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!

New English DIY Terms I Learned This Summer While Redecorating My New House

To tell you the truth, my friends, this has been the busiest summer I’ve ever had in my life so far! I’ve been spending days in my 9 to 5 job, and my evenings and weekends were spent on redecorating my new house. And I’ve got to tell you – it was one hell of a job! Even though professionals got hired to do most of the heavy lifting, there was still a lot for me to do. And don’t get me wrong; the job isn’t anywhere near finished. Right now I’m sitting in my office staring out the window with no curtains and running my laptop on a battery because the socket hasn’t been connected to the mains yet! Anyhow, throughout all the stress and hardship I had to go through while dealing with the plumber, electrician, window repair men and a bunch of other folks, I’ve learned a thing or two about DIY and related stuff. Here’s a list of new English DIY related phrases and terms I’ve learned this summer while redecorating my house, and who knows – maybe you’ll find some of them handy when engaged in similar activities! (more…)

How English Idiomatic Expressions Helped Me Deal With a REALLY Stressful Conversation

I’d been mentally preparing myself for the upcoming conversation for DAYS. I’d gone through all the things I was going to say to my boss all over and over again. I’d wanted to talk to him on multiple occasions yet I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to do it and I just kept talking myself out of it (now it’s not the right time… now I’m too busy…) When I finally got around to talking to him, it all happened kind of suddenly and I had actually forgotten every little detail I wanted to talk about. Sure enough, I knew what I wanted to ask, but I hadn’t gone through the more detailed plan of the upcoming conversation which I’d worked out previously. So, when I stood right in front of him asking if he’s five minutes to spare, the stress levels in my body were hitting all-time heights! My heart was palpitating. Adrenaline was being pumped through my veins at an accelerated rate. Needless to say, I found it quite hard to start the conversation because the stress levels were most definitely affecting my ability to say what I wanted to say in English! Luckily my chat with the boss didn’t turn out to be a total failure because I’ve been learning hundreds upon hundreds of English idiomatic expressions over the years, and the accumulative effect of such practice is such that it enables you to speak in English automatically and without much thinking (the English Harmony System works based on the same principles, by the way!). Here’s how English idiomatic expressions helped me conduct the conversation in a fairly normal way: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “You better make sure to”

There are many ways to let the other person know that you want them to follow a certain course of action: You have to… You should… You must… Today’s English idiomatic expression “You better make sure to” carries pretty much the same meaning and is also used when you want the other person to do something and you also want to stress the fact that if they don’t do as suggested, there will be consequences. This expression actually contains a hidden warning message in it – “You better make sure to (or else…), so you’d most likely use this phrase when speaking with someone who won’t mind to be spoken to in a slightly condescending tone – your child or your subordinate at work, for example. (more…)

Isn’t English “Improving” and “Learning” the Same?!

English Teacher Destroys Student Confidence by Scolding Them? It’s Unacceptable!

This video is a response to one of my blog readers’ e-mails, and he’s painting a pretty dire picture of his English class! Their English teacher makes them read a paragraph out of their textbooks and then the students are required to retell the story using their own words. It’s all nice and well up to the point where she starts scolding those students who are struggling with verbalizing their thoughts :!: IT IS JUST UNACCEPTABLE! What she’s doing is the following: she’s taking a brilliant English fluency improving tool – retelling stories (read more about it in this blog post) – and then she turns it into a confidence destroying machine! It’s mad. As a teaching professional, she’s actually supposed to do the VERY OPPOSITE: (more…)

Speak Really LOUD and Get Your English Fluency Back in Check!

English Harmony System Download Version Goes Live NOW!

