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.

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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!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 26- Informal Chat

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 everybody out there, How you all doing today? Learning idioms and expressions can be one of the fastest ways to improve your spoken English and vocabulary, but when it comes to informal conversation, slangs play a vital role in getting along with people in such situations. It is the reason I thought, why not cover an informal context in the upcoming chapter? So, welcome back yet again to another chapter of our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn something new every day with context and examples, and so will you today. Are you excited? Me too! So without further ado, let's get down to the business and see today's context: Context John: Hey Brie, are you coming today? Brie: Where? John: To Jonathan’s party. Didn’t he invite you? Brie: Oh, sorry! Of course, he did, but I was so busy with my work that it completely slipped my mind (means she forgot).  Thanks for reminding me, by the way. John: It’s alright. Why don’t we go along? What do you say? Brie: That’s great! I would love to. I just can't tell how amped I am for tonight. John: So am I, Brie. I will then pick you up at 8:00 pm sharp. Be ready. Brie: Alright, I will get ready on time. (At The Party) Brie: Did you congratulate Jonathan on his promotion? John: Yeah, I already did that in the office. He got what he deserved. He is really a hard-working man. Brie: He is such a looker, I mean he is so ripped. That’s what a real man looks like. Isn’t he so perfect? John: Yeah, he is great! Not every man has that much potential to manage it all. (At midnight) Brie: The party was fun! Isn't it? John: It really was. Brie: I am beat now. I have to submit the assignments tomorrow early in the morning. How about we leave now? John: Yeah, it’s already too late. Let’s go! So when was the last time you went to a party? Were you beat if you stayed after 2:00 am? I guess not. Vocabulary to Acquire Today Amped Meaning- if you’re amped about something, you’re super excited or you can’t wait for something to happen. Example- I am so amped for Camilla’s show tonight. It will be so much fun. Looker Meaning- People often use this slang for those they think are good looking. They’ll probably never say it to your face, but you could hear it from someone else. Example- A: Bella is such a looker. Don’t you think so? B: Yeah, she is good, but I have no interest in her. Ripped Meaning- If a person is ripped, it means they have great muscles and body, probably because they work out a lot in the gym, or they are extremely into sports. Example- Steven is so ripped. He must be working out really hard to maintain such a physique. Beat Meaning- If someone says ‘I’m beat’, it means he or she is very tired or exhausted. Example- I am beat now. I will directly go to my bed and sleep, else I won’t be able to play in the next matches. By the way, do you work out to get ripped? Frankly speaking, yesterday I was beaten after all the work, but it's your love and support that amped me to write this article. I hope today's article added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. So make sure you read thoroughly and practice the vocabulary 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"));

Speaking in English Made Super Easy – Follow my Tweets and Just Stick Word Chunks Together!

I’ve been blogging for what seems forever about the importance of learning English collocations. I’ve been always saying that the basic components of English speech are word combinations and expressions rather than separate words. And I’ve also been repeating myself ad nauseam that English fluency can be acquired much quicker if you mimic, repeat, memorize and use all those idiomatic expressions used by native English speakers in your own speech instead of sticking separate words together and applying grammar rules as you speak. I’m even making effort to highlight idiomatic expressions in my blog posts in red so that you can clearly see which English word chunks are worth memorizing! Today, I’m going to make it even easier for you. I’ll start publishing on my Twitter account any English word combinations that are worth memorizing ! Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)

English Idiom: “To Your Heart’s Content”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d66wPBwOxo8 Hi everybody! The year is drawing to an end, Christmas is upon us, my Holidays have begun in earnest, and I can record videos just like this one TO MY HEART’S CONTENT! Today’s video is dedicated to an English idiom TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT, and first of all let’s validate it to see if it’s indeed a valid English word combination by entering this phrase into Google search (don’t forget to use quotation marks!): As you can see, it’s a totally valid English idiom as indicated by over 2 million search results and also the fact that the first search result clearly says: “to heart’s content” – idioms and phrases. Now, as to what this idiom means – well, it’s simple enough indeed! (more…)

Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!

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…)

Do You Really Suck At Speaking English?

Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEsnq018Gs4 Have you ever felt truly overwhelmed when trying to improve your English due to the fact that you’re trying to learn A LOT of new stuff over a short space of time? Well – you may want to stop putting yourself under such pressure because sometimes less is more when it comes to your English improvement! Related blog posts: Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW! Don’t Learn Complicated English Tenses TOO Soon! This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!

My 5 Year Long Journey to English Fluency

I got out of the plane in the Dublin airport. The weather was great despite rumors that it rains 360 days a year in Ireland. I was full of expectations, and I was also slightly worried because all I knew for sure was that I’d signed up for a job in a warehouse. Everything else was left to my imagination and such insignificant details as where I’m going to live and how much I’ll have to pay for accommodation hadn’t been really communicated neither to me nor to other Latvian guys I met at the airport having signed up with the same international job recruitment agency. I didn’t care too much about it anyway. I’d nothing to lose because all I had was 50 euro in my pocket and a promise of a better life. In a couple of weeks’ time it turned out I’d singed up with the right agency. I was working for a large multinational logistics company, pay was good, and I was able to start stashing away significant amount of money on a weekly basis which was impossible in my previous life in Latvia where I’d been barely able to make my ends meet. Little that I knew back then, however, that my stay in Ireland wasn’t going to be just about making a better life for myself and my family. I couldn’t have imagined that living in an English speaking country would challenge me as an English speaker in ways I didn’t even know existed. It turned out that my English was quite poor for practical daily life and soon after my arrival in Ireland I started trying to improve my English so that I could function properly in an English speaking society. It took me long years to figure out that textbook based grammar studies and learning large English vocabulary lists didn’t really improve my ability to communicate with other English speakers. Now, 10 years on, long after I finally achieved English fluency I can say with honesty that it’s been one hell of a journey! Want to find out more about it? Then read the rest of this article! ;-) (more…)

6 Reasons Why Mythbusters is the Best TV Program for Improving Your Spoken English

I’m a huge fan of Mythbusters and I’m eagerly awaiting every new episode of their show. In case you don’t know what Mythbusters is (which I don’t think is very likely…) – it’s a show where assumptions and popular beliefs are tried and tested to see if they hold true or they’re one of so many misconceptions the human kind has amassed over time. For instance, in one of the episodes they’re testing an English idiom “a bull in a china shop” to see how the situation pans out in real life. This particular myth was actually busted because the bulls kept avoiding the shelves in a makeshift china shop even when running around at high speed thus proving that the proverb “a bull in a china shop” is just something people believe but wouldn’t prove right were it to happen for real! Here’s a list of most Mythbusters myths and I bet you’ll find most of them interesting and even fascinating! And, if you haven’t watched the Mythbusters show on Discovery TV yet, I warmly suggest you start doing it! Especially considering how fast your spoken English is going to improve if you keep watching it over a longer period of time! Why? Well, read the rest of this blog post and you’ll find it out! And by the way - even if you don’t have access to the Discovery Channels, you can still watch loads of free Mythbusters content HERE on their website or on YouTube - check out the short video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7aao6JKJQ4 (more…)

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

3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain

When fluent English speakers speak, they don’t stick separate words together. Every word they pronounce automatically triggers the next one; the whole sentence is rather a chain of words linked together. Let’s say, for example, you’re asked a question “Would you like to come along to a party on Saturday night?” Most likely your response would begin with words “Thanks for…” and then you’d follow it by either “…asking” or “…inviting”, and come to think of it, when you pronounce the first words “thanks for…” the rest of the phrase kind of comes out of your mouth by itself, doesn’t it? That’s a typical example of collocating English words – they would normally go together in spoken and also written English, and foreign English speakers find it much easier to speak if their vocabulary has been built based on collocations as opposed to memorizing separate words. Well, the aforementioned phrase was a very simple response, and most likely you’d be able to respond using such a simple phrase even if you didn’t memorize it as a single unit of spoken language. Yet I’d say you picked it up by mimicking other English speakers because you surely must have heard someone say “Thanks for asking” or “Thanks for inviting” and that’s why the phrase got imprinted into your mind. Of course, by listening alone you won’t become fluent, you need to speak to add new phrases to your active English vocabulary, but I can’t deny that it does work to some extent. Anyway, when the wrong methods are used and wrong associations between English words are established, you may unwillingly create unnatural collocations. They manifest themselves in the following way – you start speaking by saying a word or two, but instead of continuing with a word that logically complements the phrase, you say something completely unrelated, something out of context, so to speak. OR, such out-of-place words may start pushing themselves into your mind even before you speak, and you may get a feeling as if someone else has taken control of your mind. Freaky? That’s how I used to feel and that’s how many other foreign English speakers feel if they use the wrong English learning methods. But now I’m going to list the worst of them so that you can avoid them like the plague! (more…)

How To Hesitate Like A Native English Speaker

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 ;-)

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…)

3 Killer Tips on How to Write in English Like a Native Speaker!

This blog’s main focus is the spoken English improvement, yet in reality I spend a lot of time creating written content for my blog visitors to enjoy. Here are a few facts about me and writing in English: I’ve been regularly creating written content in English for the last 6 years – I’ve worked in IT customer support (constant e-mailing), I’ve been involved in a few online projects (content creation – articles, video scripts) and I’ve been regularly writing articles for this blog. If I really set my mind to it, I can write a 1000 word article in about an hour. Of course, speed isn’t an indication of one’s ability to write fluently and in a native-like fashion; however, the point is – I write as if I were speaking, and that’s part of the success formula to become a good writer. A few years ago I was involved in an Internet-based project catering for a native English speaking audience and over the course of a couple of years NO-ONE EVER hinted that the content creator might be a foreigner – even though my English wasn’t as developed as it is now. So, the point I’m trying to make here is that writing like a native English speaker is easier than you may think! ;-) (more…)

