Robby Kukurs

I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.

I couldn't learn to speak fluent English for 5 years - read about what I was doing to learn to speak fluently HERE - are YOU in the same situation?

Then, one fine day, after years of constant pursuit of English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!

If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.

English Harmony System

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For those foreign English speakers whose English understanding, writing and grammar is already good but they're struggling with spoken English!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dab1r0wje8 Are you familiar with the math term COMMON DENOMINATOR? You may, or you may not be familiar with it, but the fact of the matter is that this English math term has long surpassed the boundaries of science :!: Nowadays COMMON DENOMINATOR is widely used to describe any of the following: Traits and characteristics certain people have in common; Features that certain things have in common; Something that is present in a number of different situations. Are you confused? (more…)

English Fluency Problem

Let’s first talk about this English fluency problem so that you can analyze it a little bit and understand its nature. Let’s say, you wake up in the morning and while doing something you just have an odd thought in English in your mind. And…you realize that you just can’t express yourself in English language as you’d normally do! You try to say something in English to yourself and you feel that you can’t stick the thoughts together – your mind is full of different words and images floating and messing… Another example. You go to work and greet the first person you meet. “How are you! I’m fine, what was the weekend like?” – And then you suddenly feel that you have to force yourself to get even these simple things right! And when you start chatting to your workmate at your desk, you feel that you can’t speak normally as you could before, although only yesterday you could speak fluently as a native speaker! The usual mistakes you make when experiencing the speech problem are the following:  Not being able to find the right words  Mispronouncing words  Not being able to say the thought clearly! You start a sentence, and then the very thread of the thought vanishes, and something like a blackout takes place in your head. And then you get really anxious and nervous and it affects your whole day – your mood drops below zero, the self-esteem is gone, the confidence… well, it’s a disaster! I don’t exaggerate, I know the feeling all too well and I guess, so do you. The most baffling thing in this all is that no matter how often you speak, no matter how long you’ve been living among English speaking folks, the things don’t change! It keeps on repeating constantly and with no obvious reason at all! :cry: I remember myself being a job-seeker at one stage and I attended many job interviews. One day I could speak perfectly creating a really good impression about myself. The next day going to a different place I’d experience the issue described above – and, of course, I’d feel really low because the interviewer most likely thought – well, this guy can’t get the English right in the first place, what job is he dreaming about then? And I know you have gone through a number of really embarrassing situations similar to previously described and you’d be more than happy to deal with the issue once and for all, wouldn’t you? So first let’s list all the characteristics of this English fluency issue so that we can clearly see what we are trying to get resolved here! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4DYW-hLyA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)

How to Deal With Situations When You Don’t Understand the Other English Speaker At All!

English Collocation: “Sufficient Information”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAi_V6uvc_Q Hello my friends! :grin: Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, although technically it’s rather a collocation than a typical expression. What’s the difference? Well, a collocation is a two or more English word combination observed in a native English speech (and also writing), and the funny thing is that there’s practically no way of telling WHY this or that particular thing is said in a certain way. You simply have to learn it and use it, that’s all! Let’s take, for example, today’s collocation ‘sufficient information’. It’s a TYPICAL way English speakers refer to the minimum amount of information necessary to get something done; the simplest way of putting it would be ‘enough information’, I guess. ‘Sufficient information’, however, is the EXACT way native English speakers would describe a situation when one hasn’t been able to fulfill their work related duties because of lack of information, for example: (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Driving Related Idioms

Improve English Fluency… Have A Coffee Break!

I’d like to share a funny story with you this time. As you already know, I’m not a native English speaker – and I live in a country called Ireland. I’ve been here for quite a long time and I’m not planning go back to my own country in the near future. And now I’m feeling like I’ve become a part of this whole culture, Irish traditions and everything else. But the first thing that struck me when I just arrived here was the local accent. Yes, I had studied English at home – but the way Irish spoke was something completely un-understandable! I always had to apologize and ask to repeat the same question again and again until I was able to get it! And I guess you may have experienced similar feelings having gone abroad or living in a foreign country, haven’t you? But today’s story isn’t about how well we can understand other accents and ways of pronunciation. It’s about how well the native English speakers can get what WE say. And here goes the funniest thing I’ve been telling my friends over and over again – and now it’s your turn! Whenever I go to some eatery to have a meal with my wife and daughters, or just myself, and order coffee, I don’t get coffee straight away. And please don’t think I’m being discriminated in any way – no, Irish folks are very friendly and today around 10% of the whole country population is non-nationals. And we’re very welcome in this country! No – it’s not that I’m ignored or anything similar. It’s just that Irish don’t understand I’m asking coffee… Yes, it’s really weird! The word ‘coffee’ is very simple. The pronunciation: [kofi:] – am I not right? Yes – and everyone pronounces the word this way. Imagine if you were an English national and someone asked you in a heavily distorted accent: [kofe:], or [ko:fe:] or whatever else – would you not get it? I guess – yes. But you see – I have to repeat the word around three times until the girl behind the counter says: ‘Ohh, right, you want coffee?!?’... But am I getting annoyed by this? You think I’m giving out about how unfairly I’m treated? Of course, not! It’s just another story about how different we people are and that our distinct accents and pronunciations are a part of the nature! No matter if it’s the Irish girl behind the McDonalds counter, or it’s you who has to ask someone to repeat what they just said – it’s COMPLETELY OK! It’s absolutely normal sometimes to get a bit confused, not to understand, mispronounce words and make similar mistakes. After all, we’re all humans, and humans do make mistakes, don’t we? ;-)

12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqWl-3dVCLY 1. You may be good at recognizing chords & songs, but you need to be able to play them yourself in order to… play them! If I told you that watching Keith Richards perform and deliver his best guitar pieces for three months straight will make you into a decent guitar player, would you believe me? I guess not! Then why would you ever listen to someone who wants you to buy into the learn-English-by-listening hype? Ability to use your mouth in order to speak in English AND using your guitar to play a song aren’t so dissimilar because it all boils down to your ability to DO something rather than just RECOGNIZE something. It’s all about PASSIVE vs ACTIVE English, music or whatever practical skill we’re looking at! When I picked up the guitar for the first time and tried my first chord, I sucked at it big time. And it’s no wonder I was so bad at it – I simply had never tried doing it before. I had been checking out some related information previously though, and I had a general idea of how certain chords would have to be placed. Doing it myself turned out to be a totally different story altogether, and the very same goes with using your mouth in order to speak in English. You may be able to understand other people fairly well, yet when you open your mouth it’s the same as trying your first chord on a guitar. Remember: spoken English – just like guitar play – is a very PRACTICAL SKILL! (more…)

101 Wrong Reasons (and 1 True Reason) Why I Love the English Language

Wrong reason # 1: English grammar is so simple – there aren’t any noun genders , very little declination of nouns and conjugation of verbs, and you only have to add ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the end of a third person singular noun, that’s all there is to it! Everybody’s gotta love this language for its simplicity, isn’t that right? Well… how about Chinese grammar? Technically it’s even simpler than that of English – Chinese words can have one grammatical form only and all I’d have to do is just stick them together! If I’m so in love with the English language because of its simplicity, why didn’t I start learning Chinese instead? Could it be that the simple grammar isn’t actually one of the true reasons I love the language?... (more…)

You’re Not Fluent in English If You Can’t Construct a Subjected Indirect Object Locative Double Passive!

Relationship Between Written and Spoken English is Really Weird!

Over the years I’ve been working in a number of jobs where I’ve been dealing with both non-native and native English speakers. My work colleagues. My superiors – managers, team leaders, supervisors – you name it! Our customers as well. Quite naturally, I’ve been constantly communicating with them. I’ve been engaging in all the necessary work-related verbal communication. I’ve been chatting with them during my break times. I’ve been participating in meetings. I’ve been sending dozens of e-mails a day to a lot of different people. Also, I’ve been running this blog since 2007 – you can do the math! – and I’m constantly dealing with my blog visitors e-mails and inquiries, not to mention my Fluency Star clients I coach via Skype. So, as you can imagine, I’ve made a lot of interesting observations in terms of people’s ability to speak and write. Did you know, for example, that judging by some native English speakers’ writing style, you’d think they’re just beginner English learners? Yes, it’s totally true and I’ve come across such people time and time again! And to be totally honest with you, sometimes their writing has been so bad that it’s made it next to impossible to figure out what they’ve actually meant in their e-mails :!: So, would you like to read more about my interesting observations in relation to English speaking, writing, non-native and native English speakers? Then find a comfortable seat, make yourself a cup of coffee, and keep reading this article! ;-) (more…)

3 Similarities Between Speaking in English And Driving a Car

Do You Get Stuck In English When Hearing Yourself?

Hi Folks, This time I'd like to tell you a strange thing from my own experience - and I must stress - it's really weird! It's about getting confused while speaking English with someone - and you know why? Because I suddenly start hearing myself - my speech. And I instantly get knocked out of the normal speech rhythm and have to gather myself up. Why is it happening? Why would hearing your own voice make you feel embarrassed to an extent when you start speaking with a really bad accent and get stuck? I don't know the exact answer - but many of you have sent me e-mails telling the very same thing... (more…)

Which is Better – Direct or Indirect Speech?

As you may already know, there are two main ways in the English language you can talk about what another person has said: DIRECT speech INDIRECT or the so-called reported speech Direct speech is a word-by-word account of what the person in question said. For example, if your friend asked you “Would you mind looking after my pets over the weekend?” and now you’re telling someone else what your friend had asked you using the direct speech, here’s how you’d say it: “Mark asked me “Would you mind looking after my pets over the weekend?” so I can’t really go out with you on a Saturday night, sorry!” As you can see, direct speech is very easy to incorporate into your own speech for the simple reason that YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE ANY OF THE WORDS! You simply say it the way you heard it and I think it’s one of the biggest benefits of the direct speech – especially in situations when you find it a bit hard to speak in English and you hesitate and stumble upon words a lot. Indirect speech, on the other hand, requires a bit more thought put into it, and here’s an example: “My mom told me that my dad was going to take us to Disneyland the following summer, isn't that amazing?” Now, what I want you to pay attention to is the following: You HAVE TO CHANGE WORDS AROUND in indirect speech! The exact words used by mom were different; here’s what she said: “Dad IS going to take us to Disneyland NEXT summer!” – but when you REPORT what she said as part of indirect speech, it becomes “… dad WAS going to take us to Disneyland THE FOLLOWING summer…” It’s called BACKSHIFT and it simply means you have to change words around in indirect speech (verbs adopt Past Tense forms and words like “tomorrow” change to “the next day” etc.) if you begin the sentence with PAST TENSE – and more often than not, you will be using the Past Tense when reporting another person’s speech. After all, it was at some stage in the PAST when you heard the other person speak :!: So which one is more convenient for you as a foreign English speaker – direct or indirect speech? Keep reading this article to find out more about benefits and advantages of using both – DIRECT and INDIRECT speech when speaking in English with other people! ;-) (more…)

How You Can Write Your Research Paper in Under 24 Hours!

A Guide For International And ESL Students As an international student or an ESL student, the English language is most probably your biggest stumbling block. You have most likely been struggling to keep up with the rest of your class who are native speakers of English. The language barrier can really get in the way of you participating actively in class and this can be frustrating. It is understandable that you may find writing research papers and college essays specially difficult to grasp. You might have also faced situations where you’ve been asked to write a full-fledged research paper, and the deadline is around the corner, sometimes in less than 24 hours. You feel stuck and confused and don’t know where to turn for help. What do you do in such cases? Don’t worry, this guide is here to help you. It will show how to break down the process of essay writing into easy steps so that you can put together a completed research paper in just 24 hours! (more…)

What Do Small Children, Pets & The English Language Have In Common?

English Idiomatic Expression: “You may want to…”

Have you heard this popular English phrase – “You may want to (do something)”? It’s used by English speakers worldwide, and it’s very handy to have it in your active phraseology because of the following reasons: You can use it instead of “you should…” but you don’t want to sound as if you’re giving orders; You want to give someone unsolicited advice but you don’t want to fall out with them in case the other person doesn’t take well to being told what to do! Basically the phrase “You may want to…” can be used if you want to come across as a friendly person and you want to avoid any miscommunication that might potentially cause a negative reaction to what you’re saying. To find out more – and also to hear some examples in this phrase in use – please watch the video above! I hope you’ll find this video useful, and also don’t forget to repeat and memorize the phrase – that’s the only way you can add it onto your active vocabulary. And did I say “you may also want to come up with some sample sentences on your own using the phrase “you may want to” and use them in your spoken English self-practice session?” ;-) Chat soon, Robby

Phrasal Verbs – Great Way To Improve Spoken English!

Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2t82GjaKCc Are you following my advice on learning loads of English idiomatic expressions and collocations and applying them onto your speech and also writing? Great! Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of those expressions and does it make you feel as if the more you’re learning the more there is to left to learn? It’s only natural! We’re all human beings, and feeling overwhelmed and feeling that whatever we’re saying and writing falls short of our own expectations is something that many of us do. But guess what? (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Needless To Say”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxhjUfwfnck Hello boys and girls, I’m back with another English idiomatic expression! This time around I’m going to look at the following phrase: “needless to say”, and I think this one is quite self-explanatory. Basically you can use this phrase whenever you’re going to say something common sense, something that is very logical and straightforward, something that may as well not be said because it kind of goes without saying. Let’s say, for example, you’re filling your friend in on something that happened while he wasn’t at work, and here’s what you’re saying: “… and then Jane told him everything she thought of him and needless to say, he hasn’t spoken to her since!” (more…)

Is It Possible To Improve Your Spoken English By Watching TV?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/dVdc7CaAdU4

How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better English!

FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #5 – IT HAS WRONG WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEXh59NTBnY Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good Morning on this wonderful Thursday morning! I got up at 5:30 AM, had my breakfast and my morning coffee while reading a few pages out of my current book (which is the source of all these American phrases I’m learning at the moment), and then I recorded another video for you, my friends! This time around the American phrase in question is IT HAS WRONG WRITTEN ALL OVER IT, and it’s a handy way to describe a situation when you have a premonition about something and you feel at an instinct level that the situation it going to spell trouble if you don’t stay away from it! Here’s the last time I had such a feeling about something. It happened early this year – mid-January, to be more specific. I was having slight problems with my website loading time; my English Harmony blog just wouldn’t load quickly enough. It would take good two minutes for the site to load fully, so I started considering moving the entire website to a different server. (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Discussing Relationships

3 Lessons Learned While Living Among Native English Speakers for 10 Years

1. Native English speakers will judge your ability to speak English based on their experiences with you – not your true knowledge. Why? Simple – all they can see is your performance, they can’t get inside your head! It’s just a fact of life – you’ll be judged based on how you respond to certain situations, and you’d better be prepared to face up to some challenges if you want to come across as a good English speaker! Basically what I’ve learned is that it’s not necessarily about how well you ARE ABLE to speak in English; on most occasions it’s more important to be able to react fast, not get tongue-tied and ignore your own embarrassment (seriously, it’s not that hard. If it helps, tell yourself that even native English speakers get tongue-tied sometimes!). Let me give you an example. The other day a big customer of ours had arrived and we were all having a chat in our knitwear factory’s hall. A couple of Polish girls happened to walk by having just finished their shift and our man said something to one of them – just a friendly jest. The Polish girl obviously didn’t get what he said to her, but instead of saying “Excuse me, can you say it again?” she just smiled awkwardly and walked away. (more…)

Contextual English Vocab Building: Using TheFreedictionary.com the SMART Way!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYuO7PObOLg A good while ago I published a video in which I touched upon contextual English learning and I also provided the opportunity for everyone in that video to do a simple test so that they can see for themselves how effective contextual vocabulary building is as opposed to the traditional way. Check out that video HERE! A few days ago I got a comment on that video asking for a good website to learn English vocabulary in context to which I responded by saying that TheFreeDictionary.com is one of the best dictionary websites out there containing a large array of English phrases and collocations which is exactly what you want when learning English contextually. Yesterday I got another comment by the same person asking how exactly TheFreeDictionary.com website is to be used for the purpose of contextual learning, and so I decided to record this video providing the EXACT instructions on how to look up phrases and expressions containing specific words on that website. (more…)