Cover image of English Harmony Podcast: Improve English Fluency | Improve Spoken English | Learn English
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Education
Language Learning

English Harmony Podcast: Improve English Fluency | Improve Spoken English | Learn English

Updated 3 days ago

Education
Language Learning
Read more

Improve Spoken English & English Fluency

Read more

Improve Spoken English & English Fluency

iTunes Ratings

12 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
2
0
3
1

iTunes Ratings

12 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
2
0
3
1
Cover image of English Harmony Podcast: Improve English Fluency | Improve Spoken English | Learn English

English Harmony Podcast: Improve English Fluency | Improve Spoken English | Learn English

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Improve Spoken English & English Fluency

Rank #1: English Sentence Starter: “Speaking Of…”

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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!

Hello my friends foreign English speakers!

It’s me – Robby – from English Harmony here and this time around I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, namely – “SPEAKING OF…

As a matter of fact, this expression also happens to be one of the simplest English sentence starters and the only other sentence starter that can rival this one in its simplicity is “Well…”

Long story short, whenever you’re asked a question and you find it a little bit difficult to respond, you can resort to the strategy of saying “SPEAKING OF…” which then is followed by the very subject of the question.

Basically what you’re doing here is – you’re just REPEATING the other person’s question which is super-easy yet at the same time it adds a lot of substance to your speech.

In other words – instead of just responding with a few word sentence, you may as well start your response by saying “SPEAKING OF…”, then repeat the question, and only THEN provide your answer!

Now, do you want to see how this strategy works in real life?

Well, what are you waiting for? Start watching the video above!

Cheers,

Robby

The post English Sentence Starter: “Speaking Of…” appeared first on English Harmony.

May 02 2016
10 mins
Play

Rank #2: Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!

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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 and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com obviously. And welcome – I was going to say velcome. This is one of those typical mistakes that some of us make. Instead of welcome we would say velcome. Basically instead of the “wa” sound we’d be saying “w” for some reason or another, you know.

And it does happen to me on the rare occasion and now you actually witnessed that occasion but I’m not going to delete it out from the video. I’m just going to leave there on record just to prove you guys that making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a – I would even say an integral part of your development as a foreign English speaker, you know. Because getting rid of mistakes altogether is not possible, right?

Anyhow, now I’m having my Saturday afternoon green tea. Cheers. And to a healthy lifestyle, right? Instead of coffee these days I’m rolling with green tea pretty much all the time, and especially when I’m at work, the workload is really, really big I would say. Sometimes even overwhelming so green tea keeps me energized and focused and I would really suggest you start doing the same thing, right? If you’re drinking coffee, switch over to green tea and you’re going to feel the effects of it immediately!

Combine Slow Speech With Improvisation!

Anyway, today’s topic is about combining the strategy of slow speech, right? You may want to click on this link to find out more about the benefits of slow speech as opposed to trying to speak very fast and you basically can combine that strategy with another strategy which is improvisation. And you may want to click on this link here to hear and read more about improvisation. That’s obviously when you’ve become really comfortable with your speech and you can just improvise on the go, right?

You can, you can – and now this is actually the moment when I’m going to put that combined strategy of the two strategies into practice, right? I was saying “when you can” and actually I didn’t know what was going to follow, right? So it’s the improvisation coming into play, right?

But why the slower speech also comes in handy in this particular strategy is because if I were to be speaking – I said it wrong. If I were to speak – I could have probably said if I were to be speaking but it doesn’t sound right. This is how I question myself, you see, when I say things sometimes I realize that I might have said something wrong and then I actually question myself and analyze my speech a little bit but I don’t analyze it beforehand. I don’t analyze before speaking out loud because that’s when your fluency goes out the window.

Anyway, going back to the subject, if I were to speak very fast I wouldn’t be able to stop the flow of words and I would have definitely said something totally wrong. I would have messed up my speech altogether. But now that I’m speaking slowly I can pause for a split second and I can actually think of something new to say to continue on the same note.

So basically I said “and then you can” and then I realized kind of okay, I didn’t really intend to use the word “can”, it just came out of my mouth by itself somehow, you know, these things happen but I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I can improvise and I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I’m speaking quite slowly, right? And I don’t have to be freaking out about it but I can just take a moment to break and figure out what I can say to continue on that note, right?

Basically I said – I actually forgot what I said, I would have to rewind it back in my head. So I was saying I can combine the two strategies and then I can or you can, I forgot the exact wording, then you can implement that strategy in situations when you say something unexpected to yourself, when a word comes out of your mind by itself but it’s the wrong word which doesn’t kind of go together with the thought process that you had previously in your head so here you go.

And I was going to give you more examples so that you can actually clearly see what I’m talking about, right? So for instance if I want to say that I would never think even about doing a certain thing, right? And then I start the sentence by saying “Listen, this is definitely something that I would never do, you know.” But imagine if I said the word “will” instead of the word “would”, right? So my thought is – the thought process is as follows: I would never do such a thing, right? So it’s something that I would never do.

But it could happen so that the word “will” comes out of my mouth for some reason instead of “would”, right? So the sentence starts as for my intention so I’m saying “This is something that I never will…” and then I realize, hold on a second if I were to say it’s something that I will never do, it’s not really on, you know, because if I say “it’s something that I would never do” basically you’re talking about something that hasn’t even happened, right? You’re just contemplating various possibilities, okay, with regards to the future.

Whereas if you were to say “it’s something that I will never do”, yeah, it’s kind of the same meaning but it kind of implies that there is a certain possibility that you would do it at some stage in the future and then you’re saying that “no, I will not actually do it”, right?

So if I started the sentence “this is something that I never…” and then said the word “will” then I would probably change the continuation of the train of thoughts, right? I would kind of switch over to something slightly different and say things like “this is something that I never will even contemplate”, right? In other words, it’s something that I would never do, you know.

So I hope you get the drift basically. By combining the slower speech and your innate ability to improvise, I actually believe that every one of us has that ability to improvise. We just have to reach a certain English fluency development and then provided obviously that we do a lot of spoken English practice and everything we can develop that ability, you know. And then that improvisation combined with slower speech avails you of correcting your speech so that the other person doesn’t even know that you said something wrong.

Well, not necessarily wrong in grammar terms or whatever but wrong in terms of you saying something that you didn’t really intend to say in the first place as you opened your mouth. For the first time you never intended to say certain words and then they just come out of your mouth and then you can stop for a split second and change your sentence, change the flow of thoughts and maybe even change the whole conversation, you know. Because sometimes these things happen for a reason. You say something and you think why did I even say that word? But it does happen for a reason maybe.

And I hope that you got the drift. I hope that I got the message across quite successfully and obviously if you have more questions about this particular strategy and how it works maybe you can actually mention some of your own examples. I’m pretty sure that some of you guys might have experienced something similar while speaking in English yourself. So feel free to publish everything in the comment section below. Thanks for checking in, thanks for watching the video and chat to you soon again, my friends. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing! appeared first on English Harmony.

Sep 17 2016
9 mins
Play

Rank #3: Am I Forcing Myself To Speak With a Native-like English Accent?

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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!

Hello my fellow foreign English speakers!

The other day one of my YouTube followers asked me a question about my pronunciation and accent, here it is:

Hi Robby, once again I’ve watched one of your first videos and compared to this one. The progress is amazing! But I want to ask you something – in your first videos you speak in a kind of casual, relaxed way but yes, your accent was much more significant. Though it didn’t affect the clarity of your speech. Now you have moderated you speech and some people may take you for a native speaker. But I bet this current way of speaking requires more energy and self-control so you don’t slip back into your native accent. Please, let me know if that is the case!

Now, it’s a very good question, so I guessed it definitely deserved a video response from me.

Watch it above and enjoy my friends!

Chat soon,

Robby

The post Am I Forcing Myself To Speak With a Native-like English Accent? appeared first on English Harmony.

Mar 28 2017
8 mins
Play

Rank #4: Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right?

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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 boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog. And today I’m going to respond to an email that was sent in to me 19 hours ago at this stage and I think that this particular email merits my video response because it kind of highlights a general issue that happens in the larger foreign English speakers’ community, right?

So I’m not going to be reading the whole email word by word but I’m just going to kind of summarize the email in a few sentences. So basically this particular blog follower of mine says that he was one of the best in the class in terms of English literature when he was in high school and then he says “which evidently means that I should be able to write and speak the language.” But in his case he could write. It’s the typical English fluency issue whereby you can write, you can understand, you can read but you cannot speak. And then he attributes certain percentages.

So basically he says that he would be able to write at 80% in terms of efficiency or whatever and speaking would be only 20%, lagging behind big time, right? And the particular thing that I want to focus on in this video is, “which evidently means” so it kind of even goes without saying that once you are good at writing and reading and the literature lessons or whatever, it means that you should be able to speak full stop. There’s no further discussion. There’s no debates. No further investigation required so to speak, right?

Why We Automatically Assume That Good Reading & Writing Skills = Good Speaking Skills?

So why is it that we just automatically assume? It’s because the traditional English teaching methodology has created this myth because English is perceived as one big subject. So this myth has been perpetuated over decades and even centuries and so we just blindly believed, without even questioning, we just believed that once we are good at reading and writing and understanding that we should be automatically good speakers and if that’s not the case then there’s something wrong with us.

And this particular person finds a problem with himself further down the email, right? He says that he thinks that his biggest issue is the fear of making mistakes and that’s why he can’t speak. Well, obviously that’s also a symptom of the typical English fluency issue but that’s not the reason, it’s just the symptom. You see?

The reason, in a typical English class, in a typical literature class or whatever you do a lot of reading, writing, listening, all that kind of stuff but you don’t practice your speech. You don’t speak a lot and that’s the whole point. There are so many aspects of the English language and they should have been divided into different classes, right?

