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!

Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F-gFRfWC2k Hello my fellow foreign English speakers :!: In today’s video we’re going to look at the following questions: Can English be held responsible for the demise of smaller languages? Does the English language has a lack of appreciation for other world languages? Are all English speakers ignorant and don’t want to speak other languages? Is English going to be the only language in the world in a couple of thousand years? You see, all such and similar questions are quite important to certain categories of people – especially those who represent smaller languages on the verge of extinction. Oftentimes, for example, English is blamed because of its historical connection with the British Empire and its world dominance. Also, people associate English with the United States of America and blame Americans for being ignorant and living in their own language bubble. To find out what I think about the whole thing – please watch the video above or listen to the audio file in case you can’t watch the video content for some reason or another. And of course – you’re really welcome to participate in the discussion and express your own opinion in the matter! :-) ANY comments are welcome! ;-) Regards, Robby RELATED ARTICLES: Is English Language Taking Over? Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society 10 Reasons Why English is the World’s Language 11 Things English Fluency has Given Me 5 Reasons Why I Love American Accent

You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!

The fact of the matter is – you can’t listen your way to English fluency no matter how hard you’d try. To consider yourself being fluent in English, you have to be able to SPEAK. To develop your ability to speak, you have to SPEAK. If most of your English improving related efforts are geared towards listening to: Specific English learning audios; Films and videos in English; Podcasts on various websites… … then you will greatly develop your English listening and comprehension skills, there’s no doubt about that! Your ability to produce fluent English speech, however, isn’t going to come along at the same pace for the simple reason that you wouldn’t have trained your mouth to speak, and that makes an awful lot of difference when it comes to one’s ability to deliver a verbal message. It’s pretty much the same as if you were trying to learn to drive a car by watching other people drive without attempting to sit behind the steering wheel yourself! Not all listening activities, however, are a waste of your time. As a matter of fact, you can’t actually separate listening to English and speaking in English because these two activities are quite naturally interlinked. (more…)

You’re Not Fluent in English If You Can’t Construct a Subjected Indirect Object Locative Double Passive!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp4dbEhRo6M A couple of months ago I received a really funny comment on a blog post called Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!, and here’s what Jacque said: Being fluent means one can construct a subjected indirect object locative double passive in the past habitual progressive, and following it with a wh-fronted cleft with the subject moved to object position along with an optional topicalization and postmodified adjective restricting the sentence focus, AND having no idea what the heck the above means! Personally I think it’s a BRILLIANT representation of everything that’s wrong with the traditional English studies and how it’s affected most English students’ thinking! (more…)

Can Understand Everything But Can’t Reply in English?

Power of Memorizing English Sentences, Paragraphs and even Poems!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71b8GJkxHKM The traditional English teaching methods mostly rely upon grammar studies whereby the student is required to learn grammar rules. Next step is to learn new English vocabulary and then construct sentences by a way of sticking words together and applying grammar rules at the same time. Here at English Harmony we all know by now that such methods are ineffective to say the least; most foreigners never learn to speak fluent English because they try and construct sentences in their head instead of simply MEMORIZING NATURAL ENGLISH SPEECH PATTERNS. Memorization is the most natural way of acquiring a language, and while some people may think it’s too robotic and you don’t really learn anything because of the lack of analysis – here’s the deal: Analysis actually hampers your progress! (more…)

Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!

English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKQ7Edx8v80 Do you know what people generally mean when they say IT’S NOT TO BE SNIFFED AT? More often than not, they say this kind of thing when a certain amount of money is offered, for example, and the person in question perceives it to be worth considering. In theory you can also say IT’S NOT TO BE SNIFFED AT in relation to just about anything you perceive worth risking for or taking any other type of action. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dab1r0wje8 Are you familiar with the math term COMMON DENOMINATOR? You may, or you may not be familiar with it, but the fact of the matter is that this English math term has long surpassed the boundaries of science :!: Nowadays COMMON DENOMINATOR is widely used to describe any of the following: Traits and characteristics certain people have in common; Features that certain things have in common; Something that is present in a number of different situations. Are you confused? (more…)

Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English

Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)

Can You Learn American English by Learning American Phrases & Idioms?

