How To Learn A New Language In Super-short Time!
A few months ago I came across a website of an Irish guy called Benny – and I must say I was really impressed with what I found out about him! Benny speaks 8 languages at the moment... I’m saying – at the moment – because God only knows how many he will speak at the time when you read this article! Basically this is what he does – he takes on 3 month long missions to learn a new language. Yes, you got me right – 3 months! :!: While for most people it would take 3 months to get around basics of a new language, Benny masters his target language to fluency. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, if you think he’s a genius capable of acquiring tens of thousands of words in the target language and master it to a complete fluency in 3 months – it’s not really the case. For Benny as well as for me achieving fluency in a language doesn’t mean acquiring all academic grammar knowledge about the language along with huge vocabulary. (more…)
English Sentence Starter: “I Can See Where You’re Coming From”
It’s OK to Feel Like an Idiot – Sometimes Even Native English Speakers Get Tongue-tied!
4 PRACTICAL Things You Didn’t Know About the English Language
Even if you’ve been learning and using the English language for years, I can assure you that there are some quite practical things about this language that you’re not really aware of :!: “Ah well, this is just another article about English word origins, historic facts or funny things about the English language…” – you may have been thinking when reading the headline. If so, then let me tell you – you're in for a very pleasant surprise! In this article I’m actually going to reveal a good few things about the English language that will HELP you in your fluency improvement routine by making it easier to learn new vocabulary, pronunciation and a whole lot more. Are you ready? Then what are we waiting for – let’s get started! ;-) (more…)
7 Best Radio Stations for English Learners
Today's Guest post is by Kenneth Waldman. He is a Professional Writer and also an Editorial Assistant at EssayMama.com. The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, digital marketing, social media. Listening to radio stations is a terrific way to improve your ability to understand spoken English. Listening to the radio provides opportunities to listen to many different people speaking English at a normal rate of speed and in many different dialects and accents. Talk radio is especially helpful because it forces one to concentrate and focus on the spoken word. You will begin to listen and to understand English without translating from your mother tongue. You will improve your own accent and learn many commonly used phrases. Read about these 7 stations that can help you improve your spoken English, comprehension and vocabulary. (more…)
Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!
English Fluency Issue Explained
Hello my friend foreigner! Even the most advanced foreign English speakers can be faced with hesitation in speaking English at some stage of their lives. And most surprisingly – there’s seemingly no rational explanation for that! Years long studies of English have perfected your overall English understanding. You can read English fiction and enjoy watching English speaking TV programs. And you’ve probably been living in an English speaking country for a good while already! But you still keep experiencing this weird hesitation when speaking English and it drives you mad! So why the issue is there, and how to deal with it? Is there a solution or it’s something you’ll have to bear for the rest of your life? Luckily for you I have just the right explanation – and it’s quite simple! ;-) First of all – it’s al down to traditional English studies. They focus way too much on reading and writing aspects of the English language. You see – spoken English fluency is developed when you learn how to use English in live conversations naturally, using small talk phrases and expressions, and also naturally occurring English phrases! Traditional English studies, on the other hand, have created and reinforced a very bad habit of trying to speak as if you’re writing text in your head and then reading it out. And you also may have tendency of translating from your native language first because that’s how English is traditionally taught in most schools – using your language as reference medium. All the above mentioned have created this phenomenon of hesitating a lot when speaking English because you just can’t form a natural, fluent speech! The solution? Rebuild your English from the ground up by learning small talk, phrasal verbs, idioms and collocations – in other words, all the stuff that makes up spoken English! Sounds fairly complicated? Well, then check out the English Harmony System and its specifics – you’ll be in a nice surprise it’s got exactly what you need to stop hesitating when speaking English!
Importance of Letting It Go!
Using Short English Words AT, OF, A, THE in Conversations
VIDEO SCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, hello boys and girls, and welcome back to English Harmony video blog. I'm Robby, your English fluency mentor from EnglishHarmony.com and in today's video we're going to look at what you should be doing when you're not sure of usage of certain little English words such as "at", "of", "a", and "the". So basically, when you're speaking and you're not sure of whether you should stick that little word in the phrase or sentence or you shouldn't - let me tell you right up front: if you start analyzing your speech too much and you start wrecking your head over these tiny little details, your fluency is gonna go out the window. Here is a typical example of what I'm talking about today - just listen to it once more: "out the window". What did I just say? Did I just say, "out OF THE window" or did I just say, "out THE window"? (more…)
Having English as the ONLY Language in the World Would Be a Disaster…
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Creating English Sentences Using New Words? Waste of Time!
