Robby Kukurs

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

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

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

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

English Harmony System

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

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

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

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…)

Don’t Translate Directly When Speaking English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qthVRtOSh4w Hi Boys and Girls! I’m back with the second video episode – and I hope you enjoyed the first one! I’m still getting a hang of the video recording equipment in my home studio – so you may spot some small glitches here and there. But I think the video quality is decent enough for you to understand what I’m saying, what you think? So this time I’m covering a few seemingly unrelated topics – direct translation to English from your native language and English collocations. However, it just takes a few minutes to grasp the connection between those two. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Doesn’t Cut It”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr1rETFdsyM

How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!

How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!

For those foreign English speakers who are big into reading, but still haven’t started reading English literature. If you think achieving English reading fluency requires building huge active English vocabulary first – you’re in a nice surprise! Although I’m generally discussing all things about improving spoken English on my blog, I’m a keen reader too. I have loads of English literature sitting on my book shelves. It covers different topics starting with yoga and meditation and ending with political and economical writings. The biggest part of my books, however, is taken up by historical and fantasy fiction and these genres are my favourite ones. Initially I started reading English in order to improve my overall knowledge of the language. I made a mistake in that I didn’t actually define which aspect of English I needed to focus most on. For some reason or another it wasn’t clear to me that different aspects of English language – reading, understanding, writing and speaking aren’t merged into one big thing called English. I achieved complete English reading fluency but I was perplexed about the fact that my spoken English wasn’t coming along. I haven’t had any regrets for a single second, though, having mastered English reading skill. During the last years I haven’t read a single book in my native language. For the most part it’s because I’ve fallen in love with David Gemmell’s fantasy fiction so much that I’ve read all his books and I re-read them every now and then. And also taking into account I live in an English speaking country it’s not hard to understand why I choose to buy books in the local bookstore. (more…)

11 Love and Relationship Phrases for this Valentine’s Day

Video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers: Learn English Vocabulary That’s Relevant for YOUR Life!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6CzZVCN54 Hello guys from YearOfEnglish.com and also anybody else having dropped by my blog :!: In today’s video I’m touching upon the subject of vocabulary building, and needless to say it’s all within the context of spoken English self-practice. Why? Simple enough – if you’re serious about your ability to SPEAK, you have to speak, and speaking with yourself is by far the best tool available to ANY foreign English speaker ANYWHERE on this planet! Speaking of vocabulary building, here’s a synopsis of the video above: Engage in spoken English self-practice and write down things (using English ONLY!) you can’t say; Go online and find those new English words you were struggling for; Memorize those words WITHIN CONTEXT – put them in sample sentences and use Google to see how this or that particular word is used; Do more spoken English self-practice sessions and make sure to use your newly acquired vocab! The video above, however, contains more info that just that, so please make sure to watch it if you’ve got 10 spare minutes – you’ll thank yourself for it later on! ;-) Thanks for tuning in, Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!  

101 Wrong Reasons (and 1 True Reason) Why I Love the English Language

Wrong reason # 1: English grammar is so simple – there aren’t any noun genders , very little declination of nouns and conjugation of verbs, and you only have to add ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the end of a third person singular noun, that’s all there is to it! Everybody’s gotta love this language for its simplicity, isn’t that right? Well… how about Chinese grammar? Technically it’s even simpler than that of English – Chinese words can have one grammatical form only and all I’d have to do is just stick them together! If I’m so in love with the English language because of its simplicity, why didn’t I start learning Chinese instead? Could it be that the simple grammar isn’t actually one of the true reasons I love the language?... (more…)

11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me

Now that I can communicate in English with ease, I take everything that comes with it for granted. Looking back in time, however, I can clearly see that many aspects of my life in an English speaking country AND my personal life in general weren’t as fulfilled as these days. Even such a simple task as asking for price of roast chicken in a supermarket would make my heart race with the prospect of stuttering and not being understood properly! :mad: Here’s a list I came up with when trying to list as many advantages of being a fluent English speaker as I possibly could. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does paint a pretty clear picture of what an average foreign English speaker can achieve when possessing good English communication skills! And please don’t get me wrong – I didn’t create this list to brag about my fluency and make those who haven’t achieved it yet, feel bad about themselves. This list is rather intended to serve as a reminder of what awaits you at some stage in the future IF you’re among those foreigners still struggling with fluency! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Such and similar”

