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 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 ;-)

FGC Goal #1: American Slang #27: CALL BS ON…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4iLutqdvUY Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Do you know what you have to do when you clearly see that someone’s been lying? You have to CALL BS ON that! And even if that person strongly believes in what they’re saying, you can still CALL BS ON their claims and statements because you have all the rights in the world to disagree with their opinion! Obviously, you have to bear in mind this is a slang phrase and it’s is used in highly informal situations only :!: (more…)

Why is It Difficult to Speak with Certain People in English?

Your English isn’t the same at all times. It changes. At times you may notice you can speak very fluently, with ease. Yet sometimes you may start struggling with speaking in English with someone for no apparent reason! You have to bear in mind that ups and downs are natural in any human related performance, and spoken English is no different. Unless, of course, you’re experiencing frequent occasions when your mind goes blank and you’re unable to speak in English at all – then we can start speaking about the typical English fluency issue which haunts so many foreign English speakers. Anyway, fluctuating English fluency is normal, and there are many factors playing an important role in your English fluency – your stress levels at the time of speaking, your overall mental performance, familiarity with the topic you’re discussing and also frequency of your spoken English practice. The more often you speak English, the better you should be able to perform – it’s actually common sense, isn’t it? Yet one of the most influential factors holding sway over your spoken English performance is PEOPLE you speak with :!: Haven’t you noticed that it’s very easy to communicate in English with certain people while others make you nervous and your start mispronouncing even the simplest words? I bet you can remember situations when you’ve discussed quite complicated matters in English and it didn’t present any difficulties to you at all; yet on other occasions you’ve felt uncomfortable speaking about simple, everyday topics! As I said – much of it depends on who you speak with, so let’s delve deeper into the issue so that I can finish off this article with a few pieces of useful advice on how to manage your English conversations regardless of who is your chat partner! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “For Some Reason Or Another”

Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers

Whether it’s portraying Russians in Hollywood blockbusters or judging foreigners by one short conversation and assuming that their overall English fluency must be flawed because they’ve made a couple of awkward mistakes – there are a lot of misconceptions out there about us, foreign English speakers :!: In this article I’m going to look at the most popular ones and while I’m fully aware of the fact that I won’t be able to dispel those stereotypes, it doesn’t mean I can’t talk about them, does it? Foreigners portrayed in films speak like native English speakers except for their accent I’ve met thousands of foreign English speakers throughout my life, and I can tell you this much – a foreign English speaker who gets English grammar 100% correct while speaking is a rare creature to find! And I’m not speaking of a person with foreign origin who’s moved to an English speaking country during childhood or teenage years and has achieved a native-like fluency by the time he’s an adult. I’m speaking about typical foreigners who speak English with a smaller or a bigger foreign accent just like the ones typically portrayed in films and TV shows. As you can imagine, the reason behind it is because on 99% of occasions actors portraying foreigners in movies are native English speaking actors with accent talents :!: (more…)

English Harmony System’s Review

Start Using English Contractions If You Haven’t Already Done So!

From time to time I encounter some sort of a written piece in English that’s hard to read for the simple reason that the author of that piece isn’t using contractions. The moment I start reading the letter, e-mail or an article – whichever is the case – the full verb in its entirety, where it should just read its contraction after an apostrophe, is just standing out like a sore thumb. Just compare the following two sentences which are just two versions of the same e-mail sent by Jimmy: “Hello Jane, I’m writing to let you know that I’ve managed to squeeze in the items that hadn’t been delivered so they’ll be arriving tomorrow.” “Hello Jane, I AM writing to let you know that I HAVE managed to squeeze in the items that had NOT been delivered so they WILL be arriving tomorrow.” (more…)

Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH01zIPMj2c

English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s only when you… that…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gefTzIuA4B0 Here’s another daily English expression video, and this time around I’m looking at the following sentence: “It’s only when you… that…” Please note that this is not your typical English idiomatic expression, and I strongly doubt you’ll find it in any English phrase lists. Nonetheless, it’s important to learn such and similar sentences because they will help you greatly to make your point :!: Once you've memorized this sentence structure – “It’s only when you… that…”, you can apply it on countless different conversations! Whenever you have to emphasize something and further describe the fact you’re talking about – this sentence is perfect for that purpose. And of course – if you want to hear some examples of this phrase in use, please watch the video above! See you soon again, Robby ;-)

The Best English Class for Improving Your English Fluency

Just a Handful of English Phrases Will Enable You to Speak so Much More Fluently!