Does the following scenario ring a bell with you? -> You’re looking at a list of new English words given to you by your English teacher Your task is to use each of those words in a new sentence You’re going mad trying to think of example sentences… Eventually you create sentences in your native language containing those new words and then you translate them into English! Needless to say, this entire exercise is a total waste of your precious time and chances are, you’re not going to be able to use those new English words even when you’ve managed to insert them into sentences! Why? Well, keep reading this article and you’ll learn a thing or two about such practice of creating new English sentences using new vocabulary words – and you’ll also find out why learning READY-TO-GO sentences instead of creating new ones is the BEST way of acquiring those new English words! (more…)
English Fiction Books I’m Going to Read Before I Die (Kick the Bucket)!
Hi boys and girls, My name is Robby, I’m a foreigner (Latvian, to be more specific), and I’ve been reading ONLY English fiction for the last 8 or 9 years. I started off by trying to improve my English fluency by reading newspapers followed by simple children books, and soon enough I’d achieved complete English reading fluency while at the same time my vocabulary was still quite limited (I learned how to infer meaning of less known words and expressions from the context alone!) A few years down the line, however, I realized that reading had done relatively little to my ability to speak. Spoken English self-practice turned out to be the most effective way of improving my oral fluency, and so I've been focusing on that aspect of my English improving routine ever since. Nonetheless, reading English fiction became my passion – I’ve read dozens upon dozens of heroic fantasy books as well as plenty of dystopian fiction which is currently my favorite genre and I plain LOVE IT! If you’re a foreigner – just like me! – and you also love reading English fiction (or maybe you’ve always wanted to do it but don’t know where to start?), here’s a list of books I've lined up for reading this year (maybe it’s something that’s going to pique your interest as well!): (more…)
3 Killer Tips on How to Write in English Like a Native Speaker!
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…)
How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!
How to Speak During a Job Interview If You’re a Non-Native English Speaker
The truth of the matter is that most foreign English speakers want to improve their English in order to improve their chances of getting a better job or getting that long-wanted promotion in their current company. So, the chances are quite high that you also cherish such dreams of improving the quality of your professional life, and I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’d like to be prepared really, really well when going for your job interview! Also, if you’re competing against native English speakers for the position, you may want to make sure you don’t expose your weaknesses in terms of your overall English skills, and most importantly – you definitely want to make sure you’re able to showcase your personal profile, relevant qualifications and past experience without any hiccups during the job interview. Now, do you think you don’t stand a chance of getting that job you desire if: You sometimes get stuck for words when speaking in English; Using the right English tenses during a conversation sometimes presents problems for you; You don’t know how to sound professional during important events such as job interviews and meetings? Don’t worry! In this and the next few articles dedicated to job seeking for non-native English speakers I’m going to provide killer tips for you that will see to your job seeking goals and make sure you put on a great show during the job interview! ;-) (more…)
You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!
English Improvement Trend & Inevitable Fluency Fluctuations – Why Is It Happening to Me?
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Recently I watched a TV program about blind people recovering eyesight. What struck me most in the program was the fact that even if you restore a damaged optic nerve to its full capacity, the blind person isn’t necessarily going to function properly in terms of seeing the world around. IMPORTANT! -> Why I’m highlighting parts of text in RED? It appears that in order to see not only we need our eyes; our brain plays a crucial role in the process, too. And what was most shocking – if a person has been blind since birth or very early childhood, he or she may never learn how to “see” the word properly even if technically it would be possible. Human brain is simply unable to process graphical images from the outside world (read - any audiovisual information) and convert them into an adequate reflection into one’s mind IF it hasn’t been trained to do so :!: The man from the TV program had undergone surgery to recover eyesight, but getting around the town was still a tricky task. He learnt to recognize certain shapes and forms, but can you imagine what it feels like when you look down at a shadow on the sidewalk but you haven’t got a clue whether it’s a shadow cast by some object or a foot deep drop where the sidewalk ends? Your brain has been trained to recognize things from an early age and has seen millions of different shades throughout your lifetime. The man with recovered eyesight has to learn everything from scratch which makes it very, very difficult. What’s it got to do with spoken English, you’ll ask? Simple enough – if you’ve spent the biggest part of your live studying English the traditional way and then you move to an English speaking country, you’re in pretty much the same position as the man with the recovered eyesight walking around his residential estate. (more…)
Can You Speak Fluent English Without Learning Idioms?
