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!

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Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

Having a Bad English Day? So Does Everyone From Time to Time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xirWOwOndls In this video episode I want to focus on the very essence of the English fluency issue – namely – its wavelike occurrence. If you have this annoying English fluency problem when you can speak quite fluent English on some occasions, but on others you suddenly perform very badly, then you have definitely noticed that this phenomenon fluctuates. Basically it means that moments of very bad English fluency are followed by very good performance and then it goes back down again. These fluctuations tend to be quite random, and that is probably the most annoying thing about the English fluency issue. You could be speaking very well the night before some important event, but the next day your performance is so bad that you feel like your English is utter rubbish :mad: So, while the upper end of the English fluency issue scale is definitely too severe to live with, there’s much we can understand by looking at the different levels of English speech you have at different times and it’s worth analyzing a bit. The end-goal of today’s video episode is to help you realize that ups and downs in speaking English are quite normal as far as your English speaking performance isn’t severely limited by those low moments. If it is - you definitely have to work on this English fluency issue and there’s no better help with this than my English Harmony System. But if the symptoms are limited to slightly impeded speech, hesitation and occasional inability to find just the right words when you want to say something in English, you have to remember than it’s absolutely natural to experience performance drops in all aspects of life! (more…)

Who’s Your English Good Luck Charm?

Are there certain English speaking people who you seem to be unable to speak with fluently? Does it feel like those people are actually triggering the ‘writing mode’ of your mind whereby you start stuttering and preparing your speech in your head prior to speaking out loud thus making it totally unnatural? Well, it’s nothing unusual! It’s happened to me on countless occasions, and even though now I’m over the very severe ‘writing mode’ symptoms, I would experience moments when I can’t speak at 100% of my ability with a particular person. Sometimes, however, quite the opposite happens, and my English fluency literally opens up when speaking with a particular person. It’s as if THAT PERSON IS MY GOOD LUCK CHARM and my English fluency issues simply can’t do me any harm because I’m protected by that person! I know it sounds far-fetched, and I fully understand that in real terms there’s nothing to prevent me from speaking fluently with any English speaking person in the world. When I speak, it’s ME who speaks after all, so why would another person’s presence have such a massive positive or negative effect on my fluency, isn’t that right? In real life, however, people you communicate with DO play quite a significant role in the way you can perform in terms of using the right means of expression and also your overall fluency. Some have a negative, but some have a very positive effect on your spoken English – just like my mortgage advisor, for example! (more…)

Have You Ever Thought About Your MOUTH As a MUSCLE?

How many years have you been working on your English? Two? Five? Ten? Guess what – I’ve been receiving e-mails from folks having been trying to achieve English fluency for TWENTY YEARS to no avail :!: And I can see exactly why it’s happening – the heck, years ago I was among those struggling English speakers myself! – it’s because most foreign English speakers don’t perceive their mouth as a muscle. Are you confused? What I mean by saying – perceive their mouth as a muscle? Well, it’s EXACTLY what I mean – your mouth for you as a foreign English speaker is just like muscles for a bodybuilder or just about any other athlete or indeed for any person on this planet who’s using their body to move their arms and legs to lift things and move around. You’re using your mouth to produce English words, phrases and sentences in order to communicate with other English speakers, and there’s actual body movement involved in every step of the way – your lips, tongue, jaws and a whole array of facial muscles are actively involved to help you with the task! (more…)

12 English Phrases Meaning Something Completely DIFFERENT to What You Might Think They Mean!

Why Can’t I Speak With My Fellow Native Speakers in English Fluently?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znhskFOnONw Have you ever found that you can’t speak normal, fluent English with people who speak your own language? It may sound weird at first, but it happens more often than you may think :!: The reason why I’m touching upon this phenomenon is the following comments I received on YouTube recently: Well, I have written about the inability to speak with certain people in English. I’ve also looked at various reasons as to why it might be easier to speak in English with native English speakers and why sometimes you’ll actually find that other foreigners provide better conversation partners than native English speakers. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”

