Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1rMxAYbNVM If you’re a keen English student, there’s a good chance you dedicate a considerable amount of your time to learning new English vocabulary. If you’re a SMART English student, you’re learning new English vocabulary in context (basically I’m talking about phraseology here) because that’s pretty much the only way to ensure you can use that vocabulary as part of live, fluent English speech. If you’re REALLY SERIOUS about your fluency improvement, however, you’re also being selective about the way you choose which phrase containing this or that particular English word you assign the most importance to! Let’s take, for example, the word BOG. I guess you know the word, but in case you didn’t know what it means (nothing wrong with that!) – it’s land covering an area of an overgrown lake where there’s plenty of soggy, moist soil and people have been known to get sucked into bog sinkholes because it’s pretty much impossible to get out of one. So, let’s say you just learned the word BOG, and you’re going to learn the most commonly used collocations containing that word to make sure proper mental associations are created in your mind: I was walking on a bog Walking on a bog may be dangerous Sucked into a bog sinkhole Bog oak woodwork (specific type of hardwood that’s being recovered from a bog having been there for thousands of years) If you learn these collocations (it’s just a fancy way of referring to word combinations), you’re so much more likely to be able to USE the word BOG as part of a live conversation for the simple reason that the word BOG is going to be connected with other words so they’ll all come out of your mouth without you having to construct a sentence from scratch. (more…)
3 Lessons Learned While Living Among Native English Speakers for 10 Years
Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right?
Focus on What You CAN Say in English Instead of What You CAN’T!
When You Focus Too Much on What You CAN’T Say in English… … you find it very hard to concentrate on the topic at hand; your mind seems to be drifting away in a hundred different directions leaving you unable to have a normal conversation… … you have a feeling as if the stuff you want to say is right in front of you yet you can’t read it out… … you keep confusing words and making mistakes when speaking… … you constantly question yourself if you said it correctly – as a result you start making even more and more mistakes… … you’re just unable to produce normal, fluent English speech. What can be worse for you as a foreign English speaker? :sad: But let’s begin by looking at this issue by drawing parallels between spoken English and another type of activity I’m into. (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: Create a Habit of Thinking of How Certain Things Might be Called in English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaFB_hLhMcU Hello my foreigner friends from YearOfEnglish.com! (and everyone else, of course!) This time around let’s focus on building your English vocabulary and the related habits you should create for yourself. You see, the main problem is that many foreigner English speakers believe English vocabulary has to be built the following way: Learning abstract vocabulary lists; Learning meanings of individual words; Learning translations of words from your native language into English. Now, I can rubbish all these assumptions in an instant! First of all, vocabulary lists are abstract word compilations and they have very little – if anything! – to do with your life and things YOU have to talk about on a daily basis. Secondly, fluent English speech doesn’t happen just by sticking individual words together. Every English word is actually associated with other words creating word groups or the so-called collocations. Thirdly, if you keep translating from your native language, you won’t get rid of the habit of preparing the speech in your head prior to speaking it out loud and that’s not what I’d call true fluency! If you want to build your English vocab the natural way, you’re way better off by creating a routine of thinking of what new English words you should learn as you go about YOUR DAILY BUSINESS :!: (more…)
Funny English Phrases #1 – Buying a Pair of Jeans
YearOfEnglish.com: Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C6n5KtSXCc Hello my friends from YearOfEnglish.com! If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve been following all those daily tips e-mailed to you by Aaron from Phrasemix.com (he’s the guy behind the Year of English project), and there’s also a good chance you’ve been heeding to all that advice which would have brought you closer to your goal of BECOMING FLUENT IN ENGLISH this year. But here’s a small problem which might actually result in quite a considerable setback for your English fluency. In the very beginning when you just committed to your goal of becoming fluent this year, the deadline for the goal was in a very distant future so you didn’t really have to worry about its completion. You just kept checking your inbox every day for a new e-mail from YearOfEnglish.com in sure knowledge that it was going to bring you another small step closer to English fluency. Now that the year has almost ended however, you may have started wondering: “The year is almost over, but have I become fluent in English? And after all – who’s going to tell me when I’ve become fluent?” Well, one thing is for sure – if you haven’t been doing a whole lot in terms of your English development during the year except for checking YearOfEnglish.com e-mails occasionally and reading the related content every now and then, the chances are – you haven’t become fluent. If, on the other hand, you’ve been engaging in a lot of practicing on a daily basis (including a lot of spoken English practice), it’s pretty hard to imagine as to why you wouldn’t have become fluent. Here are a few sure indicators of English fluency, and if you conform to at least one of them, I’d say you can definitely consider yourself being fluent in English: (more…)
When My Spoken Fluency is UP, My Written Fluency is DOWN…
Funny English Phrases #2 – Visiting a Doctor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HolR6fMke3U Hi my fellow foreign English speakers! Here’s another video of my Funny English Phrases series – judging by the positive feedback I was getting after publishing the first video about shopping you seem to like these type of funny situation videos! This video has a few useful health related phrases and phrasal verbs in it, so watch it to make sure you know the meaning of those expressions! Or else you risk getting in embarrassing situations just like the character portrayed by me in the video! And one more thing – make sure you repeat those sentences out loud. It’s crucial to imprint English speech patterns into your mouth and vocal cords and there’s no way around it. You have to speak to improve your spoken English, my friend! Take care, Robby ;-)
Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!
