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

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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!

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 27- Take a rain check!

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")); Hello everybody out there, How are you doing today? By the way, did you practice yesterday’s expressions? I know you did, you are my good students and you practice daily. It is for this reason that I bring a new chapter every day about a topic and teach you new expressions with context and examples. Hence, I welcome back all my dear English learners once again to our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course”, and I know you don't like me beating around the bush, so without further ado, let’s get down to the business and see today’s context- Context Aaron: Hey Anthony, How are you doing? Anthony: I am doing well, thanks. How are you? Aaron: Can't complain! Anthony: I heard you are seeing Emma these days. Aaron: Yeah, we are great friends. I think we have so much in common. Anthony: Have you proposed to her? Aaron: No, not till now. I actually wanna spend some more time as it’s a very important matter. Anthony: Yeah, I agree. Aaron: Yeah man. By the way, where did you hear this from? Anthony: Jonathan told me about it. He saw you both together at the square bar yesterday. Aaron: Alright. By the way, do you wanna join us at dinner tonight? It will be so much fun. Anthony: I am really sorry Aaron, I have to complete the assignments that need to be submitted tomorrow, but I will take a rain check for dinner this Sunday. Is that okay with you? Aaron: No problem mate! I will see you later. Anthony: See you. Bye. Aaron: Bye-bye. Did you ever take a rain check for something when you were busy at the moment? Well, I have to do it quite often these days due to my busy schedule. Hopefully, you would have understood from the context what it means when someone says to “take a rain check”. Isn’t it? By the way, for those who are still confused, it is simply an expression indicating that one is refusing an offer or invitation but with the hope or promise that it can be postponed or accepted at a later date or time. Example: I am too tired after the practice session to go out. Can I take a rain check? How did you find today’s chapter? I hope it added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they will become your second nature. See you tomorrow with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye. 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"));

Lower Your Standards if You Want to Improve Your English Successfully!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syzsaP5x8Gc You may have this idealistic image in your head as to what kind of English you should be speaking – grammatically super-correct, formal, rich and eloquent English spoken by high-class native English speakers – but achieving and maintaining such high spoken English standards may not be just unrealistic. It may also be very unhealthy to your confidence as an English speaker to constantly compare your existing level of English against your desired level of English in terms of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and speed at which you speak because it will serve as a constant reminder of your shortcomings as an English speaker! You may believe that most people speak sub-standard English and it’s unacceptable for an intelligent person. You may have this perception that your English just HAS to sound like that spoken by native English speakers – and if it doesn’t, you’ll be always branded as an underachiever. And you may also strongly believe that text-book English taught to English students in schools and universities is the ONLY way forward and that the conversational English is just English for the masses and not for such a well-educated individual as you. Guess what? By upholding such unrealistically high standards you’re making it really hard for yourself to actually improve your English! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9TNHKbkedg If you want to speak in English without much thinking and planning your speech in your head before actually speaking out loud, you should definitely look into learning various idiomatic expressions. I’m not saying that purposeful acquisition of these expressions is going to make ALL the difference between your ability to speak fluently and not being able to speak at all. Sure enough, you can speak the very same way I would have been speaking a few years ago: by sticking individual words together; thinking in my native language & translating in my mind; constantly trying to think of the right words to say. If you learn idiomatic expressions, on the other hand, your brain gets wired with naturally occurring speech patterns, and it enables you to speak without much thinking, it happens automatically and instinctively. So, starting from today – if you haven’t already been doing it – make sure to learn at least one or two idiomatic expressions a day, and you’ll improve your spoken English much faster than you ever thought possible, there’s no doubt about that! (more…)

WILL and GOING TO English Future Forms: How to Use Them in Conversations

English Idiomatic Expression: “You know what I mean?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i7zojzhcbc If you think that the phrase “You know what I mean?” doesn’t warrant a second glance and is one of those overused phrases that one should rather eliminate from one’s vocabulary – you’d better think twice! This expression allows us deal with situations when we’re stuck for words and we just can’t finish off a sentence, for example. If you think it’s better to say nothing and just stare at your conversation partner than say “You know what I mean?” – good for you! Personally I will go for “You know what I mean?” over an awkward moment of silence any day, and while this phrase can indeed be overused if you get into the habit of saying it after every sentence, it’s still a great way of implying that both you and your conversation partner know what you’re talking about anyway, and any further explanations can be omitted. Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Largely Due to The Fact”

The State of “The Flow” and Its Importance When Improving Your 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, hello boys and girls! Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today let's talk about THE FLOW. And I read about the concept of flow or should I say THE flow? Because it's a particular state of mind. And I read about that concept a while ago while I was doing a little bit of research into the subject of procrastination. We all – I suppose – have that quality to procrastinate sometimes. You know, it's a vice because it's a terrible feeling, you know? You know exactly what you've got to do but you just can't do it for whatever reasons. You just find yourself constantly getting distracted. For instance if I had a task of writing an article for instance I would find myself making cups of coffee every 15 minutes and checking my email and checking my website’s stats and whatever. And then 5 or 6 hours later the article still wouldn't be even started. I would have only 1 or 2 paragraphs. And so that's the typical case of procrastination. And I've been guilty of that at certain stages in my life. And I was doing a little bit of research into it and I found out that people who don't procrastinate they can achieve the state of mind whereby they are fully immersed into the activity at hand so their mind doesn't even wander. And that's the so-called state of THE FLOW. (more…)

Great Topic for Spoken English Self-Practice: Daily Events & Planning Next Day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6XMk9UnhkU Hi guys from YearOfEnglish.com - this is another video installment I created with you in mind, and this time around (surprise, surprise!) I’m going to talk about spoken English self-practice and what you should talk about during those self-practice sessions to insure you don’t run out of things to discuss. The reason I recorded this video is quite simple: Not having anything to talk about seems to be the biggest issue for my fellow foreigners, and that’ also the single biggest reason why many of you guys are abandoning spoken English self-practice altogether! So, what is this topic you can discuss on your own day in, day out, without getting bored and always finding you have something NEW to say? (more…)

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…)

Focus on Your Achievements & Ignore Perfectionists if They Make You Feel Worse!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Over the years”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2omMV0o5CT4 Hello, my foreign English speaking friends! ;-) I’ve been away for a short while, but it’s only because I’m working on a lot of things currently – one of which is my upcoming English confidence coaching program - and by no means I’m thinking of stopping publishing my daily idiomatic expression videos! I enjoy the process immensely, and if I had to list things I’ve really loved doing here on EnglishHarmony over the years, these daily idiomatic expression videos would definitely come at the top! The expression we’re going to look at today is “over the years”, and if you’re attentive enough you did notice that I actually used it in the previous sentence. (more…)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #25: I JUST…, IS ALL!

Use English Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Sparingly – Better Describe than Compare!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9JwdPhNlUc Here’s a couple of English adjective related problems even an advanced foreigner might run into when having a conversation with others. PROBLEM #1: Analyzing your speech from the grammar standpoint Let’s say for example, you want to describe something during a conversation, but your mind keeps going back to the tables in your English grammar textbook where irregular adjectives were listed. It may happen completely involuntarily, but it’s this traditional way of structuring adjectives according to their forms that makes you analyze the structure of a sentence instead of being fully engaged into the conversation. That in turn may result in all sorts of English fluency issues! PROBLEM #2: Limiting your means of expression You may be brilliant at describing and comparing objects, living creatures and people, but if you only stick with the traditional system – adjective – comparative adjective – superlative adjective – you’ll limit your spoken English development. For example, in a sentence “She’s really resourceful in the way she solves practical problems compared to her sister”… the word ‘resourceful’ isn’t a comparative form of some other adjective. If your mind is tuned to the standard way of using adjectives, however, you may find that you just can’t see past the standard way of using the same adjective you already described her sister with. Let’s say for example, you described her sister as not being practical, so if you go down the traditional adjective comparison road, you automatically may say – “she’s more practical than her sister”. Well, it’s not a bad thing in itself, but it’s just that on certain occasions it may limit your ability to speak freely and improvise. So how do you develop your ability to speak automatically and without analyzing too much if you’ve got to use this or that particular adjective form? WATCH THIS VIDEO WHICH EXPLAINS MY MISTAKE USING 'ADVERBS' INSTEAD OF 'ADJECTIVES' THROUGHOUT THE VIDEO ABOVE... SORRY! ;-)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDsWq-LEN4   (more…)

English Fiction Books I’m Going to Read Before I Die (Kick the Bucket)!