As you might remember, the original English Harmony System was nothing more than a simple eBook. Then I created a multimedia video course on three DVDs which took my customers' experience to a whole new level. Now I’ve taken it a step further once more. An INSTANT DOWNLOAD version of the English Harmony System 2.0 is finally ready, and my sleepless nights spent on working on technical aspects of the download version are over :!: ;-) First of all, I had to figure out how to make the nearly 5 GB large files easy to download – after all, the System consists of Flash videos and they aren’t the smallest files around. Secondly, I had to find a reliable and user-friendly piece of .exe compiler software so that the files can be easily distributed and all users can be managed. Thirdly, I had to set up the download software, integrate PayPal into it, and conduct countless tests to make sure everything works like clockwork! I’ve been working on this download version since Christmas, and now I can take a deep breath because finally completed. It works, and it’s ready to be used by you, my dear impatient foreign English speaking friends who don’t want to wait till the physical package containing the 3 DVDs arrives at you doorstep. Here’s a few facts about the downloadable version of the System: it consists of 3 .exe files – one for each of the 3 Modules – Speech Master, Confidence Mentor and Chat Assistant; it takes about 20 – 30 minutes to download all three files; the files are protected by unique registration codes e-mailed to you shortly after the purchase; constant Broadband Internet connection is required to run the System (more…)

Lower Your Standards if You Want to Improve Your English Successfully!

You may have this idealistic image in your head as to what kind of English you should be speaking – grammatically super-correct, formal, rich and eloquent English spoken by high-class native English speakers – but achieving and maintaining such high spoken English standards may not be just unrealistic. It may also be very unhealthy to your confidence as an English speaker to constantly compare your existing level of English against your desired level of English in terms of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and speed at which you speak because it will serve as a constant reminder of your shortcomings as an English speaker! You may believe that most people speak sub-standard English and it’s unacceptable for an intelligent person. You may have this perception that your English just HAS to sound like that spoken by native English speakers – and if it doesn’t, you’ll be always branded as an underachiever. And you may also strongly believe that text-book English taught to English students in schools and universities is the ONLY way forward and that the conversational English is just English for the masses and not for such a well-educated individual as you. Guess what? By upholding such unrealistically high standards you’re making it really hard for yourself to actually improve your English! (more…)

Is It Possible To Improve Your Spoken English By Watching TV?

Today’s topic – is it possible to improve your spoken English by watching TV. If I had to give you a simple answer, it would be yes and no. Confused? Well, let’s delve into this matter and have a look at different aspects of how watching TV might help you with your spoken English! So first of all, for any English improving effort to have a significant impact on your spoken English you need to speak, full stop. You can’t just sit back and turn the box on, listen to English used in the film or a TV show and then expect that language to be automatically added to your active vocabulary. Sorry guys, but it just doesn’t happen that way! :-( I can already hear someone say – shut up Robby, that’s not right, I can definitely remember myself hearing a phrase on the TV and I instantly memorized it. I’ve also used it many times in actual English conversations so there you go – you can actually watch TV and add on more phrases and new words to your vocabulary! All right, let me ask you something then. How many phrases you can think of that you’ve picked up from watching telly during the last, say, couple of months? Five? Ten? Fifteen? Fair enough, but then you definitely have to agree that it’s nowhere near to be called an efficient way of improving your spoken English! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”

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…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”

Don’t Even TRY Watching Common English Mistakes Videos on YouTube!

I was browsing YouTube the other day, and I came across some video where an English teacher talks about common English errors made by foreign English speakers. It wasn’t that teacher’s only video – not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, there were LOADS of videos of this nature on that particular YouTube channel – let alone other channels where different teachers are talking about pretty much the same things: Most commonly made English mistakes; Things not to say when speaking in English; English mistakes made by Spanish people; English mistakes made by Russians… … and so on and so forth. And you know what? I think this illustrates a terrible trend in the English teaching community! :mad: Everyone is focused on the aspect of making mistakes. Mistakes this, mistakes that, you can’t say this, you can’t say that… The only thing that these videos achieve is the following: THEY FREAK ENGLISH STUDENTS OUT! (more…)

FREE eBook – Truth about Traditional English Studies – Download Below!

