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!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

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…)

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 ;-)

Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2t82GjaKCc Are you following my advice on learning loads of English idiomatic expressions and collocations and applying them onto your speech and also writing? Great! Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of those expressions and does it make you feel as if the more you’re learning the more there is to left to learn? It’s only natural! We’re all human beings, and feeling overwhelmed and feeling that whatever we’re saying and writing falls short of our own expectations is something that many of us do. But guess what? (more…)

Speaking in English is Like FIGHTING (Trick to Overcome Perfectionism)!

English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s one thing I can say for sure”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdQGseq6Fc Using the expression “There’s one thing I can say for sure” is a very handy and convenient way of letting your conversation partner know that you’re about to say something they don’t have a reason to disbelieve. There’s a couple of similar expressions you can use to convey pretty much the same message: There’s no doubt aboutI know for a fact that… If you learn this particular expression, however – “There’s one thing I can say for sure” – you’ll have another English phrase added onto your active English vocabulary and you’ll have more phrases to choose from! (more…)

Do I make myself clear now?

Easy Guide on Omitting English Relative Pronouns “Which, Who, and That”

Do you ever think English grammar is just trying to confuse you? If you’re trying to learn English, all the grammatical rules and exceptions can be overwhelming. Heck, even as a native English speaker, I often feel like English was designed specifically to be as complicated as possible! For example, why is it that both of the following sentences are great...         The dog that Mary is petting is very fluffy.         The dog Mary is petting is very fluffy. ...but only the first of the following two sentences is acceptable?         The dog that has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is fine!)         The dog has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is bad!) In this article, I’ll be talking to you about sentences in which you can (and can’t) omit relative clauses, such as who, that, or which. These are called contact clauses, because they consist of two clauses that are right next to each other, and therefore they come into contact with each other. By the end of this article, the sentences above will be confusing no more - and you’ll be forming contact clauses of your own :!: (more…)

How to Develop Your Ability to GUESS New English Word Meanings

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! May I ask you a question – what do you do when seeing an unfamiliar English word? Here’s what people normally do: Look up the new word in a dictionary Ask someone what it means Forget about it and only look it up if seeing it for the second or third time But have you ever tried to GUESS the meaning of the unfamiliar word? Well, not that many people try to do that, but it’s worth to give it a shot! Don’t be immediately looking up the meaning of the new word, try and think a little bit if you can find any connection between the new word and some other English word that you’re already familiar with! Let’s imagine for second that you’re not familiar with the following word – “enclosure”. If you just tell yourself – “I haven’t got a clue what “enclosure” is!” – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’re not going to figure out what it means simply because you’re not even trying to do it. If, on the other hand, you’re thinking along the following lines: “Hold on, “enclosure” – it might have something to do with the word “close”, right? So there’s a good chance it defines something that is closed…” – you’re opening your mind and tapping into your brain resources. This type of thinking will develop a more thorough understanding of the English language and its vocabulary and will provide a small boost in all areas of your English development – comprehension, reading, and speaking. And on top of that, I truly hope that this article will serve as an eye-opener and make you realize that a lot of English words are related! ;-) (more…)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bv2PozTfTA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning boys and girls! When was the last time you’ve HAD A RUN-IN WITH someone? Do you like HAVING RUN-INS WITH people? Personally I prefer to resolve all differences in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, but it’s simply our human nature to HAVE RUN-INS WITH other people from time to time. Now, I’m pretty sure that you got the meaning of today’s American English expression, but in case you still have some doubts – please watch the video above where I’m discussing my sixteenth American phrase I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH and how it’s used in real-life English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Should Japanese and Vietnamese English Speakers Bend Over Backwards to Get Their Pronunciation Right?

English Idiomatic Expression: “You know what I mean?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i7zojzhcbc If you think that the phrase “You know what I mean?” doesn’t warrant a second glance and is one of those overused phrases that one should rather eliminate from one’s vocabulary – you’d better think twice! This expression allows us deal with situations when we’re stuck for words and we just can’t finish off a sentence, for example. If you think it’s better to say nothing and just stare at your conversation partner than say “You know what I mean?” – good for you! Personally I will go for “You know what I mean?” over an awkward moment of silence any day, and while this phrase can indeed be overused if you get into the habit of saying it after every sentence, it’s still a great way of implying that both you and your conversation partner know what you’re talking about anyway, and any further explanations can be omitted. Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Respect Your Native Language in order to… Speak Fluent English?

Dictation: Benefits of Listening to English & Writing It Down!

I have to be totally honest with you guys and come clean on something. I’ve never done purposeful DICTATION with the sole purpose of improving my English! For those unaware – dictation is exercise whereby you copy someone’s speech by writing it down. But it’s not really odd considering that I used to follow the path of the traditional text-book based English studies for a very long time, and as you can imagine, there’s no-one speaking when you open the textbook. You’re just required to fill in gaps in exercises and to provide written answers to questions. Over the years my English writing improved to a high standard quite naturally, and when I realized that I’d been neglecting my spoken English, I started engaging in spoken English practice whereby I’d rather copy and mimic other English speakers by SPEAKING OUT LOUD instead of writing it down. Well, come to think of it - I actually have done a certain amount of dictation when transcribing my own YouTube videos, but you can’t really count that as a proper dictation exercise. The reason being – I didn’t do it as an English-improving activity, I simply needed to transcribe my videos so that I could publish them on my blog. Proper dictation is done when you purposefully LISTEN and then you transfer what you hear in written form thus improving both your English listening and writing skills. And this one, my friends, is the first benefit of dictation! ;-) (more…)

Mad Stuff – Speaking With Hard Foreign Accent to Facilitate English Fluency

When I started EnglishHarmony.com back in 2007, the English Harmony System wasn't there yet. Instead I was offering an eBook to my website visitors explaining the English fluency issue and how to deal with it. Among such methods as elimination of translation and slowing down the speech, I was focusing on something more radical in the eBook. Namely, speaking with your native accent. I know it sounds really strange, and I can understand if you’re somewhat reserved when hearing that in order to get your English speech back on track, you need to do away with proper English pronunciation and start speaking using your native language pronunciation instead. Yet there’s great wisdom concealed within such a technique, and I suggest you keep reading this article if you also experience unexplainable drops in English fluency every now and then! (more…)

English Teacher Puts Skype Student on the Spot… It’s NOT Teaching!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPUbiQrq7yI Hello, my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s me, Robby, from English Harmony and welcome to my video blog. Today, I’m going to tell you what I experienced, what I witnessed to be more precise, while watching a video of a particular English teacher teaching a foreigner how to speak in English obviously, right. Why I’m saying this, it’s all got to do with my own English fluency coaching program that I’m going ahead with currently called Fluency Star. I stopped taking new students on board for the simple reason that there’s no more places available. My schedule is pretty tight as it is but anyway, I was watching this particular video and what struck me, what surprised me big time was the way the teacher conducted the whole conversation. Here’s what she did. I’m not going to name the teacher or provide any links to that video in the description box below for the simple reason that I don’t want to discredit other people and knock them. Maybe they do what they do for good reasons, who knows, but the way I see it, it’s very inefficient and here it goes, right. (more…)

English Idiom: “To Your Heart’s Content”

Seeing Forgotten English Words the Next Day & the “Gut Feeling”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3A0jRIT7iU

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 18- Suspicion

English Fluency Problem

Let’s first talk about this English fluency problem so that you can analyze it a little bit and understand its nature. Let’s say, you wake up in the morning and while doing something you just have an odd thought in English in your mind. And…you realize that you just can’t express yourself in English language as you’d normally do! You try to say something in English to yourself and you feel that you can’t stick the thoughts together – your mind is full of different words and images floating and messing… Another example. You go to work and greet the first person you meet. “How are you! I’m fine, what was the weekend like?” – And then you suddenly feel that you have to force yourself to get even these simple things right! And when you start chatting to your workmate at your desk, you feel that you can’t speak normally as you could before, although only yesterday you could speak fluently as a native speaker! The usual mistakes you make when experiencing the speech problem are the following:  Not being able to find the right words  Mispronouncing words  Not being able to say the thought clearly! You start a sentence, and then the very thread of the thought vanishes, and something like a blackout takes place in your head. And then you get really anxious and nervous and it affects your whole day – your mood drops below zero, the self-esteem is gone, the confidence… well, it’s a disaster! I don’t exaggerate, I know the feeling all too well and I guess, so do you. The most baffling thing in this all is that no matter how often you speak, no matter how long you’ve been living among English speaking folks, the things don’t change! It keeps on repeating constantly and with no obvious reason at all! :cry: I remember myself being a job-seeker at one stage and I attended many job interviews. One day I could speak perfectly creating a really good impression about myself. The next day going to a different place I’d experience the issue described above – and, of course, I’d feel really low because the interviewer most likely thought – well, this guy can’t get the English right in the first place, what job is he dreaming about then? And I know you have gone through a number of really embarrassing situations similar to previously described and you’d be more than happy to deal with the issue once and for all, wouldn’t you? So first let’s list all the characteristics of this English fluency issue so that we can clearly see what we are trying to get resolved here! 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: “In the first place”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5mvTxNF8e4 Today's English idiomatic expression is "In the first place", and please watch the video above to hear my examples of how to use this phrase. They mightn't always be the best samples sentences, but you can rest assured that I would never tell you something that is totally wrong - EVER! I might be a foreigner and my spoken English mightn't be exactly native-like; however, I have a pretty decent level of fluency and over the years I've developed a good 'gut feeling' for correct English. Thanks for visiting my blog, and chat to you soon again my friends! Robby ;-)

Don’t Waste Your Time Arguing About Subtleties Of The English Language!

What I’ve observed over the years while being around other foreign English speakers is – oftentimes people would become really emotional about certain aspects of the English language and have heated debates over things that don’t really matter that much when it comes to being able to speak fluent English. Picture this – you’re sitting at the table during the lunch break with your friends, and the conversation is developing something along these lines: “Mmmm... I think this is the best chicken curry I’ve ever had, don’t you think so?” “Did you just say “I fink”? Why are you pronouncing it like that?” “Well, I guess it’s because I’ve lived in Bristol for a long time, and I started pronouncing the ‘TH’ sound as ‘F …” “Oh really? Is that how they speak in England? Well, but now you’re living in the States, so I think you should start pronouncing the ‘TH’ sound properly!” “Well, I haven’t really thought about it… I haven’t really had any problems because of that, people understand me just fine…” “But it’s plain wrong dude! It’s not proper English, and considering you’re dealing with customers all day long, I really think this is something you should work on!” “Hey Max, do you really think it’s that important? I think David’s English is really good, and anyone can understand him just fine!” “Man, you just don’t get it… There are certain rules of the English language that you just can’t ignore, you know?” And so this argument goes on and on because one of the friends has a very strong opinion on certain aspects of the language, and instead of having a nice chat about the tasty chicken, the time gets wasted on arguing over something that is, as a matter of fact, of no importance at all. Do you see where I’m coming from? Life is too short to be spent on talking about stuff that doesn’t matter, however, I’ve noticed this type of thing happen time and time again among foreign English speakers – and not only! (more…)

Two Kinds of Mistakes Made by Foreigners When Speaking English

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…)

Don’t Analyze Your English – Part 2: Why Questions Beginning With WHY Are the Worst!

I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJT6Jdh9XaI Guess what happened to me during the last weekend while I was having a dinner with some Latvian friends of mine? I got stuck for words during one of the conversations! I wanted to point out the importance of something, and all of a sudden I couldn’t remember the word “important” in Latvian… despite it being my native language! :mad: You’d think that something like that would never happen to a native speaker, right? You’d think that the worst case scenario would involve forgetting a famous movie actor’s name, for example, and I’m pretty sure you’ve also have had such experiences when a person’s name is on the tip of your tongue yet you can’t remember it. Strangely enough, I couldn’t utter the word “important” in Latvian which is a pretty common word, and I got stuck in a middle of a sentence for a couple of seconds at least. Now, why am I telling you this on an English fluency improvement related blog? Well, it’s pretty straightforward! (more…)

Why Reading an English Newspaper is 100 Times Better than Studying a Grammar Workbook

Let’s imagine you have to pick only one English learning and improving material to take with you to a remote island. What would it be? An English grammar book? A fiction book in English? An English workbook? Never mind them all! What you need is a bunch of newspapers and your English will come along nicely! ;-) The reason why I value newspapers so highly – especially tabloids - is because their purpose is to provide normal, everyday people with easy-to-digest news and English used in them is very close to the spoken language heard on the street, at work, on TV and radio. You can read tabloids very easily and in the process you’ll acquire the same means of expression used in interpersonal communication. While some academics might hold to a view that spoken English has low standards because of abundance of phrasal verbs and informal expressions, my experience tells me tabloid language will make your communication with other English speakers so much easier. After all, what kind of conversations are you involved on a regular basis – normal, everyday chatting or highly intellectual, academically inspired discussions? I think that without a shadow of a doubt the former kind of communication is by far more necessary for the average foreign English speaker, so let’s look at the benefits of reading English newspapers and tabloids in a bigger detail. Also, you’ll find out how just by scanning tabloid headlines you can stay up-to-date with current affairs and offer your opinion on different topics when having a chat with your friends at a launch table! (more…)