You’re Not Struggling With Your Fluency – You’re Struggling With Perfection!
Oftentimes we foreigners feel we struggle to say the right thing during a conversation with other English speakers. Or – we struggle TO SAY THINGS RIGHT which isn’t the same exact problem as the aforementioned one. In the first situation you don’t how WHAT to say, but in the second one you’re struggling to say in RIGHT. Nonetheless, the problem of struggling to have a fluent, free conversation in English with someone is often just a matter of perspective. While inside your head you’re all confused and frustrated by your inability to speak just as fluently as you’d write, your conversation partner mightn't actually see your seemingly flawed speech in the same light! So why not just cut yourself some slack, and speak without worrying about mistakes you might be making or things you might be saying in a way natives don’t normally speak? I believe you’re much better off feeling free and make mistakes rather than struggle every time you have to speak in English… and still make mistakes! (more…)
Phrasal Verbs – Great Way To Improve Spoken English!
Beware! I’m a False Fluency Expert & I’ll Con You Out of Money!
Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine
If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)
Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!
A few days ago I received the following comment on the English Harmony Facebook page: Your method, learning English through idioms, phrases, proverbs, etc. is so much fun! It’s like playing with Lego bricks! Really! You see, you took most of the grammar (which for most is a party-breaker) out and made it so much less intimidating. You completely changed my view on English. Now I don't see sentences as complex structures (teeming with grammar lawfulness) but rather as different ready-to-go pieces (that is idioms, phrasal verbs, etc.) put together. Just like Lego bricks! That's why I find it like playing with it. You take on brick/part which is at your disposal and then choose which one will go along (with the same method: see what you have and try to make the best combination to convey your message). Thank you for that! I really, really liked this comment – not just because its author agrees with me on the effectiveness of contextual English learning, but also because it puts a completely different spin on the whole thing and makes you realize that English learning and improvement has to be perceived as a fun game rather than a boring chore! (more…)
Developing Your Ability to Use All Those Phrases & Idioms in Real Conversations
What You Think is Your WORST English Performance May Just Turn Out to Be Your BEST One Ever!
Do you sometimes get the feeling that you’re a really crappy English speaker and that your English sucks? Well, I also get this feeling sometimes, and despite having dealt with my main fluency issues a long time ago there are days when it kind of feels as if it’s not even worth opening my mouth. There are occasions when I have to record a video for my YouTube channel, for example, but I just can’t stand the way I sound on that particular day, and I can’t get rid of the feeling that I should rather stay away from it and get back to it the following day. Do you think I do that and just keep my mouth shut? No way! I simply ignore the fact that I’m feeling bad about my ability to speak in English properly, and I proceed with recording the videos. More often than not the result is quite surprising – when I watch the video I can clearly see that my English speech is by far better than I thought it was! So here’s the simple conclusion I can draw: (more…)
Is It Possible To Improve Your Spoken English By Watching TV?
Fluency Star Case Study: Sergi and His English Fluency Improvement
Get the FREE eBook “How To Stop Struggling With English Writing”!
3 Life Lessons For Foreign English Speakers to Learn From ARNIE
What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29TU4UTROc There was a time when I published a video a day, and sometimes I would even upload two videos in a single day onto my YouTube account. The times have changed, and now you may be wondering why Robby isn't making as many daily English idiomatic expression videos as he used to! The answer is quite simple, my friends – I’m currently very busy preparing for my next big project called FluencyGym.com. I spend a few hours every day brainstorming and creating content for the upcoming English confidence program Fluency Gym Coach, and it’s going to consist of a lot of videos where I’m going to draw parallels between working out and speaking in English! Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the English idiomatic expression videos coming albeit not at such a frequent rate. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate now, and I simply have to change my blogging frequency so that I can work on my new project. To find out more about FluencyGym.com, please watch the video above! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Get the FREE eBook “Power of English Phrasal Verbs”
If you’ve just moved to an English speaking country, you may find yourself in a situation when everyday English spoken around you is much different from the one you studied at school or university. And even if you’ve spent considerable time in the country, much of what native English speakers say might be lost on you so you blame your lack of English fluency. By the way, haven’t you heard some foreigners say things like: “You know, these Americans (British, Irish – depending on which English speaking country you reside in) don’t speak correct English themselves, that’s why it’s so hard for us to communicate with them!” Well… In fact what some might call “incorrect speech” boils down to a few main factors which aren’t incorrect or wrong by their nature. Native English speakers simply use a whole lot more informal and colloquial means of expression than academically tutored foreigners! Yes, informal speech sometimes doesn’t meet the very high literacy standards – but then I think we can actually argue who set them and why. Learning super-accurate and perfect English without means of expression like phrasal verbs, idioms and colloquialisms will make it much harder for you to communicate, and here’s a perfect example to illustrate exactly what I mean. (more…)
Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?
English Idiomatic Expression: “This or that particular thing”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnIbrUkSRzE I’m back with another English expression, and this time it’s a very simple one – “This or that particular thing”. You know why I’m giving you mostly such simple expressions? The reason behind it is quite simple – it’s such and similar English phrases that form the core content of your speech and allow you to sound fluent and get the message across to your chat partner! Yes, I don’t deny that there’s also a place for proper idioms and specific phrases – the heck, I’ve also published them on my blog! – READ this article stuffed full with smart English phrases! By and large, however, it’s the simple phrases that make up the backbone of your speech, so I warmly suggest you to incorporate learning these simple phrases and start using them in your daily English conversations RIGHT NOW! See more simple English phrases here: “It’s only when you… that…” “In the first place” “Pretty much the same” Talk to you soon! Robby ;-)
How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)
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…)
Why So Many Foreigners CAN’T Speak Fluent English?