Topics For Practising Spoken English

You don't have anyone to talk to in English? Don't despair! You can actually practice spoken English with yourself! Does it sound weird to you? Well, it's not as bad as you initially thought! Image this - when you're taking shower in the morning, or walking your dog - you're on your own and as far as no-one is close by - you're perfectly fine talking with yourself! And by the way - it's a great way of organizing your thoughts and improving spoken English at the same time! So here are a few topics you can use if you don't know what you can chat with yourself about!  Talk about what you have done by now since the moment you woke up in the morning. Remember all the events that have happened to you – how you were driving or went by bus to work, what happened on the way – if you saw some interesting person, if there were new road works on the way. Talk about the weather this morning – if it’s nice or rainy and how you feel about it.  Plan your day – this is actually a good moment to remember everything you have to do during the forthcoming day! Make an appointment to the doctor, call to the bank about rejected direct debit from you electricity company, write an e-mail to your boss asking about your holidays, book airplane tickets – there’s always more or less to do everyday! While going through the list you can talk about those things in detail and predict how the events are likely going to evolve and how you’ll act.  Recall pleasant events from your past – your childhood, your teenage years and go through them. You’ll be amazed how many long forgotten things you can bring up in your memory! And the excitement is going to heal the English speaking issue as well – your speech will become more fluent as a result. Remember your school friends you haven’t seen a long time and all the mischievous things you’ve done together – crazy college years…  If you’re going for a meeting with someone - speak with yourself about the main points of the conversation. By doing so you’ll be better prepared for the real talk. Is it an interview, a meeting, or just a talk to your boss – it is always good to be prepared and now the main points.  Analyze your feelings at this moment – are you happy? Are you sad? Are you excited? What made you feel so? A number of things are going to appear in the process to talk about and maybe you’ll settle some issue eventually! Act like a psychologist for yourself! Try to tell yourself that after all there’s no point of being annoyed about something you cannot change and make your mind brighter.  Talk about the latest movie you’ve seen or the book you’ve read. Go through the events and describe them in detail – this is another powerful tool if it seems to you that there’s nothing to talk about.  After some entertaining night out or weekend trip to somewhere you’ll have plenty of things to remember – whether you met new people, something interesting happened, or you got into a funny situation.  If you have a relationship you can talk about your partner – remember all the good and the bad things you’ve been through together, think about how important he or she is to you and if you had a row the night before – think about who was right and who was wrong and what’s going to happen when you return home in the evening. Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

4 Pieces of Evidence That Past Experience, Context and Mental Associations is Everything When it Comes to Spoken English

We humans are creatures of habit and conditioning and all our actions are rooted in the past performance and experience. No matter what human activity is looked at, chances are that your subconscious remembers similar activity from the past and it dictates you what to do. The tricky part is, you might not be even aware of it because your brain literally has a mind of its own and you might have a very little say in the process. Let’s say for instance, you’ve just started in a new company and you have to speak with plenty of new people during your first days in the new job. Your English performance is quite good, and you’re satisfied with yourself. Then comes along a particular person you experience a few awkward moments with because you don’t really know what to say to each other. You hesitate, you stutter, you say something silly. It’s no big deal, it happens to everyone, right? Yeah, right… Try to say it to your brain :!: :grin: There’s a big likelihood that every time you meet that person, you’ll be more prone to making mistakes and not being able to speak proper English - and all because of that first bad experience. And, if it happens for a few more times, the damage is done. Conditioned reflex has been created. Do you want more proof that past experience and spoken English performance are closely related resulting in conditioned reflexes? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll see for yourself that spoken English is all about past experiences, associations and conditioned behavioral patterns :!: (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 15- Fitness

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, Did you practice the expressions I taught you in the previous article? I know you did. I trust you, and I know you are damn serious about improving your vocabulary. Hence, I brought another chapter of our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn some vocabulary every day with context and examples, and so will you today. So without further ado, let’s get down to the business and pick some vocabulary out of the context: (more…)

I Have to Learn to Write Grammatically Correctly First and Then I’ll Be Able to Speak Well!

How Words Hook Up With Each Other in Spoken English

IMPORTANT! Please grab a piece of paper and a pen before you start reading this article as you'll be required to write down a few English words if you decide to participate in a small experiment! In this article we’ll look at how important it is to acquire new vocabulary in context, and how much time you may be wasting learning new words separately, just by learning meanings of new words or even worse – learning them through a translation in your native language. I've been discussing it on my blog and in my videos quite a lot, but I’ve never actually brought up certain examples to show you the effectiveness of learning new English words through context. So, let’s do an experiment first. It’s very important you participate in this because if you don’t, you won’t be able to feel the difference between learning new vocabulary with and without context, so please follow my instructions, all right? ;-) Basically you'll have to make effort to memorize a few quite sophisticated English adjectives but in case you know a few or even all of those words, please don’t be offended! I’m not trying to insult your intelligence by making assumptions about your English vocabulary; I’ll be doing my best to pick out a few English words that aren’t heard that often in normal daily conversations or in media. Now, please read the following five English words with the corresponding explanations and try to do your best to memorize those words and their meanings: (more…)

Happy New Year Everyone!

Are you making these collocation mistakes?

Hey there everyone, How is your fluency going? What? Good. It's awesome then, but it breaks my heart when I see my dear readers, making mistakes while speaking or writing. And please don’t get me wrong, making a mistake is a part of the learning process, but correcting them is way more important than expanding your vocabulary or scaling up your fluency. Thus, without further fuss, let get down to the job: Pay close attention to the paragraph given below and find the mistakes from the context. Let’s see how many of them you are able to observe. (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…)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bv2PozTfTA Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning boys and girls! When was the last time you’ve HAD A RUN-IN WITH someone? Do you like HAVING RUN-INS WITH people? Personally I prefer to resolve all differences in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, but it’s simply our human nature to HAVE RUN-INS WITH other people from time to time. Now, I’m pretty sure that you got the meaning of today’s American English expression, but in case you still have some doubts – please watch the video above where I’m discussing my sixteenth American phrase I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH and how it’s used in real-life English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Phrasal Verb “To Pull Off”

Thinking in English Happens With Your Mouth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsM3eYmG3xo This video is dedicated to Juhapekka’s last comment on my blog where he says that he’d really like to be able to think about the most sophisticated and complex subjects in English, but he’s not really able to. Juhapekka is a Finnish guy and he’s a frequent commentator on my blog - he’s posted a good few comments and they’re very profound and I really, really appreciate his contribution to my blog. So, thank you once more Juhapekka! ;-) But now let’s get down to the business and let me respond to the actual comment. Let me tell you right up-front that it’s going to be useful to everyone – not just Juhapekka – so just watch the video above (or listen to the audio file just above the video in case you can’t access YouTube content) and you’ll definitely find something useful for your own English improvement routine. (more…)

Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine

Check Out My First EVER Interviews – All About Me, English Fluency & How To Stop Struggling When Speaking in English!

 Recently I got interviewed by two English teachers for their websites – Ben who lives in Spain and Nate who’s settled down in Japan. These are my first interviews I’ve ever done, and as you can imagine, I had to use some of my own English fluency management strategies to keep a cool head, gather my thoughts and speak fluently because stress levels were high – especially in the beginning of those interviews! :grin: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! And here you can watch 2 YouTube videos containing fragments from my interview with Ben: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ZWgF1pCy8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTQ39kQxee8 Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! What you can expect to hear in those interviews is pretty much everything about my background as a foreign English speaker – starting from my years long struggling to speak English fluently and ending with useful tips for my fellow foreigners on how to maintain fluent English speech. You'll also find out in those interviews: what is a "writing mode" of your mind and why it prevents you from speaking English fluently (interview with Ben) why speaking with yourself is the best way to improve your English when there's no-one to talk to (interview with Nate) and a whole lot more! So if you've got nothing to do on this Friday night (or any other day of the week), sit down at your laptop or PC and listen to me spilling the beans about what real English fluency is all about: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! Let me know what you think in the comments below! ;-)

It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kgSSdYw42Y Have you ever found it hard to understand what you’re told because it’s something you don’t normally get to hear? Have you ever had situations when you understand every single word, but you just can’t wrap your head around the question for the simple reason that it’s something totally out of context, something unexpected? And now comes the most relevant part for you as a foreign English speaker: Would your typically react to such and similar situations by blaming your bad English comprehension skills and feeling ashamed and embarrassed? (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dab1r0wje8 Are you familiar with the math term COMMON DENOMINATOR? You may, or you may not be familiar with it, but the fact of the matter is that this English math term has long surpassed the boundaries of science :!: Nowadays COMMON DENOMINATOR is widely used to describe any of the following: Traits and characteristics certain people have in common; Features that certain things have in common; Something that is present in a number of different situations. Are you confused? (more…)

Speaking With Yourself Isn’t As Different From Speaking With Others As You Might Have Thought!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Within a matter of…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAt_rvNnjR8 Today’s English idiomatic expression is “Within a matter of…”, and it is most commonly used to refer to a certain time frame – be it seconds, minutes, hours or days. Watch the video above to see how exactly I’m using this particular expression so that you can start using it in your own daily English conversations! See you soon, Robby

Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!

1001 Ways To Use The Simplest English Verb “To PUT”!

When I was a kid and only started to familiarize myself with the basics of the English language, one of the first English words I learnt must have been the verb ‘to put’. Why I think so? Well, I remember translating the name of one of the Tom & Jerry cartoons called “Puttin’ On The Dog” in my notebook, and it would have been one of my first encounters with the English language. Shortly after, I was introduced to Ogden’s “Basic English” and the verb ‘to put’ was one of the 850 English words you would have to learn to become a competent English user. Ogden’s key principle was simplicity and he claimed that it is possible to paraphrase any English sentence using only 850 Basic English vocabulary words. I’ll admit that on many occasions important connotations are lost by reducing concepts to the Basic English vocabulary, there is no doubt about it. Let’s say for example, “He was shot in the head” would become “They used a gun to put a small metal thing in his head”. See what I’m talking about? Still, it’s a great example of how ANYTHING can be explained using very simple words so lack of vocabulary is really no excuse for not being able to explain something in English, my friends foreigners! How does this all tie in with the headline of this article? You see, the thing is that English verbs such as ‘to PUT’ and similar play an important role in helping struggling foreign English speakers to ride over bumps in their fluency :!: When you struggle to express your opinion in English using vocabulary you would normally use, it’s very easy to paraphrase more complex verbs by using ‘to PUT’ combined with the appropriate noun. Can’t think of the verb ‘to return’? Use ‘to put back’ instead! Got stuck in the middle of a sentence because you just can’t describe the concept of forgetting painful experiences and moving on? (different phrases – “get over it”, “just forget about it” – are floating in your mind but you can’t seem to use the right one in that split second?) Use "put it behind you" instead! And, considering that you are by no means limited to Ogden’s 850 words, it’s not hard to imagine that your speech is not going to sound too simplistic because of it! You can say things like – “Put a bullet in his head” - which is a totally valid English expression without the risk of sounding as if your English vocabulary consists of only 850 words. (more…)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ztvsgZl1L8 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)