Robby Kukurs

I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.

I couldn't learn to speak fluent English for 5 years - read about what I was doing to learn to speak fluently HERE - are YOU in the same situation?

Then, one fine day, after years of constant pursuit of English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!

If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.

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For those foreign English speakers whose English understanding, writing and grammar is already good but they're struggling with spoken English!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

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

How to Become a Good English Interpreter and Translate TV Shows Into Your Native Language

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! As you may already have noticed, sometimes I create blog posts and videos based on my blog visitors’ comments and questions. This article is not an exception, and here’s the original comment that inspired me to write it: So basically the problem I’m going to discuss in this blog post is the following: “How to develop your ability to translate from English to your native language INSTANTLY?” Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this matter, just let me tell you that I’ve actually written about this particular phenomenon of not being able to translate a TV show into my native language while watching it with others – you may read about it HERE. It goes to show that this problem isn't unique – I would even go so far as to say that it’s NOT ACTUALLY A PROBLEM at all! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Which Brings Us To The Next Point”

Hello my friends and followers! :grin: In today’s English Idiomatic Expression video you’re going to find out how to use the following phrase: “which brings us to the next point”. While there’s a good chance you’ve already been using this phrase in your conversations, there’s also a possibility you’ve only heard it used by others – in which case you should definitely make sure to learn this phrase off by heart! Why? Well, it’s simple enough – if you can use this particular English phrase automatically (which means speaking it out loud without much thinking), you can make smooth transitions from one point to another while having a conversation in English with someone! Not really sure what I’m talking about here? Here’s an example for you: let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re telling a work colleague of yours about an incident that happened the day before, and that it’s directly related to the lack of health and safety procedures in your company. (more…)

Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!

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

English Idiomatic Expression: “To Cross One’s Mind”

Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE

You may not have thought about it, but the fact of the matter is that the English word CASE is used in an awful lot of different English phrases that are applicable to a wide range of situations in life! Don’t believe it? Well, if that’s the CASE, I’m going to have to try and convince you, in which CASE there’s no better way of making a CASE than giving you a sentence just like this one! Now, did it work? Or maybe you’re not convinced? Well, in either CASE you have to admit that whatever the CASE may be, the word CASE is indeed quite useful in making your point. And by the way – the phrases I used in the above examples just barely scratch the surface :!: There’s a whole lot more useful English idiomatic expressions containing the word CASE worth knowing, and in CASE you’re wondering what they are, just keep reading this article and you’ll find it all out! (more…)

Don’t Look for Specific Audio Material for Improving Your English Listening Skills!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Having Said This”

Hi guys, and welcome to another one of my English idiomatic expression videos/blog posts! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that my approach towards English fluency improvement is phraseology and contextual learning oriented – hence my video series where I’m focusing on a specific expression at a time. Today’s expression is “Having said this…”, and please watch the video above to hear how I’m using this particular phrase in my speech so that you can mimic me and apply the same speech pattern in your daily English conversations! And please bear in mind that only English IDIOMS are phrases which can’t be modified; any other idiomatic expressions are quite flexible in that respect. So, even if you’re saying: (more…)

Is English Difficult Or Easy To Learn?

Today I got to read an article written by an English teacher Locke McKenzie where he expresses quite an interesting view on difficulty of English language compared to other European languages – mainly German. --> Read the article HERE <-- The article was tweeted by Tim Ferris so I thought – must be something of value – and I spent some of my precious time :-) reading it. Basically Locke McKenzie is saying that even though initially it seems that learning English is child’s game compared to learning numerous verb conjugations, noun genders and absurd tenses in languages like Spanish, German and Polish, it’s not that simple at all… He describes his experience with German students in a classroom when trying to teach them which verbs are followed by gerund and which – by infinitive. For example – following English grammar rules the verb to enjoy is followed by gerund as in Locke’s example – I enjoy baking cookies. The students were asking him how they could know which words are followed by gerund on which he was forced to answer – there’s no rule… This, and also various English grammar tenses which were difficult for the German students to grasp, made the article’s author to conclude with the following words, I quote: We have a mongrel language that has taken on words and rules unnecessarily, adding bits and pieces of whatever we like until there is no sense of order at all. Our language is slowly dissolving into nonsense. Poets and creatives should be appalled. It isn’t good for anything but business and politics, the only sectors where the more cryptically you talk, the better your chances of striking a deal. With all due respect to the article’s author I really want to disagree. (more…)

English Vocabulary Building – Part 2

Vocabulary Building Part 1 | Vocabulary Building Part 3 Here we go with the next video episode – and this is the tenth one. Two and a half months in production – not bad, is it? I hope I have enough dedication to see the hundredth one online and there’s no better way to achieve it than by taking just one step at a time… ;-) This time let’s look at the following thing – eliminating your native language from the English vocabulary building process. If you’re like the majority of language learners, most likely you’re using your native language dictionary to explain new English words and phrases. You probably also have a pocket dictionary where you write down the new words and by repeating them on a daily basis they become a part of your overall English vocabulary. Haven’t you noticed, though, that you actually can’t use most of your vocabulary when you have to speak English? And have you not also noticed that sometimes when you try to think of an English word, your native language words start getting into your way? Well, it’s the typical English fluency issue I was facing for long years, and it’s partially down to memorizing new English words through my native language. (more…)

The ONLY 3 English Grammar Rules You Need to Know to Speak Fluent English

English Idiomatic Expression: “Nothing could be further from the truth”

Hello, and welcome back to my daily English idiomatic expression video series! In today's video, you'll find out how to use the phrase "Nothing could be further from the truth". I'm sure you've heard it before, but you're probably not 100% confident as to its exact wording - "...from the truth", or "...from truth". If so - listen to the video above, repeat the phrase to yourself AT LEAST 10 times to make sure it imprints into your mind, and also don't forget to do some spoken English self-practice to cement this new expression into your mind! Remember - it's the REPETITION that makes a foreigner fluent, so its importance really can't be overstated, my friends. Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Mimicking – The Best Way to Learn English Collocations!

Your English Teacher’s Expertise Means Little When It Comes To YOUR Ability To Speak!

Some time ago I watched a video where a non-native English teacher was teaching a large class of English students. You know the way you sometimes browse YouTube videos and one video leads to another and you end up watching something you didn’t even intend to look for in the first place? So the Chinese man was teaching his fellow countrymen and women, and he was literally radiating knowledge and expertise. He was really eloquent, he was writing plenty of sample English sentences on a whiteboard to illustrate the grammar related points he was making, and he was talking non-stop thus making a really, really professional impression of himself. And guess what the poor students were doing while our super-teacher was entertaining himself in front of the classroom? They were all crouched over their copybooks frantically trying to write down every single bit of the precious information their English teacher was throwing at them! And believe me – there was A LOT of information to be processed because their teacher was really knowledgeable and you could just tell the guy must have worked really hard to achieve such a level of expertise in the English language and its grammar aspects in particular. What about the students though? Did their super-teacher pass all that knowledge, skill, expertise and ability to speak in English fluently directly onto them by being so generous with information in front of the classroom? Well, I strongly doubt it, and that’s the very reason I decided to write this article! (more…)

Want to Improve Your English? Stop Watching TV in Your Language!

Watching TV alone won’t help you to speak fluent English. Yet if you spend most of your time wrapped up in your native language bubble watching TV in your language, you’ll deprive yourself of so much needed passive exposure to the English language which will help you to integrate into the society! To be honest with you, I don’t understand my fellow Latvians and other foreigners living in Ireland who only watch films dubbed in their native languages and opt for different online based solutions to enjoy TV channels from their home countries. You can accuse me of not being a patriot of my nation, but I think it’s plain silly to move to an English speaking country without making any conscious effort of fitting into the local society. Watching TV makes up a big part of our daily lives these days, and if you watch English TV shows and programs and enjoy latest movies in English, over years you’ll absorb an awful lot of new English vocabulary and expressions which will allow you to understand English spoken around you. You’ll also be able to: discuss popular TV programs with your English speaking friends and work colleagues; improve  your spoken English by using new phraseology in your daily conversations; develop a sense of belonging among the locals. You don’t have to deny your national background. It’s something no-one will ever take away from you, and personally I spend loads of time with my family, friends and relatives speaking in Latvian and I keep up-to-date with the latest developments in my home country by checking news online etc. Once you’ve made the decision to move to an English speaking country, however, I think it’s only common sense that you keep an open mind, make some effort to fit into the local society, and use the English language as means of achieving it! (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Death & Dying Related English Idioms

This is the last funny English phrase video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers… The reason being – the year is drawing to an end, and so is my commitment to keep publishing new videos for you guys every couple of weeks! :-( That’s why I decided to publish death and dying related English phrases video today – to mark the end of the year and your journey to English fluency. Every end, however, is just a beginning to something new, so don’t get sad while watching this video – instead make sure you listen to the dialogues carefully and REPEAT the phrases you hear. Needless to say, many of those death related idioms can be used in various situations in life – not just when someone is close to passing away, so watch the video above, use the transcript below for better understanding and start using those death related English idioms in your daily conversations! (more…)

English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With Robby

Don’t Compare Your English With Others!

Today’s blog post’s topic is about the importance of not comparing your English with others. And I don’t mean it in a way that you’d have to ignore English spoken by people around you. It’s quite the opposite - I want you to perceive this piece of advice as an encouragement not to feel inferior to other English speakers :!: The sense of inadequacy and worthlessness as an English speaker can sometimes overwhelm you and it can have a detrimental effect on your English fluency. The goal of my English Harmony project is to help foreigners deal with occasional drops in spoken English fluency which are quite common in those who’ve followed the traditional path of English learning by focusing on writing and studying English grammar. So not only you have to deal with the actual speech issue itself; you also have to be mentally tough and resilient to maintain the ability to communicate with others when going through the bad English fluency phrase while hearing others perform much better than you :!: Here’s a typical scenario – and if you have the English fluency issue you definitely would have had similar moments. You arrive at work, and say hello to your co-workers, but for some reason your English isn’t as good as normally so you feel that you’re struggling a bit to say the simplest things - like morning greetings. Anyway, you’re already under mental pressure to keep your speech steady and slow – otherwise you risk running into even bigger issues like getting completely stuck in a middle of conversation and getting a total blackout in your mind. And then suddenly you hear some other foreign English speakers having a chat and they just speak away fluently and effortlessly. Or it could even be you involved in a chat with, for instance, your native speaking colleague and another foreign person. The other foreigner speaks freely, but you constantly catch yourself struggling with picking the right word, or expressing your thoughts clearly. So tell me, what would be the most natural reaction on this? Of course, anyone who’s in the situation I just described would start comparing their performance with the other foreign person’s performance :!: It’s a totally natural competitiveness and in normal circumstances facilitates one’s desire to compete, to become better at it. (more…)

Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech

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

Hello my friends foreign English speakers! Have you ever found certain grammar constructs too difficult to understand and learn? Welcome to the club! I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that this is something that all foreign English speakers have in common, and even if you don’t feel that way now, there’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand, mimic and use in your own conversations. Let’s just take the sentence from the paragraph above and examine it a little: “There’s definitely been a time in your life when you’ve found this or that particular English sentence hard to understand.” Now, would you be comfortable with using a similar grammar construct in your own speech? Are you often saying things such as “There have been similar situations when I’ve…” or “There’s been only one time when I’ve…”? If your answer is positive – well done! Your spoken English is seemingly up to scratch and you may ignore the rest of this article because you don’t need my help splitting English sentences in order to make it easier for you to speak them out loud. If, however, you struggle to a smaller or bigger degree with delivering similar seemingly complex constructs when speaking and you find it hard to wrap your head around sentences similar to this one: “Why is it that when Martin’s been out partying you don’t say anything yet had I stayed out all night long you would have killed me?”, you definitely have to read the rest of this blog post! ;-) (more…)

Improve Your English Vocabulary With Context

Hey there, How is your fluency going? Ever since I thought that I want to be a fluent English speaker, I tried every single possible technique to improve my vocabulary and fluency. Admit it or not, most of the non-natives start off on the wrong foot by trying traditional study methods such as learning few words from dictionary daily or be it when you tried a new language book to improve their vocabulary and fluency. The matter of the fact is, vocabulary and fluency go hand in hand while learning. Now you many wanna ask, if they go hand in hand, why do you say learning vocabulary from a dictionary is bad? It’s not bad; I would say it’s even worse. The fact is, dictionary was never made for learning purpose, it is just for ‘referential purpose’, so in case if you get stucked while reading a book, blog or anything, you can refer to it for clear understanding of the topic. (more…)

English Fiction Books I’m Going to Read Before I Die (Kick the Bucket)!

Hi boys and girls, My name is Robby, I’m a foreigner (Latvian, to be more specific), and I’ve been reading ONLY English fiction for the last 8 or 9 years. I started off by trying to improve my English fluency by reading newspapers followed by simple children books, and soon enough I’d achieved complete English reading fluency while at the same time my vocabulary was still quite limited (I learned how to infer meaning of less known words and expressions from the context alone!) A few years down the line, however, I realized that reading had done relatively little to my ability to speak. Spoken English self-practice turned out to be the most effective way of improving my oral fluency, and so I've been focusing on that aspect of my English improving routine ever since. Nonetheless, reading English fiction became my passion – I’ve read dozens upon dozens of heroic fantasy books as well as plenty of dystopian fiction which is currently my favorite genre and I plain LOVE IT! If you’re a foreigner – just like me! – and you also love reading English fiction (or maybe you’ve always wanted to do it but don’t know where to start?), here’s a list of books I've lined up for reading this year (maybe it’s something that’s going to pique your interest as well!): (more…)

How To Always Maintain Fluent English

Must-Follow YouTube Channels by Foreign English Speakers!

I’ve been publishing videos on my English Harmony YouTube channel for a good few years now, and there was a time when I thought I was pretty much the only foreign English speaker publishing videos on YouTube. Sure enough, I’d seen some videos made by beginner and lower-intermediate English learners in a bid to exercise their spoken English skills, and it’s all nice and well, but what I’m talking about when saying I thought I was the only foreigner publishing videos is a well-established YouTube channel with massive following! Needless to say, I proved wrong. It turns out there are more non-native English speakers publishing on YouTube on a regular basis, and their videos are really interesting and engaging :!: Well, you see – probably the biggest obstacle in finding such YouTube channels was the fact that initially I was looking only in the English learning and teaching niche. And I’ve got to tell you that in this niche I’m indeed pretty much the only foreigner. Once I started looking beyond English learning and improving though, I started finding well-established YouTube channels where other foreign English speakers were sharing their thoughts and expertise on various other things. And it only goes to show that pretty much the only way to achieve complete English fluency is by enjoying life and things you LOVE instead of focusing on English learning related materials! So, without further ado, let me introduce you to these YouTube channels run by foreign English speakers, and I’m 100% sure you’ll find at least one of them extremely captivating and relevant to your own interests as well as providing an extra motivation to keep improving your spoken English to a level where you could possibly start recording similar videos and who knows… maybe you’ll even start a YouTube channel of your own one day! (more…)

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

English Idiomatic Expression: “In the first place”

Today's English idiomatic expression is "In the first place", and please watch the video above to hear my examples of how to use this phrase. They mightn't always be the best samples sentences, but you can rest assured that I would never tell you something that is totally wrong - EVER! I might be a foreigner and my spoken English mightn't be exactly native-like; however, I have a pretty decent level of fluency and over the years I've developed a good 'gut feeling' for correct English. Thanks for visiting my blog, and chat to you soon again my friends! Robby ;-)

Others Don’t Judge Your English as Much as You Do!

In this video episode I’m looking at how differently you perceive your own bad English fluency days from others – your conversation partners and just about anybody coming in contact with you! You see – the thing is that we’re experiencing constant feedback between our mouth and our brain and that’s why we’re so acutely aware of our speech imperfections. A passive observer, on the other hand, might skip most or even all of your grammar mistakes or any other shortcomings of your spoken English performance. You can rest assured that people have their own problems to worry about, so most of your mistakes might actually pass unnoticed. So if you’re often freaking out over your spoken English performance, please watch the video above and you may just realize that you can find great comfort in the fact that most of your confidence related issues are obvious only to yourself! ;-) Chat soon, Robby