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.

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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!

Information Overload: How To Stop Thinking TOO MUCH When Speaking English!

I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling when you think so much ABOUT HOW TO SAY something in English, that eventually you can’t say anything at all! Different English Tenses, verb forms and synonyms are swarming in your head and the information overload shuts your operational memory down, so to speak. You mightn’t have given it a conscious thought, but all these problems originate in the fact that you prepare your speech before actually speaking out loud instead of speaking instantaneously. Besides, the more you think about HOW to respond to a question or say something in English, the more choices you have to make and the bigger the information overload becomes. Consequently it may become nearly impossible for you to make a decision on what English Grammar Tense is to be used, what words would describe the situation best, and so on; also fear of making mistakes prevents you from saying AT LEAST SOMETHING just to get the speech going. When you write, you can make well calculated decisions and decide what means of expression is the most appropriate for the given situation. When you have all but a split second to make that decision during an actual live conversation, your brain just cannot act that fast. When being forced to deliver an instant speech and make multiple choices at the same time, you may find it overwhelming, and you may develop a monkey-mind syndrome when you feel as if you’re paralyzed and completely unable to deliver a normal speech. Somewhere during your quest for perfection quality of what you’re saying in English has taken over performance - the speech itself - and your perfectionist nature requires you to analyze almost everything you’re saying. How to stop doing it? Why it’s happening? Find out answers to these and more questions by reading the rest of this blog post! (more…)

Stop Preparing Speech In Your Head Beforehand!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqAgLOL0NYU Do you often catch yourself thinking of what exactly you’re going to say a few moments before you say the actual thing? Do you frequently make mistakes such as saying the wrong word or mixing up letters in words because you constantly think of a number of different ways to say the particular thing? If you recognize yourself from my description, don’t worry, you’re not unique. There are thousands of other foreign English speakers who speak following the same pattern – they prepare speech in their head beforehand and then try to say it out loud. As you already know, it creates all sorts of English fluency issues with the most noticeable being hesitation, stuttering and using wrong words or wrong grammar constructs. In other words, you sound very uncertain and your conversation partner may get the impression that you don’t really know what to say although in reality it’s quite the opposite… You know exactly what you want to say, and you know how to say it in five different ways, and all those sentences are right here, in your mind, it’s just that when you speak out loud you kind of want to say it all at once! :mad: I’ve been in the same boat, my friend. I know exactly how it feels and I also know what causes this problem. Would you like to understand the reasons behind this issue so that you can start dealing with it? Then stay with me for a few more minutes and I’ll explain everything to you! (more…)

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 28- Don’t sweat it!

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 everyone out there, How are you all doing today? Welcome back yet again to another chapter of our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn some new vocabulary every day about a subject with context and examples, and so will you today. So without further ado, let get down to the business and see today’s context: Context - Joe (son) is talking to his father Mike Mike: Look what I brought for you! Your favorite chocolate cake! Joe: Thanks dad, but I don’t want to eat anything right now. Mike: You never said no to the chocolate cake! What happened to my boy? Is everything alright? Joe: I am okay. I just need some rest. Mike: No, you are not. Tell me what’s the matter? I am your father Joe; I know something is upsetting you for sure. Joe: I always got good grades. All teachers used to praise me for my brilliance in every subject, be it Science or Mathematics. I have always excelled in every field, but this time, I think I won’t even pass. Mike: Why do you think so? Didn’t you write any answers? Joe: No, that’s not the case. I don’t know what happened to me at the last moment that I could not remember properly anything that I have learned. I wrote the answers anyhow, but I don't think they were correct. Mike: See Joe, there is nothing you can do about it now. If you think about this now won't change the situation. So you see, even if you didn't do well this time, you have so many other chances in life to prove yourself. Joe: I just wish I pass this time. I will make sure I revise everything at least twice from next time, so it will never happen again. Mike: You are going to do good. I believe in you, so please don’t sweat it now. Cheer up your mood and eat this cake I bought for you. Did anyone ever say not to sweat it when you were in worry? Did it confuse you then? I hope it’s clear from the above context what this idiom means. Well, in case you didn’t get it by now, it is simply another way to tell a person not to worry. Usually, people who are in some tension start sweating, it is where this expression originated from and became a popular way of telling someone not to worry. Example: Don’t sweat about the results now. There is nothing you can do about it. So did you like today's chapter? I know you did and 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 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"));

11 Sports Idioms – Learning with Theme!

English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s been dealt with”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCA4gJjTuvM Today I’m going to provide you with a new English idiomatic expression which will come in handy in situations when you have to report completion of an assignment. “IT’S BEEN DEALT WITH” is the phrase in question, and you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m discussing the merits of this particular phrase. To be honest with you, there are simpler expressions which can be used in pretty much the same situations: “It’s done”, “It’s sorted” or “I’ve done it”. “It’s been dealt with”, however, implies that your assignment has demanded quite a lot of effort, so you may want to use this expression when you’ve been dealing with a complicated matter and you’re telling someone that it’s been dealt with. Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Do Headphones Improve English Listening Experience? (How to Stop Using Subtitles!)

Do I Speak at the Same Speed in Real Life as in My Videos & How to Maintain Optimal Speed of Speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf90ztbBukI Hi Guys! Recently I published a video on my blog where I compared speaking in English with fighting, and the main premise of the article was the following – you can’t be afraid of getting a bloody nose during a fight if you want to win, and the same applies on conversations (you don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes). Soon after that I received a comment on my YouTube channel from a follower of mine: Now, the comment was so interesting that I decided to record a response video, so here it is! The main points discussed in the video: (more…)

6 Types of Foreign English Speakers: Which One Are YOU?

Being a foreign English speaker is the common denominator of this blog’s audience. We’re not all the same, however. Some of us are living in our home countries. Some of us have emigrated to English speaking countries. Many of us have studied the English language at school. Most of us have a certain degree of oral fluency deficiency due to the nature of traditional English studies. A good few of us are hell-bent on grammar perfection. A certain number of us have bought into the myth of English fluency improvement via listening. In this article I’ve tried to put some structure on this blog’s audience because I’ve observed so many different types of foreign English speakers dropping into my blog over the years that I can say with the utmost certainty: “I know my average blog visitor pretty well!” (more…)

16 ways to walk in English

Hey there everyone, How are you all doing today? "Do you know the man you saw yesterday in the park was ambling instead of just walking?" "The rogues rambled around in the vicinity of our society this afternoon." In both sentences above, ‘the man’ and ‘the rogues’ were just walking, but the way they walked is best defined by the words ‘ramble’ and ‘amble’. People walk differently with different mood and intentions, hence situations give birth to new words describing it even more clearly rather than just using the word ‘walk’. Hence, in this article today, we see 16 ways to walk and what it means. So without further ado, let’s get down to the topic and learn some new vocabulary describing ways to walk- 16 words describing ways to walk 1: Amble- to walk leisurely. Example: The newly wedded couple ambled beside the beach and shared the words of love. 2: Flounder- to walk with difficulty due to some problem. Example: The old man floundered around in the water. 3: Limp- walk impeded due to some injury. Example- The player limped off the ground after being hit by the ball on his toe. 4: Strut- to walk in a proud way trying to look important. Example: Robin strutted around the hall to get every girl's attention. 5: Stroll- walk in a leisurely way. Example: I love to stroll along the beach after the sunset. 6: Stride- to walk in long steps. Example: He strode in the balcony thinking about his bitter past. 7: Stalk- to walk in an angry or proud way. Example: She stalked out of the room after we questioned her why she failed the test. 8: Stagger- Walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall. Example: He entered staggering into the room. 9: Waddle- walk unsteadily Example: The poor man waddled due to swollen legs. 10: Stumble- to miss a step and fall. Example: He stumbled over his son’s toy. 11: Trudge- to walk slowly with a lot of effort, especially over a different surface or while carrying something heavy. Example: The mountaineer trudged back up the hill. 12- Skulk- move stealthily. Example: We called the police when we saw an unknown man skulking in the bushes. 13: Saunter-to walk in a slow, relaxed way, often in no particular direction. Example: I saw John sauntering in the park yesterday. 14: lurch- a sudden movement forward or to one side. Example: Joe lurched to his feet at dance practice today. 15: Parade- to march in a procession Example: The military officers paraded during Independence Day celebration. 16: Wade- to walk with effort through water or other liquid or viscous substance. Example- They waded out till the water reached their waist. So I hope you will know the difference from next time, whether you should use ‘saunter’, ‘wade’ or ‘ramble’. Each word has a different meaning that describes the particular situation to the listener, moreover, you are definitely earning a plus point if you use these words in your written English (Today’s tip!!!!!) Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they become your second nature. See you soon with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye.

