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.

English Harmony System

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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!

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

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

English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!

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! In today's video I'm going to respond to a number of e-mails sent by my blog readers, and here's exactly what I'm addressing in this video: How heeding to my advice about using SIMPLE VOCABULARY helped one of my blog readers to succeed at a job interview which resulted in securing a job 1:00 - 3:15 Is trying to build huge vocabulary and phraseology going to help overcome an English fluency issue whereby the person in question keeps constantly second-guessing themselves when speaking in English? 3:20 - 9:50 Studying English grammar for 20 years - and still can't speak in English! 9:50 - 11:05 Struggling with English Tenses and modifying English sentences 11:15 - 13:05 Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 1- Sports

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Hey, hey, hey everyone out there, I hope you are all doing well today, and guess what? I am so pumped up that we are going to start our first chapter today and I am quite sure so are you. Wait? What’s next? (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 19- Age

Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE

You may not have thought about it, but the fact of the matter is that the English word CASE is used in an awful lot of different English phrases that are applicable to a wide range of situations in life! Don’t believe it? Well, if that’s the CASE, I’m going to have to try and convince you, in which CASE there’s no better way of making a CASE than giving you a sentence just like this one! Now, did it work? Or maybe you’re not convinced? Well, in either CASE you have to admit that whatever the CASE may be, the word CASE is indeed quite useful in making your point. And by the way – the phrases I used in the above examples just barely scratch the surface :!: There’s a whole lot more useful English idiomatic expressions containing the word CASE worth knowing, and in CASE you’re wondering what they are, just keep reading this article and you’ll find it all out! (more…)

Common English phrases used in speaking

How to Decide Which Tense and Which Verb Form to Use?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Ftz-cnjJ4

English Collocation: May Have Been Led to Believe That…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3le6R1yMgzA Hello boys and girls! ;-) In today’s English idiomatic expression video you’re going to find out how to use the following collocation: MAY HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE THAT… Yes, it may seem like a very complicated English grammar construct because it’s Passive Voice, Present Perfect and it also begins with MAY – basically it really looks like a handful when you try to pronounce it first time around. You’ve got to bear in mind, however, that the key to English fluency is AUTOMATION. Just repeat it a good few times and you’ll realize that it’s not that difficult after all! Also, you also have to stop analyzing the sentence MAY HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE THAT… from the grammar standpoint and wonder WHY you have to say it this exact way. All you need to start using it in your own daily conversations is being able to say it without much thinking in the right situations: When pointing out to someone that something they believe in isn’t really true When pointing out that something everyone believes in general isn’t the way it seems So, watch the video above for more example sentences containing today’s phrase, and I’d be really glad if you posted comments below this blog post on how you’d use this collocation. Give me some example sentences! Cheers, Robby ;-)

My Shocking Web-research Experiences Into English Fluency Related Websites

To be totally honest with you, during the last few years while I’m actively running this blog and also the Accent Adventure website, I haven’t been doing a lot of research into other English language teaching and learning websites. I have a fair idea as to what’s happening in the industry anyway because I’m actively participating on YouTube and I get to see plenty of English teaching videos published on other channels. I also take part in the YearOfEnglish.com project so I know who the other participants are and what their approach towards English teaching and learning is. A few years ago I did scour the Web and tried to find other websites to partner up with and to write content for, but soon enough I figured that quite honestly there weren’t that many people out there having figured out that spoken English is the most important aspect of the English language and focus on phraseology acquisition is pretty much the only way forward. Here are the websites which have embraced the importance of learning phraseology instead of cramming English grammar: PhraseMix.com is run by Aaron Knight, and his philosophy is pretty much the same as mine – fluent English can be learned most effectively through real-life phrases and word combinations. Aaron is creating engaging lessons for those who want to learn to use that phraseology, and they’re all illustrated by himself (I often wondered how he does that!). TweetSpeakEnglish.com was created by Nate Hill and the idea behind it quite an interesting one – tweets shared by millions of people are a fairly good representation of real-life spoken English, so phraseology taken from those tweets is used as a source for lessons where you can learn how to use those speech patterns in your English conversations. Fluentzy.com where you can buy plenty of books written by Professor Kev Nair and they’re all focused on developing your spoken English fluency – Prof. Kev Nair seems to be one of the few academics having grasped the concept behind true fluency and having realized why a large percentage of advanced English students still struggle to speak fluently. By the way – I found this rare website back in 2008, here’s a blog post I published in relation to that! And that’s all :!: Really? Yeap. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt”

How to Develop Your Ability to THINK in English

RELATED ARTICLE: Don't Try JUST to Think in English - Speak It Out Loud! We all speak our native languages fluently, quite naturally. The speech formation happens instantaneously and we don’t actually differentiate between a number of subsequent processes taking place when we speak. If I asked you to draw a simple scheme of a speech process when you speak your native language, you’d probably come up with something like this: By and large it’s quite correct – we think in our native language and after a short while we produce speech in the process. If you think that it’s not true and you’re capable of producing speech at the exact time of thinking – read this article. You’ll find out that it actually takes 600 milliseconds for our speech producing organs to catch up with our brain! It’s not a huge lag, and in real life we all have an impression we can think out loud. Anyway, the scheme above represents what goes on when you say something in your native language, and thinking and speaking are two separate processes. But now comes the tricky part of the process. I think that we’re missing a link right before the thinking stage… Are you slightly confused? Are you thinking “What is Robby talking about? What other process takes place in my brain before I think? Surely thinking comes first and everything else follows it!” Well, I haven’t got any proof that my theory is correct, but I believe that an ABSTRACT CONCEPT comes first :!: It’s not verbalized. It’s an idea. It’s something that you kind of FEEL even before you start having actual thoughts in your language. It’s not easy to explain, but I’ll try to provide an example so that can understand what exactly I mean by this abstract concept. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression “Good Night’s Sleep”

Antonio Banderas’s Spanish Accent – So, Is His English NOT Fluent?

Are you one of those folks who thinks that in order to speak English fluently one needs to develop a near-native English pronunciation? Then watch this interview with Antonio Banderas – even a small piece will do - and think about the initial question once more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LgTKmRkLuM So, what do you think? Would you describe his English as not being fluent? Has his distinct Spanish accent prevented him from becoming one of the most successful Hollywood actors? Obviously not :!: So, why is ACCENT such a bid deal for so many people? Why so many other foreigners and native English speakers alike still hold the view that foreigners definitely need to reduce their accent if they want to come across as fluent English speakers? Well… The answer lies within a stereotype of a struggling foreign English speaker who speaks in broken English AND has a distinct accent. The reverse statement – anyone who has a distinct accent speaks broken English – isn’t always true, but it doesn’t prevent people from believing it. Why, we human beings are notorious to holding to wrong beliefs, and this is definitely not the only one out there! How about the following: Antonio Banderas gets away with his accent because of his good looks; Spanish accent is cool and that’s why it’s OK for him to speak with thick Spanish pronunciation but NOT OK for you or me… While there might be some truth in the above statements, it doesn’t explain HOW Antonio Banderas manages to be fluent YET retain his Spanish accent if fluency is always accompanied by perfect pronunciation... Surely if at some stage an English learner inevitably starts to develop a more native-like (in this case it should be American) pronunciation, then how come that Antonio has never fully mastered it yet he’s totally fluent? (more…)

Traditional English Teaching Industry Instils Anxiety and Lack of Self-Confidence!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baYGHB9oCSA A few days ago I was surfing the Net for English pronunciation improvement related info, and I came across an article that is an embodiment of everything that I don’t like about the traditional English teaching industry and the way non-native English speakers are perceived. I’m not going to provide a link to the actual article because I don’t want to potentially start a war with its author; suffice it to say that the headline of the article implies you have to hide your foreign accent and then they compare the size of English vocabulary of an 8 year of native English speaking child with that of a typical non-native English speaker. The conclusion was that you’d better make sure to build your English vocabulary by learning 4 new English words a day if you even want to stand a chance of coming close to a 15 year old native English speaker (it’s supposedly the age when a person has acquired pretty much a full working vocabulary in their native language.) Here’s a number of problems I want to point out in relation to all the aforementioned English learning principles: (more…)

“What Are the Most Commonly Used English Words?” is the Wrong Question!

Many of my fellow foreigners arrive to my blog while searching for the most commonly used English words, and there’s a good chance that you may be one of them! ‘The top 100 most commonly used English words’, ‘top 500 English words’, ‘English word frequency lists’ – such and similar keywords are used by thousands of foreign English speakers eager to improve their English fluency. But are these English word lists any good? Do they offer good value in terms of improving one’s ability to speak fluently? Frankly speaking, such frequency lists don’t provide a lot of practical value – if any! Why? Fair enough – give me a few moments and I’ll show you exactly why! ;-) (more…)

Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP4yAPs3vkA Hello my dear followers! I hope you’ve been putting my advice to good use and you’ve been incorporating various English idiomatic expressions into your daily English conversations! So, how’s it been? Have you been taking action? Well, try being totally honest with yourself and admit if you’ve been a bit lazy – recognition is the first step on the road to recovery - that’s what they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, if I’m not mistaken … Of course, addiction such as alcoholism is not to be taken lightly, and I’m not trying to make a fun of it. All I’m trying to do here is draw parallels between being addicted to a substance and being addicted to procrastination which is sometimes JUST AS harmful to our development as substance abuse :!: (more…)

How to improve vocabulary in 30 days?

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 ;-)

The Less Opportunities You Have to Speak With Others, The More You’ve Gotta Speak With Yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnZTt5B2vww VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hello, my friends! Hello, my dear fellow foreign language speakers! I’m Robby from Englishharmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today’s topic is something that I’ve touched upon multiple times on my blog and on my YouTube channel, namely - it’s... The Importance of Doing Frequent Self-practice. Basically, you’ve got to be exercising your spoken English by engaging in a lot of self-practicing. “Why?” - you may ask. It’s very simple! If you haven’t got that many opportunities to speak with other people in real life then pretty much the only way you can maintain a high level of spoken English is speaking on your own. It’s no different from working out your body if you’re an athlete, right, and obviously nowadays there’s millions of people engaging in all types of sports related activities, even not being professional athletes for that matter, right, so basically its available to anyone. Gym memberships are as cheap as ever and anyone can join a gym, or indeed just do something at home or run, which is my thing personally - I’ve been a runner for six years now, or slightly more, right. So basically, when you work out your body, more often than not, you just do it on your own. You don’t necessarily engage in team sports, so if you draw parallels between speaking with other people and playing team sports games such as football or soccer, depending on where in the world you come from. Soccer, that’s American because football in America is American football which is a totally different ball game altogether, right. (This was an idiomatic expression.) If you say that something is a totally different ball game, it simply means that this thing that you’re talking about is a completely new thing, right, but ironically enough, I was talking about ball games and I was actually using that expression in which case, it’s not so idiomatic anymore because American football and European football are the so called soccer, right, it’s a totally different ball game, but what was I talking about initially? You see, I have this bad habit of straying off the subject because I keep talking and talking… We were talking about speaking with other people is pretty much the same as being engaged in team sports but working out on your own is the same as doing some spoken English practice on your own and there’s nothing wrong with that. (more…)

How to Become a Good English Interpreter and Translate TV Shows Into Your Native Language

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! As you may already have noticed, sometimes I create blog posts and videos based on my blog visitors’ comments and questions. This article is not an exception, and here’s the original comment that inspired me to write it: So basically the problem I’m going to discuss in this blog post is the following: “How to develop your ability to translate from English to your native language INSTANTLY?” Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this matter, just let me tell you that I’ve actually written about this particular phenomenon of not being able to translate a TV show into my native language while watching it with others – you may read about it HERE. It goes to show that this problem isn't unique – I would even go so far as to say that it’s NOT ACTUALLY A PROBLEM at all! (more…)

English Collocation: “Sparked Heated Debates”

Do You Speak English Enough? You’ve Gotta Speak ALL THE TIME!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLvjnC515co Are you immersed into the English language 27/7/365 - meaning you are married to an English speaker or you only go out with other English speakers? If so - great, your spoken English is probably good enough and you don't really have any fluency related issues! ;-) IF your English exposure is limited, however, you just HAVE to do some additional spoken English practicing, there's no doubt about that as it's been proven by my personal experience. What am I talking about here? Well - watch the video above and you'll find out EXACTLY what I'm on about here: * my history as a failed English speaker * importance of a daily spoken English practice to keep your fluency sharp * why MOUTH for you is the most important body part! Stay fluent, stay confident, and all kinds of comments welcome here! Robby ;-)

Why It’s VERY Important to Speak Out LOUD When Learning New English Vocabulary Words!

Develop Your English Fluency by Helping Others!

Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve been working on my English. Truth be told, my English learning methods didn’t do much good to my fluency because I spent most of my time learning English grammar, reading and writing and as a result I developed something I like to call a “writing mode” of my mind (read more about it HERE). Nonetheless, I was constantly striving to improve my English and whenever one of my friends would ask me to help them to translate something from English or to make a phone call and talk to an English speaker on their behalf, I never said NO. Helping others became a whole lot more frequent when I moved to Ireland back in 2002 because there were a lot of things to be done in order to settle down in the foreign country – starting from opening a bank account and ending with renting a house – and plenty of my fellow Latvians asked for my assistance when dealing with native English speakers in various institutions or via the phone. During the Celtic Tiger boom years there was a never-ending stream of Latvian immigrants coming to Ireland many of which happened to be my friends or relations, so needless to say I had to help many of them to deal with local authorities, utility companies and the like. And guess what? As a result of all those countless hours of helping others to write correspondence in English, translate from English and also acting as an interpreter on quite a lot of occasions, I immensely improved my own English! Fair enough, I was constantly struggling with my spoken English because I still kept resorting to traditional English learning methods when studying the language at home, and it’s only 5 years after I arrived in Ireland that I finally realized what I had to do in order to speak fluently. Having said all this however, I have to admit that by helping others I was doing myself a really big favor because I was constantly exposing myself to real life English and it did contribute into my personal English fluency development big time. Was I annoyed a lot of times for being constantly asked for help? Hell yes! Do I regret it now? Hell no! :grin: Now I fully understand that by constantly being out there and helping my fellow Latvians deal with daily problems in an English speaking country I was improving my own English, and there’s no reason, by the way, why you couldn’t do the same thing. So here’s what I’ve been doing throughout the years for others in terms of helping them to deal with the English language related issues (and there’s no reason in the world why YOU couldn’t start doing the same thing!): (more…)

Want Solid Proof that Spoken English Self-practice Works? Check This Out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTNeyx3qAro