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!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0HILlcbuL4 Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, and this time around the expression in question is a true English idiom: BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT Well, to be honest with you, it’s quite possible to deduce the meaning of this idiom from the words “beyond” and “doubt” alone; however, you couldn’t be 100% sure what it means until you actually learn that it means “without any doubt”. That’s the nature of true English idioms, my friends – you just have to learn their meaning so that you can use them without running the risk of using them in the wrong context. And now you can go ahead and watch the video above where I’m providing a number of example sentences with this particular English idiomatic expression. Watch the video, repeat the phrase “beyond the shadow of a doubt” a good few times so that it gets “wired” into your mouth as a permanent English speech pattern, and you’re good to go! Cheers, Robby ;-)

How To Get Involved When Speaking English

In this blog post I’ll be looking at one of the most dreadful things foreign English speakers come across – making MISTAKES. You might know the feeling – you start talking to someone in English, and then all of a sudden you make the most stupid mistake! And despite being a decent English speaker, the mistakes you make may create an impression that you’re just an English learner. It’s really irritating. It’s frustrating. Making mistakes like saying “he” instead of “she” or mixing up tenses and saying “had” instead of “has” should be something that only beginners do, isn’t that right? Yet it’s something that can happen to any of us no matter how fluently we speak! I’ve discussed this phenomenon at length on my blog previously and given plenty of advice on how to deal with those moments when you feel that you just can’t speak normally. At times there’s nothing better than just jumping into an English conversation and ignoring the mistakes you’re making. If it’s bound to happen, accept it and let go of the very fear of making those mistakes! Strangely enough, on many occasions it works. Having spent a few minutes chatting and forcing yourself to draw away your focus from mistakes to the conversation itself, you alleviate the self-imposed stress and your English fluency returns to normal. If it doesn’t help, you have to resort to another powerful tactic I’ve suggested previously on a number of articles and videos – slowing your speech down. On many occasions foreign English speakers are trying to match the speed of native English speakers’ speech and it can have quite the opposite effect. You may start stumbling upon words and make terrible mistakes just because you’re rushing your speech, and slowing down and pausing to pick the best fitting word is definitely a good idea. And sometimes when you’re so overwhelmed by the inability to speak normally, the best thing you can do is just forget about English for a while! Immersion in other activities allows your mind to “restart” itself and you can return to a normal English speaking mode the next day. There is, however, one aspect of making mistakes when speaking English that I haven’t yet touched on my blog. It’s about GETTING INOLVED when speaking. (more…)

Just a Handful of English Phrases Will Enable You to Speak so Much More Fluently!

This short article is a hard proof that English phrases really help structuring our speech! Here’s the thing guys – when it comes to your ability to speak fluently, you may want to focus on building your phraseology (phrases) instead of vocabulary (individual words)! Don’t get me wrong - it’s not that I’m having something against vocabulary as such, it’s just that phraseology acquisition is way more effective! It mightn’t have crossed your mind before, but at the end of the day we all use pretty much the same English expressions and phrases all the time! It’s only when you analyze English around you that you realize that such and similar phrases make up a large part of people’s daily conversations. Having said this, I don’t deny the importance of specific vocabulary – nothing could be further from the truth! If you don’t know how this or that particular thing or abstract concept is called, it’s kind of hard to get your message across to your chat partner because you simply wouldn’t be able to describe simple concepts in the first place. Sometimes you would even run the risk of sending the wrong message to the other person, and that’s when successful communication gets slightly problematic, to say the least. When your basic vocabulary is decent, however, you can drastically improve your English fluency within a matter of weeks by learning common English phrases in order to get your speech going, you know what I mean? Even if you only learn phrases from this short article by clicking on the links, watching the respective videos, and then doing some self-practice, your spoken English will be much better down the line, there’s no doubt about that! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Phrasal Verb: “To Carry Out”

Isn’t English “Improving” and “Learning” the Same?!