Put Yourself in a Position of Power: Don’t Be Sorry for Your Mistakes!
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 ;-)
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Categorize English Idioms when Learning Them!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x61xJ0pLL_k English idioms are very useful for foreign English speakers like you or me because they allow expressing our thoughts and voice our opinion quickly and using the same phrase in dozens and hundreds of similar situations. Let’s take the following idiom – “Chip on your shoulder”. You can use it in pretty much every situation when someone feels they’re treated unfairly and they’re acting defensively but it’s obvious that there’s no good reason for them to behave that way and they’re acting so because of their own insecurities. So instead of describing the whole situation you can just use this short phrase instead – “He’s always had a chip on his shoulder, that’s why he’s acting that way!” It saves you time and effort, and such and similar idioms are used worldwide – “chickens have come home to roost”, “on the ball” or “elephant in the room”. But here’s what I’ve noticed – many idiom directories like grouping idioms by the actual words contained in those idioms. For example, the two idioms about chickens and the elephant would fall under the same category – animal related idioms. It might sound like a good idea to give all those hundreds and thousands of idioms some structure and make them easy to find. When learning idioms, however, it may do more harm than good, so read the rest of this article to find out why I’m making such claims :!: (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 17- Hands-down edge on others
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 Speak English Like A Native – Part 2
WILL and GOING TO English Future Forms: How to Use Them in Conversations
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q3pSzWrcek Welcome back to another Practical English Grammar lesson where we talk about Future in spoken English and how to sound fluent and natural when talking about future events! In the previous video we looked at how to use Present Progressive Tense – also called Present Continuous – for describing future events. The most important bit of information from that lesson is to perceive Present Progressive as the basic grammar tense for describing future. You know – in 9 times out of 10 foreign English speakers use the traditional WILL + verb in infinitive Future Tense when speaking about future events, but it transpires that this grammar form is being massively overused :shock: Many future events we talk about on a daily basis have been arranged prior to the conversation, so we can confidently use Present Progressive instead. For instance, you have to say “Sorry, I’m watching a very interesting TV program tonight” instead of “I will watch a very interesting TV program tonight” if you have a conversation with your friend and he asks you if you can go out with him tonight. By now you’re probably getting slightly confused over my ramblings on future in spoken English. Judging by the previous video, one might think that WILL + verb and GOING TO future forms are redundant and there’s no need to use them. Especially if you take into account that I said that you’d be better off overusing Present Progressive rather than the WILL Future Tense – to many it may sound as if I’m saying that you can speak English and use Present Progressive ONLY when it comes to talking about future events.Â Well, it’s not so. Other Future forms are also necessary; you just need to know WHEN to use them :!: So today let’s look at the traditional English Future Tense – WILL + verb in infinitive and also the GOING TO Future form and how to use them in conversational English. (more…)
Ask Me ANY English Grammar Related Question You May Have!
English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency
How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyp63fQcu_0 Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Have you noticed how vividly I’m communicating to my audience on my YouTube videos using my HANDS and my FACIAL EXPRESSIONS? If you’ve been following me for quite some time, you’ll definitely understand what I’m talking about, but even if this is the first time you’re seeing me, I warmly suggest you watch the video above and see what exactly I’m talking about! Here’s what you’ll learn by watching today’s video: (more…)
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
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. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)
How to Give the PERFECT Presentation in English
Do You Speak English Enough? You’ve Gotta Speak ALL THE TIME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLvjnC515co Are you immersed into the English language 27/7/365 - meaning you are married to an English speaker or you only go out with other English speakers? If so - great, your spoken English is probably good enough and you don't really have any fluency related issues! ;-) IF your English exposure is limited, however, you just HAVE to do some additional spoken English practicing, there's no doubt about that as it's been proven by my personal experience. What am I talking about here? Well - watch the video above and you'll find out EXACTLY what I'm on about here: * my history as a failed English speaker * importance of a daily spoken English practice to keep your fluency sharp * why MOUTH for you is the most important body part! Stay fluent, stay confident, and all kinds of comments welcome here! Robby ;-)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…
Do You Really NEED to Improve Your Spoken English?
It may sound like a completely mad question on an English improving blog. Especially taking into account I’m a passionate proponent of English speaking practice as the main activity for improving anyone’s English. What you probably don’t know about me is that I’m also a vehement proponent of practicality in all aspects of life with English being not an exception. I strongly believe that you are what you do and regarding English improving it translates into your English is what you do :!: To put it simply, you have to look at it from the following perspective. It’s your daily activities that determine which aspects of English you’re relying upon most. If you live in a foreign country and use English mostly for surfing the Net and watching English TV channels, that is what you actually need your English for. Also if you don’t get many opportunities to communicate with other English speakers, you won’t be needing spoken English skills as badly as someone who has moved to an English speaking country or works, for instance, as a cell centre operator supporting English speaking customers. To dispel any confusion that might arise from what I just said clashing with my usual “English is a tool for communication first and foremost!”, please note that my blog and the whole English Harmony project is dedicated to those foreign English speakers who need to speak English regularly, but struggle with it. The point I’m trying to make in this blog post is the following – if you don’t need to communicate using English because of specific circumstances, probably you shouldn’t be overly concerned about improving your spoken English (unless you need it in the foreseeable future, of course!) (more…)