Don’t Judge Other People’s English Because of Lack of Vocabulary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBZu4GemQRA VIDEO SCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and I'm your friend and mentor. Today, we're going to talk about the following thing: You should never judge other people if they don't know particular English words! Say, for example, you're talking to someone, whether a native speaker or a foreign English speaker, and you're using a specific English word that that person doesn't know. You should never judge them for it because there's around a million words in the English language. Well, some sources quote two million words but I think it's a stretch. I think a million would probably be the most realistic figure that we could put on the English vocabulary so just think about it: there's a million words in the language. Now, the average adult English speaker, if he or she is a native English speaker and they're well educated, then they might know around twenty-five, thirty thousand words, right? So, just think about the chances of them not knowing some very obscure English word that you've just learned and you're using it, right? The chances are that that person probably doesn't know that word and even if you think that this scenario whereby you, as a foreigner, say something and a native speaker doesn't understand it is VERY unlikely to happen, you are wrong, my friend! (more…)
English Has Brought the World Together!
4 PRACTICAL Things You Didn’t Know About the English Language
“Blow – blew – blown”: Learn Irregular English Verbs Through Expressions!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSjDTmOdaOw FIRST OF ALL READ THE ARTICLE BELOW where I’ve explained everything about how irregular English verbs should be acquired: Learn English Irregular Verbs Through Collocations, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs! In that article you’ll learn why it makes no sense to learn the typical irregular verb word strings consisting of 3 words such as: “blow – blew – blown”. And not only it doesn’t make sense – it’s even bad for your fluency :!: Why? Well, simply because instead of USING those verbs (which happens when you learn them as part of phraseology) you’d be desperately trying to think of HOW and WHEN to use them… Needless to say, that’s when fluency goes out the window! Anyhow, let’s stop beating around the bush, and let’s focus on today’s English irregular verb “TO BLOW”. Here are the phrases from the video above you’re going to learn containing all three forms of the verb “blow – blew – blown”: (more…)
I’m a Useless English Teacher Because I Make Mistakes… And I Should Go Back to Farm!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfZe55fbhVM The concept of WRONGNESS of making mistakes while speaking or writing in English is something that’s permeated the English teaching industry and it’s lead so many non-native English speakers to believe that they suck at English unless they can make their speech and their English writing style PERFECT. Just picture the typical English class. The teacher (who speaks perfectly, of course!) is standing at the front of the class and the poor students are crouched over their desks DREADING to hear the test results. Why this fear? Simply because their ability to perform as English speakers is judged based on their MISTAKES! It’s so wrong that I want to start screaming just thinking about it!!! They’re looking closely at your mistakes while at the same time almost dismissing your achievements, and what do you think this kind of approach results into? Yes, that’s right – ANXIETY, LACK OF CONFIDENCE and total DISBELIEF that one they you can actually become a fluent English speaker. I’ve figured it out a long time ago, and ever since I’ve been adopting quite the opposite approach when speaking in English myself and providing advice to others who want to better their spoken English fluency and also writing. MAKE AS MANY MISTAKES AS YOU CAN! That’s the mantra I’m going by, and while you might be skeptical about it at first, you’ll definitely realize there’s a big wisdom behind it – especially when reading the following articles: (more…)
Find It Hard to Do Spoken English Practice? Write It Down First!
Don’t Learn Complicated English Tenses TOO Soon!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C3pRAX5T3M Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog - or welcome back to my podcast in case you're listening to this as an audio file on iTunes or on my blog. In today's video I'm going to tell you about English tenses, namely - what I think about them and how you should go about acquiring complicated English tenses. You see, I strongly believe that way too many foreign English speakers are focusing on English tenses too early in their attempts to acquire English fluency. I'm getting plenty of comments and emails sent in asking the same questions: "I'm all confused about the tenses. Please, Robby, explain how to use this or that English tense" and questions like, "I need to prepare for this English test or for this exam" and "can you help me to understand the complicated English tenses" and so on and so forth. Now, if it's about an exam or a test, then yes, I admit, the traditional English teaching industry requires you to analyze grammar, to understand tenses and it's a bad thing because that way you get all too focused on analyzing the language instead of speaking or writing spontaneously, right? My approach is, you have to start learning the English language and then proceed forward with learning simple language, simple sentences, simple word combinations, simple tenses. It's totally possible to speak using only three English tenses – Present Simple, Present Continuous, and Simple Past - and I know for a fact that a lot of YouTubers, video bloggers who come from the foreign English speaking background actually don't use complicated English tenses. (more…)
Learn Pronunciation by Equating English Sounds to Your Native Language!
Don’t Try Just to THINK in English – Speak It All Out LOUD!
Way back in 2012 I published an article about the importance of thinking in English if you’re serious about your English fluency development. The reason I wrote the said piece was because one of the primary causes of foreign English speakers’ fluency issues is translation from one’s native language when speaking in English which is a direct consequence of the traditional English studies. You see, if you’re studying the English language the traditional way, you’re bound to start translating when trying to create an English sentence. You think of what words to say based on how you’d say the same thing in your native language. You also tend to copy the syntax of sentences from your native language simply because it’s the only know way for you to say or write anything in English. Basically it all boils down to you THINKING IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE. Changing your life-long habit and starting to THINK IN ENGLISH, therefore, is an absolute must if you want to learn how to speak fluent English – as you can imagine, it’s not really possible if your head is full of thoughts in your native language while you’re trying to say something in English. (more…)
Why Can’t I Speak With My Fellow Native Speakers in English Fluently?