FGC Goal #1: American Idiomatic Expression #14: IT STANDS TO REASON
Sacrifice Grammar To Improve Your English Fluency…?
Hello, how you doing? I’m fine, thanks for asking! By the way – did you notice anything unusual about the first sentence? Read this again – how you doing? Oh, yes – I can hear you say – there’s a word missing! The grammatically correct sentence is – how ARE you doing? Well, if I were your English teacher, you’d get A+ from me. The real spoken English though, can be quite different from the formal one and it’s not uncommon to drop some words when speaking just for the sake of simplicity. So for instance, when you write an essay, use the ‘how are you doing?’ phrase which is grammatically correct. But when you meet up your friends at work in the morning – you can use the spoken English equivalent – ‘how you doing?’ It’s easier and faster to say, it sounds more native and most importantly – it’s not going to do any damage to your English grammar at all! When you speak and write, two different areas of our brain are engaged, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget correct English if speaking more colloquial English. And that, by the way, is the reason why many foreign English practitioners find it difficult to speak fluently although their written English is perfect. It’s all down to the lack of practicing spoken English phrases – and here’s another example for you - how’s things? The grammatically correct phrase is ‘how ARE things?’ But in spoken English you can simply say ‘how’s things?’ – that’s two syllables instead of three! Shorter, easier and handier – don’t you agree? So here are the two greeting phrases you can use – how you doing? And – how’s things? It will cut into English grammar perfectionists’ ears, but you better not try being one of them. Being perfect and communicating with ease can sometimes prove to be quite the opposite! Happy speaking, Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Why Learning Long English Phrases Is MORE Beneficial to Your Fluency!
I get this question asked quite often: Sometimes a single English word might have up to 20 different meanings; how do I know which one to learn? My answer is always the same: Never learn meanings of individual words; ALWAYS learn them in context! Let’s say for instance, you’ve come across a new word VIGOR. Here’s what TheFreeDictionary.com returns when you do a lookup on the word VIGOR: Physical or mental strength, energy, or force. The capacity for natural growth and survival, as of plants or animals. Strong feeling; enthusiasm or intensity. Legal effectiveness or validity. Now, try and learn this entire list, I and guarantee you won’t be able to use the word VIGOR in your English conversations! Why? It’s simple enough – if you learn these abstract descriptions, you won’t create any associations in your brain between the new word VIGOR and other English words you know. Human brain works based on associated content, and all you have to do in order to be able to use the new word VIGOR is learn a word combination RENEWED VIGOR, for example. RENEWED VIGOR = renewed energy – that’s all you have to learn in order to start using the new English word without ANY advance planning as to what and how you’re going to say this or that particular thing! Here’s another question that might quite naturally arise: How do I know what other words the new word goes together with? Well, I have an answer prepared for this one as well – simply use Google (read this article on how it’s done for the best results). But here’s the million dollar question: How do I know how LONG the phrase has to be? Is two words enough? Or maybe I have to learn a whole sentence? I just found this one on Google - COME BACK WITH RENEWED VIGOR – should I learn the entire sentence? Now, it’s worth looking into the subject a bit deeper so read the rest of this article to find out the ideal length of English phrases you’re learning! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “To Cross One’s Mind”
How to Talk About Past & Future Without Using Corresponding English Tenses
You may have been led to believe that in order to indicate a specific English grammar tense, you HAVE to conjugate verbs and actually USE that particular grammar tense. Well, guess what? It’s not always the case! In conversational English it’s more than possible to refer to the future or the past without using those specific English tenses and without conjugating the corresponding verbs. And here’s an example to clearly illustrate what exactly I’m talking about here. Let’s take, for example, the following sentence: “I’m planning to visit my friend tomorrow.” Now tell me please what is the grammar tense we can observe in this sentence? It’s Present Continuous – “I’m planning” – isn’t that right? Yes, that’s right! And now, tell me please what you’re actually referring to – present or future – in this particular sentence? Before answering the question, just let me draw your attention to the fact that if we’re looking at the sentence purely from a grammar standpoint, it is indeed the Present Continuous Tense you can observe, that’s right. But here’s the question you have to ask yourself: “Am I really emphasizing the fact that I’m MAKING PLANS at this particular moment in time or am I stressing the fact that I’m visiting my friend TOMORROW?” So, are you referring to the present or the future in this particular sentence? Of course it’s FUTURE! You’re using Present Continuous to refer to a FUTURE event so the take-home lesson is: There are situations when you don’t have to use the corresponding grammar tenses to refer to the future or the past! And now, just to provide you with a deeper insight into the whole thing, let me give you a number of phrases and expressions to be used in your English conversations. It’s going to save you time and effort trying to figure out the right English grammar tense to use – instead you can just learn those phrases and use them when a fitting occasion arises! (more…)
More Proof That Context and Associations Play Crucial Role When It Comes to Spoken English Performance
Why Desire to Translate is Irresistible & How to Deal With It
If you’ve been following my blog for a longer period of time, you’ll know that one of the English Harmony cornerstones is elimination of translation. You need to create a separate department for English in your brain. Whenever you have to speak in English with someone, you simply switch over to the English department in your brain. The funny thing is – you might already been doing it without being consciously aware of THINKING and SPEAKING in your target language if you’re a bilingual speaker, for example. Yet, when it comes to English, you might have an irresistible urge to translate from your native language while you’re speaking in English! Basically you’re speaking in English, but you keep thinking in your native language; you’re constantly finding yourself trying to figure out how this or that particular concept can be described in English terms. Guess what? You’re not alone! Hundreds of thousands of your fellow foreign English speakers are having the same issues, and if you’re anything serious about your SPOKEN English development, you’d better make sure to read the rest of this article where you’ll find out: WHY you have this weird process going on in your head; WHY you shouldn’t be thinking in your native language and speaking in English at the same time; HOW to avoid translation and speak and think in English ONLY! (more…)
Great Topic for Spoken English Self-Practice: Daily Events & Planning Next Day!
Check Out My NEW Blog AccentAdventure.com!
Don’t Try to Impress Others With Your English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCg4wmfqQFI VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video, I'm going to touch upon a subject that I've actually spoken about before, and it's the fact that you don't have to try to impress other people with your English. Typically what happens is, when you're having a conversation with someone, deep down inside you're trying to show off your English skills. You're trying to show that person that your English is up to scratch, which is another idiomatic expression for you, which means up to standards, right, basically, good enough. And more often than not, it backfires on you, which means you end up being in a worse situation than in the beginning, in a worse situation than you're starting with. (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…)
What’s the Best Way to Go About Shadowing English Videos?
Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04h0DOgO1ec In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby
Everyone Says My English is Good Enough… But It ISN’T!
82 Industry-Specific English Expressions & Phrases for Non-native English Speakers
If you’re a non-native English speaking professional employed in a specific industry such as medical and pharmacy, military, education, accountancy, human resources or legal industry, your daily duties involve using a lot of specific terminology and phraseology. Sure enough, you got your job by virtue of very decent English skills paired with relevant qualification and educational background, so it kind of goes without saying that your English is quite good and you’re not looking for basic English improving related information aimed mainly at beginner English learners. Having said this, we have to admit that English learning and improvement is a lifetime long process and you just have to keep on top of your specific industry-related language in order to remain a top-notch specialist, stay competitive in the jobs market, and also retain that edge that identifies you as a savvy industry specialist embracing change and always ready to adopt! So, here I’ve compiled 82 various technical English idiomatic expressions and phraseology that will definitely come in handy for you in your day-to-day job as well as recruitment process if you’re currently seeking for a new job or aiming to get a promotion in your current organization. Just scroll down to read the entire list of phrases or click on one of the links below to go to a specific phrase category: (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 19- Age
Face Your Biggest Fears – Halloween Ghosts and English Speaking!
Do You Get Stuck In English When Hearing Yourself?
Hi Folks, This time I'd like to tell you a strange thing from my own experience - and I must stress - it's really weird! It's about getting confused while speaking English with someone - and you know why? Because I suddenly start hearing myself - my speech. And I instantly get knocked out of the normal speech rhythm and have to gather myself up. Why is it happening? Why would hearing your own voice make you feel embarrassed to an extent when you start speaking with a really bad accent and get stuck? I don't know the exact answer - but many of you have sent me e-mails telling the very same thing... (more…)
When You Improve Your Spoken English, You Improve Your Entire Life Along With It!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQFBCNTiP3E You’re working on your spoken English improvement day in, day out. You’re acquiring new English phraseology and vocabulary, you’re engaging in regular spoken English self-practice, you’re seizing every opportunity to speak with other English speakers. Slowly but surely, your ability to speak in English becomes more pronounced, and you’re capable of verbalizing your thoughts with an ever increasing proficiency. Those aren’t the only changes taking place though. Your constant striving for betterment and improvement brings other changes along. You’re becoming more informed, you’re broadening your horizons and you’re becoming more intelligent. You’re becoming better at organizing your life in other areas – not just English fluency improvement – and that has a positive effect on your life quality and as a result you become more successful in everything you do! Do you think it’s not true? Well, watch the video above to hear everything I have to say in this regard! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
“WELL…” – the Simplest English Hesitation Word!
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
I have to make a confession to you, my fellow foreigners… Despite having struggled with English fluency myself, and despite making mistakes while speaking myself, I do sometimes make assumptions about other foreigners and their level of English … You see, the strange thing about it is that I’m fully aware of the fact that making mistakes and struggling for words is normal. I know only too well that there’s a multitude of different factors affecting one’s spoken English performance – starting with stress and anxiety and ending with such complicated English fluency issues as preparing speech in one’s head before speaking and a total information overload. After all, I have a first-hand experience of what it feels like when you know EXACTLY what you want to say, but your mouth suddenly disobeys you and says the wrong thing… So quite naturally I’d expect myself to be the last person to draw hasty conclusions about somebody’s level of English, yet it does occasionally happen! Of course, the moment I catch myself thinking something like – “All right, I have to choose slightly simpler words when talking to him because he just used a completely wrong English Grammar Tense, so most likely he won’t understand me if I speak the way I speak with native English speakers…” – I immediately say to myself: “Robby, common, don’t be such a meanie, are you always perfect yourself?!” Imagine, if it takes me so much effort to stop patronizing others, how must native English speakers feel when they hear me make some stupid mistake when speaking to them? Can I blame them for assuming that my English is poor just because I mispronounced a very simple word? I, for instance, stressed the wrong syllable in the word ‘monopoly’ the other day. I said [‘monopoli] instead of [mo’nopoli], and had my workmate Will not known me for years, he probably would have judged my English skills by that one stupid mistake! On another occasion, I made a mistake by misplacing a word in a phrase. I said “Fair done!” which is a mix of two phrases – “Well done” and “Fair play to you!” Once again, for someone who doesn’t know me this would be a reason good enough to extrapolate that mistake to everything I might say. It’s the so called reverse halo effect, and now let’s look at this phenomenon in depth! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Run It By Someone”
Skype Based English Teaching – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZu2eY5jMcA Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! :-) A few days ago I re-opened my Skype-based English fluency coaching program Fluency Star and needless to say, the available places filled in quickly enough and I had to close it down for another 2 months while I’m working with my new students. But wait… I don’t actually like the term “students”. It sounds too traditional – almost as if I’m putting myself on a pedestal and forcing those who I teach to look up to me. That kind of an approach has never worked in favor of those who are being taught no matter what discipline we look at – math, science or English – you name it! Why? First and foremost – it’s because the teacher is just showing off his or her superior skills and knowledge thus leaving the poor student in the same position where they were previously. (more…)
How to Develop the Gut Feeling for Correct and Natural English
How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!
You’re Not Fluent in English If You Can’t Construct a Subjected Indirect Object Locative Double Passive!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp4dbEhRo6M A couple of months ago I received a really funny comment on a blog post called Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!, and here’s what Jacque said: Being fluent means one can construct a subjected indirect object locative double passive in the past habitual progressive, and following it with a wh-fronted cleft with the subject moved to object position along with an optional topicalization and postmodified adjective restricting the sentence focus, AND having no idea what the heck the above means! Personally I think it’s a BRILLIANT representation of everything that’s wrong with the traditional English studies and how it’s affected most English students’ thinking! (more…)