English Idiomatic Expression (Conditional Sentence Type 3) – Had I (p. participle), I would have (p. participle)

Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/b6hVnUtL7DU Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

Sometimes LESS is MORE When It Comes to English Improvement!

Future In The Past – Often Ignored But Very Useful!

Have you ever heard of Future in the Past Tense? The chances are – you haven’t! It’s quite weird, but it’s true – many English Grammar books and English learning websites simply ignore Future in the Past! So here’s how it works – whenever you’re re-telling past events, the word WILL becomes WOULD – when referring to future during your story. Example: After the first week in gym I decided I WOULD never quit! Before I had learned this simple grammar rule about using Future in the Past, I would say the above sentence using the word WILL: After the first week in gym I decided I WILL never quit it! How wrong was I… And how wrong are thousands of other foreign English speakers! Yes, I’ve met quite fluent English speakers in my life who still kept on making the same mistake – using WILL when describing future events from past’s perspective. (more…)

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…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “In question”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB5jb9w78-4 Today’s English idiomatic expression is a very, very short phrase; in fact, some of you might consider this two word combination not to be a proper phrase at all! “In question” – this is the phrase we’re going to look at in today’s video, and you will be in a nice surprise to find out how versatile this tiny little expression can be. Basically you can use it whenever you’re referring to the same object or a person throughout a conversation, and you can substitute any longer reference for the two word combination “in question”. Make sure to watch the above video, however, because “The picture is worth a thousand words” – as the old adage goes! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Improve Your English Vocabulary With Context

Does Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society Work?

Have you ever heard a statement that people are inherently lazy? Personally I believe it to be true, more or less. I believe that humans will put the minimum amount of effort into achieving their desired goal in any aspect of life. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. By and large though, human beings will do everything to avoid engaging in activities that they don’t find entertaining or which don’t result in a direct, tangible benefit. Are you outraged by my claims? Don’t be! I meant no offence to anyone, I merely stated the obvious. They even argue that human laziness is the driving force behind the development of technology! We just got tired of walking and running around, so one day we thought – hold on, why not use some animals to carry us around? In no time we were riding horses, then driving cars – and all that because we’re too lazy to walk! All, right, but what has it got to do with integration of foreign English speakers? Well, if you consider that integration in local English speaking society goes hand in hand with good English communication skills; it’s got everything to do with it! To put it simply – if foreigners aren’t REQUIRED to learn and improve English for PRACTICAL reasons, they won’t do it :!: There you go. I said it! If you want to stone me, you’re free to do it in the comments below. If you’re prepared for an even bigger dose of truth spoken by a Latvian expat living in Ireland – keep reading! (more…)

How English Fluency Issue Manifests Itself

Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTcZQtL5SvY This is a follow-up on the previous blog post where I touched upon a related concept - Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages. The reason why I recorded this video is simple enough. I published the previous video where I voiced my opinion on the dominance of the English language and concluded that we can’t really blame English for decline of smaller languages in the world – after all, it’s the PEOPLE who make countless choices as individuals driven by their social and economic needs that determine if speakers of a particular language are going to decline in a long run. Then I got a sudden realization – “Hold on, does losing a native language NECESSARILY mean losing one’s national identity? The moment anyone mentions languages dying out it’s perceived as a terrible and tragic event, but do those people really lose their native characteristics and heritage just because they’ve started speaking in English?” And so I recorded this video where I’m revealing what I actually think about the whole thing, and here’s the exact script of it: (more…)

Want Solid Proof that Spoken English Self-practice Works? Check This Out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTNeyx3qAro

English Phrasal Verb: “To Carry Out”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjSXmNJlrZU Hello my friends foreign English speakers! ;-) I’ve been away for some time due to my other commitments – Fluency Gym Coach Program – to be more specific. Now I’m back with another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a phrasal verb ‘to carry out’. It’s quite a simple English phrasal verb meaning ‘to make it happen’, ‘to accomplish a task’, but I’d still advise you to watch the video above to see how this particular phrasal verb is used in real life conversations. (more…)

How Repetition Happens in Real English Conversations and Why It’s Important to YOU!

