Speaking English in Unfamiliar Settings: Why You’re Ashamed of Speaking With Your Friends in English
Unless you live in a full English immersion 24/7/365 (which is quite an unrealistic scenario unless you’re married into an English speaking family and lost all connections with your home country…), you’re using both – English and your native language on a continuous basis. Usage of English, however, is most likely limited to certain times of the day and certain locations. Traditionally, you’d speak in your native language with your family members and English at work and friends. Sometimes, however, you might be required to speak English on occasions that would normally be associated with using your native language and it may pose some difficulties – and that’s what I’m going to look at in today’s blog post. Are foreign English speakers capable of switching over to English easily or it poses some challenges? Should you aim for long periods of time when you speak and think only in English to facilitate English fluency? And if it’s beneficial to your spoken English improvement – is it a good idea trying to talk your friend into speaking English with you? All these and more questions are going to be discussed in today’s blog post so keep reading it if you’ve ever been wondering why is it that the longer you speak in English, the easier it becomes and why it’s more difficult to communicate in English in unfamiliar settings! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “For Some Reason Or Another”
Improve English Fluency… Have A Coffee Break!
Is Google Any Good For Improving Your Spoken English?
Yes, it is! But in this blog post I'm not going to discuss the cool Google speech recognition functionality or some similar tool (I'm probably going to look at it in one of my future blog posts though). By saying that you can use Online Search Engines to improve your spoken English I'm referring to Google, Yahoo and other Online Search Engine search suggestions - simple as that :!: Performing search on certain words and search terms allows you to find out plenty of useful information about naturally occurring English word combinations, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m always emphasizing the importance of memorizing words that go together in natural spoken English - collocations, idioms, phrasal verbs. Why? Simply because it allows you to speak fluently; as you say the first word, the next ones are triggered automatically because your brain and mouth have been trained to pronounce certain words together :!: So if you’re interested in intricacies of Google, Yahoo or Bing search suggestions that allow you to learn patterns of real life English – keep reading this article and you’ll probably be in for a nice surprise on how instrumental Search Engines can be to a foreign English speaker! (more…)
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…)
How to Practice English for FREE? Make Phone Calls!
Don’t Analyze the English Language Too Much – It’s Not Good for Your Fluency!
Can You Speak Fluent English Without Learning Idioms?
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74JtLVYOhqg Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! I’m nearing the end of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and it’s been one hell of a ride :!: I’ve been recording videos day in, day out. I’ve been getting up at 5:40 AM so that I can record my morning video and publish it on Easy Idioms blog before I have to leave home for work. It’s been hard work, but at the same time I’ve also been improving my fluency and pronunciation (the evening videos got published on Accent Adventure blog where I’m working on my American pronunciation) and I don’t regret a single second of this mission! Today’s video, however, is different in that it’s created around the same concepts used in the English Harmony System, namely – spaced repetition and contextual speech pattern acquisition. Basically you can watch the video above and see me being engaged in English speech exercising in order to acquire the last 12 American English phrases/collocations/expressions: (more…)
4 Strategies to Stop Stumbling Upon Words When Speaking in English
How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?
