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!

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…)

FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #33: AT LOOSE ENDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acB-JzCzXbE Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Have you ever been AT LOOSE ENDS? Not sure what it means? Well, no wonder you find it impossible to guess the meaning of this phrase; it’s a typical English idiom and you simply have to know what it means in order to understand the meaning of it! Still, it’s quite easy to infer the meaning of any idiomatic expression from context alone, and now I want you to give it a shot. Have you ever been unable to find your place after a break-up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend? That’s when most people find themselves AT LOOSE ENDS, and that’s when it’s of the utmost importance to engage in some other activities to take your mind off the problem at hand! Now, have you got a general idea of what the idiom AT LOOSE ENDS might mean? Are you still not sure? Then here’s another example. (more…)

Simple Action Plan To Boost Your English Fluency

Hi my friend, this time I’m going to give you a plain and simple action plan to instantly improve your English confidence – and I bet you’ll be surprised how EASY and EFFECTIVE it is! So enough ranting – let’s get to the matter straight away! Step one – STOP being ashamed of yourself! Did I just insult you? Sorry, no offence meant. But the cold truth is – everyone who struggles speaking English fluently is actually shy deep inside. Whether you are aware of it or not – you constantly COMPARE yourself with others, or with a particular person. It could be your best friend, or workmate, or a person being your role model – and it constantly nags at you – ‘He’s speaking better than me…’ Well, there’s not a better solution than to stand in the front of a mirror and tell yourself loud – I don’t need anyone as a role model. I’m sufficient with my English and there’s NOTHING that could make me feel low and lose my self-esteem. So the first step is to recognize the very fact that you constantly keep on being shy speaking in front of particular people, in public etc. Step number two – when you speak a natural English speech, just THROW away all the grammar rules from your mind! Am I being too extreme making such a statement? Well – I don’t think so. Bear in mind – I didn’t say ‘forget all English grammar’. What I meant was – don’t put double load on your mind when you speak English. Your sub-consciousness will do the work for you. Everything you’ve learnt so far grammarwise will manifest itself anyway. So if you speak and try to think about the grammar rules at the same time – you just make unnecessary effort. You will inevitably make your speech slower and distorted. Better don’t think anything ‘extra’ – just speak and enjoy being right here and now with the person you’re communicating with. The third step – ACCEPT the things the way they are. Even though it may sound completely opposite to what you desire – there’s a great wisdom in this approach. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to strive to improve your English. But with not accepting yourself as your are, you are creating a never-ending conflict with your inner self. In other words – you’re doing more damage to your English confidence rather than improving it. Anyone has embarrassing moments while speaking – even speaking their own language. A week ago I went for holidays to my native country and had to deal with people speaking my language, of course. And you know what? It’s really weird, but I noticed myself starting stutter and mispronounce the words… I hadn’t spoken to other natives but my family and closest friends for a while, and this sudden change made me speak badly even in my own language! So think about this again and accept yourself. When such moments happen while speaking English – the last thing you want to do is – start worrying. Be yourself – and it will eventually yield more results than constantly fighting with yourself! OK, my friend, I hope these simple things will help you in your way to fluent English! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Possessive Case And All The Tricky Stuff!

Importance of Letting It Go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-MYxJDnVZQ Today I’ll tell you about a phrase I heard the other day on the radio and which got me thinking about how foreign English speakers are sometimes perceived among the native English speaking public. So I was listening to my favourite morning radio show and as usual listeners were sending in text messages and the DJ was reading them out. Among the other messages there was one that wouldn’t make a 100% sense to a native English speaker yet it was obvious what the listener had meant by it. I don’t really remember what exactly it was, to be honest with you. I just know that it was an awkward word combination not used in real life. It is, of course, quite natural for any native speaker to spot such an odd word combination. And indeed, any of us foreign English speakers having spent long enough time among other English speakers would also notice something that doesn’t sound right. Little that the radio DJ knew about how foreigners speak, he jumped to a conclusion that the person who had texted in that particular message hadn’t got a good command of English. You think it’s not a big deal? It is, and let me tell you why. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Having Said This”

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcuvGwFcz7o Tonight I received an e-mail from a blog reader of mine and he painted a pretty dire picture on discrimination on the grounds of lack of English fluency. This particular e-mail illustrates situation in India where a lot of college students speak fluent English and those who don't are experiencing an awful lot of pressure to catch up with the rest, but I’m guessing the same kind of an attitude is faced by non-native English speakers all around the world 24 hours 7 days a week! The heck – even I’ve been sometimes treated as a less intelligent human being because of my poor English skills, so why should I be so shocked and appalled at this kind of a thing going on? Simply because I’ve forgotten how bad it feels when you’re treated like that! :mad: Now that I’ve achieved a certain degree of fluency in the English language I don’t really have first-hand experiences of discrimination on the grounds of lack of English skills, but there was a time in my life when I was getting such an attitude on a daily basis: (more…)

Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)

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…)

Taking a Break from Speaking English May Have a Positive Effect on Your Fluency!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 10- Happiness

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 everybody out there, How are you all doing today? Well, to tell you the truth, I am on cloud-nine these days as we are going so well with our "Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course”, and I know it's the reciprocal from the other side as well. (more…)

Is it Possible to Achieve English Fluency While Living in a Non-English Speaking Society?

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…)

It’s OK to Feel Like an Idiot – Sometimes Even Native English Speakers Get Tongue-tied!

I thought I’d become immune to embarrassment because I’ve been following my own advice on using decent doses of ignorance whenever I encountered embarrassing situations. Last weekend, however, I realized that I’m not as emotionally tough as I thought because I got to experience immense embarrassment while I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in the local supermarket… To cut a long story short, I ran into one of my work colleagues – he’s a nice Irish fella – and somehow we both got completely tongue-tied when facing each other. To make the matters worse, he had his wife with him and obviously the whole situation became extremely awkward because I’d never spoken to her. Also considering the fact that I’ve rarely said anything more to him than “Hello!” and “See ya!” at work, I don’t think you’ll find it hard to imagine how two adult men may not find ANYTHING to say to each other. Well, to tell you the truth, the resulting situation was so embarrassing that I literally lost control over it and it started to resemble an accident scene unfolding before my eyes. Do you know the feeling when you’re witnessing something terrible happen but your body freezes up and you’re unable to do anything? I was experiencing something similar at that moment because I felt I was losing grip on reality. Clearly the totally confused red-faced person who just stood staring at the other two people with no ability to say something sensible in English wasn’t me; it was someone else having taken over my body! And the Irish fella wasn’t in a much better position – he was as tongue-tied as me unable to come up with anything reasonable to say to me. As you can imagine, the morale of this story is that it doesn’t matter who you are – a foreign or a native English speaker. Either one of you can get tongue-tied BECAUSE OF EMBARRASSMENT and the language actually plays a little role in it! (more…)

David Gemmell’s Heroic Fantasy Fiction: How It Helped Me Define My Moral Code

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I-d8_4b8zQ Hi guys on this beautiful Sunday morning! ;-) Currently I’m still reading GONE series by Michael Grant, but this morning I decided to tell you a little bit about English fiction that has had a deep and profound impact on my personal development and my moral values. David Gemmell. He’s the man. He’s the author of over thirty fantasy fiction books, and most notably – Druss the Legend novels. Druss is the character who struck a chord with me, and ever since I got to know him through David Gemmell’s heroic fantasy fiction, my life has never been the same. It might sound like a far-fetched claim, but it’s true nonetheless. Whenever I face a tough situation in life, I imagine what Druss would have done had he been in my shoes. (more…)

