Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right?
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. And today I'm going to respond to an email that was sent in to me 19 hours ago at this stage and I think that this particular email merits my video response because it kind of highlights a general issue that happens in the larger foreign English speakers’ community, right? So I'm not going to be reading the whole email word by word but I'm just going to kind of summarize the email in a few sentences. So basically this particular blog follower of mine says that he was one of the best in the class in terms of English literature when he was in high school and then he says “which evidently means that I should be able to write and speak the language.” But in his case he could write. It's the typical English fluency issue whereby you can write, you can understand, you can read but you cannot speak. And then he attributes certain percentages. So basically he says that he would be able to write at 80% in terms of efficiency or whatever and speaking would be only 20%, lagging behind big time, right? And the particular thing that I want to focus on in this video is, “which evidently means” so it kind of even goes without saying that once you are good at writing and reading and the literature lessons or whatever, it means that you should be able to speak full stop. There's no further discussion. There's no debates. No further investigation required so to speak, right? (more…)
5 Memory Improvement Tips for Language Learners
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
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! Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today let's talk about THE FLOW. And I read about the concept of flow or should I say THE flow? Because it's a particular state of mind. And I read about that concept a while ago while I was doing a little bit of research into the subject of procrastination. We all – I suppose – have that quality to procrastinate sometimes. You know, it's a vice because it's a terrible feeling, you know? You know exactly what you've got to do but you just can't do it for whatever reasons. You just find yourself constantly getting distracted. For instance if I had a task of writing an article for instance I would find myself making cups of coffee every 15 minutes and checking my email and checking my website’s stats and whatever. And then 5 or 6 hours later the article still wouldn't be even started. I would have only 1 or 2 paragraphs. And so that's the typical case of procrastination. And I've been guilty of that at certain stages in my life. And I was doing a little bit of research into it and I found out that people who don't procrastinate they can achieve the state of mind whereby they are fully immersed into the activity at hand so their mind doesn't even wander. And that's the so-called state of THE FLOW. (more…)
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”
English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”
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: Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today I'm bringing you another English idiomatic expression video but unlike other English idiomatic expression videos where I'm focusing on typical English idioms and phrasal words and collocations today I'm bringing you what I like to call a grammar construct. And the grammar construct in question is “couldn't have been”. At first if you just look at “couldn't have been,” it might confuse you. You might try and figure out what it means in grammar terms. What the English grammar tense represents and all that sort of thing but you don't have to do it. And you may actually want to read this article where I'm talking about it that you don't have to try and figure out what exactly something means in grammar terms, okay? All you've got to do is just repeat that particular grammar construct, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it in relevant situations without knowing what it represents, right? And the funny thing is that prior to recording this video I was kind of thinking to myself “Hold on, I have to look it up and see what it actually means, what kind of tense it is.” But I'm not going to get bogged down on these grammar terms just like I told you because it serves no purpose whatsoever, okay? So all you've got to do is just repeat it, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it. (more…)
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
Reading Aloud – Perfect Way of Practicing Your Spoken English!
Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?
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 hello my dear foreign English speakers. Welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog and tonight I'm going to record a video as a video response to one of my YouTube commentators. But just before that, allow me to take a sip of my evening decaf coffee, right? Cheers my friends! So this person, Triple H and he is as a matter of fact, one of the most prolific commentators on my channel and I really hope that you don't mind Triple H me reading out your comment because it's going to help everybody, the whole audience for that matter. So Triple H shares a very embarrassing moment that happened to him at the embassy. So basically the woman or personnel asked him who was going to collect his passport. And basically he didn't get her accent, her pronunciation so she had to say it 4 times over and he couldn't get it. And she pronounced basically the word “when” as “wha” and “who” as “he”. Yeah, well, there are certain distinct accents whereby native English speakers pronounce words completely differently to what you would have expected, right? So after that incident his fluency went down the drain, out the window and afterwards he couldn't say one word. So the question is do you think it's common? (more…)
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
5 Ways International English Students Can Start Writing Like Natives
Learning to speak as a native English speaker is a difficult challenge in itself, yet when it comes to writing, you’re entering a whole new world of the English language. Not only will you need to fully understand grammar and sentence structure, your writing must make sense! That’s why I’ve found 5 useful tips international students can use so they too, can start writing like native English speakers. Read Different Material for Different Purposes Reading a wide range of different materials will help you understand when and where to use certain sentence structuring and grammar. For example, you will more than likely see a casual written style on say, a blog or personal website. In the case of brochures or professional sites or print works, you will see a more formal written style. Being exposed to a wide variety of different written works will help you better understand the English language as a whole since you will see formal, casual, and sometimes even slang, English words being written. Make sure you read as many different materials as you can that can include: brochures, blogs, magazines, newspapers, reports, or even books. Taking advantage of all sorts of printed material will help you to recognize how to use the different structures, grammar, and writing styles that are part of the English language. (more…)
How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days
Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!