English Idiomatic Expression: “Out of the Question”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeVYmuxrXLQ Hello my friends, and welcome back to yet another English idiomatic expression video! In today’s video we’re going to look at the following expression: OUT OF THE QUESTION This expression is typically used when you want to say that something is totally impossible, that you can’t do it, or that some other person can’t do something. And here’s an example: "Robby, we’re going out tonight, are you coming with us?” – “Sorry guys, but I have to hand in the assignment tomorrow, so I’m staying in and doing some serious writing!” – “Common Robby, just come with us for an hour or so!” – “Guys, seriously, it’s OUT OF THE QUESTION so just drop it.” But now watch the video above to see me use this English idiomatic expression in a number of different scenarios, and don’t forget to do some spoken English practice with yourself by incorporating this phrase in your speech! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Answering Questions: Can’t Practice Fluency, What to Do If My Fluency Dwindles When I Speak With Others and More…

Rapid English Vocab Building in 3 Easy Steps!

Hi guys! In today’s article we’re going to focus on English vocabulary building the smart way. The English Harmony Way, to be more specific! You see, the reason why I’m touching upon the subject of vocabulary building is simple enough. I’m getting quite a few e-mails on a daily basis along with questions disguised as YouTube comments in relation to building English vocabulary and new words. “What’s the best way to learn new English vocabulary?” “One English word has up to 50 different meanings, do I have to learn them all at once?” “I’m trying to do spoken English self-practice as advised by you, Robby, but there are many English words I don’t know…” Now, despite me having published quite a few blog posts and videos about vocabulary building over the last couple of years, it’s never hurt anybody to repeat and reiterate the main points from time to time. As a matter of fact, it’s only a positive for the simple reason that repetition is the most efficient – if not the ONLY! – way that we humans learn anything! So, here are the 3 steps for building your English vocabulary in the most effective manner possible! (more…)

Does It Irritate You If Native English Speakers Make Wrong Assumptions About Your English?

Let’s say you’re having a conversation with a native English speaker whom you’ve met for the first time. It could be a sales assistant in a shop, or a member of staff in McDonalds. You’re being asked a question, and you’re taking a few seconds to think on it. And here’s the thing that annoys me a lot – on many occasions the native English speaker mistakes your moment of silence for lack of English understanding when you’re actually thinking over the very question asked! :mad: Please forgive me, native English speakers, if I’m being unfair to you but I just want to discuss this issue at length in this blog post as I feel it might be not just me who sometimes feels the same way. Here’s a real situation I had last summer when I was visiting one of costal towns on the south cost of Ireland. I had just parked my car near the seaside and was looking for the parking ticket machine. Eventually I found out that parking had to be paid in a nearby souvenir shop so I walked in and asked the lady where and how I could pay for parking. She asked me how long I was going to stay but I didn’t give a straight answer because I started thinking over her question. The lady from the souvenir shop, however, didn’t wait on my answer. Instead she repeated her question using very simple and slow speech involving hand gestures. It was very much the same way you’d speak to a deep-jungle tribesman who’s seen a white person for the first time in his life! Apparently she thought that I didn’t answer her question because I didn’t get was she was saying – not that I was just thinking over the very question and trying to decide how many hours I was going to pay for! Frankly speaking, I hate when my level of English is judged is such a generalized manner. It’s kind of – if he didn’t answer instantly in perfect English, most likely his English is so poor he didn’t even get me! :mad: (more…)

Speaking in English Made Super Easy – Follow my Tweets and Just Stick Word Chunks Together!

I’ve been blogging for what seems forever about the importance of learning English collocations. I’ve been always saying that the basic components of English speech are word combinations and expressions rather than separate words. And I’ve also been repeating myself ad nauseam that English fluency can be acquired much quicker if you mimic, repeat, memorize and use all those idiomatic expressions used by native English speakers in your own speech instead of sticking separate words together and applying grammar rules as you speak. I’m even making effort to highlight idiomatic expressions in my blog posts in red so that you can clearly see which English word chunks are worth memorizing! Today, I’m going to make it even easier for you. I’ll start publishing on my Twitter account any English word combinations that are worth memorizing ! Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)

Take Advantage of People Who Make You Really Fluent in English!

Watch Breaking Bad If You Want to Improve Your American English!

Everyone was talking about Breaking Bad. My friends were watching it. People at work were talking about it. When the 5th season finale aired on Netflix, there was so much talk of it that it made me wonder why everyone is so obsessed with this TV show but I still didn't start watching it because that's typical me. It oftentimes takes me a bit longer to embrace new things than for everyone else, but eventually I catch up with everything in my own time. Breaking Bad was no different. After countless attempts to encourage me to watch it my friends gave up trying to convince me, but then one fine day (maybe it's some sort of reverse psychology?) I just opened my Netflix page and clicked on the Breaking Bad link. I got hooked right from the get-go :grin: This crime drama turned out to be so exciting, so captivating and so different to anything else I'd ever seen before that I just couldn't help myself being glued to the laptop monitor for hours on end! If I had to explain my fascination with Breaking Bad in only one sentence, this would be it: The main characters of the show illustrate very vividly that there's no such thing as black and white in life - sometimes good intentions may lead to disastrous consequences and bad deeds may result in something good - and the type of characters chosen by the creator of the show Vince Gilligan allow anybody to put themselves into their shoes and imagine what it would feel like to be forced into making life changing decisions and start making drugs at the age of 50 to secure children’s future or face a moral dilemma of reporting your husband or partner to the police or accept their criminal background. Being a foreign English speaker myself, however, I have to admit that there's a whole lot more to the show than just the entertainment. As a non-native speaker of the English language I've discovered an array of added dimensions to Breaking Bad, and here's to name but a few: I can shadow the show while watching it thus learning new American English phrases and expressions; Breaking Bad is great for American pronunciation development - obviously shadowing comes into the equation here as well; I can imagine myself as one of the characters (and I can't actually help it because I've a vivid imagination!) and I experience the film as if I were part of the real events which is great because I get to experience the life in the Unites States; I've been also doing some English spoken self-practice putting myself into many of the Breaking Bad characters' shoes which is great to help me acquire new American English phrases and expressions through the associated role-play. And here's some of the phrases I learned while watching Breaking Bad on Netflix - obviously it barely scratches the surface, but at least you'll get to learn some of the phraseology I've come across during the last couple of months. (more…)

12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar

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…)

Why Being a Foreign English Speaker Gives Me an Edge Over ANY Native English School Teacher

You can call me a foreign English speaker or a non-native English speaker (although I think that by labelling someone a ‘non-native English speaker’ you set them apart from other English speakers!) , but all that really matters to me is that I’M AN ENGILSH SPEAKER. I don’t care if anybody sees my foreign background as a natural disadvantage when it comes to communicating with others in English because I know it very well that my spoken English is sufficient for the things I do on a daily basis. Well, I do have my ups and downs, but then which foreign English speaker doesn’t experience some fluency fluctuations? Anyway, I am prepared to step it up a notch and make a really daring statement. Not only I think my foreign background isn’t a disadvantage; I also believe that by being a foreign English speaker I have an edge over ANY native English school teacher when it comes to understanding issues experienced by those who learn and improve their English :!: And if you take into account I don’t hold any TEFL qualifications, I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw my claim on the border of outrageous. I mean – how can a chap who’s been struggling with spoken English up until a few years ago, say that he’s better than any professional native English teacher? Keep reading this article and I’ll provide hard proof to back my claim! (more…)

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…)

Forget the English Grammar Tense Table Forever!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MySxtx-A5c Today's idiomatic expression is "Send the wrong message", and if you want to find out more about its usage - make sure to watch the video above! I'll keep making these daily English idiom videos for as long as I can, and it's all done with one thing in mind - to show you guys, that natural English fluency is all about phrases and expressions! You can take this phrase - "send the wrong message", combine it with a dozen of other expressions and - presto! - all of a sudden you can say things you mightn't be able to say after months long traditional grammar studies. And if you think I'm exaggerating - believe me, I'm not! It's proven time and time again that if you try to apply grammar rules as you stick words together, the resulting speech is unnatural, broken and hesitant. If you learn phrases just like the one I published in today's video, you get all the benefits of learning grammar naturally and none of the drawbacks - simply because there's NONE! :-) Chat soon, Robby ;-)

What Any Foreign English Speaker Can Learn from Benicio Del Toro

Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/b6hVnUtL7DU Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

You Can’t Listen Your Way to Fluency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j615Jd-UUJs Should foreign English speakers focus mostly on listening to all sorts of English audio lessons, songs and films in order to improve their English fluency? This is somewhat a controversial topic because so many English teachers will tell you to engage in listening to specially prepared audios or just generally listening to English as much as you can in order to improve your fluency. I’ll tell you right upfront – it’s a flawed approach, and here’s why. When you listen, you develop your comprehension skills. Yes, those skills are important when it comes to communicating with English speaking people because it’s necessary for you to understand what you’re being told or asked... obviously! :-) Your overall fluency improvement, however, involves plenty of spoken English practice which basically means speaking :!: (more…)