How I Stopped Being a Non-native English Speaker…

Until about a year ago I considered myself a non-native English speaker. I arrived in Ireland back in 2002 from a small country in Baltic region. It’s roughly the size of Ireland but it has only half of Ireland’s population. Its capital is called Riga and our crimson-white-crimson flag represents a blood-stained stretcher used to carry mortally wounded soldiers from a battle-field. The country I’m talking about is called Latvia – and I'm one in a 1.5 million people on this planet whose native language is Latvian. Anyway, I chose the settle in an English speaking country so I’m here for more than 8 years now and by the looks of it I’ll stay here for the foreseeable future. Living in an English speaking society has presented many challenges along the way – most of them due to my lack of English fluency. But I always faced up to the difficulties and thanks to my love for the English language I can enjoy communicating with locals easily and naturally. So after about 8 years spent in Ireland I stopped being a non-native English speaker! Brace yourself! I’m about to reveal one of the biggest secrets of integration into an English speaking society and how to stop being a non-native English speaker! :shock: So here we go… (more…)

English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”

Should Japanese and Vietnamese English Speakers Bend Over Backwards to Get Their Pronunciation Right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MjEiCpG7w8 I have customers from all over the world – Brazil, the United States, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Arab Emirates – you name it! Also, the native background of the English Harmony System’s owners is as diverse as the countries they reside in. I have Arabic and Chinese speaking customers from the States, Hindi speakers from the UK and Brazilian Portuguese speakers who live in Australia. It just goes to show how widespread the English fluency issue is and how often foreign English speakers have developed their understanding and reading skills at the cost of their spoken fluency just because it’s a conventional wisdom that one needs to focus on reading and writing in order to become fluent. It’s wrong, of course, and that’s what the English Harmony System does – it rearranges your English knowledge by forming natural English speech patterns so that you can speak more fluently and confidently. Anyway, there’s one aspect the English Harmony System doesn’t cover, and I don’t touch upon it on my blog often, either. Namely, it’s English pronunciation. Well, I actually do mention pronunciation when it comes to discussing fluency and the fact that many foreigners are trying to speak with perfect pronunciation which may actually have quite the opposite effect on their ability to speak fluently. In other words, I’m always saying that you have to speak and pronounce English words in a way most comfortable to you, and that you don’t have to be too hung up on being perfect  :!: But then one day I got an e-mail from one of my Japanese customers and it got me thinking if there might be more to the pronunciation aspect than I had thought. (more…)

4 Strategies to Stop Stumbling Upon Words When Speaking in English

Unless you’re a super-fluent foreign English speaker, you most certainly find yourself in situations when you stumble upon certain English words and sentences which leaves you frustrated and angry with yourself, am I not right? ;-) Well, I’m not talking about the typical tongue-twisters here such as “she sells seashells by the seashore” (try to say it out loud fast a few times in a row – you’re bound to make a mistake sooner or later by saying “she shells..” or something similar!) What I’m going to be looking in this article is simple words and phrases which are still quite easy to mispronounce because of repeating letters or similar sounds following each other in a quick succession: World Wide Web (letters “d” and “b” as well as the ‘R’ sound) I brought the bad goods back (letters “b” and “g”) What a wonderful world! (‘R’ sound) What happens sometimes when saying such and similar English sentences is the following – just because you’re trying to pronounce each sound within those words, your sound producing organs suddenly can’t cope with it, and that’s when you can implement various strategies I’m going to look at in this article. Let’s say, if you can’t get the sentence “What a wonderful world!” right and your tongue and lips just can’t seem to pronounce it correctly, you can re-write the sentence in your mind the following way: “Whada wondeful wold”. Try it, and you’ll realize that if you omit the letter “r”, (the ‘R’ sound isn’t that audible in this sentence anyway!) it becomes much easier for you to pronounce the sentence without getting your tongue twisted and you’re less likely to stumble upon words in the process. Bear in mind that I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to pronounce English words the right way. It’s just that I believe if you have to choose between struggling when speaking AND speaking freely albeit with a slightly incorrect pronunciation, you should go with the last option if your ability to speak fluently is very important at that particular moment in time. But now let’s look at some examples on how you can modify English words and sentences so that you can pronounce them easier :!: (more…)