Robby Kukurs

I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.

I couldn't learn to speak fluent English for 5 years - read about what I was doing to learn to speak fluently HERE - are YOU in the same situation?

Then, one fine day, after years of constant pursuit of English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!

If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.

English Harmony System

Customers Log In HERE

For those foreign English speakers whose English understanding, writing and grammar is already good but they're struggling with spoken English!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Down the line”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNviqdKGkok We never know what’s going to happen down the line – isn’t that right my friends? But let’s not get too pessimistic – after all, it’s time to learn another English idiomatic expression, and I actually just used today’s phrase – “down the line”! ;-) This English idiom is quite simple, and it’s just another way of saying “in the future”. Are you wondering then what’s the difference between the two phrases? Are you asking the question – “Why use ‘down the line’ if I can simply say ‘in the future’?” I warmly suggest you stop asking questions like the ones I just mentioned! They’re not going to avail you of anything apart from only getting you more confused. So please read this blog post I wrote a short while ago about the bad effects of too much question asking and analysing. So, just repeat and memorize today’s phrase “down the line” and watch the video above to see how it’s used in real life so that you can start using it in your daily English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Unnatural Collocations and Wrong Mental Associations

I've highlighted the importance of learning English collocations in many of my previous blog posts; this time let’s look at what happens if you create wrong associations in your mind between words in English as well as in your own language. If it doesn’t sound believable, just think of such quite a realistic situation. An ESL student is learning how to conjugate the verb ‘to be’ so he’s reciting the string of words “I am, you are, he, she, it is, we are, you are, they are…” in order to memorize the personal pronouns with the respective form of the verb ‘to be’. Now, when the student has repeated the aforementioned sequence of words for a good number of times, it imprints itself into his mind, and the desired effect has been achieved. Of course, for those words to stick with the student permanently, he needs to go back to them the next day, and then after a few more days – that’s the basic principle of spaced repetition. Anyway, the job is done, and the English student is now capable of using the verb ‘to be’ in real life conversations, isn’t that right? All right, fair enough! But now let’s try to remember how many times you’ve heard a foreign English speaker mix up the two personal pronouns – ‘he’ and ‘she’ – when speaking? I would say it happens quite often, and by the way – haven’t you made the same mistake at some stage during a quick chat in English? I have, and I have my own theory on why it happens. It’s all because wrong association has been created between the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ when repeating the words “… he, she, it is…” :!: You’re training your mouth to pronounce those two words together in one phrase and later on even years after you were just a beginner English learner, you may catch yourself saying things like “You know, I haven’t seen her before. He… sorry, she… hmm… she is Jennifer’s sister and is going to work here for the next half year while Jen is away.” Had there been a strong separate connection created between words ‘she is and ‘he is’ followed by a contextual example or an abstract image of a male and female, you wouldn’t be making such mistakes. Your subconscious mind would be used to describing activities where females are involved as “she is…”, so I’ll say it once again – it’s all about unnatural collocations, and I have loads of advice in store for you on how to avoid creating wrong associations in your mind! Did it pique your interest? Then read on! (more…)

This English Stuff Is Too Easy, Give Me Something More Difficult!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlhVQCIoeHE

Why So Many Foreigners CAN’T Speak Fluent English?

English Idiomatic Expression: “In the first place”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5mvTxNF8e4 Today's English idiomatic expression is "In the first place", and please watch the video above to hear my examples of how to use this phrase. They mightn't always be the best samples sentences, but you can rest assured that I would never tell you something that is totally wrong - EVER! I might be a foreigner and my spoken English mightn't be exactly native-like; however, I have a pretty decent level of fluency and over the years I've developed a good 'gut feeling' for correct English. Thanks for visiting my blog, and chat to you soon again my friends! Robby ;-)

Super Useful English Phrases Containing the Word CASE

A Quote From “Lies” That Made Me Realize Something…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP15k--P9jo Currently I’m reading the third book in “GONE” series called “LIES” – it’s a cool ultra-blue book (each book in the “GONE” series has the sides covered with color which I’d never seen before!) and it focuses on further developments within FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone). What’s FAYZ? Here’s a short synopsis: Adults are gone. They’ve just disappeared. Perdido Beach has been sealed off the rest of the world by a gigantic dome and kids are forced to fend for themselves. Some kids have developed mutant powers – fire-shooting, anti-gravity – you name it! This might sound like a far-stretched scenario, and I have to admit that we’re little likely to encounter mutant kids in real life. Some things, however, are almost universal, and it’s the way we, humans, behave in emergency situations and unusual circumstances. Whether it’s FAYZ or simply how you react in a situation when your own safety is threatened on the street, for example – that’s when the TRUE “YOU” is being revealed. Such situations shape our personalities, and that’s exactly what I’m talking about in this video! You’re welcome to tune in and you’re also welcome to post comments below! Happy reading, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “You better make sure to”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-18QQiPQtI There are many ways to let the other person know that you want them to follow a certain course of action: You have to… You should… You must… Today’s English idiomatic expression “You better make sure to” carries pretty much the same meaning and is also used when you want the other person to do something and you also want to stress the fact that if they don’t do as suggested, there will be consequences. This expression actually contains a hidden warning message in it – “You better make sure to (or else…), so you’d most likely use this phrase when speaking with someone who won’t mind to be spoken to in a slightly condescending tone – your child or your subordinate at work, for example. (more…)

English Fluency Q & A – Ask Robby – Face-to-face Communication – Improving Overall Fluency

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers. That's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. And this is going to be one of those question and answer sessions whereby I'm answering to emails that my blog visitors have emailed me obviously. Reader’s Question: I’m Fluent, but Not Fluent Enough! What to Do? So the first email is about a particular problem faced by this person and he described the problem the following way. So he can have conversations with anyone and he can understand and reply but he is not as fluent as he would like to be. And in his own words “I'm not able to use a lot of vocabulary because it's very difficult for me to memorize words, therefore my written skill is also very bad. I commit a lot of mistakes in spelling when I write something.” So he basically requests me to give some advice. So first things first, it's of the utmost importance not to perceive all aspects of the English improvement at a same time. So you're saying that you are not as fluent, meaning you can't speak as fluently as you would like to and then you kind of make the connection between that and your written skill, right? So you're saying that therefore my written skill is also very bad, right? So I've got to let you know that there is no direct correlation between your overall fluency and your written fluency. Obviously, obviously, if you can't speak at all for instance chances are that your written fluency is also going to be very bad and vice versa. But what I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of people who can speak no problem while at the same time they struggle with writing and quite the opposite which is actually the most typical case scenario. (more…)

Welcome to English Harmony Podcast!

Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!

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 my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)

Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!

Learn English Irregular Verbs Through Collocations, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

When I used to cram plenty of new English vocabulary words using the wrong techniques (memorizing meaning of the word in my native language, memorizing many meanings of the same word at once), I also memorized loads of irregular English verbs. I had a list of them written down in my notepad and every now and then I’d go back to them to review the irregular verbs and make sure I knew every single one of them. Many years have passed, but I haven’t had a real need to look at the English irregular verb forms since. Do you think it’s because I’m so good at it that I remember all of them? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not the reason (to be honest with you – I remember all of them as part of my passive vocabulary; active vocabulary is a different story altogether so keep reading to find out why you don’t necessarily need to know ALL irregular verb forms...) The real reasons are of a more practical nature – when I swapped English studies for speaking English in real life, I realized that a big part of those irregular verb forms aren’t used in day-to-day conversations at all! It’s a typical 80/20 rule in action, and to put things in perspective, just think back to when you used, say, Past Participle “sewn” of the verb “to sew” when speaking with someone. Personally I’ve heard it used just ONCE over the two and a half years spent in a knitwear manufacturing company where there’s thousands of garments parts being sewn together every day! And you know what the funniest thing is? The person who said it (by the way – it was a native English speaker), didn’t use the irregular Past Participle form “sewn”. He used “sewed” instead and I remember thinking to myself “Why on Earth did I ever clog up my brain with unnecessary irregular English verb forms like “sewn” if I don’t use them at all?” Also, I realized that there’s so much more to the irregular verb forms, especially Past Participle, than I originally thought. Years ago I learnt them to use when speaking in my translated-from-my-native-language English. I would therefore focus exclusively on the literal meaning of the Past Participle; so for instance, “broken” for me would only be a word that describes a finished action of the word “to break” as in a sentence “I have broken my promise.” But what about word combinations like “broken down”, “broken dreams”, “to sound like a broken record”? All these English collocations have the word “broken” in them yet they don’t represent Perfect Tenses that English students traditionally associate the Past Participle form with :!: If you learn such collocations by heart, you’ll instinctively know when to use the word “broken”, and that’s what fluent English is all about! Of course, you have to know how to use the irregular Past Participle when forming Perfect Tenses and also Passive Voice – “my car wasn't broken by me”, for example – there’s no question about it! All I’m saying is that if you learn to use irregular verb forms as part of useful phrases rather than purely as a string of words – shrink, shrank, shrunk - your chances of using them as part of fluent English are much, much bigger. (more…)

You Have to SUCK at Spoken English Fluency in Order to SUCCEED!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgRLgi7OoTM 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…)

Improve English Fluency… Have A Coffee Break!

I’d like to share a funny story with you this time. As you already know, I’m not a native English speaker – and I live in a country called Ireland. I’ve been here for quite a long time and I’m not planning go back to my own country in the near future. And now I’m feeling like I’ve become a part of this whole culture, Irish traditions and everything else. But the first thing that struck me when I just arrived here was the local accent. Yes, I had studied English at home – but the way Irish spoke was something completely un-understandable! I always had to apologize and ask to repeat the same question again and again until I was able to get it! And I guess you may have experienced similar feelings having gone abroad or living in a foreign country, haven’t you? But today’s story isn’t about how well we can understand other accents and ways of pronunciation. It’s about how well the native English speakers can get what WE say. And here goes the funniest thing I’ve been telling my friends over and over again – and now it’s your turn! Whenever I go to some eatery to have a meal with my wife and daughters, or just myself, and order coffee, I don’t get coffee straight away. And please don’t think I’m being discriminated in any way – no, Irish folks are very friendly and today around 10% of the whole country population is non-nationals. And we’re very welcome in this country! No – it’s not that I’m ignored or anything similar. It’s just that Irish don’t understand I’m asking coffee… Yes, it’s really weird! The word ‘coffee’ is very simple. The pronunciation: [kofi:] – am I not right? Yes – and everyone pronounces the word this way. Imagine if you were an English national and someone asked you in a heavily distorted accent: [kofe:], or [ko:fe:] or whatever else – would you not get it? I guess – yes. But you see – I have to repeat the word around three times until the girl behind the counter says: ‘Ohh, right, you want coffee?!?’... But am I getting annoyed by this? You think I’m giving out about how unfairly I’m treated? Of course, not! It’s just another story about how different we people are and that our distinct accents and pronunciations are a part of the nature! No matter if it’s the Irish girl behind the McDonalds counter, or it’s you who has to ask someone to repeat what they just said – it’s COMPLETELY OK! It’s absolutely normal sometimes to get a bit confused, not to understand, mispronounce words and make similar mistakes. After all, we’re all humans, and humans do make mistakes, don’t we? ;-)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #37: YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?

English Idiomatic Expression: “We’ll Take It From There!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSDTGkeFnk4 Hello boys and girls! Have you been good English students? Have you implemented my advice on using all these idiomatic expressions in your speech while doing self-practice and also speaking with other people in real life? If so – I salute you! :grin: If not – well… There’s always room for improvement, so don’t worry, you can start from today! ;-) So, today’s English idiomatic expression is WE’LL TAKE IT FROM THERE, and it’s most commonly used whenever you’re not sure of the turn of events down the line. Let’s say, for example, someone approaches you with a request, and you’re quite willing to help him out. It’s all nice and well, but you’re not sure if you’re going to have enough time to help that person, or you’re maybe not really sure if this person is trustworthy enough to be helped! So you’re making a decision to tread it carefully, and you’re telling the person in question: (more…)

You Have to EAT Well to SPEAK in English Well!

Should We Make Sure Everything We Say Is Grammatically Super-correct? My Opinion on Correct English!

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, it's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! In today's video we're going to discuss the correctness of the English language. And the fact of the matter is that there's so many things that we say in our English conversations that would be considered as incorrect if we went by the textbook English grammar rules. And if you paid particular attention to the last sentence - I said something incorrectly! I said “there's so many things” whereas in reality I should have said “there are so many things” because the noun “things” obviously is in plural in this case so the verb “to be” should have been conjugated to reflect that, I should have said “there are so many things”. And this is just one of those examples where something that's incorrect, it has been accepted in the general public and everyone speaks like that and there's nothing wrong with it. So it begs the question and as a matter of fact this particular phrase “it begs the question – to beg a question” has also been criticized as being incorrect English, right? In reality we should say “it raises a question”. But this phrase “it begs a question” is also used by everyone. And I would say that it actually makes it correct. (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 1- Sports

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Hey, hey, hey everyone out there, I hope you are all doing well today, and guess what? I am so pumped up that we are going to start our first chapter today and I am quite sure so are you. Wait? What’s next? (more…)

How To Learn A New Language In Super-short Time!

A few months ago I came across a website of an Irish guy called Benny – and I must say I was really impressed with what I found out about him! Benny speaks 8 languages at the moment... I’m saying – at the moment – because God only knows how many he will speak at the time when you read this article! Basically this is what he does – he takes on 3 month long missions to learn a new language. Yes, you got me right – 3 months! :!: While for most people it would take 3 months to get around basics of a new language, Benny masters his target language to fluency. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, if you think he’s a genius capable of acquiring tens of thousands of words in the target language and master it to a complete fluency in 3 months – it’s not really the case. For Benny as well as for me achieving fluency in a language doesn’t mean acquiring all academic grammar knowledge about the language along with huge vocabulary. (more…)

Job Seeking for Foreigners: Talking About Your Past, Present and Future

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…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “It Goes Without Saying”

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #19: TELLTALE SIGN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spJ-dEwMMHM 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:

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…)