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!

What Do Small Children, Pets & The English Language Have In Common?

I’ve been speaking in English for the biggest part of my life, and by now I’ve achieved quite a comfortable level of fluency. I speak in English with my colleagues and customers at work. I speak with lots of other people in English as well – starting from sales-assistants in shops and ending with support staff in various companies. I also speak in English when engaged in routine activities – such as counting, for example. When I’m on my own, I also try to speak in English a lot so that my fluency is always maintained at a high enough level. Whenever I’m encountering a small English speaking child or a pet belonging to an English speaking owner, however, I feel a natural need to speak with them in my native Latvian! Sure enough, I wouldn’t start speaking with a four year old Irish child (I live in Ireland which is an English speaking country) – I’d just do it in English. Yet, for some reason or another it wouldn’t come 100% naturally to me; I’d still have the feeling that I’m supposed to speak with the child in Latvian. Isn’t that weird? I mean – how come that after all these years living in an English speaking country and speaking in English ALL THE TIME, I’m still having moments when I have to suppress the need to speak in my native language? After all – I can even think in English, so why speaking with small children (please bear in mind only children up to the age of 4 or 5 years make me feel that way) and pets would be any different? I’ve been doing some thinking on that, and if you keep reading this article you’ll find out all the theories I’ve come up with! (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 27- Take a rain check!

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")); Hello everybody out there, How are you doing today? By the way, did you practice yesterday’s expressions? I know you did, you are my good students and you practice daily. It is for this reason that I bring a new chapter every day about a topic and teach you new expressions with context and examples. Hence, I welcome back all my dear English learners once again to our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course”, and I know you don't like me beating around the bush, so without further ado, let’s get down to the business and see today’s context- Context Aaron: Hey Anthony, How are you doing? Anthony: I am doing well, thanks. How are you? Aaron: Can't complain! Anthony: I heard you are seeing Emma these days. Aaron: Yeah, we are great friends. I think we have so much in common. Anthony: Have you proposed to her? Aaron: No, not till now. I actually wanna spend some more time as it’s a very important matter. Anthony: Yeah, I agree. Aaron: Yeah man. By the way, where did you hear this from? Anthony: Jonathan told me about it. He saw you both together at the square bar yesterday. Aaron: Alright. By the way, do you wanna join us at dinner tonight? It will be so much fun. Anthony: I am really sorry Aaron, I have to complete the assignments that need to be submitted tomorrow, but I will take a rain check for dinner this Sunday. Is that okay with you? Aaron: No problem mate! I will see you later. Anthony: See you. Bye. Aaron: Bye-bye. Did you ever take a rain check for something when you were busy at the moment? Well, I have to do it quite often these days due to my busy schedule. Hopefully, you would have understood from the context what it means when someone says to “take a rain check”. Isn’t it? By the way, for those who are still confused, it is simply an expression indicating that one is refusing an offer or invitation but with the hope or promise that it can be postponed or accepted at a later date or time. Example: I am too tired after the practice session to go out. Can I take a rain check? How did you find today’s chapter? I hope it added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they will become your second nature. See you tomorrow with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye. 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"));

YearOfEnglish.com: Create a Habit of Thinking of How Certain Things Might be Called in English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaFB_hLhMcU Hello my foreigner friends from YearOfEnglish.com! (and everyone else, of course!) This time around let’s focus on building your English vocabulary and the related habits you should create for yourself. You see, the main problem is that many foreigner English speakers believe English vocabulary has to be built the following way: Learning abstract vocabulary lists; Learning meanings of individual words; Learning translations of words from your native language into English. Now, I can rubbish all these assumptions in an instant! First of all, vocabulary lists are abstract word compilations and they have very little – if anything! – to do with your life and things YOU have to talk about on a daily basis. Secondly, fluent English speech doesn’t happen just by sticking individual words together. Every English word is actually associated with other words creating word groups or the so-called collocations. Thirdly, if you keep translating from your native language, you won’t get rid of the habit of preparing the speech in your head prior to speaking it out loud and that’s not what I’d call true fluency! If you want to build your English vocab the natural way, you’re way better off by creating a routine of thinking of what new English words you should learn as you go about YOUR DAILY BUSINESS :!: (more…)

Information Overload: How To Stop Thinking TOO MUCH When Speaking English!

