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…)
3 Basic Rules of Effective English Communication
Do You Know All of These English Expressions Involving the Word TIME?
3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain
When fluent English speakers speak, they don’t stick separate words together. Every word they pronounce automatically triggers the next one; the whole sentence is rather a chain of words linked together. Let’s say, for example, you’re asked a question “Would you like to come along to a party on Saturday night?” Most likely your response would begin with words “Thanks for…” and then you’d follow it by either “…asking” or “…inviting”, and come to think of it, when you pronounce the first words “thanks for…” the rest of the phrase kind of comes out of your mouth by itself, doesn’t it? That’s a typical example of collocating English words – they would normally go together in spoken and also written English, and foreign English speakers find it much easier to speak if their vocabulary has been built based on collocations as opposed to memorizing separate words. Well, the aforementioned phrase was a very simple response, and most likely you’d be able to respond using such a simple phrase even if you didn’t memorize it as a single unit of spoken language. Yet I’d say you picked it up by mimicking other English speakers because you surely must have heard someone say “Thanks for asking” or “Thanks for inviting” and that’s why the phrase got imprinted into your mind. Of course, by listening alone you won’t become fluent, you need to speak to add new phrases to your active English vocabulary, but I can’t deny that it does work to some extent. Anyway, when the wrong methods are used and wrong associations between English words are established, you may unwillingly create unnatural collocations. They manifest themselves in the following way – you start speaking by saying a word or two, but instead of continuing with a word that logically complements the phrase, you say something completely unrelated, something out of context, so to speak. OR, such out-of-place words may start pushing themselves into your mind even before you speak, and you may get a feeling as if someone else has taken control of your mind. Freaky? That’s how I used to feel and that’s how many other foreign English speakers feel if they use the wrong English learning methods. But now I’m going to list the worst of them so that you can avoid them like the plague! (more…)
Best Tricks to Practice Your English Language with Native Speakers For Free
Hello English language learners! As you probably discovered during your studies, native speakers are the best way to build fluency, learn pronunciation, gestures, and receive more benefits compared to studying with other learners. Whether you’ve started learning a couple of months ago or you already can show off your language skills to native speakers, choosing this option is the best way to advance quickly. But what if you’re struggling to find native speakers in your city? How can one find them and ask for practice? Don’t worry, there are plenty of great opportunities you can take advantage of to get in touch with English native speakers. They are presented below (all of them are free!). (more…)
How to Use English Verb TO MAKE In a Lot of Different Ways
Must-Follow YouTube Channels by Foreign English Speakers!
I’ve been publishing videos on my English Harmony YouTube channel for a good few years now, and there was a time when I thought I was pretty much the only foreign English speaker publishing videos on YouTube. Sure enough, I’d seen some videos made by beginner and lower-intermediate English learners in a bid to exercise their spoken English skills, and it’s all nice and well, but what I’m talking about when saying I thought I was the only foreigner publishing videos is a well-established YouTube channel with massive following! Needless to say, I proved wrong. It turns out there are more non-native English speakers publishing on YouTube on a regular basis, and their videos are really interesting and engaging :!: Well, you see – probably the biggest obstacle in finding such YouTube channels was the fact that initially I was looking only in the English learning and teaching niche. And I’ve got to tell you that in this niche I’m indeed pretty much the only foreigner. Once I started looking beyond English learning and improving though, I started finding well-established YouTube channels where other foreign English speakers were sharing their thoughts and expertise on various other things. And it only goes to show that pretty much the only way to achieve complete English fluency is by enjoying life and things you LOVE instead of focusing on English learning related materials! So, without further ado, let me introduce you to these YouTube channels run by foreign English speakers, and I’m 100% sure you’ll find at least one of them extremely captivating and relevant to your own interests as well as providing an extra motivation to keep improving your spoken English to a level where you could possibly start recording similar videos and who knows… maybe you’ll even start a YouTube channel of your own one day! (more…)
Is It a Problem if Your English is Too Simple, Plain and Lacking Smart Words and Expressions?
“Th” Pronunciation – Thank You or Senk You?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pie_oucVFN8 In video Episode #7 you’ll hear me discuss benefits and drawbacks of pronouncing the voiced and unvoiced English sounds ‘th’ – ð and θ - the traditional way. Generally I’m agreeing with the general English teaching principle of trying to pronounce those sounds as close to their native pronunciation as possible. Nonetheless, there are situations when foreign English speakers are much better off with replacing the ð and θ sounds with easier ones like d and t. I know that many ESL and EFL teachers would kill me for saying that, but I’ll risk it anyway! ;-) (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “For the simple reason that…”
5 Ways to Practice Your Spoken English if You’re Desperate For English Conversations!
Don’t Try to Figure Out What Something Means in English Grammar Terms – It Serves NO Purpose!
English Possessive Case And All The Tricky Stuff!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/sM3-Dknc8N8 Hi Folks, This is the first video in the English Harmony Practical Grammar video series. The grammar videos are still going to be part of my usual video blog. I just came up with this idea of the English Harmony Practical Grammar brand because I know that many of you are using grammar as a starting point to improve your English. But my English grammar lessons will be different – you’ll learn how to use it in real life conversations! I’m not going to repeat what you can find on a million websites on the Internet, or read in any English grammar book. Instead I’ll be giving you interesting and practical interpretation of ordinary English grammar – and it will be much more useful to you, believe me! Moreover, I’ll put all my experience, mistakes and conclusions that I’ve had throughout the years of improving my English into these lessons for the biggest benefit to you! So today’s topic – the possessive case in English language. If you’re not sure what it is – read more about the possessive case here. It’s simple enough, and your English teacher probably didn’t dedicate more than ten minutes to the possessive case in the classroom. However, it’s not that simple at all! I can remember myself struggling with the possessive form of nouns a few years ago – I was applying the same grammar rules on English that I would on my own language. As a result I was using the possessive case way too often! (more…)
How To Achieve Fluent English Reading Knowing Only 70 – 80 % of Vocabulary!
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Recently I watched a TV program about blind people recovering eyesight. What struck me most in the program was the fact that even if you restore a damaged optic nerve to its full capacity, the blind person isn’t necessarily going to function properly in terms of seeing the world around. IMPORTANT! -> Why I’m highlighting parts of text in RED? It appears that in order to see not only we need our eyes; our brain plays a crucial role in the process, too. And what was most shocking – if a person has been blind since birth or very early childhood, he or she may never learn how to “see” the word properly even if technically it would be possible. Human brain is simply unable to process graphical images from the outside world (read - any audiovisual information) and convert them into an adequate reflection into one’s mind IF it hasn’t been trained to do so :!: The man from the TV program had undergone surgery to recover eyesight, but getting around the town was still a tricky task. He learnt to recognize certain shapes and forms, but can you imagine what it feels like when you look down at a shadow on the sidewalk but you haven’t got a clue whether it’s a shadow cast by some object or a foot deep drop where the sidewalk ends? Your brain has been trained to recognize things from an early age and has seen millions of different shades throughout your lifetime. The man with recovered eyesight has to learn everything from scratch which makes it very, very difficult. What’s it got to do with spoken English, you’ll ask? Simple enough – if you’ve spent the biggest part of your live studying English the traditional way and then you move to an English speaking country, you’re in pretty much the same position as the man with the recovered eyesight walking around his residential estate. (more…)
Confidence Lesson From Kristen Stewart For All Foreign English Speakers
English Idiomatic Expression: “For a good while”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PW_VsSTxO8 Today’s idiomatic expression is very simple – FOR A GOOD WHILE. It’s just another way of saying: For quite some time OR For a long time Basically it’s to be used whenever you want to emphasize the fact that the time-frame in question is relatively long, and typically you’d use it in following sentences: (more…)
English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!
English Idiomatic Expressions: “Correct Me if I’m Wrong” & “If I’m not Mistaken”
How to Develop the Gut Feeling for Correct and Natural English
Are you familiar with the feeling when you can’t really explain WHY you know that you have to use certain words when you speak in English but you JUST KNOW IT? It’s the best feeling a foreign English speaker can have and it’s one of the surest signs that you’ve achieved English fluency :!: It simply means you have developed such a high number of contextual links between English words and phrases in you inner vocabulary that you can produce speech automatically and without thinking, and you also instinctively feel what words are the most fitting for the particular situation. It’s based on your past experience, hundreds of hours of spoken English practice, and dozens of other things you’ve been doing while being immersed in the English language. Want to know more about the “gut feeling”, its nature and how to develop it? Then read the entire blog post – you’ll certainly learn something new in it! (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Grammar Construct #35: COME + VERB
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crxLLbZaI7Y Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Five days ago I learned an American English grammar construct whereby you use the verb GO followed directly by another verb. Today I’m learning how to use another English verb in a similar fashion; it’s the verb to COME, to be more specific, Here’s an example: COME SEE ME at 2:00 PM sharp, I’ll be waiting for you at the shopping mall car park exit! What’s so special about the phrase COME SEE ME? Well, before I came across this particular grammar construct in one of the GONE series books, I would have said “Come AND see me at…” It’s not that it would make a massive difference in the message that’s being communicated to the other person; it’s just that native English speakers omit any words in between COME and the verb that follows it in conversational English, and you’ll sound just that little bit more native-like if you adopt the same speech pattern! Other sample sentences where this grammar construct is used: (more…)
English Fluency Issues Is a Blessing in Disguise!
How Repetition Happens in Real English Conversations and Why It’s Important to YOU!
A while back I received a comment to one of my blog posts about how useful the Mythbusters show is for your spoken English improvement saying that writing down phrases in a notebook for later repetition while watching TV removes the fun factor from the experience. Here’s the original comment: I haven't convinced yet to carry pocket dictionary, notebook or even use any type of system that allows me to save new words and phrases for later repetitions, I always think that these methods remove the fun factor from the process of learning, and take you away from the true immersion so you always seem as foreigner to that language. I -and may you also- never carry a notebook while watching TV in our native language, watching TV mostly is a fun activity, you just rest and watch, isn't that right? While I can see where the author of that comment is coming from, I can’t fully agree with his sentiment that by taking notes for later repetition all the fun factor is removed. First of all, you don’t have to do it all the time! Let’s say, you’re watching an episode of a TV drama, and throughout its 40 or 60 minute duration three or four phrases draw your attention. Is it really going to kill your TV watching experience if you pause your TV four times during the episode? Secondly, the benefits of jotting those phrases down and repeating them afterwards by far outweigh all possible hassle that such practices may cause to you. I mean, what is more important to you – your spoken English improvement, or being able to watch a TV drama or sitcom in English without ANY interruptions at all? Thirdly – of course you can watch TV in English purely for your enjoyment every now and then without holding a notebook in your hands. I’ve never said that in order to improve your English fluency, you must sacrifice all your free time and be 100% dedicated to it. After all, even passive English immersion will make the English language seep into your brain without you even noticing it, albeit at a slower rate than being actively engaged in spoken practice and repeating and memorizing new vocabulary and phraseology. But if you’re a bit skeptical about using spaced repetition as an effective spoken English improving tool, I want you to read the rest of this blog post before jumping the gun and dumping the idea completely. Do you think repeating and memorizing English phrases is an unnatural way of improving the language? Then think twice, because I’m about to present hard proof that repetition already exists in real life English conversations, it’s just that you mightn’t have noticed it before! (more…)
Find It Hard to Do Spoken English Practice? Write It Down First!
English Teacher Destroys Student Confidence by Scolding Them? It’s Unacceptable!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dXcUqnjKc This video is a response to one of my blog readers’ e-mails, and he’s painting a pretty dire picture of his English class! Their English teacher makes them read a paragraph out of their textbooks and then the students are required to retell the story using their own words. It’s all nice and well up to the point where she starts scolding those students who are struggling with verbalizing their thoughts :!: IT IS JUST UNACCEPTABLE! What she’s doing is the following: she’s taking a brilliant English fluency improving tool – retelling stories (read more about it in this blog post) – and then she turns it into a confidence destroying machine! It’s mad. As a teaching professional, she’s actually supposed to do the VERY OPPOSITE: (more…)
Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!
From: Robby Kukurs, Author of the English Harmony System My Fellow Foreign English Speaker! Millions of us - foreign English speakers - can read, write and understand English very well, yet when it comes to spoken English fluency, things are not looking that good. Traditional English education focuses on teaching English though our native language thus facilitating translation process as we speak; however, have you ever been told that natural English fluency is impossible unless you eliminate translation? The English language has loads of unique collocations, idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and if you want to sound like a native English speaker you simply need to learn to speak using these means of expression! Same goes with studying English grammar. Many of us, foreigners, are led to believe that we’ll achieve English fluency if we study English grammar hard. It’s nonsense! Wake up from the English grammar Matrix! If you learn English grammar rules separately out of context, you’ll never achieve natural English fluency because you’ll be overwhelmed with analyzing your own speech and making sure that it corresponds with the respective grammar rules. Fluent English speech is supposed to be spontaneous, you have to speak automatically and it can be best achieved by spending an awful lot of time among other English speakers and mimicking what they say. Sure, you have to speak correctly, I’m not saying you have to disregard English grammar. What I’m saying is – you have to understand that English grammar is present in every correct phrase and sentence, and you don’t need to dissect the English language like a scientist to be able to speak fluently. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J55UL0JgECQ When it comes to speaking fluent English, there’s no better way of getting your speech going that learning idiomatic expressions and using them in your real life conversations! Today is no exception, and what I want to draw your attention to is the very first sentence of this article. “When it comes to…” is a very handy English expression, and I decided to make a video about it to tell you guys how to use it best. This expression – “When it comes to…” – has many equivalent English phrases and expressions. “As for…” “In relation to…” “Speaking of…” … and many more phrases can be used the same way you’d use the one I’m looking at in today’s video. Still, I believe that “When it comes to…” is the most informal and friendliest of them all, and that’s why it’s my personal favorite. But what about you? Have you heard other English speakers use it a lot? Or maybe this is the first time you actually hear this particular expression? Let me know about it in the comments below! Talk to you soon, Robby ;-)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 4- Health and Medicine
Funny English Phrases: Work Related Idioms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOGk4aMXKK4 Hello my friends from YearOfEnglish.com and also everyone else who happens to be reading this blog post right now! It’s been a while since I published the last Funny English Phrases video – it was dedicated to sports related idioms and it went live on June 1 which is 3 and a half months ago!!! The only thing I can say in my defense is that I was extremely busy during the summer working on my new house, and if it’s any good to you, here you can read a couple of English DIY terms I learned as a result of my home refurbishment related activities. Anyhow, let’s get down to business right now, and let’s learn a couple of work related idioms you can use when communicating with your work colleagues regardless of the industry you’re in. Whether you’re an office clerk, warehouse operative or a cashier sitting at the till in a supermarket, you’ll find the following expressions quite handy at times, so here’s what you have to do: (more…)
My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences
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…)
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…)