Don’t Even TRY Watching Common English Mistakes Videos on YouTube!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FJKUd0m-D0 I was browsing YouTube the other day, and I came across some video where an English teacher talks about common English errors made by foreign English speakers. It wasn’t that teacher’s only video – not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, there were LOADS of videos of this nature on that particular YouTube channel – let alone other channels where different teachers are talking about pretty much the same things: Most commonly made English mistakes; Things not to say when speaking in English; English mistakes made by Spanish people; English mistakes made by Russians… … and so on and so forth. And you know what? I think this illustrates a terrible trend in the English teaching community! :mad: Everyone is focused on the aspect of making mistakes. Mistakes this, mistakes that, you can’t say this, you can’t say that… The only thing that these videos achieve is the following: THEY FREAK ENGLISH STUDENTS OUT! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Come in Handy”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoOdmAEccVQ Hello everybody! This is the first blog post in this blog called EasyIdioms.com, and it’s going to be run by me - Robby Kukurs from EnglishHarmony.com! :grin: I made the decision to start a new blog dedicated to the English Idiomatic Expressions exclusively since my English Harmony blog started getting a bit cluttered up with all sorts of blog posts and videos. I had to choose between ditching the idiomatic expression videos altogether or finding a new platform to feature them, and it goes without saying I went for the latter. After all, judging by my visitors’ comments, all these videos come in handy for those foreign English speakers out there who are working on their fluency, and I also have to admit that I’m kind of used to creating these videos on a regular basis. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that…”
How To Stop Getting Stuck When Speaking English
Are you having situations when your conversation with an English speaking person suddenly stops because you’re struggling to find the right words to say? Let’s say, for example, you’re having a chat with one of your colleagues during the launch break. He starts talking about last night’s soccer match and expects you to make some comments about it. You open your mouth to start telling something related to what he just said, but … nothing comes out! You’re very eager to say something so that you wouldn’t go down in your workmate’s estimation – but you just can’t utter more than a few sounds like – well… ehhh… ahh…. Or even worse – you might try to force yourself to speak something related to the subject. As a result, you can start mispronouncing words like – was the player really regle… relege…relegated… I know this feeling when you can’t speak at all although deep inside you know that you’re pretty good at writing, understanding, reading and also speaking English. It feels terrible! Especially because you don’t have a real explanation as to why such moments of very bad speech are happening. Well, on many occasions it is how the English fluency issue manifests itself. Countless foreign English speakers on the world are facing this issue on a daily basis and it’s all because of how English is traditionally taught. But it’s not always the case! (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 27- Take a rain check!
It Doesn’t Matter Who You Speak With – It’s All in Your HEAD!
Sometimes I don’t feel confident when speaking with native English speakers – I have an uneasy feeling that they’d judge my English skills and make the wrong assumptions. Sometimes I struggle when speaking with another foreign English speaker. I have difficulties choosing the right words if I’m not sure if he or she will understand me. As a result I may start hesitating and making silly mistakes and the other person may sound even more fluent than me! When I speak with a foreigner with a similar English fluency level, I may try to prove I’m a better English speaker. Eventually I also risk losing the natural flow of the language because of the excitement such a challenge inevitably entails. As you can see – you can’t win here, no matter who I speak with there’s a chance my English fluency is going to deteriorate… So the question is – how to deal with this? :mad: The answer, as often is the case, lies in the head ;-) (more…)
How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice My English?
3 Lessons Learned While Living Among Native English Speakers for 10 Years
Collocation “Scour the Web” & Why the Word “Scour” on its Own is Useless!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcCcC34iNQk Hi Guys! It’s another Friday night, and I just recorded a video for you where I’m providing a great example of how English collocations work and most importantly – why it’s of the utmost importance to learn new English words in combination with other words instead of memorizing their individual meanings! So, watch the video above and if you have ANY questions in relation with: English collocations; building English vocabulary effectively; best ways to practice your spoken English… … just post it in the comments section below and I’ll respond to the comment ASAP! Enough said – click on the PLAY button above, sit back and watch the video :!: Chat soon, Robby ;-)
I’m Addicted to Spoken English Practice… HELP ME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLVfbtUnAbs I’m desperate. :mad: I don’t know what to do. I’m a serious addict and I just can’t seem to be able to stop the terrible habit no matter how hard I try… :sad: Want to know what it is? It’s SPEAKING IN ENGLISH WITH MYSELF. There – I said it. I know, I know, it’s crazy, it’s pathetic, and you’ll probably think I’ve totally lost my mind by coming out with this announcement in public, but I have no choice but to share it with you, my friends - simply because I can’t take it any longer!!! I’ve tried different things in order to break this habit of constant spoken English self-practice. I’ve been reading a lot of English fiction just to prevent myself from speaking, but it didn’t work! Every time I’ve done some reading, I found myself discussing its contents with myself a short time later, and I seemingly don’t have any control over it… I’ve tried watching a lot of TV in English - different TV dramas, educational programs – you name it! And guess what? I always end up doing the same thing – speaking about what I’ve seen, and I’ve also started mimicking actors and narrators in order to learn to speak in English with American and British pronunciation – how crazy is that?! I mean – why can’t I just enjoy a lot of passive English content just like most foreign English speakers do, and be OK with that? (more…)
Top Secret! (How To Achieve Truly Confident Spoken English)
English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency
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 hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers. That's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. And this is going to be one of those question and answer sessions whereby I'm answering to emails that my blog visitors have emailed me obviously. Reader’s Question: I’m Fluent, but Not Fluent Enough! What to Do? So the first email is about a particular problem faced by this person and he described the problem the following way. So he can have conversations with anyone and he can understand and reply but he is not as fluent as he would like to be. And in his own words “I'm not able to use a lot of vocabulary because it's very difficult for me to memorize words, therefore my written skill is also very bad. I commit a lot of mistakes in spelling when I write something.” So he basically requests me to give some advice. So first things first, it's of the utmost importance not to perceive all aspects of the English improvement at a same time. So you're saying that you are not as fluent, meaning you can't speak as fluently as you would like to and then you kind of make the connection between that and your written skill, right? So you're saying that therefore my written skill is also very bad, right? So I've got to let you know that there is no direct correlation between your overall fluency and your written fluency. Obviously, obviously, if you can't speak at all for instance chances are that your written fluency is also going to be very bad and vice versa. But what I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of people who can speak no problem while at the same time they struggle with writing and quite the opposite which is actually the most typical case scenario. (more…)
Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!
