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!

Is It Possible To Sound Too Fluent in English?

Most of you guys visiting this blog have certain English fluency related issues, the most typical of which is the tendency of getting “stuck” while speaking. It’s the terrible feeling of “I know exactly what I want to say, yet for some reason or another I can’t seem to be able to say it out loud!” So I guess if you were to hear another foreign English speaker who can speak for hours on end in a way that it would seem you just can’t shut them up, you’d be thinking to yourself – “I wish I could speak like that…” Well, as the old saying goes – be careful what you wish for! (more…)

English Vocabulary Building – Part 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cNv9xv64Y Vocabulary Building Part 1 | Vocabulary Building Part 2 How are you getting on, foreign English speaker? Have you heeded to my advice from the previous videos? I hope you have because if you’re still experiencing difficulties with speaking English fluently, you have to take action. Just by standing by and hoping the things will improve achieves nothing, so today I’ll be telling you about the third aspect of building your English vocabulary. And it’s about not learning many meanings of the same word at once – believe me, if you do it, the chances of memorizing and using that particular word are slim indeed! ;-) I can tell you from my own experience that if you write down a new English word in your dictionary that has a number of different meanings; it’s a very bad idea to try memorizing them all at once. And taking into account that most of English words do have a number of meanings, you might be very tempted to learn a few of them at once assuming that this way you’ll increase your learning curve. But it just doesn’t work that way, and here’s why. (more…)

English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phx30Q6P-Uw Hi guys, in the video above you can find out how to use the following English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”. Why such and similar expressions are very important for us, foreigners? First of all – they enable us to speak instinctively and spontaneously. Once you’ve memorized a phrase, you can produce it at an instant when the right situation presents itself! Secondly – they drastically reduce the amount of mistakes you might potentially make when speaking because you learn a correct phrase AS IT IS and you’ll only ever use it without changing it! So watch the video above, make sure to repeat the phrase a few times in order to memorize it, and also make sure to come up with a few sample sentences on your own to imprint the idiomatic expression “Pretty much the same” into your mind. Chat soon, Robby ;-)

We’re All Capable of Correcting Our English Speech Ourselves!

Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slFgkbzG3vI

I’ve Been Speaking in English for Years! I Still Require Regular Spoken Practice Though…

Don’t Look for Specific Audio Material for Improving Your English Listening Skills!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5asrbwN-7xc

Phrasal Verbs – Great Way To Improve Spoken English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/2-16WWZIUg44 Spoken English is stuffed with phrasal verbs and if you’re serious about improving your spoken English you definitely need to pay attention to them. What I find fascinating about the English language as such is that there are actually three types of English expressions – formal, colloquial and slang; these three are like separate dimensions of the same language. Colloquial English, which I also refer to as spoken English, is used in everyday situations and is stuffed with phrasal verbs which are also OK to use in more formal situations, and that’s the great thing about them :!: My native language – Latvian – has only two distinct vocabularies – formal and slang and there are no equivalents to phrasal verbs. But then modern English has been influenced by so many languages – Latin, French, Germanic languages and others – that it’s no surprise you can express nearly every action in so many different ways. Let’s have a look at the following example. You’re coming back from the local music store where you intended to buy concert tickets but unfortunately you didn’t get any. There’s a number of ways you can put the bad news to your friends. “I didn’t buy the tickets, I was too late and all of them had been already purchased” is quite a formal way of communicating the message to your peers – note the Past Perfect Tense “had been” and the formal verb “purchased”. A more friendly way of saying the same thing would be “I didn’t buy the tickets, I was too late and they were all snapped up” or “I didn’t buy the tickets, I was too late and they were all sold out”. Notice the phrasal verbs “to snap up” and “to sell out” – they’re typical to everyday English conversations and they’re not vulgar or rude in any way. As I said above - you can also use the same phrasal verbs in more formal situations with no problems! (more…)

Robby’s 5 Favorite Blog Posts of All Time on EnglishHarmony.com

Over the years I've published well over 200 articles on this blog, and there are a few that have become hugely popular with my blog readers. Articles like English Small Talk Phrases and How to Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary are constantly topping the most viewed pages list, and I can see why they're getting such good publicity. A large number of my fellow foreigners are seeking information on the most commonly used English words and sentences, and those two articles are related to that subject hence their popularity! Some of my creations, however, have limited exposure, and the purpose of this article is to showcase some of my blog posts I’m very proud of YET they’re not getting a lot of views because they don’t rank well enough in Google. So, without further ado, allow me present you the top 5 blog posts I really, really like and I believe you’ll like them too because they touch upon subjects that are very relevant to us, foreign English speakers! (more…)

80/20 Rule – You Have To Be Selective About What You Learn!

Have You Ever Thought About Your MOUTH As a MUSCLE?

