Welcome to English Harmony Podcast!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Wf9UKN33k Hi Guys, From now on, all my YouTube videos are going to be available as simple MP3 files for those who can’t access YouTube OR if you simply want to listen to the video while going about your daily business! UPDATE: Here's my podcast link on iTunes! Do you see the small podcast widget on the very top of this blog post – just above the video? There’s a playback button for listening to the audio file (which is an EXACT replica of the video just below it!), and there’s also a link to open the file in a new window. Also, there’s a link which says “Download”, and you can simply download the file onto your PC or laptop and then drag and drop it into your MP3 player or smartphone to listen to later on. Handy, isn’t it? I’d say it definitely is! You see, I’ve had a few people saying they’ve been converting my YouTube videos as MP3’s and listening to them in a car; also, I’ve had people from China tell me YouTube videos aren’t accessible over there. So to cater for all of my followers’ needs, I decided to take some action and start doing the podcast! It took me half a day to set it all up, but from now on it’s going to be a walk in the park, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to my audio podcasts – if that’s your cup of tea, so to speak! ;-) Cheers, Robby :-)
Is English Harmony GOOD and All the Rest is BAD?
You Don’t Need to Separate English Listening from Speaking!
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?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umdqX1IdIG4 Does this scenario characterize you as a foreign English speaker: You start a conversation with another English speaker; You’re listening to him or her and you understand 99% of what they’re saying; When it comes to replying to their questions, you just CAN’T SAY A THING! :mad: So, do you recognize yourself from the description above? Don’t worry, it’s nothing unusual, as a matter of fact, most foreign English speakers are struggling with similar communication problems for the simple reason that we tend to compare our English with that of the other person when we speak. As a result, we become acutely aware of shortcomings in our speech and we’re just afraid of opening our mouth in case we say something completely stupid… Is there a solution to this problem of not being able to respond to when you’re spoken to? Yes! (more…)
Power of Memorizing English Sentences, Paragraphs and even Poems!
Your Small English Imperfections Tend to Disappear!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2t82GjaKCc Are you following my advice on learning loads of English idiomatic expressions and collocations and applying them onto your speech and also writing? Great! Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of those expressions and does it make you feel as if the more you’re learning the more there is to left to learn? It’s only natural! We’re all human beings, and feeling overwhelmed and feeling that whatever we’re saying and writing falls short of our own expectations is something that many of us do. But guess what? (more…)
English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”
Never Ignore English Movies If You Want to Be Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggHds15I-HQ I received a comment on one of my YouTube videos a couple of days ago, here’s the full text of it: Thanks a million Robby for the time and efforts you dedicate to help us. My biggest lifetime mistake was that I always underestimated the importance of watching movies in achieving the desirable command of English; because I used to think that it's not very SEXY for well-educated persons to waste their time on movies! What happened then? Now, I am a doctoral student who writes impressive formal law review articles but he sucks at speaking! This is really a shame: when I am invited to give a presentation as if I am invited to be hanged... Once, when I was doing my LLM in Sweden, our course coordinator called me into her office and told me this article cannot be yours! You can imagine how that could be disappointing! So, heed my advice everyone and NEVER IGNORE MOVIES...use it or lose it! Now, first of all, I can totally relate to the fact that this person has developed their WRITTEN English to a very high degree while at the same time neglecting the SPOKEN language. (more…)
What You Think is Your WORST English Performance May Just Turn Out to Be Your BEST One Ever!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”
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?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAq0VluuoBo I recorded this video as a response to a comment I received today, and here’s the comment in question: Hey Robby, can you make a complete list of phrasal verbs, idioms and slang used in American English. I want this because I wanna learn American English. The question looks simple and straightforward enough, and instead of recording a lengthy video I could have just posted lists of American phrases just like these: American Phrases American English Phrases There is another dimension to this question, however, and it’s all got to do with what it actually means to LEARN AMERICAN ENGLISH. (more…)
Look Among Young Adults Fiction for Easy-to-read Books!
How to Develop Good Ear for English Listening
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkJUWRRzJXU This video is a response to a question asked by one of my mailing list subscribers, and his main concern is the ability to UNDERSTAND what other English speakers are saying to him. When he reads some English text, his comprehension is way better, but it’s just that when he’s spoken to, his understanding isn’t that good. Well, guess what? It’s totally natural! ;-) When you read, there’s no way you can mishear words and not understand them because of the way they’re pronounced, or maybe because the person is speaking too fast. There’s a multitude of various factors contributing into one’s ability to understand spoken English, but here’s the main points I would like to stress: (more…)
Must-Follow YouTube Channels by Foreign English Speakers!
Happy New Year Everyone!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVL0GvzXQsc Hello Everybody! ;-) This year has finally drawn to an end, and I have to tell you my friends that it's been one hell of a ride :!: I've created a couple more products on top of the English Harmony System, namely - Fluency Gym Coach Program (helping my fellow foreigners with confidence and goal-setting when it comes to English improvement) and Accent Genie Program (focusing on American Pronunciation); I've started a couple of new blogs - EasyIdioms.com and BestEnglishFiction.com (I haven't been updating them as often as I'd like though...); I've finally bought my own house (well - 90% of the money is borrowed from the bank anyway, so technically it won't be mine for another 30 years...) and the redecoration work kept me busy during the summer months - having said all that, however, I never stopped delivering articles and videos on my blogs EnglishHarmony.com and AccentAdventure.com! On top of that, I've been going to my 9 - 5 job on a daily basis so as you can imagine I've been busy as hell but I've truly ENJOYED every single second of it! Why? Because receiving e-mails and comments such as this one, for example, makes it all worthwhile: That's right my friends. It's only thanks to YOU that I'm sitting here in my home office behind the laptop and making all these videos and articles. If not for YOU, there'd be no-one to read it all, there'd be no-one to watch my videos, there'd be no-one to leave comments on my YouTube channel and my blog. And if not for those who've committed with their money and dedication - namely, my CUSTOMERS, I wouldn't be able to run my operation because - let's face the truth my friends - I wouldn't have the financing necessary to run my websites, create the products and produce the videos! So I'd like to take this opportunity and THANK YOU ALL VERY, VERY MUCH for staying with me throughout this year, and may all your wishes come true in the New Year 2014!!!
5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language
English Idiomatic Expression “To Happen To (Be)”
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”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d66wPBwOxo8 Hi everybody! The year is drawing to an end, Christmas is upon us, my Holidays have begun in earnest, and I can record videos just like this one TO MY HEART’S CONTENT! Today’s video is dedicated to an English idiom TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT, and first of all let’s validate it to see if it’s indeed a valid English word combination by entering this phrase into Google search (don’t forget to use quotation marks!): As you can see, it’s a totally valid English idiom as indicated by over 2 million search results and also the fact that the first search result clearly says: “to heart’s content” – idioms and phrases. Now, as to what this idiom means – well, it’s simple enough indeed! (more…)
Is It OK to Use Conversational Phrases in Formal English Writing?
Sometimes It Makes More Sense to Acquire English Vocab as Part of Figurative Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1rMxAYbNVM If you’re a keen English student, there’s a good chance you dedicate a considerable amount of your time to learning new English vocabulary. If you’re a SMART English student, you’re learning new English vocabulary in context (basically I’m talking about phraseology here) because that’s pretty much the only way to ensure you can use that vocabulary as part of live, fluent English speech. If you’re REALLY SERIOUS about your fluency improvement, however, you’re also being selective about the way you choose which phrase containing this or that particular English word you assign the most importance to! Let’s take, for example, the word BOG. I guess you know the word, but in case you didn’t know what it means (nothing wrong with that!) – it’s land covering an area of an overgrown lake where there’s plenty of soggy, moist soil and people have been known to get sucked into bog sinkholes because it’s pretty much impossible to get out of one. So, let’s say you just learned the word BOG, and you’re going to learn the most commonly used collocations containing that word to make sure proper mental associations are created in your mind: I was walking on a bog Walking on a bog may be dangerous Sucked into a bog sinkhole Bog oak woodwork (specific type of hardwood that’s being recovered from a bog having been there for thousands of years) If you learn these collocations (it’s just a fancy way of referring to word combinations), you’re so much more likely to be able to USE the word BOG as part of a live conversation for the simple reason that the word BOG is going to be connected with other words so they’ll all come out of your mouth without you having to construct a sentence from scratch. (more…)
Job Seeking for Foreigners: Talking About Your Past, Present and Future
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…)
English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!
