4 Reasons I Wish I Was Born a Native English Speaker
I don’t believe for a second that native English speakers would be superior to foreigners and those who hail from countries where other languages are used as means of communication of first choice. I’m very well aware, however, that people who are born native English speakers have an unfair advantage over non-native English speakers simply because they happen to speak the world’s language which avails them of more opportunities in life! What opportunities? Well, here’s a list of things English fluency has given me - only bear in mind that I’m a foreigner so it goes without saying that any native English speaker would avail of all the same PLUS a whole lot more because they've ALWAYS been fluent English speakers whereas I’ve acquired my fluency later in life. Sure enough, if you’re willing to work exceptionally hard, you can be extremely successful in life as a foreign English speaker – just think about people like Arnie, for example. Work like hell, never stop – and the world is your oyster, isn’t that right? It’s all nice and well, but the reality is a little bit different. We rarely hear about those non-native English speakers who are working really hard and still don’t achieve their ambitions just because they happen to come from a foreign background – it’s only the success stories that everyone hears about… So, here’s 4 reasons as to why I wish I was born a native English speaker, and if you feel that I’ve left something out – just post it in the comments section below! (more…)
English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!
Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!
Forget the English Grammar Tense Table Forever!
Here’s a very comprehensive English Grammar Tenses table with thorough explanations as to when each tense is used as well as sample sentences. All is nice and well, and you may print it out, carry with you, and learn it off by heart if you’re really passionate about your English tenses (by the way, it’s exactly what I did at the start of my 5 year long journey to English fluency!) As I said – all would be nice and well if not for a human being’s natural tendency to over-analyze and try to structure the knowledge when speaking which inevitably leads to English fluency problems. The moment you open your mouth, you’ll start wondering if the action you’re about to talk about is going to happen for sure or just MIGHT happen… Or maybe it’s going to happen over a certain period of time in which case you should be using Future II Progressive tense – “I will have been…” Basically the more you know about English tenses, the more confusing it may become, and in the end you’ll be constantly questioning and second-guessing yourself when trying to speak which is definitely something you DON’T want to happen because what good is your super-advanced English grammar knowledge if you can’t say a single sentence without hesitation and stopping to think about what tense to use? Moreover, there isn’t consensus even among English grammar professionals as to how many English tenses actually are out there! The more you read into it, the more confusing it will get. Just read this forum thread and you’ll realize that opinions differ so wildly that a normal human being can’t even wrap his or her head around it all! Some think there are only 2 tenses (which I personally thing is a total nonsense), and some extend the figure to 16, 24 or even 32 (which takes into account the existence of Passive Voice). So what do you do? Get totally bogged down on 32 tenses, learn all the conditions as to when exactly each of them is used, learn the respective sample sentences and then LOSE YOUR MIND when trying to speak with someone because of all the analysis happening in your brain while you’re speaking? NO! Instead, just FORGET the English Grammar tense table and approach the whole tense thing from a different angle!!! Forget the little used grammar constructs such as “I will have been speaking…” that aren’t used in real life English conversations. Forget the various Conditionals. And stop thinking about the merits of Past Perfect Progressive vs Past Perfect Simple. What I suggest you to do is this: (more…)
Is Google Any Good For Improving Your Spoken English?
Yes, it is! But in this blog post I'm not going to discuss the cool Google speech recognition functionality or some similar tool (I'm probably going to look at it in one of my future blog posts though). By saying that you can use Online Search Engines to improve your spoken English I'm referring to Google, Yahoo and other Online Search Engine search suggestions - simple as that :!: Performing search on certain words and search terms allows you to find out plenty of useful information about naturally occurring English word combinations, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m always emphasizing the importance of memorizing words that go together in natural spoken English - collocations, idioms, phrasal verbs. Why? Simply because it allows you to speak fluently; as you say the first word, the next ones are triggered automatically because your brain and mouth have been trained to pronounce certain words together :!: So if you’re interested in intricacies of Google, Yahoo or Bing search suggestions that allow you to learn patterns of real life English – keep reading this article and you’ll probably be in for a nice surprise on how instrumental Search Engines can be to a foreign English speaker! (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 11- Science and Reasearch
You’ve Gotta Be Ignorant to Be a Fluent English Speaker!
