker, but I have a strong feeling that you’ve been eagerly anticipating a new English Idiomatic Expression video, am I not right? Well, today I’m going to deliver double joy for you! :grin: If I’m not mistaken, I’ve never published TWO very similar phrases in a single video, so you may want to take this opportunity and watch the above video on how to use the two expressions: Correct me if I’m wrong and If I’m not mistaken together in a single sentence! I would have to think long and hard before I’d come up with another pair of English phrases that would check the following boxes: They would mean pretty much the same thing They could be used together OR you could choose to use either of them! So, as you can see today’s English idiomatic expressions are quite unique in the sense that you can use your discretion as to how you use them, so you’d better get onto it immediately and add these phrases to your active English vocabulary: (more…)