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!

Is English Language Taking Over?

Here’s the dilemma – any language changes over time and can potentially become extinct. It’s part of natural cycle – nothing lasts forever. Yet, when I hear my daughters using English syntax when speaking our native language, it saddens me a lot. I know it’s not their fault that I chose to move to Ireland eight years ago. It’s not their fault that they can’t read and write Latvian properly. After all, we’re living in an English speaking country and they’re completely immersed in English environment. So tell me – should I be fighting for my national background’s preservation at all costs or should I allow things to take natural course? It’s not impossible that I won’t hear my grandchildren use my native tongue – but then there’s thousands of foreigners in Ireland who choose not to use their native language at home at all! Well, I don’t think it’s right speaking English at home despite having your own language – you shouldn’t be denying your national identity no matter what. Once you’re born Egyptian, Ukrainian, Spaniard, or Filipino, you’ll always remain as such. But as for the younger generation… What’s the use of teaching them the native writing and reading if they won’t use it anyway? They can speak with their parents and relatives in the native tongue – fair enough! But why would I want my children to be able to use our language fully? They read and write English only anyway! (more…)

Is English Difficult Or Easy To Learn?

Today I got to read an article written by an English teacher Locke McKenzie where he expresses quite an interesting view on difficulty of English language compared to other European languages – mainly German. The article was tweeted by Tim Ferris so I thought – must be something of value – and I spent some of my precious time :-) reading it. Basically Locke McKenzie is saying that even though initially it seems that learning English is child’s game compared to learning numerous verb conjugations, noun genders and absurd tenses in languages like Spanish, German and Polish, it’s not that simple at all… He describes his experience with German students in a classroom when trying to teach them which verbs are followed by gerund and which – by infinitive. For example – following English grammar rules the verb to enjoy is followed by gerund as in Locke’s example – I enjoy baking cookies. The students were asking him how they could know which words are followed by gerund on which he was forced to answer – there’s no rule… This, and also various English grammar tenses which were difficult for the German students to grasp, made the article’s author to conclude with the following words, I quote: We have a mongrel language that has taken on words and rules unnecessarily, adding bits and pieces of whatever we like until there is no sense of order at all. Our language is slowly dissolving into nonsense. Poets and creatives should be appalled. It isn’t good for anything but business and politics, the only sectors where the more cryptically you talk, the better your chances of striking a deal. With all due respect to the article’s author I really want to disagree. (more…)

English Possessive Case And All The Tricky Stuff!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/sM3-Dknc8N8 Hi Folks, This is the first video in the English Harmony Practical Grammar video series. The grammar videos are still going to be part of my usual video blog. I just came up with this idea of the English Harmony Practical Grammar brand because I know that many of you are using grammar as a starting point to improve your English. But my English grammar lessons will be different – you’ll learn how to use it in real life conversations! I’m not going to repeat what you can find on a million websites on the Internet, or read in any English grammar book. Instead I’ll be giving you interesting and practical interpretation of ordinary English grammar – and it will be much more useful to you, believe me! Moreover, I’ll put all my experience, mistakes and conclusions that I’ve had throughout the years of improving my English into these lessons for the biggest benefit to you! So today’s topic – the possessive case in English language. If you’re not sure what it is – read more about the possessive case here. It’s simple enough, and your English teacher probably didn’t dedicate more than ten minutes to the possessive case in the classroom. However, it’s not that simple at all! I can remember myself struggling with the possessive form of nouns a few years ago – I was applying the same grammar rules on English that I would on my own language. As a result I was using the possessive case way too often! (more…)

Sacrifice Grammar To Improve Your English Fluency…?

English Grammar vs Spoken English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/NyVWa3Y2J48 Grammar is extremely important in any language. Nonetheless, it can sometime be a hindrance when learning to speak a language. When learning English (or any language) at school, there is a huge emphasis on the grammar and on the written word but not enough emphasis is placed on speech! Trying to learn hundreds of grammar rules and then learning how they are used is sometimes unnecessary and boring! It also means that most of the time is taken up in this way so it’s almost impossible to spend enough time on the spoken word. I have personally spent days, weeks and months reading and studying and re-reading books on grammar. I have had a huge interest I in the English language since I was very young. I found out when I got older that reading all those books and studying for days didn’t really help me when it came to speaking English. I figured out that I actually only needed to learn a small percentage of the grammar rules to speak fluent English! When writing in English, grammar tends to be slightly more important than in the spoken word - and that's probably why most people focus on improving grammar instead of improving their spoken English. (more…)

Paraphrasing – A Brilliant Method Of Improving Your Spoken English!

What’s Common Between Running and Speaking English?

