Robby is Back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiU__kPihHc Hi guys! ;-) I've been away for a good while because I had to do a lot of video editing for my new product Fluency Gym Coach Program, and I simply couldn't handle it all. I tried to do both blog posting and video editing at the same time, but I failed miserably for the simple reason that multitasking requires you to be able to quickly switch between different tasks. Well, it’s not really a problem when it comes to performing relatively simple, technical tasks; content creation, however, is a whole new ballgame. It requires a great deal of inspiration and creativity, and it’s not that easy to switch it on and off at your will. Basically I’d gone into a totally different mindset for the last two weeks because I focused solely on editing Fluency Gym Coach Program videos and creating the final product. Now that the work is almost complete and I only need to put the final touches on the Fluency Gym website, I’m back to create regular articles and videos for this blog – and not only! (more…)
Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?
You Have to SUCK at Spoken English Fluency in Order to SUCCEED!
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4DYW-hLyA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)
SUPER Important for English Fluency: SLOW Down Your Speech!
I can’t stress enough how important it is NOT to try and speak very fast! I’ve been doing it myself for a long, long time – mostly to impress others and HERE you can read why trying to impress others is a really stupid idea. You know yourself how it goes – you’re speaking with someone and you want the other person to feel how good your English is. It’s as if you are COMPELLED to speak as fast as native English speakers, which is also a very stupid idea on two accounts: First – people will notice that you’re a foreigner ANYWAY, Second – you should NEVER COMPARE your English with that of others because it will always make you feel inadequate! I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that speaking too fast is one of the BIGGEST mistakes all foreign English speakers are making all over the world :!: It’s the reason #1 why non-native speakers get stuck for words in English. It’s the reason #1 why we mispronounce words when speaking in English. And it’s the reason #1 why we think we suck at speaking in English. The solution to this issue is quite obvious, as a matter of fact – it’s staring right in your face: SLOW YOUR SPEECH DOWN! In real life, however, it’s easier said than done. Unless someone tells you: “Hey, just slow down a bit and you’ll be able to speak so much more fluently!”, for some strange reason you’re unable to figure it out for yourself. And even when you know you should be speaking slower, you still catch yourself trying to speak faster than your natural ability allows you. It’s like a vicious circle that you find very, very hard to get out of. So, keep reading this article and you’ll learn: Why you’re trying to speak in English very fast; Why fast speech is very detrimental to your fluency; What you can do to overcome this problem! (more…)
How to Break Through the English Fluency Plateau?
Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggHds15I-HQ I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos a couple of days ago, here’s the full text of it: Thanks a million Robby for the time and efforts you dedicate to help us. My biggest lifetime mistake was that I always underestimated the importance of watching movies in achieving the desirable command of English; because I used to think that it's not very SEXY for well-educated persons to waste their time on movies! What happened then? Now, I am a doctoral student who writes impressive formal law review articles but he sucks at speaking! This is really a shame: when I am invited to give a presentation as if I am invited to be hanged... Once, when I was doing my LLM in Sweden, our course coordinator called me into her office and told me this article cannot be yours! You can imagine how that could be disappointing! So, heed my advice everyone and NEVER IGNORE MOVIES...use it or lose it! Now, first of all, I can totally relate to the fact that this person has developed their WRITTEN English to a very high degree while at the same time neglecting the SPOKEN language. (more…)
Reading Aloud – Perfect Way of Practicing Your Spoken English!
Have You Got the Guts To Improve Your English?
If you find yourself in a situation where you constantly dream of speaking fluent English, but haven’t achieved any noticeable improvement yet, you have to ask yourself the following three questions: “Am I really going to use and PRACTICE English or is it just wishful thinking?” “Am I aware of English improving methods that WORK or am I just relying on old-school approach?” “Am I putting off English learning and improving because it’s boring and I'm not good at studying anyway?” (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Collocation #9: ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE
Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?
Just Because You Have English Textbooks Doesn’t Mean You Possess That Knowledge!
English Collocation: “Well Thought Through”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9SXgH1d8w In this blog post I’m going to focus on the following English collocation: “well thought through”. It’s just another way of saying “well planned”, and it’s how native English speakers – or fluent foreign English speakers! – would speak in circumstances when they have to describe a very well planned activity, arrangement, or even a physical object or structure. Anything can be well thought through. A well thought through business development plan. A very well thought through fire escape route which ensures the fastest evacuation of company’s employees in the case of fire. Furniture in your house can be arranged in a very well thought through fashion ensuring the optimal functionality and creating a nice impression. (more…)
How to Reduce Clauses to Phrases in English Sentences
Happy New Year Everyone!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXyqDWM8Tmc All my customers! All my blog readers & commentators! All my YouTube subscribers! I’m wishing you a Very Happy & Successful New Year 2013, and may all your dreams (except for one!) come true! (Why I said except for one? Watch the video above to find out why!) I’ve had an amazing year publishing more videos than ever, and receiving your feedback, e-mails, queries, questions and comments in ever increasing volumes. If not for you, my friends, I wouldn’t have found the determination and motivation to keep this show on the road for this long, because it’s your constant encouragement and feedback that kept me going :!: I hope you’ll stay with me in the year 2013 as well, and I’ll keep seeing to your English fluency & confidence improvement needs! Wishing you the very best in the New Year, Best Regards, Robby ;-)
Boring English Grammar or Cool Fiction – Make Up Your Mind!
Building English Vocabulary – Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlwBcmydYbo Vocabulary Building Part 2 | Vocabulary Building Part 3 Are you considering building up your English vocabulary? Well, it’s time to get started boys and girls! Let’s take out our English dictionaries and write down the new English word that you’ve just heard for the first time. It can also happen that you’ve already heard the word a few times and been wondering since what it actually means. In either case, you just put it down in your dictionary followed by a translation in your language. Now you can repeat the word a few times till it settles in your memory. Nice! Another word added to your English vocabulary! Another surefire way to build your English vocabulary is using flashcards. Just carry them with you and whenever you get a chance – memorize and repeat new English words. Sure your spoken English will improve in no time! Well, not really... It took me years and more than 7000 English words memorized using the techniques mentioned above to realize it’s making very little difference to my English speech. I had grown my vocabulary a great deal, no doubt about that. I new all those English words, I could understand them whenever they were used by others, and I could enjoy understanding the English language fully. Watching films, reading fiction, listening radio shows and news – and all that in English. Not bad, is it? (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Largely Due to The Fact”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajFV18LDOI8 Hello all English learners out there! :-) If you’re a hard-working English learner, you have acquired good English speaking, writing and reading skills LARGELY DUE TO THE FACT that you’ve put long hours and dedication into the process. If all you’re doing in order to improve your English is checking some news articles in English every now and then, you’re in a poor English fluency state and it’s LARGELY DUE TO THE FACT that you haven’t been making any real effort in terms of English improvement. As you can clearly see from the paragraphs above, today’s English idiomatic expression is LARGELY DUE TO THE FACT, and it’s a very handy phrase for situations when you want to sound smart and intelligent. (more…)
Where I Source All These English Idiomatic Expressions?
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! I’m obviously Robby, your English fluency facilitator. Yes, that’s the term that I came up with myself, facilitator means obviously someone who facilitates your fluency. I’m not a teacher, because I really hate the term teacher. It kind of implies a traditional setting whereby the teacher is looking down on their students, right? But I’m not looking down on you guys, I’m just merely facilitating your fluency and improvement! I’m accompanying you on your journey to English fluency, that’s all I’m doing, I’m giving you the right advice, the right tools and then it’s up to you guys to decide whether you take my advice on board and take some action or you don’t in which case obviously your fluency won’t improve. It’s as simple as that! As a matter of fact, I’m getting plenty of questions almost on a daily basis asking me to help people with their fluency. And the question is posed in a way that makes me kind of wonder whether that person actually realizes that it’s actually down to them to make all the effort, do the hard work and actually work on their fluency because they almost expect me to kind of magically transfer all my skills unto them but it just doesn’t happen like that in real life. And it’s another one of those things that I blame the traditional English teaching industry for - basically they’ve created this notion out there that if you just attend an English class, you will improve just because you have attended the class. The teacher has all the qualifications and it’s enough to have that kind of setting and you will automatically improve. So it kind of takes away all the hard work and effort that you have to do. And it makes it look as if it’s very easy but in real life it’s quite hard, right? It’s hard work. But a lot of people don’t realize that and they think that Robby will somehow make them fluent which is not the case. I’m merely facilitating your own journey to fluency. I’m giving you the right advice, the right tips and tricks, so that’s how it happens, right? But anyway, today’s video is all about how I find all these English idiomatic expressions and collocations and phrases, you name it. How I come up with them. Because I’ve been cranking out all of these idiomatic expression videos – well, lately I haven’t published too many of them because of my high workload, I’m currently engaged with a couple of students that I took on. My Fluency Star students and I still had a few left from the previous round. (more…)
Don’t Learn Complicated English Tenses TOO Soon!
Your English Has to Be Just Good Enough for You to Be Successful!
Check out the following videos (at the very least listen to 20 - 30 secs of how these foreign English speakers speak): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgbdNNfotwM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJolDZMM67Q What do you think all these people have in common except for being foreign English speakers? First of all, their English ISN’T PERFECT :!: If you’re one of those perfectionists out there who’s constantly watching out for mistakes made by other foreign English speakers, you’ll notice small flaws and imperfections in Dr. Coldwell’s and Wagner’s spoken English. Secondly, they’re 100% CONFIDENT :!: Lastly, they’re really PASSIONATE about what they’re doing :!: and they’re totally focused on the matter at hand when speaking about it. What does this all mean for you as a foreign English speaker? If you’re really dedicated to something, you can become very successful without focusing on perfecting your spoken English! You may spend your whole life trying to achieve a near-native level of English – but then it’s going to be too late to realize your dreams in terms of your professional and social life. Or you can SET YOUR GOALS NOW, start taking action and improve your English as you go along according to the specific needs and requirements of the particular industry or a different aspect of your life. Remember – your English has to be just good enough for you to be successful ;-) (more…)
Why It’s So HARD to Realize You Have to Speak in Order to Speak
How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice My English?
FGC Goal #1: American Idiomatic Expression #14: IT STANDS TO REASON
Taking a Break from Speaking English May Have a Positive Effect on Your Fluency!
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #21: FOR MY MONEY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mUyXFfs26g Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! FOR MY MONEY, learning various English idiomatic expressions is the best way to do all the following: grow your English vocabulary; learn English Grammar naturally; develop your ability to speak fluently! Why? It’s simple enough – when you acquire speech patterns instead of individual words, you don’t have to construct English sentences in your head every time you speak. You don’t have to apply grammar rules as you go along. You simply say out loud ready-to-go phrases, and today’s phrase FOR MY MONEY is no different in that it’s a speech pattern used by native English speakers in America. If you learn it and use it, your speech is going to sound so much more native-like, and you’ll also acquire that “sixth sense” which is necessary in order to use English vocabulary in more than just one way. Let’s take the word “money”. (more…)
Funny English Phrases #2 – Visiting a Doctor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HolR6fMke3U Hi my fellow foreign English speakers! Here’s another video of my Funny English Phrases series – judging by the positive feedback I was getting after publishing the first video about shopping you seem to like these type of funny situation videos! This video has a few useful health related phrases and phrasal verbs in it, so watch it to make sure you know the meaning of those expressions! Or else you risk getting in embarrassing situations just like the character portrayed by me in the video! And one more thing – make sure you repeat those sentences out loud. It’s crucial to imprint English speech patterns into your mouth and vocal cords and there’s no way around it. You have to speak to improve your spoken English, my friend! Take care, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Come As a Surprise”
English Idiomatic Expression: “You better make sure to”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-18QQiPQtI There are many ways to let the other person know that you want them to follow a certain course of action: You have to… You should… You must… Today’s English idiomatic expression “You better make sure to” carries pretty much the same meaning and is also used when you want the other person to do something and you also want to stress the fact that if they don’t do as suggested, there will be consequences. This expression actually contains a hidden warning message in it – “You better make sure to (or else…)”, so you’d most likely use this phrase when speaking with someone who won’t mind to be spoken to in a slightly condescending tone – your child or your subordinate at work, for example. (more…)
How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better 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…)
Improving English? TOO General! Sometimes You Gotta Be More SPECIFIC!
Is It OK to Use Conversational Phrases in Formal English Writing?
It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents