Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 36 – Speaking Skill – Giving Examples

In order to express your ideas clearly and convincingly, it is important to give examples. Many learners of English use the phrase “for example,” but research shows this expression is used too often. The expressions below are more frequently used in academic English.

An example of……../ ……is a classic example of…./A prime example of this is…../…., to name on example.

Complete the sentences with an expression above.

  1. The Mayans are ______________an advanced culture that never invented writing.
  2. The wheel ______________________ of an important prehistoric invention.
  3. The drawbacks of cell phones include the potential risk of cancer, ___________________.
  4. Mary Ander, the creator of the windshield wiper, _____________.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 31 – Developing Vocabulary – Adjectives That Describe Products

Write the words in the box into the correct categories. Then discuss your choices with someone: appealing, innovative, contemporary, durable, multifunctional, fake, generic, mass-produced


Task II – Write an example

Write an example of each type of product that you own or have seen.

  1. Something you’re wearing that was mass-produced.
  2. Something in your home that is multifunctional.
  3. Something in your room that’s durable.
  4. Something you bought in the last year that’s versatile.
  5. Something you’ve seen that is fake.
  6. Something you like that is generic.
  7. Something in your city, like a place, that’s contemporary.
  8. Something you want to buy that’s innovative.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 2 – Pronunciation – Linking Verbs to Reduced Forms

Welcome back, everyone! Omg, it’s been a very long time, but here I am today bringing you a pronunciation exercise for the first time in over a month. I’ve done a couple of these on Instagram already, so let’s get this interactive exercise going. I would like you guys to send me voice notes on Instagram (of the six questions down below) so that I can give you feedback! Let’s hit it!

  1. Everyone blamed him (blame-dem) for losing the game.
  2. Oh, I already checked them (check-tem) in.
  3. Yeah, her brother dropped her (drop-ter) off.
  4. Yeah. Our teacher always hands them (hand-zem) right back.
  5. I know. Her new job really keeps her (keep-ser) busy.
  6. Great! He just started his job and loves it (love-zit).

Listen to my podcast down below and listen to my explanations.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 73 – Developing Writing – A Formal Email of Complaint

Yes, I want to make sure I get all the specifics out of the way before heading into the upper-echelon levels that will be pretty difficult. The last develop writing podcast and blog scored big, so I decided to do another one. I’m first going to show you useful expressions, then an email, then practice for you. Be sure to send your emails to my Facebook page.

Useful Expressions: Linkers in formal emails and letters

  • Consequence: Therefore, and so, as a result
  • Time and sequence: next, then, after that, finally
  • Contrast: but, although, however, nevertheless
  • Reason: because, as, since
  • Addition, in addition, what is more, furthermore

Dear Sir or Madam,

I’m writing to complain about the goods and service in your store.

On 19th August I bought an e-reader at your store in Guildford. When I arrived home, I removed the e-reader from its box and discovered that the screen was broken. As a result, I took it back to the store the following day. However, the shop assistant told me that I could only have a refund if I returned the e-reader in its original box.

The next day I went back again with the e–reader in its original packaging. This time a different shop assistant told me that I could not have a refund because he said I had broken the screen myself. This was not true. In the end, I had to leave the store with the original, faulty e-reader and without my refund.

I will not go back again to the store in Guildford since the shop assistants there are so rude. I demand a full refund for the faulty e-reader. Furthermore, I would like a written apology for the bad treatment I have received. If I do not hear from you in the next two weeks, I will take my complaint to a Consumer Advice Center.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Gateway B1+

Pretty good complaint, huh? This is how you write it in English, in my podcast, I’ve gone some more things on how to deal with people in these situations.

Now it’s time to write your email. Here’s your scenario.

In July, you ordered two tickets for a concert by your favorite band on the internet. The tickets were very expensive. The concert was suppose to be August 1st, but the tickets only arrived two days after so you couldn’t go.

You rang the ticket company three times before August 1st, but they promised the tickets would arrive on time. Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the ticket company.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 53 – Vocabulary Skills – Suffixes -ful & -less

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! I’m back with some more vocabulary today, and of course, your favorite type of skill….


Two common suffixes you can add to words to make adjectives are -ful and -less. The suffix -ful means “full of” (fearful = full of fear, cheerful = full of cheer) and -less means “without” (fearless = without fear). For some words, either suffix can be added. For others, you can use on suffix but not the other.

-ful -ful and -less -less
successful painful/painless priceless
beautiful hopeful/hopeless sleepless
stressful thoughtful/thoughtless jobless
  useful/useless homeless


Look at these word roots. which can take -ful and which can take -less? Which can take either? Make a diagram like the one above.

Words: harm, truth, power, point, beauty, care, help, worth

-ful -ful and less -less

2. Match the root word and correct suffix -ful or -less to complete these sentences.

Words: stress, home, fear, harm, wonder, point, success, power

  1. It’s _____________ to have come here. I’m so glad you invited me to come to this speaking engagement.
  2. A phobia is more than merely being _______________of something, like heights.
  3. You probably fear failure because it may be ____________ to your image.
  4. You feel ____________ when you’re in situations that you cannot control.
  5. Traveling can be very _____________ for a lot of us.
  6. After a lot of hard work, he was ___________in finally establishing himself as the CEO of the company.
  7. Her friends tried to reason with her, but it was _____________. She wouldn’t listen.
  8. In America, 1 million government workers are fearful that they may become _______________.

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. 

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 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?



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.


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



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3: Episode 17 – Pronunciation – Word Stress in Nouns, Verbs, & Numbers

Welcome back to another week and the first pronunciation exercise of November! Today is another activity in terms of repeating what I say.

It’s time to learn about common stress patterns in words with more than one syllable.

Here are some words that I will be talking about in my podcast.

Pronunciation In This Podcast

ivy, IV

decade, decayed

desert, dessert

one person, one percent

tutors, two tours

character, corrector

homesick, home sick

written, retain

history, his story

fifty, fifteen