Importance of Letting It Go!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-MYxJDnVZQ Today I’ll tell you about a phrase I heard the other day on the radio and which got me thinking about how foreign English speakers are sometimes perceived among the native English speaking public. So I was listening to my favourite morning radio show and as usual listeners were sending in text messages and the DJ was reading them out. Among the other messages there was one that wouldn’t make a 100% sense to a native English speaker yet it was obvious what the listener had meant by it. I don’t really remember what exactly it was, to be honest with you. I just know that it was an awkward word combination not used in real life. It is, of course, quite natural for any native speaker to spot such an odd word combination. And indeed, any of us foreign English speakers having spent long enough time among other English speakers would also notice something that doesn’t sound right. Little that the radio DJ knew about how foreigners speak, he jumped to a conclusion that the person who had texted in that particular message hadn’t got a good command of English. You think it’s not a big deal? It is, and let me tell you why. (more…)
Creating English Sentences Using New Words? Waste of Time!
Do You Find Certain English Grammar Constructs TOO DIFFICULT To Learn? Try This Easy 3 Step Plan!
Confidence Lesson From Kristen Stewart For All Foreign English Speakers
A while back I published a blog post where IÂ analyzedÂ Benicio Del Toro’s interview. I did it in order to prove to any of you that even native English speakers will hesitate, use simple, short sentences and sometimes even say complete non-sense when asked a question they haven’t had time to think about properly! So is it such a big deal if we, foreign English speakers, can’t say something straight away when we get stuck in a middle of a sentence or can’t wrap words around our thoughts? Of course it’s not! There are only two things that make us different from native English speakers – we hate when others make assumptions about our level of English and many of us are perfectionists trying to finish a sentence once we started it and also trying to make it perfect in terms of grammar and word choice. If you learn to ignore those two factors, however, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t give an interview just like Kristen Stewart from Twilight did - or even a better one! Now, watch the video below, listen carefully to the whole interview and then read the rest of this article. It just might make a big difference to your spoken English confidence, my friend! ;-) (more…)
Speaking With Yourself Isn’t As Different From Speaking With Others As You Might Have Thought!
I’m a strong proponent of spoken English self-practice – I’ve been doing it for years and I attribute much of my English fluency development to those countless hours of speaking English with myself. I’ve touched upon this subject on this blog a few times before, but today I’m going to provide you with clear and obvious benefits of such spoken English self-practice. If you think that only lunatics speak with themselves and that speaking with real people in real life is the only way forward for foreign English speakers to improve fluency, please read this article and you may actually change your mind :!: Yes, I’ve said it before that you DON’T HAVE TO SPEAK OUT LOUD – you can speak in a very light whisper. I’ve also mentioned it before that you can just speak in your mind barely moving your lips which would be an equivalent of simply verbalizing your thoughts. But if those reasons aren’t enough to persuade you to practice English with yourself and you think that the very CONCEPT OF SELF-PRACTICE IS FLAWED, keep reading and I promise I’ll reveal some aspects of the whole speak-English-with-yourself thing you haven’t ever considered! ;-) (more…)
You Don’t Have to Know a SINGLE Grammar Rule to Speak Fluent English!
Speaking English in Unfamiliar Settings: Why You’re Ashamed of Speaking With Your Friends in English
Unless you live in a full English immersion 24/7/365 (which is quite an unrealistic scenario unless you’re married into an English speaking family and lost all connections with your home country…), you’re using both – English and your native language on a continuous basis. Usage of English, however, is most likely limited to certain times of the day and certain locations. Traditionally, you’d speak in your native language with your family members and English at work and friends. Sometimes, however, you might be required to speak English on occasions that would normally be associated with using your native language and it may pose some difficulties – and that’s what I’m going to look at in today’s blog post. Are foreign English speakers capable of switching over to English easily or it poses some challenges? Should you aim for long periods of time when you speak and think only in English to facilitate English fluency? And if it’s beneficial to your spoken English improvement – is it a good idea trying to talk your friend into speaking English with you? All these and more questions are going to be discussed in today’s blog post so keep reading it if you’ve ever been wondering why is it that the longer you speak in English, the easier it becomes and why it’s more difficult to communicate in English in unfamiliar settings! (more…)
Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion
Common English Phrases to Use at Home & With Kids
I got the inspiration to write this English phrase compilation from a guy called Guillermo, and here’s the comment he left on my blog a while back: So basically he wants to learn useful English phrases to be used around the house describing common everyday concepts such as eating, playing, tidying up, going to bed and others. And come to think of it, pretty much all English phrases I’ve published on this blog focus either on your social life such as the small talk phrases or your professional life such as these industry specific phrases. That’s why I decided to compile a bunch of useful English phrases you can use at home when speaking with your own kinds in order to improve your English – just like Guillermo does – or when there are other English speaking kids around. Speaking of which, I can tell you based on my own experience that your English may be quite advanced, but you may still find yourself struggling to speak with little children using simple language :!: I clearly remember how I came to Ireland all those years ago and my daughters started attending the local school. I was in the same situation when I had to help them with their homework or speak with other kids at birthday parties, for example, and I realized that my English was lacking simple phraseology that native speakers use in daily situations at home! So, without further ado, let’s start listing commonly used simple English expressions you’ll be able to use at home! ;-) (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 25 – 38 in a Self-Practice Session
Concluding 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course
How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)
Hello my foreign-speaking friends and English learners and improvers from all over the world! Does the headline sound too ambitious and you think this time around I’ve definitely gone overboard with my hyped-up promises? You may think – “Well, it’s conceivable to develop one’s English fluency to a degree when one speaks quite similar to a native English speaker, but to speak even MORE fluently than a native speaker… It’s definitely not possible!” At first glance the above statement seems valid, and a couple of years ago I would have also been quite skeptical about anybody’s claims that it’s possible for a foreign English speaker to achieve more-than-native level of fluency. I mean – how is it even remotely possible to speak MORE fluently than a native English speaker if it’s their level of fluency that actually determines the standards? It’s the same way it’s technically not possible to do something at 110%, isn’t it? When you’ve done EVERYTHING there is to do, you’ve accomplished 100% of the job, and the very same way if you’ve developed your English fluency to the very highest standards, the best you could hope for is to speak JUST LIKE a native English speaker. Well… Assuming the native English speaker ALWAYS speaks at a 100% of his or her ability! And this is the key, my friend. Not even a native English speaker’s fluency is hitting 100% at all times. Even a native English speaker has bad fluency days. Even a native English speaker WILL struggle to get the message across on certain occasions – especially when they’re not familiar with the subject. That’s the perfect opportunity for you to surpass their level of fluency when speaking about something you know A LOT ABOUT, and here’s EXACTLY how it’s done: (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…)
Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!
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…)
You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!
Paraphrasing – A Brilliant Method Of Improving Your Spoken English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCPJAzEVRLY On a daily basis, we all find ourselves in situations when we can’t find the correct word to say. You know what you want to say, but it just won’t come out! Many people refer to the phenomenon as being 'tongue-tied'. For foreign English speakers, this problem can be even more pronounced. You might have heard some news or read an article in a newspaper, and you want to tell the story to others. The problem arises when you just can’t remember the news word-for-word. Let’s look into the problem by using an example. The news on the previous evening announced: - The president issued a warning to all opposing his bill. You want to discuss the implications of the Presidents warning with your work colleagues, but you can’t remember the exact words. The solution is to PARAPHRASE the statement. Paraphrasing is defined as: -verb: express the meaning of something using different words. -noun: a rewording of a passage. Therefore, if we paraphrase the statement above, it can be said in many different ways e.g.: - The president issued a warning to those against his bill, or -The President warned those opposing the bill. All three statements convey the same message in different words. The statement has been somewhat simplified but does not lose its meaning! No one to whom you speak will correct you to say that's not EXACTLY what they said on the news! No one will even notice that the words have been changed. Paraphrasing means you don't have to be tongue-tied. You won’t have the feeling of knowing what you want to say, of having a word on the tip of your tongue, and not being able to say what you want. (more…)
Using Past Participles As Adjectives vs Passive Voice
Improve Your Spoken English by Using Spaced Repetition
What’s Common Between Running and Speaking English?
I’m into running for nearly 3 years. Two, sometimes three times a week I’m doing a circuit of around 5 kilometers. And my loyal friend Roger – the mischievous beagle – is always doing the 5K with me. He’d do more; I’m sure, because when we run back home it’s me who’s out of breath – not him! And the amazing thing about running that I wanted to share with you is exactly about what I just said – being out of breath! You see, throughout all the years that I’ve been on the run, I was having issues. I was always having pain in my left side. You know, the kind of pain we’ve all had when having too much food and going for some exercise afterwards – be it swimming or running. But I was having the pain all the time – regardless the size of my last meal and how long ago I had it. As a result, I was also having issues with stamina. Most of the times I could run quite fast and keep at my normal pace despite being in that constant, mild pain. However, on some occasions it would get so bad I could barely drag myself back home. A couple of times I nearly passed out – but I always put it down to a bad day or just said to myself – sure it’ll be OK next time! (more…)
11 Reasons Why the English Language Is Super-Easy to Learn and Speak
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! I’ve been an English speaker for the better part of my life, and I’ve always found this language quite easy to learn and speak. Now, when I’m saying “easy to learn and speak”, I don’t mean to say that nobody has any problems when learning and speaking in English. I’m only too well aware that millions of foreign English speakers just like me are struggling with English. But guess what? We’re struggling for all the wrong reasons! We find it hard to learn and speak in English because we tend to use the wrong learning methods, we tend to over-analyze every single aspect of English from the grammar standpoint, and we focus too much on the irregularities of the language. I mean – show me a language that doesn’t have any irregularities except for artificial ones such as Esperanto? Any language on the planet has something unique about it, and the fact of the matter is that we can find all the reasons in the world why it’s very difficult to for us to learn English. There’s irregular verbs, irregular nouns, thousands upon thousands of phrasal verbs, hundreds of grammar rules and exceptions to those rules, spelling irregularities – the list goes on and on, and if we choose to go with this perceived difficulty of the language, then I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t write an article called “Why English is the most difficult language on the planet to learn and speak”! Except that I choose to look past those perceived difficulties which can all be easily overcome once you embrace contextual learning of the English language. Instead, I choose to see how easy English is, so keep reading to find out why English is super-easy to learn and speak! Also, please bear in mind that I’m not claiming that English is THE EASIEST language to learn. I’m not making any comparisons here, I’m merely going to list facts about English that illustrate how easy it is to learn and speak it. (more…)