Hi boys and girls, My name is Robby, I’m a foreigner (Latvian, to be more specific), and I’ve been reading ONLY English fiction for the last 8 or 9 years. I started off by trying to improve my English fluency by reading newspapers followed by simple children books, and soon enough I’d achieved complete English reading fluency while at the same time my vocabulary was still quite limited (I learned how to infer meaning of less known words and expressions from the context alone!) A few years down the line, however, I realized that reading had done relatively little to my ability to speak. Spoken English self-practice turned out to be the most effective way of improving my oral fluency, and so I've been focusing on that aspect of my English improving routine ever since. Nonetheless, reading English fiction became my passion – I’ve read dozens upon dozens of heroic fantasy books as well as plenty of dystopian fiction which is currently my favorite genre and I plain LOVE IT! If you’re a foreigner – just like me! – and you also love reading English fiction (or maybe you’ve always wanted to do it but don’t know where to start?), here’s a list of books I've lined up for reading this year (maybe it’s something that’s going to pique your interest as well!): (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s one thing I can say for sure”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdQGseq6Fc Using the expression “There’s one thing I can say for sure” is a very handy and convenient way of letting your conversation partner know that you’re about to say something they don’t have a reason to disbelieve. There’s a couple of similar expressions you can use to convey pretty much the same message: There’s no doubt aboutI know for a fact that… If you learn this particular expression, however – “There’s one thing I can say for sure” – you’ll have another English phrase added onto your active English vocabulary and you’ll have more phrases to choose from! (more…)

Funny English Phrases #3 – Money & Finance

Speaking With Yourself Isn’t As Different From Speaking With Others As You Might Have Thought!

I’m a strong proponent of spoken English self-practice – I’ve been doing it for years and I attribute much of my English fluency development to those countless hours of speaking English with myself. I’ve touched upon this subject on this blog a few times before, but today I’m going to provide you with clear and obvious benefits of such spoken English self-practice. If you think that only lunatics speak with themselves and that speaking with real people in real life is the only way forward for foreign English speakers to improve fluency, please read this article and you may actually change your mind :!: Yes, I’ve said it before that you DON’T HAVE TO SPEAK OUT LOUD – you can speak in a very light whisper. I’ve also mentioned it before that you can just speak in your mind barely moving your lips which would be an equivalent of simply verbalizing your thoughts. But if those reasons aren’t enough to persuade you to practice English with yourself and you think that the very CONCEPT OF SELF-PRACTICE IS FLAWED, keep reading and I promise I’ll reveal some aspects of the whole speak-English-with-yourself thing you haven’t ever considered! ;-) (more…)

English Vocabulary Building – Part 2

YearOfEnglish.com: Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C6n5KtSXCc Hello my friends from YearOfEnglish.com! If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve been following all those daily tips e-mailed to you by Aaron from Phrasemix.com (he’s the guy behind the Year of English project), and there’s also a good chance you’ve been heeding to all that advice which would have brought you closer to your goal of BECOMING FLUENT IN ENGLISH this year. But here’s a small problem which might actually result in quite a considerable setback for your English fluency. In the very beginning when you just committed to your goal of becoming fluent this year, the deadline for the goal was in a very distant future so you didn’t really have to worry about its completion. You just kept checking your inbox every day for a new e-mail from YearOfEnglish.com in sure knowledge that it was going to bring you another small step closer to English fluency. Now that the year has almost ended however, you may have started wondering: “The year is almost over, but have I become fluent in English? And after all – who’s going to tell me when I’ve become fluent?” Well, one thing is for sure – if you haven’t been doing a whole lot in terms of your English development during the year except for checking YearOfEnglish.com e-mails occasionally and reading the related content every now and then, the chances are – you haven’t become fluent. If, on the other hand, you’ve been engaging in a lot of practicing on a daily basis (including a lot of spoken English practice), it’s pretty hard to imagine as to why you wouldn’t have become fluent. Here are a few sure indicators of English fluency, and if you conform to at least one of them, I’d say you can definitely consider yourself being fluent in English: (more…)

