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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3 Grammar Mistakes Which Are OK in Spoken English

Any foreign English speaker should be familiar with proper English grammar – there’s no doubt about that (although I have met some foreigners whose grammar was terrible yet they spoke fluent English …) There are occasions, however, when being intentionally wrong is just fine, and just like everything else I discuss on my blog it pertains to spoken English for the most part. Also bear in mind that while you can afford using language illustrated in this article, I’m not encouraging you to adopt these mistakes as normal part of your speech to an extent that you nearly forget what the correct way of saying this or that particular thing is. But then again – it all depends on your personal circumstances. If you use English exclusively as means of verbal communication at work, for instance, and in other informal settings, and you don’t have to write or be involved where formal language is used – I don’t think your English should be judged by how grammatically correctly you speak. Yes, I don’t think you should aim for grammatical perfection because I’m a firm believer in being practical and using the English language the way you need it. You don’t have to subject your spoken English to the whims of academically minded perfectionists! One way or another, I think you should read this blog post to see which English grammar mistakes have seeped so deep into the spoken language that they can hardly be considered mistakes at all. At least when someone points them out to you, you’ll be able to respond with confidence – “Common, it’s OK to say that, it’s not a big deal!” (more…)

What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29TU4UTROc There was a time when I published a video a day, and sometimes I would even upload two videos in a single day onto my YouTube account. The times have changed, and now you may be wondering why Robby isn't making as many daily English idiomatic expression videos as he used to! The answer is quite simple, my friends – I’m currently very busy preparing for my next big project called FluencyGym.com. I spend a few hours every day brainstorming and creating content for the upcoming English confidence program Fluency Gym Coach, and it’s going to consist of a lot of videos where I’m going to draw parallels between working out and speaking in English! Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the English idiomatic expression videos coming albeit not at such a frequent rate. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate now, and I simply have to change my blogging frequency so that I can work on my new project. To find out more about FluencyGym.com, please watch the video above! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

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…)

1001 Ways To Use The Simplest English Verb “To PUT”!

20 Random Thoughts on English Fluency, Foreign English Speakers and Life in General

1. The English language is for everyone to speak. It transcends national boundaries, it’s become our modern day ‘lingua franca’, and no-one can really use the argument of ‘proper English’ because it is spoken differently in different places on the planet! 2. There are no quick-fixes or shortcuts when improving your spoken English. Contrary to what some English teachers will tell you, you can’t just listen your way to fluency; you have to SPEAK, SPEAK and SPEAK a lot! 3. It’s quite hard for the average foreigner to achieve a high degree of English fluency in the English language without living in an English speaking country. 4. It’s very difficult to improve your English effectively if you don’t enjoy life through the English language. 5. You may be saying it every once in a while that you’d like to improve your English but you can’t really do it because you haven’t got enough time, money, whatever. The truth is - it’s almost impossible to learn how to speak English fluently if you’re not REALLY MOTIVATED :!: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “The Big Picture…”

Unnatural Collocations and Wrong Mental Associations

I've highlighted the importance of learning English collocations in many of my previous blog posts; this time let’s look at what happens if you create wrong associations in your mind between words in English as well as in your own language. If it doesn’t sound believable, just think of such quite a realistic situation. An ESL student is learning how to conjugate the verb ‘to be’ so he’s reciting the string of words “I am, you are, he, she, it is, we are, you are, they are…” in order to memorize the personal pronouns with the respective form of the verb ‘to be’. Now, when the student has repeated the aforementioned sequence of words for a good number of times, it imprints itself into his mind, and the desired effect has been achieved. Of course, for those words to stick with the student permanently, he needs to go back to them the next day, and then after a few more days – that’s the basic principle of spaced repetition. Anyway, the job is done, and the English student is now capable of using the verb ‘to be’ in real life conversations, isn’t that right? All right, fair enough! But now let’s try to remember how many times you’ve heard a foreign English speaker mix up the two personal pronouns – ‘he’ and ‘she’ – when speaking? I would say it happens quite often, and by the way – haven’t you made the same mistake at some stage during a quick chat in English? I have, and I have my own theory on why it happens. It’s all because wrong association has been created between the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ when repeating the words “… he, she, it is…” :!: You’re training your mouth to pronounce those two words together in one phrase and later on even years after you were just a beginner English learner, you may catch yourself saying things like “You know, I haven’t seen her before. He… sorry, she… hmm… she is Jennifer’s sister and is going to work here for the next half year while Jen is away.” Had there been a strong separate connection created between words ‘she is and ‘he is’ followed by a contextual example or an abstract image of a male and female, you wouldn’t be making such mistakes. Your subconscious mind would be used to describing activities where females are involved as “she is…”, so I’ll say it once again – it’s all about unnatural collocations, and I have loads of advice in store for you on how to avoid creating wrong associations in your mind! Did it pique your interest? Then read on! (more…)