So when you go and learn English literature you read and write or whatever and then there should be a specifically dedicated class to practicing spoken English. And then if that were the case then you would clearly see that. Okay, I’m lagging behind in my spoken department but it’s all because I haven’t been doing enough practice in the spoken English class or whatever. Then you would clearly see the division between the different aspects of the English language.

But if it’s all bundled up in one big English lesson, we cannot distinguish the different aspects of the English language. And as a matter of fact, I’ve been going on about this thing again and again and again but I had to revisit it because people have been contacting me on a regular basis and this particular email I think was a very good representation because the person said that it evidently means that I should be able to write and speak.

And it’s kind of ironic because there is no evidence but we are just led to believe that yes, it should be happening. But it’s not the case. Just because you can read and write, there is no correlation between your reading and writing skills and your spoken English ability. Maybe some remote, remote correlation. Obviously if you cannot understand and read and write at all obviously you’re not going to be able to speak and vice versa.

If you are very good at reading and writing you would be able to say something, right? It’s not as if you won’t be able to say anything at all. So there is obviously a relationship between those aspects of the English language but the whole point is that – the bottom line basically is that you develop specific aspects of the English language and you are what you do.

Remember – You Are What You Do!

If you are an English reader and that’s all you do you become fluent at reading. If you speak a lot and practice your spoken English, then you become a very good speaker. You become a fluent speaker. If you write a lot and spend a lot of time writing then you become a very, very good English writer. Those are the different distinct aspects of the English language.

So hopefully this video is going to clear that up for you my friend. And yeah, basically on the finishing note let me tell you that the fear of making mistakes is not the reason you are unable to speak fluently. It’s a manifestation if the fluency issue if you will. It’s one of the symptoms but the true reason is you haven’t been practicing your spoken English. If there’s enough practice behind you, no fear will stand in the way of your success.

Yes, it will hamper your performance somewhat but provided that you’ve been doing a lot of practicing and preparing for a specific event for example, no amount of fear is going to render your spoken English facilities totally unusable so to speak.

So thanks for watching my friends and chat to you soon again. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Q & A – I’m Very Good in the English Class So Evidently I Should Be a Fluent Speaker, Right? appeared first on English Harmony.

Mar 19 2017
7 mins
Play

Rank #5: How to Decide Which Tense and Which Verb Form to Use?

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

Hi guys. Hello boys and girls. Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers. It’s Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Today I’m going to respond to a particular question that I received from one of my blog readers. And let me read it first and then we’re going to address it. Okay?

So “When I speak in English without translating from my native language…” which is the right way to do it, right? If you translate, you just can’t speak normally. So rule number 1; stop translating!

So “If I speak that way, I face the problem of tenses. Basically I cannot decide immediately which form of the verb should be used and all of that. So please let me know how I can deal with it. If you have any articles posted on your blog and if yes, send me the links or else please let me know of the solution.”

Let’s Wrap It All Up in a Single Article!

Now, here’s the deal. I have a number of articles that are related to this particular issue. But I’m going to wrap it all up in a single video here, right? Because I haven’t actually created a single article or a video addressing this particular question; how can I decide which tense or which form of the verb I have to use when I speak when I do it on the go basically. How do I decide? Okay?

And here’s an interesting thing my friends. Over the years I’ve actually – I would imagine I’ve covered like all imaginable aspects of the English language and the fluency issues. All aspects imaginable, right? I just made a small mistake. Forgive me for that but that’s what I’m all about. I’m making mistakes just like you guys. I’m a human being. I’m not perfect. Okay?

So what I was going to say is I’ve covered hundreds and hundreds of different things when it comes to English fluency improvement. But there’s always a specific question that I haven’t answered. And that’s how I create these videos. Because when I read the email I realized immediately that this would make the perfect video because I’ve never actually answered this particular question, how do I decide what tense to go with and which form of the word to go with.

So first of all let me just tell you when – obviously you would be familiar with the whole concept of collocations and phraseology and word groups, right?

That’s what our English language is built from, word groups. And we have to learn those word groups that would enable us to speak fluently. We don’t just stick words together. Well, if we have the fluency issues whereby we stick the words together as we speak, we do it but that’s the wrong way.

If you want to speak naturally just like native English speakers do, then you would be using ready-to-go phrases and sentences and word groups. Okay?

Natural Speech Patterns Already Contain the Right Tenses and Verb Forms!

So as you go about your phraseology acquisition, first of all what I’m going to tell you is you would be learning word groups that would already contain all the tenses and the correct forms of verbs in them. That is the main point basically. The most important thing to bear in mind. And here’s a typical example.

Conditional sentence type 3, okay? Had I – I would have.

And let me give an example right off the top of my head. Had I not started running all those years ago I would have stayed – I would have remained an overweight man. Okay? But just because I’ve been running now for 8 years in a row – or something like that – I’m maintaining this physique and I’m maintaining a healthy body weight. So had I not been running all these years, I would have remained a fat person basically, right? Let’s call a spade a spade!

And you may think when you look at this particular grammar construct had I – I would have, that’s a very difficult grammar construct. How to wrap your head around it, right? But all you’ve got to do is just memorize it. Had I – I would have. And then when it becomes your second nature, you don’t have to think about when you have to use that tense.

You will automatically know when to use it just because you’ve memorized that particular grammar construct. Okay?

And the same goes with simpler expressions such as “I would have thought.”

It’s a typical expression used when – by the way you can click on these links right here because I’m changing them as I’m going along and basically I’m inserting the relevant links and you can click right on them in the video and it’s going to take you to my blog article and you’ll be able to read it and watch the relevant video and all that.

So I would have thought. Native English speakers use this expression to express the simple fact that they thought that something was the case but it turned out differently, right? So I would have thought that Jimmy was gone on holidays but I saw him at work yesterday. What’s the deal? Why is he back? I would have thought that he was gone on holidays, right?

So once you memorize that phrase “I would have thought”, it contains all the necessary grammar, all the tenses, the verb forms and all that in it. You don’t have to decide anything if you know what I mean!

The decision making is taken out of the equation so to speak. Once you memorize a ready-to-go phrase, it’s all wrapped up in a single package. You just memorize it and use it. And then there’s no decision making!

But here’s the deal, right? Obviously it’s all nice and well but when you speak, when you speak at great lengths, obviously at some stage down the line you will come across the situation when you have to make that decision.

Because obviously you wouldn’t be just using word groups and collocations and phraseology constantly. You will be making sentences as you go along because there’s no possible scenario whereby you can take like a hundred different phrases and create your speech purely out of them without using a single additional word, right? Obviously you would be using those phrases all the time but you would have to join them together to make sentences. Okay?

Here’s How to Decide Which Tense to Go With If You Have to – Go With Present Progressive!

So how would you decide then which tense to use when the situation demands? Here’s the rule of thumb that I would go by, okay? The present progressive tense. And this is something that I haven’t actually heard anyone else saying.

No English teacher would have told me that and I haven’t actually read it anywhere. But over the years as I’ve been working with my own English and I’ve been creating hundreds of articles and videos for my blog for you guys to enjoy, I’ve realized that the present progressive tense, basically “I’m doing something”, “I’m doing” is the most universal tense so to speak. You can use it to refer to any event happening in the past, in the now and in the future!

And here’s exactly what I’m talking about, right? I’m talking about the present actions; obviously you’re going to be using the present continuous tense, okay? And this is the link you can click on “Can present continuous substitute present simple tense?” right? Because obviously we are all taught that when describing actions that are ongoing at this particular moment in time, we would definitely have to use the present progressive tense.

But what about general activities that you engage in on a regular basis? They teach you that you have to use the preset simple – basically I work in such and such company, I go to work every day by bus blah-blah-blah.

So all those actions have to be described using present simple tense and only that tense, right? But here’s the deal.

Conversationally people use present progressive interchangeably with the present simple tense!

And just like is said, click on this link. Read the article. Read it once, read it two times till it registers and then you’ll realize what I’m talking about, right?

Basically I can easily say “I’m always driving to the college on the motorway. I’m always taking the motorway because it’s easier.”

I just used the present progressive tense. I didn’t say “I always take the motorway| even though I could have said it. But just because I chose to use the present progressive doesn’t make it incorrect!

So here’s a typical example how the present progressive works in both situations, whenever you’re referring to typical actions or actions that are on-going at this particular moment in time.

Past Events? Present Progressive!

Speaking of past events you may want to read this article “English Conversational Past Tense”, right? Conversationally when people talk about past events, they oftentimes kind of imagine themselves in that event and they kind of bring all those memories back and they talk about them as if they’re going on at this moment in time.

So the past becomes the present and obviously you can use the present progressive tense to refer to past events. Okay?

And just like I said, read the article, listen to the video, watch it and it’ll all make sense.

Future Plans? Present Progressive As Well!

And speaking of the future – where is the article? Yeah. This is the article. “Forget about Will Future Tense, Use Present Progressive Instead”. Basically this is one of the biggest mistakes made by you guys, you’d be using the WILL future, basically “I will do it” all the time when referring to future events.

But more often than that, native English speakers wouldn’t be actually using the WILL tense. They would be saying either “going to do something”, right? I’m going to do it. I’m going to go shopping today, right? Or “I’m going” which is more about events that you planned.

But you don’t necessarily have to analyze the whole thing and think about “hold on, is that an event I planned or is it something I didn’t really plan but I’m going to do it anyway?”

You can just stick with the rule of thumb of using present progressive. Okay?

I’m going shopping tonight. Tonight we’re going to the movies. Tonight we’re getting takeout and eating burgers and tacos, right?

So whenever you’re in doubt, stick with the present progressive. And this was the second point I was trying to make. The first one was – learn ready-to-go English speech patterns, collocations, phraseology and all that and they will already contain all the necessary grammar in it. You won’t have to conjugate anything!

