Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVszoY1C6m0 Let’s face it my friends: Songs performed in English are topping the charts all over the globe, and even if you’re a fan of music performed in your native language, you surely listen to popular songs or some classic hits every now and then, don’t you? If you’re anything like the average foreigner out there, I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you normally don’t pay attention to English song lyrics; you just allow the music wash over your ears and touch you emotionally rather than with the actual meaning of words. To tell you the truth, my friends, I don’t even pay conscious attention to words when I listen to songs performed by my fellow country-men (or women for that matter!), and sometimes it’s next to impossible to decipher those lyrics regardless of the language! :grin: If you do learn lyrics of your most beloved English songs, however, you will most definitely avail of all the following: (more…)
1,000,000 English Grammar Questions Answered by Robby
English Idiomatic Expression: “As A Matter Of Fact”
Top Secret! (How To Achieve Truly Confident Spoken English)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/7IO3JPbhxv4 My dear website readers, YouTube channel watchers and Twitter followers! You can religiously stick to my advice on how to improve spoken English, but if you miss the most important component – your road to fluent spoken English will be filled with potholes! You can really gather yourself up every time you feel that your confidence in spoken English drops. You can start speaking slowly and pick the words carefully as I’ve told you should do when you feel your mind racing. You can also use really simple words to explain yourself to prevent from getting stuck if you can’t remember the very exact phrase or word you want to say in English. But once again – if you miss the most important part of the equation, you’ll be always struggling with maintaining constantly fluent English! So which way you want to go? Do you want to be able to consciously use all the good advice on improving your spoken English and keep making effort OR you want to reach a point in your life where you don’t have to make an effort at all to speak fluently? If I were you, I’d definitely take the last route and I believe you’d too! (more…)
Who’s Your English Good Luck Charm?
Are there certain English speaking people who you seem to be unable to speak with fluently? Does it feel like those people are actually triggering the ‘writing mode’ of your mind whereby you start stuttering and preparing your speech in your head prior to speaking out loud thus making it totally unnatural? Well, it’s nothing unusual! It’s happened to me on countless occasions, and even though now I’m over the very severe ‘writing mode’ symptoms, I would experience moments when I can’t speak at 100% of my ability with a particular person. Sometimes, however, quite the opposite happens, and my English fluency literally opens up when speaking with a particular person. It’s as if THAT PERSON IS MY GOOD LUCK CHARM and my English fluency issues simply can’t do me any harm because I’m protected by that person! I know it sounds far-fetched, and I fully understand that in real terms there’s nothing to prevent me from speaking fluently with any English speaking person in the world. When I speak, it’s ME who speaks after all, so why would another person’s presence have such a massive positive or negative effect on my fluency, isn’t that right? In real life, however, people you communicate with DO play quite a significant role in the way you can perform in terms of using the right means of expression and also your overall fluency. Some have a negative, but some have a very positive effect on your spoken English – just like my mortgage advisor, for example! (more…)
Why Can’t I Use All Those English Phrases and Collocations?
Passive English Input Isn’t Going to Improve Your Ability to Speak!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhepN3ZIQCY This is another one of those videos where I’m responding to a YouTube comment, and this time around the person in question commented on a video where I was talking about what to do if you’re living in an English speaking country without any opportunities to speak with locals. So here’s the comment: And obviously – if you’d like to hear what I have to say about it, please watch the video above! Cheers, Robby
English Harmony System Update: de Luxe Edition!
Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjT-stTQipU 27 days ago – April 30, to be more specific, I published the first video featuring an American English phrase TELL YOU WHAT. It marked the start of a journey that saw me record 42 videos within 25 days learning 50 new American English phrases, expressions, collocations and grammar constructs. A few facts about this 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission: All American phraseology acquired during this mission has been sourced from GONE series dystopian fiction; I was recording 2 daily videos – one in the morning and the other one in the evening. The morning video got published on my Easy Idioms blog while the evening one went live on my Accent Adventure website. I was using my own Fluency Gym Coach Program and its Action Plan to set the overall goal and organize my spoken English self-practice sessions; I was making sure to use those newly acquired expressions also outside my video recording activities (extra self-practice sessions and also speaking with my work colleagues during the day) thus imprinting them into my active vocab permanently! And here are the videos published on this blog where I’m using all those newly acquired American phrases: American Phrases 1 – 12 American Phrases 13 – 24 American Phrases 25 – 38 American Phrases 39 -50 (more…)
Random Stuff – Perfectionism, English Word Chunks and Blind Faith
Incredibly Powerful and Super-Simple Way Of Using Google to Find the Right English Words to Say
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…)
This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!
Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
I have to make a confession to you, my fellow foreigners… Despite having struggled with English fluency myself, and despite making mistakes while speaking myself, I do sometimes make assumptions about other foreigners and their level of English … You see, the strange thing about it is that I’m fully aware of the fact that making mistakes and struggling for words is normal. I know only too well that there’s a multitude of different factors affecting one’s spoken English performance – starting with stress and anxiety and ending with such complicated English fluency issues as preparing speech in one’s head before speaking and a total information overload. After all, I have a first-hand experience of what it feels like when you know EXACTLY what you want to say, but your mouth suddenly disobeys you and says the wrong thing… So quite naturally I’d expect myself to be the last person to draw hasty conclusions about somebody’s level of English, yet it does occasionally happen! Of course, the moment I catch myself thinking something like – “All right, I have to choose slightly simpler words when talking to him because he just used a completely wrong English Grammar Tense, so most likely he won’t understand me if I speak the way I speak with native English speakers…” – I immediately say to myself: “Robby, common, don’t be such a meanie, are you always perfect yourself?!” Imagine, if it takes me so much effort to stop patronizing others, how must native English speakers feel when they hear me make some stupid mistake when speaking to them? Can I blame them for assuming that my English is poor just because I mispronounced a very simple word? I, for instance, stressed the wrong syllable in the word ‘monopoly’ the other day. I said [‘monopoli] instead of [mo’nopoli], and had my workmate Will not known me for years, he probably would have judged my English skills by that one stupid mistake! On another occasion, I made a mistake by misplacing a word in a phrase. I said “Fair done!” which is a mix of two phrases – “Well done” and “Fair play to you!” Once again, for someone who doesn’t know me this would be a reason good enough to extrapolate that mistake to everything I might say. It’s the so called reverse halo effect, and now let’s look at this phenomenon in depth! (more…)
Can You Become Fluent in English if You Don’t Have a Talent for Languages?
English Sentence Starter: “Speaking Of…”
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! Hello my friends foreign English speakers! It’s me – Robby – from English Harmony here and this time around I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, namely – “SPEAKING OF…” As a matter of fact, this expression also happens to be one of the simplest English sentence starters and the only other sentence starter that can rival this one in its simplicity is “Well…” Long story short, whenever you’re asked a question and you find it a little bit difficult to respond, you can resort to the strategy of saying “SPEAKING OF…” which then is followed by the very subject of the question. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It Came to Light That…”
Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!
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…)
English Idiomatic Expression: It’s not that… it’s just that…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R0_zRG2oNY Today’s idiomatic expression rather falls under the category of typical English speech patterns because it consists of two parts - “It’s not that… it’s just that…” – and provides a blueprint for the whole sentence! It’s funny, but I haven’t heard this concept of typical English speech patterns anywhere else so I’d like to claim full copyright for coining this term and also using it. It’s a joke, of course, but on a serious note - ...it’s very important to learn such and similar speech patterns because that’s how you become capable of speaking without much thinking about HOW you’re going to wrap up your thoughts :!: When you do some research on English sentence structures, all info is centered around syntax - simple sentences, compound sentences and so on. Does that type of information help us to speak more fluently? Nope! All it does is facilities our analytic facility which is in fact detrimental to our oral fluency! Don’t believe it? Please read this blog post where I’m clearly illustrating what happens in a foreigner’s mind when they’re overwhelmed by analyzing everything they want to say which is a direct result of extensive grammar studies! The phrase “It’s not that… it’s just that…”, on the other hand, provides a very practical blueprint for a sentence, and all you need to do is fill in blanks with the respective concepts and words (collocations and expressions, of course, also come in handy to help you with that!). You don’t need to categorize it, you don’t need to analyze it. Just take it for what it is – a natural English speech pattern that can be memorized and used in your daily English conversations! ;-) Chat soon, Robby
Words to start a sentence – 35 Perfect Ways of Starting Sentences in English!
English Fluency Monitoring & Management
If you’re anything serious about improving your spoken English - and I bet you are otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my blog! – your English fluency is inevitably experiencing growth over time, it just can’t be otherwise. Regardless of all ups and downs you may encounter while having conversations with other English speakers, your English fluency trend is always going up – even if you don’t notice it! Of course, your fluency trend may be steeper than that of someone else’s, and it’s only natural because not all foreigners are getting the same amount of passive and active English immersion. And it’s actually totally understandable because everyone has their own fluency requirements depending on how much they use the English language in everyday life. For many of us, foreigners, practical life determines if we’re going to develop our English fluency at a fast pace or stay on a plateau for years. Anyway, today’s article is about your English fluency management and it’s especially relevant to those who experience sharp drops in fluency resulting in the infamous English fluency issue. Getting tongue-tied and stopping in a middle of a sentence, getting a feeling as if your head is stuffed full with thousands of English words and you know EXACTLY what you want to say but you’re unable to say anything, making stupid mistakes… These are the typical symptoms of the English fluency issue and what’s really baffling is the fact that we, foreigners, often experience such terrible moments right after having been absolutely fluent. We’re hitting the heights of our English fluency graphs, our confidence is very high, we’re achieving a near-native level of spoken English, and then suddenly we experience a downturn in our ability to express ourselves! It may even become so bad that on certain situations we find it hard to say anything at all, and it can be very, very distressing indeed… So how do you manage these peaks of your English fluency trend? How do you prevent the drops from being so sharp? To find answers to these questions, please read the rest of today’s blog post! (more…)
Car Video #3: Spontaneous Speech vs Slow Speech
Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech
Whether you’re a Chinese exchange student heading off to do some studying in Massachusetts, a Russian construction worker getting on a plane having secured a contract in Australia or just another Latvian like myself coming to Ireland to try out luck in finding a job to save up some money – we all have one thing in common. Namely – we haven’t had much experience with speaking English in everyday situations. We may have been academically tutored at quite high standards yet our capability to start and maintain a simple conversation may be limited simply because it’s not normally taught in schools. By far the biggest problem is that you don’t have much time to consider what you’re going to say. When you’re having a conversation, you’re quite naturally expected to answer questions or make your point within a short period of time – and it will prove difficult for many foreign English speakers. Many of us will be more comfortable writing than speaking and it’s quite understandable – when you write you have all the time in the world to plan exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You can construct grammatically perfect sentences, edit them if need be, and take your time finding the best fitting words to convey the message. It’s a different story altogether when you speak – you have to say what’s on your mind and for some it may present a serious challenge because their mind just goes blank. It’s the so-called information overload when your mind is attempting to process way too much information because all you keep thinking is what grammar tense to use, what are the best fitting words for the given situation, how to say it correctly so that you don’t make a mistake… The key aspects of fluent English speech is the ability to think in English and speak using plenty of collocations and idiomatic expressions; it enables you to speak automatically because nearly every word you say will trigger the next one. It’s the best place to be because you don’t even have to think about what you say – you can just speak as if you’re speaking in your native language. Anyway – this article is about how to use a certain shortcut in situations when your fluency is hindered and you’re desperate to get the message across successfully. So here we go! (more…)
You Can Say Nearly Everything Using the Word “THING”!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt”
Happy New Year Everyone!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVL0GvzXQsc Hello Everybody! ;-) This year has finally drawn to an end, and I have to tell you my friends that it's been one hell of a ride :!: I've created a couple more products on top of the English Harmony System, namely - Fluency Gym Coach Program (helping my fellow foreigners with confidence and goal-setting when it comes to English improvement) and Accent Genie Program (focusing on American Pronunciation); I've started a couple of new blogs - EasyIdioms.com and BestEnglishFiction.com (I haven't been updating them as often as I'd like though...); I've finally bought my own house (well - 90% of the money is borrowed from the bank anyway, so technically it won't be mine for another 30 years...) and the redecoration work kept me busy during the summer months - having said all that, however, I never stopped delivering articles and videos on my blogs EnglishHarmony.com and AccentAdventure.com! On top of that, I've been going to my 9 - 5 job on a daily basis so as you can imagine I've been busy as hell but I've truly ENJOYED every single second of it! Why? Because receiving e-mails and comments such as this one, for example, makes it all worthwhile: That's right my friends. It's only thanks to YOU that I'm sitting here in my home office behind the laptop and making all these videos and articles. If not for YOU, there'd be no-one to read it all, there'd be no-one to watch my videos, there'd be no-one to leave comments on my YouTube channel and my blog. And if not for those who've committed with their money and dedication - namely, my CUSTOMERS, I wouldn't be able to run my operation because - let's face the truth my friends - I wouldn't have the financing necessary to run my websites, create the products and produce the videos! So I'd like to take this opportunity and THANK YOU ALL VERY, VERY MUCH for staying with me throughout this year, and may all your wishes come true in the New Year 2014!!!
English Idiomatic Expression: “More often than not”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvKWyKumZ24 Hello boys and girls on this beautiful Sunday evening! :grin: This is my last blog post of the week, and this time around let’s look at the following phrase: “More often than not”. To be honest with you guys, I’ve been meaning to record a video dedicated to this particular phrase for quite some time now, but somehow I never got around to it for some reason or another… Anyway, the phrase “more often than not” is a very handy way of referring to something that happens most of the time. You can use this phrase in the beginning, in the middle or in the very end of the sentence, and it’s also going to make your speech a bit more conversationally friendlier. (more…)
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
3 Killer Tips on How to Write in English Like a Native Speaker!
This blog’s main focus is the spoken English improvement, yet in reality I spend a lot of time creating written content for my blog visitors to enjoy. Here are a few facts about me and writing in English: I’ve been regularly creating written content in English for the last 6 years – I’ve worked in IT customer support (constant e-mailing), I’ve been involved in a few online projects (content creation – articles, video scripts) and I’ve been regularly writing articles for this blog. If I really set my mind to it, I can write a 1000 word article in about an hour. Of course, speed isn’t an indication of one’s ability to write fluently and in a native-like fashion; however, the point is – I write as if I were speaking, and that’s part of the success formula to become a good writer. A few years ago I was involved in an Internet-based project catering for a native English speaking audience and over the course of a couple of years NO-ONE EVER hinted that the content creator might be a foreigner – even though my English wasn’t as developed as it is now. So, the point I’m trying to make here is that writing like a native English speaker is easier than you may think! ;-) (more…)
No Perfection When Mediocrity Is Required!
Don’t Put Up With ESL Industry’s Childish Treatment & Throw Unwanted Gifts Away!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCexyzonyYk :razz: Happy Christmas to all foreign English speakers around the world! :razz: I've done some research on the Internet about the latest English learning and improving methods, and it appears that all my work on this blog is good for nothing! :sad: In order to improve your English, apparently you don’t have to do anything else but listen and my focus on the spoken aspect of English is just a waste of your time! Forget about plenty of speaking practice, my friends foreign English speakers! Just go online, get one of those revolutionary pieces of English learning audio CDs, sit back, listen to those stories and let the English language seep into your mind automatically! And you know why it works? Results of countless researches have confirmed that children learn their native language by first listening for a good few months and then they start speaking it! So, quite a few English teaching professionals claim that you should take advantage of this fact and start harnessing the power of listening. Basically, you should adopt a position of a child and let the others fuss around you. You don’t have to take any action, and you’ll be able to start speaking fluent English when you’re ready and when all that audio content has settled into your mind. I know, I know my friends, you hate being treated like a child and I also know that deep down inside you are suspecting that such English learning and improving methods don’t work :!: If you’re anything like me, the first question you’d ask to those who came up with this passive immersion listening method would be – “Hold on, could it be that babies only listen during the first year because they’re simply unable to speak?” (more…)
Is It OK to Point Out Mistakes Made by Others?
Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!
Do I make myself clear now?
Are you having difficulty understanding what a character said in a TV series or a movie? You think your vocabulary is strong enough to communicate fluently, but when it comes to understanding native TV series or movies, you get baffled. If that's you, there is nothing to worry about, because today we will decode the cause, and why it happens? (more…)