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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What Books Would You Suggest to Improve My Spoken English?

This is a question I get asked quite often when people contact me – “Robby, I want to improve my spoken English. What books would you suggest?” The moment I read the question, I just can’t help but to think: “Why on Earth are you looking for a BOOK if it’s your SPOKEN English you want to improve?” To me it’s quite obvious that no amount of books will help you on your journey to become a fluent English speaker. If you want, we can do an experiment. Just give me your address and I’ll send a trailer-load of books to you and I bet you’re not going to gain an ounce of spoken English fluency after reading them all :!: You don’t believe me? Well, I’m a living proof of that – there was a time when I was literally devouring English fiction books and as a result I achieved a complete reading fluency. And guess what? I was still struggling with basic communication for the simple reason that reading books didn’t train my MOUTH :!: Basically the issue is the following: You may have the BEST English learning books and textbooks in the world, but they’re not going to make any difference to your ability to speak unless you PRACTICE YOUR SPOKEN ENGLISH… …which brings us to the REAL question: (more…)

5 Ways to Practice Your Spoken English if You’re Desperate For English Conversations!

If you’re a foreign English speaker and you don’t get a lot of opportunities to speak in English with real people in real life, it’s quite understandable you’re going to be really desperate for some spoken practice. Well, it doesn’t have to be so doom and gloom! ;-) With a little bit of effort and imagination you can find plenty of opportunities to practice your spoken English, so without further ado please start familiarizing yourself with 5 ways to practice your spoken English that are especially relevant to those non-native English speakers who don’t work in an English speaking environment :!: (more…)

4 Strategies to Stop Stumbling Upon Words When Speaking in English

Unless you’re a super-fluent foreign English speaker, you most certainly find yourself in situations when you stumble upon certain English words and sentences which leaves you frustrated and angry with yourself, am I not right? ;-) Well, I’m not talking about the typical tongue-twisters here such as “she sells seashells by the seashore” (try to say it out loud fast a few times in a row – you’re bound to make a mistake sooner or later by saying “she shells..” or something similar!) What I’m going to be looking in this article is simple words and phrases which are still quite easy to mispronounce because of repeating letters or similar sounds following each other in a quick succession: World Wide Web (letters “d” and “b” as well as the ‘R’ sound) I brought the bad goods back (letters “b” and “g”) What a wonderful world! (‘R’ sound) What happens sometimes when saying such and similar English sentences is the following – just because you’re trying to pronounce each sound within those words, your sound producing organs suddenly can’t cope with it, and that’s when you can implement various strategies I’m going to look at in this article. Let’s say, if you can’t get the sentence “What a wonderful world!” right and your tongue and lips just can’t seem to pronounce it correctly, you can re-write the sentence in your mind the following way: “Whada wondeful wold”. Try it, and you’ll realize that if you omit the letter “r”, (the ‘R’ sound isn’t that audible in this sentence anyway!) it becomes much easier for you to pronounce the sentence without getting your tongue twisted and you’re less likely to stumble upon words in the process. Bear in mind that I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to pronounce English words the right way. It’s just that I believe if you have to choose between struggling when speaking AND speaking freely albeit with a slightly incorrect pronunciation, you should go with the last option if your ability to speak fluently is very important at that particular moment in time. But now let’s look at some examples on how you can modify English words and sentences so that you can pronounce them easier :!: (more…)

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

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? ;-)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 4- Health and Medicine

Your English Is NEVER Too Bad For Your Career Development!

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…)

Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English

Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)

Best Tricks to Practice Your English Language with Native Speakers For Free

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 16- Go Dutch

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")); Hellllooo everyone out there, How is it going with you all? Did you spend more time than you wanted to when you went on an excursion with your friends? Well, I almost had my pockets empty yesterday when I had to treat my group of friends at a five-star restaurant. It would not have been the case, had we gone dutch. (more…)

33 Word Shortenings Any Foreign English Speaker Should Know!

Spoken English Grammar – How to Explain Stuff – Sentence Starters Ending With IS

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! As you may already have noticed, spoken English and written English are different in that you don’t really speak the way you write. In written English, you have plenty of time of constructing well thought-through sentences, whereas when you speak, you have to produce INSTANT speech, which, when put on paper, will seem a bit chaotic. And here’s a typical example. Imagine you have to explain some concept, for example – how the Internet works. Here’s how you’d do it in writing: “The Internet is a global network of computers consisting of servers as well as personal computers.” But here’s how a native English speaker would explain the workings of the Internet in spoken, conversational English: “What it is, is a global network of computers…” Did you notice anything weird about it? The word IS is being repeated twice which may seem incorrect at first, but the fact of the matter is that it’s totally acceptable in spoken English, it’s used as an intensifier and is also known as the double copula. Just read that sentence out loud and pause at the comma – you’ll feel that it’s actually necessary to repeat the word IS! Also, if you look at the way the sentence starts, you’d think it’s a question – I mean, it’s the questions that would typically start with words such as WHAT and WHY, right? There you go! It’s about time you learned that spoken English allows you to use words differently and in this article I’m going to show you really handy ways of starting sentences when you have to provide an explanation of some sorts. And please bear in mind that I’m not telling you to use these spoken English grammar structures just for the sake of it. Try them out for yourself, and you’ll realize that it’s much EASIER to speak this way :!: (more…)

10 most common slangs you should start using Today

Conversations sometimes become so monotonous and boring if you stick to traditional phrases and methods, isn’t it? (more…)

How to Organize English Phrases for Optimal Learning

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

7 Reasons Why Having Been Born a Foreigner Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to You!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0wb1njP7mM About a week ago I asked you to share your stories about embarrassing English conversations on this blog post. I got a good few comments sharing various experiences, and one of those stories was submitted by a Finnish fella Juhapekka where he shares his experience of having a conversation with a South African chap whose accent, slang and fast speech was indistinguishable. So the basic issue faced by Juhapekka was dealing with situations when you just can’t understand what your English speaking conversation partner is talking about, and I recorded this video to address this particular issue! ;-) If you’ve also had similar experiences in the past and it keeps happening to you every now and then that you don’t understand a particular person and you feel very embarrassed about the whole experience – please watch the video above and you’ll find out what exactly you can do about it. Any questions and comments are welcome! ;-) Robby

Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?

English Grammar is Like the HTML Code

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g21Sao6UT8

What You Think is Your WORST English Performance May Just Turn Out to Be Your BEST One Ever!

Do you sometimes get the feeling that you’re a really crappy English speaker and that your English sucks? Well, I also get this feeling sometimes, and despite having dealt with my main fluency issues a long time ago there are days when it kind of feels as if it’s not even worth opening my mouth. There are occasions when I have to record a video for my YouTube channel, for example, but I just can’t stand the way I sound on that particular day, and I can’t get rid of the feeling that I should rather stay away from it and get back to it the following day. Do you think I do that and just keep my mouth shut? No way! I simply ignore the fact that I’m feeling bad about my ability to speak in English properly, and I proceed with recording the videos. More often than not the result is quite surprising – when I watch the video I can clearly see that my English speech is by far better than I thought it was! So here’s the simple conclusion I can draw: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Over the years”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2omMV0o5CT4 Hello, my foreign English speaking friends! ;-) I’ve been away for a short while, but it’s only because I’m working on a lot of things currently – one of which is my upcoming English confidence coaching program - and by no means I’m thinking of stopping publishing my daily idiomatic expression videos! I enjoy the process immensely, and if I had to list things I’ve really loved doing here on EnglishHarmony over the years, these daily idiomatic expression videos would definitely come at the top! The expression we’re going to look at today is “over the years”, and if you’re attentive enough you did notice that I actually used it in the previous sentence. (more…)

Is English Difficult Or Easy To Learn?

Best English Phrase Memorization Techniques for Those Who Want to Speak Fluent English

Hello my fellow English language fanatics! ;-) I’ve been publishing videos and articles on this blog for years on end, and if you’ve been following my website for some time you’ll know that my main focus is spoken English development because I write for those foreigners who are struggling to speak fluently while being quite good at other aspects of their English. One of the main aspects of oral fluency development is phraseology acquisition – or if put in simple terms – building your vocabulary of English word combinations and phrases (why am I not talking about individual English words? Read THIS article to find out why!). Spaced repetition is by far the most effective way of learning those phrases, and it’s based on the following simple principles: You repeat a phrase a number of times until it sticks with you and you can repeat it automatically; You review that phrase later on that day, then the following day, and then in a few days’ time. Simple as that! ;-) That’s what I’ve been doing to build my own English phraseology, and that’s what all my customers are doing when improving their English with help of the English Harmony System. One closely related subject that I haven’t touched upon on my blog, however, is different memorization techniques that you might use to memorize your English phraseology even faster and more efficiently, and that’s exactly what I’m going to look at in this article! SIDENOTE: please bear in mind that I’m not going to look at individual English word memorization techniques in this article because by far the best way to acquire new English vocab is by learning it in the CONTEXT which essentially means memorizing entire phrases and sentences is pretty much the only way forward! (more…)

Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!

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"));

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #19: TELLTALE SIGN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spJ-dEwMMHM Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi guys! This morning I’m bringing you a new American English phrase – TELLTALE SIGN. Have you not heard this one before? Well, I hadn’t come across it either until one fine day I encountered it while reading one of the GONE series books and decided to add it onto the fifty American phrases I’m learning as part of this Fluency Gym Coach Program goal! So, what is a TELLTALE SIGN? Well, this time around I’m not going to reveal a single bit of information to you in writing; you’ll have to watch the video above to find out what a TELLTALE SIGN is! Am I being mean? :-( Well, maybe, but then again, why couldn’t this blog post be different in that you simply HAVE to watch the video to find out the meaning of the phrase? Robby :grin: