Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 68 | Vocabulary Preview for Reading | Credit Crunch

Oh, it’s time. We need to talk about the most important financial time of the past three decades. In America, the financial market sent shockwaves everywhere when subprime (also known as CDOs) were passed like hot potatoes amongst the biggest banks in the world. When the CDO’s value went to s***, so did the companies. Bear Stearns collapsed on a biblical scale, and Lehman Bros followed suit, among so many others. CDOS slammed the housing market and the value of homes deteriorated. Americans had become homeless, lost their jobs, 401ks, and more — making it the stain of the 00s. So, let’s do some talking first about vocabulary.

bail them out     credit crunch     default on your mortgage    file for bankruptcy     recession     regulator     stimulate the economy
  1. A period of time when banks are not willing to lend much money is called a ___________.
  2. When you fail to pay back money you borrowed to buy a house or apartment you ______________.
  3. A _____________ occurs when demand to buy accommodation and related prices are high.
  4. A _____________’s job is to make sure that companies or organizations follow systems and rules.
  5. If you have to officially state that you do not have enough money to pay your debts, you _____________.
  6. When a company is in a bad financial situation, another company might _____________.
  7. An economic decline over a period of several months or more is a _____________.
  8. When it is in decline, governments usually try to _____________ so it improved.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 67 | Discussion Points | Business Risks that Paid Off

We’re here with some discussion points today! We’ll be discussing three of the following discussion points. First, we need to check out this info graphic.

  1. Elon musk invested his last $25 million to keep Tesla afloat in 2008. Company is now worth 83 billion.
  2. Sylvester Stallone, actor/screenwriter refused to sell screenplay for Rocky unless he had the lead role. Accepted a much smaller prices as a result. Film earned him millions and launched his career.
  3. Renee Lawson Hardy of Whole Foods Market started the company in the 1970s when local, organic food wasn’t on consumers’ radar. Now one of the biggest supermarkets in the USA.
  4. David Choe, a graffiti artist, agreed to decorate the first Facebook office in exchange for company stocks and not cash. That stock’s now worth $200m.
  5. Zhou Qunfrei, founder of Lens Technology, gave her customers the names of her key competitors in a bid to expand the size of the market. Now worth $9 billion.
  6. Mark Puncus, CEO of Zynga, rejected his final chance at funding his first company to maintain control. Managed to receive funding later and sold the company at a good profit.

Discussion Points

  • Which person in the infographic took the biggest risk?
  • How important do you think risk is in business? Why? How can business people mitigate risks?
  • What risks do people take in their family life, social life, work life, and leisure time?


Arsenio’s ESL Pronunciation Course | Phase II | Debut!

We’re finally here! The second phase of my pronunciation course is here, and I’m happy to tell you guys that this is the beginning of the core of videos that I will be delivering. 1.5 hours worth of content and 6 videos with interactive lessons awaits you. Remember, before going into that course, make sure you do the prerequisite course down below.

First Course

Here’s what the new course entails.

  1. The difference between voiceless and voiced sounds. 
  2. The pronunciation of voiceless and voiced consonants at the beginning of words, as well as the end of words. 
  3. The pronunciation of grammatical word endings -s/ -es and -ed
  4. The effect of grammatical endings on the number of syllables in a word. 
  5. The importance of linking the end of one word to the beginning of the next word in a phrase. 

The outcomes will be….

  • Be able to enunciate syllables correctly. 
  • Enunciate the beginning and end of words correctly. 
  • Say the word all the way through and understand the different sounds of past tense words. 
  • Learn the beginning stages of linking consonants together. 


As part of the interactive exercises that I have that you must submit to me, here are some of them.

– Record and submit sentences/paragraphs.

– Learn how to self-monitor -s/ -es and -ed endings.

What you’ll learn

  • Sounds and Syllables

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • Phase I (previous course)

Who this course is for:

  • Intermediate and higher

For any questions or if you want to book a call to discuss further, here are some links.

Book a Call

Second Pronunciation Course

Podcast Preview

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 66 | Listening | Smart Cities

In today’s podcast, i’m going to speak about which cities I’ve lived in, in the past five years, have changed, as well as a few other things that revolve around technology. Then, you’re going to listen to two students discussing a presentation

  1. Laure and Ben agree that talking lampposts are…..
  • an outdated idea from an early Smart City.
  • Evidence that all Smart Cities are basically similar.
  • On example of how Smart Cities should function.
  • Interesting but will never be popular.

2. Ben says the most important consequence of smart parking will be….

  • a reduction in levels of pollution in many cities.
  • more commuters traveling in private cars.
  • the fact that city residence feel less stressed.
  • a drop in fuel prices for citizens.

