4 Reasons Why Any Foreign English Speaker Should Read English Fiction
My blog and also the whole English Harmony project are all about spoken English fluency and how to overcome related confidence issues. Reading English fiction most of the time, as I’ve pointed out numerous times throughout my blog posts, won’t help you improve your spoken English fluency and you still need to spend a considerable amount of time speaking English with other people in order to do that. Nonetheless, reading English fiction will definitely help you as a foreign English speaker. After all - who else can judge the usefulness of this pastime other than me - Robby, who reads whenever there’s free time available? At launch breaks at work, in bed before sleep, while waiting on appointments … sitting at an open window on a sunny Sunday morning and drinking coffee – all those and many more occasions are perfect for forgetting yourself while being immersed in events depicted by some English writer. (more…)
English Collocation: “Well Thought Through”
In this blog post I’m going to focus on the following English collocation: “well thought through”. It’s just another way of saying “well planned”, and it’s how native English speakers – or fluent foreign English speakers! – would speak in circumstances when they have to describe a very well planned activity, arrangement, or even a physical object or structure. Anything can be well thought through. A well thought through business development plan. A very well thought through fire escape route which ensures the fastest evacuation of company’s employees in the case of fire. Furniture in your house can be arranged in a very well thought through fashion ensuring the optimal functionality and creating a nice impression. (more…)
1,000,000 English Grammar Questions Answered by Robby
Download PDF version of this article HERE! Hi guys! ;-) In this article I’ve combined all the English grammar-related questions from your comments on my previous article where I asked you to ask me any grammar questions that have been bothering you lately. I’m going to answer all of your questions in an easy-to-understand manner so as to not make you even more confused. I mean – what’s the point in providing an answer if it’s even more confusing than the original question, right? So basically when answering the questions, I’m not going to start throwing a lot of grammar-related terms around. Instead, I’ll provide simple and commonly used examples of how this or that particular grammar construct is to be used correctly and then you can take my advice on board and start using it the same way. Remember – it’s by far easier to learn one or two ways of using a certain grammar rule than to try and apply that rule on your entire speech! If you try to do the latter, you’ll start analyzing your speech too much and that will inevitably lead to fluency issues. So, without a further ado, let’s cut to the chase and let me answer all of your questions, my dear blog readers! Needless to say – you’re welcome to ask more questions in the comments section below! :grin: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Learning 50 American English Phrases in 25 Days!
3 Easy Steps of Dealing With Fear of Public Speaking for Non-native English Speakers
Are you afraid of speaking in public – be it a company meeting, parents meeting at school or a college presentation where you’re required to speak in front of the entire class? Truth be told – most people are afraid of speaking in public, but to make matters worse, we’re in a situation of being non-native English speakers thus making us even MORE vulnerable to possible hick-ups during the speech! I mean – where the native English speaker has to deal with anxiety and stage fever, we also have to deal with our English fluency issues which are most likely to get exacerbated while we’re freaking out on the stage or in front of expectant listeners, so I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that dealing with public speaking anxiety is even more difficult for foreigners like me and you! It shouldn’t deter you from dealing with the issue though, and if you have an important meeting or a presentation coming up soon, please read the rest of this article where I’m going to tell you EXACTLY how to deal with your fear of public speaking by: Accepting and embracing you fear; Preparing for the event by a way of speech automation; Lessening your anxiety through worst case scenario analysis! So what are you waiting for? Read this article and deal with your public speaking anxiety in 3 easy steps :!: (more…)
Story About Not Being Able to Speak in English in the Morning and Speaking 100% FLUENTLY in the Afternoon!
Do You Really NEED to Improve Your Spoken English?
It may sound like a completely mad question on an English improving blog. Especially taking into account I’m a passionate proponent of English speaking practice as the main activity for improving anyone’s English. What you probably don’t know about me is that I’m also a vehement proponent of practicality in all aspects of life with English being not an exception. I strongly believe that you are what you do and regarding English improving it translates into your English is what you do :!: To put it simply, you have to look at it from the following perspective. It’s your daily activities that determine which aspects of English you’re relying upon most. If you live in a foreign country and use English mostly for surfing the Net and watching English TV channels, that is what you actually need your English for. Also if you don’t get many opportunities to communicate with other English speakers, you won’t be needing spoken English skills as badly as someone who has moved to an English speaking country or works, for instance, as a cell centre operator supporting English speaking customers. To dispel any confusion that might arise from what I just said clashing with my usual “English is a tool for communication first and foremost!”, please note that my blog and the whole English Harmony project is dedicated to those foreign English speakers who need to speak English regularly, but struggle with it. The point I’m trying to make in this blog post is the following – if you don’t need to communicate using English because of specific circumstances, probably you shouldn’t be overly concerned about improving your spoken English (unless you need it in the foreseeable future, of course!) (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression – “Opportunity Presents Itself”
Why When We Stress Out Our Fluency Deteriorates?
Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking?
Are you facing a situation where even after a longer period of time you’re not seeing any significant English fluency improvement? Are you doing everything imaginable in order to develop your English fluency but it just doesn’t seem to be happening? Are you: Watching TV series and documentaries Reading English newspapers and fiction Learning a lot of English idiomatic expressions Speaking in English with others for at least 1 hour a day… …only to discover you still run into all sorts of fluency related issues? RE-EVALUATE. Look at your fluency improvement routine and ask yourself a single question: (more…)
Collocation “Scour the Web” & Why the Word “Scour” on its Own is Useless!
Hi Guys! It’s another Friday night, and I just recorded a video for you where I’m providing a great example of how English collocations work and most importantly – why it’s of the utmost importance to learn new English words in combination with other words instead of memorizing their individual meanings! So, watch the video above and if you have ANY questions in relation with: English collocations; building English vocabulary effectively; best ways to practice your spoken English… … just post it in the comments section below and I’ll respond to the comment ASAP! Enough said – click on the PLAY button above, sit back and watch the video :!: Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “To Go the Extra Mile”
You Have to SUCK at Spoken English Fluency in Order to SUCCEED!
You know what I think was one of the crucial factors determining my personal English fluency development? BEING SUCKER AT IT for a long time. How come? Well, it’s fairly simple and straightforward: I struggled with my English fluency and it made me really DRIVEN to succeed; I worked the HARDER to achieve my goal of fluent English; As a result, I ACCELERATED my spoken English improvement and made real gains in the ability to communicate in English properly :!: So all the while I was being really unhappy about my limited ability to speak without interruptions and hesitations, in reality all that struggling made me into a FASTER and more EFFICIENT English learner. If I had the power to change the past and learn English the proper way without too much focus on writing and reading, would I do it? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt! Do I regret my past with all its fluency issue related trials and tribulations? NO! :grin: As I already said, I believe that all this struggling with my fluency provided me with even MORE motivation and hunger to achieve a complete spoken English fluency one day! And here’s what’s in it for you, my fellow foreign English speakers. (more…)
35 Perfect Ways of Starting Sentences in English!
You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot of Time on Reading English Fiction in Order to Read LOADS!
Sometimes it feels as if I’m literally devouring my books instead of reading them – currently I’m already on my fourth GONE series book called PLAGUE but it only seems like yesterday when I was reading LIES which is the third book in the series. And please note that you wouldn’t normally see me lounging on a couch in my living room and reading; I’m not using public transport to commute to work every day either which would be a perfect time for reading (I use car instead). Also please bear in mind that I spend pretty much my entire free time on writing articles, recording videos and providing customer support to my English Harmony and Fluency Gym customers, so quite naturally it all begs the simple question: Where do I find enough time to read all those English fiction books if I’m so busy? This year, for example, I’ve already read the MAZE RUNNER series followed by a couple individual books and now I’m more than halfway through the GONE series. Now, do you want to be privy to the information on how to manage to read a lot of English fiction while actually spending very little extra time on it? Then keep reading this article and you’ll find out EXACTLY how I manage to pull it off! (more…)
Shocking Reality About Foreign Accent and Fluent English
Do you speak English with a foreign accent? The chances are that you do because you arrived on my blog which is dedicated to foreign English speakers! Do you hate your accent and wish you’d never been born in a foreign country? Before you answer this question – think twice, because what you’re about to discover in this video episode might change your perception regarding your foreign accent and pronunciation! Watch the 24# Video Episode where I’m discussing the connection between English pronunciation and English fluency. And if you can’t watch the video for some technical reasons – you can read the video’s script below! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Run the Risk of…”
If you’ve been ignoring the power of English idiomatic expressions, you’re running the risk of not being able to express yourself in a native-like way! Today’s expression is “to run the risk of”, and I’m sure you noticed that I used this phrase in the previous sentence, didn’t you? ;-) When you learn this idiomatic expression, don’t try to analyze it too much, don’t try to make mental notes of this phrase being yet another one of those featuring the verb ‘to run’ (similar to “to run off” or “to run out of something”) and definitely don’t try to put all those idiomatic expressions containing the verb ‘to run’ under the same category! If you’re anything serious about your English fluency, you must look at every new phrase and expression individually, so this one – “to run the risk of” – is ONLY EVER to associate with words that it would go with in a natural conversation: (more…)
Skype Based English Teaching – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms
Hello my dear fellow foreign English speaker from YearOfEnglish.com! I’m back again with yet another funny English phrase video, and in this particular installment I’ve done a role play around sports-related conversations people would normally have when discussing last night’s game or while watching a live baseball or football match. You might and you might not be a sporty person, but whichever is the case, some of these sports-related English idioms will definitely come in handy for you at some stage in life. Especially considering the fact that many of those idioms can be used in figurative speech to describe completely different concepts – it doesn’t necessarily have to be sports :!: Want to see it for yourself? Then watch the video above, and you can also refer to its transcript below: (more…)
Forget About “Words of the Day” – Learn How to Use Known Words in a New Way!
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
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! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)
11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me
Learning English Phrases Beats Learning Individual Words Hands Down!
Counting in English Helps Your Fluency!
Believe it or not, aside from running the English Harmony blog, I have a full time job! I work in a knitwear manufacturing company, and my job involves packing customers’ orders so there’s a lot of counting going on. Sometimes I spend entire days looking at order printouts and calling out product codes and quantities to myself while I’m packing the respective garments. Can you guess where this is all leading to? Yes, I do all counting and number crunching in English :!: “Is it a big deal?” you may ask. “Why should I bother myself with counting in English while working in similar conditions? I use English when I need to talk to someone, but other than that I’m happy to use my native language when being on my own and doing mundane tasks at work!” With all due respect, my dear blog reader, but I have to disagree! Partially it's because I always tend to disagree with popular beliefs and assumptions, but for the most part it's because it's very IMPORTANT to develop one's ability to THINK in English. So read on to find out WHY counting merchandise at work or calling our product codes to yourself in English is beneficial to your English fluency :!: (more…)
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…)
English Has Brought the World Together!
SUPER Important for English Fluency: SLOW Down Your Speech!
I can’t stress enough how important it is NOT to try and speak very fast! I’ve been doing it myself for a long, long time – mostly to impress others and HERE you can read why trying to impress others is a really stupid idea. You know yourself how it goes – you’re speaking with someone and you want the other person to feel how good your English is. It’s as if you are COMPELLED to speak as fast as native English speakers, which is also a very stupid idea on two accounts: First – people will notice that you’re a foreigner ANYWAY, Second – you should NEVER COMPARE your English with that of others because it will always make you feel inadequate! I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that speaking too fast is one of the BIGGEST mistakes all foreign English speakers are making all over the world :!: It’s the reason #1 why non-native speakers get stuck for words in English. It’s the reason #1 why we mispronounce words when speaking in English. And it’s the reason #1 why we think we suck at speaking in English. The solution to this issue is quite obvious, as a matter of fact – it’s staring right in your face: SLOW YOUR SPEECH DOWN! In real life, however, it’s easier said than done. Unless someone tells you: “Hey, just slow down a bit and you’ll be able to speak so much more fluently!”, for some strange reason you’re unable to figure it out for yourself. And even when you know you should be speaking slower, you still catch yourself trying to speak faster than your natural ability allows you. It’s like a vicious circle that you find very, very hard to get out of. So, keep reading this article and you’ll learn: Why you’re trying to speak in English very fast; Why fast speech is very detrimental to your fluency; What you can do to overcome this problem! (more…)
Mad Stuff – Speaking With Hard Foreign Accent to Facilitate English Fluency
Thinking in English Happens With Your Mouth
This video is dedicated to Juhapekka’s last comment on my blog where he says that he’d really like to be able to think about the most sophisticated and complex subjects in English, but he’s not really able to. Juhapekka is a Finnish guy and he’s a frequent commentator on my blog - he’s posted a good few comments and they’re very profound and I really, really appreciate his contribution to my blog. So, thank you once more Juhapekka! ;-) But now let’s get down to the business and let me respond to the actual comment. Let me tell you right up-front that it’s going to be useful to everyone – not just Juhapekka – so just watch the video above (or listen to the audio file just above the video in case you can’t access YouTube content) and you’ll definitely find something useful for your own English improvement routine. (more…)
You’ll Never Need Legal English Terms and Vocabulary – Way Too Specific!
How Do I Force Myself Into Reading English Fiction?
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #19: TELLTALE SIGN
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi guys! This morning I’m bringing you a new American English phrase – TELLTALE SIGN. Have you not heard this one before? Well, I hadn’t come across it either until one fine day I encountered it while reading one of the GONE series books and decided to add it onto the fifty American phrases I’m learning as part of this Fluency Gym Coach Program goal! So, what is a TELLTALE SIGN? Well, this time around I’m not going to reveal a single bit of information to you in writing; you’ll have to watch the video above to find out what a TELLTALE SIGN is! Am I being mean? :-( Well, maybe, but then again, why couldn’t this blog post be different in that you simply HAVE to watch the video to find out the meaning of the phrase? Robby :grin: