Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: IELTS Speaking Part I – Television

Where do you usually watch TV programmes/shows? Why or why not?

What’s your favorite TV programme/show? Why?

Are there any programmes/shows you don’t like watching? Why/why not?

Do you think you will watch more TV or fewer TV programmes/shows in the future? Why/why not?

Welcome back to another IELTS Speaking Part, everyone! Today are some breakdowns of what to expect and this is from the IELTS Cambridge 13 book.

So, where do you usually watch TV programmes/shows?

The question word is where that’s what’s being asked. It’s very important to understand the -wh question. So, normally someone would watch this in the comfortability of their home. Tell the examiner WHERE and follow up with the “why.”

Always remember to keep the “why” in mind.

What’s your favorite tv program? Why?

For some of you this would be pretty difficult to answer, including myself. I’m not a man that wastes time away sitting in front of a screen. There’s much more to life than that.

However, it doesn’t matter. You will have to answer this question, and that’s when the imaginative side has to come in.

I have to think of a time when I used to watch a TV series, and this dates back to the beginning of 2013 (Hawaii Five-O). I would watch this TV drama series because I loved one of the actors, Grace. However, after a recent dispute regarding salaries, her and another colleague left the show and since then….I no longer watch it.

See, I think back in a point of reference and just use it in the present/present continuous.

Are there any programmes/shows you don’t like watching? Why/why not?

This is great. I would say “all” and give a very hot reason for it.

For some of you who don’t like drama, this is a great way to go about it. The feelings you would feel while watching people mistreat one another on a drama/reality TV show isn’t something you want to feel — because you simply have no control over it.

Do you think you will watch more TV or fewer TV programmes/shows in the future? Why/why not?

In the future, it may be all audio. We may become multi-tasking beings and we’ll never sit down and watch anything anymore. Just think about the future and think about responsibilities that you may have in the near future.

How to Become a Good Conversationalist: Part III – The Brazilian Model

So, this is an episode on how to increase your conversation capabilities.  Most of you don’t know how to converse, initiate, or to just be someone’s friend.  I’ve become a master at it, and this is how I’m going to show you how you can get better.

Again, this is with no pun intended.  This is simply just showing how far I’ve come in terms of being an excellent listener, as Dale Carnegie would coin the phrase.

So, currently I’m sitting at a place where there are loads of people waiting to collect their passports/visas to head back over the Thai border.  Just a day before, I was standing in a long line, waiting anxiously for the doors to this place called the Thai Consular to open.  Smoke filled the air of burning cigarettes and people, of all nationalities, flooded the grounds of the embassy.

In the specific area where I was standing, there was a girl that was getting a ridiculous amount of attention from men in the area.  Glances, small-talk under their breath, and their eagerness to want to initiate a conversation with her.  A conversation between her and another guy from Israel was first initiated.  He asked her, “where are you from?” She said “Brazil.”

My ESL podcast, which has been doing an amazing job, has a “top chart” list — Brazil being the top 5, consistently, on a monthly basis.  Cities such as Belo Horizonte, Salvador Bahia, and others were memorized without any intention.


Because she’s from Brazil, I can instantly make her talk about these two places.  Remember, being a great conversationalist revolves around you shutting up and hearing the other individual speak.

To kill my boredom, I initiated.

“Excuse me, I have plans on going to Brazil next year.  I overheard that you’re from Sao Paolo and I was wondering where I can go to see beautiful nature?”

Her eyes glistened with intrigue.  She told me a few places (the initiation and making her talk) and then she asked me “how did I know all of these places?”

“Well, I have an ESL podcast and I’ve had it since April.  These two places have always been the top charts, so I was compelled to ask.”

Showing Interest

Because I’m interested in her country, anyone and everyone would love to open up and talk about their native country, right? It’s all about you asking the follow-up questions and digging deeper into one’s culture.

After talking about favorite places, occupations and other things, she asked for my details.  Just before that, she told me and the other guy, who has just come over to sit next to me while we wait for our passports, that she’s a model.

Things That You Shouldn’t Do

I’m living proof that regardless of how someone looks, things can be done and initiated very easily.  Regardless if the friendship never blossoms, it doesn’t matter what anyone looks like.  It’s all about showing general interest, without any sexual intent, towards the other individual and establish the close listening needed to carry a conversation and develop what could be a lifelong companionship.


Listen to “How to Become a Good Conversationalist: Part III – The Brazilian Model” on Spreaker.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Reading – Finding the Answers

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Special - TOEIC - Reading - Finding the Answers

Hello, everyone! If this is your second time tuning in, this was part of the TOEIC live coaching I did last weekend. However, because Facebook live stinks, I’m not able to show you exactly how I found the answers, and more just talking.  However, I will have the YouTube video down below (coming soon) so you can see how I find the answers.  Also, this is in podcast form, if you want to listen to this without the video.

The PDF is down below for you guys, too!

With that being said, today we’re going over a test tactic (from the book Tactics for TOEIC) and the goal is to locate information in double text questions.  So, towards the latter stages of the TOEIC exam, you will get these double passages. If you’re not looking in the right places, you will lose, quickly.  So my goal is to show you guys this in bulk (YouTube) and have the podcast down below, too.




Where did Kelvin Adams see the ad?

  1. On the internet
  2. In the newspaper
  3. In a shop


What feature probably attracted Kelvin to this apartment?

  1. The central heating
  2. The price
  3. The location


How many rooms are there in the apartment?

  1. 2
  2. 5
  3. 6


What does Kelvin request?

  1. Directions to the apartment
  2. Pictures of the apartment
  3. An appointment in March


Which of the following is likely to be a problem?

  1. The availability date
  2. The policy on pets
  3. The apartment size





Apartment for rent

  • Modern downtown studio apartment located 10 minutes from shops and public transportation
  • 2 bedrooms, kitchen, living/dining room, bathroom, balcony
  • Centrally heated (gas)
  • Suit young couple or professional
  • Part furnishing can be arranged
  • Rent $985 per month plus utilities
  • Deposit + 1 month’s rent in advance
  • No pets
  • Available mid-March

Contact Karim Patel 555 2345 Email:



From: Kelvin Adams (

Dear Mr. Patel

I saw your advertisement in the local newspaper. I’m very interested in the apartment for my family. We are currently living in Westside, but are looking to move closer to the town center, by the end of February so this apartment would be ideal. I was hoping to be able to arrange a visit sometime next week. Monday would be the best day for us, if this is convenient for you.

In the ad, you mentioned that the place could be part-furnished. We have a small amount of furniture ourselves, but probably not enough for a two-bedroom place. Could you possibly tell us what inventory is likely to be included with the apartment?

I would also really appreciate it if you could possibly send us a couple of pictures of the bedroom and living/dining room, as well as some directions as to how to get there. Thank you very much in advance.


Kelvin Adams



YouTube –


TOEIC Lesson 001

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 3 – Discussion Questions/Critical Thinking

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Episode 3 - Discussion Questions/Critical Thinking

As promised, I wanted to implement some more developing thinking for my ESL learners around the globe (and for my native English speakers who aren’t asked these questions at school).

Nourishment is the topic today.  It means the things that we need to stay alive, healthy and grow strong.

What are some of the best ways to find physical and mental nourishment?

Freewriting – 15 minutes

In the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I started meditating before going to work everyday.  It was a money affirmation by Bob Proctor.  I would do it in stillness, laying down with the blinds open.  This would really relax me, my spirit, and all the outside noise that would’ve been going on at the time.  So, this is called meditation/visualization.

Physical nourishment involves me doing strength, core, power, and conditioning training every morning.  After I’m done working out, I feel that I can conquer anything.  David Goggins says, “do the things that suck,” but that “suck” can become a passion.

What are some brain foods that you eat? Do you eat blueberries? Chocolate? Fish? Pasta?

What are some of the differences you feel when you consume brain food compared to when you don’t?

If I eat anything high in sodium, fat, carbs, or fast-food in general (primarily in the afternoon), I feel very lethargic, tired and fatigue.  I often get drowsy, too.  However, if I eat good fat like avocado, blueberries, nuts, or things high in B vitamins, I’m often awake.

What do you feed yourself emotionally? How does it make you feel?


TOEFL: Main Clause Structure; Partial & Complete Main Clauses

If a sentence has a subject, it must have a verb unless it’s a double-comparison structure.

If a sentence consists of a main clause and subordinate clause, each should have a subject and a verb.

The clause word is placed at or very near the boundary between the main and the subordinate clause.