Using Past Participles As Adjectives vs Passive Voice

I’ve Been Speaking in English for Years! I Still Require Regular Spoken Practice Though…

I’ve been an English speaker for what seems like a lifetime, so you’d think that by now I’ve become so comfortable with the English language that I could stop doing all the following: Speaking with myself during the day to keep my spoken English skills sharp; Preparing for important English conversations by doing some spoken self-practice; Speaking with myself in the car while driving to work etc. Guess what? I JUST CAN’T STOP DOING IT :!: And I warmly suggest you don’t ever give up such habits either – no matter how good your English becomes! Why am I saying this? It’s simple enough, my friend non-native English speaker: The moment you stop actively working on your fluency, it will start stalling! (more…)

Do You Find Certain English Grammar Constructs TOO DIFFICULT To Learn? Try This Easy 3 Step Plan!

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…)

Don’t Try to Speak in English as if You Were Writing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGJr9vMqMnE Many of us, foreign English speakers, learnt the English language as a written language due to the specific nature of academic English curriculum which emphasizes a student’s ability to read and write well. Spoken fluency is being neglected, and as a result our minds adopt what I like to call a ‘writing mode’. It’s when you’re so used to writing and working with English grammar textbooks, that it’s become your second nature to plan grammatically correct sentences in your head before actually speaking them out loud :!: As a result, your English fluency suffers because you find it hard to: Speak spontaneously and fluently (your speech preparation prevents that!) Use new English words and expressions (fear of making mistakes works against it!) Simply enjoy having a conversation with someone in English (you’re too anxious to say it all correctly!) Watch the video above to see how to make a smooth transition from the ‘writing mode’ of you mind into a ‘speaking mode’ so that you can speak fluently and confidently! (more…)

Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers

Whether it’s portraying Russians in Hollywood blockbusters or judging foreigners by one short conversation and assuming that their overall English fluency must be flawed because they’ve made a couple of awkward mistakes – there are a lot of misconceptions out there about us, foreign English speakers :!: In this article I’m going to look at the most popular ones and while I’m fully aware of the fact that I won’t be able to dispel those stereotypes, it doesn’t mean I can’t talk about them, does it? Foreigners portrayed in films speak like native English speakers except for their accent I’ve met thousands of foreign English speakers throughout my life, and I can tell you this much – a foreign English speaker who gets English grammar 100% correct while speaking is a rare creature to find! And I’m not speaking of a person with foreign origin who’s moved to an English speaking country during childhood or teenage years and has achieved a native-like fluency by the time he’s an adult. I’m speaking about typical foreigners who speak English with a smaller or a bigger foreign accent just like the ones typically portrayed in films and TV shows. As you can imagine, the reason behind it is because on 99% of occasions actors portraying foreigners in movies are native English speaking actors with accent talents :!: (more…)

Using Native Language in the English Class? Non-sense!

Mad Stuff – Speaking With Hard Foreign Accent to Facilitate English Fluency

When I started EnglishHarmony.com back in 2007, the English Harmony System wasn't there yet. Instead I was offering an eBook to my website visitors explaining the English fluency issue and how to deal with it. Among such methods as elimination of translation and slowing down the speech, I was focusing on something more radical in the eBook. Namely, speaking with your native accent. I know it sounds really strange, and I can understand if you’re somewhat reserved when hearing that in order to get your English speech back on track, you need to do away with proper English pronunciation and start speaking using your native language pronunciation instead. Yet there’s great wisdom concealed within such a technique, and I suggest you keep reading this article if you also experience unexplainable drops in English fluency every now and then! (more…)

Do Headphones Improve English Listening Experience? (How to Stop Using Subtitles!)

You Don’t Have to Know a SINGLE Grammar Rule to Speak Fluent English!

In this article, you’re going to find out: Why English grammar ISN’T necessary to speak fluent English; Why the most complicated grammar constructs are actually quite SIMPLE; How to use your brain’s natural ability to absorb grammatically correct speech patterns without analyzing them; How to use all the above to improve your spoken English! I know for a fact that many of you, my non-native English speaking friends, are struggling with English grammar. You’ve been studying grammar for YEARS only to discover that it doesn’t really help you speak fluently. YET you’re sticking with it. You’re hoping that there will be a point in time where you start speaking fluently once a significant amount of English grammar has been acquired. But guess what? Such a time will never come :!: Read about my 5 year long journey to English fluency HERE to see that the moment I STOPPED caring about grammar was the moment I started speaking fluent English. And keep reading this article to see WHY you don’t have to know formal English grammar rules in order to speak fluently ;-) (more…)