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!

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

India – the Home of Fluent English?

Hi Everyone, Today I came across a website about English fluency called Fluentzy.com. It’s pretty cool in the fact that they’re basically talking about all the same issues with speaking fluent English that I do! You have to speak English and have pre-planned the speech in your head. But when it comes to speaking with a person for real, you just can’t say a word... And the actual reasons behind this issue is the following – learning the English language through your mother’s tongue. You know – it’s the traditional way of learning a language. You write the English words down in your copybook and translate them into your native language. Then you memorize the meaning of those words and you’re perfectly fine with using them in your writing, speaking in the class and so on. However, there’s one very important problem that will surface only later on. Namely – the English language you learn, is far from fluent! You can’t speak spontaneously – and this is the factor that separates a fluent English from one that is handy ONLY when it comes to writing a letter, or reading a book. The credit for inventing the system at the fluentzy website goes to Indians, by the way. As it’s said on the website, I quote: "England may be the home of English, but India is the home of fluent English. India is where English fluency building was systematized for the first time in the world as a distinct teachable subject. An Indian loved the English language so much that he studied its fluency-secrets in great depth and designed the world's first dedicated course in English fluency building (as distinct from EFL/ESL courses and translation-dependent bilingual courses). And that was KevNair, better known as the father of fluency development" - The New Indian Express Well, thank you KevNair for your contribution into the English fluency! ;-)

Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/b6hVnUtL7DU Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

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…)

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

Answering Questions: Can’t Practice Fluency, What to Do If My Fluency Dwindles When I Speak With Others and More…

I couple of days ago one of my YouTube followers asked me the following question: The problem is that I just can't practice fluency because I'm in my country where they don't speak English although I'm really good at writing I put great efforts on my essays and powerful vocab and idioms and sentence structure yet I panic when I travel out of my country and speak in little convos which my parents are pissed of me, cause they paid a lot for good education but the result of fluency speaking is bad, plus I struggle in reading books cause every sentence I have to stop for a quick google search the meaning of the sentence. IT's really complicated. Thank you for understanding! And here's my video response to the above question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmX5BO0gOnM Here's another question I got on YouTube: Hi Robbie, when I practice self-speaking I am very fluent but when I speak with people my fluency dwindles probably because I feel compelled to give neat responses when I can't. How can I deal with this problem? Thank you! And guess what? I also decided to record a video response and you can watch it below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohgjYHAZPiA I hope that you'll also find these videos somewhat helpful and I would love to receive further questions from you! Just post them in the comments section below and I'll do my best to respond to them ASAP! Cheers, Your English Fluency Coach, Robby ;-)

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

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 ;-)

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…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 13- Law and Rules

