Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi Guys! Today I'm bringing you a quick update on what I've been up to this summer, and you wouldn't believe how busy I've been doing all the following: Finishing my IT certification; Organizing my work experience; Preparing for a job interview; Starting in a new job; ...and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night! (more…)
This Exercise Will Help You Finally Master Those Annoying English Auxiliary Verbs!
English Idiomatic Expression: “To The Best of My Knowledge”
What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language
The question as to why some learners seem to learn a foreign language with ease while others struggle much on the same remains a mystery to the foreign language and special educators. Unlike before when foreign language was not a compulsory subject, today, the study of an additional foreign language is a requirement especially for high school graduation, while other institutions such as few colleges and universities require a minimum of about two years of foreign language learning before graduation. Well, learning a foreign language is no walk in the park and is commonly considered a long, tiresome and difficult process. At first, the learner may be very optimistic, actually overexcited, about learning a new language but they don’t understand the sacrifice and concentration it deserves for you to comprehend and understand it! (more…)
What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! One of my blog readers posted a piece of English writing on my blog here and asked me what was wrong with it. Having taken a closer look, I quickly realized that the author of that piece had used quite sophisticated language, but the words just didn’t go together which was a telltale sign of lack of contextual English learning! So here it is: Now, it’s no secret that in order to learn to speak and write in English in a native-like fashion you have to embrace the concept of contextual English learning. Well, I guess I should put it this way – it’s no secret to those who’ve been following my blog and watching my videos. (more…)
Past Events in English: “There Was This Time When… Next Thing I Know…”
It’s Normal to Forget English Phrases, Expressions and Collocations!
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! Has it ever crossed your mind that there’s certain English phrases you’ve stopped using? Here’s what made me realize it – when I check back my older blog articles and videos, I come across certain means of expression I don’t really use these days! For instance, when I watch my videos recorded back in 2011, I notice that back then I was using the phrasal verb COME ALONG quite often, and come to think of it, these days I don’t really use it anymore! Here’s another example – when I was updating my Fluency Star website, I read a sentence I’d written a couple of years ago: “… students OUGHT TO be punished…” and it immediately made me remember the TV show Mythbusters where Jamie was using this English auxiliary verb quite often, and I’d picked up that habit from him. Nowadays I don’t really watch Mythbusters anymore, and as a consequence I’ve actually stopped using OUGHT TO in my own English writing and conversations! Now, quite naturally it might beg the question – is this a worrying trend? Should I be concerned that I don’t use certain English means of expression anymore? Is that indicative of worsening English skills? Or maybe it means I have some sort of a memory problem and I should get checked out for an early-onset Alzheimer’s? ;-) Well, it’s not all that bad, my friends! I’m not developing dementia any time soon, and neither are you – forgetting certain English means of expression is totally normal, so please read this article to find out why it happens! (more…)
Where I Source All These English Idiomatic Expressions?
Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?
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! It was almost 5 years ago when I published an article about using past participles as adjectives – a typical example of that would be the following statement “the job is done”. Prior to that I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around that concept, the reason being – I couldn’t figure out why there’s two ways of saying the same thing – “the job is done” and “the job has been done”. Initially I just presumed “the job is done” is just a conversational version of “the job has been done”, but soon enough I realized that when you say “the job is done”, you simply use the word “done” as an adjective! It’s pretty much the same way you can say “good job”, but you just use the linking verb “is” to express the idea – “the job is good.” Today’s topic is somewhat similar in that the role of an adjective isn’t only limited to a past participle form of a verb, it can be the very base form of the verb itself! Just like you read in the title of this article, the word “roast” (it’s the base form of the verb “to roast”) can be used instead of the past participle “roasted” to describe the roasted nature of the chicken, thus “roast chicken” is a totally valid English collocation. Hell, collocations such as “roast chicken” and “roast potatoes” are even MORE popular among native English speakers than “roasted chicken” or “roasted potatoes” which may be very confusing to a lot of foreign English speakers! I mean – once you’ve gotten used to the traditional way of describing nouns by using the past participle: Cancelled concert Forgotten purse Lost child … you may think that this rule applies in all situations, so when you come across a collocation such as “open book”, you may get totally confused… (more…)
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
Native English Speakers Won’t Use Perfect Future Tenses – And You Should Avoid Them Too!
Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today is Saturday and I'm having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it's actually not a cup, it's a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I'm not drinking beer, I'm having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn't be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that's an expression. So I would say that I'm not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That's what people would normally say. That's how people would understand you best, right? Anyway, cheers! And let's start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today's video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he's an Irish fella, right? I'm a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will. And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right? As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I'm so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak. So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your English good luck charm and it's all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right? (more…)
English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, today I’m bringing you yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter: I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT… Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter? Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about! Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat. In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right? Just open your mouth and tell him about it! In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE! (more…)
Should We Make Sure Everything We Say Is Grammatically Super-correct? My Opinion on Correct English!
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…)
55 Must-Know Phrases to Land a Job!
English Sentence Starter: “Speaking Of…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hello my friends foreign English speakers! It’s me – Robby – from English Harmony here and this time around I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, namely – “SPEAKING OF…” As a matter of fact, this expression also happens to be one of the simplest English sentence starters and the only other sentence starter that can rival this one in its simplicity is “Well…” Long story short, whenever you’re asked a question and you find it a little bit difficult to respond, you can resort to the strategy of saying “SPEAKING OF…” which then is followed by the very subject of the question. (more…)
How to Develop Your Ability to GUESS New English Word Meanings
Why Are We Always Trying to Speak Too Fast in English?
Spoken English Grammar – How to Explain Stuff – Sentence Starters Ending With IS
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! As you may already have noticed, spoken English and written English are different in that you don’t really speak the way you write. In written English, you have plenty of time of constructing well thought-through sentences, whereas when you speak, you have to produce INSTANT speech, which, when put on paper, will seem a bit chaotic. And here’s a typical example. Imagine you have to explain some concept, for example – how the Internet works. Here’s how you’d do it in writing: “The Internet is a global network of computers consisting of servers as well as personal computers.” But here’s how a native English speaker would explain the workings of the Internet in spoken, conversational English: “What it is, is a global network of computers…” Did you notice anything weird about it? The word IS is being repeated twice which may seem incorrect at first, but the fact of the matter is that it’s totally acceptable in spoken English, it’s used as an intensifier and is also known as the double copula. Just read that sentence out loud and pause at the comma – you’ll feel that it’s actually necessary to repeat the word IS! Also, if you look at the way the sentence starts, you’d think it’s a question – I mean, it’s the questions that would typically start with words such as WHAT and WHY, right? There you go! It’s about time you learned that spoken English allows you to use words differently and in this article I’m going to show you really handy ways of starting sentences when you have to provide an explanation of some sorts. And please bear in mind that I’m not telling you to use these spoken English grammar structures just for the sake of it. Try them out for yourself, and you’ll realize that it’s much EASIER to speak this way :!: (more…)
You Think I Speak Fluent English Because I Live In Ireland? Nope!
FAQ: I’m Afraid My English Fluency Isn’t Coming Back!
I Have to Learn to Write Grammatically Correctly First and Then I’ll Be Able to Speak Well!
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! Recently I got an e-mail from one of my blog readers and it went along the lines of: “… so in order to improve my English I will learn to write grammatically correctly, and when I’ve done that, I’ll be able to speak correctly as well!” So basically what this person was saying is that they believe that if they get their English writing up to scratch, their speech will quite naturally follow. Now, there’s a good chance that some of you, guys, are thinking the same way, so I consider it my sacred duty to steer you in the right direction and make you realize that it would be the wrong road to go down. NEVER ever put your English writing before your speech, or else you’re running a serious risk of developing terrible English fluency issues that you won’t be able to deal with for years to come! Don’t believe me? Well, just read the rest of this article and you’ll learn: Why speech always comes before writing, Why you’ll get stuck into a permanent state of “writing mind” if you don’t observe this rule, Why your ability to write in English correctly won’t translate into oral fluency! So, without further ado, let’s get down to business! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “The Fact of The Matter Is That…”
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…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “As A Matter Of Fact”
Speak Really LOUD and Get Your English Fluency Back in Check!
Back in College: English Fluency Hitting an All-Time High!
Differences Between Your Active and Passive English Vocabulary
You must have heard the terms ACTIVE and PASSIVE English vocabulary, right? Chances are, however, that you’re not entirely sure what exactly these terms represent! I decided to draw up a simple algorithm based on which you’ll be easily able to determine whether a specific word or term is part of your ACTIVE or PASSIVE English vocabulary! So, just pick a random English word and answer the questions below – I’m absolutely certain that you’ll have a pretty clear picture of what ACTIVE or PASSIVE means in terms of English vocabulary when you’re finished with this :!: So, have you a better idea now what ACTIVE and PASSIVE English vocabularies represent? Let me just recap it here for you so that you can rest assured you got it right! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”
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…)