Does Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society Work?
Have you ever heard a statement that people are inherently lazy? Personally I believe it to be true, more or less. I believe that humans will put the minimum amount of effort into achieving their desired goal in any aspect of life. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. By and large though, human beings will do everything to avoid engaging in activities that they don’t find entertaining or which don’t result in a direct, tangible benefit. Are you outraged by my claims? Don’t be! I meant no offence to anyone, I merely stated the obvious. They even argue that human laziness is the driving force behind the development of technology! We just got tired of walking and running around, so one day we thought – hold on, why not use some animals to carry us around? In no time we were riding horses, then driving cars – and all that because we’re too lazy to walk! All, right, but what has it got to do with integration of foreign English speakers? Well, if you consider that integration in local English speaking society goes hand in hand with good English communication skills; it’s got everything to do with it! To put it simply – if foreigners aren’t REQUIRED to learn and improve English for PRACTICAL reasons, they won’t do it :!: There you go. I said it! If you want to stone me, you’re free to do it in the comments below. If you’re prepared for an even bigger dose of truth spoken by a Latvian expat living in Ireland – keep reading! (more…)
7 Ways to Kill Your English before You Even Start Speaking
1001 Ways To Use The Simplest English Verb “To PUT”!
Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1rMxAYbNVM If you’re a keen English student, there’s a good chance you dedicate a considerable amount of your time to learning new English vocabulary. If you’re a SMART English student, you’re learning new English vocabulary in context (basically I’m talking about phraseology here) because that’s pretty much the only way to ensure you can use that vocabulary as part of live, fluent English speech. If you’re REALLY SERIOUS about your fluency improvement, however, you’re also being selective about the way you choose which phrase containing this or that particular English word you assign the most importance to! Let’s take, for example, the word BOG. I guess you know the word, but in case you didn’t know what it means (nothing wrong with that!) – it’s land covering an area of an overgrown lake where there’s plenty of soggy, moist soil and people have been known to get sucked into bog sinkholes because it’s pretty much impossible to get out of one. So, let’s say you just learned the word BOG, and you’re going to learn the most commonly used collocations containing that word to make sure proper mental associations are created in your mind: I was walking on a bog Walking on a bog may be dangerous Sucked into a bog sinkhole Bog oak woodwork (specific type of hardwood that’s being recovered from a bog having been there for thousands of years) If you learn these collocations (it’s just a fancy way of referring to word combinations), you’re so much more likely to be able to USE the word BOG as part of a live conversation for the simple reason that the word BOG is going to be connected with other words so they’ll all come out of your mouth without you having to construct a sentence from scratch. (more…)
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
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! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com obviously. And welcome – I was going to say velcome. This is one of those typical mistakes that some of us make. Instead of welcome we would say velcome. Basically instead of the “wa” sound we'd be saying “w” for some reason or another, you know. And it does happen to me on the rare occasion and now you actually witnessed that occasion but I'm not going to delete it out from the video. I'm just going to leave there on record just to prove you guys that making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a – I would even say an integral part of your development as a foreign English speaker, you know. Because getting rid of mistakes altogether is not possible, right? Anyhow, now I'm having my Saturday afternoon green tea. Cheers. And to a healthy lifestyle, right? Instead of coffee these days I'm rolling with green tea pretty much all the time, and especially when I'm at work, the workload is really, really big I would say. Sometimes even overwhelming so green tea keeps me energized and focused and I would really suggest you start doing the same thing, right? If you're drinking coffee, switch over to green tea and you're going to feel the effects of it immediately! (more…)
Confidence Lesson From Kristen Stewart For All Foreign English Speakers
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ztvsgZl1L8 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Let Me Draw Your Attention to The Fact That…”
Share Your Humiliating English Conversation Experiences & Get Advice!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8P_SxujZQw If you’ve visited my blog at least once, I bet you have some English fluency issues; here are a couple of stories I can share with you so that you fully understand what exactly I’m talking about! ;-) A few years ago I was looking for a new job, and at that time it was quite popular to hold the first round of interviews over the phone – obviously companies didn’t want to waste their time and effort on candidates falling short of the requirements. I’ve had had quite a few phone interviews before this particular one, so when I picked up the phone to hear a woman’s voice asking me if I’m free to talk about the direct sales position I was going for, I felt quite confident that I would perform fairly well! And that’s when it all started going downhill… For some reason I couldn’t understand (now that I’ve dealt with my fluency issues I actually understand it all quite well!) I just couldn’t find the right words to say. I started hesitating, I was stumbling upon words, and I was also making all sorts of stupid grammar mistakes although normally my English was fairly good. It all ended with the interviewer telling me that I should actually improve my English before applying for similar positions… Needless to say, I was mortified and I felt humiliated! :mad: And here’s another situation I found myself in a few years ago. (more…)
Why It’s VERY Important to Speak Out LOUD When Learning New English Vocabulary Words!
Is Past Perfect Tense Any Good For The Average English Speaker?
How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!
For those foreign English speakers who are big into reading, but still haven’t started reading English literature. If you think achieving English reading fluency requires building huge active English vocabulary first – you’re in a nice surprise! Although I’m generally discussing all things about improving spoken English on my blog, I’m a keen reader too. I have loads of English literature sitting on my book shelves. It covers different topics starting with yoga and meditation and ending with political and economical writings. The biggest part of my books, however, is taken up by historical and fantasy fiction and these genres are my favourite ones. Initially I started reading English in order to improve my overall knowledge of the language. I made a mistake in that I didn’t actually define which aspect of English I needed to focus most on. For some reason or another it wasn’t clear to me that different aspects of English language – reading, understanding, writing and speaking aren’t merged into one big thing called English. I achieved complete English reading fluency but I was perplexed about the fact that my spoken English wasn’t coming along. I haven’t had any regrets for a single second, though, having mastered English reading skill. During the last years I haven’t read a single book in my native language. For the most part it’s because I’ve fallen in love with David Gemmell’s fantasy fiction so much that I’ve read all his books and I re-read them every now and then. And also taking into account I live in an English speaking country it’s not hard to understand why I choose to buy books in the local bookstore. (more…)
Forget About “Words of the Day” – Learn How to Use Known Words in a New Way!
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! I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of the “word of the day”, right? Every dictionary website on the Net has such words featured as a way of encouraging English learners worldwide to acquire new English vocabulary. Well, on the surface it looks like a great idea, and you may be under the impression that the more English vocabulary you know, the more fluent you’re going to be, so you’re singing up for such words being delivered to your inbox every day and you’re feeling like you’re really contributing to your English skills. In reality veteran English learners like myself will tell you right off the bat that learning new vocabulary words alone isn’t going to cut it. You’ll be just stuffing your brain full of some obscure English words with little to no opportunity of using them! Let me illustrate my point by doing a quick Google search for the term “word of the day”. Here’s what words are coming up: Pulchritude Biophilia Castellated There’s only one thing I can say – WTF?!? When, tell me when are you going to use such words? WHEN?!? NEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!! Such vocabulary building serves no practical purpose whatsoever – unless, of course, you’re doing it so that you can annoy everyone around you by saying things nobody has a clue about! (more…)
Did You Realize That Being Tired Affects Your Fluency?
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
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! Related articles: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English Speaking Country What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about living in Ireland which, as you may already know, is an English speaking country. In hindsight, I can say that it’s been one hell of a transformation – I’ve gone from a foreigner who’s barely capable of speaking conversational English to an English fluency mentor who’s teaching other foreign English speakers. I’ve experienced all the ups and downs one can encounter while living in an English speaking country. I’ve been told I’m a useless English speaker. I’ve been in all sorts of embarrassing situations – starting from not being able to order a meal in McDonald’s and ending with screwing up job interviews because of my inability to provide a coherent answer. But the great thing is that now, with all that experience under my belt, I can tell my students with the utmost certainty what kind of an attitude they need to adopt in order to survive and thrive as English speakers living in an English speaking country. It feels so great being in a position to help out others, and frankly speaking, I don’t regret anything that’s happened to me while I was a struggling English speaker. I like to think that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I just HAD to endure all the hardship and suffering to emerge a fluent English speaker equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help others who find themselves in the same boat. But now, let me tell you what I’ve realized over the 14 year long stay in Ireland; as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about life in an English speaking country! (more…)
What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Recently I watched a TV program about blind people recovering eyesight. What struck me most in the program was the fact that even if you restore a damaged optic nerve to its full capacity, the blind person isn’t necessarily going to function properly in terms of seeing the world around. IMPORTANT! -> Why I’m highlighting parts of text in RED? It appears that in order to see not only we need our eyes; our brain plays a crucial role in the process, too. And what was most shocking – if a person has been blind since birth or very early childhood, he or she may never learn how to “see” the word properly even if technically it would be possible. Human brain is simply unable to process graphical images from the outside world (read - any audiovisual information) and convert them into an adequate reflection into one’s mind IF it hasn’t been trained to do so :!: The man from the TV program had undergone surgery to recover eyesight, but getting around the town was still a tricky task. He learnt to recognize certain shapes and forms, but can you imagine what it feels like when you look down at a shadow on the sidewalk but you haven’t got a clue whether it’s a shadow cast by some object or a foot deep drop where the sidewalk ends? Your brain has been trained to recognize things from an early age and has seen millions of different shades throughout your lifetime. The man with recovered eyesight has to learn everything from scratch which makes it very, very difficult. What’s it got to do with spoken English, you’ll ask? Simple enough – if you’ve spent the biggest part of your live studying English the traditional way and then you move to an English speaking country, you’re in pretty much the same position as the man with the recovered eyesight walking around his residential estate. (more…)
Funny English Phrases #1 – Buying a Pair of Jeans
I’ve Been Speaking in English for Years! I Still Require Regular Spoken Practice Though…
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #11: GOT A THING FOR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTMVZmFGCrI Good morning my fellow foreign English speakers! :-) Today I got up a bit later – despite the fact that I’ve really GOT A THING FOR early mornings! Could it have anything to do with the fact that I attended a party last night and went to bed at around 2:00 AM? :grin: On pretty much any other day of the week, however, I’d be up and going by 6:00 AM for the simple reason that I love getting a lot of things done in the early morning hours while everyone else is still fast asleep! So, I’ve GOT A THING FOR early mornings. And, speaking of the opposite sex, I have to admit that I’ve GOT A THING FOR high cheekbones (in case you don’t know what it is – just do a Google search!) But what have you GOT A THING FOR? There’s no way, my friend, that you don’t have a thing for anything! It’s just human nature to be drawn to specific things or to be attracted to certain characteristics and features of members of the opposite sex, or indeed – to be attracted to a particular girl or a boy in which case you’d say the following: (more…)
Can You Speak Fluent English Without Learning Idioms?
Apparently you can’t get far in spoken English if you don’t know the traditional English idioms – so they say. For instance, the idiom “Till the cows come home” means “for a very long time” so you should be certain to use this idiom every now and then when you want to emphasize futility of the action you’re discussing – “You can try to please your boss’s every whim till cows come home, but you still won’t get that promotion.” Or this one – “The pot calling the kettle black”. This idiom is used to point out to a person accusing someone that he’s not all that innocent himself. Is it true though? Do you really have to go the extra mile (you see – I just used another idiom so they have to be useful, right?) learning such and similar English idioms to sound fluent and be able to communicate easily with other English speakers? Well, I can’t actually give you a definitive answer to this question without first discussing the nature of English idioms and how they’re used. So let me bring up an example so that you can start seeing the big picture (see – another idiom!). I remember an occasion when my daughters had their friend around and it started raining really heavily. As they say here in Ireland – it was lashing outside! I made a comment about the heavy rainfall and used the typical (so they say…) idiom – “It’s raining cats and dogs.” And you know what? None of the kids had the slightest idea of what I was talking about :!: Fair enough, my daughters moved to Ireland when they were four, so it’s understandable that they mightn’t have known the expression I used. Their friend, however, was a native English speaker so I kind of expected hear to know this popular (or so I was led to believe!) English idiom. Why, don’t all English speaking people exclaim “It’s raining cats and dogs!” when it’s raining outside? According to so many English learning related websites it’s true, and you’ll be given a list of such and similar archaic phrases as your typical idioms to learn in every second English grammar book! (more…)
WILL and GOING TO English Future Forms: How to Use Them in Conversations
4 Pieces of Evidence That Past Experience, Context and Mental Associations is Everything When it Comes to Spoken English
We humans are creatures of habit and conditioning and all our actions are rooted in the past performance and experience. No matter what human activity is looked at, chances are that your subconscious remembers similar activity from the past and it dictates you what to do. The tricky part is, you might not be even aware of it because your brain literally has a mind of its own and you might have a very little say in the process. Let’s say for instance, you’ve just started in a new company and you have to speak with plenty of new people during your first days in the new job. Your English performance is quite good, and you’re satisfied with yourself. Then comes along a particular person you experience a few awkward moments with because you don’t really know what to say to each other. You hesitate, you stutter, you say something silly. It’s no big deal, it happens to everyone, right? Yeah, right… Try to say it to your brain :!: :grin: There’s a big likelihood that every time you meet that person, you’ll be more prone to making mistakes and not being able to speak proper English - and all because of that first bad experience. And, if it happens for a few more times, the damage is done. Conditioned reflex has been created. Do you want more proof that past experience and spoken English performance are closely related resulting in conditioned reflexes? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll see for yourself that spoken English is all about past experiences, associations and conditioned behavioral patterns :!: (more…)
Building English Vocabulary – Part 1
Everyone Says My English is Good Enough… But It ISN’T!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQSVTIJd5NU I got contacted by a guy living in the US recently, and he said in his e-mail that quite often he finds himself in situations when he can’t have a normal small-talk conversation with native English speakers DESPITE having been told by a lot of English teaching professionals that his English is almost perfect. So basically the problem can be defined the following way: Everyone says my English is good enough, but I know for a fact that it ISN’T! This may sound like an attempt to be super-perfect (it’s as if the person in question is saying that his or her English is never going to be good enough), but in reality it happens to a lot of foreign English speakers due to reasons other than having very high standards when it comes to English acquisition. The reasons are as follows: (more…)
Collocation “Scour the Web” & Why the Word “Scour” on its Own is Useless!
Get the FREE eBook “How To Stop Struggling With English Writing”!
Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! 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 foreign English speakers. Welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog and tonight I'm going to record a video as a video response to one of my YouTube commentators. But just before that, allow me to take a sip of my evening decaf coffee, right? Cheers my friends! So this person, Triple H and he is as a matter of fact, one of the most prolific commentators on my channel and I really hope that you don't mind Triple H me reading out your comment because it's going to help everybody, the whole audience for that matter. So Triple H shares a very embarrassing moment that happened to him at the embassy. So basically the woman or personnel asked him who was going to collect his passport. And basically he didn't get her accent, her pronunciation so she had to say it 4 times over and he couldn't get it. And she pronounced basically the word “when” as “wha” and “who” as “he”. Yeah, well, there are certain distinct accents whereby native English speakers pronounce words completely differently to what you would have expected, right? So after that incident his fluency went down the drain, out the window and afterwards he couldn't say one word. So the question is do you think it's common? (more…)
Robby is Back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiU__kPihHc Hi guys! ;-) I've been away for a good while because I had to do a lot of video editing for my new product Fluency Gym Coach Program, and I simply couldn't handle it all. I tried to do both blog posting and video editing at the same time, but I failed miserably for the simple reason that multitasking requires you to be able to quickly switch between different tasks. Well, it’s not really a problem when it comes to performing relatively simple, technical tasks; content creation, however, is a whole new ballgame. It requires a great deal of inspiration and creativity, and it’s not that easy to switch it on and off at your will. Basically I’d gone into a totally different mindset for the last two weeks because I focused solely on editing Fluency Gym Coach Program videos and creating the final product. Now that the work is almost complete and I only need to put the final touches on the Fluency Gym website, I’m back to create regular articles and videos for this blog – and not only! (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 21- Busy!!!
English Idiomatic Expression: “It slipped my mind”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xRidfH-VfY Hello guys and gals, I’m back with another English idiomatic expression video, and this time around it is… Hold on, I knew what it was going to be, but it just suddenly slipped my mind! He-he, I’m just messing with you guys! “It slipped my mind” IS the idiomatic expression I’m looking at in today’s video – but there’s more to this video than just that! ;-) If you’ve been watching my previous videos you’ll know that I’m always talking about some completely random stuff; it’s just that I’m always getting carried away with recording these videos and I just can’t stop my train of thought! (more…)
Is Google Any Good For Improving Your Spoken English?
Idiomatic Expression: “In a spur of the moment”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttqEVwrGYpQ Hi boys and girls! :-) In today’s English idiomatic expression video I’m using the following English phrase – IN A SPUR OF THE MOMENT. When and how to use this particular English expression? Well, most commonly it’s used whenever you want to express the spontaneous nature of some event, but to learn about more ways of using this particular English phrase, please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression “Under the Impression”
Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion
Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!
From: Robby Kukurs, Author of the English Harmony System My Fellow Foreign English Speaker! Millions of us - foreign English speakers - can read, write and understand English very well, yet when it comes to spoken English fluency, things are not looking that good. Traditional English education focuses on teaching English though our native language thus facilitating translation process as we speak; however, have you ever been told that natural English fluency is impossible unless you eliminate translation? The English language has loads of unique collocations, idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and if you want to sound like a native English speaker you simply need to learn to speak using these means of expression! Same goes with studying English grammar. Many of us, foreigners, are led to believe that we’ll achieve English fluency if we study English grammar hard. It’s nonsense! Wake up from the English grammar Matrix! If you learn English grammar rules separately out of context, you’ll never achieve natural English fluency because you’ll be overwhelmed with analyzing your own speech and making sure that it corresponds with the respective grammar rules. Fluent English speech is supposed to be spontaneous, you have to speak automatically and it can be best achieved by spending an awful lot of time among other English speakers and mimicking what they say. Sure, you have to speak correctly, I’m not saying you have to disregard English grammar. What I’m saying is – you have to understand that English grammar is present in every correct phrase and sentence, and you don’t need to dissect the English language like a scientist to be able to speak fluently. (more…)