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! Transcript Below: Hello everybody and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. It's been a while guys since I recorded my last video for the simple reason that I've been really, really busy at work and I have to study on top of my daily duties at work as well so it's really hectic lifestyle to say the least. And then when I'm coming home at night it's quite late as well and then I have to do all the other stuff, prepare for the next day, pack my food, prepare my clothing, walk the dog, whatever, respond to my emails, right? You guys are asking a lot of questions on a daily basis! So unfortunately my video recording days when I used to record at least one video a day or every few days are over. But it doesn't mean that I'm stopping it altogether. Not at all. It's quite the opposite actually, right? I'm actually enjoying this process immensely and for too many reasons. First of all, I love helping you guys. I love talking to my audience and obviously you love it, too. And secondly, it helps me improve my own spoken English, right? That's the way it goes. Anyhow, I'm having my morning coffee. Morning to you all! Cheers! (more…)
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
When learning English, it’s important to practice as often as possible and to keep up with real-world use of the language. To this end, students can use their mobile phones to improve a great deal. Here are some ways to get help from a device that is with them every hour of the day! Read as much as possible You can download eBooks to your mobile very easily, so why not try it? Real beginners can try children’s books, as these are easier to read and will help with their rudimentary level of English. As their learning progresses, they can move on to young adult books, and finally to adult literature. It’s a good idea to choose a book that they are familiar with in their own language, too, as this will help comprehension flow more quickly and increase the pace of learning. If eBooks are not preferred, the student could download magazines or newspapers instead to practice with. (more…)
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
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!
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With 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! Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! In this video I'm responding to one of my blog reader's comment where I'm being asked to respond to a number of questions in relation to improving English fluency: Help me in learning and speaking English. I need your help too much. I can't understand English songs I have to see lyrics than only I can sing the song slowly. But when my teachers teach us in English I can understand it properly. I can't watch the movie without using seeing the subtitle. Whenever I go to watch the movie cinema hall and when there is joke in movie I can't understand the joke. Please help me. Do I have to practice written English also? Tell me something Robby. I need your help very much. Whenever I have to speak English in front of people or student or with my friends words become less to me I can't understand what to speak in front of them. I can't ask any doubt from my teachers in English. Help me in English and suggest me something. And help me in improving my thought process also. I don't have enough words to speak with others. What to do tell me! And guess what? I decided to record a video response to this comment for the simple reason that that's the way I roll - instead of writing a response just for the person who asked me the question, I think it's best to record a video thus helping out all of you guys who might be having the same concerns in relation to your English fluency improvement! Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
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! Today I'm bringing you a quick update on what I've been up to this summer, and you wouldn't believe how busy I've been doing all the following: Finishing my IT certification; Organizing my work experience; Preparing for a job interview; Starting in a new job; ...and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night! (more…)
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”
What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language
The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation. Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it! (more…)
What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?
Past Events in English: “There Was This Time When… Next Thing I Know…”
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 hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Now, in today's video I'm going to give you two new English idiomatic expressions which is somewhat unusual because normally I'd be giving just one. The reason being, if you learn a number of expressions all at once, especially if they describe a very similar concept, oftentimes you would get confused when we learn them all at once and then we try to speak all those expressions would mix together kind of. So that's why I normally suggest only focusing on one particular expression at a given time. But in this particular case the topic that I want to touch upon today is discussing past events, all right? The reason being, a lot of my blog visitors have contacted me in the past asking me “Robby, can you tell me ways of simplifying my speech when I talk about past events because I oftentimes get confused about using the different tenses or whatever?” And on top of that, a lot of my Fluency Star coaching clients have also expressed the same wish that we incorporate some storytelling basically into our programs. And by saying storytelling don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about some old style storytelling whereby the storyteller gets in front of the crowd and entertains everyone by telling entertaining stories. It's not about that. It's just about talk about past events, right? So basically provided all this I have a pretty clear picture basically. A lot of you guys are struggling with talking about past events and that's exactly the reason why I'm going to be touching upon that subject today. And the two phrases will come in very handy because the first one “there was this time when…” is a great way of initiating the story, right? And then the phrase “next thing I know...” is a very handy way of making the transition from the past tenses into the simple present. The reason being, you can use simple present when talking about past events. Surprise, surprise, a lot of you guys probably didn't know that, right? And chances are that you didn't because nobody really tells you that. You wouldn't find that information in an English grammar book. Nobody would write in it that simple present can be used to talk about past events, right? But in reality it happens a lot. Native English speakers use this strategy a lot but nobody – I suppose nobody really thinks a great deal of it. You know what I mean, people just speak that way, okay? But if you want to learn exactly how to use these two phrases “there was this time when…” and “next thing I know...” and how to make the transition from past tenses back to simple present to simplify your speech and get your story going, please bear with me and you'll find it all out, my friends in a couple of moments! (more…)
It’s Normal to Forget English Phrases, Expressions and Collocations!
Where I Source All These English Idiomatic Expressions?
Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?
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! It was almost 5 years ago when I published an article about using past participles as adjectives – a typical example of that would be the following statement “the job is done”. Prior to that I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around that concept, the reason being – I couldn’t figure out why there’s two ways of saying the same thing – “the job is done” and “the job has been done”. Initially I just presumed “the job is done” is just a conversational version of “the job has been done”, but soon enough I realized that when you say “the job is done”, you simply use the word “done” as an adjective! It’s pretty much the same way you can say “good job”, but you just use the linking verb “is” to express the idea – “the job is good.” Today’s topic is somewhat similar in that the role of an adjective isn’t only limited to a past participle form of a verb, it can be the very base form of the verb itself! Just like you read in the title of this article, the word “roast” (it’s the base form of the verb “to roast”) can be used instead of the past participle “roasted” to describe the roasted nature of the chicken, thus “roast chicken” is a totally valid English collocation. Hell, collocations such as “roast chicken” and “roast potatoes” are even MORE popular among native English speakers than “roasted chicken” or “roasted potatoes” which may be very confusing to a lot of foreign English speakers! I mean – once you’ve gotten used to the traditional way of describing nouns by using the past participle: Cancelled concert Forgotten purse Lost child … you may think that this rule applies in all situations, so when you come across a collocation such as “open book”, you may get totally confused… (more…)