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Hey everyone out there, I hope you are doing well and welcome back yet again to another chapter of this “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn some vocabulary about a subject each day with context and examples, as you will do today. And if you want to take your English journey to a next level, you must follow the rules as I told you to in my previous articles. Wait? What did I say? Rules? So it must be crystal clear from my previous statement what vocabulary we are going to study today. Today we learn some phrases and expressions related to rules and laws which you will definitely find useful in your daily life. Well, if not in spoken English, at least they will help you in academics during writing. So without ado, let’s get down to the business and see today’s context: Context The government makes the law and order, but I think it is rather our responsibility as citizens of the nation to abide by every rule it makes. The officials sometimes have to enforce the law if people don't follow what they say. I remember a few days before when I was stuck in traffic, I saw a man smoking in his motorcycle trying to get ahead. After some time when that road hog realized he could not pass any further, he took out another cigarette from his pocket and started smoking. Although the law forbids smoking in public places, it seemed he hardly cared about anything. The regulations stipulate that a person should not smoke in public as well as wear helmet while driving, but for some people, if they have some connection in the ministry office, they feel like the king of the road. A man named Josh was standing beside that guy who realized that all smoke was coming at his face. He didn’t say anything for a while, but opposed his behavior with a shout when his patience reached the limits. The next moment we heard a gunshot. Before anyone could catch him or the police could reach him, he ran away shooting Josh on his chest. Sources said he had some ministry connections and there were no chances he would even appear in court, so people advised his son John to back off and leave the case as nothing would happen as he will never receive a fair judgment. John didn’t give up and by involving the media in the case, the police had to carry out an investigation. The case finally reached the High Court. There has been a fair trial after a hard legal battle and the court reached the verdict that the man was guilty of Josh's murder and sentenced him to lifetime imprisonment. Vocabulary to Acquire Today Enforce/ uphold the law Meaning- make sure people obey the law. Example- It is the duty of the police to enforce the law if someone denies it. Law forbids the smoking (or something) Meaning-  The law does not allow smoking (or anything) Example- Law forbids people to use an unregistered property. Regulations stipulate Meaning- It simply means the rules say that. Example- The regulations stipulate to provide the real identity proof before they apply for the main registration. Carry out an investigation Meaning- to report the findings. Example- The police prevented anyone to move out of the city until they carry out an investigation. Reach the verdict Meaning- to reach the final decision after considering all the facts and pieces of evidence. Example- The jury reached the verdict that all criminals will be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. A fair trial Meaning- a trial that is conducted unbiased, considering all the facts by an impartial judge. Example- As so many high-status people have backed him up, it is impossible if he doesn’t get a fair trial. A hard legal battle Meaning- It is a self-explanatory phrase. Example- The poor man won the case against the high-status celebrity after a hard legal battle. I know it could be a little tough for some people to understand this article, so I would rather suggest you going through it once again so it becomes crystal clear to you. I hope today’s lesson added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they'll become your second nature. See you tomorrow with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving, but make sure you follow rules and regulations. Take care and? Bye-bye. This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz"));

English Fluency Monitoring & Management

English Idiomatic Expression: “Within a matter of…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAt_rvNnjR8 Today’s English idiomatic expression is “Within a matter of…”, and it is most commonly used to refer to a certain time frame – be it seconds, minutes, hours or days. Watch the video above to see how exactly I’m using this particular expression so that you can start using it in your own daily English conversations! See you soon, Robby

My Controversial Views On Correct English & British and American English

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

I’m a huge fan of Mythbusters and I’m eagerly awaiting every new episode of their show. In case you don’t know what Mythbusters is (which I don’t think is very likely…) – it’s a show where assumptions and popular beliefs are tried and tested to see if they hold true or they’re one of so many misconceptions the human kind has amassed over time. For instance, in one of the episodes they’re testing an English idiom “a bull in a china shop” to see how the situation pans out in real life. This particular myth was actually busted because the bulls kept avoiding the shelves in a makeshift china shop even when running around at high speed thus proving that the proverb “a bull in a china shop” is just something people believe but wouldn’t prove right were it to happen for real! Here’s a list of most Mythbusters myths and I bet you’ll find most of them interesting and even fascinating! And, if you haven’t watched the Mythbusters show on Discovery TV yet, I warmly suggest you start doing it! Especially considering how fast your spoken English is going to improve if you keep watching it over a longer period of time! Why? Well, read the rest of this blog post and you’ll find it out! And by the way - even if you don’t have access to the Discovery Channels, you can still watch loads of free Mythbusters content HERE on their website or on YouTube - check out the short video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7aao6JKJQ4 (more…)

Learn Only ONE Way of Using New English Vocabulary Words at Any Given Time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mx3cg0gSNk In this English Harmony video I’m going to respond to Meenu’s comment in which she explains her problem in relation to learning new English vocabulary words. You can see the full exchange below: I’m taking the liberty to elaborate on the whole issue in the video above, and I hope you’ll find it helpful, Meenu! ;-) So, if you’re having similar issues with learning new English vocabulary: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “For the simple reason that…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVgYNGlcpgY There are many ways you can make yourself sound smarter and give other people the impression that you know exactly what you’re talking about. You can dedicate an enormous amount of time learning sophisticated English vocabulary and then try to use it in your daily conversations. You can do loads of reading and research into a wide variety of subjects so that a few years down the line you can become a really erudite person. Or, you can learn the most commonly used English idiomatic expressions which will add substance to your English speech and make you sound smarter even on occasions when you’re not saying anything of a particular importance! Let’s take, for example, the following sentence: (more…)

Is It OK to Use Conversational Phrases in Formal English Writing?

