Many Native English Speakers Don’t Realize How HARD It Actually Is to Learn a Language!
Have you ever heard a native English speaker make a comment about some foreigner which clearly shows their irritation with the fact that the said foreigner doesn’t speak in English fluently enough or can’t understand what the native English speaker is saying? I’ve been the target of such judgmental, opinionated thinking myself as well as witnessed other foreigners becoming targets of unfair treatment just because they didn’t understand what they were told or weren’t able to say something in English, and here’s a typical scenario of how such treatment manifests itself: A native English speaker says something to a foreigner very fast, or even worse – with a strong local accent. The foreigner has NO IDEA what he was just told, and oftentimes he’s too embarrassed to say anything in response – he’s just smiling or nodding his head in agreement just so that the native English speaker would go away and leave him alone. The native English speaker then makes a comment about the whole situation by saying something along the lines of: “It’s about time they started learning some English…” or “He’s been working here for so long and still he has no English at all!” All I can say about that is the following – those native English speakers have NO IDEA of how difficult it actually is to learn a language :!: They have no idea that it’s impossible for foreigners to learn English by listening to very fast speech spoken by locals so they don’t even bother slowing their speech down thus making it impossible for the non-native speaker to understand them. They think that English is somehow “picked up” by foreigners simply being around English speakers, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. One has to make a lot of CONSCIOUS effort in order to learn English and be able to understand others as well as speak the language, and it requires many hours of spoken English practice to get to a level where the foreign English speaker can finally start speaking with other people in English comfortably. Some native English speakers may have been lead to believe that picking up English is fairly simple by the analogy of small foreign children of pre-school age – they start speaking in English pretty fast once they start going to a kindergarten or school so surely adult foreigners should be capable of the same, right? Not really :!: You can’t really compare small children with adults because children have no fear of making mistakes and they can speak ALL THE TIME thus improving their English very fast whereas for many adult foreigners at work opportunities to speak are quite limited – not to mention the embarrassment and judgmental treatment which are LIMITING their potential. All in all, learning English is quite a tricky process for the average foreigner, so let’s look at the various aspects of it a little bit deeper. (more…)
Using Past Participles As Adjectives vs Passive Voice
Car Video #3: Spontaneous Speech vs Slow Speech
Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggHds15I-HQ I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos a couple of days ago, here’s the full text of it: Thanks a million Robby for the time and efforts you dedicate to help us. My biggest lifetime mistake was that I always underestimated the importance of watching movies in achieving the desirable command of English; because I used to think that it's not very SEXY for well-educated persons to waste their time on movies! What happened then? Now, I am a doctoral student who writes impressive formal law review articles but he sucks at speaking! This is really a shame: when I am invited to give a presentation as if I am invited to be hanged... Once, when I was doing my LLM in Sweden, our course coordinator called me into her office and told me this article cannot be yours! You can imagine how that could be disappointing! So, heed my advice everyone and NEVER IGNORE MOVIES...use it or lose it! Now, first of all, I can totally relate to the fact that this person has developed their WRITTEN English to a very high degree while at the same time neglecting the SPOKEN language. (more…)
11 Reasons Why the English Language Is Super-Easy to Learn and Speak
Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself! I’ve been an English speaker for the better part of my life, and I’ve always found this language quite easy to learn and speak. Now, when I’m saying “easy to learn and speak”, I don’t mean to say that nobody has any problems when learning and speaking in English. I’m only too well aware that millions of foreign English speakers just like me are struggling with English. But guess what? We’re struggling for all the wrong reasons! We find it hard to learn and speak in English because we tend to use the wrong learning methods, we tend to over-analyze every single aspect of English from the grammar standpoint, and we focus too much on the irregularities of the language. I mean – show me a language that doesn’t have any irregularities except for artificial ones such as Esperanto? Any language on the planet has something unique about it, and the fact of the matter is that we can find all the reasons in the world why it’s very difficult to for us to learn English. There’s irregular verbs, irregular nouns, thousands upon thousands of phrasal verbs, hundreds of grammar rules and exceptions to those rules, spelling irregularities – the list goes on and on, and if we choose to go with this perceived difficulty of the language, then I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t write an article called “Why English is the most difficult language on the planet to learn and speak”! Except that I choose to look past those perceived difficulties which can all be easily overcome once you embrace contextual learning of the English language. Instead, I choose to see how easy English is, so keep reading to find out why English is super-easy to learn and speak! Also, please bear in mind that I’m not claiming that English is THE EASIEST language to learn. I’m not making any comparisons here, I’m merely going to list facts about English that illustrate how easy it is to learn and speak it. (more…)
Wake Up from the English Grammar Matrix!
English Idiom: “Steer Clear”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiBNlMg6pdc Hello my friends non-native English speakers! Today we’re going to look at the following English idiom: STEER CLEAR and how to use it in your daily English conversations. So, first of all let’s do some Google search to validate this English expression and make sure that it actually exists. To accomplish that, we just need to enter the phrase STEER CLEAR into the Google search bar in quotation marks (it’s very important!) and hit “Enter”: As you can see, there are more than 6 million search results returned containing the phrase STEER CLEAR which means it’s a very valid English expression. Next, have a look at the top search results: (more…)
Why It’s VERY Important to Speak Out LOUD When Learning New English Vocabulary Words!
Check Out My First EVER Interviews – All About Me, English Fluency & How To Stop Struggling When Speaking in English!
Â Recently I got interviewed by two English teachers for their websites – Ben who lives in Spain and Nate who’s settled down in Japan. These are my first interviews I’ve ever done, and as you can imagine, I had to use some of my own English fluency management strategies to keep a cool head, gather my thoughts and speak fluently because stress levels were high – especially in the beginning of those interviews! :grin: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! And here you can watch 2 YouTube videos containing fragments from my interview with Ben: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ZWgF1pCy8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTQ39kQxee8 Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! What you can expect to hear in those interviews is pretty much everything about my background as a foreign English speaker – starting from my years long struggling to speak English fluently and ending with useful tips for my fellow foreigners on how to maintain fluent English speech. You'll also find out in those interviews: what is a "writing mode" of your mind and why it prevents you from speaking English fluently (interview with Ben) why speaking with yourself is the best way to improve your English when there's no-one to talk to (interview with Nate) and a whole lot more! So if you've got nothing to do on this Friday night (or any other day of the week), sit down at your laptop or PC and listen to me spilling the beans about what real English fluency is all about: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! Let me know what you think in the comments below! ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”
Read This if You’re Dreading Making Phone Calls in English!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Needless To Say”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxhjUfwfnck Hello boys and girls, I’m back with another English idiomatic expression! This time around I’m going to look at the following phrase: “needless to say”, and I think this one is quite self-explanatory. Basically you can use this phrase whenever you’re going to say something common sense, something that is very logical and straightforward, something that may as well not be said because it kind of goes without saying. Let’s say, for example, you’re filling your friend in on something that happened while he wasn’t at work, and here’s what you’re saying: “… and then Jane told him everything she thought of him and needless to say, he hasn’t spoken to her since!” (more…)
English Sentence Starter: “I Can See Where You’re Coming From”
Asking for And Giving Directions in English – So Trivial Yet Essential!
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…)
16 ways to walk in English
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 Words I Used to Mispronounce
At this stage I’ve lived in an English speaking country for more than 12 years, and I can call myself an English speaker for more than that because I was speaking the language long before I came to Ireland all those years ago. Anyway, having been an English speaker for so long doesn’t mean my language is free from errors. Every now and then I realize I’ve been making some sort of a mistake. It might be a specific English word that I’ve been using wrong. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I found out that the English word “deal-breaker” has a negative connotation rather than a positive one! I thought that if something is a “deal-breaker”, it’s the most appealing feature among all others, but it turns out it’s quite the opposite – a “deal-breaker” is the biggest risk factor! It could also be an English idiomatic expression I’ve been using the wrong way. Only this week I found out that the idiom “rule of thumb” doesn’t actually mean a very strict rule – which is what I’d thought – it actually means a general rule that can be widely applied. On some occasions though, it turns out I’ve been MISPRONOUNCING a specific word for years without realizing it, and that’s what today’s article is all about! Before we begin, just let me tell you one thing – making these kinds of mistakes is completely normal! Nobody is perfect, and I know for a fact I’ll keep correcting my English till the day I die – but I’m not feeling like my English sucks because of it. I just do it as a normal part of my English improving process, and I warmly suggest you approach your own errors the same way! And now, without further ado, let’s look at the English words I’d been mispronouncing without realizing it! (more…)
Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again
Is It Possible to Become TOTALLY Fluent In English After 24 Years?
English Idiomatic Expression: “In This Day and Age”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfrYCefkn1Q Today we’re going to look at the following English idiomatic expression: “In this day and age”. It’s very relevant when discussing various issues in connection with modern times such as technology or any other aspect of our lives that has seen rapid improvement. To see what exactly I mean by that however, you should definitely watch the video above because I’ve included a lot of examples in it on how to use this English phrase. In this day and age recording videos is easier than ever, and also publishing them on YouTube is very straightforward. It can be literally done with a push of a button, and it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of it! But if you’ve been reading this article, you surely noticed I already provided an example of the phrase “in this day and age” – the previous paragraph actually begins with this idiomatic expression. (more…)
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
Funny English Phrases: Discussing Relationships
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G2ecxdObN4 Are you YearOfEnglish.com member? If not – you still have a chance to subscribe to that website HERE and receive various English fluency improvement related information tips in your e-mail till the end of this year! If yes – you’re welcome to watch the funny English phrase video above I’ve prepared for you! This time around I've stuffed the video full with phrases that might come in handy when you discuss your relationship with a friend of yours. Yes, I know it’s not good to talk about people behind their back – especially if the person in question is your partner, girlfriend or spouse. Still, it’s one of the things people do when they’ve had a bad day at home and they want to unwind – they meet up with their friends and share those experiences with them… After all – what are friends meant for?! :grin: (more…)
30-Day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 3- Traffic
Learning English Phrases Beats Learning Individual Words Hands Down!
Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04h0DOgO1ec In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby
Using Native Language in the English Class? Non-sense!
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 14- Angry and Irritated?
English Idiomatic Expression: “You may want to…”
Have you heard this popular English phrase – “You may want to (do something)”? It’s used by English speakers worldwide, and it’s very handy to have it in your active phraseology because of the following reasons: You can use it instead of “you should…” but you don’t want to sound as if you’re giving orders; You want to give someone unsolicited advice but you don’t want to fall out with them in case the other person doesn’t take well to being told what to do! Basically the phrase “You may want to…” can be used if you want to come across as a friendly person and you want to avoid any miscommunication that might potentially cause a negative reaction to what you’re saying. To find out more – and also to hear some examples in this phrase in use – please watch the video above! I hope you’ll find this video useful, and also don’t forget to repeat and memorize the phrase – that’s the only way you can add it onto your active vocabulary. And did I say “you may also want to come up with some sample sentences on your own using the phrase “you may want to” and use them in your spoken English self-practice session?” ;-) Chat soon, Robby
Do I Speak at the Same Speed in Real Life as in My Videos & How to Maintain Optimal Speed of Speech
How to Talk About a Subject in English for a LONG Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR0LrAGwgP8 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi, guys! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com with another video blogpost. Now, this time around, I'm going to be looking at the following question: “How to provide lengthy answers?” Say, for example, you are asked a question and the situation demands that you provide quite a lengthy answer. Normally, it's totally fine to answer using very simple, short sentences. Actually, it's one of the ways of getting your fluency back on track, and you may want to check out this particular article where I'm touching upon that subject, that there's nothing wrong with speaking in very short sentences because, for most foreign English speakers who are having these fluency issues, it's very challenging to speak using very long sentences. Oftentimes, those people will get very confused and it's all too overwhelming to handle that much information in one go. It's best to separate your thoughts into little, manageable pieces, right? But, other situations such as, for example, English exams, demand that you provide quite lengthy answers. Obviously, it just doesn't cut it in situations such as exams if you just provide one, short sentence as an answer, right? In most daily situations, that's totally fine. But, what to do if you find yourself in such a situation where you are actually required to provide quite a lengthy answer? And, as a matter of fact, this is a question asked by one of my blog commentators and here's the exact question, right? I'm going to quote: "I see you carry on for a long time discussing about a topic. How do you do this? Do you follow a certain method for a long time conversation on the topic? Please help me!” (more…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 25- Offense
I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?
How To Increase Your English Fluency By 100% in Less Than 12h!
If you think I chose the headline just to catch your attention and lure you into reading this blog post – well, this is not the case. Your rational mind is screaming against it but I know from my own experience that it is indeed possible to speak TWICE as fluently within a 12 hour period after experiencing a typical English fluency problem! So at the moment you could be barely capable of putting a few English words together and you’d feel like a total loser when it comes to speaking English. But if you follow the method described in this article you can perform unbelievably well when you have to communicate English the next day. It’s extremely important when you face job interviews, verbal exams, presentations and meetings. In others words – any occasion when you’re expected to speak and convey your message in English but you’re not sure about the level of your performance due to bad experiences in the past in similar situations. So if you experience the following symptoms: constant mind-chatter whenever you attempt to speak English; a feeling as if you have dozens of voices whispering English words and phrases in your head making it extremely difficult to concentrate; difficulties with pronouncing English words – you’re making silly mistakes in nearly every sentence for no obvious reason; ‘on the tip of my tongue’ feeling – you know what you want to say but it doesn’t come out of your mouth… … then read on and discover how to overcome this English speech anxiety and increase your English fluency by 100% in less than12 hours! (more…)