Don’t Look for Specific Audio Material for Improving Your English Listening Skills!
Embedded Questions – When Reversing Word Order Isn’t Necessary
English Idiom: “Wrap Your Head Around Something”
Why I’m Making Mistakes in My Videos & Why I’m Not Concerned About That!
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…)
I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?
Antonio Banderas’s Spanish Accent – So, Is His English NOT Fluent?
Are you one of those folks who thinks that in order to speak English fluently one needs to develop a near-native English pronunciation? Then watch this interview with Antonio Banderas – even a small piece will do - and think about the initial question once more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LgTKmRkLuM So, what do you think? Would you describe his English as not being fluent? Has his distinct Spanish accent prevented him from becoming one of the most successful Hollywood actors? Obviously not :!: So, why is ACCENT such a bid deal for so many people? Why so many other foreigners and native English speakers alike still hold the view that foreigners definitely need to reduce their accent if they want to come across as fluent English speakers? Well… The answer lies within a stereotype of a struggling foreign English speaker who speaks in broken English AND has a distinct accent. The reverse statement – anyone who has a distinct accent speaks broken English – isn’t always true, but it doesn’t prevent people from believing it. Why, we human beings are notorious to holding to wrong beliefs, and this is definitely not the only one out there! How about the following: Antonio Banderas gets away with his accent because of his good looks; Spanish accent is cool and that’s why it’s OK for him to speak with thick Spanish pronunciation but NOT OK for you or me… While there might be some truth in the above statements, it doesn’t explain HOW Antonio Banderas manages to be fluent YET retain his Spanish accent if fluency is always accompanied by perfect pronunciation... Surely if at some stage an English learner inevitably starts to develop a more native-like (in this case it should be American) pronunciation, then how come that Antonio has never fully mastered it yet he’s totally fluent? (more…)
5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct
English Idiomatic Expression “Under the Impression”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP9WMZJHjcc Have you ever been under the impression that the entire world has literally conspired against you and everybody finds something bad in what you’re doing? Is your team leader at work under the impression that your colleagues do most of the work while in reality it’s you who gets most problems solved? And does it ever occur to you that even though most people are under the impression that governments and politicians are almost inherently bad and evil, in fact they’re doing a really tough job and they work much harder than the average Joe? (more…)
The Less Opportunities You Have to Speak With Others, The More You’ve Gotta Speak With Yourself!
Do You Force Native English Accent When Speaking?
Dictation: Benefits of Listening to English & Writing It Down!
I have to be totally honest with you guys and come clean on something. I’ve never done purposeful DICTATION with the sole purpose of improving my English! For those unaware – dictation is exercise whereby you copy someone’s speech by writing it down. But it’s not really odd considering that I used to follow the path of the traditional text-book based English studies for a very long time, and as you can imagine, there’s no-one speaking when you open the textbook. You’re just required to fill in gaps in exercises and to provide written answers to questions. Over the years my English writing improved to a high standard quite naturally, and when I realized that I’d been neglecting my spoken English, I started engaging in spoken English practice whereby I’d rather copy and mimic other English speakers by SPEAKING OUT LOUD instead of writing it down. Well, come to think of it - I actually have done a certain amount of dictation when transcribing my own YouTube videos, but you can’t really count that as a proper dictation exercise. The reason being – I didn’t do it as an English-improving activity, I simply needed to transcribe my videos so that I could publish them on my blog. Proper dictation is done when you purposefully LISTEN and then you transfer what you hear in written form thus improving both your English listening and writing skills. And this one, my friends, is the first benefit of dictation! ;-) (more…)
Lost in Translation OR Why I Couldn’t Translate Gulliver’s Travels
I was watching TV the other day with my wife, kids and my sister-in-law. It was Gulliver’s Travels – a very nice family comedy, and as we settled down in the front of TV I was ready to translate it for my sister-in-law because her English isn’t as advanced as to understand every subtlety of English language. You’d think I was very comfortable with the task, right? So would I – until I realized it’s not easy at all given the fact I haven’t built my English vocabulary as direct translation from my native language. I’ve acquired the bulk of English that I use and understand by learning from context, mimicking native speakers and reading loads of English fiction. If you’re still wandering what it’s got to do with my inability to translate Gulliver’s Travels into Latvian for my sister-in-law, here’s a very detailed explanation. (more…)
Improve Your Spoken English by Using Spaced Repetition
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ztvsgZl1L8 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! Yesterday I published the second video where I’m using multiple phrases in a single spoken English self-practice session, and this time around I did phrases 13 through to 24 which forms the second set of dozen phrases out of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission. Now I’m ready to move on, and let me introduce you to the phrase number 25 which is somewhat unusual: I JUST…, IS ALL! So, in what situations can you possibly use this colloquial expression? (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 20- Fair-weather Friend
English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”
Your English Teacher’s Expertise Means Little When It Comes To YOUR Ability To Speak!
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 9- Debating
It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kgSSdYw42Y Have you ever found it hard to understand what you’re told because it’s something you don’t normally get to hear? Have you ever had situations when you understand every single word, but you just can’t wrap your head around the question for the simple reason that it’s something totally out of context, something unexpected? And now comes the most relevant part for you as a foreign English speaker: Would your typically react to such and similar situations by blaming your bad English comprehension skills and feeling ashamed and embarrassed? (more…)
My Own Struggling With English Fluency is What Drives Me!