How I Said “Check” Instead of “Receipt” in a Hardware Store (And What You Can Learn From It!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06p6_a0QP6U I’ve been an English fluency mentor for a good few years now, but it doesn’t mean I speak in English perfectly at all times. You see, I’m an active proponent of letting it go when speaking in English which invariably involves making a few mistakes here and there, and there’s nothing wrong when a person capable of speaking fluent English says something wrong. In this particular situation I was paying for goods in a hardware store, and I wanted to ask the cashier for a receipt. Instead of using the word “receipt”, however, I worded the request the following way: “Can I have a check, please?” Needless to say, I corrected myself immediately after saying the wrong phrase – “Can I have the receipt, please?” is the proper way of asking for a proof of purchase at a till (the word “check” is used when you’re in a restaurant). Was a feeling bad about confusing the cashier though? Not at the slightest! :-) (more…)

FGC Goal #1: American Slang #31: YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL?

Why It’s So HARD to Accept Spoken English Can Be Practiced?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1se_PgJXmZM

Why I Love “GONE” Series & Why It’s the Perfect English Fiction for Foreign English Speakers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0VtnoBbUGU Currently I’m on the second GONE series book called HUNGER and I have to tell you, my fellow foreign English speaker, that these books are simply amazing! It’s typical dystopian fiction – except for the fact that it’s set in these days as opposed to the future – and it depicts life without adults. Anyone over the age of 15 has simply gone, and kids are left to their own devices to figure out what’s happening and also to figure out how to run the society where there aren’t any services available – such as medical, food production & distribution and so on. Now, remember your own childhood. You surely wished at some stage that you’d be left alone to do as you wish and no adult would tell you what to do? Well, GONE series is a perfect way of re-living that fantasy! You’ll be able to experience all the joys and also downsides of what such an adult-free life would bring through the main characters of the books – Sam, Astrid, Edilio and plenty of other mutants and also normal children. (more…)

Everything About TOEFL: Interview With Paul & Rachael from LanguageTrainers.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbwbUXBBg30 In this video I’m interviewing Paul and Rachael from LanguageTrainers.com and we’re looking at the following TOEFL related questions: What TOEFL is all about? Is TOEFL the American counterpart of IELTS? When is TOEFL the right option for you? Is it possible to score a high mark in TOEFL just by improving your overall English skills through full English immersion? Is writing is the most important skillset necessary to pass TOEFL? What study tools are the best for practicing reading and listening skills? What do the speakers sound like in the TOEFL listening section? How long does the speaking part of TOEFL last? Is it possible to achieve your target TOEFL score if you’re not orally that fluent in English? How exactly is the student expected to perform during the TOEFL speaking part? How is grammar accessed during the TOEFL test? Is it necessary for students to focus on grammar studies predominantly when preparing for TOEFL? Links mentioned during the interview: English Listening Tests English Accent Game Connecting Your Ideas in English Writing (more…)

Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes when Speaking English!

How to Talk About Past & Future Without Using Corresponding English Tenses

You may have been led to believe that in order to indicate a specific English grammar tense, you HAVE to conjugate verbs and actually USE that particular grammar tense. Well, guess what? It’s not always the case! In conversational English it’s more than possible to refer to the future or the past without using those specific English tenses and without conjugating the corresponding verbs. And here’s an example to clearly illustrate what exactly I’m talking about here. Let’s take, for example, the following sentence: “I’m planning to visit my friend tomorrow.” Now tell me please what is the grammar tense we can observe in this sentence? It’s Present Continuous – “I’m planning” – isn’t that right? Yes, that’s right! And now, tell me please what you’re actually referring to – present or future – in this particular sentence? Before answering the question, just let me draw your attention to the fact that if we’re looking at the sentence purely from a grammar standpoint, it is indeed the Present Continuous Tense you can observe, that’s right. But here’s the question you have to ask yourself: “Am I really emphasizing the fact that I’m MAKING PLANS at this particular moment in time or am I stressing the fact that I’m visiting my friend TOMORROW?” So, are you referring to the present or the future in this particular sentence? Of course it’s FUTURE! You’re using Present Continuous to refer to a FUTURE event so the take-home lesson is: There are situations when you don’t have to use the corresponding grammar tenses to refer to the future or the past! And now, just to provide you with a deeper insight into the whole thing, let me give you a number of phrases and expressions to be used in your English conversations. It’s going to save you time and effort trying to figure out the right English grammar tense to use – instead you can just learn those phrases and use them when a fitting occasion arises! (more…)

Useful Tips on Improving Your English Using Google

English Words I Used to Mispronounce

At this stage I’ve lived in an English speaking country for more than 12 years, and I can call myself an English speaker for more than that because I was speaking the language long before I came to Ireland all those years ago. Anyway, having been an English speaker for so long doesn’t mean my language is free from errors. Every now and then I realize I’ve been making some sort of a mistake. It might be a specific English word that I’ve been using wrong. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I found out that the English word “deal-breaker” has a negative connotation rather than a positive one! I thought that if something is a “deal-breaker”, it’s the most appealing feature among all others, but it turns out it’s quite the opposite – a “deal-breaker” is the biggest risk factor! It could also be an English idiomatic expression I’ve been using the wrong way. Only this week I found out that the idiom “rule of thumb” doesn’t actually mean a very strict rule – which is what I’d thought – it actually means a general rule that can be widely applied. On some occasions though, it turns out I’ve been MISPRONOUNCING a specific word for years without realizing it, and that’s what today’s article is all about! Before we begin, just let me tell you one thing – making these kinds of mistakes is completely normal! Nobody is perfect, and I know for a fact I’ll keep correcting my English till the day I die – but I’m not feeling like my English sucks because of it. I just do it as a normal part of my English improving process, and I warmly suggest you approach your own errors the same way! And now, without further ado, let’s look at the English words I’d been mispronouncing without realizing it! (more…)

Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypcr9LWwkjA Are you facing a situation where even after a longer period of time you’re not seeing any significant English fluency improvement? Are you doing everything imaginable in order to develop your English fluency but it just doesn’t seem to be happening? Are you: Watching TV series and documentaries Reading English newspapers and fiction Learning a lot of English idiomatic expressions Speaking in English with others for at least 1 hour a day… …only to discover you still run into all sorts of fluency related issues? RE-EVALUATE. Look at your fluency improvement routine and ask yourself a single question: (more…)

English Vocabulary Building – Part 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cNv9xv64Y Vocabulary Building Part 1 | Vocabulary Building Part 2 How are you getting on, foreign English speaker? Have you heeded to my advice from the previous videos? I hope you have because if you’re still experiencing difficulties with speaking English fluently, you have to take action. Just by standing by and hoping the things will improve achieves nothing, so today I’ll be telling you about the third aspect of building your English vocabulary. And it’s about not learning many meanings of the same word at once – believe me, if you do it, the chances of memorizing and using that particular word are slim indeed! ;-) I can tell you from my own experience that if you write down a new English word in your dictionary that has a number of different meanings; it’s a very bad idea to try memorizing them all at once. And taking into account that most of English words do have a number of meanings, you might be very tempted to learn a few of them at once assuming that this way you’ll increase your learning curve. But it just doesn’t work that way, and here’s why. (more…)

How to Improve Spoken English While Entering Sales Orders on a PC

9 Friday Expressions You Can Use… Guess When? On Fridays!

There are plenty of phrase-lists published on this blog – starting from phrases using the word “thing” and ending with small talk phrases which has actually turned out to be the most popular article on this blog! This time around let’s look at something that would come in handy for every single foreign English speaker out there. Well, it’s not that those other phrases wouldn’t be useful for everybody, it’s just that I’m trying to point out the fact that the phrases we’re going to look at today can be definitely used by all of us at least once a week! Why once a week? Well, guess what – Friday happens once a week, and for as long as you’ve got some work colleagues to talk to, you can always make sure to use this Friday phraseology to the best of your ability! So, without further ado, let’s start looking at the different Friday expressions you’ll be able to use at work – and not only! (more…)