I’m into running for nearly 3 years. Two, sometimes three times a week I’m doing a circuit of around 5 kilometers. And my loyal friend Roger – the mischievous beagle – is always doing the 5K with me. He’d do more; I’m sure, because when we run back home it’s me who’s out of breath – not him! And the amazing thing about running that I wanted to share with you is exactly about what I just said – being out of breath! You see, throughout all the years that I’ve been on the run, I was having issues. I was always having pain in my left side. You know, the kind of pain we’ve all had when having too much food and going for some exercise afterwards – be it swimming or running. But I was having the pain all the time – regardless the size of my last meal and how long ago I had it. As a result, I was also having issues with stamina. Most of the times I could run quite fast and keep at my normal pace despite being in that constant, mild pain. However, on some occasions it would get so bad I could barely drag myself back home. A couple of times I nearly passed out – but I always put it down to a bad day or just said to myself – sure it’ll be OK next time! (more…)

Don’t Translate Directly When Speaking English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qthVRtOSh4w Hi Boys and Girls! I’m back with the second video episode – and I hope you enjoyed the first one! I’m still getting a hang of the video recording equipment in my home studio – so you may spot some small glitches here and there. But I think the video quality is decent enough for you to understand what I’m saying, what you think? So this time I’m covering a few seemingly unrelated topics – direct translation to English from your native language and English collocations. However, it just takes a few minutes to grasp the connection between those two. (more…)

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…)

Topics For Practising Spoken English

Improve Spoken English – Stop Translating While Speaking!

Once you’re speaking fluently and confidently using your mother tongue’s accent it is the right time to start minimizing the accent and gradually move into a state of speaking English as you normally would. The most important factors to watch out for are – slowing the speech down, the clearness of thoughts and simplicity of speech. :!: Because of the traditional English studies you first form the English sentences in your head (unlike native speakers who use word combinations instead!) and you also try to use the native English accent thus completely messing up your English speech! On top of that your mind which is very well trained in the English classroom to do the translation job keeps on doing it the same when you speak in the real life! Real English speech isn’t the grammar-book-English you’ve been studying for years, right? There’s a huge difference between English class stuff and colloquial English you have to speak when facing native English speakers… The result – inability to speak fluently! :evil: I know this feeling very well myself and it feels so uncomfortable!!! It destroys your confidence, drains away your self esteem and you feel like you are some complete beginner English student despite having been studying and speaking it for years! So at this stage it is very important to get rid of all the thoughts in your own language and leave only pure English. But how to accomplish this goal if your mind works in a mode of looking up the words from your virtual vocabulary as you’ve been doing for years when passing English tests and exams? :idea: Here’s the trick – you have to slow down when speaking English, control the speech and allow yourself time to think of the right word and eventually your English fluency will improve and you’ll slip into a perfect fluent English speaking mode! And while you’re doing so, remember the thing I’ve already told you about - don’t you ever be afraid of using simple words! Way too often people feel embarrassed about that and will try to put in a word that sounds more professional. Let’s say, you speak and you want to say that “playing soccer is something that really ….” and then you stop for a split second not being able to find the appropriate word. Well, don’t hesitate to finish off the sentence by saying “…makes me happy” or “…is so enjoyable for me” if you can’t find the right word “…excites me”. I have often noticed that people whose native language isn’t English will try to say things using more sophisticated words. It will sometimes be hard for even native speakers to understand, so don’t be afraid of speaking simply. Yes, your mind makes wonders and is capable of nearly everything so the less you worry about something the better you will perform – that’s for sure!;-) Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Do You Force Native English Accent When Speaking?

How To Always Maintain Fluent English

First of all (and probably most importantly!) – always have a successful mindset! :!: This is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed with achieving English fluency. When you think positive and don’t allow little mistakes and failures during your speech irritate and annoy you, you’re already one step closer to improving your spoken English! When you worry you self-program yourself in a subconscious level that you speak poorly and that creates a vicious circle that is very hard to quit. It is difficult to maintain a positive outlook on something that is an issue for you, there’s no doubt about that. However, you must try. Let it go. Don’t reproach yourself and don’t start frantically thinking – what’s wrong, what’s wrong with me? The first thing you have to program in your mind instead is – I KNOW that I CAN speak very well, and I don’t allow anyone and anything make me feel embarrassed when I speak English! Once you’ve programmed yourself that way you have done some 30% of the job! The next thing you have to do to make your English speech more natural and easy - forget about words you have to force yourself to look up in your virtual vocabulary. Most of them will be some difficult words you’ve learnt by memorizing. You can learn hundreds of words by heart but when it comes to a real life chat – we can’t just speak those words out because they haven’t been learnt as a part of a live language. In fact the language doesn’t consist of words – it consists of word combinations! When a natural English speaker says: “How could you do that to me?” he doesn’t think about the separate words making up the sentence and how to stick them together. The whole sentence comes into parts – “how could you”, and “do that to me”. These things have been heard in the very childhood when mom told her child “How could you?” and the child’s mind memorizes the whole thing as one – “howcouldyou”. When we, non-native English speakers speak English, we tend more to think about the things before we speak them out, we organize them into our mind, unwillingly translate from our native language (here I’m talking about us who haven’t learn the language the natural way and experience lack of English fluency!). This is why it is very important to learn new words as part of a live conversation. I’m not telling here that all the vocabulary you have learnt by self-studies is useless, of course, it isn’t. Your mind is going to put everything in its places and the more time you spend in an English environment, the better the words will settle in your consciousness and will be associated with an abstract meaning rather than with a word from your own language. What I’m telling is that while you experience the English fluency problem stick with simpler words which don’t require much of your will to speak out and don’t give a damn about how simply it sounds and what others might think about you. So – when speaking English, feel completely free to use “go up” instead of “increase” and “drop” instead of “reduced”. By the way, it sometimes is quite surprising how simply some things can be said by a natural English speaker! At work on many occasions the e-mails sent by my Irish boss sound as if written by a non-national worker and vice versa. Remember it and never feel embarrassed when choosing a simple way to explain something. The two things mentioned above are very important if you really want to improve your English fluency! :!: Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