Funny English Phrases #1 – Buying a Pair of Jeans
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!
Using Perfect Simple And Passive Voice In Spoken English
Do You Speak English Enough? You’ve Gotta Speak ALL THE TIME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLvjnC515co Are you immersed into the English language 27/7/365 - meaning you are married to an English speaker or you only go out with other English speakers? If so - great, your spoken English is probably good enough and you don't really have any fluency related issues! ;-) IF your English exposure is limited, however, you just HAVE to do some additional spoken English practicing, there's no doubt about that as it's been proven by my personal experience. What am I talking about here? Well - watch the video above and you'll find out EXACTLY what I'm on about here: * my history as a failed English speaker * importance of a daily spoken English practice to keep your fluency sharp * why MOUTH for you is the most important body part! Stay fluent, stay confident, and all kinds of comments welcome here! Robby ;-)
Taking a Break from Speaking English May Have a Positive Effect on Your Fluency!
You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot of Time on Reading English Fiction in Order to Read LOADS!
Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine
If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)
How to Organize English Phrases for Optimal Learning
The moment you start reading my blog, you can’t help noticing that I’m highlighting specific word groups in red. These word groups are idiomatic expressions or the so-called collocations, and they’re very useful for all foreign English speakers for the following reasons: They allow us to speak using native-like English speech patterns; They enable us to group words together thus avoiding hesitant speech; They render translation unnecessary thus facilitating overall English fluency. For best results, you should incorporate such and similar idiomatic expressions into your spoken English practicing routine, but here’s the million dollar question: “How to organize all those phrases for optimal learning?” Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of how exactly you should organize English phraseology for the optimal learning experience, let me remind you that I’ve already done all that work for you :!: I’ve created a unique fluency improving program called the English Harmony System and it took me a good few months to organize hundreds upon hundreds of idiomatic expressions which provide the framework for almost a hundred speech exercising video lessons. Basically you can save yourself all the hassle of organizing all your phrases and you can start practicing your spoken English RIGHT NOW! But what if you’ve already been using my product and now you’d like to keep practicing on your own? As we all know, spoken English improvement is a lifelong process, and it only stands to reason you would want to keep working on your English phraseology for the rest of your life, right? So for those of you interested in taking your fluency improvement to the next level, here’s a few ways of organizing your English phraseology for your spoken English practice sessions. (more…)
FAQ: I’m Afraid My English Fluency Isn’t Coming Back!
How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice My English?
You Should ACT Rather Than REACT During English Conversations!
No-one to Talk to? Practice English With Yourself!
Find out how to improve your spoken English is 30 days or less :!: Today’s video topic is about the importance of practicing English speaking on a regular basis. In other words, if you want to be a fluent English speaker, you have to speak, there are no magic shortcuts :!: There are, of course, shortcuts in terms of efficiency of the learning process, and you’re welcome to check out my blog to found out more, but in this video lesson let’s focus on the importance of speaking English every day. By the way, did you know that the most viewed video on my YouTube channel so far is the one where I’m talking about the importance of speaking English with yourself in case you’ve got no-one else to talk to? I guess it’s a good indicator of a typical situation that foreign English speakers find themselves in. You know – even if you live in an English speaking country, there might not be enough face-to-face communication with other English speakers. On many occasions foreigners living under such circumstances won’t go the extra mile to practice some English because it’s not a necessity and they can do without it. If you’re willing to improve your spoken English, however, you can do so much more to step up your English fluency and having regular conversations with yourself is definitely better that no spoken practice at all! (more…)
Can You Learn American English by Learning American Phrases & Idioms?
Is Google Any Good For Improving Your Spoken English?
Some People Are So Confident They Don’t Even Want to Improve Their English!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vue8VRavBgQ VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi, guys! Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! 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 very interesting thing and, if I'm not mistaken, it's never been spoken about before. I've never discussed it, neither on my videos, nor on my articles on my blog, and I think this is going to be a very interesting topic indeed. Namely, not all foreign English speakers who struggle when speaking, not all of them actually have to improve their English. Some people are quite confident the way they are! And here's what I actually mean by this. I've come across a few such people in my life. And it was actually years ago when I was a young fellow, when I just came over to this country, and there was a bunch of guys living together in one house, and I got to know several new people time and time again. There were a few guys whose English was so-so, but they were quite okay communicating with other people. Their English was broken. Their vocabulary wasn't huge, and their grammar was quite bad to be honest with you, but they felt at ease when speaking with other English-speaking people. They didn't feel it as a problem, right? And that was the whole make or break factor for their confidence. They were confident and they didn't need to improve their English. They didn't work towards that goal that we all share, right, which is improving our English and achieving fluency. They worked towards other goals in their life, professional goals, and personal goals. But, they were happy with their level of English, and it was sufficient to get on with their daily tasks, to go on about their daily business, to work, to drop into institutions and get things done. Yes, it might have taken them a little bit longer because the communication would have been slightly hampered and things would have had to be explained in a little bit more detail to get it all done, but eventually it wasn't a big deal for them. And they were confident enough the way they were and that was it! Their English was fine for them and they didn't need to improve it. They'd never thought of - at least I didn't hear them complaining about their English because they were quite happy the way they were, and it's a funny thing. (more…)