“What Are the Most Commonly Used English Words?” is the Wrong Question!
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Categorize English Idioms when Learning Them!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x61xJ0pLL_k English idioms are very useful for foreign English speakers like you or me because they allow expressing our thoughts and voice our opinion quickly and using the same phrase in dozens and hundreds of similar situations. Let’s take the following idiom – “Chip on your shoulder”. You can use it in pretty much every situation when someone feels they’re treated unfairly and they’re acting defensively but it’s obvious that there’s no good reason for them to behave that way and they’re acting so because of their own insecurities. So instead of describing the whole situation you can just use this short phrase instead – “He’s always had a chip on his shoulder, that’s why he’s acting that way!” It saves you time and effort, and such and similar idioms are used worldwide – “chickens have come home to roost”, “on the ball” or “elephant in the room”. But here’s what I’ve noticed – many idiom directories like grouping idioms by the actual words contained in those idioms. For example, the two idioms about chickens and the elephant would fall under the same category – animal related idioms. It might sound like a good idea to give all those hundreds and thousands of idioms some structure and make them easy to find. When learning idioms, however, it may do more harm than good, so read the rest of this article to find out why I’m making such claims :!: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “For the simple reason that…”
English Learning Principles for Total Beginners
Having English as the ONLY Language in the World Would Be a Disaster…
A while ago I published an article called It’d Be Great to Have English as the Only Language in the World in which I looked at a purely fictional scenario of a world where English would be the only language spoken. Now, in that particular article I looked at the positive aspects of such a scenario such as lower levels of discrimination and higher levels of integration. Today let’s look at why such a scenario would be a total disaster, so basically we’re going to look at the cons of having English as the only language in the world. And please bear in mind, in my scenario English hasn’t conquered other languages, we’re basically assuming that English has ALWAYS been spoken all over the world and nobody would even think of the possibility of speaking a different language because no-one would even know what it’s like. In other words, we’re assuming that since the dawn of time there’s been a uniform language development all around the world and this language happens to be English. So, without further ado, let’s start looking at the negative aspects of having English as the world’s language when compared to the actual situation when we’re having literally thousands of languages spoken on this planet! (more…)
English Fluency Problem
Let’s first talk about this English fluency problem so that you can analyze it a little bit and understand its nature. Let’s say, you wake up in the morning and while doing something you just have an odd thought in English in your mind. And…you realize that you just can’t express yourself in English language as you’d normally do! You try to say something in English to yourself and you feel that you can’t stick the thoughts together – your mind is full of different words and images floating and messing… Another example. You go to work and greet the first person you meet. “How are you! I’m fine, what was the weekend like?” – And then you suddenly feel that you have to force yourself to get even these simple things right! And when you start chatting to your workmate at your desk, you feel that you can’t speak normally as you could before, although only yesterday you could speak fluently as a native speaker! The usual mistakes you make when experiencing the speech problem are the following: Not being able to find the right words Mispronouncing words Not being able to say the thought clearly! You start a sentence, and then the very thread of the thought vanishes, and something like a blackout takes place in your head. And then you get really anxious and nervous and it affects your whole day – your mood drops below zero, the self-esteem is gone, the confidence… well, it’s a disaster! I don’t exaggerate, I know the feeling all too well and I guess, so do you. The most baffling thing in this all is that no matter how often you speak, no matter how long you’ve been living among English speaking folks, the things don’t change! It keeps on repeating constantly and with no obvious reason at all! :cry: I remember myself being a job-seeker at one stage and I attended many job interviews. One day I could speak perfectly creating a really good impression about myself. The next day going to a different place I’d experience the issue described above – and, of course, I’d feel really low because the interviewer most likely thought – well, this guy can’t get the English right in the first place, what job is he dreaming about then? And I know you have gone through a number of really embarrassing situations similar to previously described and you’d be more than happy to deal with the issue once and for all, wouldn’t you? So first let’s list all the characteristics of this English fluency issue so that we can clearly see what we are trying to get resolved here! Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
English Phrase: Just Because… It Doesn’t Necessarily… It’s Quite the Opposite, Actually!
English idiomatic expression: “Come to think of it”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsSK9cW_e54 It’s been a few days now since I published my latest English idiomatic expression video, so I’d better not wait any longer because I know how eager you guys are to watch my videos and see what new English phrase I’ve prepared for you! ;-) This time around it’s the following: “Come to think of it” – and you can use it whenever you’re reminded of something during a conversation, and then you want to share that memory with your conversation partner. Also, you don’t necessarily need to use this phrase DURING a conversation. (more…)
5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct
Is English Harmony GOOD and All the Rest is BAD?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J56awc9j2zk If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m all against the traditional, mainstream English studies. They focus mostly on writing, reading and learning grammar rules – needless to say, spoken English fluency gets neglected big time and so hundreds of thousands of English students keep struggling with their English without even realizing why it’s happening. That’s why I started this website, and that’s why I created the product – English Harmony System - which is the only product out there that uses the spaced repetition approach and video technology in order to imprint natural English sentence structures into people’s minds so that they can start speaking natural, more fluent English. One day I got an e-mail from Francisco, however, in which he asks me to be a bit more ethical when talking about the issues mentioned above. He thinks that: Not ALL schools are bad and that there are plenty of good schools where English is taught in a way that facilitates English fluency; Conversational fluency is fine, however, there’s more than that – one may want to acquire an academic, deeper English knowledge and why would I claim it’s all bad? There are so many needs for foreigners – passing English tests and exams, business English etc., and surely my English Harmony System doesn’t cater for those needs! I’m taking advantage of those who are let down by the traditional English teaching system by shoving my product in their faces and taking their money; I’m claiming my product to be the BEST one in the market but there are more products like mine out there; why am I not being honest? Now, here’s my take on the whole thing: (more…)
Idiomatic Expressions: Why I’m Highlighting Some Bits of Text in Red in My Blog Posts
Is It Possible To Sound Too Fluent in English?
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)
Common English phrases used in speaking
English Grammar vs Spoken English
What’s Wrong With Traditional English Studies?
We all started with English differently. Others started with self studying because of pure interest, like me. For some it was a necessity after moving to another country. However, as my website is dedicated to people having difficulties with maintaining a consistent level of spoken English, it is most likely that your journey into the world of English started with the written word. And actually this is where the biggest problems are hidden! :!: When we learned the language by writing words and memorizing them, we needed to write down the meaning in our native tongue. And this means having to translate the word from our native language to English, which is quite a natural thing, isn’t it? It is indeed. Only if it wasn’t stressed too much! Learning English at school means learning written English. Let’s be honest – how much of all the time spent in the English class we were taught to speak the language? I’m afraid – not too much. Teachers have to devote attention to all the students, have to explain grammar rules, new words and have to tell what new beautiful learning methods have come out recently…and as a result our English language develops as almost pure written language – and we can write well, don’t we? We form nice, correct sentences and we have all the time in the world to think of what words to use, in what order and what grammar rules apply in the particular case. And when it comes to the speaking part in the exam, or class practice we speak slowly and create nice English sentences in our head! OK, not all of the students are the same but I’m addressing us folks, the ones that share this issue of wave-like occurring lack of English speaking skills. So – in other words – no one teaches us to really SPEAK English! :shock: No one even mentions about how the very language is formed in our brain - native English speakers use blocks of words as they speak rather than linking seperate words together! Now try to analyze the processes in your head when you speak English. If your speech is unhindered at this moment and you can speak fluently – everything is fine. The words just flow out of your mouth just as the thoughts appear in you mind and you even don’t notice the very existence of thoughts. You just speak. Wonderful! If we always could perform like this… But now let’s see what’s happening in our head when the English speech issue takes place. You try to speak but the words get mixed up, the grammar is a mess, and the thoughts don’t flow naturally. Well – this is your mind gone into the translation mode! Sometimes you have some odd English words trying to push themselves into the wrong places, sometimes it’s your own language – you speak English, but some pieces of your native tongue’s thoughts just wouldn’t leave you. In the worst case scenario your mind switches to a mode of preparing the speech even before you speak it out! This one is really bad because