This short article is a hard proof that English phrases really help structuring our speech! Here’s the thing guys – when it comes to your ability to speak fluently, you may want to focus on building your phraseology (phrases) instead of vocabulary (individual words)! Don’t get me wrong - it’s not that I’m having something against vocabulary as such, it’s just that phraseology acquisition is way more effective! It mightn’t have crossed your mind before, but at the end of the day we all use pretty much the same English expressions and phrases all the time! It’s only when you analyze English around you that you realize that such and similar phrases make up a large part of people’s daily conversations. Having said this, I don’t deny the importance of specific vocabulary – nothing could be further from the truth! If you don’t know how this or that particular thing or abstract concept is called, it’s kind of hard to get your message across to your chat partner because you simply wouldn’t be able to describe simple concepts in the first place. Sometimes you would even run the risk of sending the wrong message to the other person, and that’s when successful communication gets slightly problematic, to say the least. When your basic vocabulary is decent, however, you can drastically improve your English fluency within a matter of weeks by learning common English phrases in order to get your speech going, you know what I mean? Even if you only learn phrases from this short article by clicking on the links, watching the respective videos, and then doing some self-practice, your spoken English will be much better down the line, there’s no doubt about that! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Funny English Phrases #1 – Buying a Pair of Jeans

Idiomatic Expression: “In a spur of the moment”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttqEVwrGYpQ Hi boys and girls! :-) In today’s English idiomatic expression video I’m using the following English phrase – IN A SPUR OF THE MOMENT. When and how to use this particular English expression? Well, most commonly it’s used whenever you want to express the spontaneous nature of some event, but to learn about more ways of using this particular English phrase, please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby ;-)

How to Organize English Phrases for Optimal Learning

The moment you start reading my blog, you can’t help noticing that I’m highlighting specific word groups in red. These word groups are idiomatic expressions or the so-called collocations, and they’re very useful for all foreign English speakers for the following reasons: They allow us to speak using native-like English speech patterns; They enable us to group words together thus avoiding hesitant speech; They render translation unnecessary thus facilitating overall English fluency. For best results, you should incorporate such and similar idiomatic expressions into your spoken English practicing routine, but here’s the million dollar question: “How to organize all those phrases for optimal learning?” Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of how exactly you should organize English phraseology for the optimal learning experience, let me remind you that I’ve already done all that work for you :!: I’ve created a unique fluency improving program called the English Harmony System and it took me a good few months to organize hundreds upon hundreds of idiomatic expressions which provide the framework for almost a hundred speech exercising video lessons. Basically you can save yourself all the hassle of organizing all your phrases and you can start practicing your spoken English RIGHT NOW! But what if you’ve already been using my product and now you’d like to keep practicing on your own? As we all know, spoken English improvement is a lifelong process, and it only stands to reason you would want to keep working on your English phraseology for the rest of your life, right? So for those of you interested in taking your fluency improvement to the next level, here’s a few ways of organizing your English phraseology for your spoken English practice sessions. (more…)

Can You Become Fluent in English if You Don’t Have a Talent for Languages?

Time and time again I’ve been told by all sorts of different people that I have a talent for languages. And when they find out I speak three languages fluently – Latvian, Russian and English – their opinion of my abilities is pretty much identical: “Robby, you’re naturally gifted when it comes to language learning! I wish I were like you!” And guess what? I think it’s a load of crap! I honestly believe that my ability to speak three languages fluently has nothing to do with my alleged talent for languages. And I also believe that ANYONE is capable of learning to speak English fluently regardless of whether you believe you have a talent for it or not. It’s just that most people don’t realize they have the potential to become fluent in English due to one or all of the following reasons: They think they’re not naturally gifted so they don’t WORK HARD on their English Deep down inside they know they’re too lazy to do something about their English skills so they use the lack of talent as an EXCUSE They’re using the WRONG METHODS to improve their English so the whole “I’m not naturally gifted at languages” thing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! Now, would you like me to prove to you that YOU DEFINITELY have what it takes to become fluent in English – and any other language for that matter? Then keep reading this article and don’t forget to leave a comment when you’re done! (more…)

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

Defining Your English Comfort Zone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjcMHEr_ZJs Hi folks, and welcome to the 20th English Harmony video episode! I really hope you enjoy watching my videos and you gain plenty of useful advice to implement when you’re speaking English! Today I’m going to tell you about a certain aspect of being a foreign English speaker – namely, being aware of the fact that on certain occasions you lack English understanding and also you’re not probably able to speak as well as you would want to – and all this even if you’re not experiencing the typical English fluency issue whereby you’d be getting stuck in speech. So let’s analyze such situations and figure out if you need to take further action. To do it best you’d need to take a better look at your everyday life and analyze if you’re fully comfortable with English you use to get by at work, when socializing, and also when enjoying your hobbies ;-) (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 2- Meeting a Friend

What Any Foreign English Speaker Can Learn from Benicio Del Toro

One of the biggest traps that foreign English speakers fall for is trying to speak TOO FAST. You know what? Even I still fall for it every once in a while, and every time it happens I literally have to persuade myself by saying – “Robby, calm down, don’t rush, you know it for a fact that it doesn’t matter if it takes you 10 seconds longer to get the message across! Take your time, slow down and you’re going to be much easier to understand!” Yet so many foreigners are under the wrong impression that to speak fluent English you must speak fast. Well, most native English speakers would indeed speak English quite fast – just like any other native language speaker would speak their language. It’s not always the case though. There are situations when EVEN NATIVE SPEAKERS would find it hard to maintain a continuous, fast speech. Stressful environment, high expectations from others, not being familiar with the topic that’s being discussed – all these and a number of other factors may seriously impede any native English speaker’s natural ability to produce fast, continuous and uninterrupted speech. So if even native English speakers can run into such problems, why would foreigners like me and you be any different? I think that our ability to speak English shouldn’t be judged on our nationality grounds. We, just like any native English speaker, are entitled to have moments of confusion, take time to make the point, and it shouldn’t be perceived as an inability to speak fluent English. It should be taken for what it is – slower speech - and it shouldn’t be attributed to our foreign national background! On many occasions a slow and controlled manner of speech doesn’t even indicate any issues the speaker might be having. It’s just the way the particular person speaks, and whether others like it or not, they have to accept it, full stop :!: One of my favorite actors Benicio Del Toro, for example, quite often speaks slowly and takes his time choosing the right words when giving interviews. He doesn’t give a damn about what others might think about it! And mind this – he’s a Hollywood celebrity and speaks fluent English. Well, originally he’s from Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish, but he’s spent most of his life in the States and his English is absolutely fluent. So here’s what you can learn from Benicio: It’s OK to pause in a mid-sentence; It’s OK to repeat a word a number of times to buy time; It’s OK to speak very slowly! (more…)

Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion

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! Today is Saturday and I'm having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it's actually not a cup, it's a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I'm not drinking beer, I'm having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn't be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that's an expression. So I would say that I'm not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That's what people would normally say. That's how people would understand you best, right? Anyway, cheers! And let's start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today's video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he's an Irish fella, right? I'm a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will. And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right? As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I'm so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak. So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your  English good luck charm and it's all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken  English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right? (more…)

FREE eBook – Practical English Grammar!

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I hate spam as much as you do and I'll contact you only to send news about improving English fluency! Right after the request you’ll receive an e-mail with a confirmation link which will bring you straight to the download page. And here’s the good news – you can read this eBook on your computer or laptop as a PDF file, you'll get a MOBI version of it in case you have a Kindle eBook reader, but if you have an iPad - you can make use of the EPUB file! Bear in mind, my fellow foreigners, that this isn’t your traditional English grammar reference book or textbook :!: This “Practical English Grammar” eBook contains my own observations, analysis and interpretation of how English grammar is sometimes much different in real life than we expect it to be, and instead of having this “why would I speak like that, it’s not what my English teacher taught me!” attitude, I’m suggesting you to make it easier for yourself to speak English by speaking exactly like native English speakers speak! There are twelve chapters in the eBook covering aspects of English Grammar that you wouldn’t have probably even heard of – such as how to substitute Present Simple Tense for Present Continuous Tense in order to sound more natural and friendly - yet they’re very relevant for us, foreigners! And don’t worry, I’m not being very technical in the eBook and I’m not using very specific English Grammar related terms. All you need to know is what the Past Perfect Tense is and what GOING TO + Infinitive Future form is and you’ll understand everything I’m writing in the “Practical English Grammar” eBook! ;-) Wishing your Happy Reading, Robby

FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session

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…)

Dictation: Benefits of Listening to English & Writing It Down!

How to Become a Good English Interpreter and Translate TV Shows Into Your Native Language

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! As you may already have noticed, sometimes I create blog posts and videos based on my blog visitors’ comments and questions. This article is not an exception, and here’s the original comment that inspired me to write it: So basically the problem I’m going to discuss in this blog post is the following: “How to develop your ability to translate from English to your native language INSTANTLY?” Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this matter, just let me tell you that I’ve actually written about this particular phenomenon of not being able to translate a TV show into my native language while watching it with others – you may read about it HERE. It goes to show that this problem isn't unique – I would even go so far as to say that it’s NOT ACTUALLY A PROBLEM at all! (more…)

The Less Opportunities You Have to Speak With Others, The More You’ve Gotta Speak With Yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnZTt5B2vww VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hello, my friends! Hello, my dear fellow foreign language speakers! I’m Robby from Englishharmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today’s topic is something that I’ve touched upon multiple times on my blog and on my YouTube channel, namely - it’s... The Importance of Doing Frequent Self-practice. Basically, you’ve got to be exercising your spoken English by engaging in a lot of self-practicing. “Why?” - you may ask. It’s very simple! If you haven’t got that many opportunities to speak with other people in real life then pretty much the only way you can maintain a high level of spoken English is speaking on your own. It’s no different from working out your body if you’re an athlete, right, and obviously nowadays there’s millions of people engaging in all types of sports related activities, even not being professional athletes for that matter, right, so basically its available to anyone. Gym memberships are as cheap as ever and anyone can join a gym, or indeed just do something at home or run, which is my thing personally - I’ve been a runner for six years now, or slightly more, right. So basically, when you work out your body, more often than not, you just do it on your own. You don’t necessarily engage in team sports, so if you draw parallels between speaking with other people and playing team sports games such as football or soccer, depending on where in the world you come from. Soccer, that’s American because football in America is American football which is a totally different ball game altogether, right. (This was an idiomatic expression.) If you say that something is a totally different ball game, it simply means that this thing that you’re talking about is a completely new thing, right, but ironically enough, I was talking about ball games and I was actually using that expression in which case, it’s not so idiomatic anymore because American football and European football are the so called soccer, right, it’s a totally different ball game, but what was I talking about initially? You see, I have this bad habit of straying off the subject because I keep talking and talking… We were talking about speaking with other people is pretty much the same as being engaged in team sports but working out on your own is the same as doing some spoken English practice on your own and there’s nothing wrong with that. (more…)