If Someone Keeps Asking “Do You Understand Me?” – You May Indeed Run Into Fluency Issues!
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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDgv198X3lA This is the last funny English phrase video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers… The reason being – the year is drawing to an end, and so is my commitment to keep publishing new videos for you guys every couple of weeks! :-( That’s why I decided to publish death and dying related English phrases video today – to mark the end of the year and your journey to English fluency. Every end, however, is just a beginning to something new, so don’t get sad while watching this video – instead make sure you listen to the dialogues carefully and REPEAT the phrases you hear. Needless to say, many of those death related idioms can be used in various situations in life – not just when someone is close to passing away, so watch the video above, use the transcript below for better understanding and start using those death related English idioms in your daily conversations! (more…)
You Won’t Fool a Native English Speaker During a Job Interview So Better Stop Trying!
Speaking in English is Like FIGHTING (Trick to Overcome Perfectionism)!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bayxGBITl8o Have you ever noticed that when you study English on your own, you tend to make fewer mistakes and you can speak much clearer and more eloquently than if you speak with another person? Well, it mightn’t necessarily be the case – after all, there are some people who bring out the best in you as a foreign English speaker - but I’m sure that it has happened to you on more than just one occasion that you struggle a bit to get the verbal message across to the other person. And guess what I realized one day? It’s pretty much like fighting a real life fight if you’re a martial arts practitioner or a boxer! (more…)
I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?
How to Speak During a Job Interview If You’re a Non-Native English Speaker
The truth of the matter is that most foreign English speakers want to improve their English in order to improve their chances of getting a better job or getting that long-wanted promotion in their current company. So, the chances are quite high that you also cherish such dreams of improving the quality of your professional life, and I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’d like to be prepared really, really well when going for your job interview! Also, if you’re competing against native English speakers for the position, you may want to make sure you don’t expose your weaknesses in terms of your overall English skills, and most importantly – you definitely want to make sure you’re able to showcase your personal profile, relevant qualifications and past experience without any hiccups during the job interview. Now, do you think you don’t stand a chance of getting that job you desire if: You sometimes get stuck for words when speaking in English; Using the right English tenses during a conversation sometimes presents problems for you; You don’t know how to sound professional during important events such as job interviews and meetings? Don’t worry! In this and the next few articles dedicated to job seeking for non-native English speakers I’m going to provide killer tips for you that will see to your job seeking goals and make sure you put on a great show during the job interview! ;-) (more…)
You Don’t Have to Learn the EXACT Meaning of New English Words!
It’s hard to eradicate habits picked up over years upon years spent studying English in a traditional setting – textbooks, translation, plenty of grammar studies – you know the drill! One of the most lasting effects of such English studies is the desire to figure out what EXACTLY a new English word means. Let’s say, for example, you’re listening to a radio news broadcast and they’re saying that the death toll has reached two hundred people following a massive volcano eruption on some distant Pacific island (this is totally fictional, my friend, so don’t go looking up news online about a recent volcano eruption – you won’t find anything!) So, the overall message is quite clear – two hundred people have lost their lives, and while you mightn’t know the word TOLL, the context reveals its meaning in an indirect way. Here’s what should be going on in your head as you hear the sentence “…volcano … death toll reached 200…”: VOLCANO + DEATH + 200 PEOPLE = simply means 200 people have lost their lives. It shouldn’t be like this: VOLCANO + DEATH + TOLL … what the heck is TOLL? Will anyone help me out with this one, please? Tell me what is TOLL, I need to know what it is!!! Here’s what I believe. I strongly believe that any foreign English speaker behaving like this knows deep down inside what the word in question MIGHT mean, and they also get the overall message. They simply like asking questions because it’s encouraged in a school setting, and this kind of behaviour carries on into the adult life making those folks question everything and anything that isn’t 100% understandable and clear-set. Are you one of those folks? Then keep reading this article and hopefully we’ll be able to deal with this problem once and for all! (more…)