Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 22 – Grammar – Tag Questions

This is officially the first time I’ve gone over tag questions.  Although I don’t use them often, it’s still a useful technique to not only keep the conversation going, but to also get a response.

Tag questions are added to the end of a statement to turn it into a question.  They’re used when the speaker expects the listener to agree.

A negative statement has a positive tag.

The new mall near Chatuchak park doesn’t make much sense, does it?

A positive statement has a negative tag.

This condo is as big as the old condo, isn’t it?

 

The tag has the same tense as the statement.  The verb tense helps you determine what word to use in the tag. 

Present simple / no auxiliary                     do/does                    Your parents live in the city, don’t they?

To be in the simple tense                repeat the main verb               There is an open office plan, isn’t it?

To have as the main verb                 do/does or has/have          He has an office, doesn’t he?

Present continuous                                          are/is                   He is living in the city, isn’t he?

Present Perfect                                               has/have                 He has moved to the suburbs, hasn’t he?

 

Task – Find the mistake in each sentence and correct it.

  1. I prefer having my own condominium, do I? (answer: don’t I?)
  2. My boss has his own office in Pinklao, isn’t he?
  3. You live in the suburbs and work in the city, aren’t you?
  4. You don’t want to live outside the city, doesn’t you?
  5. Your brother is working at a new company, doesn’t he?

Podcast

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Be Aware of Comparative & Superlative Forms

We’re back again with the Facebook live!  For those of you who have tuned in last weekend, here’s the podcast and video form of what I’ve talked about.  Also, I now have the transcription available, so for those of you who want rough shownotes of what I talk about, hit the link and read everything I say!

Source: Tactics for TOEIC

Let’s first look at some examples of common comparative and superlative forms.

  • as high as the market will support.
  • more difficult than we first expected.
  • faster than the competition.
  • the cheapest product.
  • his/their/my greatest problem.
  • the most important thing.

Given the examples above, use them to complete the following sentences.

  1. The ____________(good/better/best) thing they have is the food.
  2. This system uses the ___________(advanced/more advanced/ most advanced) technology on the market.
  3. This department may not be as __________(big/bigger/biggest) as some of the others, but its budget is much ___________(large/larger/largest).
  4. They are our ____________ (important/more important/most important) customers.
  5. The old distributor’s delivery was much ______________ (fast/faster/fastest) than the new one.
  6. Most attendees felt the first presenter was ______________(informative/most informative/ more informative) than the second one.

 

Task – Make comparative and superlative sentences about the transportation below.

Car, train, ship, airplane, motorcycle.

Practice

This practice is from the book, and it’s time to break this down.  On my podcast, I will not give the answers.  However, on YouTube — I will.  So be sure to tune into that!  Type your answers in the comments section and be sure to tune in Tuesday for the answers when the YouTube video makes its debut.

 

High among the many triumphs of man’s courage and spirit is Walter Drake’s and Olivier Vogel’s _______________ climb to the summit of Mount Everest without oxygen tanks in 1967.

Although several attempts to climb Everest without additional oxygen had been made in the past, none had been successful.  Drake and Vogel began moving cautiously up the south ridge towards the summit, which the reached after a grueling climb at 10:30.  They lingered ____________ on the summit and then began the tiring climb down the mountain.  They said it was the _______________ test of endurance they had ever experienced.

TOEIC Live Coaching Ep 2

Podcast

YouTube

Arsenio’s ESL Task: Developing Critical Thinking- Community Service

Welcome back to another ESL task! I love these and I don’t want to stop on developing critical thinking lessons, so I’m back with another one.

Here’s your task.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing community service?

Benefits and drawbacks: college applications, mental nourishment, not enough money, not enough time, other obligations, teamwork.

 

  1. How can doing community service help you achieve your goals?
  2. What things do you do that are obligatory? What do you do altruistically? How can you tell the difference?

My opinion is, if you force yourself to do something just to get Instagram likes, Facebook shares, and Twitter retweets, you’re taking advantage of the week.  Community service, a foundation, or something that helps give back to those who aren’t as fortunate, shouldn’t be for likes or dollar signs.

I remember Gary Vee once said, “if they volunteer in Africa and they’re entitled, they’re going to be the same ol’ person — no matter what.” I do disagree, to a certain extent. However, if they live there for x amount of months and develop empathy and compassion (key traits that non-empathizers and entitled rich kids don’t have), it could possibly work.

Doing things for the less fortunate has to be don altruistically.

I’ll give you another example.  I recently discovered the organization “Pencils of Promise” through Gary Vee’s video (him going to Ghana — and that was surely obligatory and not out of his good heart).  When I saw this video, I didn’t know what pencils of promise was until I heard it again on Lewis Howes’ Instagram account.  They hosted a Gala Convention with all the famous “podcasters, YouTubers” and people who donated an insane amount of money, or — they’re just famous in general.

That’s very infuriating because on Pencils of Promise Instagram, it shows them continuously asking for donations to put girls in rural schools around South America….back in school.  My guess is they used that money to have a huge Gala to promote their organization even more, and that’s what really makes me angry about these types of American organizations.  The Red Cross and other foundations that ask for assets to do a good deed — are full of it.  If you want me to donate blood, I want to track my blood.  That’s right.  I want a barcode so I know the last destination of the hospital that will use my blood.

Anywho, this is for you guys to either oppose me, or to be the affirmative.  Free-write this for 15 minutes.  Journal it and think about it!

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 21 – Pronunciation – Two-Syllable Stressing

Happy Monday and welcome back! It’s time for some more pronunciation!

English word stress is variable.  Sometimes it is hard to know which syllable to stress.  Fortunately, there are general rules that can help.

  • About 90% of two-syllable nouns have first-syllable stress: problem, freedom, baggage.
  • Most two-syllable names also have first-syllable stress: David, Justin, Sarah, Lauren.
  1. Secret
  2. Compare
  3. Relaxes
  4. Succeed
  5. Office
  6. Haircut
  7. Provide
  8. Steven
  9. Presented
  10. Jacob
  11. Daydream
  12. Concept

What makes a syllable sound stressed in English?

  • The vowel sound is full and clear.
  • The vowel sound is often higher in pitch.
  • The vowel sound is especially long.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 20 – Speaking Skill – Speak About A Journey

So, this will sound a bit similar to IELTS speaking task 2, but it’s not going to be academic, just a very laid back story-telling time.  This is great for non-NES speakers in order to tell a story about where they have traveled with someone else. If you’re taking a class, this is even better to give a presentation about.  So, because I have so many crazy a$$ stories that I’ve told before in regards to going to Bali, Maldives and other places, I decided to tell a story about my Hawaiian trip with a college buddy back in 2013…and what a trip this was!

Questions

  1. Where was the journey to?
  2. How did you travel?
  3. When was it?
  4. Who went?
  5. Who had chosen the destination?
  6. How had you prepared for the journey?
  7. What special thing(s) happened on the journey?
  8. What were you doing when these things happened?
  9. How did the journey end?
  10. How did you feel about what happened?

Hawaii

I set off on this journey on a Thursday evening (if I’m no mistaken). I met a friend in Phoenix, Arizona and we went to Buffalo Wild wings the night before, got two hours of sleep, then left her home around 4am.  We made our way to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, and there was the ticketer, talking about Nemo and looking like he had about 10,000 grams of caffeine.  We waited for our plane to take off, a very small one at that, and we needed to get to LAX to transfer planes.

Because LAX, at the time, was the biggest eyesore in all of America, it proved just that.  we landed and we couldn’t disembark the plane for at least 30 minutes, reducing our layover time to a mere 15 minutes.  We ran about 800 meters to the next gate, arrived there gasping for air, and the two workers pointed at us and said, “Arsenio, Alissa…on the plane now.” As soon as we entered, the door was shut and that was the end.  We nearly missed our plane because America….is America. Lol.

After arriving and surprisingly getting our luggage (thought our luggage wouldn’t make it), we got on Speedi shuttle and made way to Pagoda Hotel, the cheapest and ugliest hotel on the island (lol).  We went to Waikiki the first day, dragging ourselves there because the lack of the sleep we had, and we ended up going into a coma around 6-7pm and woke up 12 hours later.  When I woke up, I went running around the island to get the feel of the air.  If I can recall, we did a couple of things before going on a snorkeling trip to Hanuama Bay (probably misspelled it, but can’t be bothered with correcting it). This crazy Vietnamese driver gave us our snorkeling gear and we went into the bay, which was magnificently beautiful and lavished with turquoise waters and ultra-gorgeous fish.  After our long day there, we did a couple of others things before going out at night.