Apparently you can’t get far in spoken English if you don’t know the traditional English idioms – so they say. For instance, the idiom “Till the cows come home” means “for a very long time” so you should be certain to use this idiom every now and then when you want to emphasize futility of the action you’re discussing – “You can try to please your boss’s every whim till cows come home, but you still won’t get that promotion.” Or this one – “The pot calling the kettle black”. This idiom is used to point out to a person accusing someone that he’s not all that innocent himself. Is it true though? Do you really have to go the extra mile (you see – I just used another idiom so they have to be useful, right?) learning such and similar English idioms to sound fluent and be able to communicate easily with other English speakers? Well, I can’t actually give you a definitive answer to this question without first discussing the nature of English idioms and how they’re used. So let me bring up an example so that you can start seeing the big picture (see – another idiom!). I remember an occasion when my daughters had their friend around and it started raining really heavily. As they say here in Ireland – it was lashing outside! I made a comment about the heavy rainfall and used the typical (so they say…) idiom – “It’s raining cats and dogs.” And you know what? None of the kids had the slightest idea of what I was talking about :!: Fair enough, my daughters moved to Ireland when they were four, so it’s understandable that they mightn’t have known the expression I used. Their friend, however, was a native English speaker so I kind of expected hear to know this popular (or so I was led to believe!) English idiom. Why, don’t all English speaking people exclaim “It’s raining cats and dogs!” when it’s raining outside? According to so many English learning related websites it’s true, and you’ll be given a list of such and similar archaic phrases as your typical idioms to learn in every second English grammar book! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”
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!
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English Idiomatic Expression: “You Don’t Want To…”
Hello my friends foreign English speakers! ;-) Here’s another English idiomatic expression for you to learn and use in your daily English conversations and also spoken English practice sessions: YOU DON’T WANT TO This particular English phrase simply means “YOU SHOULDN’T…” and it’s used by native English speakers in situations when telling someone that they shouldn’t do something would sound a bit too harsh and patronizing. Imagine yourself in a situation when you’re introduced to a new work colleague and you’re given the task of showing him the ropes (explaining how the job is done.) You’d be telling your new colleague a lot of things that they shouldn’t do over the course of the day, so every time you’re saying YOU SHOULDN'T DO IT and DON’T DO IT, it may start sounding as if you’re annoyed with them. Not that it’s a big deal – and if your voice and body language clearly shows your good intentions, you shouldn’t have any problems with telling someone that they shouldn’t do something. It’s just that it may sound a bit friendlier if you use the phrase YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT! And here's the exact phrases where you'd be using this idiomatic expression: (more…)
My Plans for English Harmony in 2015
So much has happened during the last few months in my life… I changed my job a couple of months ago... I re-opened my English fluency coaching program Fluency Star... And then I quit my new job having worked there for just over two months :!: You see, I realized I can’t really cope with such a massive workload and the only logical solution was to quit my new job so that I can do both – teach my students via Skype and maintain this blog. If you’ve been following English Harmony for a while you’ll notice that I haven’t been posting a lot of blog posts lately. To be more specific - it’s been 2 weeks now without posting a single blog entry! To put it in perspective – there was a time when I was publishing 3 articles every week. If you visited my blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you would always find a new article or a video, but during the last few months it’s been fairly irregular. I’ve published something whenever I could find enough time for it, but if I put myself in your shoes, I can definitely see that it’s not good enough. I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that you’d rather come to my blog with the sure knowledge of finding new content every couple of days, so it’s the first thing I’ve planned for the English Harmony website this year: (more…)
How English Idiomatic Expressions Helped Me Deal With a REALLY Stressful Conversation
I’d been mentally preparing myself for the upcoming conversation for DAYS. I’d gone through all the things I was going to say to my boss all over and over again. I’d wanted to talk to him on multiple occasions yet I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to do it and I just kept talking myself out of it (now it’s not the right time… now I’m too busy…) When I finally got around to talking to him, it all happened kind of suddenly and I had actually forgotten every little detail I wanted to talk about. Sure enough, I knew what I wanted to ask, but I hadn’t gone through the more detailed plan of the upcoming conversation which I’d worked out previously. So, when I stood right in front of him asking if he’s five minutes to spare, the stress levels in my body were hitting all-time heights! My heart was palpitating. Adrenaline was being pumped through my veins at an accelerated rate. Needless to say, I found it quite hard to start the conversation because the stress levels were most definitely affecting my ability to say what I wanted to say in English! Luckily my chat with the boss didn’t turn out to be a total failure because I’ve been learning hundreds upon hundreds of English idiomatic expressions over the years, and the accumulative effect of such practice is such that it enables you to speak in English automatically and without much thinking (the English Harmony System works based on the same principles, by the way!). Here’s how English idiomatic expressions helped me conduct the conversation in a fairly normal way: (more…)
