Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Reading Comprehension – Graphs + Podcast/YouTube

Welcome back, everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a TOEIC video.  Excuse behind it? None.  It takes a lot of time and preparation.  However, I’ve got a special treat.

Since I’m checking out what the market likes, my reading comprehension video on YouTube has gotten an insane amount of views.  This time I’m coming back with how to deal with charts, tables, forms, double passages in this segment (could be broken up into two).  So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

Questions involving charts, tables, forms and double passages require a slightly different approach.

Let’s first break down an email, which will relate to many of my business English students.  So, down below are some features and how to find information quickly.  I will have A-F and I want you to match it with 1-6.

A. The main focus of the chart/table/form

B. Details of how information in the chart/table/form is meant to be used.

C. Information about who the text is from or intended for.

D. Extra details that indicate changes/differences to information in the chart/table/form

E. Background information that relates to the chart/table/form or the people who use it.

F. Details/facts/numbers/dates/names

 

**I’ve put the answers next to the numbers for you guys to understand how it works!

 

1) C

From: johnsmith@gmail.com

To: arseniobuck@icloud.com

Date: October 27th

Subject: November Visit

 

2) A

Dear Arsenio,

 

After my visit last month, I would like to talk about some of the different approaches for improving sales that were discussed at last year’s sales conference.  I would appreciate it if you would set aside the whole day on the 25th of November.

 

(3) B

so that I can meet with you and your sales team.  I am including, in the attachment, the most recent sales figures from last year for you and your team to review before we meet.

See you next month.

 

John

 

4) F Sales of Cars

5)  D                                    Jan-Mar                     April-June              July-August

Toyota                             1521                              655                            *232

Mitsubishi                       756                               943                            1100

Honda                             1873                              800                             422

6) E  * model discontinued in November

 

Podcast

 

YouTube

 

Arsenio’s ESL TOEIC

Hong Kong Airport Review

Airport Link = Arrival Hall

Well, my first experience coming to Hong Kong Airport was forgettable, but this experience was stellar.

When I got off the train, I literally walked 15 meters and I was greeted by an open-air arrivals terminal.  I thought it was spectacular to connect the train and even passenger drop-off (vehicles) directly to the arrival hall.  There were literally buses and vehicles just above the train, which is unbelievably efficient.  Not to mention that I got to the airport taking two trains across four islands in 30 minutes.  HK has the most efficient train system (that I’ve personally been in) in the world.

In Bangkok, check-in would have about 3 people.  With lines of 75 people, there would still be only 3 check-in queues, which is repulsive.  However, Cathay Pacific and HK Airport had 12…speeding up the lines and never being a problem.

Immigration

After going to Malaysia and being in line for 45 minutes, I realized how pathetic it was.  Hey, Los Angeles Airport, for visitors outside of America, is an absolute DISASTER! The lines are sickening! However, for American citizens, it’s a breeze.

Well, HK Airport was also a breeze.  The lines for “visitors” was a bit long, but only about 10 minutes.  When I came here, they didn’t have 2 officers per 75 people like KL Airport has.  They had 12-15 officers…speeding up lines considerably.

So real big props to immigration in HK!

Hot Place To Eat – Beef & liberty

Hands down, the best place I’ve ever eaten at since the taco house at San Francisco Airport.  Delicious beef burger (but without the fries) and a freshly squeezed juice.  This was just after immigration (on the same level).  I was a bit worried, because the worst experienced I ever had was at Vientiane Airport.  Luckily I had eaten at a family-owned soup shop before heading to the airport because there wasn’t a single eatery inside the airport.  Always do a little research before checking in.  At Bangkok Airport, I always get the usual pepperoni pizza (ridiculously delicious) at Dean and Deluca.  That’s another must have.  If you’re not a meat eater, these shops have a great variety of vege dishes.

FYI – If you go there, make sure you get someone who’s “non” foreign.  Apparently the foreign waiters and waitresses have terrible attitudes. LOL

Scenery

As I sit here, I’m looking at clouds blanketing the gorgeous green hills that are off at a very-close distance.  Skyscrapers, and I mean a many of them, are just before the mountains, some of them even on the mountains.  Cathay Pacific jets are coming in and out of the gates with yet again, a very efficient ground-working crew at the bottom.  This restaurant, which has a spectacular view, has great jazz music playing and wonderful decor.  What fascinated me the most was the girl who was sitting across from me.  She’s absolutely American (with a Chinese heritage) because she didn’t pull out her phone once and had only a book.  I miss those days.  Just to the left of me is a businessman making a powerpoint and another guy on his phone.

All in all, this is my second favorite airport.  I still think Bangkok Airport is quick with checking in, security and immigration (at times).  However, there’s a massive separation between 3 and 2/ 2 and 1 — 1 being Singapore Airport.

Nonetheless, I’m so grateful for having gone on this trip and I hope you guys enjoyed all the content I put out.  What’s next? Not exactly sure.  Have to handle some documents and get a new visa, and if I do, I might take some time off until October/November.

Traveling Pod: Episode 7 – Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Impressions & Hotel

After writing blogs, posting videos, running into a student, and so many other things….including a big, succulent slice of pizza, I went to my gate and they were already boarding.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 5-star airline they call Cathay Pacific.  The efficiency was magnificent getting on and we left right on time.

Aircraft A330-300 – an aircraft that flies middle-distance flights, was on hand today.  2-4-2 seat configuration with a fair amount of space was decent.  This was a bit different from the previous once I’ve flown before on Singapore Airlines.  Flight attendants were attentive and cooperative.  What was really fascinating was the Thai flight attendants for Cathay are very proficient-speaking compared to others.

Immigration — Racial Profiling Hell

Yikes.  This was definitely the worst I’ve ever been profiled since maybe America.  Sure, some instances had risen in Thailand where immigration profiled me, but it was just a dirty look.  When they got the information, they couldn’t do a damn thing but give me back my precious, American embedded document.

However, Hong Kong has its own share of racial profiling.  Upon leaving the airplane, I past two immigration officers before one asked me some dumb ass questions while I was walking in about a 15-second “wtf-are-you-serious” walk.  So, that was the beginning. They went to an Asian and a few others, too…so I felt better.

Boom, got to the long immigration line and was standing before an Indian man with a Chinese passport.  Didn’t really know what that was about, but then I got to the immigration counter, just before the Indian guy who was standing there for some time…and just like that, the immigration officer signaled a girl over and I guess they had to do a thorough background check on him.

The immigration officer then asked, “are you with him?”  Ummm….fuck no? Wtf? No…bitch.  I’m America. You’re going to put some respek on my name.  He cleared everything quickly and then I left to get my baggage.

This was the ugly part.  At the “do not declare” zone — a green zone where people go not declaring any goods — an immigration officer picked me out of the entire crowd, looked at my luggage and gave me passport to another filthy officer who then asked me to put my luggage through the scan.  No one else around.  I was trying to fester up the words at that moment to sarcastically destroy such a repugnant human being, but I kept my cool and said, “ok, you guys win this time.  Those were two quick, idiotic profiles….I’m coming with an insurmountable amount of heat, sarcasm and smiles next time.”

I know, “Arsenio, you will never win an argument.”  Completely agree.  That sense of peace and standing up for all colored people by telling white-media driven hooligans at immigration that what they’re doing is wrong — priceless.  That’s true fulfillment.

Critical Stage

Do two, racist, vehement government enforced monsters represent an entire nation of people? Absolutely NOT.  Can’t allow dumb shit like that control your mind, people.  This stage is very important because I know a lot of us, including myself, hold an entire country accountable for a pair of jackasses.  That’s unfair.  I’ve met some amazing Thai people….should they be held accountable for others’ actions?  Nope.  Completely unfair.  Now, of course the media demonizes the hell out of black people saying “one bad apple spoils everything.” Just because they do doesn’t mean everyone else should.

Let it go.  Let ridiculous situations go and never take it so personal because it’s not about YOU! It’s about what the media has made it, twisted it, and impressed on the minds of those who are completely weak and unwilling of having their own opinions.

Hotel – Lackadaisical Staff

The reviews were a whopping 8.7, but very sub-standard.  Hotel staff were unhelpful and the wait was ridiculous.  However, there was one lady who was friendly, so I’ll point that out.  No amenities, pools, bars, or ANYTHING.  So there’s no way I can give this place anything above a 6-6.5 because they lack everything.

As the days progress, it will get better. I’m sure of it.

Stay tuned!

Podcast

Next Trip: Hong Kong & Macau! Pre-Bookings & Efficiency!

Oh, how unbelievably elated I am to announce my first ever trip to HK.  I was suppose to go there last year on a layover, but I cancelled my trip back home to America (for so many different reasons).  So, discussion ran rampant in class one day and I was trying to tell my students to list the pros and cons of going to specific countries and it went a little something like this.

First, when deciding a flight, always look at multiple sites.  I’m telling you this because I almost paid $450 USD for a flight that was jut under $300 USD on another website — a whopping 33% difference.

After searching for flights, and with along some other students at another location, it came down to the Philippines and Hong Kong for my August travel (and again, hopefully this is the last travel until October/November).  After reviewing the metrics and figuring out what Manila had to offer, of course I went with Hong Kong, a city that has so much more to offer and a ferry ride to Macau.

So, here I am on the cusp of going to Hong Kong, a country I never thought I’d go to while highlighting one of my goals on my 101 goals list (flying 5 ***** Cathay Pacific) and I’m just amazed how I’ve kept at my goals and aspirations.

Why ‘Black Panther’ Could Be The Game-Changer In Asia & The World

When Michael B. Jordan said, “I don’t want to live.  I want to die like my ancestors did when they jumped off boats into the Atlantic (then pulled the sword out of his chest before falling),” it had a profound effect on me.

Michael Johnson, the prolific American sprinter from the 90’s, saw pictures at a university of the conditions of the slave ships from the 1650’s to the 1750’s.  Slaves were literally stacked on one another, defecating and urinating everywhere because there weren’t any bathrooms, and why would there be any on a slave ship?  Some of these slaves took their own lives by jumping overboard, drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  Those slaves, who didn’t jump overboard, suffered from the worst crimes in humanity.

There was a scene in Django Unchained where African slaves were involved in Mandingo Fighting, a term that you can see in…….those types of movies.

Anyways, this type of fighting was vicious.  For a slave to survive the fight, he would have to kill another slave to continue moving on.  Well, one of them ran away into the wilderness before being found by dogs – vicious dogs and a handful of them.  Jamie Foxx, known as Django in the movie, told the slave owner that he didn’t care about the “nigga” and they could kill him.  They, the slave owners, let go of the dogs, charging at the African slave before ripping him to pieces.

In saying that, all of these events have been shoved under-the-rug and now with Black Panther sending it’s own shockwaves across the planet, what can it really provide for people of ALL COLORS around the world?

If we can go back to the cast, Michael B. Jordan is African American.  Chad, too, is African American.  The women come from all walks of life (England, one born in Mexico and another born in the most remote town in Iowa – IOWA!).

Before I watched this movie, I saw herds of Thai people flocking into the theatre. I said to myself, “ummmm, well this is very interesting.  The racial hatred I’ve received five years being here in Thailand has been forgettable, so why are these people coming in to watch what it would essentially be (according to Bangkok Post), a BLACK MOVIE?

The slang of Michael, to the perfected African accents of the others, I saw Thai people looking at each other like, “huh? This doesn’t make any sense? Americans have black people?”

Ummmm….yes, they do.

It wasn’t even just that, it was the fact that there were insidious comments made within the movie.  Of course the typical anglo-American saying, “third-world country” over-and-over, to the sister saying, “omg! Don’t scare me, colonizer!” (which made me – the only one in the theatre – laugh my ass off). This director, who did a breathtaking job, put all these comments in there to show everyone…..the truth.  What we’ve been through and what’s still happening.

The Truth

China has denied more than 10 “black” movies over the past 8 years.  They said, “it’s not because we’re racist, but we don’t want to see “black” movies in China bomb.”  Just recently, people were marching down the street in Guangdong ranting, “we need to solve the BLACK problem here!” referring to African migrants who apparently bring drugs into their country (made me laugh while typing).

Nonetheless, this movie is soon to debut in China and in a few days in Japan.  Could it possibly trump the mindsets of people which are controlled heinously by the west? I’m talking about the media.  The Chinese, Japanese and Korean are so swayed by the western media to a point that it’s sickening.  You have Japanese actors painting their face black trying to depict Eddie Murphy, and schools across South Korea putting Africans on the front covers of children’s books, showing them eating bananas.

So what could this movie possibly do? Tell the truth.

But are they, on the other end, willing to listen? It remains.

Over the last week or so, my students have come to class saying, “I like Black Panther – black man handsome!” My jaw dropped.  Sure, that’s a stereotypical comment, but a very positive stereotypical comment (lol). On T.V. in this country, you get your weekly newsflash of the African being caught pedalling drugs in Pattaya, influencing and suggesting that all colored people are black and to stay away from them.  Just the past few months, I had a job prospective contact me saying, “could I see your picture?” indicating they want to see if I was color or not (was much worse 4 years ago).  So, now with a story of what we’ve been through, and colored people all over the world coming together, can we finally put to rest an image that was created by the media?

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/why-black-panther-could-be-the-game-chan

 

TOEIC-TOEFL-IELTS: What Are Your Academic Goals?

To my students all over the world, you have to initiate the power of goal-setting. Without having any goals or end-goals in mind, things will never manifest in life. I’m a living proof of that because I stayed at a job that wasn’t helping me professional, nor was suitable for my personality. It wasn’t until a situation that occurred where I finally told myself that I deserve better.

I then painted exactly what I wanted in terms of a freelance teacher/curriculum developer and now it’s happening – due to inspired action and the burning desire within to get better.

So, I get it. A lot of you want a “high” score, but we don’t know what a high score is. You have to be much more detailed. Specificity is how everything will work. Following that, you will need to develop a set of habits that will get you there.

TOEIC Students

Listen to TOEIC audios for 30 minutes a day (minimum – no excuses). I’m not asking you to circle answers and find pseudo-websites to print out material. Just listen over and over and you will ultimately end up understanding within a 2-4 week period (the threshold it takes for my students here in Thailand).

Grammar – Read!

A lot of you don’t want to read, but where I was just a few years ago, to where I am right now in terms of my writing, is a significant jump. I know how to write a variety of complex structured sentences because I committed to never-ending learning. I understand much more grammar than I did two years ago because of reading things either in books, online, or other writers. I will recommend an array of academic writing books on my next blog.

IELTS Students

Listening can be done online by just listening to the conversational audios which become readily available on YouTube. After that, you can start increasing your vocabulary with different speaking books (in my next blog), which will further increase your knowledge of vocabulary (what examiners want to see).

Writing

Writing tasks are a pain in the ass, but with Longman/Pearson Academic Writing books, you will surely get the job done. I’ve noticed so many great things in these particular books that are very intriguing and my understanding of just about everything continues to grow. These recommendations will also be in the next blog.

Reading

It’s a huge pain in the ass and learning all the vocabulary is useless, so I’ll continue making reading videos and giving examples.

TOEFL Students

You can’t learn every slang and idiom in the English dictionary, so it’s about process of elimination. The listening portions can be a huge pain, especially part III (listening to a lecture). I’ll be going over this extensively in the coming days, but I’ll also be recommending a lot of different books for you guys.  In saying that, I’m also creating practice tests for which will be made available on my website for a small price.

TOEIC Grammar: Determiners & Pronouns

Determiners and pronouns

Point 1 Determiners Definition :

A determiner is a word that is normally used at the beginning of a noun phrase. Determiners include:

  • articles. There are two types of articles: – the definite article: the
    – the indefinite article: a/an
  • possessive adjectives
  • demonstrative adjectives

 

Some and any are usually followed by plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns and are used as follows:

some cars

any cars

some money

any money

         Some is used:

  • in affirmative sentences: He’s got some books from the library.
  • in offers and requests:Could I have some books, please?
    Why don’t you take some books home with you?

    Any is used:

  • in negatives (not any = no; hardly any; never any): There isn’t any reason to complain.
  • in questions: Have they got any children?
  • in affirmative sentences, any = “no matter which”, “no matter who”,“no matter what”
    You can borrow any of my books.

    Their compounds

    Their compounds, which are always singular, are:

    • someone/somebody, something, somewhere. I have something to say.
    • anyone/anybody, anything, anywhere. Does anybody have the time?
      You may invite anybody to dinner, I don’t mind.  You can invite anyone to dinner.
    • no one/nobody, nothing, nowhere. Homeless people have nowhere to go at night.
    • (everyone/everybody, everything, everywhere).
    • They can be followed by else. There’s nothing else to do.
    • What else do you want to watch?

However, you can also use “someone’s car/somebody’s coming” in contraction form to show position or just using the LV “is.”

 

Also, “else” is one of those words that’s very difficult to understand, simply because there’s not much of a translation into the Thai language.  Example, “what else do you want to do?” My students look at me cluelessly because they just can’t wrap their heads around it.

YouTube

TOEIC Grammar: Double Comparatives & Order of Adverbs

Double comparatives

  • Our nation gets fatter and fatter every year.
  • more and more + adjective :
    The problem is getting more and more difficult to solve.To say that something is increasing all the time.

    We can use comparatives with the definite article the

    The more you say, the worse the situation will be. The more, the merrier.

    To say that two changes happen together.

    Order of Adverbs

    Adverbs that go in mid-position express:

    • frequency: never, rarely, always …
    • certainty: probably, certainly, obviously …
    • degree: nearly, almost, quite …The word order for adverbs in mid-position is as follows:

Tense

Subject

Auxiliary verb

Adverb

Main Verb

Complement

To be in simple tense

I

am

usually

right

Perfect tenses

He

has

already

seen

this film

Modal auxiliary verb

We

can

sometimes

play

tennis

Simple tenses

She

hardly

cooks

dinner

Passive with two auxiliary verbs

He

has

never

been remembered

for his novels

Only and even go just before the words they emphasize. It will only take (only) five minutes.

  • They have even forgotten (even) his name.

Sometimes / sometime / some time

Sometimes: means occasionally

Sometime: means at one moment in the future (it can also mean “one day”)

Let’s have dinner sometime next week.

Some time: means a period of time

She’s lived in Italy for some time, so she speaks Italian quite well.

YouTube

Napoleon Hill: Lesson Fourteen – Tolerance/Intolerance — The Desperation of Help Needed In Thailand

First: Intolerance is a form of ignorance which must be mastered before any form of enduring success may be attained.  It is the chief cause of all wars.  It makes enemies in business and in the professions.  It disintegrates the organized forces of society in a thousand forms and stands, like a might giant, as a barrier to the abolition of war.

Second: Intolerance is the chief disintegrating force in the organized religions of the world, where it plays havoc with the greatest power for good there is on this earth; by breaking up that power into small sects and denominations which spend as much effort opposing each other as they do in destroying the evils of the world.

Now, let’s see how it affects you, the individual.

In my story, I think the lack of patience and not being able to tolerate even the meaningless situations has plagued me.  For instance, living here in Thailand and seeing how customer service is, I give a particular second/minute threshold in getting service.  If I don’t get the right service, or any in general, I will blow up.

In the workplace, we’ve all had that coworker that is “short-tempered” and get’s tense quite easily.  This is because of their tolerance level.

I remember back in 2007 I took the bus twice within the same week and got the same bus driver.  The first time I saw him, he said good morning.  The second time he was extremely agitated; and at one point, I heard him yelling at a passenger.  I heard passengers screaming, “f*** you bus driver!”  People saying, “oh, I think he’s from New York.” LOL!  These were good times, but it goes to show how the tolerance level on particular individuals is not good at all.

Here’s a story from Napoleon Hill’s book….

One day I was introduced to a young man of unusually fine appearance.  His clear eye, his warm hand-clasp, the tone of his voice and the splendid taste with which he was groomed marked him as a young man of the highest intellectual type.  He was of the typical young American college student type, and as I ran my eyes over him, hurriedly studying his personality, as one will naturally do under such circumstances, I observed a Knight of Columbus pin on his vest.

Instantly, I released his hand as if it were a piece of ice!

This was done so quickly that it surprised both him and me.  As I excused myself and started to talk away, I glanced down at the Masonic pin that I wore on my own vest, then took another look at his Knight of Columbus pin, and wondered why a couple of trinkets such as these could dig such a deep chasm between men who knew nothing about each other.

All the remainder of that day I kept thinking of the incident, because it bothered me.  I had always taken considerable pride in the thought that I was tolerance with all men; but here was a spontaneous outburst of intolerance which proved that down in my sub-conscious mind existed a complex that was influencing me toward narrow-mindedness.

This discovery so shocked me that I began a systematic process of psycho-analysis through which I searched into the very depths of my soul for the cause of my rudeness.

“Why did I abruptly release that young man’s hand and turn away from him, when you knew nothing about him?”

This is especially for every Thai in Thailand.  Just yesterday that was a situation where this lady saw me, gave me a dirty look, and walked almost in the opposite direction, twisting her head over her left shoulder to avoid looking at me at all costs.

The same schools in Thailand that get my resume, look at the outstanding experience I have before turning to my photo — seeing that I’m “color” — and plunge my resume into the trash.

Yes, I’m calling out each and every last one of you.  It’s like what’s happening on the roads here in Thailand.  A country that has the highest fatality rate by percentage in the world because Thais now tolerate the stupendously fast-and-furious type driving without any reconciliation.  It’s time to dive in!

Podcast

TOEIC – Reading Section: Introduction, Tips, & A Passage

I decided to do the reading section of TOEIC because I simply haven’t done a video or blog on it yet.  I’m excited about doing this because Native English Speakers can use these techniques for SAT (maybe). TOEFL is a difficult test, but it’s also something you can use with it.  Stay tuned for that, but I haven’t had any students approach me in regards to TOEFL yet.

So, let’s dive into it.

Different Types of Questions

  1. Specific Information (positive)
  2. Vocabulary Questions
  3. Main Idea & inference Questions
  4. Specific Information Questions

Specific Information questions are the easiest and quickest to find.  I love to tell my students to look at the questions that have numbers.  These are the easiest.  Questions that say “what is the purpose of this memo” (ex. number 3 – main idea and inference questions) should always come last.

If you look at number two, which is vocabulary questions, you can see that this is probably the second easiest.

The toss up for last will be between question types 3 and 4.

Questions

  1. For whom is this letter intended?

A) Alberto Romero

B) Benjamin Weintraub

C) John Teirney

D) Alex Andreas?

      2. What kind of job does the applicant want?

A) Human resources

B) Advertising

C) Marketing

D) Sales

      3. Where did Mr. Romero Want To Work?

A) In Britain

B) In North America

C) In Eastern Europe

D) In Asia

 

Passage

Alberto Romero

1711 Taylor Avenue

North Las Vegas

NV 89030

USA

Dear. Mr. Romero,

This letter is to thank you for your application to join out international sales team.  Unfortunately, we must inform you that due to the large number of highly-qualified applicants that applied for the position of Eastern European sales representative, we have already filled all the positions that were advertised in the May issue of the Human Resources Bulletin

As you know, administrative and marketing positions in our European and Asia-Pacific offices regularly become available during the year and we would welcome your application for future international postings.

Yours Truly

Frederick Andreas

 

YouTube Video