5 Memory Improvement Tips for Language Learners
As technology advanced and civilizations were allowed to record and externalize information, the art of memory lost its power. Many people complain that they have bad memory, forgetting that this amazing feature of the human brain can be trained. And the training is critical for language learners who need to memorize plenty of information regarding the grammar, syntax, or vocabulary of the language they're learning. Here are 5 smart memory improvement tips to help you in learning a new language! Take advantage of mnemonics The word “mnemonics” derives from Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory. A mnemonic is basically any device that helps to memorize a piece of information – for example, a verse or a formula. Memory isn't about repeating a fact until it's rammed into your brain. It relies on imagination. Learning and memory are both creative processes. When memorizing new pieces of information, you form connections between disparate acts to create something new. Make sure that the image you create stands out, that's how you'll remember it for the years to come. (more…)
English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency
The State of “The Flow” and Its Importance When Improving Your English
What’s the Best Way to Go About Shadowing English Videos?
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! Have you tried the shadowing technique whereby you try and mimic English speakers from TV shows and YouTube videos? Are you finding it hard and you don’t really know how to go about it? Then watch this video where I’m addressing English shadowing related concerns raised by one of my blog followers! And obviously - if you've got any comments or questions about this thing called SHADOWING - please publish them in the comments section below my friends! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression “Good Night’s Sleep”
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! Video Transcript Below Hi guys, that's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Currently I'm having my morning tea. As a matter of fact, it's green tea with lemon. One smart person suggested a while back that I drink green tea with lemon as a way of boosting my immune system and whatnot and it actually helped, you know what I mean? So that was a very wise suggestion on that person's part. Anyhow, today we're going to look at the following English idiomatic expression. As a matter of fact, I forgot what the expression was. Seriously, what's wrong with me? It just slipped my mind. I cannot believe that, it's unbelievable. I remember it now but it just goes to show that my head is full of different thoughts and everything and it's all too easy to me to forget the stuff that I actually wanted to put in this video, right? So today's idiomatic expression is a “good night's sleep”, right? And it may sound very simple. In fact, it's super simple, a good night's sleep, right? When you've had a good night's sleep obviously you slept very well. However, there's a reason for me to creating a whole video dedicated to this particular idiomatic expression. And if you want to find out what the reason is, please bear with me for a few more minutes and everything is going to become crystal clear to you, my friends. (more…)
English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
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! Related articles: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English Speaking Country What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about living in Ireland which, as you may already know, is an English speaking country. In hindsight, I can say that it’s been one hell of a transformation – I’ve gone from a foreigner who’s barely capable of speaking conversational English to an English fluency mentor who’s teaching other foreign English speakers. I’ve experienced all the ups and downs one can encounter while living in an English speaking country. I’ve been told I’m a useless English speaker. I’ve been in all sorts of embarrassing situations – starting from not being able to order a meal in McDonald’s and ending with screwing up job interviews because of my inability to provide a coherent answer. But the great thing is that now, with all that experience under my belt, I can tell my students with the utmost certainty what kind of an attitude they need to adopt in order to survive and thrive as English speakers living in an English speaking country. It feels so great being in a position to help out others, and frankly speaking, I don’t regret anything that’s happened to me while I was a struggling English speaker. I like to think that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I just HAD to endure all the hardship and suffering to emerge a fluent English speaker equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help others who find themselves in the same boat. But now, let me tell you what I’ve realized over the 14 year long stay in Ireland; as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about life in an English speaking country! (more…)
Reading Aloud – Perfect Way of Practicing Your Spoken English!
Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!
Happy New Year 2017 my friends foreign English speakers and all my followers! I’m wishing you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year! Personally for me this last year has been very challenging and full of surprises, but I can proudly say that I accomplished what I set out to do and I secured a job in the IT sector as a foreign English speaker. Have you got similar dreams and ambitions? Do you feel like you’re kind of stuck and you would really like to change things? Do you plan to move to an English speaking country to study? Do you finally want to find a better job where you can realize your full potential and also use the English language? Or maybe you want to start your own YouTube channel about a specific topic and publish videos as a foreign English speaker? Everything is possible. EVERYTHING! Just set your goal for the year 2017, come up with a simple action plan and follow through with it. It really is THAT simple my friends! Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Your English fluency coach, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?
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 ;-)
Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past
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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Currently I'm having my Monday morning tea. Cheers! You see how big, how huge this mug is? This is the kind of mug I like, you know what I mean? This is what I call proper tea drinking. You can make yourself almost a liter of tea and drink it, right? Anyhow, in today's video I'm going to look at the following topic: Simple Past versus Present Simple. And this is, as a matter of fact, a thing that confuses the hell out of so many foreign English speakers, right? And ironically enough I haven't actually recorded a video about this particular topic in the past which is kind of weird because I've been publishing my videos for years on end. At this stage it's actually 8 years since I'm running the English Harmony blog or actually 9 years. Yeah, going 9 years this year to be honest with you. I started it in 2007 if I'm not mistaken so next year going 10 years, you know what I mean? It is going to be a big anniversary. Anyhow, it's surprising that I haven't actually touched upon this particular topic comparing the simple past “I did it” for instance against present simple “I've done it” and when you use one or the other, you know what I mean? And the reason I'm saying that it confuses the hell out of so many foreigners is because I've had first-hand experience dealing with people who are not really sure on how to use these two tenses, right? As a matter of fact, one of my Fluency Star students served as an inspiration for this video because that person was kind of not really sure on how it's done and then I explained it to her and she was very happy about my explanation because it's pretty straight forward if you boil it down to the very basics, right? So first things first, “I've done it.” For instance “I've been to London” which is not really true in my case because believe it or not, I've never been to London, right? And it's very weird because I live in Ireland which is very close to England, so it's just one small hop with a plane, like a half an hour flight or something and you're in London, you know what I mean? And with these days’ prices where you can go to London just paying literally 20 or 30 Euros, you know what I mean? It's no excuse not to go there but on the downside obviously when you go there you have to book a hotel and so on and so forth. And then you have to go sightseeing and all those costs add up and eventually you end up spending a fortune, you know what I mean? So I guess I've just kept putting it off and off and off. And anyhow, I'm going to do it one fine day I would imagine but anyhow, going back to the subject; “I've been to London,” right? And then you can also say I went to London, okay? So what is the difference? First things first, you don't have to be kind of analyzing your English language – language? What did I just say? Language. See, I just made a mistake but it just goes to show that making mistakes is a crucial part of the whole fluency improvement thing, right? Anyhow, you see, today I'm all over the place. I just keep varying up the subject and touching upon random things. So “I've been to London, right?” It's a general statement. You're not specifying a specific point in time. And mark this guys, point in time. This is the crucial bit, right? Whenever there is a time mentioned, a specific time, a year, a day, month, week, whatever, that's when you use simple past. (more…)
5 Ways International English Students Can Start Writing Like Natives
How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days
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! Video Transcript Below: Hey guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! This is me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Today I wanted to tell you something interesting in relation to English fluency obviously because this whole project is about English fluency so what else could I be possibly telling you about, right? Other than English fluency related matters. Anyhow, the particular thing that I wanted to bring up today was the phenomenon of you being able to perform quite well when it comes to spoken English performance on days when your English is kind of suffering a little bit but still you have those particular situations during those days when you're capable of performing very well. And here's a typical example just to make it a 100% clear to you what exactly I mean by saying all this, right? Let's say for argument's sake I go to work in the morning and for some reason my English is not a 100%. My brain is not firing on all cylinders for whatever reason, you know, and my English is kind of sluggish. So it's basically one of those bad fluency days. (more…)
Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!
5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct
No matter what type of text you are writing, grammatical accuracy is a primary requirement. You might have great ideas to share, but they will lose their value if readers stumble upon spelling or grammar mistakes. Luckily, nowadays it’s easier than ever to learn how to write and speak correctly. There are many online resources at hand. Let’s check out five top tools that will help you write properly! Grammarly Proofreader Grammarly is one of the most popular grammar checking apps. It is user-friendly and accessible. How does it work? You simply copy-paste the content in the proofreading window and follow the instructions that will pop up on the right. You will immediately see any grammar and spelling issues and suggestions on how to correct them. Grammarly comes in a free version that is available to anyone. For more benefits, you can also upgrade to the premium version that provides you additional features like Microsoft Word or Outlook Add-on. If you’re busy and always on the move, you can easily correct your discourse accessing this tool on your smartphone. In fact, there are many ways in which your mobile phone can help you improve your language. (more…)
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
English Idiomatic Expression: “The Big Picture…”
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, hi boys and girls and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog! In today's video we're going to look at the following English idiom: The BIG Picture. Or alternatively, you can say: The Bigger Picture. It doesn't really matter which one you go for, whether you say "The big picture" or "The bigger picture", these two word combinations are pretty much interchangeable, they mean the same thing. Now. In reality when you'll be using the phrase "The big picture" you would be putting it in different contexts, such as: "When looking at the bigger picture" or "If you look at the big picture" or your ability to see the bigger picture, right? You'd be using it in different contexts but the very two-word combination "The big picture" always remains the same and it's very idiomatic by its nature and if you are curious as to what it means, when to use it, how to use it, place bear with me for a few more minutes and everything's gonna become crystal clear to you, I promise! (more…)
English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free
Another English Fluency Question and Answer session – this time around it’s all about me speaking with a foreign accent and free vs paid English learning resources!