Quite often I receive e-mails like this: “Dear Robby, I’m … from …. and I speak English very bad. Please help me, Robby, to master English fluency and learn how to speak with good grammar.” Mind this – I’m not mocking those foreigners who’ve just recently embarked upon English studies and have a long way to go before they’ll be able to call themselves fluent English speakers, readers and writers. I’d never do it because I’m a foreign English speaker myself and I can still remember times when, for instance, I’d listen to an English song having no clue as to what the lyrics is about! Anyway, I’m usually forced to reply to such e-mails with something along these lines: “Dear …, thanks for your e-mail, your interest is much appreciated. Unfortunately I don’t offer English teaching services as my website is about IMPROVING the SPOKEN aspect of English. Your general English knowledge would have to be pretty good before you could consider using the English Harmony System” So as you can see from the above paragraph, you won’t find much on my website if you’re an English LEARNER. If you’re making your first steps in learning English basics and you’re only getting to grips with proper sentence structure and so on – sorry, I’m not much of a help for you then. I understand it must be slightly confusing to read so much about improving English on my blog and then being told you already have to be able to speak, write and read very well. I suppose the majority of foreigners perceive the two concepts – learning and improving English as being nearly the same. To make the matters clear - here’s what I understand with IMPROVING English – and please don’t forget that I’m focusing on improving SPOKEN English here on English Harmony! ;-) (more…)

FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session

Dealing With Criticism When Making Mistakes in English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=repd1rZc_lc

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

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 everyone out there, I hope you are doing well and welcome back yet again to another chapter of this “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn some vocabulary about a subject each day with context and examples, as you will do today. And if you want to take your English journey to a next level, you must follow the rules as I told you to in my previous articles. Wait? What did I say? Rules? So it must be crystal clear from my previous statement what vocabulary we are going to study today. Today we learn some phrases and expressions related to rules and laws which you will definitely find useful in your daily life. Well, if not in spoken English, at least they will help you in academics during writing. So without ado, let’s get down to the business and see today’s context: Context The government makes the law and order, but I think it is rather our responsibility as citizens of the nation to abide by every rule it makes. The officials sometimes have to enforce the law if people don't follow what they say. I remember a few days before when I was stuck in traffic, I saw a man smoking in his motorcycle trying to get ahead. After some time when that road hog realized he could not pass any further, he took out another cigarette from his pocket and started smoking. Although the law forbids smoking in public places, it seemed he hardly cared about anything. The regulations stipulate that a person should not smoke in public as well as wear helmet while driving, but for some people, if they have some connection in the ministry office, they feel like the king of the road. A man named Josh was standing beside that guy who realized that all smoke was coming at his face. He didn’t say anything for a while, but opposed his behavior with a shout when his patience reached the limits. The next moment we heard a gunshot. Before anyone could catch him or the police could reach him, he ran away shooting Josh on his chest. Sources said he had some ministry connections and there were no chances he would even appear in court, so people advised his son John to back off and leave the case as nothing would happen as he will never receive a fair judgment. John didn’t give up and by involving the media in the case, the police had to carry out an investigation. The case finally reached the High Court. There has been a fair trial after a hard legal battle and the court reached the verdict that the man was guilty of Josh's murder and sentenced him to lifetime imprisonment. Vocabulary to Acquire Today Enforce/ uphold the law Meaning- make sure people obey the law. Example- It is the duty of the police to enforce the law if someone denies it. Law forbids the smoking (or something) Meaning-  The law does not allow smoking (or anything) Example- Law forbids people to use an unregistered property. Regulations stipulate Meaning- It simply means the rules say that. Example- The regulations stipulate to provide the real identity proof before they apply for the main registration. Carry out an investigation Meaning- to report the findings. Example- The police prevented anyone to move out of the city until they carry out an investigation. Reach the verdict Meaning- to reach the final decision after considering all the facts and pieces of evidence. Example- The jury reached the verdict that all criminals will be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. A fair trial Meaning- a trial that is conducted unbiased, considering all the facts by an impartial judge. Example- As so many high-status people have backed him up, it is impossible if he doesn’t get a fair trial. A hard legal battle Meaning- It is a self-explanatory phrase. Example- The poor man won the case against the high-status celebrity after a hard legal battle. I know it could be a little tough for some people to understand this article, so I would rather suggest you going through it once again so it becomes crystal clear to you. I hope today’s lesson 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'll become your second nature. See you tomorrow with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving, but make sure you follow rules and regulations. 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"));