It’d Be Great to Have English as the Only Language in the World…

There are thousands upon thousands of different languages spoken around the world, but let’s just imagine for a second that EVERYONE spoke only one language – namely, English. What would it be like? Would it be much easier for people to live and lead their daily lives in a world where there’s only one language spoken? Or maybe it would be causing even greater issues in a world where tensions are rising high and pursuit for money and power is the name of the game? Leaving all patriotic feelings aside, let’s just take a pragmatic look at such a scenario and weigh all the pros and cons of having English as the world’s language in the most literal sense of the word :!: But before we get into the nitty-gritty of this fictional scenario, let me just tell you that I’m not going to be looking at a scenario where all other nations are LOSING their native languages to English. We’re going to assume that the entire world has spoken English for millennia, and how that would have changed the world for better or worse compared to our world where there’s countless languages spoken. (more…)

10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ztvsgZl1L8 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Compare the Average Foreign English Speaker With a Small Child in a Native Speaking Family

The English language teaching industry is awash with children vs adult comparisons. Statements such as: “Learn the English language just like babies do – simply listen, and let all the language sink in…” or “Small children are best at learning the English language, their brain is like a sponge! We adults don’t stand a chance…” are so commonplace that we tend to take them for face value and we don’t question them at all. Here at English Harmony I question all mainstream standards and practices, and more often than not I’ve found them to be totally wrong. I figured out a long time ago that you don’t need anywhere near as much focus on grammar as they’ll make you believe in any academic English teaching institution. I learned it the hard way that learning new English words via my native language – which is a typical industry standard – is actually bad for my English fluency because it creates a lot of unnatural vocabulary associations in my brain. And it took me a long, long time to define my personal problem – inability to SPEAK in English FLUENTLY – for the simple reason that no-one had ever said it to me during my English language studies at primary, secondary and college level which were 99% focused on developing my ability to read and write! Today I’m taking on another myth: “In order to learn the English language, we need to look at small kids in native English speaking families and copy what they do.” I say: “DON’T copy what little children do because you’re not comparing like with like!” (more…)

English Collocation: “Well Thought Through”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9SXgH1d8w In this blog post I’m going to focus on the following English collocation: “well thought through”. It’s just another way of saying “well planned”, and it’s how native English speakers – or fluent foreign English speakers! – would speak in circumstances when they have to describe a very well planned activity, arrangement, or even a physical object or structure. Anything can be well thought through. A well thought through business development plan. A very well thought through fire escape route which ensures the fastest evacuation of company’s employees in the case of fire. Furniture in your house can be arranged in a very well thought through fashion ensuring the optimal functionality and creating a nice impression. (more…)

Have You Got the Guts To Improve Your English?

FGC Goal #1: American Slang #28 GO SEE/WATCH/DO SOMETHING…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftudwHOnfGU Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning my friends! ;-) Did you know, by the way, that it’s totally fine to omit the word AND when saying things like: I’ll go AND check on my sister to make sure everything’s OK. I had to go AND watch a movie with an old friend of mine even though I didn’t like it! Let’s go AND see what food we can round up! Yes, in conversational English it’s 100% fine to omit the word AND so the above sentences become: I’ll GO CHECK on my sister… I had to GO WATCH a movie… Let’s GO SEE what food… (more…)

English Collocation: “Sparked Heated Debates”

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…)

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…)