Asking for And Giving Directions in English – So Trivial Yet Essential!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Having Said This”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WHAltDu058 Hi guys, and welcome to another one of my English idiomatic expression videos/blog posts! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that my approach towards English fluency improvement is phraseology and contextual learning oriented – hence my video series where I’m focusing on a specific expression at a time. Today’s expression is “Having said this…”, and please watch the video above to hear how I’m using this particular phrase in my speech so that you can mimic me and apply the same speech pattern in your daily English conversations! And please bear in mind that only English IDIOMS are phrases which can’t be modified; any other idiomatic expressions are quite flexible in that respect. So, even if you’re saying: (more…)

Passive English Immersion is Good for Keeping Your Vocab Refreshed

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

Improve Your English Vocabulary With Context

Hey there, How is your fluency going? Ever since I thought that I want to be a fluent English speaker, I tried every single possible technique to improve my vocabulary and fluency. Admit it or not, most of the non-natives start off on the wrong foot by trying traditional study methods such as learning few words from dictionary daily or be it when you tried a new language book to improve their vocabulary and fluency. The matter of the fact is, vocabulary and fluency go hand in hand while learning. Now you many wanna ask, if they go hand in hand, why do you say learning vocabulary from a dictionary is bad? It’s not bad; I would say it’s even worse. The fact is, dictionary was never made for learning purpose, it is just for ‘referential purpose’, so in case if you get stucked while reading a book, blog or anything, you can refer to it for clear understanding of the topic. (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 13- Law and Rules

Two Kinds of Mistakes Made by Foreigners When Speaking English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2woUXuLZQDY I’ve been writing extensively about the topic of making mistakes when speaking in English, and I’m sure you know my stance by now – you don’t have to worry about making mistakes too much :!: You’re much better off making sure you use a lot of popular phrases and word combinations when speaking and that way you’ll be constantly working on your fluency! There are folks, however, who feel strongly about this topic. They think I’m sending the wrong message to my audience by condoning erroneous speech. They are strong proponents of the ‘make sure to speak 100% correctly whenever opening your mouth’ approach, and they’re worried my articles and videos will teach my fellow foreigners bad habits and they won’t be able to get rid of their spoken English mistakes! Let me address this issue now and settle the matter once and for all so that we’re on the same page when discussing any mistake related issues in the future! ;-) (more…)

Your English Teacher’s Expertise Means Little When It Comes To YOUR Ability To Speak!

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

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

English Speech: The Harsh Reality About Improving Spoken English

Dear English speaker! I want to tell you about a really annoying English speech problem that was troubling me for years! Now I’ve successfully overcome it but until just a couple of years ago I felt devastated when I had to speak English at certain times. Does this sound familiar to you – you KNOW that you can speak English normally but when you have to do it – you just CAN’T? :evil: Yes, the problem we’re talking about here is the sudden inability to speak English properly that prevents you from fully enjoying the social life, move up the carrier ladder and most importantly – it damages your self-confidence. And the funniest thing about this issue is – it happens only SOMETIMES! :???: The previous day you had a chat with your boss and you could speak just about everything – but today you just can’t tell the simplest thing to your English speaking work-mate without hesitating, forgetting words and making stupid grammar mistakes! At the very beginning – when I became fully aware of this strange inability to speak English fluently only on some occasions – I thought I had to focus on improving spoken English. Well – I guess you’re quite familiar with what they say you have to do to improve spoken English and English fluency in general. Read a lot, study grammar a lot and practice English in real life as much as possible. Do you think I didn’t do all this and even more? As I happen to live in an English speaking country – namely, Ireland, English was all around me! At work, on the street, in shops – everywhere! But apart from the majority of foreigners who spent little time on improving their English speaking skills I literally immersed myself in English studies! I was constantly reading English fiction, newspapers, magazines, I learnt hundreds upon hundreds of new English words – my hand-written vocabulary was always with me! All these things improved my general English fluency a great deal, that’s true. However, there would always be days when I just couldn’t speak normally! Blushing, confusion – I just felt like a total looser! :oops: Ultimately I came to understand that fluent spoken English has little to do with how hard you study. Of course – you need to have a solid vocabulary not to mention grammar and practicing. But I think you got the point – no matter how fluent my English was, I’d still experience this stupid issue – inability to speak normal English on certain days… Are you now curious enough to find out HOW exactly I overcame this mind-boggling problem and started enjoying life in an English speaking society at its full? Then read on – I’ll give you plenty of advice! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!