How many years have you been working on your English? Two? Five? Ten? Guess what – I’ve been receiving e-mails from folks having been trying to achieve English fluency for TWENTY YEARS to no avail :!: And I can see exactly why it’s happening – the heck, years ago I was among those struggling English speakers myself! – it’s because most foreign English speakers don’t perceive their mouth as a muscle. Are you confused? What I mean by saying – perceive their mouth as a muscle? Well, it’s EXACTLY what I mean – your mouth for you as a foreign English speaker is just like muscles for a bodybuilder or just about any other athlete or indeed for any person on this planet who’s using their body to move their arms and legs to lift things and move around. You’re using your mouth to produce English words, phrases and sentences in order to communicate with other English speakers, and there’s actual body movement involved in every step of the way – your lips, tongue, jaws and a whole array of facial muscles are actively involved to help you with the task! (more…)

Why It’s VERY Important to Speak Out LOUD When Learning New English Vocabulary Words!

Is It Easy to Switch Between Your Native Language and English?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VIcrMjcFM Hello my blog readers! Personally I sometimes find it a bit difficult to go back to using my language when I’ve been speaking in English all day long, and while it may sound a bit weird considering Latvian is my native language, I guess it’s not that uncommon among foreign English speakers living and working in an English speaking environment. As far as my ability to switch TO English goes, I also experience slight difficulties from time to time. If I’m surrounded by other Latvians and I have to start speaking in English for some reason or another  – a phone call, for example – I can’t just jump back into my most fluent state. Most of the time it takes a few minutes for my mind to adjust to the English speech, and then I can speak 100% confidently and fluently. How to explain this phenomenon? Well, over the years while working on my own English and trying to maintain a high level of oral fluency I’ve figured out a few factors contributing into this phenomenon: (more…)

You’ll Never Need Legal English Terms and Vocabulary – Way Too Specific!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyiG3q0trh0

Connecting Your Ideas in Written English

When you are writing in English, there are two main components that you must achieve in order to express yourself well: First, you must have strong, clear ideas. And second, you must present these ideas in a well-organized fashion. However, finding the right words and phrases to connect your ideas can be challenging. If you struggle to come up with the right transitions in your writing, don’t worry: we've provided you with a cheat sheet for various popular transitional words and phrases in English! These phrases are useful connectors that will make your writing flow in a natural and organized way. They’re also key phrases to use in the writing sections of English exams like the IELTS or TOEFL. (more…)

Are You Being Judged or Even Discriminated Against Because of Your English?!

Delivering a DVD set of English Harmony System 2.0 & Discussing my Job, Unemployment and Happiness!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ1suWBnQgU Here’s another broadcast from my car, and this time I’m driving to the local Post Office to deliver a DVD set of my English improving software – English Harmony System 2.0! I’m planning to discontinue the DVD sets at some stage in the near future anyway, so this is the last drive of this kind. You see – at the moment I’m working on the System’s update, and with a lot of new lessons added onto the software the DVD version becomes rather too expensive to manufacture and deliver. Also, considering we’re living in a digital era, it would make an awful lot of sense indeed to encourage my potential customers to contribute to the environment and go for a digital product instead. As we all know, all physical goods have a related carbon footprint, so the less goods we buy and get delivered, the less damage we do to our planet! Of course, I’m not going to turn the whole world’s environmental problems on their head, but then again – every little counts! (more…)

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

English Idiomatic Expression: “Couldn’t Put My Finger On It”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD5vuw0kXKU Hello my fellow foreign English speaker! Today’s English idiomatic expression is a real idiom which means you actually have to know what it means or else you won’t know how to use it and you’ll have a hard time understanding what another English speaker means when they say things like “Yes, there’s something weird about the place but I can’t really put my finger on it…” Well… It’s not that it would be impossible to infer the meaning of this expression out of the context alone – in fact, I’ve always been encouraging you guys to acquire new vocabulary and phraseology contextually. It’s just that this particular expression is figurative speech and you have to imagine performing the actual activity – putting your finger onto something – in order to fully understand why this phrase is used. (more…)

3 Situations When It Might Be Easier For You To Speak in English With Your Fellow Foreigners

Some time ago I published an article called “5 Reasons Why It’s Easier To Speak With Native English Speakers Than Other Foreigners”. In today’s article I’m going to look at reasons why on certain occasions it might be actually easier to speak in English with another foreigner :!: As I already pointed out in the first article – on most occasions it’s all a matter of perspective. All other things being equal – such as your level of English fluency, language comprehension etc. – you may feel more comfortable speaking with another foreigner simply because you’re not ashamed of saying something wrong (which inevitably happens during any conversation). Or it also could be that you spend most of your time working in an international team, and speaking with native English speakers is an exception rather than a rule. "It is mostly our OWN mental inhibitions that make us favor conversations with natives or foreigners!" And of course – it varies from person to person a great deal! While you mightn't have any problems chatting with your native English speaking work colleague, your supervisor might be giving you the creeps and you always stutter and find it difficult to explain yourself in his or her presence. Anyway, here are the 3 situations when you may find it easier to speak with your fellow foreign English speaker instead of a native speaker. Enjoy! ;-) (more…)

Some People Are So Confident They Don’t Even Want to Improve Their English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vue8VRavBgQ VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi, guys! Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video, I'm going to touch upon a very interesting thing and, if I'm not mistaken, it's never been spoken about before. I've never discussed it, neither on my videos, nor on my articles on my blog, and I think this is going to be a very interesting topic indeed. Namely, not all foreign English speakers who struggle when speaking, not all of them actually have to improve their English. Some people are quite confident the way they are! And here's what I actually mean by this. I've come across a few such people in my life. And it was actually years ago when I was a young fellow, when I just came over to this country, and there was a bunch of guys living together in one house, and I got to know several new people time and time again. There were a few guys whose English was so-so, but they were quite okay communicating with other people. Their English was broken. Their vocabulary wasn't huge, and their grammar was quite bad to be honest with you, but they felt at ease when speaking with other English-speaking people. They didn't feel it as a problem, right? And that was the whole make or break factor for their confidence. They were confident and they didn't need to improve their English. They didn't work towards that goal that we all share, right, which is improving our English and achieving fluency. They worked towards other goals in their life, professional goals, and personal goals. But, they were happy with their level of English, and it was sufficient to get on with their daily tasks, to go on about their daily business, to work, to drop into institutions and get things done. Yes, it might have taken them a little bit longer because the communication would have been slightly hampered and things would have had to be explained in a little bit more detail to get it all done, but eventually it wasn't a big deal for them. And they were confident enough the way they were and that was it! Their English was fine for them and they didn't need to improve it. They'd never thought of - at least I didn't hear them complaining about their English because they were quite happy the way they were, and it's a funny thing. (more…)

St Patrick’s Day Greetings

Don’t Force Your English When You Speak!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnVmR-ZSDRw Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Are you familiar with the following feeling: The more English I learn, the less I know… It can also be described the following way: I know so many fancy English vocabulary words, but when I’m speaking, I forget them all!... This feeling is more common than you may think, and you’re definitely not alone in this misery. Personally I was feeling the same way for years, and even now when I’ve discovered the “SECRET” (it’s not really that big of a secret!) for dealing with the aforementioned problem, I sometimes feel this way. But guess what makes me feel that way? It’s the fact that I start FORCING myself to recall specific vocabulary, specific phrases :!: The moment you do that – your fluency’s gone out the window! Want to found out more about the said phenomenon? Then watch the video above! Thanks for tuning in, Robby ;-)

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The ONLY 3 English Grammar Rules You Need to Know to Speak Fluent English

Personally I stopped studying English Grammar the traditional way years ago. By now I’ve actually forgotten most of the grammar terms and rules I had hammered into my brain, and just as well – they only prevented me from speaking English fluently. Why? Simple enough – I used to spend way too much time analyzing my thoughts, applying Grammar rules and preparing my speech in my head. It was killing my English fluency, and it took me quite a while to figure out the simple truth – English collocations (phrases, idiomatic expressions, most commonly used sentences) already contain all necessary grammar in them! When I speak English now, I don’t think about grammar anywhere near as much as I used to. I just rely on my “gut feeling” and get fully involved in conversations. My intuition takes care of English Grammar! For instance, English preposition usage rules determine that you have to say “ON this occasion” but the word ‘situation’ goes with a preposition ‘in’ – “IN this situation”. Personally I don’t look at it as something that has to be constantly recalled during English conversations. I mean - once you learn the relevant collocations – “in this situation” and “on this occasion” – it sticks with you and you don’t have to consciously think which preposition to use every time you speak. Having said all this, however, I have to admit there are a few English Grammar rules I always bear in mind, and they’re just about the only ones you need to know on top of naturally occurring English phrases and collocations to form correct and fluent English speech. Of course, I’m not saying the ones below are the only English Grammar rules you’ll EVER need. But let me remind you that this blog is for advanced foreign English speakers therefore the main presumption is that you don’t have a problem with Basic English Grammar – it’s completely out of the question here! So, let’s look at the 3 English Grammar Rules that will help you to maintain your English fluency – especially on occasions when your English fluency experiences slight dips and you need to be a bit more careful when speaking. (more…)

Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVszoY1C6m0 Let’s face it my friends: Songs performed in English are topping the charts all over the globe, and even if you’re a fan of music performed in your native language, you surely listen to popular songs or some classic hits every now and then, don’t you? If you’re anything like the average foreigner out there, I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you normally don’t pay attention to English song lyrics; you just allow the music wash over your ears and touch you emotionally rather than with the actual meaning of words. To tell you the truth, my friends, I don’t even pay conscious attention to words when I listen to songs performed by my fellow country-men (or women for that matter!), and sometimes it’s next to impossible to decipher those lyrics regardless of the language! :grin: If you do learn lyrics of your most beloved English songs, however, you will most definitely avail of all the following: (more…)