What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years

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! Related articles: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English Speaking Country What To Do If You Can’t Speak With Natives in an English Speaking Country If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about living in Ireland which, as you may already know, is an English speaking country. In hindsight, I can say that it’s been one hell of a transformation – I’ve gone from a foreigner who’s barely capable of speaking conversational English to an English fluency mentor who’s teaching other foreign English speakers. I’ve experienced all the ups and downs one can encounter while living in an English speaking country. I’ve been told I’m a useless English speaker. I’ve been in all sorts of embarrassing situations – starting from not being able to order a meal in McDonald’s and ending with screwing up job interviews because of my inability to provide a coherent answer. But the great thing is that now, with all that experience under my belt, I can tell my students with the utmost certainty what kind of an attitude they need to adopt in order to survive and thrive as English speakers living in an English speaking country. It feels so great being in a position to help out others, and frankly speaking, I don’t regret anything that’s happened to me while I was a struggling English speaker. I like to think that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I just HAD to endure all the hardship and suffering to emerge a fluent English speaker equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help others who find themselves in the same boat. But now, let me tell you what I’ve realized over the 14 year long stay in Ireland; as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about life in an English speaking country! (more…)

How To Learn A New Language In Super-short Time!

30-Day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 3- Traffic

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, my dear friends out there, How are you doing today? (more…)

English Words I Used to Mispronounce

Don’t Analyze Your English – Part 2: Why Questions Beginning With WHY Are the Worst!

Make It Impossible To Avoid English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ9FW0SmVsI Hello everyone from YearOfEnglish.com and welcome back to my video blog! :grin: I’ve been away from video production for quite some time due to my hectic summer schedule, but do you think my English fluency has worsened while I haven’t been recording a lot of videos on a regular basis? Not really! I’ve simply made it impossible for myself to avoid the English language, and even if I wasn’t using it in my day-to-day conversations with work colleagues, I’d still be constantly exposed to it! First of all, I’m taking notes in my daily planner in English thus making sure I regularly use the English language even when I’m gone on holidays back to my home country, for example. (more…)

1,000,000 English Grammar Questions Answered by Robby

Download PDF version of this article HERE! Hi guys! ;-) In this article I’ve combined all the English grammar-related questions from your comments on my previous article where I asked you to ask me any grammar questions that have been bothering you lately. I’m going to answer all of your questions in an easy-to-understand manner so as to not make you even more confused. I mean – what’s the point in providing an answer if it’s even more confusing than the original question, right? So basically when answering the questions, I’m not going to start throwing a lot of grammar-related terms around. Instead, I’ll provide simple and commonly used examples of how this or that particular grammar construct is to be used correctly and then you can take my advice on board and start using it the same way. Remember – it’s by far easier to learn one or two ways of using a certain grammar rule than to try and apply that rule on your entire speech! If you try to do the latter, you’ll start analyzing your speech too much and that will inevitably lead to fluency issues. So, without a further ado, let’s cut to the chase and let me answer all of your questions, my dear blog readers! Needless to say – you’re welcome to ask more questions in the comments section below! :grin: (more…)

Tricks with English Words – Horse Show or Horror Show?

English Idiomatic Expression: “You Don’t Want To…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_8DMom1pYk Hello my friends foreign English speakers! ;-) Here’s another English idiomatic expression for you to learn and use in your daily English conversations and also spoken English practice sessions: YOU DON’T WANT TO This particular English phrase simply means “YOU SHOULDN’T…” and it’s used by native English speakers in situations when telling someone that they shouldn’t do something would sound a bit too harsh and patronizing. Imagine yourself in a situation when you’re introduced to a new work colleague and you’re given the task of showing him the ropes (explaining how the job is done.) You’d be telling your new colleague a lot of things that they shouldn’t do over the course of the day, so every time you’re saying YOU SHOULDN'T DO IT and DON’T DO IT, it may start sounding as if you’re annoyed with them. Not that it’s a big deal – and if your voice and body language clearly shows your good intentions, you shouldn’t have any problems with telling someone that they shouldn’t do something. It’s just that it may sound a bit friendlier if you use the phrase YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT! And here's the exact phrases where you'd be using this idiomatic expression: (more…)

“Can’t Improve English Because I Live in Non-English Speaking Country…” is Often Just an EXCUSE!

Have You Ever Thought of Having a CPU Implanted into Your Brain? Read S. J. Kincaid’s INSIGNIA!