English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
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! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys! Hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com obviously. And welcome – I was going to say velcome. This is one of those typical mistakes that some of us make. Instead of welcome we would say velcome. Basically instead of the “wa” sound we'd be saying “w” for some reason or another, you know. And it does happen to me on the rare occasion and now you actually witnessed that occasion but I'm not going to delete it out from the video. I'm just going to leave there on record just to prove you guys that making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a – I would even say an integral part of your development as a foreign English speaker, you know. Because getting rid of mistakes altogether is not possible, right? Anyhow, now I'm having my Saturday afternoon green tea. Cheers. And to a healthy lifestyle, right? Instead of coffee these days I'm rolling with green tea pretty much all the time, and especially when I'm at work, the workload is really, really big I would say. Sometimes even overwhelming so green tea keeps me energized and focused and I would really suggest you start doing the same thing, right? If you're drinking coffee, switch over to green tea and you're going to feel the effects of it immediately! (more…)
English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With Robby
Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!
Recently I got contacted by one of my blog readers and she told me that the more she thinks about the various English grammar tenses, the more confusing the whole thing gets… On a lot of occasions it seems that you can use a number of different Tenses, for instance – “I’m going to the movies tonight”, “I’ll go to the movies”, “I’ll be going to the movies” – so how do you know which one is right? And the more you analyze all this kind of stuff, the more confusing it gets and eventually you start feeling that you know nothing about English grammar! Now, watch this video above where I’m giving precious advice on how to approach such a state of mind, and if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate to publish them in the comments section below! Robby P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
This Exercise Will Help You Finally Master Those Annoying English Auxiliary Verbs!
Learning how to use auxiliary verbs in English (do, don’t, doesn’t, etc.) is one of the trickiest aspects of the language. It’s not at all intuitive and it’s only used in very particular contexts. Misusing an auxiliary verb is a costly error, yet even high-level English students tend to commit it. In a best case scenario, making such an error would expose you as a foreign speaker, which inherently invites judgment. In a worst case scenario, you could communicate something that is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to say. Fear not! Below is an exercise that will solve all of your auxiliary issues. And the best part about it is that all levels of English speakers from beginner all the way up to upper-intermediate can benefit from it. Here’s how it works. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “To The Best of My Knowledge”
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, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today I decided to bring another English idiomatic expression video to you and this time around the video in question is – no, not the video in question, the phrase, the expression in question! Sorry guys for making this mistake but I'm just going to leave it here on record so that you can see that Robby is not really afraid of making mistakes, he practices what he preaches and that's the path that you should be going down as well if you're anything serious about your English fluency improvement that is, right? So basically don't be afraid, don't be embarrassed of making mistakes, saying something wrong, going back, correcting yourself, it's all part of the game. Anyway, going back to the original subject, the expression in question for today is “to the best of my knowledge”, right? So if you're interested in learning how to use this particular English idiomatic expression, just bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends! (more…)
What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language
What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?
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! One of my blog readers posted a piece of English writing on my blog here and asked me what was wrong with it. Having taken a closer look, I quickly realized that the author of that piece had used quite sophisticated language, but the words just didn’t go together which was a telltale sign of lack of contextual English learning! So here it is: Now, it’s no secret that in order to learn to speak and write in English in a native-like fashion you have to embrace the concept of contextual English learning. Well, I guess I should put it this way – it’s no secret to those who’ve been following my blog and watching my videos. (more…)
Past Events in English: “There Was This Time When… Next Thing I Know…”
It’s Normal to Forget English Phrases, Expressions and Collocations!
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! Has it ever crossed your mind that there’s certain English phrases you’ve stopped using? Here’s what made me realize it – when I check back my older blog articles and videos, I come across certain means of expression I don’t really use these days! For instance, when I watch my videos recorded back in 2011, I notice that back then I was using the phrasal verb COME ALONG quite often, and come to think of it, these days I don’t really use it anymore! Here’s another example – when I was updating my Fluency Star website, I read a sentence I’d written a couple of years ago: “… students OUGHT TO be punished…” and it immediately made me remember the TV show Mythbusters where Jamie was using this English auxiliary verb quite often, and I’d picked up that habit from him. Nowadays I don’t really watch Mythbusters anymore, and as a consequence I’ve actually stopped using OUGHT TO in my own English writing and conversations! Now, quite naturally it might beg the question – is this a worrying trend? Should I be concerned that I don’t use certain English means of expression anymore? Is that indicative of worsening English skills? Or maybe it means I have some sort of a memory problem and I should get checked out for an early-onset Alzheimer’s? ;-) Well, it’s not all that bad, my friends! I’m not developing dementia any time soon, and neither are you – forgetting certain English means of expression is totally normal, so please read this article to find out why it happens! (more…)
Where I Source All These English Idiomatic Expressions?
Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
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, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)