Do You Get Stuck In English When Hearing Yourself?
Hi Folks, This time I'd like to tell you a strange thing from my own experience - and I must stress - it's really weird! It's about getting confused while speaking English with someone - and you know why? Because I suddenly start hearing myself - my speech. And I instantly get knocked out of the normal speech rhythm and have to gather myself up. Why is it happening? Why would hearing your own voice make you feel embarrassed to an extent when you start speaking with a really bad accent and get stuck? I don't know the exact answer - but many of you have sent me e-mails telling the very same thing... (more…)
Why It’s So HARD to Accept Spoken English Can Be Practiced?
English Idiomatic Expression: It’s not that… it’s just that…
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…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4DYW-hLyA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)
We’re All Capable of Correcting Our English Speech Ourselves!
Mimicking – The Best Way to Learn English Collocations!
If you read my previous blog post about English collocations, you’ll remember that a collocation is a group of two or more words that are naturally used together in written and spoken English – such as “a tough decision”, “renewable energy”, “foreseeable future” or “to draw a comparison between.” Many collocations are strong, which means that you if you replace one of the words with a synonym, native English speakers would notice that it doesn’t sound right. For instance, if you say “replenishable energy”, it would sound a bit odd because “renewable energy” has been accepted worldwide as a standard way to describe energy sources like wind, water and solar energy. Many collocations aren’t that strong. For instance if you say “a hard decision”, it sounds absolutely fine despite “a tough decision” being a standard collocation you’d find in English Grammar books. But why is it important for us, foreign English speakers? Why should we care about English collocations? The reason is simple enough. Bonds that keep words together in collocations also determine word PATTERNS in spoken and written English in general :!: We may be under impression that collocations were invented by English teachers in order to annoy students and make their studies harder. (Frankly speaking, I can partially agree with this if collocations are looked at as a separate section of English language studies instead of being used as an integral part of speaking and writing English.) In reality if we, foreigners, want to achieve English fluency we need to incorporate learning collocations in our daily English improving routine as part of acquiring new vocabulary and phraseology. You just can't ignore natural English word patterns otherwise your English will sound weird, simple as that! But don’t cram long collocation lists into your brain. Be selective! (more…)
How I Define Real English Fluency
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…)
Why When We Stress Out Our Fluency Deteriorates?
Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes when Speaking English!
Why Can’t I Use All Those English Phrases and Collocations?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu71FfBmuFU VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hello, everyone! I'm Robby from English Harmony and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video, I'm going to address a particular issue that has been raised by a number of my customers and some of my Fluency Star coaching clients. And, to be honest with you, what prompted me to record this particular video was a comment I got from one of my blog readers, and that particular person says that he or she - I'm not really sure - they have been practicing their spoken English for around four years, half an hour a day at least, which is quite a lot! It's quite sufficient to improve your English to a great degree over the period of four years to be honest with you my friends, right? So, basically, they've been doing that, but they still find it difficult to implement the phraseology and collocations they learn in those practice sessions. So, the basic issue is: How to make sure that you can actually use all those collocations as you go about your daily spoken English practice? And, furthermore, for those who might be finding themselves in situations where they have to speak with other people on a regular basis, it begs another question: How you can actually use all those collocations and phraseology in real life conversations? And let me tell you right up front - this is something I haven't I guess specified previously on my blog and on my videos, which is quite surprising considering I've been running this YouTube channel for a good few years, right? So, basically, the thing I have to mention is that there's two types of collocations, right, two types. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J55UL0JgECQ When it comes to speaking fluent English, there’s no better way of getting your speech going that learning idiomatic expressions and using them in your real life conversations! Today is no exception, and what I want to draw your attention to is the very first sentence of this article. “When it comes to…” is a very handy English expression, and I decided to make a video about it to tell you guys how to use it best. This expression – “When it comes to…” – has many equivalent English phrases and expressions. “As for…” “In relation to…” “Speaking of…” … and many more phrases can be used the same way you’d use the one I’m looking at in today’s video. Still, I believe that “When it comes to…” is the most informal and friendliest of them all, and that’s why it’s my personal favorite. But what about you? Have you heard other English speakers use it a lot? Or maybe this is the first time you actually hear this particular expression? Let me know about it in the comments below! Talk to you soon, Robby ;-)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 16- Go Dutch
Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F-gFRfWC2k Hello my fellow foreign English speakers :!: In today’s video we’re going to look at the following questions: Can English be held responsible for the demise of smaller languages? Does the English language has a lack of appreciation for other world languages? Are all English speakers ignorant and don’t want to speak other languages? Is English going to be the only language in the world in a couple of thousand years? You see, all such and similar questions are quite important to certain categories of people – especially those who represent smaller languages on the verge of extinction. Oftentimes, for example, English is blamed because of its historical connection with the British Empire and its world dominance. Also, people associate English with the United States of America and blame Americans for being ignorant and living in their own language bubble. To find out what I think about the whole thing – please watch the video above or listen to the audio file in case you can’t watch the video content for some reason or another. And of course – you’re really welcome to participate in the discussion and express your own opinion in the matter! :-) ANY comments are welcome! ;-) Regards, Robby RELATED ARTICLES: Is English Language Taking Over? Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society 10 Reasons Why English is the World’s Language 11 Things English Fluency has Given Me 5 Reasons Why I Love American Accent
Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!
Want to Improve Your English? Stop Watching TV in Your Language!
Watching TV alone won’t help you to speak fluent English. Yet if you spend most of your time wrapped up in your native language bubble watching TV in your language, you’ll deprive yourself of so much needed passive exposure to the English language which will help you to integrate into the society! To be honest with you, I don’t understand my fellow Latvians and other foreigners living in Ireland who only watch films dubbed in their native languages and opt for different online based solutions to enjoy TV channels from their home countries. You can accuse me of not being a patriot of my nation, but I think it’s plain silly to move to an English speaking country without making any conscious effort of fitting into the local society. Watching TV makes up a big part of our daily lives these days, and if you watch English TV shows and programs and enjoy latest movies in English, over years you’ll absorb an awful lot of new English vocabulary and expressions which will allow you to understand English spoken around you. You’ll also be able to: discuss popular TV programs with your English speaking friends and work colleagues; improve your spoken English by using new phraseology in your daily conversations; develop a sense of belonging among the locals. You don’t have to deny your national background. It’s something no-one will ever take away from you, and personally I spend loads of time with my family, friends and relatives speaking in Latvian and I keep up-to-date with the latest developments in my home country by checking news online etc. Once you’ve made the decision to move to an English speaking country, however, I think it’s only common sense that you keep an open mind, make some effort to fit into the local society, and use the English language as means of achieving it! (more…)
3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain
English Idiomatic Expression: “This or that particular thing”
Translation from English is Bad For Your Fluency + Example From My Early Days as a Teacher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbIQHzOpcAU VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW Hi guys and welcome back to EnglishHarmony.com video blog! I’m Robby from EnglishHarmony.com, obviously, and in this video episode, we’re going to touch upon a subject that we’ve spoken about many times before, namely - the fact that you don’t have to translate from English into your native language and vice versa while getting involved in English improving related activities. Obviously, we’ve spoken about it at length previously so I’m not going to get into the reasons why you shouldn’t be doing that. By now, they should be quite obvious to you but for those who haven’t watched my videos in the past and haven’t visited my website probably, let me tell you just one thing. If you translate, you can’t speak fluently because your mind is too preoccupied with dealing with all the grammar related issues and basically creating sentences from scratch in your mind, instead of speaking spontaneously and that’s what fluent speech is all about. In relation to the whole ‘don’t translate’ subject, I’m going to bring up an example of what happens when people try to translate, and it happened years ago. (more…)
Back in College: English Fluency Hitting an All-Time High!
You Have to EAT Well to SPEAK in English Well!
Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!
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! Hi Guys, Have you ever thought about the fact that one of the reasons you’re finding it so hard to speak in English with someone is the fact that the past mistakes are literally weighing on your shoulders? You might not be ever aware of the fact that it’s what’s preventing you from being a more fluent English speaker, but deep down inside it’s happening. Your past mistakes are trying to tell you: “You never gonna get rid of us… You’ll always keep making the same mistakes again and again…” And so the vicious circle goes and goes - you keep getting into embarrassing situations when you’re trying to say something in English, and you just can’t help it because your past mistakes keep reminding you that you suck at spoken English… The only way you can deal with this issue is by telling yourself: “Listen, I’m fed up with this. No more dwelling over my past spoken English mistakes! From here on out I’m only going to look ahead!” Wanna hear me talk on this topic and give advice on how to force yourself to forget about the spoken English mistakes you’ve been making in the past? Then watch the video above and don’t forget to leave your comment below! Cheers, Robby ;-)
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
How You Can Write Your Research Paper in Under 24 Hours!
A Guide For International And ESL Students As an international student or an ESL student, the English language is most probably your biggest stumbling block. You have most likely been struggling to keep up with the rest of your class who are native speakers of English. The language barrier can really get in the way of you participating actively in class and this can be frustrating. It is understandable that you may find writing research papers and college essays specially difficult to grasp. You might have also faced situations where you’ve been asked to write a full-fledged research paper, and the deadline is around the corner, sometimes in less than 24 hours. You feel stuck and confused and don’t know where to turn for help. What do you do in such cases? Don’t worry, this guide is here to help you. It will show how to break down the process of essay writing into easy steps so that you can put together a completed research paper in just 24 hours! (more…)
How English Idiomatic Expressions Helped Me Deal With a REALLY Stressful Conversation
Don’t Waste Your Time Arguing About Subtleties Of The English Language!