Sentence Breakdowns

  1. Packet switched networks ___________ information so that it can be remembered.

a. organize

b. organic

c. organization

d. organizing


2. As some grow older, many children __________ bonds to living things such as birds, dogs, cats, and other animals (depending on the country).

a. forms

b. form

c. forming

d. a form


3. Always ____________ the necessary documents to their original place as soon as you remove them.

a. return

b. a return

c. it is returned

d. they return


4. According to a survey, test scores ___________ influentially in university admission decisions.

a. may figure

b. may be of figure

c. may be a figure

d. have a figure


5. ______________ are vibrations or a main accent in music or poetry.

a. It beats

b. Beats

C. There are beats

d. That beats



TOEIC: Transition Words

There are my absolute FAVORITE! I remember back in my college days my professor said to me, “if you can put transition words in your essay, I’ll give you A’s.  It needs flow.”  So, I did.  The result = A’s!

These transition words, just like in the writing task II of the IELTS, are imperative for creating flow, coherence, and cohesiveness.

Transition words are used to join two or more independent clauses or sentences.  When connecting two independent clauses, they may be preceded by a semi colon.

  • To show result: therefore, consequently, as a result, so, accordingly. I don’t like using hence or thus – just because that sounds like 500-year-old British English. 
  • To show contrast: however, on the other hand, nevertheless, on one hand.
  • To add information: in addition, moreover, furthermore, also
  • To give an explanation: for example, for instance


She failed to show up on time; consequently, she will be terminated. (people would probably say “omit” the comma, but I don’t.

Profits have risen considerably over the past few months. Therefore, everyone will get a year-end bonus.

Mary lacks experience in the field; however, she makes up for it by doing more than expected.

The event was advertised everywhere.  On the other hand, not that many people attended it.

The memo last Thursday was sent by email around 3pm; in addition, everyone will have a copy in their mailbox by Friday evening.

We decided to cut ties with the company.  Furthermore, we’ve told other companies in the area not to do work with them.

I travel a lot for business.  For example, I go to Singapore twice a month for meetings and Malaysia three times a month to speak.

Greg is a fast learner.  For instance, he taught himself how to use the interactive whiteboard within 30 minutes.

  1. Cable TV revolutionized communications; __________, the very existence of that service is now threatened by what’s happening in the world.
  1. consequently
  2. moreover
  3. for example
  4. nevertheless

2) Hospitals are competing for a shrinking market share; _____, they are attempting to look for the most cost-effective and highest-quality care.

  1. therefore
  2. besides
  3. also
  4. furthermore

3) These ads can bring in revenue; ____________, because they are government sponsored, they can keep costs at a minimum.

  1. for example
  2. on the whole
  3. moreover
  4. however

4) This company intends on moving shop; ____________, it will keep all other departments here.

  1. to this end
  2. nevertheless
  3. consequently
  4. furthermore

5) The contract only runs for one year; __________, there are options to renew for two more years should we need anything else.

  1. meanwhile
  2. besides
  3. however
  4. moreover

6) The sales at this shop has increased recently; __________, we are very optimistic about the future growth.

  1. however
  2. instead
  3. nevertheless
  4. also

7) Since the beginning, the bank has lent more than $1 million; ________, its membership has grown to include 40 regional companies.

  1. on the whole
  2. in conclusion
  3. in addition
  4. nevertheless

8) We, in general, are a local company; _____________, we can offer services outside but as long as its within our state lines.

  1. nevertheless
  2. meanwhile
  3. accordingly
  4. hence

9) The woman who volunteered last week at Nascar has the most hands-on experience; __________ she was hired.

  1. nevertheless
  2. furthermore
  3. however
  4. therefore

10) Our banking clients want flexibility; ___________, we provide ATMs for use.

  1. moreover
  2. however
  3. consequently
  4. furthermore


Podcast – I will go over questions 3-10 (Spoiler)


Transition Words



TOEIC: Grammar: Prepositions

Prepositions link their objects to the other structures within the sentence.  They’re used to show placement, time, direction, cause, and location.

  • At is used with a specific time of day.

We will meet at 2:00pm.

  • On is used with a specific day or date.

I will go to school on Monday.

The contract wasn’t signed on the 25th of January.

  • In is used with a month or year.

The convention is always held in August.

Toshiba was founded in 1850.

  • At is used with a specific address.

Our new hotel is at 1117 Taylor Avenue.

  • On is used with a street name.

The office used to be on Sukhumvit Road.

  • In is used with a specific city or country.

The main office is in Yangon.

We have a number of clients in Brazil.

  1. __________ all the applicants, the woman who came in dressed sloppily in blue jeans and a T-shirt has the most experience.
  1. from
  2. by
  3. of
  4. to

2. Please not that though we didn’t anticipate local authorities searching our offices, an investigation will be held ___________ Monday at 9:00am.

  1. at
  2. for
  3. to
  4. on

3. Just like bellhops, front desk receptionists, and dining room servers, all housekeepers report directly _________ the hotel manager.

  1. for
  2. at
  3. in
  4. to

4. The plant will be closed __________ noon tomorrow for its annual safety inspection.

  1. with
  2. in
  3. at
  4. from

5. We have told the new office assistant that we would like him to begin work __________ January 24.

  1. on
  2. in
  3. at
  4. for

6. If we stand ___________ this awning, we’ll be protected from the rain.

  1. over
  2. through
  3. beside
  4. beneath

7. The sales meetings Mr. Suzuki proposed in last month’s forum will officially be held ___________ Tokyo in the first week of May.

  1. to
  2. in
  3. at
  4. on

8. Though everything depends on weather conditions at this time of year, the shipment is due to arrive by cargo __________ a week.

  1. within
  2. for
  3. on
  4. until

9. The delivery service claims that they left the package ____________ 34 Huntsville Drive yesterday morning, but no one seems to have seen it.

  1. on
  2. in
  3. by
  4. at

10. According to the report publish in today’s Sun, the local government plans to reduce spending ________ one million dollars.

  1. at
  2. by
  3. with
  4. of





Prepositions PDF



TOEIC Grammar – Comparatives & Superlatives

 Comparatives and Superlatives






-er harder

-est hardest

two-syllable ending in –y early

-er earlier

-est earliest

other two-syllable and long tiring


more more tiring

more intelligent

most most tiring

most intelligent

some two-syllable quiet

clever simple

more or –er more quiet

cleverer simpler

most or –est quietest

most clever most simple

Some adjectives have irregular comparatives and superlatives as shown in the following table:

Example: The situation should get better soon. How much further is it?

The new model uses less gas.

+) A lot, much … with comparatives

Before the comparatives of adjectives you can use:
much, a lot, a little, a bit, far, any, no, rather, slightly, and significantly

  • If we leave any later than 5.00, we’ll get caught in rush hour.
  • This task is much more complicated than that one.

 As … as

We use as … as … to say that people or things are equal in some way. Note:

  • as much … as …, as many … as …
    I didn’t get as much money as I hoped.
  • twice/ three times … as … as …
    A US worker is 10 times as expensive as a worker in Mexico.
  • the same … as …
    My hair is the same colour as yours.




















  1. A customer requesting a refund must be prepared to wait __________ 4-6 weeks for the request to be processed.

a. rough

b. rougly

c. rougher

d. roughest




TOEIC Grammar: Conditionals (For My Students Around The World)



Type 0 General truth

If-clause (hypothesis)

Main clause (result)


If + present simple

Present simple

If the temperature falls below 0 C, water turns into ice.

Type 1 Real present

If + present simple, present perfect or can

future/ imperative can/may/might/must/should/ could/have to + bare infinitive

real – likely to happen in the present or future

If he doesn’t pay the fine, he will go to prison.
If you need help, come and see me.
If you have finished your work, we can have a break. If you’re ever in the area, you should come and visit us.

Type 2 Unreal present

If + past simple (were)

would/could/should + bare infinitive

imaginary situation contrary to facts in the present; also used to give advice

If I had time, I would take up a sport.
(but I don’t have time – untrue in the present)
If I were you, I would talk to my parents about it. (giving advice)

Type 3 Unreal past

If + past perfect (had +PII)

would/should/could + have + PII

imaginary situation contrary to facts in the past; also used to express regrets or criticism

If she had studied harder, she would have passed the test.

Conditional clauses consist of two parts: the if-clause (hypothesis) and the main clause (result). When the if-clause comes before the main clause, the two clauses are separated with a comma. When the main clause comes before the if-clause, then no comma is necessary.

Example: If I see Tim, I’ll give him his book.

I’ll give Tim his book if I see him.


YouTube Video