Don’t Study English Hard in the New Year – Practice the Easy Way Instead!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH01zIPMj2c

Make It Impossible To Avoid English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ9FW0SmVsI Hello everyone from YearOfEnglish.com and welcome back to my video blog! :grin: I’ve been away from video production for quite some time due to my hectic summer schedule, but do you think my English fluency has worsened while I haven’t been recording a lot of videos on a regular basis? Not really! I’ve simply made it impossible for myself to avoid the English language, and even if I wasn’t using it in my day-to-day conversations with work colleagues, I’d still be constantly exposed to it! First of all, I’m taking notes in my daily planner in English thus making sure I regularly use the English language even when I’m gone on holidays back to my home country, for example. (more…)

Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech

Common English Phrases to Use at Home & With Kids

I got the inspiration to write this English phrase compilation from a guy called Guillermo, and here’s the comment he left on my blog a while back: So basically he wants to learn useful English phrases to be used around the house describing common everyday concepts such as eating, playing, tidying up, going to bed and others. And come to think of it, pretty much all English phrases I’ve published on this blog focus either on your social life such as the small talk phrases or your professional life such as these industry specific phrases. That’s why I decided to compile a bunch of useful English phrases you can use at home when speaking with your own kinds in order to improve your English – just like Guillermo does – or when there are other English speaking kids around. Speaking of which, I can tell you based on my own experience that your English may be quite advanced, but you may still find yourself struggling to speak with little children using simple language :!: I clearly remember how I came to Ireland all those years ago and my daughters started attending the local school. I was in the same situation when I had to help them with their homework or speak with other kids at birthday parties, for example, and I realized that my English was lacking simple phraseology that native speakers use in daily situations at home! So, without further ado, let’s start listing commonly used simple English expressions you’ll be able to use at home! ;-) (more…)

Confidence Lesson From Kristen Stewart For All Foreign English Speakers

No-one to Talk to? Practice English With Yourself!

Find out how to improve your spoken English is 30 days or less :!: Today’s video topic is about the importance of practicing English speaking on a regular basis. In other words, if you want to be a fluent English speaker, you have to speak, there are no magic shortcuts :!: There are, of course, shortcuts in terms of efficiency of the learning process, and you’re welcome to check out my blog to found out more, but in this video lesson let’s focus on the importance of speaking English every day. By the way, did you know that the most viewed video on my YouTube channel so far is the one where I’m talking about the importance of speaking English with yourself in case you’ve got no-one else to talk to? I guess it’s a good indicator of a typical situation that foreign English speakers find themselves in. You know – even if you live in an English speaking country, there might not be enough face-to-face communication with other English speakers. On many occasions foreigners living under such circumstances won’t go the extra mile to practice some English because it’s not a necessity and they can do without it. If you’re willing to improve your spoken English, however, you can do so much more to step up your English fluency and having regular conversations with yourself is definitely better that no spoken practice at all! (more…)

FGC Goal #1: American Phrasal Verb #18: See What We Can ROUND UP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_CgLyHNOOo Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Currently I’m reading the last book in GONE series, and here’s a sentence I came across yesterday: “See what food we can ROUND UP!” The situation in the book was the following: a kids settlement near a lake had been attacked by a monster of extraordinary powers, and half of all humans got massacred (quite grisly for a teenage fiction, isn’t it?). When the monster was fended off by one of the human mutants (you must be thinking now – “What kind of books are you reading, Robby?!”), the girl in charge started organizing their retreat to the town. Quite obviously, when almost everything you own is destroyed, first you have to see what supplies you’re left with, so that’s when this phrase “See what we can ROUND UP” comes in really handy! The funny thing is, I knew the phrasal verb TO ROUND UP in quite a different context. It’s a mathematical term and it’s used when rounding up figures. Let’s say, for example, if you’re asked to round up the number 27, you get 30. You can also round figures down, in which case 27 becomes 25 – and I’m sure everyone having even attended a primary school is familiar with this concept! Today’s video, however, isn’t about rounding figures up or down. It’s about using the American phrasal verb TO ROUND UP in a much different context, namely – when rounding up… (more…)