Fluency Star Case Study: Sergi and His English Fluency Improvement
Isn’t English “Improving” and “Learning” the Same?!
English Idiomatic Expression: “It Came to Light That…”
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…)
Check Out the Most Popular Articles on This Blog!
One day I decided to check the statistics of my website and see which blog posts you’ve been reading the most. I selected the top 10 articles and I guess it provides a fair representation of what my average blog visitor is interested in, so you may want to check out the top 10 of English Harmony blog posts of all times! If you visit this blog frequently, you’ve probably read a good few of them, but I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of links you haven’t encountered before and they might just provide you with some English fluency related info you’ve been looking for to no avail. So, let the countdown begin! (more…)
Do Headphones Improve English Listening Experience? (How to Stop Using Subtitles!)
“What Are the Most Commonly Used English Words?” is the Wrong Question!
Many of my fellow foreigners arrive to my blog while searching for the most commonly used English words, and there’s a good chance that you may be one of them! ‘The top 100 most commonly used English words’, ‘top 500 English words’, ‘English word frequency lists’ – such and similar keywords are used by thousands of foreign English speakers eager to improve their English fluency. But are these English word lists any good? Do they offer good value in terms of improving one’s ability to speak fluently? Frankly speaking, such frequency lists don’t provide a lot of practical value – if any! Why? Fair enough – give me a few moments and I’ll show you exactly why! ;-) (more…)
Your English Has to Be Just Good Enough for You to Be Successful!
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #3 – ZONED OUT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2BeNh1uV0 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning my friends! :grin: So far so good – I’m on the third American phrase today and there’s only 47 more phrases to go! Today’s American slang phrase is to be ZONED OUT and it’s an informal way of describing when someone is daydreaming or in a state of absolute relaxation. You know the feeling when someone talks to you but you don’t even hear them? That’s a typical example of you being ZONED OUT, so next time it happens you can say to that person: (more…)
Don’t Judge Other People’s English Because of Lack of Vocabulary
English Idiomatic Expression: Brought to My Attention
Dictation: Benefits of Listening to English & Writing It Down!
I have to be totally honest with you guys and come clean on something. I’ve never done purposeful DICTATION with the sole purpose of improving my English! For those unaware – dictation is exercise whereby you copy someone’s speech by writing it down. But it’s not really odd considering that I used to follow the path of the traditional text-book based English studies for a very long time, and as you can imagine, there’s no-one speaking when you open the textbook. You’re just required to fill in gaps in exercises and to provide written answers to questions. Over the years my English writing improved to a high standard quite naturally, and when I realized that I’d been neglecting my spoken English, I started engaging in spoken English practice whereby I’d rather copy and mimic other English speakers by SPEAKING OUT LOUD instead of writing it down. Well, come to think of it - I actually have done a certain amount of dictation when transcribing my own YouTube videos, but you can’t really count that as a proper dictation exercise. The reason being – I didn’t do it as an English-improving activity, I simply needed to transcribe my videos so that I could publish them on my blog. Proper dictation is done when you purposefully LISTEN and then you transfer what you hear in written form thus improving both your English listening and writing skills. And this one, my friends, is the first benefit of dictation! ;-) (more…)