ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 117 | Reading/Listening | Is Your brain Ready Yet?

Welcome to another reading/listening! Today we’re going to be activating prior knowledge, and the task for you is to write down three stereotypes about teenagers and how they behave. Remember, STEREOTYPES. Share away! And in saying that, the rest of the questions are either on the blog (or down below).

Identifying Main Ideas

Listen to Is your brain ready yet? Complete the article with the headings (a-f)

a. Impulse control under pressure

b. Peak performance and rapid decline

c. Questioning the stereotype

d. Synaptic pruning in the adolescent brain

e. A call for delayed decision-making

f. Hormones, risk, and reward


IELTS Speaking | pronunciation | Linking Words

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, all! In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about why linking words is so underrated, as well as pronunciation in general. I might’ve gone over this briefly in a previous podcast (last year), but it’s never bad to review!

On the YouTube video, I will discuss these…

  • Word linking
  • Linking in statements
  • Techniques

Tune into the video and podcast for the reading so that you can follow along!

IELTS Speaking


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 113 – Developing Vocabulary – Words with More than One Meaning (II)

Here we go! Discussing the different meanings in words!

1a – It became clear to them that the cord had snapped.

1b. The sky was clear that day — not a cloud to be seen.

2a. The weather was fair, though it had rained the day before.

2b. It might not seem fair that others had made the jump before without any problems.

3a. The rescuer tried to cover her with his jacket because she was wet.

3b. The hikers are set off to cover as much distance as possible before lunch.

4a. As she fell, she picked up speed.

4b. The ambulance picked her up several hours later.

5a. She had been traveling since she left university.

5b. She couldn’t swim since her ankles were strapped together.


Read these sentences down below with the word “point.”

What do you think “point” in each sentence means?

  1. I see your point.
  2. Can you please get to the point?
  3. All right, you’ve proved your point.
  4. I think you’ve missed the point.
  5. She was on the point of giving up hope.
  6. I agree up to a point.
  7. You have a point.
  8. I think we’ve reached the point of no return.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 107 – Pronunciation Skill – Weak Form of As

Super happy to bring pronunciation back to you guys. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how enunciating the word “as” is often “weak” and sounds like it’s just a schwa. It can be difficult to hear the difference, but it is important to listen for it in order to better understand lectures and conversations.

Circle the weak forms of as.

  1. They have difficulties categorizing and making decisions, as Dr. Taylor noted earlier.
  2. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
  3. I’ll write some needs for each level of the pyramid, and you can suggest some, as well.
  4. That’s as basic as you can get.
  5. If you’re a painter, you want to be as good as you can.
  6. There’s also the need to help the group as a whole succeed.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 33 – Pronunciation – Weak Form of That

In relative clauses, the pronunciation of the word that is often “weak” and sound like /dat/. It can be difficult to hear this difference, but it important to listen for it.

What’s that? (strong form)

It’s an invention that really change the way we live. (weak form)

Listen to my pronunciation in the podcast.

Which of the following is strong and weak?

  1. I started making podcasts on different topics: speaking, pronunciation, grammar, things like that.
  2. You’re a person that doesn’t like taking ‘no’ for an answer.
  3. My Arsenio Buck Foundation is a foundation that represents pillars.
  4. That’s all well and good, but why do you keep pursuing your dream?

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 32 – American & British Collocations with Have

This has always been one of my favorites!

Many collocations use have in British English but take different verbs in American English. Also, some are expressed simply as verbs in american English.


Have a look/guess/shower

Have a think/laugh/word


Take a look/guess/shower

Think (about it)/laugh/talk (to someone)

Completely the questions in British English

  1. Can I have a _________ at the photos on your phone?
  2. Do you usually have a _________ in the morning or before bed?
  3. What do you watch on TV if you want to have a ___________?
  4. Do you know how old I am? Have a ____________!
  5. Can I borrow your car tonight? Have a ___________ and let me know.
  6. Can I have a _______________? I’d like to know your opinion of this course.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 12 – Developing Vocabulary – Word Formations/Noun Suffixes

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 4 - Episode 12 - Developing Vocabulary - Word Formations/Noun Suffixes

More suffixes! They never get old, do they? Let’s get into this! I want you guys to decide what type of noun each of these words is and then put the suffixes in the correct column.

Words: accuracy, actor, coincidence, happiness, interaction, movement, participant, personality, psychologist, researcher.

Noun – abstract/concreteNoun – person
-cy = accuracypsychologist.

2. Add suffixes in the table to the words below. You can possible add more than one suffix.

  1. science
  2. argue
  3. describe
  4. intelligent
  5. sincere
  6. invent
  7. similar
  8. frequent
  9. speak
  10. lonely

3. Match the suffixes with the word. After that, think of at least one more word containing each suffix.

  1. free
  2. fail
  3. import
  4. safe
  5. friend

a. -ure

b -ance

c – dom

d -ship

e -ty


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 74 – Grammar – Future Activities In The Past

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Episode 74 - Grammar - Future Activities In The Past

Three more podcasts on the intermediate level are left! Then we’ll be getting into the upper intermediate! SO excited about finishing off this season. With that being said, we need to dive into the good stuff.


I was going to speak to her, but she walked away.

My Thai friend was arriving the next day.

I knew it would be a good day.

I was about to go out when my mom called.

The meeting was to take place on Tuesday.


  • We use was/were to when there was an arrangement for something to happen. It is usually formal.
  • We use was/were about to for things that were going to happen very soon after.
  • We use the past continuous for confirmed plans.

Task – Decide if the sentences are correct. Rewrite the incorrect sentences.

  1. The sky went black and it looked like it was about rain very soon.
  2. She couldn’t go to school the next morning because she was seeing the doctor.
  3. They were to getting an incredible surprise the day after.
  4. They thought it was snowing the next day, but it didn’t.
  5. He had no idea that he would win his next race.
  6. They went to bed early because the next day was to be very busy.


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

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
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.