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
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! Hi Guys! Today I'm bringing you a quick update on what I've been up to this summer, and you wouldn't believe how busy I've been doing all the following: Finishing my IT certification; Organizing my work experience; Preparing for a job interview; Starting in a new job; ...and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night! (more…)
Get Rid of Monkeys in Your Mind!
Speech management and confident English go hand in hand with managing yourself and your thoughts. Do you often have this feeling of a racing mind? Do you feel you have hundreds of different thoughts constantly crossing your mind, repeating all over again and making you anxious and irritated? In Zen Buddhist philosophy such a state of mind is described as a room full of jumping and screaming monkeys running wild! This state of mind is very closely related to all kinds of anxieties, worries, fears – and among them the English speech anxiety. No matter how well you’re trying to speak English, you head is full of English words, phrases, sentences, grammar rules – all at the SAME TIME! You’re trying to say something – but regardless your toughest attempts you get the English grammar wrong, misspell and mispronounce words and notice this at the very moment of speaking them out! To deal with this issue of inability to speak English normally you first have to deal with monkeys in your head. Here I’ve written a few basic steps to calm down your mind and start thinking just ONE THOUGHT at a time instead of trying to encompass EVERYTHING at once. (more…)
Don’t Force Your English When You Speak!
You Should ACT Rather Than REACT During English Conversations!
I’m pretty sure that you can remember having a conversation with another English speaker during which you felt quite insecure and didn’t quite know what to say when responding to the other person’s questions – or maybe the other person didn’t even ask you anything and did all the talking themselves! Here’s what would typically happen during such conversations. “Hello Sergio, how’s it going?” (this is the other person initiating the conversation) “Ah, well, I’m doing OK, thanks for asking, and how are you?” “I’m all right, I’ve got the Monday blues all right, but what can you do when you have to bring another paycheck home at the end of the week, isn’t that right? Anyway, I went to see the football game on Saturday – the Falcons where taking on the Giants and you’d never guess who won the game! The Falcons had to beat the Giants to end their losing streak so they were giving it all they had, but then suddenly…” – and your conversation partner just goes on and on and on… … and you’re just left wondering when YOU are going to get a chance to say something! Personally I wouldn’t even call this type of one-way communication a conversation – it’s just one person’s MONOLOGUE and you’re a passive listener, nothing more. I warmly suggest you take matters into your own hands and make the conversation sound something like this: “Hello Sergio, how’s it going?” “Hi John, not too bad actually!” “That’s good, yeah… Listen, I went to see this football game on Saturday…” “Hey John, sorry, but I’m not really into football! Ice-hockey is what I prefer, and my team is having a really good run this season! The Rangers, on the other hand, are performing really badly unfortunately – my son roots for them and while I’m happy Boston Bruins are at the top of the league, I don’t like being too enthusiastic about it because it makes him unhappy!” Now, did you see what happened here? YOU became the one who delivers the speech, and John had to listen to what YOU are saying instead of making you listen to what he wants to say! Obviously I’m not trying to say that you should interrupt everyone who starts telling you something, I hope you realize this was an exaggerated example to make you understand one thing: If you only REACT during English conversations and allow other people to adopt the leading role, you’ll never get a chance to speak and develop your fluency! Be more daring :!: Don’t be afraid to say what you want to say – even if the other person mightn’t be really interested in it! (more…)
English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”
Funny English Phrases #3 – Money & Finance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tanOR87RZms Are you prepared to learn some money and finance related English idiomatic expressions? Then watch the 3rd Funny English Phrase video and you’ll learn the following expressions: To go to the wall The check bounced To buy a lemon Never bite the hand that feeds you Money talks To make sure you add those expressions to your active English vocabulary, please read them out loud a few times, memorize them, and eventually make a conversation with yourself. You don’t necessarily have to make it funny like I did in the video; all you have to do is use those phrases in your own sentences so that you become comfortable using them in real life English conversations. Enjoy! Robby ;-)
Have You Ever Thought of Having a CPU Implanted into Your Brain? Read S. J. Kincaid’s INSIGNIA!
Hello my fellow foreign English speaker! This is the first English fiction review article on this blog, and so it happens that it’s a sci-fi adventure book with a brand new concept I’d never EVER heard of before! This is the Right Book 4 U if… … you’re a foreign English speaker wanting to start reading English fiction. This would make a perfect first English fiction book for you, and even though you might have to look up certain words on a dictionary website or thesaurus, by and large it’s written using plain language. … you’re a sci-fi fan. Concepts described in this novel are quite unique, and you’ll find yourself intrigued – especially in the first part of the novel. … you’re a gamer. The main character in this book is a teenage boy named Tom and he’s brilliant at playing games. If you share his passion for gaming, this might be the only book you’ll actually ever want to read! … you like conspiracy theories. Do you believe in Illuminati and the New World Order (NOW)? Then you’ll find this particular novel to your liking because it depicts a world governed by gigantic corporations forcing people to buy their products and services while the political scene is dominated by a war waged in the outer space between the two main blocks of countries – Indo-American and Russo-Chinese. (more…)