16 ways to walk in English

Hey there everyone, How are you all doing today? "Do you know the man you saw yesterday in the park was ambling instead of just walking?" "The rogues rambled around in the vicinity of our society this afternoon." In both sentences above, ‘the man’ and ‘the rogues’ were just walking, but the way they walked is best defined by the words ‘ramble’ and ‘amble’. People walk differently with different mood and intentions, hence situations give birth to new words describing it even more clearly rather than just using the word ‘walk’. Hence, in this article today, we see 16 ways to walk and what it means. So without further ado, let’s get down to the topic and learn some new vocabulary describing ways to walk- 16 words describing ways to walk 1: Amble- to walk leisurely. Example: The newly wedded couple ambled beside the beach and shared the words of love. 2: Flounder- to walk with difficulty due to some problem. Example: The old man floundered around in the water. 3: Limp- walk impeded due to some injury. Example- The player limped off the ground after being hit by the ball on his toe. 4: Strut- to walk in a proud way trying to look important. Example: Robin strutted around the hall to get every girl's attention. 5: Stroll- walk in a leisurely way. Example: I love to stroll along the beach after the sunset. 6: Stride- to walk in long steps. Example: He strode in the balcony thinking about his bitter past. 7: Stalk- to walk in an angry or proud way. Example: She stalked out of the room after we questioned her why she failed the test. 8: Stagger- Walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall. Example: He entered staggering into the room. 9: Waddle- walk unsteadily Example: The poor man waddled due to swollen legs. 10: Stumble- to miss a step and fall. Example: He stumbled over his son’s toy. 11: Trudge- to walk slowly with a lot of effort, especially over a different surface or while carrying something heavy. Example: The mountaineer trudged back up the hill. 12- Skulk- move stealthily. Example: We called the police when we saw an unknown man skulking in the bushes. 13: Saunter-to walk in a slow, relaxed way, often in no particular direction. Example: I saw John sauntering in the park yesterday. 14: lurch- a sudden movement forward or to one side. Example: Joe lurched to his feet at dance practice today. 15: Parade- to march in a procession Example: The military officers paraded during Independence Day celebration. 16: Wade- to walk with effort through water or other liquid or viscous substance. Example- They waded out till the water reached their waist. So I hope you will know the difference from next time, whether you should use ‘saunter’, ‘wade’ or ‘ramble’. Each word has a different meaning that describes the particular situation to the listener, moreover, you are definitely earning a plus point if you use these words in your written English (Today’s tip!!!!!) Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they become your second nature. See you soon with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye.

English Idiomatic Expression “Under the Impression”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP9WMZJHjcc Have you ever been under the impression that the entire world has literally conspired against you and everybody finds something bad in what you’re doing? Is your team leader at work under the impression that your colleagues do most of the work while in reality it’s you who gets most problems solved? And does it ever occur to you that even though most people are under the impression that governments and politicians are almost inherently bad and evil, in fact they’re doing a really tough job and they work much harder than the average Joe? (more…)

My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences

Improve Your Spoken English Upon Success!

Any improvement process can be accelerated ten-fold if one focuses on the positive instead of the negative. Speaking in terms of spoken English improvement, I can paraphrase the above statement as follows: You can accelerate your spoken English improvement big time if you focus on your success (things you can say correctly) instead of focusing on your mistakes and imperfections. If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been writing about similar matters in the past. The following article, for example - Focus on What You CAN Say in English Instead of What You CAN’T! - highlights the fact that many foreigners feel overwhelmed by the feeling of NOT KNOWING certain things in terms of English vocabulary and grammar. I’ve also been pointing out that we, foreigners, should ignore our mistakes in the sense that we don’t have to freak out every time it happens; we merely need to take action upon it, simple as that! Well, this advice doesn’t always go down well with my audience because people often think I’m encouraging my fellow foreigners to ignore their mistakes and not improve their English (I’ve tried to explain it in this video and that’s the last time I’ve touched upon that subject), but nothing could be further from the truth! In today’s article, however, I’m going to put a different twist on the whole concept of making mistakes, spoken English improvement and success. I’m going to look at the EMOTIONAL connection between spoken English improvement and success, and how it affects your chances of succeeding as an English student. (more…)

When My Spoken Fluency is UP, My Written Fluency is DOWN…

Do You Get Intimidated by Eloquent English Speakers? You Shouldn’t!

One evening while on my way home from work I was listening to an evening chat show where some Irish-American was analyzing the aftermath of the last American presidential election and its effect on the Republican Party. And here’s the funny thing: Even though I understood EVERY SINGLE WORD he was saying, I couldn’t really figure out what exactly he’s trying to say! Every sentence he uttered was very vague; it was as if he was saying EVERYTHING AND NOTHING at the same time… After his interview, I realized that he was basically trying to convey the following: the Republican Party are still slow to embrace the fast-changing ethnic composition of the American population, and in his view it was one of the decisive factors as to why Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to Barack Obama. It took him 5 minutes or more to explain something so simple, and I can’t think of a more fitting English idiom to describe what he was doing than the following: he was beating around the bush! :grin: He was using super-sophisticated industry lingo. He was rephrasing a single concept many times over and he was repeating the same things all over and over again. I was starting to feel lost while trying to make sense of the tangled mess that his speech was! :mad: Some time ago such an experience would have made me feel very bad as a foreign English speaker because I would have started doubting my own English skills: “My English isn’t good enough because I can’t make out what he’s saying…” “He speaks so fluently and he’s using all these means of expression so professionally… I’ll never be able to speak like him!” Such and similar thoughts would be crossing my mind, but now I know better than start beating myself over not being able to replicate such a seemingly eloquent speech. In fact, now I wouldn’t even want to be able to speak like that, because not only would I be confusing people who are listening to me but also myself! I’d rather say a lot with fewer words than use a never-ending cascade of verbal content which is going to overwhelm my conversation partner or listener and make them acutely aware of their inability to match up to my train of thoughts. How about you? Are you often feeling inferior to some very eloquent English speaker? Are you admiring their ability to use sophisticated language? Is it making your English skills pale in comparison? Then keep reading this article and you may just change your mind! ;-) (more…)

No Perfection When Mediocrity Is Required!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/oECnKWDjbGs You’re a foreign English speaker. You’re speaking English with someone at work. You make a mistake – the wrong word in the wrong place or simply a slip of tongue. The very moment you catch yourself at it, it starts eating at you. You can’t just let it go because you’re very good at English and everything you say must be perfect. Your day is ruined because your colleagues have definitely noticed the mistake you've made and they’re laughing about you behind your back. You’re trying much harder to get everything right while still chatting, but as a result you start making even more mistakes! Does this sound familiar to you? If so – you should definitely watch Episode #3 of my English Harmony video blog! In this video I’m discussing the following points: Why making mistakes when speaking English is crucial to improve your spoken language; Why native English speakers won’t even notice an occasional mistake you make; Why you shouldn’t go for the other extreme – ignoring any English grammar rules and syntax and just keep blubbering away! (more…)

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04h0DOgO1ec In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby

Relationship Between Written and Spoken English is Really Weird!

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

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 there, How are you doing today? I hope you have read the previous articles of this series; well if not, go read them first and come back here again soon. I am back again with another topic of our "Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” which has received some good response till now and I wish it keeps going like this. (more…)

Just to Let You Know I’m Still HERE!

English Words I Used to Mispronounce

At this stage I’ve lived in an English speaking country for more than 12 years, and I can call myself an English speaker for more than that because I was speaking the language long before I came to Ireland all those years ago. Anyway, having been an English speaker for so long doesn’t mean my language is free from errors. Every now and then I realize I’ve been making some sort of a mistake. It might be a specific English word that I’ve been using wrong. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I found out that the English word “deal-breaker” has a negative connotation rather than a positive one! I thought that if something is a “deal-breaker”, it’s the most appealing feature among all others, but it turns out it’s quite the opposite – a “deal-breaker” is the biggest risk factor! It could also be an English idiomatic expression I’ve been using the wrong way. Only this week I found out that the idiom “rule of thumb” doesn’t actually mean a very strict rule – which is what I’d thought – it actually means a general rule that can be widely applied. On some occasions though, it turns out I’ve been MISPRONOUNCING a specific word for years without realizing it, and that’s what today’s article is all about! Before we begin, just let me tell you one thing – making these kinds of mistakes is completely normal! Nobody is perfect, and I know for a fact I’ll keep correcting my English till the day I die – but I’m not feeling like my English sucks because of it. I just do it as a normal part of my English improving process, and I warmly suggest you approach your own errors the same way! And now, without further ado, let’s look at the English words I’d been mispronouncing without realizing it! (more…)

How Robby Improves His Spoken English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/rF8ZZt20Me8 I've been going on about improving spoken English for years and given you countless advice on how to become a better English speaker. If you're a bit tired of it all, watch this video where I'm telling about my own spoken English improving routine and what I do on a daily basis to maintain a high level of English fluency. In this video you'll find out the following things: why I still keep practicing spoken English with myself despite having a full time job in an English speaking environment; why I threw away all my English - Latvian pocket dictionaries and now I'm having a pocket phrase book; how playing a guitar helps me have real English conversations with friends and work colleagues; why I read fantasy fiction in English during my breaks at work! If you've any questions to ask in relation to this video or if you want to share your own English improving experiences - use the comments box below! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Idiomatic Expression: “To be more specific”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARZkO4JHPI I started this new blog EasyIdioms.com about two months ago; in fact, I published the very first Idiomatic Expression Video here on February 6, 2013, to be more specific! Today’s expression is “to be more specific”, and you just witnessed a typical way of using this English phrase. Basically you can add this useful hesitation filler phrase at the end of any sentence where you mention specific dates, numbers or figures. Here’s another typical example. I’ve posted slightly more than ten blog posts on this blog; the actual number is eleven, to be more specific! (more…)

Don’t Translate Directly When Speaking English!

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:

Have You Got the Guts To Improve Your English?

Funny Experience When Switching Between English and My Native Lingo

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

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…)