The night time came and we walked into — let’s just say — the wrong bar.  I was playing pool with three women, Joy, who ended up becoming a great friend of mine to this day — and Alissa.  I realized that men were hitting on me, so I quickly asked Joy if it was THAT TYPE OF BAR…she said “ughhh yeah!” I ran down the stairs and went home with Alissa, completely inebriated and woke up feeling like pure hell.

That morning I wanted to cancel all activities (rent-a-car and go around the island), but Alissa was adamant and aggressive with getting the car.  So, we hopped in a taxi, and I quickly got car sick and complained the entire way there.  We got out, walked into the car dealership, and there I saw an African American male wearing a fat rock on his finger.  He was a wide receiver for the University of Hawaii, and after glancing at me when I walked in the door, he knew I had a rough night.

Soon after that, Alissa and I began driving around the island and I got sick — AGAIN! I told her to pullover a many of times and we started to argue because she said she didn’t want to pull over anymore.  LOL. We went to the pineapple plantation, Aulani Disney Resort, Turtle Beach, and a few other places — all spectacular beyond belief.

The day before we left, it was pretty relaxing and we met up with Joy again that evening.  It was a little head-scratching because three men approached our table and act as if they knew my friends, but they didn’t. We call these people “pick-up” artists….such a cringing couple of hours.  Japanese tourists were everywhere and tried smooching on a friend…and I just laughed the night away.

That next day we had to check out the hotel early but our flight left at 9pm.  We sat in the lobby for some time, but we also went to the movies.  Nonetheless, it was a journey back (and we had to land in DRAB SALT LAKE CITY) before I went to Arizona, and back to Vegas.  That was the last time I had seen Alissa for four years (my adventure back last year), but it was the most memorable journey of my life.

Podcast

Transcription ESL Podcast #20

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 19 – Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Travel

Here we go! Some phrasal verbs you can understand and use IMMEDIATELY! Traveling, especially for my Thais, is tough because of the language barriers.  To take that further, I remember when I met a Japanese girl on a bus in Hawaii and she couldn’t speak ANY ENGLISH! Imagine traveling the world without knowing English! Well, do not fear! I’ve got a pocket book for you today.

Task – Look at these sentences.  Match the phrasal verbs in bold with the letters down below.

  1. We got on the first flight but we got off due to a mechanical issue.
  2. When all the passengers were in their seats, the plane finally took off.
  3. She got into the car and drove down the street.  When she arrived at her location, she got out of the car, only to realize that she forgot some important documents back home.
  4. This bus is really old.  I think it’s going to break down any minute. *breaks down*
  5. Excuse me, sir.  Could you please tell me what time the flight from Paris gets in? I’m meeting someone on it.
  6. They checked in their bags at Changi airport before going through the very easy passport control lanes.
  7. I took a long journey last year.  I set off from Bangkok around 10pm and arrived in America about 30 hours later.
  8. Because I have such a flexible schedule, I love to get away every two months and travel to neighboring countries.

a. start a journey

b. enter/leave (a train, bus, boat, plane)

c. go somewhere different to have a rest or holiday.

d. arrive

e. show your ticket/give your bags to someone

f. stop working (any form of transportation)

g. enter/leave (a car)

h. start flying.

Answers in podcast down below.

Task 2 – Complete the text with these following words: away, down, in, into, off (x2), on, out of

Last week my sister and I decided to get ___________ for the weekend because of the long holidays.  We decided to go to Kanchanaburi.  We set __________ early, at around 8am.  We got _____________ my friend’s car, which is a Ford Focus because it’s the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the market today.  The only problem was that her car had a tendency of breaking _________. 10 minutes later, it did.  We got __________ the car, grabbed our belongings, and went to a nearby minivan station.  After 30 minutes, a van pulled up and we got ________ and sat down.  The van arrived at Kanchanaburi on time — we got ___________ around 5pm.  We took our luggage and got ________ the minivan. The only problem we had with everything that entire weekend was a broken Ford Focus!

Transcribed Season 3 – Episode 19

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Part 2 – Giving a Talk

Welcome back to another IELTS coaching!  Today is Episode 002, and I’ll be talking about giving a talk.

So, if you guys don’t already know, Part 2 is about the examiner asking you to talk about a specific topic.  The examiner will give you a booklet showing you the question and the ideas you need to talk about.

Let’s look at a task that I have done recently.

Describe a time that you helped someone.

You should say:

who you helped and why?

How you helped this person

what the result was

and explain how you felt about helping this person.

Taking Proper Notes

This is the most important part and could be very time-consuming and ill-prepared if the student isn’t sure about how to take notes.

Before you talk, you will be given a paper to make notes on.  This is how I want you to fill in the notes.

  • Who you helped: James
  • How: Family emergency
  • How you helped: Rushed to his place
  • Result: Rushed to hospital — cared for
  • Explanation: Amazed and rewarded

Here are some rough notes.  Again, you don’t want to write full sentences, pick out key words whereas if you look at them, you’ll be able to speak about it for 20-30 seconds in detail.  If you put articles, adjectives, verbs, etc….that could be fine, but key words will help guide you. Also, using transitions to separate thoughts will help significantly.

If you run out of time

If you run out of ideas after one minute, go to your notes again, look at the question again (did you use all details), refer back to an earlier point to add more, and keep talking while you think.

Phrases to help you keep talking

  1. Like I said earlier…..(reference)
  2. I don’t think I mentioned……(reference)
  3. At the beginning, I….
  4. One thing I forgot to mention was…….

Arsenio’s ESL – IELTS Coaching 002

Podcast

YouTube – Coming Soon

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 18 – Grammar – Ever, Never, For, Since, Just, Already, Yet

Yes! The big SHABAAM is here! This could be super difficult for a lot of you, but to put this all on one blog will help the majority of you out there who seemingly don’t understand the concept of the words above.  I’m your guardian angel today in showing you the light!

These words are frequently used with the present perfect tense: ever, never, for, since, just, already, yet — so let’s go over the rules and then do some exercises to help you!

  1. We can use ________________ in questions with the present perfect.  It means ‘at any time in your life.”
  2. We use _____________ with the present perfect to talk about very recent activities.
  3. We use _____________ with the present perfect to say that something has happened, possibly earlier than we thought.
  4. We can use _________________ to make negative sentences in the present perfect.  It means ‘at no time in your life.’
  5. We use ______________ and _______________ with the present perfect to talk about things that started in the past and continue in the present.  We use _________ with periods of time, and ____________ with specific moments in time.
  6. We use _________ with the present perfect to say that something has not happened, but we think it is going to happen soon.  We use it in negative sentences and questions.

Answers

  1. ever
  2. just
  3. already
  4. never
  5. for and since: for, since
  6. yet

 

Task

Complete these sentences with the present perfect form of the verbs. 

already/visit, ever/live, have/for, just/buy, love/since, never/travel, not sell/yet

  1. They haven’t sold their car yet. 
  2. I _______________ to Mongolia before, but I would love to.
  3. I ____________________ Vietnam.  I went there for a holiday 2 years ago.
  4. We ______________ this particular home ______________ ten years.
  5. Hey, I ____________________ dinner, so you don’t have to worry about making anything.
  6. I _____________ this country _______________ the day I first visited back in 2012.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Text Completion – Adverb and Adjective Endings

Guys, welcome back to another TOEIC language building podcast/YouTube and I’m proud to be bringing you today a very informative blog on adjectives and adverbs.  There are some differences between the two, so I want to break them down as easy (not easily) as possible.

Language building: adjective and adverb endings

You basically have “ly” versus everything else in these sentences.  Let’s check them out.

  1. We chose this condominium because the rooms are fully furnished and____________(comfortable/comfortably).
  2. We have ______________ problems with the pipes below our home. (serious/seriously)
  3. You are expected to listen _____________ while listening for the exact words in order to become a great transcriptor. (attentive/attentively)
  4. Our sales have been ____________ good in the last three months. (consistent/consistently)
  5. The response to the new layout of the office has been __________. (wonderful/wonderfully)
  6. The contract ____________stated that you could be replaced if you don’t meet our demands. (specific/specifically)

Adjectives – write down five in each category down below.

-able –

-ous –

-ive –

-ent –

-ful –

-ic –

Adverbs

-ly –

Now make sentences with two of the words from each category and post them on my Facebook wall. 

 

Podcast

YouTube

Arsenio’s ESL – TOEIC Coaching Episode 2 copy

Arsenio’s ESL FB Live Lesson 001: Pronunciation – Glided Vowel Sounds

Four vowel sounds — e as in feet, a as in late, u as in boot, and o as in boat — require you to glide or move your tongue toward a/w/ or y sound.

These are the words that I did recently on my Facebook live video that focuses on the high-pitch in the words on the left and the dull/short sound with the words on the right.  Tune into the podcast down below!

 

Words

green, grin,

cheap, chip

pain, pen

gate, get

stewed, stood

fool, full

coat, cot

note, knot

Podcast