And then when it comes to these decisions as to which tense to use as you join sentences together and as you talk about things that you wouldn’t be normally talking about then there would be less phraseology to use in those types of conversations, just go with the present progressive. I’m struggling to pronounce the name of the tense for some reason, right? Present progressive or present continuous. Different sources refer to the same tense differently, right? But it’s the same thing.

So use that one as your basic tense. Okay? And you won’t go wrong with it. All right? So that would be laying the ground rules so to speak.

A Few More Grammar Rules for Fluent Speech

And then there’s a few more. Yeah. You can read this article “3 Basic Grammar Rules Necessary for Fluent English” Okay? So the first one is how to use the past perfect “I had done it” basically, when talking about events that happened before a specific timeline. Then you use the past perfect. Okay?

And the second rule is the first conditional. If I do it, I will. A lot of foreigners would make the mistake of saying “If I will do it, something else will happen” but it’s wrong. Whenever you use words such as IF and WHEN, you have to use the simple present tense in that clause and then followed by a WILL future, right? That’s the second rule.

And the third one was – oh yeah – future tense! The same thing I already told you about, right? Basically you don’t have to use the WILL future tense which is way overused among us foreigners.

You just have to go with the present progressive. I’m doing it or “going to” future which conversationally becomes GONNA. I’m gonna do it, right? And that’s actually what people use in conversations on the street all the time. “I’m gonna” would be even more used than the present progressive, right? But just like I said if you use present progressive as your basic tense, you won’t go wrong with it. Okay?

So I hope that this is helpful to you. Thanks for asking the question.

Now, obviously if you have any further questions you are welcome to post them in the comments section below my friends.

Thanks for watching, chat to you soon, bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post How to Decide Which Tense and Which Verb Form to Use? appeared first on English Harmony.

Feb 22 2016
13 mins
Play

Rank #6: Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion

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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 and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

Today is Saturday and I’m having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it’s actually not a cup, it’s a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I’m not drinking beer, I’m having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn’t be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that’s an expression. So I would say that I’m not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That’s what people would normally say. That’s how people would understand you best, right?

Anyway, cheers!

And let’s start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today’s video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he’s an Irish fella, right? I’m a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will.

And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right?

As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I’m so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak.

So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your  English good luck charm and it’s all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken  English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right?

Today’s Topic – Moving to an English-speaking Country!

Now, the actual topic for today’s video is moving to an English-speaking country. Let me just read out the comment asking me to record a video, right? So 17 hours ago at this stage I received a comment saying “Would you consider making a video on the subject of emigration? I think a lot of expats like myself are watching your videos and it would be really interesting. For example pros and cons of living in a foreign country, possibility of moving back and so on, right?”

And then I promised to that person that I would record a video on the subject just because it’s something that I’m constantly dealing with, right? You see, I’m an expat myself, right? I live in Ireland. Originally I’m from Latvia and there’s a good few Latvians living in this country as well, right? So as you can imagine over the years I’ve realized that there’s a lot of issues faced by foreigners living in an English-speaking country and I can actually go through them with you.

With that being said I’ve got plenty of content published on my blog as well, right? They’re not videos, they’re articles. Actually a video or two as well so I will mention them as we go along throughout this video, right? I’ll just point you to those links. You’ll click on them, read the respective articles, watch the videos – so as to paint a completely clear and full picture of the whole subject matter which is a foreigner moving to an English-speaking country, right?

Moving to an English-speaking Country is Like Recovering Eye-sight!

First of all, let me just tell you that moving to an English-speaking country is like recovering your eyesight if you’ve been blind for your entire life. You may want to click on this link here where I’m discussing this whole subject in the very detail. Suffice it to say it’s all about you having gotten used to certain ways of using your English language, right? Traditionally you would be just reading, being exposed to English as opposed to using it actively and then when you move to an English-speaking country it’s like recovering an eyesight and not being able to actually function properly.

Because what happens with those people who’ve been blind their entire life and then they recover eyesight for some reason obviously through surgery or something like that they can’t even function because their brain can’t process what they see, right? And the same goes with a foreigner have moved to an English speaking country. You can use the English language in a certain way but when you have to speak with real people in real life you just can’t. So that’s a big issue, right? And on a lot of occasions you have to kind of re-learn what you’ve already learned, right?

So what I did is – I created this English Harmony system which is a great product for those who want to restructure the English language in your brain so that you can actually speak with others fluently, right? And yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me. When I moved to Ireland I spent a good few years constantly reading, writing, learning grammar, building my vocabulary to no avail, I still couldn’t speak, I couldn’t figure out what’s going on. And only a few years down the line I realized that it’s all down to the lack of spoken English practicing and lack of natural spoken English speech patterns, right? So I went ahead, did all that job and there you go, I can speak pretty much fluently at this stage and I’m helping my foreign speaking counterparts all around the world to achieve the same success, right?

But anyway, that’s not the biggest focus of today’s story. The biggest focus is that when you move to the English-speaking country and you discover all these fluency issues that you’re facing and you’re working on it, it’s all nice and well but a lot of people don’t do it.

A Lot of Foreigners Just Stock to Their Own!

A lot of people just stick to their own. Basically expats sticking with each other and not making a lot of effort to improve their English. And the language is the biggest thing when it comes to integration. I’m a strong believer in integration basically. When you go to that English-speaking country you have to do your utmost to integrate.

Obviously integration is not going to happen, like I mean you’re not going to integrate fully. In order to do that you would have to marry into a local family and spend your entire time among native English speakers, right? Make friends and go out with them and so on and so forth. So that would be the full integration. As a foreigner in an English-speaking country I only know too well that that is rarely the case, right?

But still you have to make effort. You have to find some friends, you have to form relationships, and you have to go out there, meet people and speak with them. And that’s what integration is all about but if you just stick to your own, you’re just forming these islands of your own country within that English-speaking country whether it’s Ireland, the UK or America or Australia or whatever, you know what I mean.

And that’s what I’m totally against, right? I know that it’s human nature. I know that it’s going to happen no matter what I say now but I believe that any like really intelligent person should work against that human nature of theirs just to stick with your counterparts, with your native counterparts and you should actually do the utmost to improve the language, to go out there, to meet locals, to make friends.

I know it’s sometimes really like problematic because people have biases and they will judge you for your foreign origin and all that kind of thing and that’s what I’ve been encountering myself, you know what I mean. I’m not alien to all these issues but I’m not claiming to be some super integrated foreigner, you know, I have a lot of issues just like everyone. But the point is you have to make effort, you know?

Watching TV in Your Native Lingo Is the Biggest Culprit!

And funnily enough one of the biggest things is watching TV, right? As you all know guys these days everyone watches TV, right? The typical person would spend 2 to 3, maybe 4-5 hours, a night watching the box, right? And these days you can watch TV online and movies and TV programs and so on and so forth. So when it comes to watching TV and I’m basically not going to be referring to like online streaming. I’m not going to differentiate between the two, I’ll just say TV but you’ll know that I mean just consuming this audiovisual media, be it YouTube or whatever, right?

So watching TV, you have to make sure that you do it in English. If you live in an English- speaking country why on earth would you be watching your own like TV channels from your country?

But believe it or not that a lot of people do that. As a matter of fact, like all my Latvian friends – well, to be honest with you I don’t have a lot of like real friends but out of the Latvians that I know and that I’m in touch with they all order Latvian TV channels online and they don’t watch the local TV channels which is crazy to think about it.

They don’t know what’s going on locally, right? They live in this country but they know everything about Latvia it’s as if they live in Latvia, just being physically away from it, you know what I mean? And I think it’s a bad thing.

I’m not saying that you should be totally ignoring your home country. Obviously not. You’re going to be maintaining a relationship with those who’ve stayed there, with your relations, with your parents, whatever, extended family members. And you’re going to be keeping on top of the news maybe as well.

And that’s what I do as well every day, I would check the Latvian news websites to see what’s going on in my country, right? But the fact of the matter is that if you live here, you have to live here fully. And there’s no better way of integrating than exposing yourself to the TV channels in the local language and then watch English TV shows, programs, movies, all that kind of stuff and thus improve your English.

Obviously your ability to speak is not going to be directly influenced by the exposure. That’s what I’ve been going on about on my blog for years now, right? You can’t be just watching TV and then expect yourself to improve in the spoken department, right? But it will help. It will help, right? If you isolate yourself in your native language bubble and live in it for 10 years in a foreign country, guess what? You’re not going to integrate! You will barely be able to string a sentence together in English and that’s not the right way to go, right?

So I want you to click on this link which is all about stopping watching TV in your language, right? And as a matter of fact there’s another article that I published at this stage 5 years ago. You may want to click on this link and it’s called Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English-Speaking Country. So there’s a good few tips and tricks that I’m giving to you guys who are moving to an English-speaking country, right? What to expect, what approach to adapt when living there and so on and so forth, right?

Yes, Sometimes You Find Yourself Among Your Fellow Country-people, But There’s Always Something You Can Do!

And also I want you to click on this link and there’s a video about what to do if you can’t speak with natives in an English-speaking country, right? Integrating yourself, all nice and well but sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded only with your native people so what to do in that case, right? Just watch the video just like I said but in a nutshell the solution is to practice spoken English yourself.

That’s what I’ve been doing for years and that’s one of the biggest reasons why my English is so fluent. I’m not bragging, I’m not saying that I’m just like a native English-speaker but I consider that my fluency is decent and it allows me to function in the local society properly. And that’s what we all should be aiming for. I’m not saying that everyone is going to achieve the same level of fluency as I have achieved, right? But provided that you work hard enough you will get there, you know. You will get a better job down the line, you will quite naturally make local friends and so on and so forth.

So you can make your life easier for yourself you’re going to make better impression of your like native background in eyes of the locals. They will see yourself as a really good person as opposed to someone who just isolates themselves living in the native language bubble and barely going out on the street and trying to integrate in the local society.

Just Make The Effort!

You just have to make that effort so that it could reflect well on your nationality, on your home country, right? That’s just the way it is. You can say all you want about like native English speakers judging certain nationalities just because of their lifestyle and just because they stick together but I can clearly understand where they’re coming from. If I look back at my own country there’s certain issues surrounding the same kind of lifestyle that some ethnic minorities are leading. Leading a lifestyle or doing a lifestyle? See I got a little bit mixed up.

Anyway, you get the drift, right? Certain ethnic minorities don’t really integrate in the Latvian society. They speak their language only and Latvians don’t really like that. And I can definitely tell you guys that you would be thinking the same of some ethnic group who moved over to your country and didn’t want to integrate, didn’t want to learn the local language. You would be against that. So try to put yourself in the native English-speakers’ shoes and see it from the other perspective, right? Try to see the bigger picture. It is bad if you just moved to an English-speaking country and don’t make any effort.

So basically that’s the moral of today’s video that’s the message I wanted to get across to you guys. If you move over to an English-speaking country live there and try to integrate, try and do your utmost to embrace the local culture, learn the language, make friends.

Obviously I’m not saying that everyone will achieve full integration but that’s something that we should aim for instead of just sticking to your own and just keep talking about your native place, your home country which is as a matter of fact what a lot of Latvians do!

Knocking The Local Culture Is The Worst Thing You Can Do!

They’ve come over but they knock the local traditions, the local culture, everything that’s got to do with Ireland they’re kind of against it. They’re only here for the money, you know? And they keep talking about the day when they will return back home.

I’m totally against that approach. If you will go back home at some stage down the line, so be it, right? Life goes on. You constantly – plans change and that’s just human, right? But while you’re living here you may want to just embrace it. Embrace the fact, take full advantage of the fact that you’re living in a different country, try to settle down, right? And who cares about what happens 10 years down the line? But don’t be living here and just constantly go on about the fact that in 10 years’ time you’ll go back home and you don’t care about what happens in this shithole. You know what I mean? That’s very bad. I’m against it, that’s my personal opinion.

If someone of you guys don’t agree with me, well, guess what? Anyone is entitled to their own opinion for as long as it’s the same as mine, right? Obviously that was just a joke but you get the drift, right?

So I guess that this is enough for today’s video. I would imagine that it’s gone over 10 minutes at this stage. So if you have any questions publish them in the comment section below and chat to you soon my friends. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion appeared first on English Harmony.

May 31 2016
16 mins
Play

Rank #7: English Idiomatic Expression “Good Night’s Sleep”

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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, that’s me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Currently I’m having my morning tea. As a matter of fact, it’s green tea with lemon. One smart person suggested a while back that I drink green tea with lemon as a way of boosting my immune system and whatnot and it actually helped, you know what I mean? So that was a very wise suggestion on that person’s part.

Anyhow, today we’re going to look at the following English idiomatic expression. As a matter of fact, I forgot what the expression was. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? It just slipped my mind. I cannot believe that, it’s unbelievable. I remember it now but it just goes to show that my head is full of different thoughts and everything and it’s all too easy to me to forget the stuff that I actually wanted to put in this video, right?

So today’s idiomatic expression is a “good night’s sleep”, right? And it may sound very simple. In fact, it’s super simple, a good night’s sleep, right? When you’ve had a good night’s sleep obviously you slept very well. However, there’s a reason for me to creating a whole video dedicated to this particular idiomatic expression. And if you want to find out what the reason is, please bear with me for a few more minutes and everything is going to become crystal clear to you, my friends.

So welcome back. A good night’s sleep. Last night I had a really, really good night’s sleep. Well, as a matter of fact come to think of it the day before was even better, you know what I mean? This morning I actually forced myself to wake up earlier, 6:30 which is by my earlier standards it’s still quite late, it’s just that I’m on my holidays at the moment and lately I’ve been sleeping in in mornings and I’ve gotten used to getting up at 9 o’clock or even after 9 which is super late, you know.

So on those mornings when I got up past 9 actually, I rolled out of my bed at 8:30 or something I really had a good night’s sleep, you know what I mean? I slept like a baby and I cannot remember when would have been the last time I had such a great sleep. So when I slept till 9 or even past that, I really had a good night’s sleep.

Last night I can’t really complain. It was still better than getting up at 5:30 in the morning which is my typical getting up time in the morning on my working days but I still had a good night’s sleep.

And now, speaking of the reason why I decided to dedicate a whole video to this phrase, the reason is simple enough. A lot of my students as you may know and for those of you who didn’t know, yes, I’ve been coaching people via Skype face to face. It was a program called Fluency Star and the website is still there, FluencyStar.com, it’s just that I’m not taking any more students currently because I just can’t handle it, you know what I mean? There’s only so many hours in my day and I come home very late at night and I just cannot do that.

But anyhow, a lot of those students and when we talked about sleeping and related matters I actually think that none of them could use this phrase “good night’s sleep”. And they tried describing the concept of having had a good sleep in a different way and obviously it came across slightly awkward because as you may know, native English speakers refer to things in a specific manner, you know what I mean?

So a lot of concepts are described in a specific way and if you’re trying to describe them in a different way it just doesn’t sound right. And “a good night’s sleep” is one of those examples, you know? No matter what other way you put it, you know, my sleep was good or whatever, it doesn’t kind of come across as a native-like speech.

So that’s the reason why I decided to record this video. So next time around when you have to tell someone that you really had a good night’s sleep, that you slept really, really well you have to use this expression “I had a good night’s sleep.” And that’s another tiny little step towards your English fluency, towards your goal of speaking just like a native English speaker.

Thanks for watching this video, my friends!

If you have any further questions obviously, please feel free to publish them in the comment section below down there and chat to you soon again.

Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post English Idiomatic Expression “Good Night’s Sleep” appeared first on English Harmony.

Jan 20 2017
5 mins
Play

Rank #8: Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

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Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS – and that’s why I’m going to highlight them for you in RED!

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 and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog. Currently I’m having my Monday morning tea. Cheers! You see how big, how huge this mug is? This is the kind of mug I like, you know what I mean? This is what I call proper tea drinking. You can make yourself almost a liter of tea and drink it, right?

Anyhow, in today’s video I’m going to look at the following topic:

Simple Past versus Present Simple.

And this is, as a matter of fact, a thing that confuses the hell out of so many foreign English speakers, right?

And ironically enough I haven’t actually recorded a video about this particular topic in the past which is kind of weird because I’ve been publishing my videos for years on end. At this stage it’s actually 8 years since I’m running the English Harmony blog or actually 9 years. Yeah, going 9 years this year to be honest with you. I started it in 2007 if I’m not mistaken so next year going 10 years, you know what I mean? It is going to be a big anniversary.

Anyhow, it’s surprising that I haven’t actually touched upon this particular topic comparing the simple past “I did it” for instance against present simple “I’ve done it” and when you use one or the other, you know what I mean? And the reason I’m saying that it confuses the hell out of so many foreigners is because I’ve had first-hand experience dealing with people who are not really sure on how to use these two tenses, right?

As a matter of fact, one of my Fluency Star students served as an inspiration for this video because that person was kind of not really sure on how it’s done and then I explained it to her and she was very happy about my explanation because it’s pretty straight forward if you boil it down to the very basics, right?

So first things first, “I’ve done it.” For instance “I’ve been to London” which is not really true in my case because believe it or not, I’ve never been to London, right? And it’s very weird because I live in Ireland which is very close to England, so it’s just one small hop with a plane, like a half an hour flight or something and you’re in London, you know what I mean?

And with these days’ prices where you can go to London just paying literally 20 or 30 Euros, you know what I mean? It’s no excuse not to go there but on the downside obviously when you go there you have to book a hotel and so on and so forth. And then you have to go sightseeing and all those costs add up and eventually you end up spending a fortune, you know what I mean? So I guess I’ve just kept putting it off and off and off.

And anyhow, I’m going to do it one fine day I would imagine but anyhow, going back to the subject; “I’ve been to London,” right? And then you can also say I went to London, okay? So what is the difference? First things first, you don’t have to be kind of analyzing your English language – language? What did I just say? Language.

See, I just made a mistake but it just goes to show that making mistakes is a crucial part of the whole fluency improvement thing, right? Anyhow, you see, today I’m all over the place. I just keep varying up the subject and touching upon random things.

So “I’ve been to London, right?” It’s a general statement. You’re not specifying a specific point in time. And mark this guys, point in time. This is the crucial bit, right? Whenever there is a time mentioned, a specific time, a year, a day, month, week, whatever, that’s when you use simple past.

Simple Past for Time References

I went to London last year. I went to London 10 years ago. I went to London last Monday. That’s simple past, you know? You don’t use the present tense, the simple present, “I’ve been to London” when it’s followed up with a specific time. And when I say specific time, please don’t be thinking that I’m talking about a very specific like time of the day; even a year is quite specific, right?

Perfect Simple For General Statements

So you use perfect simple only when you don’t refer to any time at all, like I mean there’s no time reference mentioned basically. No years, nothing, you know. “I’ve been to London.” And you can obviously say I’ve been to London 5 times but this time reference, you know, 5 times is not the same as referring to a particular year or a month or a day, you know? It’s just saying how many times you’ve been to London.

So I think the best way – excuse me, I’ve got to take a sip of tea. So I think that the best way of kind of wrapping your head around this concept is by kind of getting used to the concept of using the perfect present in the beginning of a story when you don’t use any time references. So basically you would say “you know what? I’ve been to London a good few times” or “as a matter of fact I’ve never been to London,” you know what I mean? And then after that point you can start using the simple past, right?