How To Hesitate Like A Native English Speaker
11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me
Now that I can communicate in English with ease, I take everything that comes with it for granted. Looking back in time, however, I can clearly see that many aspects of my life in an English speaking country AND my personal life in general weren’t as fulfilled as these days. Even such a simple task as asking for price of roast chicken in a supermarket would make my heart race with the prospect of stuttering and not being understood properly! :mad: Here’s a list I came up with when trying to list as many advantages of being a fluent English speaker as I possibly could. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does paint a pretty clear picture of what an average foreign English speaker can achieve when possessing good English communication skills! And please don’t get me wrong – I didn’t create this list to brag about my fluency and make those who haven’t achieved it yet, feel bad about themselves. This list is rather intended to serve as a reminder of what awaits you at some stage in the future IF you’re among those foreigners still struggling with fluency! (more…)
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English Collocation: “Sufficient Information”
Hello my friends! :grin: Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, although technically it’s rather a collocation than a typical expression. What’s the difference? Well, a collocation is a two or more English word combination observed in a native English speech (and also writing), and the funny thing is that there’s practically no way of telling WHY this or that particular thing is said in a certain way. You simply have to learn it and use it, that’s all! Let’s take, for example, today’s collocation ‘sufficient information’. It’s a TYPICAL way English speakers refer to the minimum amount of information necessary to get something done; the simplest way of putting it would be ‘enough information’, I guess. ‘Sufficient information’, however, is the EXACT way native English speakers would describe a situation when one hasn’t been able to fulfill their work related duties because of lack of information, for example: (more…)
English Collocation: “Sparked Heated Debates”
My Honest Opinion on Developing English Listening Skills
Many Native English Speakers Don’t Realize How HARD It Actually Is to Learn a Language!
Have you ever heard a native English speaker make a comment about some foreigner which clearly shows their irritation with the fact that the said foreigner doesn’t speak in English fluently enough or can’t understand what the native English speaker is saying? I’ve been the target of such judgmental, opinionated thinking myself as well as witnessed other foreigners becoming targets of unfair treatment just because they didn’t understand what they were told or weren’t able to say something in English, and here’s a typical scenario of how such treatment manifests itself: A native English speaker says something to a foreigner very fast, or even worse – with a strong local accent. The foreigner has NO IDEA what he was just told, and oftentimes he’s too embarrassed to say anything in response – he’s just smiling or nodding his head in agreement just so that the native English speaker would go away and leave him alone. The native English speaker then makes a comment about the whole situation by saying something along the lines of: “It’s about time they started learning some English…” or “He’s been working here for so long and still he has no English at all!” All I can say about that is the following – those native English speakers have NO IDEA of how difficult it actually is to learn a language :!: They have no idea that it’s impossible for foreigners to learn English by listening to very fast speech spoken by locals so they don’t even bother slowing their speech down thus making it impossible for the non-native speaker to understand them. They think that English is somehow “picked up” by foreigners simply being around English speakers, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. One has to make a lot of CONSCIOUS effort in order to learn English and be able to understand others as well as speak the language, and it requires many hours of spoken English practice to get to a level where the foreign English speaker can finally start speaking with other people in English comfortably. Some native English speakers may have been lead to believe that picking up English is fairly simple by the analogy of small foreign children of pre-school age – they start speaking in English pretty fast once they start going to a kindergarten or school so surely adult foreigners should be capable of the same, right? Not really :!: You can’t really compare small children with adults because children have no fear of making mistakes and they can speak ALL THE TIME thus improving their English very fast whereas for many adult foreigners at work opportunities to speak are quite limited – not to mention the embarrassment and judgmental treatment which are LIMITING their potential. All in all, learning English is quite a tricky process for the average foreigner, so let’s look at the various aspects of it a little bit deeper. (more…)