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.af-header,.af-footer{margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;padding:10px;} .af-quirksMode .af-element{padding-left:0!important;padding-right:0!important;} .lbl-right .af-element label{text-align:right;} body { }   Your Name: Your e-mail:  Your e-mail will never be sold or rented to a third party. I hate spam as much as you do and I’ll contact you only to send news about improving English fluency! Right after the request you’ll receive an e-mail with a confirmation link which will bring you straight to the download page. And here’s the good news – you can read this eBook on your computer or laptop as a PDF file, you’ll get a MOBI version in case you have a Kindle eBook reader, but if you have an iPad – you can make use of the EPUB file! In the eBook “Truth About Traditional English Studies” I’m going to introduce you to a concept you’ve probably never heard before - ‘WRITING MODE’ OF A FOREIGNER’S MIND. This ‘writing mode’ explains why you’re having all these problems with oral English fluency, and it’s all got to do with the way you’ve been learning English so far. The chances are, if you’ve been learning English the traditional way, you’ve been mostly doing grammar tests and writing. After long years dedicated to writing English sentences and filling blanks in English textbooks your mind has gone into a permanent ‘WRITING MODE’! Don’t get me wrong - there’s nothing wrong with writing as such. I’m not saying literacy isn’t important. What I’m having a problem with is the following: our teachers and the whole English teaching industry have led us to believe that a lot of reading, writing and grammar studies will somehow magically result in oral fluency. Nothing could be further from the truth, my friends! When you write, you have enough time to plan everything in advance; you can choose the best fitting words, arrange them carefully according to grammar rules and create almost perfect English sentences. When you have to speak, on the others hand, all of a sudden there are no rules! You’re in an unchartered territory, and you’re afraid of making mistakes because you don’t have a textbook in front of you anymore! I know how it feels because I used to have the same sort of English fluency issues, and I tried to improve my spoken English for years to no avail because I kept resorting to the same old methods – vocabulary building, grammar studies, and reading. Now, do you want to find out how to make a smooth transition from the ‘writing mode’ of your mind into a ‘speaking mode’ when you can speak automatically, fluently and without much thinking about what you’re going to say? Then make sure to request the eBook using the form above, and you’ll find out how you should change your English improving routine in order to improve your ability to speak fluent English! Robby ;-)

You’ve Got to Do All the Heavy Lifting YOURSELF!

A couple of weeks ago I published an article called Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya? where I was looking at the phenomenon of so many foreign English speakers NOT taking action in order to improve their English but instead relying on OTHERS to steer them into the right direction and provide some magic formula for an easy and effortless English improvement. Five days ago I published a video called Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking? where I looked at another aspect of the same phenomenon. Namely – foreigners expecting their fluency to improve while at the same time NOT investing anywhere near enough time in SPEAKING. Not to mention countless other articles and videos I’ve published over the years trying to convey pretty much the same message: (more…)

How Robby Improves His Spoken English

Did You Realize That Being Tired Affects Your Fluency?

You might not have thought about it before, but the simple fact of the matter is that your mouth is a muscle and as such it’s prone to you being tired. When you’re tired, your physical performance suffers – but you don’t see it as something weird because it’s just natural, right? Now, when you find it harder to gather your thoughts and verbalize them properly, does it ever occur to you that it could also be related to your energy levels and physical ability to perform? Probably not! You see – the thing is that if it happens when we speak in our native language, we don’t even realize it’s happening and even if we do, we don’t give it any conscious thought. When it happens when we speak in English, however, we immediately start blaming ourselves for that, we start freaking out, as a result our fluency goes down the drain and we end up feeling miserable without any realization as to why it’s happening! In reality EVERYONE, yes – even native English speakers! – find it a bit harder to express themselves when they’re tired, so if you want to find out more about it, watch the video above! Cheers, Robby, Your Fluency Gym Coach

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!

How To Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary!

“Th” Pronunciation – Thank You or Senk You?

In video Episode #7 you’ll hear me discuss benefits and drawbacks of pronouncing the voiced and unvoiced English sounds ‘th’ – ð and θ - the traditional way. Generally I’m agreeing with the general English teaching principle of trying to pronounce those sounds as close to their native pronunciation as possible. Nonetheless, there are situations when foreign English speakers are much better off with replacing the ð and θ sounds with easier ones like d and t. I know that many ESL and EFL teachers would kill me for saying that, but I’ll risk it anyway! ;-) (more…)

How to Write Formal e-Mails in English

I’ve been working in a number of jobs where there’s constant e-mailing going on – not to mention the fact that I’ve been running this website and providing customer support via e-mail since 2007 :!: So, as you can imagine, I know a thing or two about writing e-mails and how to make your e-mails effective, concise and to-the-point. And considering that I’ve been receiving quite a few requests to provide a comprehensive guide on how to write e-mails in English, I decided to publish this article where I’ve compiled the most popular means of expression used in formal e-mails. Now, traditionally people would divide e-mails into two types: Formal e-mails which is official communication at work, with various institutions and people you don’t know. Informal e-mails which is when you e-mail your friends, family and people you know very well. In reality though, it’s sometimes quite hard to draw a distinct line between the two for the simple reason that you can have a situation, for example, when you’re very familiar with your superiors at work. In theory, it would be considered formal communication. In reality, there’s nothing wrong with you using less formal means of expression in that communication – and believe me, it’s common practice in companies and organizations all over the world! Anyway, for the sake of simplicity, we will look at formal and informal e-mail writing separately, so in today’s article let’s see what English phraseology and expressions is used when writing formal e-mails. (more…)

Funny English Phrases #3 – Money & Finance

In Real Life Your English is Judged by Your SPEECH!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video, I'm going to touch upon a subject that I haven't actually spoken about before, namely - the fact that you or me or any other foreign speaker for that matter, We're all judged based on our spoken English performance! When we meet with other people, when we go about our daily business, when we communicate with others, it's the spoken fluency that we are being judged upon. It only makes sense because people don't see - they can't - there is no obvious indicator of how well we understand them. People can't immediately see how good readers or writers we are. But, what they can see, what they can hear, to be more specific, is the way we speak! So, it only makes sense that we are being judged on the basis of our ability to speak with other people. Yet, at the same time, the traditional English teaching setting facilitates all those other aspects of our English, namely, our ability to understand, and write, and listen, but spoken fluency has always taken the back seat. And on top of that, all those exams like TOEFL and IELTS, they all focus predominantly on your ability to understand and provide written answers. (more…)

English Fluency Doesn’t Mean Being Able To Speak About EVERYTHING

English Idiomatic Expression: “For Some Reason Or Another”

Hello my friends foreign English speakers! (in case you’re wondering why I’m not referring to us – foreigners – by the name “non-native speakers”, please read this article HERE!) For some reason or another I just haven’t been feeling like creating a lot of content lately, so I’ve been taking it easy for a couple days. I’ve gone to bed early. I’ve done a bit more English reading in the bed before falling asleep. Basically I’ve been replenishing my energy stores so that I can start writing articles and producing videos for my English Harmony blog with a renewed vigor! Now, did you notice how I used the idiomatic expression “for some reason or another”? Even though I knew the reason behind my actions – lack of energy – I still used this English phrase for the simple reason that it simply sounds cool and I like using such and similar English phrases A LOT! Normally, however, you’d use the phrase “for some reason or another” in situations when you’re not sure of the true reasons behind the activity you’re discussing OR if you simply don’t want to elaborate on that. (more…)

Forget About WILL Future Tense – Use Present Progressive Instead!

Hello my friends, and Happy Christmas to everyone! :-) I’m back with another practical English grammar lesson, and today let’s look at how to talk about future in conversational English. Just to remind you what I'm teaching in Practical English Grammar – it’s conversational English and it’s not always 100% correct. Real life English is different from school books and text books, so I’m using my extensive experience as a foreign English speaker living in an English speaking country to help you speak more fluently. All right, so let’s look at how we speak about future events in English. The standard grammatical Future Tense in English is formed by using “WILL” followed by the verb's infinitive form. However, this is far from the full picture of how you can describe future in English. To be more precise, this is just one quarter of possibilities that the English language offers, and here are the other three ways how you can describe a future action: I’m going to come home, I’m coming home, I come home. Are you slightly confused? Are you thinking now – “Why is Robby giving examples of Present Progressive and Simple Present Tenses? They’re clearly used to describe actions taking place right now, in this very moment!” Well, you’re right, they are used for that purpose, but Present Progressive, for instance, can also be used to describe Future actions which have already been arranged and the very fact of the arrangement is kind of going on right now, does that make sense? If you say “I’m coming home tomorrow” you mean indeed that you are going to arrive back home tomorrow, but you have apparently decided at some stage that you’ll come home. So as far as English grammar is concerned, the progressive action is already taking place – since the moment you decided that you would come the action is kind of happening - only taking place tomorrow instead of now. (more…)