Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Mini-Test – Part II

Welcome back, everyone! I told you last week that I would be splitting the mini-test into two parts because I didn’t want to oversaturate you with information, so here I am again bringing you the second half! It will be a quick live/podcast, so just hear my explanations and carry on!

Dear John,

I am writing to let you know about the agenda for your visit to QMG ___________(7) March 27th. 

7. A – On, B – At, C – Since, D – By

We have arranged for you to be met _____________(8) the airport and taken to your hotel. 

8. A – into, B – through, C – at, D – on

In the morning, we plan to show you around the factory and the production line.  Jim would like to have a meeting with you in the afternoon.  We will arrange a time for this ___________ (9) you leave. 

9. A – while, B – since, C – before, D – after

Dear Mr. Buck, 

It was very nice to speak to you last week.  As we discussed, I met with the other members of the team and we have agreed to set the date for the banquet for April 26.  We _____________ the sunshine lounge in the Grand Hotel.

10. A – rent, B – will rent, C – rented, D – had rented

_______________ is this venue very reasonable in cost, it is also one of the few that is likely to be available at this late date. 

11. A – even, B – therefore, C – while, D – not only

I have also spoken with the senior members of our marketing group about your visit and was able to confirm that they will be available to meet ___________ you the day after the banquet.

12. A – for, B – to, C – with, D – by



Interviewee #025 – Luke Burrows, Joint-Mentorship with Motivational Mentors is Back!

Welcome back to another podcast interviewee, and in this episode I’m bringing back my partner in crime.  Luke Burrows, the Co-Host of Motivation Mentors, is here to talk about the birth of the Grow2Gether Academy and the huge launch we have coming up in January. Tune in!

Luke Burrows is the founder of Grow2Gether a online personal growth community for millennials to help them stand, rise and grow together. Luke works with the young people of today to help them change the way they think to unlock their potential through coaching and mentoring”

Luke Burrows
Mindset Coach, Entrepreneur and Founder of Grow2Gether
P: 077855 63170
E:    W:


Show Notes

Things that were discussed. 


Things we discussed:

  • Grow2Gether Academy and why Luke has started it. 
  • The targets for the academy and the demographics.
  • What types of courses will be available on the Grow2Gether Academy. 
  • Beginners of personal development and what their recommendations would be. 
  • What additional perks are there in the academy.
  • Are the expectations high?
  • Will there be an app for Grow2GatherAcademy for iOS and Android?
  • More features which will become readily available on the Grow2Gather Academy.

Listen to “Interviewee #025 – Luke Burrows with The Grow2Gether Academy” on Spreaker.

Thank you for listening!


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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 36 – Pronunciation – Suffixes from French

Welcome back to another episode, everyone! Excited about going over this next round because if you guys don’t already know, there are plenty of words in the English language that are French.  So, with that being said, I want to show you some suffixes and that would put a touch of French on an English word. 

















Syllable with primary stress in each word.

  1. Unique opportunity
  2. Confidential information
  3. Democratic majority
  4. Financial situation
  5. Scientific career
  6. Pharmacology technician
  7. Technology revolution
  8. Geographic separation


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Special – TOEFL Idioms – Part IV

Hello, everyone! Because TOEFL idioms last week was a huge success, I’ve brought it back AGAIN for all of you out there. So, here’s the podcast and chart for you guys, and be sure to tune in next week for more!

Hang in there Be patient. I know it’s hard waiting for the exam results, but you just need to hang in there.
Hard up Lack money. Ellie knew I was hard up, so she paid for my coffee.
Have a bone to pick Have something to argue about. I have a bone to pick with the girl who stole my boyfriend from me.
Jump on the bandwagon To join something that’s popular. I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and listen to that new band everyone is talking about.
Let’s get this show on the road! Let’s get started! We have everything packed for the road trip, so let’s get this show on the road!
Let the cat out of the bag To tell a secret. The surprise party was ruined when my little brother let the cat out of the bag and told our mom about it.
Lose your marbles To be crazy. (Often said as a joke.) Mrs. Thompson wants all this homework finished tomorrow? She must have lost her marbles!


Interviewee #023 – Natalie Shaul on Stress, Mental Clarity & Physical Wellness

A super compelling podcast on how one’s mind can affect the body. On today’s show, Natalie Shaul joined me to talk about some great ways to deal with bloating, gut health in general, adding in different foods, and how she overcame a relentless amount of symptoms that were hovering over her for a decade and a half. 

Get in touch with Natalie Shaul


Things we discussed:

Her journey to where she is currently.

Good environment and a good childhood.

Believing she couldn’t complain because of how she was brought up. 

Health issues that lingered over time. 

What the causes are of  autoimmune and hyper-thyroid?

Causes of mercury poisoning.

What was the step-by-step recovery process to mitigate the symptoms?

Her meeting with Lewis.

More steps to combat her health issues.


Three things and actionable steps for the listeners.

Sleep deprivation.

Inflammatory foods.

Bloating and gut health.

Apple cider and how to make them. 

Sugary foods.


Food and beverages that are good for your overall gut health. 

Her diet for breakfast.

Myths of overeating. 

Olive oil and omega fats.

Advantages of avocados.

Echinacea and its advantages

Turmeric and other spices that could be implemented in your diet. 

Physical fitness.

Yoga, detoxification and using a sauna. 

Three ultimate things for self-case.

Listen to “Interviewee #024 – Natalie Shaul on Stress, Mental Clarity & Physical Wellness” on Spreaker.


Thank you for listening!


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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 35 – Vocabulary – Word Families (Round II)

Who loves word families?! Oh, yes! I just can’t get enough of them! Seriously, a lot of you can benefit considerably by knowing what part of speech a word is.  Prefixes + suffixes change it all — most times.  So, here’s another table and more grammar to go over!

So, if you guys don’t already know, word families have a common base word.  To extend your range of vocabulary, think about how a new word would be formed as a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb when you first see it.

Verb                      Noun                Adjectives               Adverbs 

Compare        Comparison        Comparative       Comparatively

Complete these word families.

Verb                      Noun                Adjectives                Adverbs





Perceive                                                                          Perceptively

                        Simplification                                          Simplify

2. Correct the six mistakes in the paragraph below. 

I realization that Liu knows a lot about cars.  She told me that Japan and the USA are large car manufacturing countries.  Also, Japan is a national that exports a lot of cars.  She also said that some people think the first car origin in Germany.  Liu is very perception because he figured out that Brazil will one day be a big influence in the automotive industry. I asked her about how much fuel cars use.  She said it is not simplicity to determine how much fuel cars use every years.  One thing is certain, though.  Demand for cars is general very high. 



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Understanding Writing Task 2 Questions

Welcome back to another episode, everyone! This is going to be great for you guys to do some freewriting, but more importantly, understand the question.

Learn to analyze task 2 questions.  They contain a subject and often include a general noun or nouns to help you organize your essay. The world is changing rapidly (noun). What are the causes (general noun to help you organize your answer) of this?

  1. In each group a-d below, which general noun has a different meaning from the other two?

a. Advantages, drawbacks, benefits

b. Measures, steps, reasons

C. causes, effects, consequences,

D. disadvantages, drawbacks, solutions.

2. Complete each task 2 question below with the general nouns and verbs from down below.

Agree or disagree, advantages, disadvantages, causes, solutions, measures, views, benefits

a. What are the benefits of learning skills in the modern world?

b. Any attempts to preserve the natural world will always hinder economic development.  However the benefits of helping the environment will always far outweigh the ____________.  Do you ___________?

c. Some young people take a year off between school and university.  What are the ________________ and ______________ of taking such time off?

d. Students should be trained on how to cope with changes in the modern world.  How far do you _______________?

e. Volunteer work with disadvantaged groups like underprivileged children is the best way for young people to learn about the real world.  To what extent do you ____________________? What other _________________could be effective?

f. Every day, animals are becoming extinct throughout the world.  What do you think the _____________ of this are? What _______________ can you suggest to deal with this?

g. Some people think overcrowding in large cities can be reduced by building skyscrapers, while others think the problem can be solved be encouraging people to move to the countryside.  Discuss both these _____________ and give your opinion.


Physical Environment: Goals for 2019!

I was on the fence back in 2017.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to take a long journey to South America, or wait it out and see how it played out in Thailand.  Nonetheless, I was a scared child — AGAIN! I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.  I’m so grateful I stuck things through and battled out a very toxic old job.  Now? Well let’s somewhat review what has happened.

I think I worked at about 6-8 places.  One physical environment, a potential employer that interviewed me (and pressured me to hurry and get a visa) had a stench to it.  I trusted my instincts and bombed everything at the end.

Of course I’ve mentioned the wheel of life on so many occasions already, but what I will do is talk about how bad my physical environment was suffering at the beginning of the year.  From detoxing from a terribly racist job, to almost accepting another terrible job.  I’m so fortunate and grateful that I went with my heart, and now my physical environment is about a 9.5.

However, the focus is you.

Ask yourself these questions.

  1. Am I content with my workplace? If I am, will it take me to the next level next year?
  2. If I’m not growing in my job, what steps can I take to look elsewhere?
  3. How’s my home life? Am I enjoying myself at home?
  4. Do I enjoy coming home at night? Is my neighborhood safe? Is there privacy and serenity where I live?

My condominium has been peace. Sure, there’s an annoying security lady who eavesdrop when I walk into the lobby and gives my students dirty looks “as if they’re prostitutes — that’s the Thai mentality — I suppose.” Other than that, it’s fantastic and I’m resigning a new contract.

How about my job? Well, after a few cold shoulders and misunderstandings, I’ve been working at this “primary” job for about 7 months already.  There are multiple branches of this place…and some places are not good AT ALL, but I’m fortunate to have landed at a great place to teach.  The money sucks, but it’s just a source of income that will be finished next year.  The other places I LOVE!!

So, it’s your turn…..

Listen to “Physical Environment: Goals for 2019!” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4: Episode 7 – How to Increase your Integrity

Let’s kick this off with one of the greatest quotes I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. 

A great example of congruence is Mahatma Gandhi.  At one point in his life, he was invited to speak before the House of Commons in England.  Using no notes, he spoke for two hours and brought an essentially hostile audience to a rousing standing ovation.  Following his speech, some reporters approached his secretary, Mahadev Desai, incredulous that Gandhi could mesmerize his audience for such a long time with no notes.  

“What Gandhi thinks, what he feels, what he says, and what he does are all the same.  He does not need notes…you and I, we think one thing, feel another, say a third, and do a fourth, so we need notes and files to keep track. 

Not only was Gandhi congruent within himself, he was also congruent with the principles he stood for.  Not only did he have roots, he had a taproot that plunged deep into the reservoir of timeless principles that govern in life. 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

How amazing is that! Are you one of the billions that suffer from what the secretary said? Trust me, you’re not alone, but it’s all about improving.

So, how does humility manifest itself in leadership? See, a humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right, about acting on good ideas than having the ideas, about embracing the truth than defending an outdated position, about recognizing contribution than being recognized for making it. 

I can go back and see my last boss suffered from a lack of humility to a umteenth degree!  He defended his position in statistics rather than reality.  He said, “your students are renewing,” yet my students were going off to universities because they achieved an IELTS score — which was a 50-hour course they learned with me. 

Being humble doesn’t mean be weak, it simply means that they people don’t get caught up in the arrogance and bravado of win-lose power plays. 

How to Increase Your Integrity?

So how do we go about increasing our integrity?

First, we need to consider what degree of integrity we currently have.  At this point, you might find it helpful to review the following questions based on the self-assessment questionnaire. 

– Do I genuinely try to be honest in all my interactions with others?

– Do I typically “walk my walk?”

– Am I clear on my values? Do I feel comfortable in standing up for them?

– Am I open to the possibility of learning new truths that may cause me to rethink issues or even redefine my values?

– Am I able to consistently make the keep commitments to myself?

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

Now, in addition to this and on my next blog/podcast, I will talk about the three high-leveraged “accelerators” that make a powerful difference in increasing integrity. 

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4: Episode 7 – How to Increase your Integrity” on Spreaker.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 34 – Grammar – Making Contrasts

Welcome back, everyone! Time to do some more contrasts! For those of you who didn’t tune into my IELTS writing a few weeks ago, I’m going over it again in general English form. 

Less and fewer are comparatives.  They are the opposite of more.  Use fewer with count nouns and less with non count nouns. 

Least and fewest are superlatives.  They are the opposite of most. 

To emphasize a comparison or contrast, you can use the words with far, a lot, or much. 



Less + noncount noun

Fewer + count noun


The fewest + count noun

The least + noncount noun


There is less production in Japan than in Germany. 

There are fewer electric cars than gasoline-powered cars.


I wonder which company has the fewest electric cars in production. 

Hybrid cars use the least gasoline.


A lot/much/far + fewer + count noun

A lot/much/far + less + noncount nouns 



  • There are far fewer cars sold in winter. 
  • A lot less money is spent on motorcycles than in the past. 

Complete the sentences with less, fewer, least, or fewest. 

  1. You will find ________________ automobile manufacturers in Honduras than in Costa Rica. 
  2. South Korea produces _____________ vehicles in Japan. 
  3. Togo is the country with the _____________ motor vehicles per capita. 
  4. Right now, Iran produces _____________ cars than China. 
  5. I think the boat industry makes _______________ than the car industry. 
  6. In my country, _________________ people use public transportation than drive cars.
  7. The _________________ popular form of transportation in my country is the train.