Hello my fellow foreign English speaker! This is the first English fiction review article on this blog, and so it happens that it’s a sci-fi adventure book with a brand new concept I’d never EVER heard of before! This is the Right Book 4 U if… … you’re a foreign English speaker wanting to start reading English fiction. This would make a perfect first English fiction book for you, and even though you might have to look up certain words on a dictionary website or thesaurus, by and large it’s written using plain language. … you’re a sci-fi fan. Concepts described in this novel are quite unique, and you’ll find yourself intrigued – especially in the first part of the novel. … you’re a gamer. The main character in this book is a teenage boy named Tom and he’s brilliant at playing games. If you share his passion for gaming, this might be the only book you’ll actually ever want to read! … you like conspiracy theories. Do you believe in Illuminati and the New World Order (NOW)? Then you’ll find this particular novel to your liking because it depicts a world governed by gigantic corporations forcing people to buy their products and services while the political scene is dominated by a war waged in the outer space between the two main blocks of countries – Indo-American and Russo-Chinese. (more…)

It’s OK to Feel Like an Idiot – Sometimes Even Native English Speakers Get Tongue-tied!

I thought I’d become immune to embarrassment because I’ve been following my own advice on using decent doses of ignorance whenever I encountered embarrassing situations. Last weekend, however, I realized that I’m not as emotionally tough as I thought because I got to experience immense embarrassment while I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in the local supermarket… To cut a long story short, I ran into one of my work colleagues – he’s a nice Irish fella – and somehow we both got completely tongue-tied when facing each other. To make the matters worse, he had his wife with him and obviously the whole situation became extremely awkward because I’d never spoken to her. Also considering the fact that I’ve rarely said anything more to him than “Hello!” and “See ya!” at work, I don’t think you’ll find it hard to imagine how two adult men may not find ANYTHING to say to each other. Well, to tell you the truth, the resulting situation was so embarrassing that I literally lost control over it and it started to resemble an accident scene unfolding before my eyes. Do you know the feeling when you’re witnessing something terrible happen but your body freezes up and you’re unable to do anything? I was experiencing something similar at that moment because I felt I was losing grip on reality. Clearly the totally confused red-faced person who just stood staring at the other two people with no ability to say something sensible in English wasn’t me; it was someone else having taken over my body! And the Irish fella wasn’t in a much better position – he was as tongue-tied as me unable to come up with anything reasonable to say to me. As you can imagine, the morale of this story is that it doesn’t matter who you are – a foreign or a native English speaker. Either one of you can get tongue-tied BECAUSE OF EMBARRASSMENT and the language actually plays a little role in it! (more…)

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

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

Nonsense of Learning English by Listening to Fast English Spoken by Locals

Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again

Don’t Compare Your English With Others!

20 Random Thoughts on English Fluency, Foreign English Speakers and Life in General

1. The English language is for everyone to speak. It transcends national boundaries, it’s become our modern day ‘lingua franca’, and no-one can really use the argument of ‘proper English’ because it is spoken differently in different places on the planet! 2. There are no quick-fixes or shortcuts when improving your spoken English. Contrary to what some English teachers will tell you, you can’t just listen your way to fluency; you have to SPEAK, SPEAK and SPEAK a lot! 3. It’s quite hard for the average foreigner to achieve a high degree of English fluency in the English language without living in an English speaking country. 4. It’s very difficult to improve your English effectively if you don’t enjoy life through the English language. 5. You may be saying it every once in a while that you’d like to improve your English but you can’t really do it because you haven’t got enough time, money, whatever. The truth is - it’s almost impossible to learn how to speak English fluently if you’re not REALLY MOTIVATED :!: (more…)

Becoming Fluent in English While Living in Your Home Country is Impossible… Or Is It?

If you spend about half an hour browsing articles and videos on this blog, you’ll learn pretty quickly that I’m all about doing loads of self-practice in order to improve the level of spoken English – this is the single biggest contributor to my own fluency improvement and that of my students as well. For most people, when coming across this approach for the first time, this may sound really weird, and it takes some time to get used to the concept of speaking in English without a conversation partner. Once they realize though, that this type of practice is in fact no different to speaking with others, they embrace it and their spoken English experiences a rapid improvement. (more…)