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!

India – the Home of Fluent English?

Hi Everyone, Today I came across a website about English fluency called Fluentzy.com. It’s pretty cool in the fact that they’re basically talking about all the same issues with speaking fluent English that I do! You have to speak English and have pre-planned the speech in your head. But when it comes to speaking with a person for real, you just can’t say a word... And the actual reasons behind this issue is the following – learning the English language through your mother’s tongue. You know – it’s the traditional way of learning a language. You write the English words down in your copybook and translate them into your native language. Then you memorize the meaning of those words and you’re perfectly fine with using them in your writing, speaking in the class and so on. However, there’s one very important problem that will surface only later on. Namely – the English language you learn, is far from fluent! You can’t speak spontaneously – and this is the factor that separates a fluent English from one that is handy ONLY when it comes to writing a letter, or reading a book. The credit for inventing the system at the fluentzy website goes to Indians, by the way. As it’s said on the website, I quote: "England may be the home of English, but India is the home of fluent English. India is where English fluency building was systematized for the first time in the world as a distinct teachable subject. An Indian loved the English language so much that he studied its fluency-secrets in great depth and designed the world's first dedicated course in English fluency building (as distinct from EFL/ESL courses and translation-dependent bilingual courses). And that was KevNair, better known as the father of fluency development" - The New Indian Express Well, thank you KevNair for your contribution into the English fluency! ;-)

Improve English Fluency… Have A Coffee Break!

Simple Action Plan To Boost Your English Fluency

Hi my friend, this time I’m going to give you a plain and simple action plan to instantly improve your English confidence – and I bet you’ll be surprised how EASY and EFFECTIVE it is! So enough ranting – let’s get to the matter straight away! Step one – STOP being ashamed of yourself! Did I just insult you? Sorry, no offence meant. But the cold truth is – everyone who struggles speaking English fluently is actually shy deep inside. Whether you are aware of it or not – you constantly COMPARE yourself with others, or with a particular person. It could be your best friend, or workmate, or a person being your role model – and it constantly nags at you – ‘He’s speaking better than me…’ Well, there’s not a better solution than to stand in the front of a mirror and tell yourself loud – I don’t need anyone as a role model. I’m sufficient with my English and there’s NOTHING that could make me feel low and lose my self-esteem. So the first step is to recognize the very fact that you constantly keep on being shy speaking in front of particular people, in public etc. Step number two – when you speak a natural English speech, just THROW away all the grammar rules from your mind! Am I being too extreme making such a statement? Well – I don’t think so. Bear in mind – I didn’t say ‘forget all English grammar’. What I meant was – don’t put double load on your mind when you speak English. Your sub-consciousness will do the work for you. Everything you’ve learnt so far grammarwise will manifest itself anyway. So if you speak and try to think about the grammar rules at the same time – you just make unnecessary effort. You will inevitably make your speech slower and distorted. Better don’t think anything ‘extra’ – just speak and enjoy being right here and now with the person you’re communicating with. The third step – ACCEPT the things the way they are. Even though it may sound completely opposite to what you desire – there’s a great wisdom in this approach. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to strive to improve your English. But with not accepting yourself as your are, you are creating a never-ending conflict with your inner self. In other words – you’re doing more damage to your English confidence rather than improving it. Anyone has embarrassing moments while speaking – even speaking their own language. A week ago I went for holidays to my native country and had to deal with people speaking my language, of course. And you know what? It’s really weird, but I noticed myself starting stutter and mispronounce the words… I hadn’t spoken to other natives but my family and closest friends for a while, and this sudden change made me speak badly even in my own language! So think about this again and accept yourself. When such moments happen while speaking English – the last thing you want to do is – start worrying. Be yourself – and it will eventually yield more results than constantly fighting with yourself! OK, my friend, I hope these simple things will help you in your way to fluent English! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Do You Get Stuck In English When Hearing Yourself?

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…)