Skype Based English Teaching – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself! It was almost 5 years ago when I published an article about using past participles as adjectives – a typical example of that would be the following statement “the job is done”. Prior to that I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around that concept, the reason being – I couldn’t figure out why there’s two ways of saying the same thing – “the job is done” and “the job has been done”. Initially I just presumed “the job is done” is just a conversational version of “the job has been done”, but soon enough I realized that when you say “the job is done”, you simply use the word “done” as an adjective! It’s pretty much the same way you can say “good job”, but you just use the linking verb “is” to express the idea – “the job is good.” Today’s topic is somewhat similar in that the role of an adjective isn’t only limited to a past participle form of a verb, it can be the very base form of the verb itself! Just like you read in the title of this article, the word “roast” (it’s the base form of the verb “to roast”) can be used instead of the past participle “roasted” to describe the roasted nature of the chicken, thus “roast chicken” is a totally valid English collocation. Hell, collocations such as “roast chicken” and “roast potatoes” are even MORE popular among native English speakers than “roasted chicken” or “roasted potatoes” which may be very confusing to a lot of foreign English speakers! I mean – once you’ve gotten used to the traditional way of describing nouns by using the past participle: Cancelled concert Forgotten purse Lost child … you may think that this rule applies in all situations, so when you come across a collocation such as “open book”, you may get totally confused… (more…)

What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?

English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a67Ud1QGNk

Your Body Constantly Changes – And So Does Your English Fluency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyzSHdf6Vh0

6 Types of Foreign English Speakers: Which One Are YOU?

Being a foreign English speaker is the common denominator of this blog’s audience. We’re not all the same, however. Some of us are living in our home countries. Some of us have emigrated to English speaking countries. Many of us have studied the English language at school. Most of us have a certain degree of oral fluency deficiency due to the nature of traditional English studies. A good few of us are hell-bent on grammar perfection. A certain number of us have bought into the myth of English fluency improvement via listening. In this article I’ve tried to put some structure on this blog’s audience because I’ve observed so many different types of foreign English speakers dropping into my blog over the years that I can say with the utmost certainty: “I know my average blog visitor pretty well!” (more…)

“Th” Pronunciation – Thank You or Senk You?

Funny Experience When Switching Between English and My Native Lingo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7nf5O72uFA

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 6- School Life

Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!

If you can't watch the video below - listen to the audio version above! ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvRCSSXdWZs There are a lot of ways you can practice your spoken English in situations when you don’t have plenty of opportunities to speak with real people in real life: Speaking with yourself Shadowing English movies Watching all sorts of YouTube videos and repeating what you hear Doing English Harmony System’s speech exercising lessons There’s another way, however, to get your spoken English practiced in the comfort of your own home while at the same time speaking with another human being. Namely – speaking with someone over the phone! But hold on, what if you don’t have any English speaking people you could call? And surely if you know someone you might call, you wouldn’t be calling them every day now, would you? And that’s when the utility company support phone lines step in :!: Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)

Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech

Whether you’re a Chinese exchange student heading off to do some studying in Massachusetts, a Russian construction worker getting on a plane having secured a contract in Australia or just another Latvian like myself coming to Ireland to try out luck in finding a job to save up some money – we all have one thing in common. Namely – we haven’t had much experience with speaking English in everyday situations. We may have been academically tutored at quite high standards yet our capability to start and maintain a simple conversation may be limited simply because it’s not normally taught in schools. By far the biggest problem is that you don’t have much time to consider what you’re going to say. When you’re having a conversation, you’re quite naturally expected to answer questions or make your point within a short period of time – and it will prove difficult for many foreign English speakers. Many of us will be more comfortable writing than speaking and it’s quite understandable – when you write you have all the time in the world to plan exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You can construct grammatically perfect sentences, edit them if need be, and take your time finding the best fitting words to convey the message. It’s a different story altogether when you speak – you have to say what’s on your mind and for some it may present a serious challenge because their mind just goes blank. It’s the so-called information overload when your mind is attempting to process way too much information because all you keep thinking is what grammar tense to use, what are the best fitting words for the given situation, how to say it correctly so that you don’t make a mistake… The key aspects of fluent English speech is the ability to think in English and speak using plenty of collocations and idiomatic expressions; it enables you to speak automatically because nearly every word you say will trigger the next one. It’s the best place to be because you don’t even have to think about what you say – you can just speak as if you’re speaking in your native language. Anyway – this article is about how to use a certain shortcut in situations when your fluency is hindered and you’re desperate to get the message across successfully. So here we go! (more…)