Look Among Young Adults Fiction for Easy-to-read Books!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6jLYylVJs4 Not so long ago I was totally hooked onto dystopian fiction and I thought that I would never read anything else other than dystopian fiction such as GONE series, for example. This Holiday Season, however, I proved myself wrong because I got hooked onto something different – namely, vampire fiction! I thought that vampires aren’t my cup of tea, so to speak, and I was looking at my daughter reading vampire books as something that only teenage girls would do. How wrong was I! ;-) The moment I picked up a booked called THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa (it’s all part of the Blood of Eden novels), I just couldn’t put it down! It got me hooked completely, and I often found myself reading late into night… Well, I actually should have known better than to dismiss vampire books because not so long ago I started reading books about angels, and the whole vampire concept is not so dissimilar from angels after all. One way or another, it’s all YOUNG ADULTS FICTION, and that’s the common denominator of all English fiction I’ve been reading for the last few years :!: (more…)

How to Develop Good Ear for English Listening

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…)

English Idiomatic Expression “To Happen To (Be)”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WvhDeao5LU Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! Have you ever heard anyone say things like: Thank God I HAPPENNED TO BE there – otherwise who knows how it all would have ended? You won’t believe me – I HAPPENNED TO BE in the same hotel as Justin Bieber! I don’t think it was a cosmic coincidence – he merely HAPPENNED TO have gone to the same college with her sister… … and you’ve been wondering why people use the English verb “to happen” in this particular context? Why don’t they just say: Thank God I was there… I was in the same hotel… He went to the same college…? (more…)

Traditional English Teaching Industry Instils Anxiety and Lack of Self-Confidence!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baYGHB9oCSA A few days ago I was surfing the Net for English pronunciation improvement related info, and I came across an article that is an embodiment of everything that I don’t like about the traditional English teaching industry and the way non-native English speakers are perceived. I’m not going to provide a link to the actual article because I don’t want to potentially start a war with its author; suffice it to say that the headline of the article implies you have to hide your foreign accent and then they compare the size of English vocabulary of an 8 year of native English speaking child with that of a typical non-native English speaker. The conclusion was that you’d better make sure to build your English vocabulary by learning 4 new English words a day if you even want to stand a chance of coming close to a 15 year old native English speaker (it’s supposedly the age when a person has acquired pretty much a full working vocabulary in their native language.) Here’s a number of problems I want to point out in relation to all the aforementioned English learning principles: (more…)

English Idiom: “To Your Heart’s Content”

Is It OK to Use Conversational Phrases in Formal English Writing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obIvp1iUrjs I got a comment on my blog post Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech from Binh Thanh asking the following question: “Can we use these phrases in formal writing?” Now, for those who’re not familiar with the concept of idiomatic expressions and English collocations, here’s a very brief intro: English language actually consists mostly of word GROUPS; Phrases, expressions and idioms (otherwise known as collocations) form a big part of those word groups; If you learn new English vocab as part of every-day expressions and idiomatic language, you’re so much more likely to speak fluently! Now, Binh Thanh’s comment highlights a very long-standing myth, namely -formal, written English is a completely different beast altogether, and when you write formal correspondence or reports, for example, you have to write in a completely different way you speak. Personally I call BS on that! (more…)

Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech

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

So you’re a non-native English speaker, and you’d like to do one of the following: Move to an English speaking country and find a job there; Find a better job while living in an English speaking country; Find a job in an international company while living in your own country; Get promoted in your current job in an English speaking environment. Congratulations :grin: With making this decision to find a better job you’ve already made the first step towards it, and I can only salute you for your aspirations to further your career and make better life for yourself and your family! Now, tell me what’s the next step you’re going to take in order to follow through with your goal? Update your CV and go for the job interview? Well, sounds like a plan to me – but you can do a little bit more than that to increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams. Remember – most likely you’ll be competing with native English speakers (or other fellow foreigners of yours who’ll be speaking very good English) for the position you’re going for, so you may want to make sure you can talk about virtually ANYTHING you may be asked during the job interview. Having an up-to-date CV and doing some preparation for the interview just won’t cut it, and that’s when preparing to talk about your past, present and future comes into play. (more…)

If Someone Keeps Asking “Do You Understand Me?” – You May Indeed Run Into Fluency Issues!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng3ebQ96lkE In today’s video I’m discussing a particular experience I had with my plumber recently. So, here’s the setup. I’m a foreign English speaker having some issues with my heating system at home. I’m ringing the company who delivered my stove to come over and inspect the heating system. A native English speaking plumber arrives the next day and we’re having a conversation about the issues I’m having. As you know, I’m a fluent English speaker (no bragging – I’m merely stating a fact!), so you’d think there would be no problems with getting the message across and being understood by a native English speaker, right? Well, that’s right – everything I was saying, the plumber understood perfectly! The main problem of the communication, however, was him saying at the end of each sentence: DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? :mad: (more…)

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…)

Funny English Phrases: Death & Dying Related English Idioms

You Won’t Fool a Native English Speaker During a Job Interview So Better Stop Trying!

On certain occasions when you think native English speakers will spot every single one of your mistakes, it’s not really the case for the simple reason that people don’t always pay the utmost amount of attention to what you’re saying. Yes, you may be having a conversation with a native English speaker so you think they’re listening to every single word you’re saying while in reality they may be dwelling upon their own problems and they’re not 100% focused on what you’re saying. If that’s the case, there’s simply no reason for you to be too worked up about your mistakes and other English speech imperfections and you may as well just allow yourself to experiment and improvise during a live speech because there’s nothing really at stake. When you have a very important conversation with a native English speaker, on the other hand, there’s also no point in trying to outperform yourself and sound a whole lot more fluent than you are. When a native English speaker is 100% focused on what you’re saying which would be the case during a job interview, for example, you won’t fool them into believing your English is much, much better just because you’re trying really hard to sound as if you’re speaking just like a native English speaker. Yes, there are certain techniques and methods you can employ in order to sound better during a very stressful conversation such as: Speak in short sentences Focus on what you can say instead of what you can’t Plan your answer instead of jumping right into answering the question The point I’ll be making during this article, however, is the following: As hard as you may try, you won’t fool a native English speaking job interviewer into believing you’re a native English speaker! You’re much better off FOCUSING on talking about your professional background and previous job experience! (more…)

Speaking in English is Like FIGHTING (Trick to Overcome Perfectionism)!

I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJT6Jdh9XaI Guess what happened to me during the last weekend while I was having a dinner with some Latvian friends of mine? I got stuck for words during one of the conversations! I wanted to point out the importance of something, and all of a sudden I couldn’t remember the word “important” in Latvian… despite it being my native language! :mad: You’d think that something like that would never happen to a native speaker, right? You’d think that the worst case scenario would involve forgetting a famous movie actor’s name, for example, and I’m pretty sure you’ve also have had such experiences when a person’s name is on the tip of your tongue yet you can’t remember it. Strangely enough, I couldn’t utter the word “important” in Latvian which is a pretty common word, and I got stuck in a middle of a sentence for a couple of seconds at least. Now, why am I telling you this on an English fluency improvement related blog? Well, it’s pretty straightforward! (more…)

Prepare for Important English Conversations by Speaking With Yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C86xe0-Cg2c Hello YearOfEnglish.com subscribers! Have you got an important event coming up any time soon such as: Job interview College presentation Meeting at work… … and you’re stressing out over your ability to deliver during that event in terms of your spoken English? Well, my years long experience dealing with various English fluency related matters tells me that by far the most effective way to prepare for such and similar events is by doing some spoken English practice with yourself! The plan is quite simple (the more complicated you make it to be, the smaller the chance you’ll take the action, so keep things simple to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed!): Make a simple list of things to be discussed during the conversation; Plan your answers by writing them down on a piece of paper; HIGHLIGHT the key phrases and words; Learn those key phrases off by heart so that you can deliver them AUTOMATICALLY throughout the interview, presentation or a meeting! Here’s an example of a typical work-related meeting: (more…)