English Fluency Issues Is a Blessing in Disguise!
How I Said “Check” Instead of “Receipt” in a Hardware Store (And What You Can Learn From It!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06p6_a0QP6U I’ve been an English fluency mentor for a good few years now, but it doesn’t mean I speak in English perfectly at all times. You see, I’m an active proponent of letting it go when speaking in English which invariably involves making a few mistakes here and there, and there’s nothing wrong when a person capable of speaking fluent English says something wrong. In this particular situation I was paying for goods in a hardware store, and I wanted to ask the cashier for a receipt. Instead of using the word “receipt”, however, I worded the request the following way: “Can I have a check, please?” Needless to say, I corrected myself immediately after saying the wrong phrase – “Can I have the receipt, please?” is the proper way of asking for a proof of purchase at a till (the word “check” is used when you’re in a restaurant). Was a feeling bad about confusing the cashier though? Not at the slightest! :-) (more…)
Develop Your English Fluency by Helping Others!
Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve been working on my English. Truth be told, my English learning methods didn’t do much good to my fluency because I spent most of my time learning English grammar, reading and writing and as a result I developed something I like to call a “writing mode” of my mind (read more about it HERE). Nonetheless, I was constantly striving to improve my English and whenever one of my friends would ask me to help them to translate something from English or to make a phone call and talk to an English speaker on their behalf, I never said NO. Helping others became a whole lot more frequent when I moved to Ireland back in 2002 because there were a lot of things to be done in order to settle down in the foreign country – starting from opening a bank account and ending with renting a house – and plenty of my fellow Latvians asked for my assistance when dealing with native English speakers in various institutions or via the phone. During the Celtic Tiger boom years there was a never-ending stream of Latvian immigrants coming to Ireland many of which happened to be my friends or relations, so needless to say I had to help many of them to deal with local authorities, utility companies and the like. And guess what? As a result of all those countless hours of helping others to write correspondence in English, translate from English and also acting as an interpreter on quite a lot of occasions, I immensely improved my own English! Fair enough, I was constantly struggling with my spoken English because I still kept resorting to traditional English learning methods when studying the language at home, and it’s only 5 years after I arrived in Ireland that I finally realized what I had to do in order to speak fluently. Having said all this however, I have to admit that by helping others I was doing myself a really big favor because I was constantly exposing myself to real life English and it did contribute into my personal English fluency development big time. Was I annoyed a lot of times for being constantly asked for help? Hell yes! Do I regret it now? Hell no! :grin: Now I fully understand that by constantly being out there and helping my fellow Latvians deal with daily problems in an English speaking country I was improving my own English, and there’s no reason, by the way, why you couldn’t do the same thing. So here’s what I’ve been doing throughout the years for others in terms of helping them to deal with the English language related issues (and there’s no reason in the world why YOU couldn’t start doing the same thing!): (more…)
Everyone Says My English is Good Enough… But It ISN’T!
Thinking in English Happens With Your Mouth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsM3eYmG3xo This video is dedicated to Juhapekka’s last comment on my blog where he says that he’d really like to be able to think about the most sophisticated and complex subjects in English, but he’s not really able to. Juhapekka is a Finnish guy and he’s a frequent commentator on my blog - he’s posted a good few comments and they’re very profound and I really, really appreciate his contribution to my blog. So, thank you once more Juhapekka! ;-) But now let’s get down to the business and let me respond to the actual comment. Let me tell you right up-front that it’s going to be useful to everyone – not just Juhapekka – so just watch the video above (or listen to the audio file just above the video in case you can’t access YouTube content) and you’ll definitely find something useful for your own English improvement routine. (more…)
English Learning Principles for Total Beginners
You Shouldn’t Learn Irregular Verbs This Way: Bring – Brought – Brought
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9RoRzEzdwU Today I witnessed how a beginner English learner was using a smart phone app to build English vocabulary. The girl spoke a word in her native language, the app picked it up, translated into English and while doing so it also provided all three basic forms of the verb in question: “Bring, brought, brought.” Cool! – you may think. It’s a great app! ;-) Well, just forget the app for a moment, and let’s see what happens in your brain when you memorize a word string such as “Bring – brought – brought”. You memorize all those three words in the same exact sequence, and next time around when you think of using the verb “to bring”, the other word -“brought” – is going to appear alongside. You think it’s handy? Well, think twice :!: What if you’re trying to have a conversation with someone in English, and you’re starting a sentence by saying: “My supervisor told me I have to bring...” – but then suddenly the word “brought” jumps right in making you hesitate? Do you think it’s an unlikely scenario? In reality it’s EXACTLY how the typical English fluency issue manifests itself, and learning such unnatural word groups contributes to non-native speakers’ inability to speak fluently big time! So watch the entire video above, and if you’ve any questions or queries – please post them in the comments section below. Robby
Improving Your English is Simpler Than You Think!
Watch Breaking Bad If You Want to Improve Your American English!
5 Ways to Practice Your Spoken English if You’re Desperate For English Conversations!
If you’re a foreign English speaker and you don’t get a lot of opportunities to speak in English with real people in real life, it’s quite understandable you’re going to be really desperate for some spoken practice. Well, it doesn’t have to be so doom and gloom! ;-) With a little bit of effort and imagination you can find plenty of opportunities to practice your spoken English, so without further ado please start familiarizing yourself with 5 ways to practice your spoken English that are especially relevant to those non-native English speakers who don’t work in an English speaking environment :!: (more…)
I’ve Been Speaking in English for Years! I Still Require Regular Spoken Practice Though…
I’ve been an English speaker for what seems like a lifetime, so you’d think that by now I’ve become so comfortable with the English language that I could stop doing all the following: Speaking with myself during the day to keep my spoken English skills sharp; Preparing for important English conversations by doing some spoken self-practice; Speaking with myself in the car while driving to work etc. Guess what? I JUST CAN’T STOP DOING IT :!: And I warmly suggest you don’t ever give up such habits either – no matter how good your English becomes! Why am I saying this? It’s simple enough, my friend non-native English speaker: The moment you stop actively working on your fluency, it will start stalling! (more…)
Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!
Learn Only ONE Way of Using New English Vocabulary Words at Any Given Time!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mx3cg0gSNk In this English Harmony video I’m going to respond to Meenu’s comment in which she explains her problem in relation to learning new English vocabulary words. You can see the full exchange below: I’m taking the liberty to elaborate on the whole issue in the video above, and I hope you’ll find it helpful, Meenu! ;-) So, if you’re having similar issues with learning new English vocabulary: (more…)
Lower Your Standards if You Want to Improve Your English Successfully!
How to Deal With Situations When You Don’t Understand the Other English Speaker At All!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0wb1njP7mM About a week ago I asked you to share your stories about embarrassing English conversations on this blog post. I got a good few comments sharing various experiences, and one of those stories was submitted by a Finnish fella Juhapekka where he shares his experience of having a conversation with a South African chap whose accent, slang and fast speech was indistinguishable. So the basic issue faced by Juhapekka was dealing with situations when you just can’t understand what your English speaking conversation partner is talking about, and I recorded this video to address this particular issue! ;-) If you’ve also had similar experiences in the past and it keeps happening to you every now and then that you don’t understand a particular person and you feel very embarrassed about the whole experience – please watch the video above and you’ll find out what exactly you can do about it. Any questions and comments are welcome! ;-) Robby
Share Your Humiliating English Conversation Experiences & Get Advice!
Contextual English Vocab Building: Using TheFreedictionary.com the SMART Way!
Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!
If you can't watch the video below - listen to the audio version above! ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvRCSSXdWZs There are a lot of ways you can practice your spoken English in situations when you don’t have plenty of opportunities to speak with real people in real life: Speaking with yourself Shadowing English movies Watching all sorts of YouTube videos and repeating what you hear Doing English Harmony System’s speech exercising lessons There’s another way, however, to get your spoken English practiced in the comfort of your own home while at the same time speaking with another human being. Namely – speaking with someone over the phone! But hold on, what if you don’t have any English speaking people you could call? And surely if you know someone you might call, you wouldn’t be calling them every day now, would you? And that’s when the utility company support phone lines step in :!: Basically here’s what you have to do: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: Brought to My Attention
Hello everyone who’s eager to improve their spoken English! ;-) Has the importance of learning English phrases and expressions ever been brought to your attention? If you’ve been following my blog for a good while, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the concept of natural fluency acquisition via English phrases and idiomatic expressions. If, on the other hand, this is the first time you’re visiting my blog, let me explain to you in simplistic terms why idiomatic expressions are very important to you as an English student. Now, let’s take today’s phrase – BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION. Imagine yourself having a conversation with someone, and during that conversation you want to say that something has been brought to your attention, in other words – something has been pointed out to you. If you conjugate the verb “to bring” every time you speak and you create the sentence from scratch in your head while speaking – BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION – the resulting speech is going to be somewhat slow and hesitant. (more…)
3 Easy Steps of Dealing With Fear of Public Speaking for Non-native English Speakers
English Collocation: The Worst Case Scenario
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlQEewQET5I Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers :!: In today’s English Idiomatic Expression video we’re going to look at the following collocation: THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. It’s a way native English speakers (and also fluent foreign English speakers, of course!) refer to the worst possible turn of events, and traditionally we discuss such possibilities when: Trying to persuade someone to do something (Common, why are you afraid to go to the event, the worst case scenario is you being asked a question, and it’s no big deal really!) Discussing the various eventualities and trying to prepare for the worst (So, the worst case scenario is the whole computer network going down, see we need to buy another backup server!) Want to find out more about this particular English collocation? Then watch the video above (or listen to the audio just above the video!) and don’t forget to use this new English collocation in your own English conversations! Regards, Robby ;-)