And here is how it happens. “You know what? I’ve been to London 10 times at this stage, you know. I’ve been there 10 times. Las time I went there was last summer and before that I went there every, every year for 10 years in a row,” you know? So you use the perfect simple – no, present. Sorry I’m getting all mixed up in these grammar terms but it’s just because I’m not using these grammar terms.

I’m not all about these grammar terms. If I were a traditional English teacher that would be all about the grammar terms, then I imagine I wouldn’t be getting mixed up in these terms. But I said it wrong; I said perfect simple or something. No, it’s perfect present that I wanted to say, right?

So you use perfect present “I’ve been to London” in the beginning of the story when you’re making a general statement. You’re basically stating the fact that you’ve actually been to London, you know? And then you start using the simple past.

Simple Past to Tell a Story – One Event Follows Another

I went there with my friends, so that’s kind of a storytelling, you know what I mean? When one event follows another. We went there and then we actually had booked a hotel beforehand. And now I use the past present tense.

And you may want to click on this link where I’m explaining how that would be used, basically when you’re referring to a point in time which had happened before the general story-line, right?

And then we went sightseeing and then we went to different restaurants and all the different museums and we visited the Big Ben and – what’s the palace called where the Queen lives? Westminster Palace or whatever? I’m not really familiar with these terms but anyway, you get the drift, right? So you make the general statement in the beginning and then follow it up with simple past where you tell the story, where you went, when you went there, who you went with, what you did there and so on and so forth, right?

Start With Present Perfect, Then Continue With Simple Past!

So to recap the whole thing, present perfect is used to make general statements about what you did or what you didn’t do in the past. But it’s very general. It’s lacking any references whatsoever to years, days, months, weeks, whatever, you don’t mention about it, right? But then when you start talking about specific times, that’s when you introduce the simple past, right?

So I hope that this video is going to clarify this whole issue for you and just to let you know there was a comment recently. Oh yeah. Actually 9 hours ago at this stage posted where one of my blog readers asks me where to use “gone” and “went,” right? And actually this one was the reason I actually recorded the video right now because I read the comment and then I realized hold on a second, I haven’t actually addressed this particular issue in a video. And then I remembered my Fluency Star student who had the same issue and I was like okay, let’s make a video about it!

So I hope that this video is going to be useful for you my friends. And obviously if you have any further questions please feel free to publish them in the comment section below. Thank you and bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past appeared first on English Harmony.

Dec 03 2016
9 mins
Play

Rank #9: English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”

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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:

Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression video but unlike other English idiomatic expression videos where I’m focusing on typical English idioms and phrasal words and collocations today I’m bringing you what I like to call a grammar construct. And the grammar construct in question is “couldn’t have been”.

At first if you just look at “couldn’t have been,” it might confuse you. You might try and figure out what it means in grammar terms. What the English grammar tense represents and all that sort of thing but you don’t have to do it. And you may actually want to read this article where I’m talking about it that you don’t have to try and figure out what exactly something means in grammar terms, okay? All you’ve got to do is just repeat that particular grammar construct, memorize it and then you’ll be able to use it in relevant situations without knowing what it represents, right?

And the funny thing is that prior to recording this video I was kind of thinking to myself “Hold on, I have to look it up and see what it actually means, what kind of tense it is.” But I’m not going to get bogged down on these grammar terms just like I told you because it serves no purpose whatsoever, okay? So all you’ve got to do is just repeat it, memorize it and then you’ll be able to use it.

And the first example sentence that I’m going to give to you containing “couldn’t have been” is “couldn’t have been done without”, right? And typically you would use it when describing when a particular thing, some sort of an assignment or something couldn’t have been done without the help of someone else or without using some tool or some piece of software or whatever.

So for instance your boss is asking you how you got done with the job, simple as, and you tell them “Listen, yeah, I got it done but it couldn’t have been done without the help of my colleague here. So a lot of credit goes to him. It wasn’t just me who got the job done because it couldn’t have been done without him.” Okay? And this is a typical way of using this particular grammar construct, right?

So you have to do some spoken practice whereby you come up with your own fictional scenario. Obviously you use your own workplace or college you attend or whatever and then you kind of put yourself in that situation when you are communicating with someone and then you use that phrase. And then next time around when such a situation presents itself you’ll be quite automatically able to use that phrase, okay?

Next example. Couldn’t have been more pleased. And it’s a typical way of saying that you were very, very pleased. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Or I couldn’t have been happier. When someone asks you “Did you enjoy when your work colleagues congratulated you on your birthday?” Then you can tell them “Listen, I couldn’t have been happier because I was totally shocked, that was a complete surprise, I didn’t even expect that and I couldn’t have been happier”, right?

And the third example is “couldn’t have been prevented.” Often times people talk about some disasters or catastrophes or incidents and people wonder whether they could have been prevented or not and then unfortunately sometimes the conclusion is that despite the fact that in retrospect we can think of a lot of things that kind of could have prevented that particular catastrophe from happening, sometimes it couldn’t have been prevented because there are certain things that are just bound to happen.

And for instance the tsunami that happened all those years ago – 10 years ago at this stage I would imagine – that wiped out so many people’s lives in Southeast Asia. It couldn’t have been prevented. A lot of the fatalities probably could have been prevented but the actual catastrophe, this tsunami itself couldn’t have been prevented, you know, it’s one of those things that just happens that we have to accept that reality of life.

So I hope that you’re going to be using this particular grammar construct “couldn’t have been” and just like I told you don’t try and figure out what it represents whether it’s passive or active voice or what kind of tense it is. It serves no purpose. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you can use it. Okay?

So I hope that you enjoyed watching this video and just like I told you a million times before do some spoken English practice. If you just watch this video without any practice whatsoever, this video is not going to serve any purpose. Okay?

So if you have any questions obviously publish them in the comment section below. And chat to you soon my friends. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been” appeared first on English Harmony.

Jan 18 2017
5 mins
Play

Rank #10: How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days

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Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS – and that’s why I’m going to highlight them for you in RED!

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:

Hey guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! This is me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog!

Today I wanted to tell you something interesting in relation to English fluency obviously because this whole project is about English fluency so what else could I be possibly telling you about, right? Other than English fluency related matters.

Anyhow, the particular thing that I wanted to bring up today was the phenomenon of you being able to perform quite well when it comes to spoken English performance on days when your English is kind of suffering a little bit but still you have those particular situations during those days when you’re capable of performing very well.

And here’s a typical example just to make it a 100% clear to you what exactly I mean by saying all this, right? Let’s say for argument’s sake I go to work in the morning and for some reason my English is not a 100%. My brain is not firing on all cylinders for whatever reason, you know, and my English is kind of sluggish. So it’s basically one of those bad fluency days.

There Are Days When Your Fluency Is Worse Than Normally…

And if you think that my fluency is a 100% at all times, well, nothing could be further from the truth, you know. It doesn’t even hold truth when it comes to your native language. You can’t perform a 100% at all times even in your native language. It’s just the fact of the matter. And you may believe that it’s not true but if you analyze all those things a little bit deeper you will realize that you can’t always have that clarity of thought and flow of words and everything.

Anyway, let’s say for argument’s sake I go to work and I can’t speak a 100% with my colleagues. I hesitate a little bit maybe but then comes a moment when I have to take a phone call. And the moment I take the phone call from a customer my fluency just comes back just like that, you know what I mean? And the reason being, at that particular moment in time I have no other option but to perform. And I think that all of a sudden all your abilities get mobilized and your fluency goes back up just because you have no other option but to perform well!

Basically when you’re speaking with your colleagues, even if it’s a conversation between you and your manager you still don’t have that – what way to put it? – that demand on you to speak super well, you know what I mean? So you can kind of afford to make a small mistake here and there but all of a sudden when you’re on the phone with the customer you have no other option but to be a 100% fluent.

…But All Of Us Have the Ability to Mobilize Our Speech When Needed!

And obviously there’s always the chance that you’re going to make a small mistake even when speaking with a customer but I hope that you get the drift, right? When your fluency is slightly below the average you still have those events on that timeline when the fluency has to go back up, no matter what.

And if you think about it, speaking in a camcorder which is exactly what I’m doing right now at this particular moment in time is a similar event. It has the same effect on one’s fluency. Before I turned the cam recorder on my fluency wasn’t the best. I’ve been obviously speaking with myself all day long but I noticed that today is one of those days when my fluency is slightly lagging behind, if you know what I mean.

But now that I have to actually speak in the camcorder for you guys, I have no other option but to force myself even to pronounce the words clearly, to make myself understood, to get the message across so it just has to happen.

Well, obviously there’s always room for error as they say and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve made a mistake or two during the recording of this video but I hope that you get the message. I hope you get the drift, right? Basically the message is that during a below average fluency day you can still mobilize your abilities, your strengths and you can force your brain to fire on all cylinders when you have to perform, you know?

But I’m not trying to claim that it’s going to happen all the time. Obviously I remember back in the day when I was for example going for different jobs at that particular moment in time and I was doing a lot of interviews and I got this phone call, and this is an event that I’ve actually mentioned before in one of the videos, right?

But it’s an event that has imprinted itself into my brain so vividly that I’ll always remember it. I got this phone call and I had to do an interview over the phone and I was trying but for some reason I just couldn’t speak, you know. And then eventually I was told that my English wasn’t good enough for the job and that first I should actually improve my English and then go back to them looking for the job, right? And I was mortified to be honest with you guys.

But anyway, that was the situation when I should have performed but I couldn’t. And we are all having those days, you now. But what I’m trying to say is that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. And more often than not when you have these pressing situations when there’s a bigger than normal demand on you, you will be able to mobilize your strengths as an English speaker and deliver the kind of speech that you are expected to deliver.

You’ve just got to believe in yourself and you’ve just got to do it, just the way I did when I took my first phone call in the new job. It was around 6 weeks ago at this stage, right? I was dreading the moment that I couldn’t get rid of the feeling “what is it going to be like if I take the phone call?” Like what I if I screw it up? What if something happens? What if I say something wrong? And I had to get over it.

I took the first phone call and I got over it. I realized that it’s a walk in the park, right? And every next phone call reinforces that feeling. And now I know that even if I don’t feel a 100% on that particular day, if I’m a bit tired coming into work, still when I take that phone call, when I answer the customer I can deliver just at the level I’m expected to deliver.

The Power Of Our Brain Cannot Be Underestimated!

So that is today’s message basically. The power of your brain cannot be underestimated my friends. So you’ve just got to trust yourself that even in situations when you kind of freak out and you think that you’re not going to be able to deliver, you actually might surprise yourself.

But it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to prepare for those situations. It doesn’t mean that at all. That’s not what I’m trying to say. I’m not trying to say that you can just rely on the fact that somehow you’re going to pull through. It’s not the case if you’re going for an interview for example or some other speech that you have to deliver and you’ve got to speak for a long period of time there is no other way to prepare for it other than by way of preparation, you know what I mean? You have to prepare it for days just like the way I did when I was going for the job interview, you know. I spent long, long hours on a daily basis to repeat all the questions that I might be asked and then the answers and everything. There’s a lot of preparation but eventually it paid off.

So what I’m trying to say is that all those situations where you have to do preparation apart, if you have moments during the day when you feel that your English is not a 100%, when you have moments when you have to deliver, more often than not you are going to be able to deliver. You just have to believe in yourself.

That’s the message. And thanks for checking out my video blog and obviously if you have any questions please feel free to publish them in the comment section below, my friends. Chat to you soon. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days appeared first on English Harmony.

Nov 15 2016
9 mins
Play

Rank #11: Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!

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Happy New Year 2017 my friends foreign English speakers and all my followers!

I’m wishing you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year!

Personally for me this last year has been very challenging and full of surprises, but I can proudly say that I accomplished what I set out to do and I secured a job in the IT sector as a foreign English speaker.

Have you got similar dreams and ambitions?

Everything is possible.

EVERYTHING!

Just set your goal for the year 2017, come up with a simple action plan and follow through with it.

It really is THAT simple my friends!

Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017!

Your English fluency coach,

Robby

The post Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony! appeared first on English Harmony.

Dec 31 2016
7 mins
Play

Rank #12: Why It’s So HARD to Accept Spoken English Can Be Practiced?

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Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, hello boys and girls, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers!

It’s Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Let’s talk about the subject of spoken English self-practice again for the millionth time.

But in case you’re thinking “Robby, come on, you’ve been talking about it in every single video for the last couple of months.” Hold on a second, just bear with me for a moment and you’ll realize that today I’m going to reveal a certain aspect of the whole spoken English self-practice thing that hasn’t been talked about before.

And to be honest with you guys, I didn’t even realize that it existed up until today, when I happened to receive an email from one of my blog readers. And I actually sent him an email a couple of days before that, telling him that spoken English practice, basically speaking is the only way that’s going to develop his fluency, his ability to speak for that matter.

And I didn’t explicitly mention in the email that speaking with himself is one of the options. I only spoke about speaking in general terms and then I went on to give him a few tips and tricks on how to approach the whole speaking thing but I never explicitly mentioned that if you don’t have anyone else to talk to, you can do self-practice in the comfort of your own home. Okay?

Next thing I know that person responds by saying “Listen Robby, it’s not going to work. I can’t, I can’t heed to your advice because I can’t speak. There’s no one for me to speak with!”

Generally SPEAKING Associates With Interpersonal Communication ONLY!

And only then I realized – it was some sort of a light bulb moment, I realized that for some people speaking is only associated with communication with other people, right?

And when you think about it, it actually makes an awful lot of sense because when you grow up as a human being, when you develop from the stage of infancy and then you start pronouncing the first words, repeating what you hear around you and then you start speaking with your parents and friends and all that, you don’t probably even think about speaking with yourself because you only speak with other people. That’s the most natural thing.

And then at some stage in your life when you start learning the second language, if it happens so that you learn it by way of speaking – the natural way. If you live in a bilingual country for instance, just like I did, in my country they speak Latvian and Russian, so I learned Russian by way of speaking.

I can’t actually remember when I learned the Russian language; I just kind of know that I always spoke it. But it’s because I was playing with Russian kids as a little kid myself, so I just learned it the natural way.

But if you start learning the second or the third language in school, in the traditional language teaching setting where you only do textbook exercises, filling gaps in the different exercises and read a lot and listen, you don’t – nobody tells you that you can practice your speech with yourself, right? You only assume that you can do the very same thing you’ve done in your native language, maybe in your second language – speak with others, okay?

When You Don’t Have Anyone to Speak With in English – You’re Lost…

And just because there’s no opportunities to speak with others when it comes down to the English language, you’re lost. You don’t even realize, there’s no concept of self-practice because you just never knew that it existed.

So it can’t even cross your mind. It can’t occur to you. And this is something that I didn’t even think about because for me personally, the whole concept of spoken English self-practice has become second nature.

And it’s been like that for long, long years now and I can’t actually imagine myself without it, you know. And just because I’ve been communicating about the whole thing from my videos for years on end now, I assume that everyone who I come in contact with will quite automatically realize what I’m talking about.

Even When I Say That You’ve Got to SPEAK, Speaking With Yourself Doesn’t Even Occur to You!

But the fact of the matter is that most people out there who haven’t heard about the concept of spoken English self-practice, even if you tell them that you’ve got to speak which I thought was just enough information to make them realize that they can speak with themselves, even then they don’t realize it! You have to explicitly tell them!And when you tell them that, most people are shocked because the whole concept seems something weird, something strange.

And I want you to read an article that I published a year ago. You can click on the link right here and it’s called “Why it’s so hard to realize you have to speak in order to speak?” Right?

And back then and up until now obviously I thought that this is the only issue that for most of us it’s difficult to realize that you have to speak in order to develop your fluency because of the bad job that the traditional English teaching study has done to us, right?

We’ve been brainwashed and now we believe that we can read, write, listen and that way become fluent English speakers, right? So that’s why it’s so hard to realize that you’ve got to speak.

But here’s the thing that I’m talking about today. Here’s a whole new issue. Basically, even if you convince a person that they have to speak, it requires an additional effort to make them understand that they can speak with themselves and that there’s so many advantages to do spoken English self-practice such as zero stress levels and you can make as many mistakes as you want and you can record your speech on a camcorder, go back and self-correct and all those sort of things. So there’s a million advantages and no disadvantages at all, right?

So that’s the message I wanted to send to you guys. In case you happened to be that person who didn’t realize up until now that you can speak with yourself, please start doing that on a daily basis. And if you know some other people who would benefit from this advice, don’t hesitate to tell them that. Tell them Robby told you to speak with yourself and that’s the only way to improve your English fluency if you don’t have any opportunities to speak with other people, right?

So I hope that what I was trying to communicate with you guys makes an awful lot of sense!

So obviously, if you have any questions or comments of any nature – preferably something that’s got to do with spoken English improvement – post them I the comment section below.

Chat to you soon and bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Why It’s So HARD to Accept Spoken English Can Be Practiced? appeared first on English Harmony.

Feb 04 2016
6 mins
Play

Rank #13: We Create English Fluency Issues for Ourselves!

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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!

This one may come as a shock to you, my friends, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes those terrible problems we experience with our English fluency are our own making.

Yes, you heard me right – we create a lot of our fluency issues for ourselves, and there’s no-one else to blame for it but us!

Sure enough, we’re not even aware of the fact that we’re contributing to our inability to speak fluent English, but the good news is that it is relative easy to get our fluency back on track if you know the right techniques and methods, and that’s exactly what today’s video is all about.

So don’t despair, watch the video and you may just learn the right approach to fix your fluency issues on 5 occasions out of 10!

Chat soon,

Robby

The post We Create English Fluency Issues for Ourselves! appeared first on English Harmony.

Feb 17 2016
13 mins
Play

Rank #14: Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!

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Recently I got contacted by one of my blog readers and she told me that the more she thinks about the various English grammar tenses, the more confusing the whole thing gets…

On a lot of occasions it seems that you can use a number of different Tenses, for instance – “I’m going to the movies tonight”, “I’ll go to the movies”, “I’ll be going to the movies” – so how do you know which one is right?

And the more you analyze all this kind of stuff, the more confusing it gets and eventually you start feeling that you know nothing about English grammar!

Now, watch this video above where I’m giving precious advice on how to approach such a state of mind, and if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate to publish them in the comments section below!

Robby

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion! appeared first on English Harmony.

Sep 01 2016
19 mins
Play

Rank #15: Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!

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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.

24/7 English Immersion Is ESSENTIAL!

And I noticed that, a few years ago, when I went back to my home country, obviously when you land in the airport, you exit the aircraft, enter the airport and you immediately get surrounded with Latvian which is the language spoken in Latvia, right? And that’s the country I come from.

That is my home country and I noticed that it’s a bit more difficult for me to focus on my inner thoughts. Obviously if you have been following my blog you know that I’m doing constant spoken English self-practice, I’m trying to think in English when in public and speak with myself in slight whisper when there’s no one around and I find it a bit more difficult to do it when in my country because I’m surrounded with all things Latvian.

And like with a wave of a magic wand, when I land back in Ireland in Dublin and I exit the aircraft and I’m walking along the corridor in the airport and I read all the posters in English and everything, everything is sign posted in English obviously, like with a wave of a magic wand, my ability to think in English clearly and speak with myself in English returns back.

And I think it’s all because your surroundings determine a lot when it comes to your own performance. And it’s not necessarily a language performance, it can be a lot of different things.

Your Surroundings Determine an Awful Lot!

For instance, I think one of the reasons why people fail to exercise at home is because the home setting doesn’t necessarily evoke the necessary emotions associated with working out. When you work out in a gym, it’s a whole lot different story. There’s other people working out, you see all these different machines, there’s up beat music going bam-bam-bam-bam.

So all those surroundings make you want to work out yourself and makes the whole process more enjoyable and more sufficient. Whereas if you want to work out in your own room where you’re mostly used to watching TV, right,  that’s what you want to do in that room. You don’t even want to work out so you’re forcing yourself to work out in your room but it just doesn’t happen for some reason.

So it’s all about the surroundings, right?

I actually like drawing parallels between the fitness world and your language performance because I strongly believe that your ability to speak is just another practical skill. Just like your ability to perform physical exercises for example.

Anyway, going back to full immersion and being surrounded with all things English, is definitely beneficial because just as I said, if you’re surrounded with all things English, it will facilitate your English performance.

You are so much more likely to speak better, to understand better, to write better, read better, if you’re surrounded by English the whole time. And obviously, what I mean is not sticking posters on your wall in English or things like that. Well, to a certain degree, yeah, is true. If you’re sticking post-it notes on a whiteboard in front of you, obviously, do it in English. Do as much as you can in English.

But I’m not saying you have to totally redo your whole environment and go great lengths but things that you do on a daily basis, I strongly and warmly suggest you to do in English. If you keep a diary, if you keep notes, a simple notebook, do all your notes in English.

If you read fiction, choose English fiction.

If you read news websites, go for news websites in English. If you watch some TV, why not watch English channels? And the list goes on and on. You get the drift, right?

But obviously you don’t have to tear down posters that are on your wall in your native language and a calendar that might be hanging in there which is all in your native language and things like that, right? You don’t have to go extreme but all I’m saying is you have to make sure there’s a little bit of English everywhere and that will facilitate your own English performance and that’s why the full immersion is of the utmost importance if you want to maximize your potential as an English student, English learner, English speaker, right?

Alright my friends. That’s about it for today! I really hope that you enjoyed watching this video and if you have any comments, please feel free to publish them in the comments section below. Thanks and talk to you soon! Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time! appeared first on English Harmony.

Oct 19 2016
6 mins
Play

Rank #16: English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free

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Another English Fluency Question and Answer session – this time around it’s all about me speaking with a foreign accent and free vs paid English learning resources!

The post English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free appeared first on English Harmony.

Oct 02 2016
14 mins
Play

Rank #17: How to Learn English Synonyms and Antonyms Effectively

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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 foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

In today’s video I’m going to address the following topic: how to learn English synonyms and antonyms effectively.

And the reason for me recording this video I got asked this question by one of my blog readers and I decided that I have to record this video because I haven’t actually addressed this question in any of my videos or articles over the last 8 years if I’m not mistaken.

So synonyms and antonyms. Let’s address the synonyms first. And I’ve taken a simple word which is CONTROVERSIAL in our case. And I’ve entered it up in a website called thesaurus.com where you can find a large number of synonyms and antonyms for any word imaginable, right? So controversial, and the synonyms as per this website are as follows: contentious, disputed, dubious, questionable, arguable, argumentative and so on and so forth.

So it begs the question how can you learn them all, right?

How Can You Learn All Those Synonyms?

So first things first, you don’t have to approach the whole thing from this perspective. You don’t have to think that you have to learn a lot of synonyms for every single English word out there.

Because if you start thinking that way, if you go down that road, you are done as an English speaker. And the reason being you’ll get so overwhelmed because of the sheer number of words that you don’t know, it is just going to overwhelm you. And it’ll make you feel as if you’re a useless English student, English learner for that matter.

And here’s a good example. A couple of days ago I was doing some research online for one of my blog articles that I was creating at that time and I came across some word list or something and I realized that when I was looking at the word list I didn’t know more than half of those words. It wasn’t a synonym list but it was some sort of a – I can’t actually remember, right? But it’s irrelevant at this stage.

Suffice it to say that for a first split second I started kind of feeling that way. I felt a bit overwhelmed. I was thinking, hold on, how come that I didn’t – that I don’t know this word or that word.

But obviously me being me and knowing how all these English fluency issues manifest themselves and how to keep my fluency in check, I just dismissed it immediately. I just told myself “Robby, your English is perfect! It’s good enough for you. You don’t need to know those words.”

And that’s the truth guys. You don’t need to know hundreds upon hundreds of synonyms for various English words, right?

Thing is – You Don’t Need to Learn Hundreds of Synonyms!

All that you need is to know how to use this number of words comfortably in your speech, in your writing and then you build upon it overtime.

You don’t necessarily have to make it your goal to learn like 5 synonyms for each and every single English word you know. It serves no purpose, okay? If you have this idea that you have to enrich your vocabulary and that that’s going to make you into a real intellectual – well, here’s what I’m going to answer to that.

Over time, over the next like couple of decades, provided that you constantly deal with the English language, that you enjoy your life through English, that you get exposed to plenty of English content, films, music, whatnot, read in English, speak in English; your vocabulary will naturally grow. Okay? It’s not if you have to accomplish some life mission now. Right now, within the next couple of months you have to learn hundreds upon hundreds of synonyms. You don’t have to do that. Okay? So make it easier for yourself!

But when it comes to learning a few synonyms and now let’s forget about the whole massive task of building vocabulary consisting of thousands of synonyms, let’s talk about something manageable, learning a couple of words here and there. How to manage it?

Never Learn Many Synonyms at the Same Time!

Bear this in mind my friends – each synonym normally goes in a different context. So never ever – this is rule number 2 – never ever learn a number of synonyms at the same time. Never write them down just like in this case – don’t write controversial, contentious, dubious or argumentative. Don’t write them in a single line and then learn them all because it will serve no purpose. It will all get mixed up in your brain!

You have to compartmentalize that knowledge. You have to take each individual word and learn it as part of a different context. Because all English words normally go together with other words, forming phrases, word collocations, word groups; the so-called collocations.

So that’s what you’ve got to do. Take the word for instance DUBIOUS and learn in what context it’s used. Do a Google search and see what sentences the word DUBIOUS comes up with.

And then learn how to use that word dubious without associating it with other synonyms. Because just like I said, if you start doing that, your fluency will go down the drain. You know, whenever you start to speak, you’ll be constantly analyzing, trying to choose between those synonyms. You’ll be thinking “Which one should I be using now?”

And that’s not fluent speech! That’s very bad hesitant speech when you get stuck for words. And that’s the kind of issue we want to eradicate, not facilitate, okay?

Learn Only Individual Synonyms Contextually!

So only learn each word individually in its relevant context and actually in relation to this I want you to check out this article called “Learn Only One Way of Using New English Vocabulary Words at Any Given Time” which is pretty much the same thing I just told you, right? And there’s a video as well, click on the link.

So don’t learn multiple synonyms at the same time and don’t learn multiple meanings of the same word at once. Okay? Only one meaning, one word at any given time. So that it gets compartmentalized. I struggled with the pronunciation of this word a little bit, right?

There has to be an individual compartment in your brain for each word. And obviously they would go together with other words but you can’t just mix them all up with other synonyms in different meanings. Okay? Because if you start doing that, just like I told you, your fluency will go down to drain definitely.

So that’s the synonym, it’s pretty much covered, right? Don’t try to learn a huge number of them because it will happen over time anyway that you will pick up different words here and there and build your vocabulary quite naturally. And secondly, learn only one word at a time, okay?

Never Learn Antonyms and Synonyms as Word Pairs!

And as for antonyms – it’s definitely advisable that you never learn synonyms and antonyms like word pairs, the synonym and the antonym. In this case “controversial” and “certain.” Never learn, never memorize the word pairs because what it’s going to do is it’s going to create the so-called unnatural vocabulary associations in your head. And in this regard I want you to read this article called “3 Ways of Hard-wiring Unnatural English Collocations into Your Brain” Click on that link, read the article.

But how the whole antonym thing ties in with what I’m saying now is it’s also a non-natural word string. If you learn “questionable, arguable, certain, definite” – it’s an unnatural word string. And then when you speak and when you try and pick one of those words, antonyms will start getting mixed up with the synonyms and all that kind of issue will happen, right?

So as for antonyms, you have to make sure that you never learn them grouped with synonyms basically, right? And also take one antonym at a time, one word at a time and learn it within the context, in its relevant context, in a phrase, collocation, you know the drill, right? You’ve been following my blog I would imagine for quite some time now so you’ll know how important these collocations, phrases and English idiomatic expressions in general are, right?

Don’t Even Look at Words as Synonyms or Antonyms!

So you don’t really have to be looking at the whole antonym and synonym thing from the synonym and antonym perspective. You just have to perceive each word the way it is. It’s just a new word! That’s all.

And then going from that you’ll learn what context it’s used in. You’ll learn relevant phrases and collocations containing that word but forget about the whole connection between that word and some other word. Okay? Because the more connections you create, the more difficult it’s going to be for you to speak fluently, right? Because the only real connection that you want to learn is how that word acts in a sentence, in a phrase, right?

That’s the only connection you want to build in your brain because when you speak, one word will lead to another word and that’s how fluent speech happens.

But when you learn a word string like “certain, definite, sure, agreeable and then questionable, arguable, dubious, disputed”, you learn those words and then they will all go together in your brain. And that’s not what you want, right? You don’t want to be a struggling English speaker!

So I hope that I’ve made this whole picture clear, that I painted a clear picture which is another English idiomatic expression.

But if you have any further questions about antonyms and synonyms, please don’t hesitate to publish them in the comment section below my friends.

So thanks for watching and chat to you soon. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post How to Learn English Synonyms and Antonyms Effectively appeared first on English Harmony.