3. What is the students’ attitude to sensors in new building materials?

  • relief that construction projects will become cheaper.
  • concern about the implications for individual privacy.
  • doubt regarding the safety of future constructions
  • confusion about how the sensors will workk.

4. When Lura talks about digital signage she says that….

  • all signs will be connected to the internet.
  • signs will be able to advertise numerous different products.
  • advertisers will know how many people they are reaching.
  • customers will be able to buy directly from advertisements.

5. What surprises the students when they talk about criminals?

  • how quickly criminal activity will be controlled in future
  • how films tend to exaggerate the dangers of hacking
  • how old-fashioned cyber security is in some cities
  • how dependent on technology the police will become

6. What conclusion do the students reach about Cyber City?

  • they are disappointed that so few people play the game.
  • they are impressed by the level of detail in the game.
  • they are confused about how such a game is beneficial.
  • they are surprised that only design companies can play the game.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 65 | Reading | Robotics Forum

Welcome back to reading! So, in order to have success on any exam that involves cross-test multiple-matching activities, you need to identify the different writers’ opinions about specific points, and recognize whether the writers share a similar opinion or giving opposing opinions.

Here’s the reading followed by the questions at the bottom!

Getting Back to My Roots – A

As a young man, I was lucky enough to get an internship at a robotics research and development center. The researchers gave me their wholehearted support as I took my first steps in AI. From then on, I haven’t looked back. Next month I’m joining up with a US team and collaborating on language software that will allow a robot to respond more naturally to questions. But getting that first break wasn’t purely down to good fortunate — before that I was at home, working out how to build effective electric circuits, and figuring out how to code. I’d say to anyone considering a career in robotics engineering that if you start from scratch, you’ll get the grounding you need. Thinking outside the box is then what moves you forward as an innovator. But apart from technical know-how, the other thing that young engineers should have is a set of principles. You must pose yourself the question: ‘How am I going to design something that is of benefit to others?’ and ‘What impact on society is it likely to have?’ Only then can you really be motivated to pursue it. I am curious about the robots that are now already dealing with public enquiries in a particular bank. There have been teething troubles; the robots have not always been able to analyze facial expression correctly, and so have sometimes responded inappropriately, but this will all be resolved as we move forward.

C1 Gateway

Can Robots Help with Human Problems? – B

Humans have always had the capacity to innovate; this is what sets us apart from other animals and has allowed us to evolve. But now our drive for innovation threatens our own security. Indeed we are on the verge of creating a future in which humans will have ever-decreasing value. Robotic engineering and artificial intelligence are developing at such a pace that people are not given the time to voice doubt or call into question the supposed benefits of automation. One concern is the impact of employment: robots will soon jeopardize millions of jobs worldwide, surely a catastrophe for social stability. I understand the desire to continually improve on existing technology, but the goal of any engineer should be to enhance human existence; and the effect of their actions on individuals and at societal level must take precedence over technical progress. However, there are those in the field determined to create machines they can pass off as humans. There is no justification for this. Humans have innate qualities that a machine will never replicate. I hold the view that there is something profoundly disturbing yet also futile about attempting to recreate the human essence.

The Future of Robotics – C

Robotics engineering is not a career for the incurious. That an early interest in the basics such as programming and electronics is vital goes without saying. None of this is wasted when moving onto a robotics engineering program, however many years later. Vision is also imperative if we are to open up to the range of potential applications they might have. Then we must develop a market for them. If we don’t manage to do that, it is pointless having a conversation about ethics. For example, in today’s society, it is typical for both parents to work hard, and to do long hours. We are soon going to have a situation where finding childcare becomes near impossible. The time will therefore come when robots will take over certain parental duties; perhaps the collection of children form school or helping with housework. Still, in order to convince people to accept robots, they should look as human as possible. The more they resemble humans, the easier it will be for people to overcome their irrational fears. I agree with the notion that through interactions with robots, we can better understand ourselves. As AI moves forward, we will see that all humans have qualities in common, and start to think about what it truly means to be human: in terms of our desires, our dreams and our own consciousness.

The Pros and Cons of AI – D

I was recently invited to meet a humanoid robot, and of course, I accepted. I knew it was going to be an amazing encounter. What I had not expected was how disconcerting the experience turned out to be. Its eyes followed my every move, and the uncannily humanlike changes in its facial expression almost had me forgetting the fact was silicone. Its verbal responses to my questioning were slightly off at times, but it managed to keep the conversation going. The lead engineer on this innovative project explained how the next generation of machines could be put to use not only in factories, but also in our homes and offices. The leader was somewhat more reticent when it came to answering my concerns about the inevitable loss of jobs. There is also the issue of whether something with advanced artificial intelligence should be created for the purpose of servitude. At what point is a robot entitled to rights? And who will be legally responsible if a machine malfunctions, say a driverless car, and causes physical injury to people or property? A conference on such issues takes place next year. Certainly they require attention before further development takes place.


