Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 91 | Vocabulary Development | Phrasal Verb Academic Alternatives

We’re back with some vocabulary development today, and like most of you have requested, phrasal verbs with academic alternatives! You very rarely hear the academic words spoken unless it’s in a professional environment. We have a tendency, as English speakers, to use phrasal verbs (unless you’re in British Parliament — lol). Here we go!

accomplish      cite     curtail     dispose of     disregard     exhaust      proceeding      relocate

Replace the phrasal verbs below with their more formal equivalents in the box.

  1. Urban Sprawl occurs when people move away from its down area to the suburbs.
  2. A city with urban sprawl will use up more resources on infrastructure.
  3. The need to cut down pollution is apparent in some suburban neighborhoods.
  4. To pull off a reduction in pollution, road use must be lowered.
  5. It’s impossible to write off the lack of employment opportunity in th suburbs.
  6. Proponents of sprawl may refer to a greater sense of community as an advantage.
  7. In cities with decreased populations, planners should get rid of abandoned facilities.
  8. City planners should plan urban expansion carefully before going ahead with it.

Complete the text with the formal verbs above.

People who live in a city have wonderful facilities on their doorstep, but stress associated with the cost of living, crowds, and noise can be problematic. This kind of stress can be _____________ if the decision is taken to ___________ from the city to the suburbs. Larger homes, fewer people, nature, tranquility, and a sense of community are all _____________ as the advantages of suburban life. However, before __________ with the move, it is important not to ____________ potential issues. There will be longer commutes which may _____________ funds more quickly, as well as reduce the number of tasks you can ____________each day. In addition, environmentally conscious people may be concerned about their increased effect on the environment, as more resources are required to provide them with electricity, gas, and water, as well as ____________ their trash.

Skillful Book 4
  1. What do you think are the benefits of and issues with both city life and suburban living in your country?
  2. Would you argue that it is better for people to live in cities or suburbs? Consider issues related to homes, lifestyle, facilities, transportation, and the environment.


Business English Podcast is Officially Here!

I’ll have to reiterate again that I’m so unbelievably happy that I was approached with a massive opportunity at hand to make a premium podcast. There are other available hosting websites out there, but they don’t have a huge payout for the content creators, nor is it even logical to produce premium content for pennies.

Well, I was approached with an opportunity to be on a start-up company to produce some amazing content, I absolutely took advantage of it.

So now it’s finally here! My business English podcast is available down below and here are the categories that I’ll be covering.

  • Logistics
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sales
  • Investment
  • Human Resources
  • Working Across Cultures
  • Corporate Finance
  • 5 Levels of Business English
  • Workplace Scenarios
  • Developing fluency
  • Soft/hard skills
  • & More

Here’s the podcast and here’s the link!

Business English Podcast

ESL Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 90 | Critical Thinking | Languages at School

This is an awesome podcast of me discussing how important language is, when I first started learning a new language, what did I learn learning Spanish in high school for two years (and didn’t learn anything) versus 2 months in college (and learned way more)….plus, learning Japanese for 3 months in 2008 and fell out of love with it. So many things that need to be discussed. So, let’s dive in!

  1. Which languages did you learn at school? Why do you think you learned these?
  2. Which languages do you think should be taught at school? Why?
  3. What languages are needed for the 21st century workplace?


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 89 | Developing Vocabulary | Collocations – Communication

We’re back with collocations! A lot of you love my developing vocabulary segments, and I do apologize for this specific genre going on a hiatus, but it has come back stronger than ever with a powerful punch. Let’s get into these.

Which of these phrases collocate with communication or voice.

  • in regular
  • speak with one
  • a breakdown of
  • face-to-face
  • at the top of your
  • raise-lower your
  • a means of
  • a tone of

Complete the sentences down below with the collocations from above. You may need to change the expression.

  1. I tried texting, calling and emailing, but got no reply so we need to find out what is the best ____________ for her.
  2. I think he probably doesn’t realize that his __________ can often sound quite defensive or even hostile.
  3. In my view, __________ is always preferable as it gives you the opportunity to read a person’s body language.
  4. Daniel was shouting, ________ but Emma still couldn’t hear him because of the noise.
  5. It will be more effective if we all _________ and present a united front when we ask the coach to change his training techniques.
  6. There was a _____________ because all our phones were out of range and there were no landlines available.
  7. The rescue parts was ____________ with the injured climber via mobile phone until they located her.
  8. He was having trouble concentrating so he asked his friends to _________.

Which verb do these phrases collocate with?

- be about to...... - hate to....... - have nothing to.......- hear someone...... - not be on.........terms - not trust yourself to ....... - .....out against -- ......someone what you think - ......the difference - ......the truth - so - .......your mind. 

Say                   Speak                    Tell


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 88 | Grammar | Review of Conditional Forms (Corrections)

Welcome back to another review of conditional forms, people! In this episode, I want to correct some sentences with you guys by either adding or changing a word. I’ve reviewed conditionals a number of times already, so you can always refer back to the previous blogs.

If you want to check the sentences on your own, here they are (and if you’re seeing this on Facebook, tune into my website:

  1. If i had learned another language, it will have made studying abroad easier.
  2. If you’re going to take a gap year, you might want to start thinking about where you want to go.
  3. We’ll just have to give our friendship a break if you won’t tell me what the problem is.
  4. If I didn’t have to study, I’ll be hanging out at the beach. But I have to take a huge test next week!
  5. I would have gotten there on time if the train hadn’t running late.
  6. If it wasn’t your advice, I probably wouldn’t be going to Africa next year.
  7. Accidents would be dramatically reduced if people don’t cross roads while texting, but everyone is addicted to their devices!
  8. You should compare your ideas with your friends if it’ll speed up the writing process.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 87 |Reading | Crying with Laughter: How We Learned to Speak Emoji

Welcome to a long read with IELTS style questions for you students around the world. In this reading (audio is in podcast), you’re going to read the article about a trend in human communication. Choose the correct headings (i-viii) for each paragraph (A-F). There are two extra headings (as most IELTS questions are). For those of you looking at this on Facebook, tune into my blog for the reading. Also, if you one both representational systems, read and listen along.

i. impact of emoji on the spoken form of language.

ii. the potential for the exploitation and increased complexity of emoji.

iii. The variation in th way different groups interpret certain emoji

iv. Emoji allow more self-expression in some respects, but less in others.

v. the inspiration behind the development of emoji.

vi. the increasing tendency to use emoji for everyday messages and for literary purposes

vii. emoji use no longer limited to young people.

viii. the procedure for suggesting and evaluating new emoji.

  1. Paragraph A
  2. Paragraph B
  3. Paragraph C
  4. Paragraph D
  5. Paragraph E
  6. Paragraph F

The ‘face with tears of joy’ symbol has been named the word of the year. But how did a gimmick end up changing the way we communicate?

The Oxford dictionary has just announced its ‘Word of the Year’, as it has done annually since 2004. This wouldn’t perhaps deserve much attention if it weren’t for the fact that it’s not a word as all. It’s just a pair of symmetrical eyebrows, eyes, big tears, and a broad monotooth grin. That’s right, the word of the year is the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji! Judge Casper Grathwohl oversaw the discussions that led to the selection. We just thought, when you look back at the year in language, one of the most striking things was that, in terms of printed communication, the most ascendant aspect of it wasn’t a word at all, it was emoji culture’. If he had been referring to the number of people using emoji in regular text messages, this may not have seemed so remarkable. What may surprise you more, though, is that the classic novel Moby Dick was translated into emoji and renamed Emoji Dick, with Alice in Wonderland undergoing the same update, a task that required the use of 250,000 emoji. The author TR Richmond, who used emoji in What She Left, a novel built around texts, blogs, and Facebook posts, says that emoji ‘have a place at the hear of our language.’

The Fact that English alone is proving insufficient to meet the needs of 21st century digital communication is a huge shift,’ says Grathwohl. When one of his dictionary colleagues suggested using an emoji instead of the word ’emoji’, ‘light bulbs went on’. Until recently, Grathwohl, who is 44, avoided using emoji altogether because he worried that he would look as if he ‘was trying to get in on teen culture. I felt inauthentic. But i think there was a tipping point this year. It’s now moved into the mainstream.’ Not only does he use emoji, but his mother sends him emoji-laden messages, too. Indeed, some 76% of the UK adult population owns a smartphone, and of those, between 80-90% use emoji. Worldwide, six billion emoji are sent daily. If you are one of the few not yet using emoji, it may still interest you to know that the ‘face with tears of joy’ is the most used. Even if you don’t send emoji yourself, you probably receive them from people keen to convey a little irony, exaggeration or fun.

In fact, emoji have their own kind of dictionary. It’s called unicode, a computing industry standard that ensures different platforms, providers and operating systems can recognize text from each other. There are currently well over a thousand emoji. Anyone can put forward an idea for an emoji, says Vyvyan Evans, a professor in linguistics at Bangor University, who has spent the past year studying them. ‘You simply submit a proposal, provide a rational.’ You’ll hear back from the Unicode Tech committee if your design meets their criteria. It’s this group that considers proposals and releases new outlines of characters in a process that can take about two years. As a result of these innovations, racially diverse emoji have been introduced. Next year, a dancing man is coming, partner to the dancing lady. Vegetables remain underrepresented, cute rodents overly so. If you’re planning to come up with new emoji, perhaps you should bear that in mind!

Not everyone has responded positively to emoji. A common complaint is: ‘if you will use signs instead of words, you’ll just end up semi-literate!’ Evans has heard similar comments. ‘If you talk to some people, they imply that emoji are a backward step. But this misunderstands the nature of human communication.’ The picture is more complicated, he feels, with emoji offering both greater freedom and constraints than verbal language. he points out that anyone can invent a word and use it, but emoji are a limited language, subject to the selection processes of Unicode. ‘However,’ he says, ‘what I’ve been trying to do is demonstrate that emoji are conforming to the same principles of communication that underpin the spoken language.’ Perhaps he senses my confusion. ‘It it’ll help,’ he says, ‘I can demonstrate this with a simple sentence.’ There is a pause. ‘I love you,’ he says. He says it twice. The first time i think he means it; the second time we both know he doesn’t. Intonation makes a huge difference! Later, Evans explained that if I’d been standing in front of him, I’d have been relying on his body language to help infer meaning, too. ‘Emoji are fulfilling the same function in digital speech,’ he says.

It was in Japan, in the late 1990’s, that emoji were born. A Japanese telecom company had been looking for a way to entice teens to its pager service. One of its employees, Shigetaka Kurita, came up with the idea of adding simple images to its text offering, and began sketching out the possibilities. His imagination was stimulated by manga, Chinese characters and street signs, yet those early emoji look simple by today’s standards, facial expressions more than faces, musical notes, exclamation marks. If Kurita hadn’t drawn up his initial set, the rich lexicon of emoji we use today might never have been developed.

Like any sort of language, emoji are in a constant state of flux, particularly in the way that texters are choosing to deploy them. ‘They are subtle and rich, and flexible,’ Grathwohl says. Indeed, the significance of an individual emoji may not be interpreted in the same way by all members of the emoji-using community. In other words, if emoji meant the same thing to everyone, they wouldn’t be so much fun. Grathwohl also explains: ‘The strings of emoji people send me are becoming longer and starting to tell stories. They are expressing ideas and experiences with growing sophistication.’ Will emoji eventually be tamed and come to look something more like traditional written scripts that we understand? ‘It would be interesting if that kind of development took place,’ he says. In the meantime, if you opened a dictionary in a bookshop tomorrow, you’d notice that the face with tears of joy hasn’t yet earned a place. Maybe they are still trying to work out where it should in the alphabet.

Gateway C1


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 86 | Study Skills | Reflective Learning

Your performance as a student/learner (because we all are) is LIKELY to develop the habit of putting time aside to reflect on how you learn. You will find that you study more effectively if you consider, for example:

  • changes in your motivational levels
  • changes in your attitudes and ideas
  • the appropriateness of your current study strategies to the tasks you are undertaking
  • which skills you need for different kinds of assignment
  • what is blocking your learning
  • gaps in your knowledge or your skills

Getting to Know Your Skills

  1. What motivated you to read a book that you wanted to read? What reduced your motivation? Why?
  2. What reading skills did you need in order to read and understand the text?
  3. How effectively did you understand the text?
  4. What helped you understand? Or prevent from udnerstanding?

Writing Skills

  1. What is the best way to approach this piece of writing?
  2. What skills do you need to be able to complete this piece of writing?
  3. Of those skills, which are your strengths and which are weaknesses?
  4. How easy do you find it to focus when writing? What distracts you?


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 85 | Vocabulary for Reading | Getting Meaning Across

Welcome back to another episode before reading. In this one, we’re going to talk about some very interesting vocabulary, and of course, my wonderful stories behind them.

  1. If you don’t approve the way one of your friends behaves, you need to drop a very subtle hint.
  2. It’s advisable to give a vague answer when asked your opinion by an examiner in an English test.
  3. If your friend asks for advice on a relationship, it’s better to say too lite than to be too blunt.
  4. Comments made on social media tend to be a lot more ambiguous than those made face to face.
  5. Fans of my local football team tend to be quite vocal when they disagree with the referee.
  6. It’s awful when actors in films mumble and you can’t understand what they’re saying.
  7. It’s wrong for advertisements to imply that some toys are designed for girls and some just for boys.
  8. Music conveys human emotion better than any other art form.


Rich Dad Poor Dad | S5 – E30 | Lesson V | There Are Five Reasons for Using Examples

There are five reasons for using examples:

  1. To inspire people to learn more.
  2. To let people know it is easy if the foundation is strong.
  3. To show that anyone can achieve great wealth.
  4. To show that there are millions of ways to achieve your goals.
  5. To show that it’s not rocket science.

To inspire people and to learn more. Extremely critical. This isn’t a money-driven podcast, but more a tribe-building podcast. Too many people aren’t vulnerable, and without vulnerability, it seems like that barrier is always up and there’s no getting to the other side. It’s like having an “outsider” buy your course and then leave a poor review because they didn’t know anything about you.

Another example would be having random people buy my ESL Pronunciation courses. This could be a huge problem, because even if I did an amazing job, a no-name would have the ability to give me a harsh review to keep people away.

It’s very important to have my audience get to know you me first before they buy anything from me. I was trying to buy click-funnels but I didn’t know anything about the CEO or his vision. After runarounds with his staff, I gave it an extremely poor review.

So, keep that in mind. Making money will come with harsh criticism.

2. Having that strong foundation

People never talk about the foundation. People only talk about the foundation if a building collapses. No one talks about the amazing foundations that these gigantic metropolis’ are built on. I built a two-year foundation of ESL podcasts, constantly giving value to everyone. I’m not just a random who’s trying to sell…if that’s the case, criticism is going to be waiting for you.

Numbers 3, 4, and 5 are in the podcast down below!


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 84 | Reading | Rust Belt Dystopia

The Rust Belt Dystopia! Man, Detroit used to be a BOOMING TOWN when the industries were there. After a massive overhaul, FORD had picked up and bailed overseas, leaving Detroit in complete shambles, ruins, and has never recovered since. Although Detroit is making strides to get back to what it used to be, the recovery process has been tough. Listen in!

Questions for Reading (the reading is actually listening and in the podcast)