it’s the hardest to fight with. Once I had this kind of an issue and couldn’t get rid of it for days – no matter how I tried to speak I had the second mind in my head working on its own and making the sentences up a moment before I spoke the very words. It feels as if you have two minds indeed. Imagine how the head feels like to work at a double of its capacity! Some of these symptoms have much in common; some are unique – like preparing the speech before the actual conversation. Anyway, the actual cause is the same - this is all because we’ve been taught to think in our language and even now when you can speak fluent English the reflex just wouldn't give up! To put is simply – the English language we use is mostly acquired by studies in the classroom, or by writing, memorizing, reading…in other words – doing everything but learning the language the natural way – like children do, for example. When I moved to an English speaking country my daughters were four. They started attending the school and soon enough they had picked up the basics of the colloquial English. Did they keep a dictionary, or jotted down grammar rules to memorize? No – all they did was – they chatted with the teacher and the classmates and the English language settled itself in their brain as a separate language – not as a translation version of their native language! :idea: I know this feeling very well – I speak another foreign language - Russian. I learnt it while being a little child and it has settled in my brain naturally. And the most funny thing – although my Russian vocabulary is actually smaller than the English one, I never experience a similar issue while speaking Russian. Even despite the fact that I haven’t actively spoken in this language for years. Even when I struggle for a word there are never some stupid thoughts nor words in Russian messing in my head – and as a result – I don’t experience this issue. But don’t despair – we’ll sort everything out and take the control of the language – just keep on reading and soon you’ll see what this is all about! ;-) Another really worrying indication of wrong English studies manifests itself the following way. Quite often I would imagine the word as it is written at the moment of speech. And why? I guess it’s because I used to keep a dictionary and repeat the words every now and then and memorize them as they stand in it. And what happens now is – instead of associating the word with abstract thought my mind just looks it up from my dictionary notebook. In other words – you can’t just speak out that word straight away; you have to spend a split moment to translate its meaning from your native language. :evil: This is less likely going to happen when the vocabulary is built not memorizing separate words but in real conversations – the very abstract meaning settles in your brain and there’s no need for your mind to look for something in the entries of your virtual vocabulary. But this all is especially visible at school English lessons – we all tend to think that writing down words and mechanically memorizing them will make our language better and more fluent. So wrong, it is all so wrong! :!: A language consists of thoughts, of phrases. Learning words and sticking them together is not going to make your English fluent! It’s all about the translation – if you try to use separate words as links to build the chain – sentence – you will use your native tongue in your mind. But you’ve got to think the language to speak it! OK – now we’re grown ups, we can speak very well and all the previously mentioned stuff shouldn’t present any problems…Still sometimes it does! So, how to fight this reflex and move permanently into a state of confident English? Is this issue purely based on anxiety and can you by calming down resolve it? My experience has taught me quite a different thing. I would sometimes experience incredible drops in the ability to communicate without the slightest touch of worrying or anxiety whatsoever! Well, I think you now got the main point – we have to eradicate the subconscious habit of translating from our native tongue into English! :idea: Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
13 Music Idioms- Learning with Theme
Why So Many Foreigners CAN’T Speak Fluent English?
Are you a foreign English speaker? Is your overall English knowledge very good but you struggle to speak English fluently and sometimes you even get stuck for words in the middle of a conversation? Then you may be suffering from the so-called ‘writing mode’ syndrome which is widespread among those foreigners who’ve spent long years learning and studying English mainly by reading and writing! What happens when you spend most of your time learning grammar and filling in gaps in textbooks is the following: your brain gets used to constructing sentences by carefully picking the right English words and arranging them according to grammar rules. It works perfectly when sitting English exams and doing written tests, but when speaking with real people in real life, your mind works in the same ‘writing mode’ and it can’t keep up with the speed of a natural conversation! Lots of English reading won’t help to fix this problem either simply because it builds your passive vocabulary, but when you speak, you utilize your active vocabulary which consists of words, phrases and sentences you can speak without much effort – they have to come out of your mouth by themselves! Are you eager to find out how to make the transition from this terrible ‘writing mode’ into a ‘speaking mode’ and stop preparing speech in your head all the time? (more…)
English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!
What Typing Has in Common With Spoken English Performance
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…)
Warning! Don’t Start Improving Your English Before Watching THIS!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-IGQFq0-gc You’ve figured out that your English needs improvement. You’ve been putting it off for a long time but finally you’re ready to get down to the business. Maybe it’s the circumstances forcing you to start working on your English improvement – such as moving to an English speaking country or facing English speaking customers at work. Maybe you just feel like starting something new and refreshing your English knowledge sounds like a good idea. Whatever the reason – don’t jump into 101 activities for improving your English unless you’ve watched the 25th English Harmony Video Episode! It’s a MUST see video if you don’t want to end up in a vicious circle of chasing your tail :!: (more…)
Is Learning English grammar not important for speaking?
Fluency Star Case Study: Sergi and His English Fluency Improvement
English Idiomatic Expression: “Couldn’t Put My Finger On It”
16 ways to walk in English
Hey there everyone, How are you all doing today? "Do you know the man you saw yesterday in the park was ambling instead of just walking?" "The rogues rambled around in the vicinity of our society this afternoon." In both sentences above, ‘the man’ and ‘the rogues’ were just walking, but the way they walked is best defined by the words ‘ramble’ and ‘amble’. People walk differently with different mood and intentions, hence situations give birth to new words describing it even more clearly rather than just using the word ‘walk’. Hence, in this article today, we see 16 ways to walk and what it means. So without further ado, let’s get down to the topic and learn some new vocabulary describing ways to walk- 16 words describing ways to walk 1: Amble- to walk leisurely. Example: The newly wedded couple ambled beside the beach and shared the words of love. 2: Flounder- to walk with difficulty due to some problem. Example: The old man floundered around in the water. 3: Limp- walk impeded due to some injury. Example- The player limped off the ground after being hit by the ball on his toe. 4: Strut- to walk in a proud way trying to look important. Example: Robin strutted around the hall to get every girl's attention. 5: Stroll- walk in a leisurely way. Example: I love to stroll along the beach after the sunset. 6: Stride- to walk in long steps. Example: He strode in the balcony thinking about his bitter past. 7: Stalk- to walk in an angry or proud way. Example: She stalked out of the room after we questioned her why she failed the test. 8: Stagger- Walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall. Example: He entered staggering into the room. 9: Waddle- walk unsteadily Example: The poor man waddled due to swollen legs. 10: Stumble- to miss a step and fall. Example: He stumbled over his son’s toy. 11: Trudge- to walk slowly with a lot of effort, especially over a different surface or while carrying something heavy. Example: The mountaineer trudged back up the hill. 12- Skulk- move stealthily. Example: We called the police when we saw an unknown man skulking in the bushes. 13: Saunter-to walk in a slow, relaxed way, often in no particular direction. Example: I saw John sauntering in the park yesterday. 14: lurch- a sudden movement forward or to one side. Example: Joe lurched to his feet at dance practice today. 15: Parade- to march in a procession Example: The military officers paraded during Independence Day celebration. 16: Wade- to walk with effort through water or other liquid or viscous substance. Example- They waded out till the water reached their waist. So I hope you will know the difference from next time, whether you should use ‘saunter’, ‘wade’ or ‘ramble’. Each word has a different meaning that describes the particular situation to the listener, moreover, you are definitely earning a plus point if you use these words in your written English (Today’s tip!!!!!) Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they become your second nature. See you soon with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye.
Planning Your Answer Goes a Long Way: How to Answer Unexpected Questions
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #11: GOT A THING FOR
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #37: YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dtTbuc2lLo Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Morning! Today’s American English phrase is YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?, and it’s a very handy phrase for situations when you’re approaching a group of people with an intent to tell them some news. And by the way, this phrase is a typical example of how we can omit words in conversational English, and while some perfectionists will consider such a grammar construct a mistake, in reality it’s exactly how people are speaking in real life! Obviously, grammatically correct way of wording this phrase would be the following: “Have you guys heard about?” or “Did you guys hear about?” – depending on context. In real life conversations, however, native English speakers quite often omit the auxiliary verbs from the beginning of sentences, and the resulting sentence is something of a crossbreed between a question and a statement. And if you think about it, this phrase YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT? doesn’t even follow any English grammar rules! (more…)