Feb 25 2016
10 mins
Play

Rank #18: Your Body Constantly Changes – And So Does Your English Fluency!

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Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to my Fluency Gym which is the only gym in the world where you work out your fluency, your mouth basically, instead of your muscles!

But in case you’re new to this whole Fluency Gym thing and you’ve never heard me talk about it before, I want you to read this article first where I’m talking about the fact that your mouth is just another muscle of yours.

Therefore your ability to speak is a very, very practical skill. It’s all about your ability to move your mouth in a certain way and produce sounds in a certain sequence for the English word combinations, sentences which results in a very fluent speech.

Mouth Vs Brain

You see, the traditional approach is that your speech is kind of happens in your brain, that you think first, you analyse, you string a sentence together and then you kind of speak but it’s not like that. It’s more got to do with the way language is actually wired in your mouth.

Obviously there is a very strong mind and mouth connection but your mouth is basically the most important part. That’s what I strongly believe in and that’s the kind of attitude that has helped me to achieve a very decent level of fluency myself, right?

And what I wanted to talk about today is the fact that just like your body, your fluency changes, right? And you may have not noticed that before but your body changes.

Your body in the morning is not the same as your body in the evening because the water content in your body changes over the course of the day, you know. So when you look in the mirror in the morning, you may look a bit different.

And as a matter of fact, even your weight fluctuates during the day. So there’s a whole lot of factors impacting your weight, your body composition and everything.

Fluency, Just Like Your Body, Is Constantly Changing!

And your fluency is no different. It changes during the day. You may get up in the morning not being able to speak very well and then come the afternoon, you can speak very fluently all of a sudden and then it may change towards the afternoon again.

And then come the evening you may struggle a bit and then you may find come night time that you can speak fluently again, you know. And it’s totally natural.

So why I’m saying all this is in case you’re wondering why it’s happening and that it’s not really normal,  I’m saying it is normal!

It is very normal because that is the very nature of any human being, of any living creature for that matter because everything constantly changes, nothing is static. Your physical performance changes overtime. And I’ve spoken about that before but this is something that I never touched upon before in my videos. And I actually thought that this is a very interesting concept.

What Lead Me to This Realization

And what let me to realize this is because I’m working out.

You may not know that but I go to the gym quite frequently and obviously when I look at myself sometimes even during the same day, your body changes and it’s obvious.

You look in the mirror in the morning and you may be quite well, let’s see what way would I put it? A bit skinny. And then during the workout obviously your muscles they get bigger and then come the afternoon, your body has more water content in it and it again looks a bit different.

So I thought that this is a very good way of explaining to you guys why your fluency fluctuates. It does so because it’s part of you, right?

Just like your body represents who you are obviously because that is you. Your fluency and your physical performance they’re very correlated. They’re very interlinked. And everything that’s got to do with living being such as us humans is changing overtime. There is no such thing as a static performance; over time everything changes!

Keep Pushing the Envelope NO MATTER WHAT!

So it’s a very natural thing but obviously it’s no reason to give up on your fluency improving efforts. You’ve got to be pushing yourself hard. You’ve got to be constantly trying to improve your fluency. And obviously one of the better ways of doing that is to constantly speak with yourself, do the so called spoken English self-practice which I personally do on a daily basis the whole day from the moment I get up in the morning till the moment I hit the sack and I go to sleep at night, right?

So if you haven’t checked out the Fluency Gym program yet, I really, really suggest you do because it’s a very great way of getting yourself motivated and regaining that so much needed confidence that you may have lost.

If you really don’t believe in yourself as a foreign English speaker and you think that your fluency just sucks and that your English is no good, you definitely may want to check it out because it’s stuffed full with motivational videos. And there’s an action plan that you can follow and it’s going to set you on the right track to your English fluency, right?

So check it out HERE and if you have any questions obviously you can post them in the comment section below my friends!

Thanks and I’ll chat to you soon, bye-bye!

Robby

The post Your Body Constantly Changes – And So Does Your English Fluency! appeared first on English Harmony.

Feb 12 2016
5 mins
Play

Rank #19: English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”

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Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS – and that’s why I’m going to highlight them for you in RED!

Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. That’s me, obviously Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and you are very welcome back to my video blog! Now, today I decided to record a video dedicated to a particular English idiomatic expression, namely “to take something for granted”.

And the reason why I decided to record this particular video is because I got a comment on my blog recently. To be more specific it’s only 6 minutes old, right? And here is what it says. As a matter of fact, it was published on another English idiomatic expression page, The Big Picture and the commentator says this is an incredible video, really got the meaning very quickly and here’s the request: Robby, can you make a video for this idiomatic expression “to take something for granted”? Thank you.

And guess what? You’re lucky, my friend, tonight I’m in a good mood so I decided hey, why not? You know what I mean. And as a matter of fact, I wanted to record a video anyway so I was like okay, I’ll do a video about this particular idiomatic expression.

So if you are interested in finding out how to use this particular one and what kind of situations it can be used in, please bear with me for a few more moments. Did you hear how I kind of started stumbling upon words?

Bear with me for a few mo – mo – mo more moments or something like that? It’s all part of the English Harmony philosophy, my friends. Even if you make a little mistake, even if you stumble upon words a little bit it doesn’t matter. Just keep pushing on, you know what I mean? Keep pushing the envelope and keep speaking with yourself because that is the surefire way to English fluency.

Now, welcome back. So here is the first scenario, right? And before that I actually have to give you a little history. One morning I was driving to work on the highway and all of a sudden there was a massive traffic pileup and I was like “What’s going on?” Normally just after 6 o’clock in the morning there’s very little traffic, you know what I mean?

It’s moving very well. All of a sudden there’s a massive pileup and then there were emergency vehicles driving by, then I realized that there must have been an accident further down the road. And true enough, after a couple miles I witnessed a terrible accident scene. Somebody had crashed into the ditch and there were some trees as well and that car had plowed down the trees and they must have done it at a great speed, you know.

That made me realize that oftentimes we take our lives for granted. We go about our daily business, we just wake up in the morning, go to bed at night and obviously just because we’ve been doing so throughout our entire lives we just think that that’s given, you know, nobody can take it away from us. But in reality it’s quite the opposite, my friends. In a split second, in a car on the road at a high speed can change your life and as a matter of fact, it can take away your life.

So never take your life for granted. Always stay cautious and think twice before you do something, right? So that was the first scenario, right? You should never take your life for granted. Which means that you never should take it as given, as something that can ever be taken away from you. Because it can, you know? It can.

Now, the next kind of scenario is say for instance your friends or your family members, we take people for granted which means that we don’t really appreciate that they are in our lives. Oftentimes we are a bit grumpy towards our partners or our children or our friends even. We don’t really think about how grateful we should be that those people are in our lives in the first place, right?

So now as you can clearly see the meaning of the expression “to take something for granted” starts revealing itself. Basically it means that you shouldn’t take it as something that is always going to be there. You have to appreciate it, right?

And the last example is going to be about for example the safety of our lives. You know, we live in certain conditions, in different countries the economy is better and in other countries it’s worse or whatever but for the most part we live in safety.

We can walk out on the street and we can rest assured that we’re not going to get killed. But for some people on this planet it’s not the case. Where there’s war happening people are just getting shot and killed in their homes or getting bombed and people are dying every day of the week.

Therefore we should not take our country’s safety for granted. We just assume that nothing can happen, that law and order is always going to be there but it’s sometimes very fragile. We don’t really realize what larger forces are at play and how quickly the situation can change.

Just think about Syria where there’s war happening now at the moment. A few years ago that was a country where people went about their daily business, they lived normal lives and all of a sudden their lives changed 360 degrees. There’s thousands upon thousands of people being killed, it’s crazy.

So never take your country’s safety situation for granted. Don’t. And basically appreciate. Don’t complain about stuff, you know. Oftentimes we complain about like really, really irrelevant stuff like – and it’s actually called first world problems, you know? There might be some potholes on the road or whatever and we start complaining about the local council that looks after the roads or whatever but just think about how irrelevant it is.

And it’s a weird phenomenon, the better our lives are, the higher our standards, the higher our expectations and we start taking everything for granted, that that’s the way it has to be, that that’s the way it’s going to be forever and it’s going to get better and better and better. But the history has shown us on multiple occasions that our lives can change within a heartbeat.

So never take anything for granted, appreciate your situation that you’re in every day of the week, be grateful to the God and stay safe, right? So that’s the message today, don’t take anything for granted and appreciate everything.

So I hope that now you’ve got the gist of how this expression can be used and what it means but obviously if you have any more questions in relation to this particular idiomatic expression, feel free to publish them in the comment section below my friends. Chat to you soon. Bye-bye!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

The post English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted” appeared first on English Harmony.

Dec 28 2016
7 mins
Play

Rank #20: English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…”

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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, today I’m bringing you yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter:

I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT…

Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter?

Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about!

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat.

In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right?

Just open your mouth and tell him about it!

In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE!

One way of going about it would be to simply state the fact: “There’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat”, but in this case you’re really running the risk of sounding a bit awkward.

I mean – who just says something like that out of the blue, right?

So I think that anyone would quite instinctively feel that there’s a need for something to PRECEED the actual statement, and that’s exactly where the phrase

I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT…

steps in!

You just have to admit that if you address your work colleague this way: “Listen Josh, I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat, isn’t that mad?” – it will sound way more native-like, and that’s exactly the way you want to sound!

So, what are you waiting for?

Watch the video above to learn more about using this particular English sentence starter, and by the way – you’ll also learn that there’s a very similar expression:

I READ SOMEWHERE THAT…

which can be used to refer to facts that you would have read somewhere instead of just heard somewhere.

Let me know if you’ve any questions!

Cheers,

Robby

The post English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…” appeared first on English Harmony.

May 21 2016
6 mins
Play

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