11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me
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 ;-)
My Controversial Views On Correct English & British and American English
English Idiomatic Expression: “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMsv1x-hck Hello boys and girls! I’m back with another English idiomatic expression, and I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve been waiting on me to post another one of these videos, isn’t that right? So, today’s English phrase is “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that”, and I’m sure it’s quite self-explanatory and there are no further explanations needed as to what exactly it means and when you can use it. Just watch the video above to hear what sample sentences I’ve come up with containing this phrase, and make sure you try to replicate what I’m doing in a spoken English practice session of your own! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English phrases for daily use – Small Talk Phrases
Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!
Forget About “Words of the Day” – Learn How to Use Known Words in a New Way!
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! I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of the “word of the day”, right? Every dictionary website on the Net has such words featured as a way of encouraging English learners worldwide to acquire new English vocabulary. Well, on the surface it looks like a great idea, and you may be under the impression that the more English vocabulary you know, the more fluent you’re going to be, so you’re singing up for such words being delivered to your inbox every day and you’re feeling like you’re really contributing to your English skills. In reality veteran English learners like myself will tell you right off the bat that learning new vocabulary words alone isn’t going to cut it. You’ll be just stuffing your brain full of some obscure English words with little to no opportunity of using them! Let me illustrate my point by doing a quick Google search for the term “word of the day”. Here’s what words are coming up: Pulchritude Biophilia Castellated There’s only one thing I can say – WTF?!? When, tell me when are you going to use such words? WHEN?!? NEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!! Such vocabulary building serves no practical purpose whatsoever – unless, of course, you’re doing it so that you can annoy everyone around you by saying things nobody has a clue about! (more…)
Don’t Force Your English When You Speak!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnVmR-ZSDRw Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Are you familiar with the following feeling: The more English I learn, the less I know… It can also be described the following way: I know so many fancy English vocabulary words, but when I’m speaking, I forget them all!... This feeling is more common than you may think, and you’re definitely not alone in this misery. Personally I was feeling the same way for years, and even now when I’ve discovered the “SECRET” (it’s not really that big of a secret!) for dealing with the aforementioned problem, I sometimes feel this way. But guess what makes me feel that way? It’s the fact that I start FORCING myself to recall specific vocabulary, specific phrases :!: The moment you do that – your fluency’s gone out the window! Want to found out more about the said phenomenon? Then watch the video above! Thanks for tuning in, Robby ;-)
Do You Speak English Enough? You’ve Gotta Speak ALL THE TIME!
English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phx30Q6P-Uw Hi guys, in the video above you can find out how to use the following English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”. Why such and similar expressions are very important for us, foreigners? First of all – they enable us to speak instinctively and spontaneously. Once you’ve memorized a phrase, you can produce it at an instant when the right situation presents itself! Secondly – they drastically reduce the amount of mistakes you might potentially make when speaking because you learn a correct phrase AS IT IS and you’ll only ever use it without changing it! So watch the video above, make sure to repeat the phrase a few times in order to memorize it, and also make sure to come up with a few sample sentences on your own to imprint the idiomatic expression “Pretty much the same” into your mind. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
How I Started Speaking Fluent English by Pretending to be a Gangster
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…)
Face Your Biggest Fears – Halloween Ghosts and English Speaking!
You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!
English Fluency Issues Is a Blessing in Disguise!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3wZ4eXjSa8 Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby, your friend and English fluency expert, and this time around I'm going to tell you that all these English fluency issues you might be having (and most likely you are having them, otherwise you wouldn't have visited my blog and you wouldn't be searching for English fluency improving related information online, right?) doesn't mean you're a total loser. More often than not, it's a good thing! Now, if you think that it's total nonsense – I mean, how could English fluency issues be good for you? Surely if you didn't have them at all then you'd be more successful in your career, in your professional life and in your private life, right? But think about this now, my friends. Just because you have these issues whereby sometimes you can't talk normal, fluent English, it forces you to work so much HARDER on your fluency than if you didn't have those issues at all! (more…)