Read the article. For questions 1-4, choose fomr the four headings.

Which heading:

  • Shares A’s opinion on how people should set out to become robotics engineers?
  • Has a different opinion from C on the attempt to make robots more humanlike?
  • Shares B’s opinion on how to the development of robots might affect human workers?
  • Has a different view from the others on the priority of ethical considerations in engineering?

For questions 5-8, decide which of the extracts above contains the following information.

  • A reason why humans lack the opportunity to challenge developments in robotics.
  • A prediction about a particular role robots may take on in the future.
  • A reference to a particular problem that arose with a group of robots.
  • An explanation for the expert’s uncomfortable feelings in the presence of a robot.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 64 | Phrasal Verbs | Academic Collocations

Welcome back to some more collocations! Always excited to bring you guys more phrasal verbs, so let’s get into it before we do the reading!

Complete the table down below with the words in the box.

ample  beyond   growing    hold(v)   hypothetical    in
into   lend    of   on   pose   prevailing   provide   voice(v)   wholehearted
Verb + nounprepositions + nounadjective + noun
to _______
_________ the evidence
to _________ the
view that
in view _________ the fact
the __________
to ______
some doubt
to prove beyond doubt that________ doubt
to ___________
support to
to come out _________ support of________ support
to pose a
to call ___________ questiona __________


Rich Dad Poor Dad | S5 – E21 |You Become What You Study

A problem with school is that you often become what you study. So if you study cooking, you become a chef. If you study the law, you become an attorney, and a study of auto mechanics makes you a mechanic. The mistake in becoming what you study is that too many people forget to mind their own business. They spend their lives minding someone else’s business and making that person rich.

To become financially secure, a person needs to mind their own business. Your business revolves around your asset column, not your income column. As stated earlier, the number-one rule is to know the difference between an asset and a liability, and to buy assets.

The rich focus on their asset columns, while everyone else focuses on their income statements.

That is why we hear so often: “I need a raise.” “If only I had a promotion.” “I am going back to school to get more training so I

Financial struggle is often the result of people working all their lives for someone else.

can get a better job.” “I am going to work overtime.” “Maybe I can get a second job.” In some circles, these are sensible ideas. But you are still not minding your own business. These ideas all still focus on the income column and will only help a person become more financially secure if the additional money is used to purchase income- generating assets.

The primary reason the majority of the poor and middle class are fiscally conservative—which means, “I can’t afford to take risks”— is that they have no financial foundation. They have to cling to their jobs and play it safe.

So many people have put themselves in deep financial trouble when they run short of income. To raise cash, they sell their assets. But their personal assets can generally be sold for only a fraction of the value that is listed on their personal balance sheet. Or if there is
a gain on the sale of the assets, they are taxed on the gain. So again, the government takes its share, thus reducing the amount available to help them out of debt. That is why I say someone’s net worth is often “worth less” than they think.

Start minding your own business. Keep your daytime job, but start buying real assets, not liabilities or personal effects that have no real value once you get them home. A new car loses nearly 25 percent of the price you pay for it the moment you drive it off the lot.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Keep expenses low, reduce liabilities, and diligently build a base of solid assets. For young people who have not yet left home, it is important for parents to teach them the difference between an asset and a liability. Get them to start building a solid asset column before they leave home, get married, buy a house, have kids, and get stuck in a risky financial position, clinging to a job, and buying everything on credit. I see so many young couples who get married and trap themselves into a lifestyle that will not let them get out of debt for most of their working years.

Rich Dad Poor Dad | S5 – E20 |Lesson III | Mind Your Own Business

In 1974, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was asked to speak to the MBA class at the University of Texas at Austin. A friend of mine was a student in that MBA class. After a powerful and inspiring talk, the class adjourned and the students asked Ray if he would join them at their favorite hangout to have a few beers. Ray graciously accepted.

“What business am I in?” Ray asked, once the group had all their beers in hand.

“Everyone laughed,” my friend said. “Most of the MBA students thought Ray was just fooling around.”

No one answered, so Ray asked again, “What business do you think I’m in?”

The students laughed again, and finally one brave soul yelled out, “Ray, who in the world doesn’t know that you’re in the hamburger business?”

Ray chuckled. “That’s what I thought you would say.” He paused and then quickly added, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in the hamburger business. My business is real estate.”

Rich Dad Poor Dad

As my friend tells the story, Ray spent a good amount of time explaining his viewpoint. In his business plan, Ray knew that the primary business focus was to sell hamburger franchises, but what he never lost sight of was the location of each franchise. He knew that the land and its location were the most significant factors in the success of each franchise. Basically, the person who bought the franchise was also buying the real estate under the franchise for Ray Kroc’s organization.

Today, McDonald’s is the largest single owner of real estate in the world, owning even more than the Catholic church. McDonald’s owns some of the most valuable intersections and street corners in America and around the globe.

My friend considers this as one of the most important lessons in his life. Today he owns car washes, but his business is the real estate under those car washes.

The previous chapter presented diagrams illustrating that most people work for everyone but themselves. They work first for the owners of the company, then for the government through taxes, and finally for the bank that owns their mortgage.

When I was a young boy, we did not have a McDonald’s nearby. Yet my rich dad was responsible for teaching Mike and me the
same lesson that Ray Kroc talked about at the University of Texas.
It is secret number three of the rich. That secret is: Mind your own business. Financial struggle is often directly the result of people working all their lives for someone else. Many people will simply have nothing at the end of their working days to show for their efforts.

Our current educational system focuses on preparing today’s youth to get good jobs by developing scholastic skills. Their lives will revolve around their wages or, as described earlier, their income column. Many will study further to become engineers, scientists, cooks, police officers, artists, writers, and so on. These professional skills allow them to enter the workforce and work for money.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 63 | Pronunciation for Speaking | Preparing & Rehearsing Talking Points

Effective pronunciation ensures your audience can engage with your ideas, not so much big words (which would have your audience lost, based on the setting). Focus on the key features to make your delivery successful:

  1. Make sure you are very confident with the pronunciation of key terms and names. Correct word stress is important for the audience to understand multi-syllable words.
  2. Use sentence stress to highlight the key points, emphasizing the main syllables in these words.
  3. Insert short pauses between groups of words and longer pauses between sentences.
  4. Indicate when a point is finished by using falling intonation.

Use these strategies.

  • Mark these four pronunciation features on your presentation script.
  • Practice several times.
  • Record yourself and analyze your performance.

The three of us | presenting our solutions today | all come | from different backgrounds | in relation | to the problem. || This ought to provide | a broader perspective | on the issue | and some more innovative solutions. ||

SKillful 4

Listen to the podcast down below and mark the sentence stress, pauses, and intonation on the extracts from the Speaking model.

  1. Coming back to Hana’s point about the cost of making these changes, we need to think about how much this will be passed on to students.
  2. The problems can be solved. As both Hana and Ella have said, change is difficult, and people don’t like it at first.

Mark the pronunciation features on the extracts form the speaking model.

  1. First, I’m going to outline the basic issue, along with the main problems | identified.
  2. Supposing fees were dramatically increased? How many students would still apply to come here?
  3. However, as long as it is managed effectively, everyone can benefit in the final outcome — the management, the teachers, and current and future students.


Rich Dad Poor Dad | S5 – E19 | Building Excess Cash-flow

Wealth is a person’s ability to survive so many number of days forward—or, if I stopped working today, how long could I survive?

Unlike net worth—the difference between your assets and liabilities, which is often filled with a person’s expensive junk and opinions of what things are worth—this definition creates the possibility for developing
a truly accurate measurement. I could now measure and know where I was in terms of my goal to become financially independent.

Although net worth often includes non-cash-producing assets, like stuff you bought that now sits in your garage, wealth measures how much money your money is making and, therefore, your financial survivability.

Wealth is the measure of the cash flow from the asset column compared with the expense column.

Let’s use an example. Let’s say I have cash flow from my asset column of $1,000 a month. And I have monthly expenses of $2,000. What is my wealth?

Let’s go back to Buckminster Fuller’s definition. Using his definition, how many days forward can I survive? Assuming a 30-day month, I have enough cash flow for half a month.

When I achieve $2,000 a month cash flow from my assets, then I will be wealthy.

My next goal would be to have the excess cash flow from my assets reinvested into the asset column. The more money that goes into my asset column, the more my asset column grows. The more my assets grow, the more my cash flow grows. And as long as I keep my expenses less than the cash flow from these assets, I grow richer with more and more income from sources other than my physical labor.

As this reinvestment process continues, I am well on my way to becoming rich. Just remember this simple observation:

  • The rich buy assets
  • The poor buy expenses
  • The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets