Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Happy Thanksgiving – 2018!

Welcome back to Arsenio’s ESL Podcast, everyone! It’s a day to be gracious and grateful.

Thanksgiving, which is a day celebrated by the English Colonists (colonists = colonizers = genocide — just saying), isn’t something we SHOULD be celebrating.  It’s like the traditional Columbus Day, a day which is a holiday in America, but it was the beginning of one of the worst upbringings in mankind.

Nonetheless, if we can all just give thanks to one another by just being grateful for everything and everyone in your life….let’s do that.

Grateful List – 10 Things

  • I’m so happy and grateful for getting the idea, in the end of March, that has propelled an amazing podcast to heights I would have never imagined it would’ve gone to.
  • I’m truly grateful for the amount of followers I have on various platforms.
  • With all my heart, I want to give the biggest thanks to the following countries that are following me: Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Singapore, USA.
  • I’m so thankful for the amount of love that I’ve been given and gifted by all of my students around the world.
  • I’m grateful for learning from the copious amounts of resources that are readily available online to help my students achieve the biggest goals in their lives.
  • I’m so happy I never gave up on my dreams at the beginning of the year for stepping into the biggest field of uncertainty.
  • Thank you to all of the people who read these blogs, especially the ones by Stephen Covey and others.
  • I’m grateful for my environment that I’m in, both work and home, and because of both, I’m now fully content with my life.
  • Thank you for the most successfully wicked year of my life.
  • And thank you for LIFE!


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Part III – Talking About Abstract Topics & Agree/Disagree

Welcome back to another Facebook Live Coaching for IELTS!  Thank you so much for tuning in today, and we’re going to have to further discuss Part III — a topic we haven’t spoken about yet. Here are some of the things we will go over.

  • Talking about abstract topics
  • Giving your personal opinion
  • Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Improving your Lexical Resource score

Test Tip: in each part of the test, it is very important to answer all of the questions as fully as possible so that the examiner can assess your language.  This will also help improve your score.  Make sure to expand on your answers as much as possible.


  • Stating or explaining your own view.
  • Giving relevant examples.
  • Explaining how or why something happens.
  • Saying what would, could, should or might happen.
  • Suggestions a solution to a problem.
  • Explaining another side to the issue.

Arsenio’s Part III Examples

Part III Questions:

  1. Do you think it’s more important to earn a large salary or to be happy in your job?
  2. Do you think some people spend too much time on their computers these days? Why?
  3. Do you think the government should try to control the internet, or should people be able to write whatever they want?
  4. Pollution is a problem in many countries.  What do you think governments can do about it?
  5. Do you think newspapers and books will eventually disappear?


Different sentence beginnings

  • For example, when we…..
  • On one hand, some people believe….
  • If that happened, then…
  • This happens on a routine basis because….
  • Well, I personally think…
  • One way of dealing with this is….

Agreeing and disagreeing opening statements

  1. Oh no, not at all.
  2. Well, I think there are valid points for both sides.
  3. I totally agree with that.
  4. I agree to an extent.
  5. I would have to say no, and this is because…
  6. I completely disagree.
  7. Actually I think it depends on the situation/country/person
  8. It seems to me that there are two sides to consider.

Look at the statements below. Decide whether you agree or disagree.

  1. Video games influence children.
  2. People should be made to retire earlier so that young people can get jobs sooner.
  3. Robots will play a more important role in our lives in the future.
  4. We don’t do enough to protect the environment.
  5. Everyone should take some sort of further education.


Arsenio’s IELTS Coaching – Episode 3

YouTube –


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 26 – Grammar – Present Perfect Continuous

Welcome back to one of my favorite grammar lessons — the present perfect continuous! I usually use this compared to the present perfect.  Example, I’ve been living in Thailand for five years.  I don’t like saying “I’ve lived in Thailand for five years.”  That could possibly indicate that I no longer live there, at times.  So, let’s dive into some rules and exercises!

  1. I’ve been living here in Thailand for five years.
  2. I’ve seen two black panthers at the zoo.
  3. I’ve created an audience with people from all over the world.
  4. Recently we’ve been doing lots of exams.

Which of the sentences gives more importance to……

a. the completion and result of an action?

b. the process and duration of an action?

c. how many times an action has happened?

d. the fact that an action is temporary, incomplete or has finished very recently?


In the following pictures, write sentences using the present perfect continuous.


Are these sentences grammatically correct or not? If they aren’t, change them.

  1. I’ve been cutting my toe.
  2. We’ve been learning Japanese abroad for several months and we enjoy it!
  3. Have you been crying, Darlene?
  4. She’s been reading this Harry Potter book three times.
  5. My brother has taken out some of the trash, but he hasn’t taken out all of it.
  6. Oh, no! You’ve been breaking the window!
  7. This week I’ll be in Bangkok, but next week I’ll be heading to Vientiane.

Choose the correct alternative.

  1. Stop singing that song.  You’ve sing/been singing it since the morning!
  2. That’s it.  I’ve done/been doing all the chores.
  3. It’s terrible! The amount of rainfall has/been having caused a lot of accidents.
  4. She’s looked/been looking for her books all day, but she still can’t find them.
  5. Why are you dirty? What have you done/been doing?
  6. That actor has made/been making twenty films.
  7. My eyes hurt.  i’ve worked/been working on the computer all day.
  8. You’ve played/been playing games since last night.  Turn off the TV.!


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast Special: TOEIC – Part IV – Short Talks – Tactic Practice

Welcome back to another episode, everyone! This is the re-learning from the Facebook live I did a few days ago (Saturday mornings at 7am).  This is the first time I’ve done a Short talks episode, so I hope this provides as much value to you as possible. Now, let’s get into this!

Source: Tactics for TOEIC

If you guys have seen my talks and videos on YouTube before, I do recall doing a Short Talks in the past.  So, today I’m going to do six live questions with you guys and we’re going to break it down one by one.  We need to first look at what’s being said, of course.


What is the main purpose of this announcement?

  1. To discuss the history of Arabella.
  2. To outline ways to get to Arabella
  3. To make Arabella sound attractive to visitors
  4. To describe Arabella’s local music.


What was Arabella originally?

  1. A culture center
  2. A center for sailing events
  3. A resort island
  4. A trading center


When is the Caribbean Carnival held?

  1. In mid-October
  2. During the winter holidays
  3. During the March break
  4. At the end of April


Why was the meeting called?

  1. To announce a schedule change
  2. To move the deadline
  3. To discuss the image files
  4. To answer any questions


When does the project have to be finished?

  1. By tomorrow
  2. By Thursday
  3. In five days
  4. In a week


What are Beth and Howard asked to do?

  1. Finalize the image files
  2. Check for typos
  3. Ask questions
  4. Write the address labels

The explanation of these questions are in the podcast and YouTube video. If you want to tune into Facebook, you can (still and always will be available).


YouTube – Coming Wednesday


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 25 – Pronunciation – Root Forms, Two-Syllable Verbs

Welcome back to another pronunciation podcast, everyone! Grateful to bring you some good stuff today, as usual.  It’s a wonderful Monday morning and I’m hitting this off with some difficult stuff. So, we need to understand how to pronounce and stress the two-syllable noun-verb pairs, first.


Conduct……good conduct

Present…….past, present, and future

Record……broke a record



Conduct……conducts the orchestra

Present……presented the award

Record…..record your message.


Verbs with Root Forms

-ceive, clude, cord, dict, duce, fend, fine, pect, port, sent, serve, sume, tain, tend, vent, vert


Con –                         de-                            pre-                            re-

Convert                deceive                   preserve                     record

Contain                 deport                     prevent                      receive



Arsenio’s ESL Facebook Live Lesson: Episode 002: Writing – Mechanics & Capitalization

My ESL students have spoken, and I decided to deliver.  Here is the first episode on writing!

Because this is going to be about basics, I want to let you guys know in advance that this is writing for Pre-Intermediate students.  The majority of my Thai students have problems with capitalization, and this is something that needs to be addressed and understood because when you’re writing, in any kind of exam, test, essay, or even just a segment, making these mistakes won’t be a good look.  Therefore, I’m going over the basics with you guys today and some sentences to help you.

However, it’s time to test yourself write now by writing a paragraph introducing yourself on my Facebook page.  This will be good for a lot of learners to break the ice and not be scared to receive constructive criticism.  From there, mechanics will be applied.


Write a paragraph introducing yourself and post it on my Facebook page under either in the notes or this video!


  1. The first word in the sentence must always be capitalized.
  2. The pronoun I will never be lowercase.
  3. I’m, I’ve or any other apostrophe I words — the I must be capitalized.
  4. Different abbreviations can be used in informal writing.  CNN, FOX NEWS, USA, JPN
  5. Proper nouns: Mr., Mrs, Ms. and and names of people and their titles.
  6. Nationalities: Chinese, Greek, Estonian, Brazilian, Ecuadorian
  7. Names of cities, states, countries.
  8. Specific geographic locations like South America, North America, Eastern Europe, but not the regular compass directions such as east, west, north, or south.
  9. Days, months, holidays, special days, but never the seasons of the year.
  10. Specific structures and hotels must be capitalized.
  11. Universities, clubs, teams, government agencies
  12. Names of school courses like English 202 and Communications 315, but not names of classes without numbers, except languages: Japanese Literature.
  13. First, last, and all important words, books, magazines, movies, stories, songs, tv programs.


Correcting Capitalization Errors in Sentences

  1. his major is economics.
  2. christmas is a holiday not only celebrated in america, but dozens of other countries.
  3. christmas is always celebrated on the 25th of december.
  4. laem chabang is a seasport city of thailand.
  5. chulalongkorn university is located near sam yan mrt station.
  6. my student is taking four classes this semester: physics 201, entrepreneurship 101, graphic designing, and physical education.
  7. one of my favorite books ever is the one by Napoleon Hill called law of success.
  8. my suitemate at university was from california, so he spoke with a similar accent to mine.
  9. the two main religions in thailand are buddhism and muslim.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 24 – Speaking – Encouraging Communication

There are several ways to encourage communication using questions.  As a teacher, I love asking the follow-up question technique.  If my student constantly gives me 1-7 word responses (with no open-ended answers), I would either create an easy task or have them read out loud.  Normally when a student is closed, it’s because they lack confidence.  I would encourage all teachers NOT to pressure them by continuing to ask the same question, putting them in an even more uncomfortable position and taking away the little bit of confidence they have.

Also, long pauses and awkward atmospheres is another horribly-sure-way to destroy a student’s confidence.  So, let’s go over some of these ways to help.

  • You can say when you didn’t hear or understand (surely for a lot of travelers out there instead of saying the big “WHAT?!)

I didn’t hear what you said about…..

Can you say that again?

I’m sorry?

Can/could you repeat that?

  • You can ask more information or explanation.

Could you explain that a bit more?

Let’s go back to what you said previously, (ask them another question on a part of their story they showed a lot of enthusiasm on) what made you do that?

What do you mean by that?

  • You can add a “prompt,” giving an example of a possible response?

I especially love these.  “What’s your favorite travel? Once I traveled to Bali and had the most amazing vacation ever!” (because they heard Bali, they heard the keyword which will prompt them to talk about an emotional memory).

  • Have you ever done charity work? Maybe volunteering, or raising money for a good cause?


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 23 – Vocabulary – Prefixes with Negative Meanings – Part II

Welcome back, everyone! I’ve finally made a debut of this after a long time (last episode was Season 2, Episode 8) and I’m bringing to you more negative prefixes to enhance your vocabulary! I was recently teaching prefixes in one of my classes here in Thailand, and I just love doing them because it helps my students vary their words.

If you guys don’t know, a prefix is a group of letters added to the beginning of a work.  When added, can change the entire meaning of the word.  It can change the base word from positive, or negative.

Prefix                             Meaning                            Example

anti-                                           freeze                                      antifreeze

counter-                                       act                                         counteract

dis-                                             appear                                     disappear

im-                                              polite                                         impolite

mis-                                       understood                             misunderstood

non-                                         essential                                 nonessential

un-                                             reliable                                    unreliable

in-                                          supportable                             insupportable


Task – Add a prefix to each root (answers in the podcast)

1 _________________possible

2 _________________paid

3 _________________nonsense

4 _________________placed

5 _________________rational

6 _________________regard

7 _________________clockwise

8 _________________social


Task II – Complete the sentences down below with the negative form of the word in the (parentheses).

  1. Many people were ____________(sure) if I can teach because of my background, but I surely proved them wrong.
  2. Most people in Thailand ______________(conceive) about America in terms of it being the most diverse nation in the world.
  3. There are many ________________(profit) organizations in the world, so I decided to start my own — The Arsenio Buck Foundation.
  4. Some people are _______________(regular) because they have their own agenda.
  5. You have to be ______________(selfish) if you want to work with children or the elderly.



Coaching Session 003: Being Creative

So, I was asked this fascinating question just recently by one of my content writers.  She asked me how to be creative and how we can continue being creative.  Well, we’re living in a world that’s changing literally every year, month, week, day.  The YouTube’s and Apple’s of the world can ultimately fall apart just as Toys R Us and other massive chains in different countries plummeted.  Well, if we take a look at my ESL podcast and how I’ve been teaching in Thailand, this is probably the only way I can relate to this post.

The Initiation

When I first moved to Thailand, I was making a sloppy $600 USD a month.  Now, the teacher told me I would get paid $66 dollars less because I was black, too.  What was I doing at this school? Teaching younger kids — which required a lot of creativity.  That’s basically it. For five months I didn’t have any personal development and didn’t try learning useful skills that will make me a hot commodity.

Second Job

I moved up to $1000 dollars a month, which is an 80% increase, teaching technical college students.  Did I learn anything while I was there? Absolutely not…but with 5 months experience, this gave me a significant pay raise that I never thought I would get.

The Reality

When I finally moved outside of Bangkok, not only did I make 2k USD a month, but I first taught TOEIC (a test preparation course to enable the student to apply for higher paying jobs based on their English language literacy).  I learned to teach 4-skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), academic writing, IELTS, business English and other facets.  When they saw I was an excellent speaker, they wanted me to create a new course that catered to conversation, which was a success beyond a success.  I got gigs teaching at the top-5 companies within these borders (email writing, business English and other areas), and when this happened, jealousy began growing.

Then I knew I was on the right path. The more I learned, the more I earn.

In 2015, I created a YouTube video that now has over 9k views…..never did I think that would happen.  It wasn’t until earlier this year that I had the idea, “hey, if there are lots of people viewing my videos YouTube, how about I make a podcast and see where it goes? Bingo! From there, my podcast soared over the last couple of months.  I began creating 1-minute videos on Instagram and my Facebook page — resulting in BIG HITS.  I turned that into online coaching, which I do live on the weekends and set up the refreshment course via YouTube.

And Then

A coach for Toyota, who has traveled the world and who I’ve been teaching the past three weeks (TOEFL) spoke to me for twenty minutes at the end of class saying, “you have e-test, e-learning, coaching, and refreshing).  While he was talking to me, I realized that I was unconsciously doing two of them already (coaching and refreshing) and it has been STELLAR since beginning two weeks ago.

The Creative

If I can create an e-test for my students and provide specialized courses in the different sectors of English, this could be the new-age part of learning.  If you haven’t already heard, universities are 1 trillion in debt and now people are realizing that university, is indeed, a scam.  In ten years time, we could be learning in virtual reality.  The language centers here in Thailand and all over the world, which are my competitors, can no longer provide a book and a “teacher” to teach from a book (super easy to do). They’ll have to become more creative.

So, how do I stay relevant? Integration of sophisticated lessons that will capture the imaginations of my students, making them better members of society while focusing on their core genius.  Professors around the world teach what’s only in books, and that will all be gone once AI is implemented and we no longer need to memorize information that’s useless.

Being creative is doing exactly what the big companies, which have failed, didn’t do.  Continue evolving and providing your customers with more things and innovate your technology to make life easier.  Jack Ma says “find a need and fill it.”

If you had known about Buzzsprout in the beginning of the year, you would know how garbage it was.  This platform, which podcasters can use to host, was completely useless compared to SoundCloud (a now “pay for plays” platform).  I didn’t know the metrics, who was listening, the last x amount of plays, or ANYTHING.  It was generic as hell compared to sites like Spreaker — a site I can see all the sources on.  However, I’m able to schedule my ESL podcasts now, transcript for little to no money (compared to hosting sites which charge 10x more), and I can put chapter markers in my podcast — a feature that has been invented on any other platform.

Buzzsprout knows in order for it to stay afloat, it has to continue evolving. The moment it began to grow complacent (at the beginning of the year), that was beginning of its downfall.

Always continue making life easier for your customers. Period.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Improving Fluency & Coherence

Welcome back, my students of the world! It’s time to go over two criteria that the examiner will assess you on in terms of speaking: Coherence & Fluency.

The notes that I recently showed you in the last live coaching will help you organize your ideas in a logical way.

One way to link your ideas is by using words and phrases like after, that, because of this, but, also, etc. We can also connect ideas using pronouns.

Tactic: It is important to use a variety of language.  Don’t REPEAT! I can’t stress this enough.

  • Think about the topic
  • Organize your ideas (improve your coherence).
  • Keep going during your talk (improve your fluency).

Task 2

Describe a person who has been an important influence in your life.

You should say…..

  • who this person is and how long you have known him or her for
  • why you chose this person
  • how this person has influenced your life

and explain how you feel about him or her.

Typical Notes

Who and how long? Les Brown/70 years old/speaker and transformational coach/lives in America/never met him.

Why I chose him: inspired me to get out of my rut in Thailand, made goals, learned about personal development, transformed my life completely.

How he has influenced my life taught me how to keep going/ stop becoming a victim/ don’t give up/ passion in what I do.

My feelings grateful/admiration/proud

Some things to think about. 

When you make notes, how do you write them? List? Scattered? Mindmap? Do you write single words? Long phrases? Whole sentences?

Idea connecting phrases

  • I’ve decided to talk about….
  • I’ve known him/her…
  • I chose him/her because/……
  • I think she/he has influenced my life by…..
  • When I think of him/her, I feel…….


IELTS Live Coaching PDF – Episode 003

YouTube – Coming Soon